Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Woman weaves dreams on the Web


Column, radio shows and Internet site interpret symbols from the subconscious

By Carrie Ferguson
The Tennessean

He comes in the darkness of night. Faceless, but so familiar as he climbs toward you in bed.

You long for his kiss, cry for more as he disappears, just as he always does.

You wonder who he is when you open your eyes in the morning.

Lauri Loewenberg would say your mystery lover is you, a part of you that's missing. To alert you, your dream weaver offered you a passion that is hard to forget. The kiss is not about sex, for rarely are sex dreams about sex. This one is about verbal expression. The message sent is a call to wake up, to be more assertive.

"The weirder the dream, the more important the dream," Loewenberg says. "The subconscious mind is symbolic and uses clever metaphors to communicate."

Loewenberg is a 30-year-old wife and mother. She is also co-host of a Web site called The Dream Zone (www.thedreamzone.com) and co-author of a dream-interpretation column of the same name.

COMMON THEMES
The five most common dream symbols and what they could mean, according to dream interpreter Lauri Loewenberg:
Falling: Fear of failure or losing control or status.
Flying: Children dream more of flying than adults do, probably because they do not know their limits. A flying dream can come when everything is going well and you are soaring, but it also can come when your woes are heavy and you need a boost.
Being chased: We get chased when there is something going on that we are trying to avoid. It also is the most common recurring dream, which probably is the dream weaver's way of chasing us down and getting us to pay attention and deal with our issue.
Naked in public: We lose our drawers when we feel vulnerable, exposed, unprepared or that we have revealed too much. Some of us, however, like the "naked dream," and those people are the kind who let it all hang out and who feel they have nothing to hide.
Back in school or late for exam: This is one of those feeling-unprepared dreams, and it can vary depending on profession or life interest. For example, a disc jockey could dream of dead air; an actor may dream of forgetting his lines. The dream also can happen when we're in a competitive arena, not unlike being at school, and our ability and intellect are at stake.
Loewenberg is also about to publish a dream-interpretation coffee table book titled So, What Did You Dream Last Night? She is illustrating it herself.

She does all this while still doing as many as seven daily interviews on radio shows, where she deciphers the meaning behind 60-foot clowns, pink cats and houses with no doors.

Her goal: To be the Dr. Laura of dream interpretation. And she's working hard to get there. Listen to your dreams, she says.

A beacon in the night

"A dream uninterpreted is like a letter unopened," she says, sitting in her Nashville home as her son naps. "My dreams are my own lighthouse showing me how I feel about something. They show me things in a different light."

It's easy to dismiss dreams, especially the wild ones that, to say the least, freak us out. But Loewenberg has long trusted the messages, and she is hoping more people will, too.

"Since I was a child, I have had wild, wonderful adventures, and when I was old enough, I started writing them down. I have kept a dream journal almost all my life," she says.

MEN, WOMEN DREAM DIFFERENTLY
• Women's dreams, more often than men's, take place indoors. Women notice color, facial and clothing details more. They talk more in their dreams, and they often dream of men and women equally.
• Men, on the other hand, dream more of other men, outdoor settings, physical and sexual activity, tools and money.
• There's no snoring during the dream state.
• Albert Einstein claimed his theory of relativity came to him in a dream.
Source: Lauri Loewenberg
It wasn't until her grandfather died, 10 years ago, that she began to study dream interpretation. In a dream, she saw him in an art gallery or museum. He was tall, maybe 9 feet, and he wore an aquamarine suit. He told her it was "secure" where he was. He told her he couldn't tell her anything else. Her interpretation is that her grandfather had grown in awareness. He wore the color that looks best on her and offered her the keyword "secure."

While it prompted her to study more, especially the works of psychiatrist and dream analyst Carl Jung, she didn't go straight toward dream interpretation as a path. Instead, she pursued acting and an art career in Los Angeles before moving to Nashville with her husband in 1993.

It wasn't until the mid-'90s and the promise of 900 numbers that her "dream" career began.

She and her husband searched the nation for a dream interpreter who could work a 900-number and offer callers legitimate feedback. That's how they found Katia Romanoff, who agreed to train Loewenberg and several others. Romanoff also is co-founder and dean of studies of the Dream Interpretation Institute in Nevada. Loewenberg proudly states she graduated at the top of the class. The pay-per-call business, however, never fully got off the ground.

"The psychic hot lines tainted it," she says.

So, to put it in a "more palatable form" Loewenberg and Romanoff began writing a column in 1998. They launched the Web site a year later. For $20 you can get an interpretation of your dream, or nightmare, sent via e-mail, and for $35 you get a phone call from Loewenberg.

Loewenberg has hooked up with a booking agency that finds her the guest spots. She recently did a Playboy radio show in which two porn stars were the hosts. Thankfully, only the first caller's dream was lurid. The whole episode gave her the idea to pitch a sex-dreams column to Playboy magazine.

"Wouldn't that be fun?" she says.




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