Start Here | DREAMS 1-2-3 Dream Interpretation System

Three Steps to Understanding the Meaning of Dreams

DREAMS 1-2-3 (D3) is a comprehensive system for decoding and interpreting the meaning of dreams, created by author and dream interpreter J.M. DeBord, aka “RadOwl” at The three steps:

  1. Break down the dream into story elements and narrative components.
  2. Interpret and analyze the symbolism and story.
  3. Connect the dream with you and your life.
jm debord dream interpreter

I’m J.M. DeBord, author and dream expert. Learn more at

I created D3 based on 25 years of personal study and practice and many thousands of dreams I have helped to interpret. Since 2010 I have been a fixture at Reddit Dreams, the largest online community dedicated to dreams, where I’m known as RadOwl. Every day I see what people around the world are dreaming about. I know their questions and tendencies. Most dreams involve familiar themes and symbols that are easy enough to understand and interpret. However, dreams are experiences unto themselves and are not always readily understood.

Dreams are stories. That’s a key insight that helps me explain them and show how to systematically interpret them and learn from them.

Dreams are stories told with symbolism. Symbolism is the language of your unconscious mind, where dreams are created.

D3 shows you how I interpret dreams and work with them. It borrows from teachings of dream interpreters such as Dr. Carl Jung, psychologists Ann Faraday and Robert Johnson, the psychic Edgar Cayce, my mentor Larry Pesavento, and too many others to list. D3 combines the best of what works for most people, with my personal approach of analyzing dreams as stories.

DREAMS 1-2-3Understanding your dreams and working with them in your mind and heart are tremendously beneficial. But how to do it? The help you find is either too specialized for most readers (I’m looking at you, Sigmund Freud), or too conflicting or simply wrong. It becomes a problem when people looking for answers to their dream lives don’t find them.

D3 is my answer. Dream interpretation for everyone. Anyone can do it.

Dreams are magical and mysterious, and a systematic way of interpreting them fills a massive need for the general public that’s interested in knowing more about their dreams but doesn’t know where to start.

Start here!

Translate Dream Symbolism

Dreams use symbolism to tell stories. It’s where your journey begins:

Dream Symbolism | Interpreting Dream Stories


DREAMS 1-2-3 Dream Interpretation System

Here’s a summary of DREAMS 1-2-3.

Cliff’s Notes | Dreams 1-2-3 Dream Interpretation System (D3) by J.M. DeBord


We still have a lot of ground to cover, but soon you will see that dream interpretation is not the big mystery it can appear to be. It requires dedication to truth and authenticity, because you can just as readily believe illusion and dance with shadows as see the truth in your dreams. It’s easy to be wrong about your interpretations, and just as easy to convince yourself you are correct. Your dreams will never lie or fool you, but they can’t stop you from fooling yourself.

Leave your ego at the door.

The next two articles are your foundation:

Why Dream?

Three Simple Facts to Help Understand the Meaning of Dreams


Three Steps of DREAMS 1-2-3

Dream stories have three story elements — settings, characters, and symbols — and three narrative components — action, reaction, and resolution.

Step 1: Story Elements & Narrative Components

Three interpretation techniques — associate, simplify, and amplify — and three storytelling devices — metaphor, exaggeration, and comparison-contrast — are what you need to know to analyze your dreams.

Step 2: Dream Interpretation & Story Analysis

To understand how a dream fits together and applies to you, look at it in context, connect the dots between the details, and reflect on your recent life.

Step 3: Connect Your Dreams with Your Life


Don’t expect to instantly know the meaning of every dream

dream interpretation dictionary

Use my Dream Dictionary as a supplement to what you learn here.

Some dreams require more time for the meaning to become clear, and some are connected to mysterious underlayers of the human mind and consciousness that defy conventional interpretation. Some dreams come true, or could come true, in the future and you won’t know for sure unless it happens. I don’t think there’s a way of understanding every dream, even with a lifetime to search for the answer. And you might find more than one meaning for the same dream. That’s OK. The point is to try, to give the attention, to engage with the dream and the story. It’s a building process, like cultivating a relationship.


You want more?

Yes, I can give you more, like my books. Go to

My Youtube channel offers content:

DREAMS 1-2-3 at Youtube

So does my other dream interpretation site:

I’m a popular media guest and have covered every dream-related topic under the sun:

My radio and podcast appearances:

And my work at at r/Dreams. See my comment and submission history at my favorite website:

Visit me, I’m RadOwl at Reddit Dreams