DREAM DICTIONARY of ARCHETYPAL SYMBOLISM with FAIRYTALE & MYTHOLOGICAL REFERENCES
Our dream dictionary will give you insight to your unconscious and help you understand why you have dreamed about a particular symbol or an object.
Carl Jung said that dreams are the doorway to your soul. Dreams reflect facets of yourself which you are either unwilling to accept or simply cannot see. Dreams show you parts of yourself which you never knew existed. These revelations can sometimes be scary and confusing. In order to attain wholeness it is important for you to consciously integrate what the unconscious presents in your dreams. Make sure you keep track of your dreams in order to accurately analyze them.
The dream dictionary below will give you insight to your unconscious and help you understand why you have dreamed a particular symbol or an object. We upload new symbols and images weekly. Please be patient as our dream dictionary evolves. In the meantime, you can see that we provide you with mythological and fairy tale references. We encourage you to follow that rule as you explore any dream imagery that has not yet made the list.
Abandonment is related to feelings of self-worth and personal value. Such fears can be traced back to infancy and are quite primitive in nature. Assessing who is doing the abandonment will add an important dimension to your interpretation of this symbol. One important thing about feeling abandonment in your dreams is that it can prepare you to face these deep-seeded issues during waking life.
Animals hold an important place in symbolism because of the relationship they share with man. The significance of the symbol of an animal varies in accordance to the context and your attitude towards the animal in the dream. Animals are symbolic of instinct and activity, urging you to trust your instincts and gut-feeling to get through an obstacle.
A baby is a symbol of the future and signifies a “youthful, reawakening force”. Jung states that babies symbolize “formative forces” of the unconscious, which are beneficial and protective. A dream about a baby indicates the dawn of something positive and the possibility of a great spiritual change. Babies also depict the occurrence of an event that holds great potential.
Being chased is symbolic of both “Fear” and “transformation” depending on the context it is dreamt in. The distance between you and the chaser indicates your attitude towards the event or the person who is threatening your well-being. If you cannot see the chaser, your dream indicates that you are avoiding a significant life event, leading to transformation.
Blood is the ultimate symbol of sacrifice. Through the ancient times, blood was an offering given to the gods and the dead. Its red color is associated with energy and life. In terms of physics, red is the moment where color and light transform into yellow. Blood plays a role in sacrificial ceremonies.
Clothes can represent the persona or an individual’s creative expression. They reveal a lot about a person’s conscious frame of mind. The type of clothing, one dreams off, speaks a lot about the person’s moods, emotional state and self-confidence for e.g. comfortable clothes indicate assurance and optimism, too many clothes indicate a need for protection whereas no clothes indicate vulnerability etc.
Cross is a symbol of faith and denotes the Christian reality of crucifixion and martyrdom. Apart from that, it also signifies a conjunction of opposites: the positive and the negative, north pole and south pole etc. If not in relation to Christianity, its presence in a dream may signify a relation to the spiritual mysteries of the Earth.
Dreams about death indicate a “symbolic ending to a phase of life”, beckoning a change or transformation to happen. A violent death indicates that you are going through a very intense and rough phase of change. If you dream about yourself dying it means you are already at the end of the transformation, emerging out in a new form.
Demons symbolize the darker side of the spiritual realm and the shadow trying to dominate the conscious side of your personality. They cause one to react in fear and horror. Dreams about demons indicate the dominance of a destructive side of your personality. They also indicate the experience of extreme fear, distrust, aggressiveness and anger in one’s life.
Deserts are empty of life, water, life, and energy. Thus, having a dream staged in such a setting could serve as an indicator of your inner life’s state and condition. Such an extreme absence of water, water being a symbol for emotions and the subconscious, may serve to symbolize an inactive and dry life. Any other symbol or sign of life amidst such an empty setting serves a strong opportunity for further investigation.
Mythological reference: Set, Ancient Egyptian God of the Desert
Fairytale reference: The Yellow Dwarf
Drowning is related to emotions overpowering you. Since drowning happens in water and water symbolizes emotions, there is an immediate connection. There is a natural fear associated with drowning because it is connected with death. However, you need death as a sacrifice in order to give away an old part of yourself and make room for a new transformation for your emotional reality to begin.
