Dr. Katia Romanoff
interprets symbols in dreams and co-writes an advice column with Dr. Lauri
Loewenberg called The Dream Zone, appearing in several newspapers around
the country and Sedona Magazine.
Below are dozens of Dr Katia's
interpretations of dreams, nightmares and waking visions people send in
to her. The same symbols appear in paintings, songs, and religions of
the world. Just start reading at the top and see if you find any symbols
with a message for YOU.
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February 12, 2009
WALKING THROUGH WALLS
I keep having a dream that I can walk through walls but only if I really concentrate. Others in my dream, including my two grown daughters, 21 and 23 and female cousin of mine who I haven't seen in years (we're the same age, 43) can do this easily. In my dream I try and try to put my hand through a door or wall (like a ghost) but I have to really concentrate hard & then when I do it I'm really happy! Also the room I'm in is always a college dorm room. Another thing is there is a baby (but I don't know who's) that crawls right through everything and my one daughter keeps going after it. My small pug-mix Roxie also runs through the walls and doors and I'm always calling for her. I've had this dream 3 nights in a row. Does it mean anything? Or am I just nuts? - Sue
You are definitely not nuts <grin>, but you sure are delving into the “higher” realms, going beyond the mere physical. I think these dreams are trying to direct your attention to the unseen world where the human mind escapes the limitations of the body and enters the realm of pure consciousness – existence, universal intelligence, Being. Your dog can get there because she, like all animals, doesn’t have an ego holding her back. She can leap easily into the state of universal Being. When humans learn to ignore the ego – the chattering voice in the head – we too can move through all walls (obstacles) with ease. On a more mundane level, the dream is saying change your thinking, or re-train your thinking, about some issue and you’ll pass thru any and all obstacles. Notice your need to concentrate, in other words focus and build up your energy. The dorm room means a place of rest-while-learning, in other words a place where you let things you have learned “bake in the oven” or “gel”. We all build walls in life, usually as children or teenagers, in an attempt to protect ourselves. Later in life those walls can become severe blockages, can hold us back from being who we are intended to be. As adults we must learn to pass thru them, we should tear them down. Your grown daughters seem to be able to get thru their walls easily, which means you raised ‘em right(!), and you now are also getting thru the barriers tha t may have caused you difficulty in the past. Your cousin could represent that time in your life when these walls were built. Well done, and keep evolving! I suggest reading Eckhart Tolle’s bestseller, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose to watch the walls come down and going even further, to learn how to enter the “higher realms” instantly like your little dog. You are makin’ things happen, good for you.
February 12, 2009
RIDING, HIDING, SEEING THE DEAD DREAM
I had a dream I was running from some people who were trying to hurt me. I couldn’t see who was chasing me but it felt like I knew them. First I was running outside and then I ran into the house. I thought it was my home but I realized it wasn’t because it just went on and on. Then somehow I ended up hiding in the closet of my mom’s best friend (She is deceased. They both are actually). Just as I was able to catch my breath, the door opened. It was my mom’s friend and she didn’t say anything…she just smiled and nodded her head. Then I woke up. It’s very unsettling to me when I see the dead in my dreams. – Shannon 31, Houston, TX
All humans living, and who have ever lived, back to the beginning of time, are linked via the Collective Consciousness. It is freaky yes, but the evidence for this great huge “library” of mind-stuff, thoughts, ideas, memories, personalities, is very abundant. You are tapping into it, actually “contacting” and interacting with the energy that is your mother and also that of your mother’s friend. Whenever we see deceased people in our dreams it can also mean they are trying to send their energy to us, they are trying to contact us. They can only reach us if they are of a positive nature and are trying to strengthen us, give us spiritual support. It is never bad, never "haunting" because such negative energies vibrate at too low frequencies to reach the still-living. Only positive energies can “reach across” and contact the living, and vice versa. There is an example of this in the Hebrew Bible (aka the Old Testament) where a leader reaches into the realm of the dead and contacts an old prophet and priest for advice. The Bible is also full of instances where the higher consciousness, the Collective Consciousness and even the Divine, use dreams and other non-physical means to contact the living. So. Unsettling though it is, and I know it gives people the jitters because I've felt