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The A-Z Dream Dictionary:
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Death

Dreams about death can be very frightening and are a very common dream. Although you may fear that the dream is a prediction it usually refers to other issues such as your emotional state. Dreams also help us to come to terms with actual deaths and confront us with the inevitability of our own eventual demise and mortality.

Coffin

Coffin Dream Interpretation here

DEATH

(See also Funeral)

I dreamed that I was dead and everyone was stood around me crying. I woke with a feeling of abject horror. Is this dream a prediction of my death? Jose T- Quebec

Psychological Dream Meaning: Dreams of death represent the ending of one phase so that a new one can begin. It can show forthcoming finalities such as the end of a marriage or career. These are symbolic dreams and are unlikely to forecast an actual event. If the dead person is someone you know, consider what aspect of yourself that person represents. For example, if you dream of your mother dying could it represent the ‘death’ of the motherly side of your own nature. Perhaps you should try to be more caring and maternal or perhaps plans you have should be nurtured rather than killed off. Alternatively, you may also be expressing your hidden feelings about the person shown. Do you have a secret resentment towards them or desire to be independent of them? Dead animals may also represent aspects of yourself. They indicate that you may be rejecting or repressing your instinctive side.

Freud believed that everyone has two contending basic drives:  Eros, which is the drive towards pleasure and life and Thanatos the drive towards death.  If the dead person in your dream was yourself, you may want to consider the following:

ASK YOURSELF:

1. What is being expressed in the dream? Perhaps you fear dying and the dream is reminding you of your own mortality? It is healthy to accept that death comes to us all as this realisation broadens our spiritual perspective and loosens the grip of material craving. Everything in the world is the dust of stars but look deep within yourself and you may find the part of you that is eternal.

2. Are you trying to free yourself from something? You may want to leave your old self behind so that a new you can be reborn. Free yourself of emotional burdens and open yourself to new potentials. There is no need to be a martyr. The way forward is to establish a new set of values that are beneficial to you and others.

3. Do you feel suicidal? There’s no need to punish yourself or punish others because of how you feel.  Occasionally everyone feels that they want to retreat from life’s problems or from the feeling of failure. But suffering is a blessing as well as a curse. It is through adversity that we grow to become better people. Be like a strong tree that bends with the wind but never breaks. Better times will inevitably come again.  

Mystical Interpretation: To dream of meeting the dead people you once knew is part of the grieving process. Sometimes the feeling of loss is symbolised by being rejected, divorced or attacked by the person you loved. You may dream that they ignore you or have travelled far away. This is all part of the process of coming to terms with the death of a loved one.  However, there are some dreams that cannot be explained as symbolism, allegory or metaphor. From the many casebooks I have collected, it appears that occasionally the ‘dead’ can communicate to us through dreams. I have cases on file where information has been given to the dreamer that could not have been known other than by paranormal means. For example, one woman wrote to say that her ‘dead’ husband told her exactly where to find the missing will and I have many instances recorded where the ‘dead’ person has announced their passing via a dream. Top

More about dreams of death

Descent

Psychological Dream Meaning: In many dreams this may represent descending into the unconscious. In particular cave entrances, wells, tombs and cellars can represent entrances to the netherworld of the unconscious. Alternatively, you may interpret this as a downward phase in your life- you may feel ‘down’ as the Hippies say. On the other hand, perhaps you are over the worst and everything is down hill from now on.

Mystical Interpretation: Legend has it that the ancient people of Crete built temples in underground caves. Here they held their strange rituals and bull dancing ceremonies. Since the earliest times, the descent into the underground world has been a symbol of man’s search for divinity and spiritual empowerment.  Top

More about dreams of a descent

Disease

Psychological Dream Meaning: Sometimes dreams spot an illness before we are aware of any symptoms. If your dream persists, then get your health checked by your doctor. Alternatively the dream may be highlighting anxieties and inner conflicts. You need to heal these inner troubles and find psychological harmony. If someone else in your dream has a disease then you may either harbour hostile feelings towards them or fear for their mental equilibrium.

