Common dream symbols and meaning of dreams

April 21, 2017 | By Abhishek | Filed in: Lucid Dreaming.

A dream is a mental phenomenon which occurs during sleep in which a person experiences images, thoughts, and emotions with a sense of reality. This article explains the common dream symbols and the meaning associated with each of these symbols. It is important to know this dream symbols if you are interested to know are they related to lucid dreaming.

What is a dream?

Dreams are like messages sent from the unconscious mind and if they are written in the same language then we imply it as a waking reality. To our surprise, we should note that it is possible to study our dreams and interpret the common dream symbols they contain. The interpretation of dreams is an important part of psychoanalysis and as per the psychoanalytic study, it is inferred that it has a clear and obvious content along with some hidden and concealed meaning.

meaning of dreams

What do certain dreams mean?

It is important to note that, not every element of your dream has an unconscious meaning, sometimes it can just be a background noise. Therefore, it becomes essential to keep a dream journal for identifying your important dream symbols. While writing in a dream journal you need to ensure that, you write your dream in the past tense as if you are re-living your dream and underline any regretful or sad or any unusual aspects which are central to your dream story and which instinctively catches your attention. The following points reflects some common dream symbols and meanings of those dream symbols, but you need to remember that even these explanations would require your interpretation within the context of your dream along with your personal psychological attachments to the symbols and the current life circumstances.

  • Falling is a common dream symbol which relates to your anxiety about letting go or losing control in your life. It also implies somehow failure after a success.

dream symbols

  • If you are seeing babies in your dream, then it symbolizes a literal desire to produce an offspring or your own vulnerability or your need to be feel loved. Sometimes, it can also signify a new start.
  • Seeing animals in your dream often represents the part of your mind which feels connected to nature and survival. In your dream if you are being chased by a predator, then it reflects that you are holding back your repressed emotions of fear or aggression.
  • The most common dream in all cultures is the feeling of being chased by someone. This implies that you are feeling threatened and the reflection of it is dependent on who is chasing you and why are they being a possible threat in real life to you. In case if you often dream of being chased, then you can mentally attach it to a reality check which is a measure of self-awareness and it enables you to recognize that you are dreaming.
  • Clothes are symbolic of how we want others to perceive us and if you see shabby clothing as your dream symbol, then you may feel unattractive or worn out. Also, in your dream, if you see yourself changing what you wear, then it reflects a change in lifestyle.
  • Crosses are interpreted subjectively based on your religious beliefs. Because, some see it as a symbolizing balance whereas some see it symbolizing death or an end to a phase of life. Thus, how these crosses are perceived depends on the specific circumstances which help in making them clear.
  • Exams dream symbol signifies self-evaluation and the content of the exam reflects the part of your life or personality under inspection.
  • Seeing death of a friend or loved one in your dream represents change which can be either an ending or a new beginning and this should not be considered as a psychic prediction. If your recent dreams include deprivation of a close relation such that of a friendship through their death, then it resembles an attempt to come to terms with the event.
  • Faulty machinery in dreams is caused due to the shutdown of the areas of the brain which serve for the function of speech processing and production, while asleep. This makes it difficult to dial a phone or read the time or search the internet. Sometimes, seeing faulty machinery in dreams can represent performance anxiety.
  • Dream symbol, food is said to symbolize knowledge, since it nourishes the body in the similar way the information nourishes the brain. However, in some cases it could just signify hunger.

interpretation of dreams

  • Demons which are the sneaky evil like entities signifies one’s retained or oppressed emotions. This will secretly make you realize the need to change your behavior for the better purpose.
  • Usually, hands are present in dreams but if you see your hands being tied up in your dreams, then it represents the feelings of futility. Washing your hands in your dreams expresses guilt.
  • According to Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, hair has significant ties with sexuality. Abundant hair symbolizes virility whereas cutting hair off in a dream shows a loss of libido. Seeing hair loss in dreams may express a literal fear of going bald.
  • Houses are among the common dream symbols, but if you are seeing the building as a whole in your dream then it represents your inner mind and soul. Each room or floor in it symbolizes different emotions, memories, and interpretation of certain meaningful events.
  • Killing in your dreams represents your desire to kill part of your own personality, may be because of your preference. Sometimes, it can also be symbolic of your hostility towards a person
  • Dream symbol of marriage signifies the literal desire to wed or the merging of the feminine and masculine parts of your mind.
  • In your dream, if you see yourself missing a flight or any other kind of transport which is a common dream symbol, then it reveals your frustration of missing important opportunities in life. These dreams come usually when you are struggling to make a big decision.
  • Money is symbolic of self-worth and in your dream if you see yourself exchanging money, then it may represent that you are anticipating some changes in your life.

dream symbols and meanings

  • Mountains are considered as obstacles and if your dream shows you successfully climbing a mountain, then it reveals a true feeling of achievement. In your dream, if you are viewing a landscape from atop a mountain, then it is symbolic of a life under review without any conscious prejudice.
  • People or other characters in your dream are reflections of your mind and may demonstrate some specific aspects of your personality.
  • Nudity is another common dream symbols which reveals yourself true to others. In your dream, you may feel vulnerable and exposed to others but showing off your nudity may suggest sexual urges or desire for a recognition.
  • Radios and TVs are symbolic of communication channels between the conscious and unconscious mind in yours dream.
  • Seeing roads in dream signifies being literal manifestations, but also conveys your direction in life. After experiencing this dream, you may question your current life path.
  • Schools are among one of the regular dream images for youngsters and adolescents, yet if you are dreaming of schools in adulthood then it might recommend a need to know and additionally comprehend yourself to be filled by life’s lessons.
  • Apart from being literal manifestations of people, dream symbol of teachers can represent authority figures with the power to enlighten you.
  • Teeth are among common dream symbols and if you are dreaming of losing your teeth, then it may signify your fear of getting old and being unattractive to others.
  • Physically being trapped in something is a common nightmare and is also a dream symbol which reflects your real-life inability of escaping from a situation or making the right choice.

common dream symbols

  • Seeing vehicles in your dream questions how much control you feel you have over your life such as is the car out of your control or is someone else driving you.
  • Dream symbol of water comes in many forms and it is symbolic of unconscious mind. In your dream if you see calm pools of water, then it reflects inner peace while seeing a choppy ocean represents unease.

Thus, recognizing common dream symbols is a good way to start lucid dreaming, which is a phenomenon in which you are aware that you are dreaming during your dream. Lucid dreams will turn your dream world into a vivid and controllable alternate reality.


Hope that you are now familiar with dream symbols and their meanings. Please feel free to post your comments related to this article in the comment box below.

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