it, too! -- your mother and her friend are trying to get your attention. You are afraid they will hurt you, because we fear death and think erroneously that t he dead are ghosts, existing “in the grave”, some dark shadowy realm. Nay, nay, the positive elements of each human being are always with us, part of the human race whether embodied or not. We run from things we fear and fear things we don’t understand. Dreams of being chased are often messages to stop, turn around and face something (or someone) you are avoiding. If you get this dream again try to turn and ask, “why are you following me? Do you have something to tell me?” And then listen. If you can’t get this to happen while dreaming, visualize/imagine such a scene while lying in your bed just before going to sleep. The house you are running thru is YOU and your vast potential, that’s why it goes on and on. You have no limitations, nothing can keep you down, my dear, you are goin’ places! Hiding in the closet symbolizes trying to avoid facing something and trying to keep something from “coming out.” Your mom’s friend is representing all the women who have gone before you, all those souls who buoy you up to carry the torch into the future, which20is your destiny. She smiles and nods her head as if to say, it’s okay, in fact EVERYthing is okay. You are working perfectly, there is nothing wrong with you. Things may get worrisome, scary even, and you might be “running scared” wanting to both run and hide as you did in your dream. But Woman marches on, ever on, into the future with her “sisters” and all those that came before her at her side. (Man does too, and guys get dreams just like this. Again, you are working perfectly: mind, body and soul all work together like gears in an ancient clock. Mind-body-soul knows what to do because “it” can tap into that great Intelligence overlapping us all…)
March 11, 2009
I am sitting at a picnic table among red rocks and mesas in the Arizona desert (lived there 12 years and moved to Michigan this past summer). A man in a red shirt is sitting with me. The temperature is mild, shirt sleeve weather. There is a huge rock to my left and I look it over with anticipation, because the man and I know there will be a cougar coming from behind the rock. I saw it first because I had a better vantage point and I pointed the animal out to the man. He directed me to be still and not resist. Cougar took a few steps, then ran and leaped onto the table. I sat still as it wrapped its jaws around the back of my neck and held me in its mouth. Then I realized I was holding myself up stiffly, so I slumped, relaxing my body onto my arms on the table. Cougar maintained its hold on my neck and then I heard munching sounds and could sense that my back was bloody and raw and Cougar was chewing and licking it. I knew that I needed to continue to submit to Cougar and let this be and that I would later be easily healed. – Sue
The message seems to be: resistance is futile!, a rather debilitating message based on your fear of standing up for yourself. Have you been sexually abused or sexually manipulated? It seems at the very least you are suspicious of certain kinds of men, represented by the man in your dream. You are aware that some men only want sex and will manipulate you (or others) to get their pleasure. The dangerous ones are easy to recognize, they wear their passion on their sleeve (red shirt) and direct you not to resist. My abuse will go easier on you if you don’t resist… Hold still! the savage beast of sex won’t kill you, it will just hurt you, says the seductive voice. Obey, and you survive. Don’t be stiff and combative, go limp and let me have my way with you. Yikes, this dream reveals a dark fear of yours and many peoples’, but not an unfounded one. Sadly, we know there is an element of humanity that manipulates and coerces. There is a possibility this dream is not about sexuality, though all the symbols are there, including the rock hard erection that the cause of your pain erupts from. Big cats can symbolize male or female sexual passion. The dream could be about any force in your life trying to get you to give up and relax into the horror. Is there something directing20you to slump down and “let this be”?
How in life do you feel bowed down into submission? Please do not continue to submit to any kind of manipulation, my dear. You can get up from that picnic table and walk swiftly to safety before that danger leaps onto your table of life.
Don’t let it get in your face and demand your attention, then demand your submission. You are done with all that and entering a new phase in your life in which you stand up and walk away out of danger’s range, or if you are attacked, you pull out your weapons and don’t let yourself be manipulated. It is possible this dream could have two meanings at once. It is well known that women who are raped should not resist, should simply go limp and not resist their attacker in any way. This dream could simply be your subconscious mind remembering that advice, the man would then represent your left-brain logical self giving you directions on how best to survive and then heal from an assault.
