25 Common Dream Symbols and Meanings
Every dream is a story about the dreamer and is often times teaching us a lesson or showing us about who we are and why we are here and doing what we are doing. When you are interpreting your dreams it is important for you to work with your own meanings of symbols, places and people before reaching for a dictionary of dream meanings.
There are a plethora of dream dictionaries available at any bookstore and online and I do not highly recommend using these dictinaries for various reasons but mainly because we personally are responsible for our own dream language. Our dream language is of the mind and each of us has a personal dream language of symbols made up from our personal histories, experiences and culture and is very complex. Many of the dream dictionaries out there are filled with old wives’ tales and superstitions and or generated from a computer program and have no collective meaning.
Learning our own dream language is similar to learning a foreign language only you are the teacher as well as the student. In studying your dreams, I suggest starting your own personal dream dictionary. You can use a note book with alphabetical tabs or get an inexpensive address book and list symbols, places and people etc using the first letter in their name for easy look up. I will discuss in length how to create your own dream dictionary in another article and I teach you how to build your own dictionary in my dream interpretation classes.
As in dictionaries for a particular language, there are some words that can be used for various meanings. There are also basic words and symbols in all languages that are understood collectively as to their meaning. The same goes for dream language. There are basic symbols which are understood by all of our minds as to their meaning. Created from my research and dream interpretation counseling I have put this common symbols list together.
Below is a list of 25 common symbols and their collective meaning (generally speaking).
25 Common Dream Symbols And Meanings
1. Animals in general represent habits, urges, instincts and aspects we attribute to them which are found in ourselves. Animals in your dreams are further explained here.
2. Baby is a new idea, new concept or ideal -
something you have just given birth to, a responsibility you have accepted.
It is your “baby” personal project “thing” to do.
3. Clothing shows our attitude and Self expression.
Things we “put on”. Clothing is the part of the Self that we show others, what we allow or want others to see. The Self is described in some cultures as the part we show to others; the part we believe we are, the parts we play and the part we truly are.
4. Death means change. It means the end of something: an idea, relationship, habit, etc. and on to something else. Death is nothing more than a transition because physical life, by nature, is a temporary existence for the soul. Death is a change from one state of being to another.
5. Tests and/or Examinations are about knowing the truth.
This has to do with self esteem and confidence or lack of it. Being prepared or not, making the grade or not, measuring up to other people’s expectations or fear of not being good enough.
The most important test of our lives is knowing our own goals, standards, hopes and wishes – being crystal clear about what you want in life and standing up for what you believe.
For further insight into the area where you feel you are being tested in,
look at what the test was on in your dream.
6. Falling is basically just waking back up – the action of returning to consciousness.
The old wives tale that if you fall in your dream and hit the ground, you will die, IS NOT TRUE.
If you hit the ground in the dream, you will bounce right back and the dream will continue… falling at this point would have the meaning of “falling from grace” or “fall on your face” – embarrassment.
7. Food is knowledge. The saying “food for thought” comes from the idea that knowledge feeds the mind and soul just as physical food feeds and nourishes the physical body. Pay attention to what you are “feeding” yourself.
8. Games are the dreamer’s perspective of life. “Game of Life” or we can say the “games people play” and how they play them. Games have to do with learning skills, rules, talents, showmanship, training,practice, winning or losing, teamwork or solo performance.
Particular games have different meaning to different people, depending on whether they do this for work or fun. A particular game interpretation will depend on your feelings and associations with it.
9. Hair represents outward conscious thoughts and feelings/sensitivity.
Messy hair would mean mixed up thoughts, confused, can’t think straight. More on dream meanings of hair here.
10. Hands mean service, giving or receiving and expression of emotion.
Also how you “handle” things or having/giving a hand in a situation.
11. House represents your mind. The floors in the house represent different levels of thinking. The mind is made up of three major parts: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the super-conscious mind. Within these three parts are seven levels of consciousness.
The house is where you stay/live – your belief system.
12. Killing indicates change. Killing of yourself indicates a part of yourself and is a good thing when it is an undesirable trait, but a warning if the trait is a good quality. Killing of an animal is the killing of a habit that that animal or its qualities may represent to you . Killing can also be viewed as an expression, such as the death of a relationship or job.
13. Marriage symbolizes commitment between the conscious and subconscious minds for fulfillment of a desire. It symbolizes a new beginning or something you are “married”to until you “divorce” yourself from it by taking positive action.
14. Money symbolizes exchange value and worth.
Things of value would be a new talent you weren’t aware you had, a new quality or gift within you.It could also represent a new vision or new understanding of something.
Look at how you are receiving money/valuables to interpret how you feel about yourself. Find out more about the meaning of money in your dreams here.
15. Mountain is a challenge or obstacle. Depending on your mind set, you may see a mountainas representation of something that you feel is an overwhelming obstacle, or you may view it positivelyas a great challenge you are ready to take on. A mountain can represent your life, your job and task your involved in, a project or a goal.
16. Naked represents honesty and openness. You are showing your true Self. How are you feeling about being naked in the dream – exposed/vulnerable,embarrassed, or content.
17. People. All people represent aspects or personality of the Self.
These are characters in the dream – parts of you, some you know and some you don’t know. Some you don’t like and some you love. The successful businessman, the glamour girl, the bag lady, the playboy, the thief, the idiot, the comic, friends, relatives are all parts of our Self.
We are made up of many people. As in Shakespeare’s words,“All the world’s a stage and we are merely the players.”
Our dreams are our inner stage and we are everything and every character.
18. Radio/Television represents mind-to-mind communication.
Telepathy is the sending and receiving of thoughts.
A radio/t.v. is receiving and a radio/t.v. station is broadcasting, sending out thoughts.
19. Roads symbolize your direction in life.
The direction of your life is determined by your desires and goals. There are highways, streets, roads, dead-end streets, bumpy roads, smooth roads, etc. You can make a right turn, a u-turn or a left turn (not right or unpredictable).
20. School is a place for learning. This can be your level of learning or school of thought. What grade level you are attending in the dream is an indication as to what level you are operating in a particular situation.
21. Sex symbolizes unification of opposites, oneness, marriage, a creative act,a longing to be whole. It can also represent fear or power depending on your feelings about the dream when you awoke.
22. Teacher/Guide is your higher Self. This is your source of knowledge. The soul holds the complete plan for its maturity and its desires and goals here in this lifetime and all others before and after this lifetime.
23. Teeth represent assimilation of knowledge so it can be used. Teeth are the first part of the physical digestive system, and teeth in a dream mean assimilation of knowledge.
Losing teeth, which is a common dream, means a change in the way you take things in or learn.
24. Vehicles are means of conveyance from one place to another.
The soul uses the body as a vehicle much the same way – going in and out at will. In general, vehicles represent lifestyles, such as work, play, independence, sporty, fast, luxury, economic. Different cars represent these different lifestyles.Your own car generally represents your own body so pay attention to how your car is in your dream.
For example, having a flat tire on your car indicates you have gone flat, lost your enthusiasm and energy.
25. Water is the source of all life. It represents conscious life experiences.
These are our everyday, physical, waking interactions, situations, and circumstances that arise and bring opportunity for growth and enrichment.
Water can also represent emotions and feelings overall.
Would you like help knowing what your dreams are telling you?