The egg is a symbol of the universe, creation, potential, growth, and the mystery behind the beginning of life. The egg consistently appears throughout symbolic cultures, with slight differences from culture to culture. For example, there is the golden egg from which Brahma first appeared. Then, there is the floating egg which appears throughout Ancient Egyptian imagery, hovering over mummies and symbolizing a relationship between life and death.
Exams denote the principles of accountability and responsibility. These dreams could be an anxiety dream as “exams” tend to make you give an account of how far you have come along in learning a skill. Exams in dreams could also symbolize anxiousness in being viewed either as a success or a failure. It could also indicates completion and moving ahead to achieve the next goal.
Dreams about falling denote fear and a lack of control. The dream denotes an underlying anxiety associated to a particular event in your life nudging you to surrender. The lack of certainty is why you experience fear after this dream. It is your unconscious urging you to let go of an unattainable goal which you are subconsciously clinging on to.
Fairy Tale Reference:
Dreams involving faulty machinery indicate an abrupt change in your life that is causing you to lag behind. It also symbolizes a huge gap between your expectations and reality, revealing the underlying anxiety that you are experiencing. These dreams may also symbolize incompleteness either in physical form i.e. in your body or in close relationships.
Feet serve as a mode of transportation, stability, and connection to the earth. So, dreams with feet will involve your present state in life, how you connect with the earth, you inner sense of balance and stability, as well as your ability to get to where you need to be.
Mythological reference: Hermes
Fairytale reference: The Red Shoes
Dreaming of fights or fighting is a very dynamic, active dream which can lead to plenty of insights. The nature of the fight influences the dream’s possible meaning. For example, a boxing match (which involves gloves) will lead you down a different path of interpretation than a fight using only bare fists or knives. In general, fighting is a masculine-driven energy which is symbolic of problem solving by aiming straight for the head. Remember, you must assess whether this type of strategy for problem solving will or will not be effective for your issues.
Mythological reference: Thor’s Duel with Hrungnir
Fairytale reference: A Fight of No Fight
Fire was crucial for the development and cultivation of civilization. As a symbol, fire indicates transformation and rapid change. In terms of science, when fire burns something, the matter is reduced to the most essential element: carbon (the backbone of life). It is important to interpret which object it is that is on fire. A house on fire means something different than nature (or a forest) that is on fire.
Mythological reference: How Maui Brought Fire to the World
Fairytale reference: The Little Old Man Made Young by Fire
Flying is a truly special phenomenon and a universal symbol. Flying represents being in the sky, reaching closer to the sacred level of the gods. Flying also symbolizes freedom, the act of breaking away from an otherwise limited earth-bound existence. So, it means rising above things that are confined to the ground and instilling a deep sense of freedom and weightlessness. However, be careful that this doesn’t mean you are avoiding something and attempting to resort to escape.
Whenever water is involved, emotions are also involved. Flooding occurs when there is too much water for a given space, thus going beyond its boundaries and causing damage. Thus, when you dream of floods, your emotions and unconscious are currently overwhelmed by some aspect or experience within your waking life.
Mythological reference: The Noah’s Ark
Fairytale reference: The Great Flood
Food symbolizes nurture and sustenance. Dreams about food indicate an area of life that needs attention and care. Also, dreams about food imply a need for fulfillment and reward, both with regards to work and relationships. The unconscious is directing your attention to certain aspects of your life that has been neglected and has been facing some sort of limitation.
A garden is a powerful, symbolic setting which simultaneously embodies the masculine and feminine energies. A garden is an opportunity to be both creative and industrious. It requires a lot of hard work for maintenance, as well as a lot of gentleness and care for prosperity and growth. The feminine energy is within the flowers. The masculine energy can be found in the boundaries and setting of the place.