DOG, BEAR, WOLF DREAM
I was in this huge, oak-paneled room w/ shiny wood floors, and I guess the room was kind of circular but there was an exit, a big framed doorway. I was in this room with my dog Mykken (who is kind of20dirty white), a white Labrador-sized bear (but NOT a polar bear) and a white wolf. Mykken and the bear were chasing the wolf and trying to keep it away from me. I wasn’t scared, but I was trying to protect either Mykken or a baby, although I didn’t actually SEE a baby in the dream but I’m pretty sure I sensed one. Anyway, Mykken and the bear were chasing the wolf through this empty room and into the hallway, where I could see there was a doorway because I could see the light shining into the hall. But the doorway wasn’t facing me. And then at one point, the wolf turned to me and snarled, baring its teeth, and it had a bloody snout. I was never hurt by the wolf, and the bear and Mykken were only ever scratched. I had long hair and since the room was empty, I was sitting on the floor. I wasn't cowering, it was more protective. In my day life, I have short brown hair, so I wonder what the long hair means, in addition to everything else. – Danielle
Long hair symbolizes your attitudes and thoughts. You are thinking long and hard about a certain decision or direction you want to take in life. The huge shiny circular oak-paneled room is your higher self, the complete you. White in dreams and visions often symbolize death or life and death issues, but it can also mean enlightenment. You have these three white or off-white creatures in your dream. Inside you right now exist three “animal” instincts or processes that are working themselves out. The wolf is your ego that wants to devour not only you, but also something new in your life that is innocent and precious to you (the baby). Your dog and the white bear are your protective self-defense mechanisms.
The wolf/ego cannot ultimately hurt you because the ego is actually powerless! It can only snarl and frighten you into giving it your constant energy, but you always have the power to neutralize this harmless tool within your being. The bloody snout represents energy it is feeding off of. Don’t give your ego (or anyone else’s!) your energy. They feed ravenously. Use your loyal built-in mechanisms (your dog) to tame the ego and restore it to its original function -- a tool, not the leader of your life, not the demanding voice in your head hurtling thoughts at you that demand your constant attention, create endless emotional reactions and continually drain your energy (wolf). The empty room means you have the ability to quiet the demanding thoughts in your head (furniture symbolizes thoughts) and get grounded (sit on the floor). Since your long hair tells us you are in the midst of concentrating on som e important issue, it looks like you are doing some deep-thinking and removing fears before pursuing an as yet unseen goal (the door you can’t see). You know the future is bright, you see its light shining out from that unknown door of opportunity. Tame that wolf, keep pondering in that empty stillness, and the right thing to do will naturally come to you, surfacing into your awareness automatically.
April 14, 2009
My Niece's miniature female Chihuahua has been living with me and my very small chihuahua for the past 2 years and I had this dream a week or so ago that I had put her into this contraption, sort of like a microwave and went on about my business. When I went to get her out, I opened the door and something; a suction of some sort had sucked her up and only her lower body was showing, I got the impression it had chewed up her head..I remember crying NO, no, no...and woke up sooo upset, I can't get it out of my mind. She is the sweetest little thing with so much personality...and that was so violent..all I wanted to do was hug her to me after that. Why would I dream something so violent and heartbreaking about a loved pet? -- Karen
The doggie is not in danger and you do not secretly want to harm her, let's get that out of the way first! The chihuahua is not playing herself in the dream. She represents something in your life, something "in your care" that is sweet and beloved -- but which might be in danger. What small responsibility of yours have you let get sucked out of your life, sort of cut in half? You are only paying half attention to this responsibility or issue lately. You tried to box it up -- put it in a contraption -- like making excuses. Are you not sticking to a healthy choice, exercise routine or something? The dream was upsetting so that you would be sure to remember it. Evidently, this issue whatever it is, wants to be worked out. That's a good thing.
