A cookbook approach can't work
Knowledge of the unconscious and dream interpretation is still in its infancy. Thus, everything said above and in the following about these topics must be taken as being tentative and as the subject for further research. In the same way, dream interpretation remains more an art than a science: it is something that is "caught" rather than taught. With practice and experience, you get a feeling for how to do it and how to approach dreams and the dreamer.
Dreams cannot be interpreted using some sort of "cookbook" approach where a symbol always has the same meaning. A cow for most of us has a very different meaning and importance than it has for someone working daily with them on an alpine meadow. Moreover, dream interpretation is always data-reductive. The dreamer doesn't usually remember every detail and certainly doesn't relate all that s/he remembers. In addition, we then come at the dream with our own filters and in actuality take in only a portion of that which is said. Then, too, we "see" the various aspects of the dream according to our experiences of things and not that of the dreamer.
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