Mythological reference: Hesperides
Fairytale reference: The Hare’s Bride
A ghost in a dream is a call to reassess parts of your life. A ghost, by definition, is something that no longer exists, yet continues to affect your daily life, energy, and thoughts. If you are dreaming of ghosts, maybe something from the past is still influencing your present day, but without you realizing it. If you dream of someone else’s ghost, then analyze what that person means to you and determine whether those characteristics are in some way still looming within your own consciousness and personality.
Mythological reference: White Lady
Fairytale reference: The Stolen Farthing
Hair is a symbolism of feminine beauty and a sense of attractiveness, it also symbolizes strength and power as denoted in the biblical story of Samson. The color and length of hair depicted in the dream also indicate a powerful significance. Dreams about haircut denotes a change in attitude towards self-whereas a wig indicates a desire to be accepted.
Hands denote creativity, protection, authority, strength and productivity. They enable man to depict his creativity and also nurture and defend himself. Dreams about hands indicate the freedom to express yourself whereas dreams about hands being tied down indicate lack of growth and an inability to express. The position of the hand in the dream also holds a great significance.
The horse is a dynamic, powerful symbol with a wide range of meanings. Most often, horses are associated with the sun, courage, agility, and strength. They are powerful animals which played a crucial role in the development and maintenance of our civilization. The first time that horses were depicted with chariots was around 1500 BC in Mycenaean and Ancient Egyptian art.
Dreams about houses indicate a strong relationship with your sense of self. The structural layer of the house corresponds with the different layers of your psyche. The appearance of the house and its structure is intricately related to your personal identity. The dream about Houses indicates a true perception of your body and the comfort with which you present yourself externally.
Jewelry is a symbol of fashion, style, self-expression, and personality. Focusing on jewelry in your dream could be an indication of the things you value and see as being dear to you. In general, jewelry is a symbol of both personal style and value.
Mythological reference: The Necklace of Harmonia
Fairytale reference: Cinderella, The Little Glass Slipper
A key is a symbol of the ability to solve life’s problems and mysteries. A key belongs to a specific lock and when something is locked, access is forbidden and a barrier is formed. A key is a way to get around that and be able to reach life’s depths. The majority of dreams revolving around keys deal with finding lost or misplaced keys, demonstrating the mystery of life and the perpetual uncertainty behind it.
Mythological reference: The Keys of Hades
Fairytale reference: The Golden Key
Kidnapping is defined by ransoming a child or person in exchange for a requested fee or trade. This force implies that the “prisoner” is of value, treasured in a way. Now, the meaning of dreaming this depends on who you are as a person. If you are a parent, then this could be a reflection of parental anxiety. Or, perhaps, a father complex. However, if you are not, then it is more likely that some force in your life is kidnapping you of your inner-child and innocence, such as a stressful work situation or ill-matched lover.
Mythological reference: Hades and Persephone
Fairytale reference: The Queen of Elfan’s Nourice
Dreams about killing indicate repressed rage and hatred either towards oneself or others. It is your subconscious urging you to either let go of a past hurt inflicted by others or to forgive and make peace with yourself. Your dream may also indicate either extreme aggressiveness or submissiveness in your conscious state cautioning you to take charge of your emotions.
A kiss is a symbol of communication. Kisses are exciting and stimulating in style, so connect this with its communicative undertone and it means that your communication style may need to have more excitement. Also, consider the recipient of the kiss. The other person may be a symbolic manifestation of characteristics and parts of your personality that are needing to be reinvigorated as soon as possible.
Mythological reference: Pygmalion and Galatea
Fairytale reference: Sleeping Beauty
A knife is a symbolic extension of the hand and the personal will. Using a knife skillfully can be a form of creative expression and it can also indicate the ability to get the things done. On a more aggressive level, a knife can indicate the symbolic need of cutting ties and cutting something out that is no longer of need or importance to your life and growth as a person.
Mythological reference: Knife of the Llawfrodedd the Horseman
Fairytale reference: Clever Hans
A ladder is a powerful symbol because it literally gets you to a higher realm. However, reaching this level can be dangerous because ladders are naturally unstable and shaky. Plus, ladders are implicated in fixing things. So, the ladder is a dynamic symbol and tool. If you want to make use of it successfully, you must proceed with caution, balance, and grace.
