Common Dreams and Their Meanings

dreams

6. Flying

According to Russell Grant and Vicky Emptage, authors of The Illustrated Dream Dictionary, dreaming about flying has to do with your sexual ambitions.

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Flying high and proud means you’re happy with and even boastful of your sex life, while trying to fly and failing might mean that you’re striking out a lot or feeling sexually inadequate.

Alternatively, psychologist Ian Wallace says being able to fly in a dream is about the desire to “rise above” difficult circumstances or a heavy responsibility in your waking life. Finally, Keith Stevens theorizes that dreaming of flying is about feeling superior to others.

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Think of the advantage you’d have if you actually had this super power! Dreaming of being able to breathe underwater is in this same class of “superiority” dreams, says Stevens.

dream pregnancy

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7. Being Pregnant / Giving Birth

This is a very common dream, especially (but not exclusively) among women. On a basic, human-instinct level, these dreams stimulate a woman’s instinct to reproduce, says Keith Stevens. From the perspective of Ally Mead, a self-proclaimed psychic who has studied dream interpretation at the Jungian Institute of Los Angeles, pregnancy dreams are about creativity; the dreamer has an unacknowledged desire to come up with a new idea, create a piece of art, or embark on a new creative project. Men who dream of being pregnant may be craving the power that women are able to wield by becoming a mother, says Mead.

dreaming of death

8. Death / Dying

A dream about dying could be a subconscious contemplation of your mortality, or the death could symbolize an end, change or absence. Dying in a dream could symbolize that you are looking for a new start or are going through a spiritual transformation, whereas dreaming about the death of a loved one could mean that this person is no longer part of your life, or that you lack a certain quality that this person embodies. Looking at death dreams as a straightforward representation of death itself, Keith Stevens says these dreams stimulate our survival instinct, and dreams about the death of a love one encourage us to protect and cherish the ones we love.

lost in dreams

9. Being Lost

Being lost in a labyrinthine building or unfamiliar city is a very stressful and very common type of dream. In many cases, the dreamer may be worried about “getting lost” in her own life circumstances. These types of dreams may occur when you feel anxious or insecure about “finding your way” in a new life situation, such as when starting a new job or moving to a new city, according to Cathleen O’Connor, Ph.D. and author of The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary. You may be especially prone to dreaming about being lost if you are embarking on a new challenge that you feel unprepared for, or are struggling to get accustomed to a situation where the rules are constantly changing. Dreaming that another person is lost could mean that you have unresolved feelings about this person.

dreaming of water

10. Water

According to psychotherapist and author Jeffrey Sumber, dreaming about water reflects change, renewal and purification, sometimes symbolizing a change in consciousness accompanying some life transformation. Context is important, however. Says Sumber, if you dream about offering water to others, this could represent that you are offering new life or positive change to others, whereas if you dream about being caught in a typhoon, you could be feeling overwhelmed by a life change.

11. Being Back at School

No matter how many years we have been out of school, we just can’t seem to escape it in our dream-life. More than anything, this reflects the profound effect that years of schooling has on us. Often, these dreams are accompanied by anxiety-provoking situations, such as being lost, naked, or unprepared for an exam. As discussed in the entries on those specific dream topics, such dreams could indicate you are feeling vulnerable, exposed or insecure in your current life circumstances. In general, however, dreaming about school is all about your job – at least, according to author Lauri Loewenberg. Says Loewenberg, the scrutiny and pressures we are subjected to at work directly parallel those of school. I guess it’s true that high school never ends.

12. Being Cheated On

Dreams are a place where we can express our insecurities, including sexual jealousy. It should be fairly obvious that dreaming that your spouse or significant other is cheating on you does not necessarily mean that they are two-timing you in real life, but rather, it indicates that you may have some worries about this happening. Fortunately, this is completely normal, according to threat-rehearsal theorist Keith Stevens. It simply reflects our instinctive determination to fend off romantic rivals to keep our mate. According to Loewenberg, you may have such dreams when you feel “cheated” out of quality time with your sweetheart, and you should let the dream be a wake-up call to alert you that you need to spend more time together.

13. Snakes

Being attacked by snakes is the most common type of “being attacked by an animal” dream, according to Keith Stevens. Snakes are a real threat to many people worldwide, and this dream rehearses our instinct to avoid and/or survive this threat, posits Stevens. Symbolically, snakes could represent a hidden threat, the proverbial “snake in the grass.” A snake shedding its skin could symbolize transformation or renewal, in which case a snake dream could be seen as a positive omen, according to the website.

14. Being Late

Usually, these dreams occur in the context of being tardy to or missing an important event, such catching a plane, attending an important work meeting, or getting to class on the first day of school. This kind of dream could show that you are anxious about work, school, an upcoming trip, etc. It may also indicate an inability to make a connection, regret about a missed opportunity, or a need to get your life in order, according to Oprah dream expert Cynthia Richmond. If you have this dream, Richmond suggests asking yourself what are you missing in life and whom you might have disappointed.

15. Being Unprepared to Perform

In this sort of dream, you may find yourself, at the last minute, woefully unprepared for some important performance, such as taking a final exam, giving a speech to thousands of people, or delivering your debut performance on Broadway. According to Ian Wallace, this type of dream shows that you are judging your own performance in life, and are afraid of coming up short. Such dreams help stimulate our determination to be prepared and ready to perform in real life, according to Keith Stevens

16. Hot and Steamy Dreams

Having a sexy dream about someone you love or are attracted to in real life is a rather clear-cut carryover of your waking feelings into Dreamland: you have emotions and/or sexual urges that you long to express. Our society is pretty inhibited when it comes to expressions of sexuality outside of certain approved circumstances, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are hardwired to procreate. Dreams give us a forum to express these desires. If you’re in a relationship, having a hot and spicy dream about someone other than your partner may indicate that your waking sex life isn’t totally fulfilling your needs and that you need to reinvigorate your relationship. That said, sensual dreams are not always about unexpressed sexual desires: dreaming about sex with a platonic friend or even with a stranger could simply indicate a desire for closeness or intimacy without hang-ups or baggage.

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