June 16, 2009
Keys, Laptop, Cellphone, Calling 911
I'm on the roof top of a building with Anthony Bourdain (from the Travel Channel) – I’m thinking what a cool job he has travelling around the world for a job, too bad he’s married. Then 2 guys sneak up behind us – 1 guy slips his hands into my jacket pocket to take my keys. I grab him and put him in a head lock trying to make him drop the keys. He’s saying “please don’t hurt me” while I’m trying to pound his head on the ground… I want him to feel a little pain, although I'm just going through the motions and it seems that I’m really not connecting his head to the ground. While holding him I grab my cell phone to call 911 – on the screen display I see a colorful grid and pictures. A lady answers telling me I have the wrong number - I insist and ask her to connect me to 911. I let the guy go. Anthony and I are sitting there and out in the distance under a tree is a picnic table. The 2 guys are back and they grab my keys and my laptop off the picnic table – they’re laughing. Anthony says he’ll take the fast guy and runs after him while I run after the slow guy – same guy I had in a head lock. I catch up to him and grab him. Then I wake up to my alarm clock (how annoying). Laura Annan,
We see you reaching for the heights, almost realizing your career goal, but not quite. Something is trying to take the power, take the keys away. You giving the headlock is not really retaliation but stop-loss. You are trying to prevent a hostile takeover. All you want in life is to make it to the top, enjoy your career, not just have a "job". You thought you had pretty much got there, working in the company of people you admire on an invigorating project. Anthony symbolizes having arrived, making it, getting the ultimate job/career. He may also represent the part of you that is already versed in "soaring to the heights" since he travels constantly. He (that part of you) is here to help you. Negative elements are "attacking" however. You do the standard thing and call the authorities for help against this hostile takeover, but you get stymied. Traditional methods of help and redress are not available. You are barking up the wrong tree, it's a wrong number. You can't mitigate the situation, are just going thru the motions of some solution, not fully connecting or engaging in the painful process of putting a stop to this "theft". Because of this incomplete auto-pilot robot-like solution, you lose out. The thieves come again because you "let go"; they take your power, stealing not only the keys to your kingdom, but also your supreme information source, your laptop. A laptop is a symbol of universal access, an enlightened tool of the highest caliber almost like Holy Writ and mystical experiences! How is the culture around you, people or situations in your work life stealing your access to the top? (Keys and laptops both provide "access"). The dream ends up as a reverse chase dream -- you are not being chased, but the opposite. Chasing means you are not running from an issue, but rather confronting it. A good sign. You are fearlessly countering the laughing, cynical thieving elements who are trying to cut you off from your ultimate life goals. You are attempting to retrieve valuable aspects and elements. However, you fear you won't be able to effectively reverse this loss, and it is frustrating. I would say first protect all access points in your life -- openings, gaps -- you know what they are. Do some stop-gap measures. Take stock of your current income production situation and realize it is where you are supposed to be right now. Stop these guys by not letting them steal your peace of mind, not letting them make you feel bad about your situation or decisions you have made in the past. You're where you should be at this time. Good things are coming down the pike, but many good things are already HERE. You are going to protect all your access points so that no one cuts you off from the good stuff/situation you already have!
July 15, 2009
PEOPLE IN GLASS OFFICES SHOULDN'T THROW STONES
I have been having a dream about a man I work with who is in upper management. In all of these dreams he is in a glass office. They are not necessarily in the same building or company. Once he had a glass office at a bank (he does not work at a bank). The dreams are always different except for his glass office and the fact that I can’t see him in the office but I know he is there. And it is always a very prominent position he holds in these dreams. Can you tell me what this is all about?
My name is Lynn, I’m 39, live in Genoa City, WI
He’s inaccessible. Some part of you worries you can’t reach his level of career attainment, a level you would be happy with. You don’t want someone else’s job specifically, but you would be happy in upper management.
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but what about those in glass offices? Is he critical of you personally? If not then he probably symbolizes the “man s world” in the workplace, the subtle sexist bias that many men and women both don’t even know they possess (invisible like glass) but which makes them think men “deserve” the leadership positions and do better in them. The saying about women not being able to break thru the glass ceiling comes to mind. What invisible barriers are keeping you from “very prominent” and “upper management” positions?
Your co-worker is hidden in plain sight – a puzzling contradiction. How do you feel this guy (or yourself, since he symbolizes part of you) is invisible to you even though he’s in a glass office with no privacy, and even though he is holding a prominent position? There are things unseen that you know in your heart and mind about a situation, but cannot see in the physical realm. Very interesting…
First of all, thank you for your interpretation.
The first part “ He’s inaccessible” is correct. I don’t think I would like to be in upper management but I do very much envy the lifestyle he has because of it. Also, I am pursuing a degree in Graphic Arts. This may have something to do with being afraid of not being successful? Maybe?
He is probably not as critical of me as I think he is. I have a few hidden feelings for him so I am very critical of myself and how I act around him, not wanting to reveal anything.