Mythological reference: Jacob’s Ladder
Fairytale reference: The Merchant
It is well known that the lion is the king of the jungle. However, remember that lions are cats and thus an extension of the feminine energy. Seeing a lion in a dream is regarded as a great sign that indicates a powerful, positive energy is present within you and your life.
Mythological reference: Nemean Lion
Fairytale reference: Lily and the Lion
When something is lost, the meaning behind this misfortune is determined in relation to the particular object. For example, if you dream you lost your car, this will be interpreted with respect to the car’s symbolic imagery, namely transition and journey. Additionally, the associations you personally hold for a particular object will further reveal meaning. In many cases, feeling lost or losing something indicate that that particular area in your life is depleted of meaning and that your attention and needs to be attended to it.
Marriage is symbolic of unity, merging and joining of two forces. Dreams about marriage indicate a desire to integrate a missing aspect in your life. It could be a merging of habits, desires, patterns or belief systems that have either been repressed or neglected in your conscious state. It could also indicate wish-fulfillment and a need for a partner.
Mice are timid creatures, running away and constantly hiding behind walls. In ancient times, mice were dirty creatures associated with disease and illness. Cats preyed on them, controlling their nastiness which in turn allowed civilization to grow and expand.
Mythological reference: Kuthk and the Mice
Fairytale reference: The Cat and the Mouse
A mirror is both a truth and an illusion. Images are seen realistically and in detail, but the orientation is reversed and thus untrue. Mirrors are reflections, showing you to yourself. However, because of their inability to show things directly and as they are, they serve as a reminder that when we reflect upon ourselves, it is usually through a mirror of preconceived notions and opinions.
Mythological reference: Yata Mirror
Fairytale reference: Magic Mirror, Snow White
Missing a Flight
Dreams about missing a flight indicate regrets on missing an important opportunity in your life. It is your unconscious persuading you to slow down and take things one day at a time, and not be too overwhelmed with work. Your dream may also urge you to look around and be aware of the opportunities around you.
Dreams about money indicate a sense of achievement, power, personal value and abundance. This sense of expansion is not just limited to outward riches but also inner feelings of contentment, happiness in relationships and achievement of goals. On the contrary, losing money in your dream may indicate feelings of powerlessness, lack of confidence and a negative view of life.
The moon is a powerful symbol. The moon is the feminine counterpart to the sun (the sun being masculine). So, the feminine energy and aspects of life force will be represented by the moon. Its most notable characteristic is its perpetual changeability, moving from one phase to the next. So, seeing the moon in your dreams will relate to changes in life.
Mythological reference: Goddess of Hunting and the Moon
Fairytale reference: The Woman Who Flew to the Moon
Mountain is symbolic of vantage points and heights. Dreaming about it indicates your ability to overcome challenges and obstacles. The unconscious consists of primitive feelings like anger, hatred and lust etc., and dreaming of mountains indicates that your rising from these primitive feelings, thus refining your outlook towards life. It also denotes your ability to rise above petty issues.
The neighbor can be a symbol that stands for the community and represents the normal and the average. The neighbor is a figure of society, yet is very close to your personal space and thus shares a certain perspective with you. Your own personal experiences will also influence the interpretation of this symbol.
Mythological reference: Aos Si
Fairytale reference: The Story of the Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Flower
Dreams about nudity indicate a sense of vulnerability and shame. To dream of being naked in a dream denotes that you fear the revelation about a side of your personality which you want to keep private. It may also be a message from your unconscious to keep some matters to yourself and not reveal everything to the world.
The ocean immediately stands for the subconscious. A dream with has the ocean as its setting means that the subconscious and emotions are about to be addressed and revealed in some way. The majority of the earth is covered in oceans. Similarly, the majority of human personality remains hidden and out of immediate view.
