The front yard of a Tudor style house in the summer

Dreams That Take Us To Hidden Rooms

Sometimes in dreams we discover previously unknown rooms in familiar places. When a dreamer happens upon secret or hidden place in a house, it might mean that she is in the process of discovering new things about herself. The room might represent a source of creative energy, an unrealized potential, or opportunity for growth. No matter the dreamer’s interpretation, a dream of an unknown room often reveals precious gifts or treasures. In the following dream, I discovered a sweet history of love that had been forgotten.

DREAM: “The Ladder Into The Third Story”

I am walking around the ground floor of the Tudor cottage where my son was born. I ascend the stairs to the second floor, but realize there is a third floor that I had originally been unaware of during the time I lived there. I discover a ladder hidden in a closet behind the rack of old clothes. I ascend the ladder, grateful for how sturdy it feels beneath my feet. As I reach the entrance to the third floor, I open a window to my right, realizing at the same time there are two people behind me on the ladder, a male and female. Yet when I reach the open door to the upper story, they fade from view.

When I step into the spacious attic bedroom, I hear music playing. Chopin’s Piano Concerto # 1. “How do I know this?”  I wonder.

In the next moment I see a feather bed set against the wall in the middle of the room. Dappled light spills over a scrolled brocade comforter from a dormer window. Old fashioned rose bud wallpaper covers all the walls. A brass lamp sits on a side table. I think of my grandmother’s house, and the place where I slept when visiting her. Suddenly lucid, I want to make this space more accessible so that even an old woman can climb up the stairs.

NOTES: I awake to the sound of rain, remembering the cute Tudor cottage where I lived when my son Kent was born. I smile with poignancy imagining the days of a loving marriage and the dormer floor that had been turned into a master bedroom. The third previously unknown room above it all says something else to me, but it is always a good idea to share one’s dream with a friend familiar with dream work to get additional perspective. So, I consulted with another dreamer named Yuri and integrated his responses into my dream analysis.

The upper floor in the dream symbolizes for me a secluded retreat, a place of solitude, a portal to a newly discovered better story or vision about my life. The sturdy ladder offers the way to access this new story. The climb on the ladder represents ascension or the act of striving for a state of higher consciousness. The male and female backing me up during my climb felt like the spirits of my deceased parents. Yet, they could possibly be aspects of the psyche, the anima and animus and their integration as I arrive in the higher story. Some say dreams of houses are about ourselves. If that is so, then I welcome a rose garden filled with music in my attic as a place for dreaming in the place of Mind.

Dreams require that we do something that honors their messages. I plan to engage in a technique called dream reentry and have a conversation with the room and the objects in the room. Then I will record the dialogues in a stream of consciousness writing exercise in my dream journal. In this way I can enter into the newly discovered space more intimately. In addition, I decided to find a photo of that sweet cottage where my son was born, put out a photo of my grandmother on my altar, and play Chopin’s music this morning. Dreams of ascending a ladder to a hidden attic room can offer us a new level of awareness of the archetypal self, gift us with creative opportunities, and at the same time uncover stored memories of love in relationships.


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