That probably explains the “being hidden in plain sight “ part of it.
FATHER'S DEATH IN DREAM DIFFERENT FROM REAL LIFE
I had a dream the other night that really bothered me. I was driving on an expressway at night and someone is telling me that my father died in a car crash (not the way he died). Also his best friend was in the car and lived. I don’t see this person but they tell me they didn’t hear him talking or screaming, so he died instantly... The emotions I was feeling in the dream felt sooo real. I woke up and thought I was really crying. Why am I dreaming of him dying a completely different way?
I've already had a contact dream in which he tells me he’s fine and not to worry. This dream confuses me.
Death in dreams is symbolic, not really about physical death. So this dream is not talking about your father’s literal death. If your father were still alive you might still have gotten this dream. It’s commenting on some other kind of “death” that he went thru, some kind of loss or “little death” that ironically you are now at this time in your life also going thru. Something with a best friend, maybe. Are you losing a best friend right now in some way? Is there a person you know emerging unscathed from a situation while you feel “dead”? OR Yo u know how we say, “get a life” and this is “my life”. How might you be losing your “life” right now in some way? And losing it quickly and quietly – no screaming, no pain. You are probably experiencing some kind of “little death” as you sail down the expressway of life. The dream is trying to reassure you, saying don’t worry about this different kind of death that your father faced at one point in his life and now you are facing something similar to. It will pass and you will go on. Since you already had a contact dream from your father telling you he is all right, I am quite certain this dream is not about him and his real death. It's about you and is using metaphor, symbolism and those powerful emotions you felt, to get an important message across...
August 14, 2009
NAVY WINTER CLOTHING
I had a very strange dream I cannot explain myself. I was in a hallway, and a door was on my right. The door was a dark color. An old man was standing before me with a large, flat box. The old man was very tan. The first thing I saw when I opened the box was a pamphlet that read "Fashion as a future." Underneath the pamphlet were three articles of clothing. A navy v-neck cardigan, a navy wintercoat, and a scarf. After receiving the present I started crying, and kissed the man on the cheek for his generosity, as if he were my grandfather. I then took the presents and crossed through the door. On the other side were other kids my age with presents also, showing off what they got.
New Hartford, NY
I wonder if somewhere in your future you are either going to join the Navy or get into a fashionable career of some kind. Seriously, dreams can use word plays like that. The door on your right symbolizes taking the right-hand (wholesome) path, an opport unity awaits you. The items you describe are also back-to-school shopping items and even school uniform items, which adds another possible interpretation. You are trying to put a positive slant on the back to school process as a2015 year old you are no doubt in the thick of right now. You want to be grateful and appreciate your family’s support or someone's "patronage" (symbolized by the grandfatherly figure). Did you get a scholarship or something? Clothing does indeed make the man, they say, and what you wear determines how you feel and project yourself either successfully or not. Clothes can change your mood. Are you feeling cold and blue? (Winter items and navy color). Or perhaps needing to feel cold and blue -- needing to chill out -- because you are too fired up with summer frantics? Clothing in dreams also symbolizes the roles in life we play and the personality we show the world. Think costumes and how they "make" a character in a play. You are perhaps in need of protection from the "elements" (harsher aspects of the world). We see elemental protection items, coat, scarf, sweater in your dream. You are possibly feeling vulnerable or exposed to said "elements" and would be so grateful if someone stepped up and gave you protection, or better yet helped you get the skills to provide that protection for yourself forever in the future. Or else you are the next great fashion designer with a conservative bent! (Navy is a conservative traditional color, worn often by the nobility and monarchs, not to mention navies!).
Thank you so much! I must say the interpretation was dead on. It's nice to know how the dream corresponds to my real life, I was very confused. And now that you mention it, the grandfatherly figure did look an awful like Oscar de la Renta, the tan and all!
September 14, 2009
The past two nights I had a dream my husbands ex-wife (they have not been together in 13 years) is hot after him. In my dream I am struggling to keep him, and he does not appear to have a commitment to me! The entire 5 years that they were together she left him numerous times and he always took her back. He was there for her and paid for two children to be born that were not his during this time.
For years I have a recurring dream that my ex-boyfriend who chose another woman over me would have to pick between me and his wife and he always picked her. I called it my rejection dream. Any Ideas?