Mythological reference: Myth of Proteus, the Old Man of the Sea
Fairytale reference: The Sea King’s Daughter
Offices are being increasingly more common as dream imagery. Sometimes, they can be meaningful and symbolic. Other times, they are mere remnants of everyday stress, simply appearing in the dream. Offices are routine, structural, and punctual, thus contain a certain masculine energy about them.
Initially, owls were considered to be a bad sign, indicating death, night, and a potential upcoming hazard. Around the 2nd millennium BC, the Sumerian culture’s goddess of death was depicted with characteristics resembling those of an owl. The ominous connotation can also be trace to some other Eastern cultures and tales. Around the 5th century BC, the owl became associated with wisdom thanks to the influence of Athena.
Mythological reference: Owl, the symbol of Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec God the of the Dead
Fairytale reference: The Owl
Dreaming of people both familiar or unfamiliar indicate feelings, thoughts and qualities. Familiar people in the dream indicate aspects of personality that you are familiar and can connect with. Similarly, unfamiliar people in your dream denote feelings and thought-processes that you have never experienced before. The unfamiliar people also reveal hidden or repressed memories which have been pushed back.
Pregnancy is a symbol of growth, development, and life. Pregnancy is the welcoming of change, expansion, and motherhood. It is a powerful symbol of creation and creativity. Since, in dreams, physical symbols are representative of inner thoughts and feelings, then being pregnant can be linked to a particular fruitious mentality. Thus, bearing a child can be an analogy for developing new ideas, directions, and opportunities in life.
Mythological reference: The Virgin Birth
Fairytale reference: Rapunzel
The queen is an archetypal symbol of creativity, intuition, and power combined with a royal status. In some cases, the presence of the queen could mean that you are using your inner strengths wisely, while in other cases it may mean that you are connecting with your maternal instinct.
Mythological reference: Tarot Queen
Fairytale reference: The Pink
Radios and TV
Radio and Television are means of entertainment and are a great source of information. Invisible waves from the satellite transmit this information through both the radio and television to us. Therefore, dreaming about them denote the symbolization of collective consciousness. Thereby, urging you to be different and follow your own path rather than following everyone else.
Rain is a very expressive, dynamic symbol which can be telling of your emotional state and reactions. Rain, being a form of water, immediately relates to emotions. Because of its release and continuity, pouring rain relates to free-flowing emotions. When it rains, the environment is refreshed and nature is reinvigorated, ready to grow more and more.
Mythological reference: Rain and Flame
Fairytale reference: Sparrow’s Search for the Rain
Roads are means to reaching your destination. Dreaming about roads indicate your journey towards your goal. The condition of the roads in your dream reveal the nature of your journey. A dirt filled road indicate hurdles and obstacles in your way. A paved road indicates a sense of confidence and clarity in achieving your goals.
School is a place where one gains knowledge and grows in learning. Dreaming about school indicates the desire to learn and grow in wisdom. It also denotes a need to get better and improve oneself. It may depict your unhappiness at being stagnant, and an irresistible urge to get better and broaden both your thinking and knowledge.
Dreams about sex depicts intimacy, and a desire to be loved and cherished. Sex symbolizes integration and merging of two forces. Your unconsciousness is directing you to merge a quality or an aspect in your personality which you relate to, with the person whom you are having the sexual act with, so as to better and empower yourself consciously.
Shit and poop are transformative symbols. In many cases, they have a positive connotation indicating cleansing and removal. Time and time again fairytales associate poop with gold. In analysis, this the connection between poop and gold is more generally in turn interpreted as low things being able to have high value.
Snakes are powerful symbols for many reasons, a main contributor being their ability to renew and shed their skin. The snake is truly a complex symbol carrying a legacy that dates back to ancient times and still holds a significant role in many cultures. For example, the snake's death instinct and ability to kill serve as a protective shield for the king.
Snow is a natural symbol and its presence in your dreams indicates something about your emotions and subconscious. Since water is a symbol representing emotions and life-source, frozen water (snow) extends to mean that your emotions have reached some kind of stand still. However, snow melts in nature, and thus you will eventually have to face your problems and confront the nature and beauty underneath the snow.
