It is dangerous to believe, beyond any doubt, that the "symbols" from one person's dream mean the same thing as those in another person's dream. The idea of a simplistic dream interpretation theory, as in the breaking down of "symbols" into an easy to define chart, is quite mad. Or at least it is from my point of view.
There are different kinds of dreams. Some are fluffy dreams filled with people we know and some kind of silliness that everyone gets involved in. There are lucid dreams and there are intense, powerful dreams that stay with us long after we awaken. Does the appearance of a rabbit in a light, fluffy dream mean the same as a rabbit in a dark and intense dream? They are two different rabbits. One might appear because in our own personal reality we think of rabbits as indicative of good luck. Another might appear because of a childhood experience where we were bitten by a neighbor's pet rabbit, causing a subconscious fear. To interpret the rabbit as only meaning one thing is absurd.
On many levels we all interpret the world differently. Picture a roller coaster ride in your dream. Would this not mean different things to someone who loves roller coasters and someone who is scared to death of them?
My own dreams, those of the intense variety, there are a number of recurring themes. I have had people who specialize in dream interpretation look at them, and their deductions have rarely made sense in the context of my dreams. I am pursued by what I call "the red riders," who by their description seem to be disgruntled seraphim. You could say, okay, they are angels and signify protection. Not really. They are hunting me and there are so many varieties of angels that appear in my dreams that they all mean something quite different.
I believe that we have individual realities and a collective reality. I believe the merger of these two realities is what creates the world we live in. There are two places where our individual reality can break completely with the collective reality. These two places are death and dreams. In our waking life we must adhere to certain standards and belief systems that are accepted by the majority of people around us. Within the constraints of the collective reality, we cannot do certain things. We cannot fly. We cannot walk on water. We cannot move into a palace and live in luxury. We work with the collective reality to determine what is possible and what is not possible. So, at certain times, we escape the shackles of the collective reality and travel into the essence of our own reality.
Dreams take us to a place where we don't have to play by the rules. There may be rules but they rarely correspond to the rules of the collective reality. What may be valuable is to understand the rules of your dreams and follow them. To become lucid and drive your dreams, you must understand the nature of their parameters. These parameters will change from person to person and dream to dream. Therefore, this works best with recurring dreams and recurring dream themes and settings.
An outsider with an open mind may be your best guide to interpreting your dreams. By nature you will usually try to assign meanings that you favor to your dreams. Yet, the important thing to remember is that the context of the dream as well as the symbolism is important. Make a list of key components of recurring dreams. Write down the actions that are taken by the key components. Write down the words you hear and the way they are spoken. All components of dreams are relevant, although we may focus only on those we deem important while awake.
The doorknob may be far more important than the door.
Study the trends in your dreams. Reflect upon how one dream builds upon another. How are they connected? Is there a story being told? Or are they independent capsules? Perhaps dreams are messages from the subconscious telling us things we have either forgotten or are not recognizing in our conscious mind. There are those of us whose dreams come as powerful images that are not easily forgotten when we wake. How much of a dream do we really remember? Do only certain things stand out after we wake up? You may remember a plane crash in the dream, but do you remember all the particulars surrounding the crash? There are many questions. The answers are not easily found. You can connect the dots and draw your own conclusions but they may not be the correct conclusions. The only response is to muse over them and realize they are a frontier we have yet to fully explore and understand.