You occasionally have an anxiety your husband might not be committed to you. It is normal to sometimes fear rejection. That anxiety triggers this kind of dream in you. Chances are your marriage is quite secure. Something 13 years ago is part of your husband's past for sure, a mistake he made in his younger years being suckered in by a manipulative partner. He is long over that and settled with you. Your ex-boyfriends betrayal of you in your past also influences your anxiety about being rejected, being deceived by an uncommitted partner. Again, that is normal, considering we are once bitten twice shy. That kind of betrayal affects a person on a very deep level and may surface for years in your dreams, inner anxieties, etc. The dreams are actually a way you are healing from this and moving on! So a good thing...you are functioning just fine! <smile>
October 12, 2009
For the past 4-5 years, I have a lot of death dreams that appear to be real to me. I am in my bedroom, in my bed. The other night I saw a large lit up arrow on my ceiling pointing to the doorway and something was telling me that it was my time to die and go. I have had dreams where black smoke comes in my room and I have a sense that if it comes too close, I will die. I had a dream a few nights ago where I woke up scared and knew that if I closed my eyes, it would be my time (to die). It is very real to me as I believe that I am awake when it happens and I have to stay awake for awhile to make sure it is not real. What do you think? - Sue
Don't worry. These dreams are actually not about your physical death at all. Something in your life needs to die so a new you can be re-born. The arrow pointing to the door means get going, make an exit, from some real life situation. It is your time to "go", to get a move on, in some area. The black smoke symbolizes confusion and overwhelmedness that sometimes gets too close for comfort. Smoke lets us know a battle is going on and that something is being hidden. The black thickness of it stems from the primal fear of toxicness --- such as in a fire it is usually the toxic smoke that kills one, not the actual flames. The darker the smoke of a fire, the more impurities and toxins in it. So what "toxic" or maybe "dirty" situations are getting too close to you in waking life? You are also afraid to drop your guard, to close your eyes. There is something in your life right now -- situation, relationship, issue -- going on that you must keep an eye on constantly, lest it harm you. If you figure out what these toxic items and fears are the dreams will stop. It's kinda automatic, almost like magic. Rest assured the dreams and their symbols are not real. You already know they're just dreams, but now that your waking consciousness knows they are only warnings and not about real death, you are on your way to a solution. Good luck!
December 13, 2009
I dreamt that my husband and I were in the parking lot of his work place and we got into a heated argument in the car.
I was dropping him off at his work and he was getting out. We were still yelling at each other at this point, when I took off in the car.
He started chasing after me, wanting me to stop so he can have the last word. But I drove off to get away from him. I immediately ran to my kids’ school because I’ve had enough of his abuse. In my mind I'd had enough and I wanted to get my kids and get out of town. I'm running through the hallway to get them out of the school. When him and some friend show up. I alerted I think was the principal and another teacher. They told me to hide and they will go out and talk to him.
As I waited for clearance, I got my kids went out and hid from him. We were beneath a tree, where he couldn't see us.
Well. There are two possible interpretations of this dream and since you aren’t here in my office I can’t ask you the one crucial question that decides which interpretation applies to you. The question is, in waking life do you argue with him a lot and ever feel the need to take the kids and leave? If so, see interpretation B below. If the events in this dream are completely ridiculous and out of character for both you and him, then interpretation A applies, which is: there is something you and he need to work out that may turn into something serious if you don’t pay attention. Right now it is not that big of a deal, but very soon this unresolved issue, whatever it might be between you – perhaps work-related or parenting since both those appear in your dream, is going to cause great anxiety in you and the desire to just “run away”
and “hide” from the problem. Now for interpretation B. If in real life you have experienced similar dramatic arguments, chases and the desire to get your kids to safety, or if there has been any domestic violence, this dream is a warning to seek help now before another big fight with him. It is time to talk to someone about this, and not your family. Try at your children’s school, ask in the principal’s office for resources available for families suffering from domestic physical or verbal abuse. Your kids – and you – deserve a cheerful household and your kids deserve a cheerful, un-nervous mother. Actually, that last line goes for Interpretation A and B and for all households. Whether or not there is actual abuse going on, your dream is a warning that anxiety levels are reaching critical levels and if not addressed, could be permanently damaging to the children (and you).
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