Mythological reference: Khione, the Goddess of Snow
Fairytale reference: The Snow Maiden
Spiders are associated with creation, time, destiny, and the universe. Generally, the presence of a spider is a symbol of fortune and its web and silk are considered to be sacred. However, in some cultures and cases, the spider may be ominous due to its poisonous properties.
Mythological reference: Athena and Arachne
Fairytale Reference: The Woman With Two Skins
The sun is a universal symbol, impacting all people and cultures, because of its centrality to giving and bringing life. The sun is masculine, contrasting the feminine energies of the moon. Its power, heat, and importance are beyond measure. Thus, dreaming about the sun means that you are connecting to a similar power that is within you.
Mythological reference: Phaeton and the Sun Chariot
Fairytale reference: East of the Sun and West of the Moon
A teacher in a dream is part archetype and part character aspect. A teacher symbolizes authority, control and wisdom. Your dream is urging you to tap into a source of wisdom and seek guidance about a particular choice you want to make in your conscious state. The teachers attitude towards you in your dream reveals your attitude towards yourself.
Teeth are primary sources of sustenance, energy and a means of self -defense. The appearance of teeth in your dream indicate abundance and prosperity. According to the Gnostic concept by Leisegang “teeth constitute the battlements, the wall and the fortifications of the inner man “Loss of one’s teeth therefore indicate fear of castration or complete failure in life.
Dreams of being trapped indicate a feeling of helpless and anxiety. It is your unconsciousness pointing out that you are stuck in a rut. It may be a relationship or a job that is causing you to feel helpless and entrapped. Your dream may be an urge to look at your life’s situation and deal with the cause of entrapment.
Being underwater is an insight into your emotional world. Since emotions are symbolized by water, thus being underwater points to being amongst your deepest feelings. The meaning of this depends on how you feel throughout the experience. Being underwater is not the same thing as swimming on the surface. Being underwater means that you are located within the subconscious, thus it is time to explore those deeper, more reclusive feelings.
Mythological reference: Jonah and the Whale
Archetype reference: The Night Sea Journey
Vampires are drainers of the life force. Seeing vampires in your dreams means that some aspect of your life or personality may be secretly draining and taking away your potential. Furthermore, because vampires are creatures of the night their presence ties in with the shadow aspect of personality.
Mythological reference: Vrykolakas
Fairytale reference: Dracula
Vehicles are means and sources that enable you to reach your destination. Jung states that the particular type of vehicle appearing in your dream has a significant relationship to your characteristic body movement, whether lively, slow, regular or irregular. It may also depict the state of your mind, whether you are happy, sad or lethargic.
Violence is a general term that can convey a multitude of symbols and interpretation. Violence can be presented in terms of war, physical aggression, and pain. Each distinction leads to a different interpretation of the psyche. In terms of the shadow and unaddressed aspects of the personality, violence can mean that self-harm and destruction are occurring as by-products of failing to address some aspect of the self.
Mythological reference: Bia
Fairytale reference: The Robber Bridegroom
War indicates conflict, the hindrance of peace, beauty, and light. War is the ultimate battle between good and evil, light and dark. War equals havoc, imbalance, lack of stability, and danger. In other cases, war is a cleansing condition that enables new positive forces to come to life by tearing and bringing down old, outlived patterns of behavior.
Mythological reference: Titanomachy
Fairytale reference: Bearskin
Water is a symbol of the universal source of potentialities. It denotes life, cleansing, re-birth and rejuvenation. It also symbolizes emotions in one’s dream and is intricately related to the unconscious. When you are overwhelmed with feelings, you express it through tears. Dreaming about water is a message from the unconscious to pay attention to your emotional well-being.
Wolves are rarely seen in a positive light. They are dangerous, violent beasts associated with cruelty and heresy. However, in some cases, the wolf is respected and praised. For example, the sons of the Roman god of war, Mars, were raised and suckled by a wolf. However, most of the times, the wolf is not seen as a harbinger of life and development, but rather as an evil, ruthless, life-opposing beast.
Mythological reference: Romulus and Remus
Fairytale reference: The Iron Wolf