Meaning of UFO Dreams – UFOs and Aliens in Dreams
Oh, what a dream symbol the UFO is—and popular, too. It is common in dreams—not as much as, say, cars and animals, but more so than the majority of other symbols. Plus, it really raises the curiosity of people and sparks all sorts of wild speculation about what it means and why it appears in dreams.
A great number of personal and cultural meanings are projected onto UFOs. They have mythic status in society. Dr. Carl Jung wrote a book titled Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky, and while it is not specifically about UFOs in dreams, it provides a starting point for narrowing down the possibilities and understanding the symbolism.
Begin with the idea that a UFO is something unknown or unidentified. Fear of the unknown is a primary possibility to consider for the meaning of the symbolism, because UFOs are both unknown and sometimes feared. Of course, if instead of fearing a UFO in a dream you welcome it, fear is not the meaning. On the contrary, it might mean welcoming or embracing the unknown. For example, the night before meeting a relative for the first time, or going on a blind date, you dream about a UFO as a way of symbolizing meeting an unknown person.
Roots of a Modern Myth
Expand on the idea like dreams do, and a UFO in a dream can symbolize not just fear of the unknown but fear of just about anything. Younger readers have grown up with a different idea of UFOs and aliens than the Cold War generations. To them, UFOs were a recently popularized phenomenon, and incidents like the 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds firmly planted the idea in the minds of the masses that the occupants are hostile. Then starting in the 1980s, movies like Close Encounters and E.T. started a trend toward portraying the occupants of UFOs as friendly and enlightened.
Also, a new danger from the skies entered the mass psyche during the Cold War: nuclear bombs. Dr. Jung closely tied the UFO phenomenon with the widespread fear that any moment, horrific death can rain from above. If you weren’t around to experience the hysteria it produced you probably can’t wrap your mind around exactly how much the possibility of thermonuclear war created an atmosphere of pervasive fear and dread—especially fear of things that could drop from the sky, such as missiles, bombs, and UFOs.
These days, old and new ideas and perceptions of UFOs have mixed together to produce an enigmatic dream symbol. Much personal meaning can be projected onto UFOs and their alien occupants. Let’s do a quick rundown of the main possibilities, picking up where we left off.
Many Possibilities for Symbolism
As a symbol of something feared, a UFO in a dream can represent something like fear of separation (UFOs abduct people). Separation is one of the greatest and most common fears, ranking right next to death in the minds of many people. Psychoanalysts trace it back to the infant’s trauma of leaving the womb, separating physically from mother.
Analytical psychologists (Jungians) trace the fear to the psychological separation that occurs when a child becomes a teen, or a teen becomes an adult. Until that separation happens and a child becomes a distinct, independent person, their identity is enmeshed with their family. Separation can be a terrifying prospect—it can feel like something in yourself is dying or being murdered—and UFOs are terrifying for some people, too. The symbolism is created by tying fear of UFO abduction with fear of separation.
But don’t stop there. Because of the blank canvas presented by the UFO phenomenon, any sort of fear can be symbolized—fear of failure, spiders, declining health, evil, God, your true self. You name it.
Alien can mean “foreign,” and since aliens are the occupants of UFOs (supposedly), UFOs can symbolize something that is foreign to you. It is outside the scope of your experience—unknown. An alien might symbolize a foreign person—also referred to as an “alien.” You might find yourself in a “foreign” place in your life, such as being pregnant with this unknown thing growing inside you, or an unfamiliar situation. Dreams are famous for this sort of word play.
More powerful dynamics come into play because people react strongly to new experiences and encounters with anything foreign to them. Also, learning something new rewires the brain. The rewiring process occurs during sleep. So for example, dreaming about aliens beaming messages into your brain while you are asleep might actually be a representation of a physiological process.
Combine the “foreign to you” aspect of UFOs together with the powerful personal and neurological processes associated with learning something new and now you see why your dreams might pick UFOs to symbolize it. The association is easy to make because in the image of a UFO you have a summary of the experience.
Take a step further and consider that “unexplained” and “UFO” go hand in hand. Unexplained can mean “don’t understand.” You can’t explain why your relationship with your spouse is estranged, and in response you dream about sleeping in the same bed with an alien. You can’t explain why you failed a calculus exam, and dream about being perplexed by alien hieroglyphics. You don’t understand why you are unhappy with your life, and dream about being taken by a spaceship to live on an alien planet, symbolizing the desire to make a radical change or have new experiences.
Something else that people can have a hard time explaining is themselves! The greatest mystery of all is the human being.
