Categories: Dreams

Dream Symbols

Once upon a time, great significance was placed on symbols within dreams. Wars were fought based on nothing more than symbols discovered in dreams. Today, people focus far less on dreams and even dismiss important clues our dreams are providing us with in the form of symbols. However, if you’re having dreams, particularly recurring dreams, some believe there could be a message within the dream that you’re simply not receiving.

What do Dream Symbols Mean?

There are many excellent dream dictionaries on the market that can help you decipher the symbols in your dreams. Some of these dictionaries are quite detailed at helping you sift through your dream symbols to find their importance in a way that’s specific to you.

That said, you’ll find warring opinions among dream experts about the benefit of dream dictionaries. One thing most experts in the field of dream symbolism do agree on is the need to examine your dream on a personal level, as it applies to your life, before turning to dream dictionaries for more specific assistance. Mark Freeman, PhD, teaches a course on dream interpretation at Rollins College (Winter Park, FL)  and he suggests two books. The first is A Dictionary of Symbols by Juan Eduardo Cirlot. The second book is The Secret Language of Dreams by David Fontana.

Many dream symbol dictionaries include common themes such as: dreams about falling may represent feelings of loss of control or insecurity, being naked in public may represent feeling vulnerable or anxious, and flying may represent a desire for freedom. It is important to understand that there may be “common dream themes,” according to Gayle Delaney, PhD and dream specialist from Mill Valley, CA, “but no, they don’t all mean the same thing.” In any event, it’s advised that interpreting your dream symbols should be for entertainment purposes only and not as something you shape your life around.

What are Some Common Dream Symbols and their Possible Meanings?

These are some of the more common dream themes and what they may mean for you.

Flying – Dreams that involve flying are thought to be a need for a release of creative energy or a desire to have freedom.

Water – Drowning in your dream or flooding may symbolize feelings or fears of being overwhelmed. Sailing, on the other hand, often represents feelings of satisfaction and contentment. Being caught in an undertow and pulled into the sea might indicate that you feel helpless to change things in your life you don’t like. Walking on water in your dreams is a good sign that you’re comfortable with your control over your own life.

Falling – Another common dream symbol is falling, which can be symbolic of feelings of being threatened, having a loss of control, or even feeling insecure.

Being Chased – Being chased in your dream may be an subconscious way of telling you that you’re running away from your fears.

Shoes – Ladies who love shoes may dream about them for nothing more than the hope to add another pair to their collection, but dreaming about shoes may be symbolic of the path we’re walking in our lives. For example, if you dream involves wearing tight-fitting shoes, the road you’re traveling at the moment may be especially difficult. A dream that involves purchasing shoes may mean you still have a considerable distance to travel before you reach your goals.

An Island –  Dreaming of an island may be symbolic of isolation, loneliness, or desire for independence. Or then again, maybe it’s just the excitement of an upcoming trip.

You can learn more about dream symbols for yourself with a dream dictionary. Just remember that symbols need to be representative of the events taking place in your life at the time and that they are not “one size fits all” answers to your dream questions.

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    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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