Mystical Interpretation: African superstition has simple interpretation to this one: see your witchdoctor for a cure. Top

Funeral

(See also Death)

Psychological Dream Meaning: Don’t take this one too literally. The person being buried may represent an aspect of yourself that you are trying to repress. Is there something that you want removed from your life? Perhaps you have feelings, desires or thoughts that scare you. You may be worrying too much about your health or perhaps you want to bury the past. The only constant in life is change. The past is dead and buried so now embrace the present and look forward to the future.

Who is being buried? Do you feel resentment towards this person or do they symbolise something happening in your life or something about yourself? If it is you that is being buried in the dream then you may have a fear about being overwhelmed by your emotional troubles or unconscious forces. First, you must to get in touch with these hidden feelings and find out what they are. What has happened recently or a long ago to give rise to these emotions? Don’t keep burring them. Start by examining them, then accept them, and finally start to control them. The problems you try to bury are probably not as bad as you think.

Mystical Interpretation: Occasionally dreams of funerals do foretell the future. For example, Abraham Lincoln dreamed of his own death just days before he was assassinated. He saw his own shrouded corpse laid in state in a room of the White House. However, in the vast majority of cases dreams of funerals are a metaphor for your own state of mind. Top

See also Funeral and Burial Dream Interpretations

Ghost

Psychological Dream Meaning: The shadowy ghosts of your dream represent those aspects of yourself that you fear. But it is fear itself that makes them frightening. Expose these dark pursuing forces to the light of day and you will discover that it is only your own fear that turns them into nightmares. You must realise that many different energies make up your psyche and accept them all as valid parts of yourself. Your dream may also reflect your own fears about death and dying. For Freud a ghost was a symbol of the mother.

Mystical Interpretation: In most cases ghosts are representations of the dark forces within ourselves that we have not accepted. However, as a medium I have spoken to many people who claim to have really met the dead in their dreams.  In some cases, the spirit gave evidence that proved them to be the real spirits of people from the next world. Usually only spirit people that care for you can communicate in this way. Top

Grave

Psychological Dream Meaning: Something within you has died. You must discover what it is and why it has been returned to the unconscious, here symbolised by the earth. Alternatively the grave may be a pun to say that you are facing a ‘grave situation’ or it could simply be reflecting your own thoughts about death and mortality.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstitions say that this dream means that you will experience a loss but not necessarily a death. Some superstitions say that dream foretells news of a marriage. Top

Illness

Psychological Dream Meaning: This dream does not necessarily presage a waking illness but represents uncleared bad feelings. You may not be able to cope with a situation and, like a child, take illness as an easy way out. Perhaps the dream represents some form of self-punishment.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstitious people believe that dreams should be reversed. This dream therefore predicts a period of good health. Top

Murder

Psychological Dream Meaning: If you dream of murdering someone you know, then this dream may reveal your hidden feelings of resentment towards that person. Similarly, the person being murdered could represent an aspect of yourself that you are trying to repress or destroy. What is it about yourself that you are trying to kill off? If you are the one being murdered, then this may show how you are at the mercy of your emotions. Perhaps you have repressed your instincts that are now seeking vengeance.

Mystical Interpretation: The jury’s still out on this one. Some oracles claim that this dream foretells sorrow but others say the dream has no prophetic significance. Top

Paradise

Psychological Dream Meaning: Paradise may represent the state of spiritual perfection that you wish to achieve. It may also be your dream’s way of giving you a temporary respite from the troubles of the real world.

Mystical Interpretation: If your dream of paradise includes palm trees, the good fortune of this auspicious dream is doubled. Sailors believe that this is a dream of safe travel and good luck. Top

Rebirth

Psychological Dream Meaning: “On the way of true development, something old must die and something new must be born in him….” – Collins. A dream about rebirth shows that you are entering a new chapter of life. You may have discovered inspiring new goals, values or a way of expressing your true self. The past is dead. Long live the future!

