The dream team’s at work

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — “I had the craziest dream last night.”

These are words dream interpreters Rob Mazza, Barb Owens and Andrea Bareither love to hear.

“There are some that are weirder than others, and we love those,” said Owens, who has practiced dream interpretation for about 10 years. “We love one that is so bizarre it makes us laugh.”

She recalled one dream shared by a family member.

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“I don’t remember the whole thing, but there was one scene where there’s a guy on a stage and shoes are shooting out of his arm,” she said. “I don’t know why it was so funny. I laughed for like five minutes. In the context it was a little more bizarre than other ones.”

Twice a week, this trio and their Spirit Dream colleagues meet at Calypsos Coffee and Creamery in Coeur d’Alene to try to make sense of the stories your subconscious weaves while you sleep.

Mazza said the main motivation for holding these free sessions — which have been going on for seven years — is to help people.

“We found that within a dream, when it’s correctly interpreted, you can do people a lot of good to learn who or what they are made for,” said Mazza, who teaches dream interpretation classes twice a year. “There are a lot of clues of who they really are and where they’re struggling.”

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From the fantastical and disturbing to the puzzling and repetitive, Mazza and his team work to understand the symbols and metaphors in dreams within the context of the individual sharing the dream.

“There are some that are fairly common. For instance, losing your teeth,” Mazza said. “A lot of people have had that. There’s kind of a base level interpretation that you’re losing your understanding. It’s a failure to comprehend. We know the saying, ‘Chew on this.’ That one you can almost be sure they’re troubled and not able to process it.”

Dream interpretation is a practice that dates back to ancient times, and dreams themselves have been a curiosity since time immemorial. Speculation about dreams includes the activation-synthesis theory, which proposes that dreams result from the brain’s attempt to make sense of neural activity during sleep, and the symbol-heavy ideas presented by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

The Spirit Dream interpreters, who have backgrounds in spiritual and emotional healing, consider dreams on a case-by-case basis; a Chevy truck in one person’s dream is going to mean something different in another dreamscape.

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“Dreams are spiritual,” Mazza said. “It’s safe to say that when you sleep, your mind, will and emotions, your opinions, your vices, are generally neutralized or they’re so upfront. You can’t lie in a dream.”

The Spirit Dream team uses a compassionate ear while listening to people’s dreams. They create a positive and trusting environment where those sharing will feel safe.

“We don’t take a cold, subjective look at what we’re doing,” Mazza said.

“A lot of times, they come to us thinking, ‘Oh, it’s this crazy dream, it doesn’t mean anything,’ but all of a sudden, their heart is exposed and it’s a deep issue, so we’re very careful,” Bareither said. “We’re all about honor and love, treating people with respect.”


Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press,