Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Dream prisons

A woman dissatisfied with her work situation asked for a dream of guidance and saw herself visiting prisons. She wants to know how this dream responds to her intention.

There is no doubt plenty of work to be done in prisons, including some for which this dreamer’s professional skills would qualify her. But my first response was that, if this were my dream, I would think about how I may tend to allow a job to become a prison, and how to avoid that unhappy situation as I go forward.


I was reminded of a dream of my own, many years ago, when I was in a work situation in which I was earning lots of money but was profoundly unhappy because my creative self wanted me to do something radically different. In my dream, I was in a kind of slave labor camp, where the big bosses of the organization that was paying me were strutting around like tinpot dictators. In the dream, I became aware that I could leave this camp at any time. The guards would not stop me, and anyway I had a huge personal bodyguard who was much bigger than them. So why was I slaving away here and putting up with the posturings of those in command? The answer lay in the canteen, where freezers and fridges were packed full of “American hamburger”.


Waking, I drew the lesson. No amount of “American hamburger” (translation: moolah, bucks, cash, cabbage) is sufficient reward for living in a slave labor camp. My dream producers helped me to clarify my choices, and I grew the courage to move away from a path of big bucks to a modest life-style congruent with my work as a teacher and creator.

There are other kinds of dream prisons. Near her wedding day, a woman I know dreamed on an eagle confined in a bird cage not much bigger than its bothered. Chained to a stand, the eagle was furiously gnawing at its leg, ready to do anything to get free. This led her to ask herself whether the marriage she had agreed to might amount to giving up a vital part of her soul – the part that, like a bird, can fly. After much soul-searching, she called off the wedding.

Have you ever found yourself in prison in a dream? What is your dream prison like?

  • http://recentlossinfamily thelma lawon

    my dreamstarts with i am riding up and down on this elevator and the door won’t come open to let us off. the elevator was like a real old elevator.then ended up eventually getting off was a beach with water just flowing people on beach watching people sail on boats, then ended up poolside drinking a margeritta then woke up.

  • Nancy

    Robert, I had a much more grisly interpretation of “American hamburger”, if it’s my dream — the guards were ready to literally chew up the workers! I’d be getting out of there in one quick hurry.

  • Roseda

    My dream prison always seems to be a school- even though I haven’t been to a class in years. Sometimes it’s my junior school, sometimes my high school and a few times even my college, but everyone there is adult. I’ve had this reoccurring theme for years and can never quite wrap my head around what it’s trying to tell me.

    Though I do find it funny that every single time I have this dream, I’m fully aware that I don’t need to be in school anymore- I argue with the teachers, I incite other students to leave or leave myself, or just sit around grumpy and complaining.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Savannah

    A dream comes to mind of walking down the street past a shopping window that also turns out the be a jail cell, and inside it a man on a chair. From the outside I spend a considerable amount of time examining the screws that hold the window in place, which appear to require no more than a simple phillips head to undo. Then from the inside I observe the man in conversation with a woman I can now see on the opposite side of the room and next to the window, where she was hidden from the street view. I observe the covertly adversarial relationship between them. At a desk beside me is a supervisor, to whom I talk about weddings. That’s where the dream ends. I feel rather removed from the scene and the situation doesn’t seem to concern me directly, though after reading your report of the tethered eagle I may re-enter the dream and gently plant a screw driver in plain view of the couple :-).

  • Justin Patrick Moore

    Don’t remember a dream about being in prison, but I did have a recent work related dream in which my managers were kintergarten teachers. This was humorous and I shared it with my co-workers, and we had a laugh. We often get lots of sweet treats, but no nap time. Now, when I feel like I’m being talked down to by these people, I let my inner child smile. It’s also a reminder to distance myself from office “tattle tale” politics.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nicole

    The jail part is the second half of my dream. There was a run in with the cops and the leader of the gang and a bunch of random people (me included) go to jail. It’s a transitional jail, not the final destination. The gang leader gave up his explosives, which shocked all of us so the guards were suspicious of his intentions. The gang leader scared me. We were trying to plan an escape. When no one was around the leader got out of his cell and hid. The explosive containers had been emptied, but I don’t know if he knew this. So we made a plan for him to get back into his cell, but as he went back to it people made noise to get the guards attention so he’d get caught. The guards were going to put him back in the same place, but asked if we felt safe, I shook my head yes, but they could see the fear on my face so they put him in a cell at the very end.

    There’s more after this, but this is the main part.

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