Mystical Interpretation: Most spiritual traditions use rebirth symbols or baptism to symbolise the entry into the spiritual life. One of the most beautiful symbols of rebirth is the magnificent Phoenix. He is consumed by the fire which he brought but is reborn from the ashes. It can represent spiritual transformation and hope. Top

Reincarnation

Psychological Dream Meaning: The dream may be referring to some event in your known past. However, you may also be recalling memories of lives that you have lived before. In the East they believe that memories of past lives will be revealed when the spiritual aspirant has reached a suitable level of inner development. Past lives are then spontaneously recalled during meditation or dreams.

Mystical Interpretation: Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone is convinced that he lived during the French Revolution, singer Engelbert Humberdink believes he was once a Roman emperor and pop star Tina Turner was told by a Californian psychic that she is the incarnation of a woman pharaoh named Hatshepsut. You are not alone in believing that there are memories of lost lives locked away in the unconscious. Top

Sacrifice

Psychological Dream Meaning: If you are the sacrificial victim, the dream may be a reflection of your attitude. Do you always ‘play the martyr’? Perhaps you have tendencies of self-punishment and self-denial. You may feel that other people undervalue your talents and good qualities.

If you are performing the sacrifice then consider what it is you are sacrificing. An animal may represent part of your instinctive nature or a person you know may represent an aspect of your personality. Perhaps you are sacrificing your principles or your human values? In a spiritual context, the ego must be sacrificed so that the divine self can emerge.

Mystical Meaning: Ritual sacrifices were a way to appease the gods and bring fertility to the land. The individual was sacrificed for the sake of social and cosmic unity. In Hinduism Purusha was slain to make men, in Egyptian myth Osiris is cut to pieces by his brother Seth, in the Greek stories Orpheus is torn apart by women, in Judaism Abraham nearly sacrifices his son Isaac and in Christianity Jesus is Crucified. These powerful images of surrender to God still appear in the dreaming life of modern man.  Top

Skull

(see also bones)

Psychological Dream Meaning: Soon after becoming a psychologist Carl Jung dreamed about a discovering a skull in a deep cellar under his house. The skull represented his desire to probe the secrets of the mind. To dream of a skull may also be a symbol of mortality and your spiritual contemplation of the meaning of life and death. It may also refer to finality and the things in life that cannot be avoided.

Mystical Meaning: To the gypsies a scull represents wisdom derived from their ancestors. To drink from a skull means sharing in their wisdom. In Ireland, it can be a symbol of truth for it is believed that if a man takes an oath on a skull but is lying as does, he will die soon after. Top

Strangulation

Psychological Dream Meaning: If you dream of being strangled this may represent something in your life that you feel is emotionally restrictive. To dream of strangling someone, may express your frustrations with that person in real life. Alternatively, the person being strangled may represent an aspect of yourself that you are not allowing to be expressed.

Mystical Meaning: The dream seers claim that if you make a wish after waking from a dream about strangling someone, the wish will come true. Top

Suicide

Psychological Dream Meaning: You are turning your feelings of aggression against yourself. Perhaps you are unable to overcome feelings of guilt or feel degradation and helplessness. You may feel unable to cope with a problem that has troubled you for some time.  Part of you is crying out for help. I suggest that you talk over your problems with someone you can trust. A problem shared is a problem halved.

Mystical Meaning: A dream of disappointment, say the dream oracles. Top

Tomb

Psychological Dream Meaning: A tomb may be the entrance to the unconscious. It may also represent those parts of yourself that have been buried away. You may have qualities and talents that you are not using. If you dream of seeing your own name above the entrance to the tomb this is not an omen of death. The dream is saying that what lies within the tomb are the aspects of yourself that have died. You need to rediscover yourself.

Mystical Interpretation: Your dream may symbolise spiritual death and rebirth. In Celtic times, burial mound tombs were considered to be the womb of the Earth Mother from which the new spiritual person was born. Later superstitions claim that to dream of a tomb foretells disappointment. Another curious superstition says it foretells a marriage. Top

Underworld

Psychological Dream Meaning: Descent into the underworld may represent death and rebirth. If you dream of an underworld like Hell or Hades, then this may symbolise your despair. You may need some help in dealing with your emotional problems.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstition says that this dream predicts a loss of reputation. Top

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