The psyche is constructed of two main parts, the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, and they can be as far apart as Mars and Venus. The unconscious mind came into existence with the human species and is shaped by the experiences of our ancestors during millions of years of evolution. The conscious mind is a product, by and large, of modern society. In simplistic terms, it’s caveman vs. astronaut. What the unconscious mind wants and perceives and what the conscious mind wants and perceives can be vastly different.
When you look into the eyes of an alien or see a UFO in a dream, what you might actually be seeing is an estranged, unknown, foreign. or “alienated” part of yourself—your unconscious mind personified.
Stretch the idea and in the UFO you might see something new about yourself emerging, like a UFO rising out of the ocean or appearing suddenly in the sky, or an alien occupant exiting a spacecraft. When it first emerges you have no idea what it really is, but in time the picture clears up.
UFOs: Encounters with the Alien God
Dr. Jung made a strong connection between UFOs and spiritual experience. People who don’t have some sort of spirituality deny a basic need. Take belief in God and all that out of the equation and look at it simply as a fundamental need of the psyche. People need to feel connected. They need community. They need meaning and purpose. Denying it creates an imbalance in the psyche, and as a self-regulating system the psyche will eventually snap back—powerfully, too, depending on how much imbalance is compensated and how long it is neglected.
When this happens, the conscious side of the mind is forced to confront itself and what is lacking. The atheist dreams of visitations by angels. The agnostic is given visions of heaven. UFOs hover over your home and aliens appear in your bedroom.
Not to say that all cases of UFO sightings and alien abduction are the result of compensation or imbalance in the psyche, but spirituality is a major component of the cultural phenomenon of UFOs and aliens. The belief is widespread that our extra-terrestrial brethren are going to provide the answers we seek. For a person searching for meaning, there is nothing like a UFO encounter to provide it! It can be life-changing.
Dr. Jung himself compared the UFO experience to an encounter with the Christ archetype, the ultimate symbol of transformation and the Self—the complete person internally united. UFOs in your dreams can mean you are being called to go through a great change, a raising of consciousness and transformation of yourself and how you view life and the cosmos. “UFO” and “God” can be said in the same breath because both are “out there” somewhere in the universe—or beyond it.
One research study found a connection between dreams, alien abduction, and the emergence of special abilities in people. The experience of encountering aliens was produced in a laboratory setting by teaching participants how to have out of body experiences in a dream state.
UFOs: Symbols of Power
Consider another possibility for dream symbolism tied with UFOs. What are the odds you can fight off or outwit the occupants of a UFO? That perception of being outmatched by superior power, technology, and intelligence is an easy association for dreams to make when you are up against something overwhelming, or feel powerless.
For example, say that a much larger company wants to gobble up your company in a hostile takeover. That situation could be symbolized in a dream as an alien invasion. Or say you are dealing with a hostile government bureaucracy, matching you and your limited resources against something that is vastly bigger and more powerful than you are. Yep, aliens.
Symbolism can be created from how people would react during a crisis like an alien invasion. They’d lose their minds! In an exaggerated way the situation is comparable to others things people panic about, such as foreigners coming over the border. A situation where people panic and lose their minds can be symbolized as an alien invasion. Or perhaps the situation isn’t that dramatic. Maybe you are just really busy at work, school, or home and every day feels like a battle.
believed to be a depiction of a sleep paralysis nightmare
Into this soup of possibilities for symbolism we add another ingredient, sleep paralysis. Read enough UFO reports and you notice a trend that many begin something like this: “I woke up from a deep sleep and…”. The person sees lights outside of a bedroom window, hears strange noises in the house, or encounters little green guys at their bedside.
Sleep paralysis occurs naturally while dreaming to prevent the body from physically acting out dreams, officially known as REM atonia. However, a person can wake up and still be dreaming—and paralyzed. Paralysis creates fear, and the dreaming mind responds to fear by producing fearsome imagery.
If a person fears witches or demons or something like that, they might see witches or demons during sleep paralysis. Witch, succubi, and incubi myths are believed to originate this way. If a person fears aliens and experiences sleep paralysis, well, the dreaming mind produces imagery of aliens. The hallucination is completely realistic. Your eyes are open and you are still dreaming.
Fueled by the bizarre circumstances of waking up paralyzed, your half-asleep mind may try to make sense of the experience by creating nightmarish hallucinations to “explain” what’s happening. Like dreams, these explanations are drawn from our unconscious beliefs about reality—including religious and cultural interpretations. –Rebecca Turner
Finally, an explosion of interest in paranormal subjects is saturating media and entertainment outlets with imagery and references. Shows like Ancient Aliens attribute to aliens everything from the building of pyramids to natural disasters. Interest in the paranormal has penetrated deep in Western culture (and probably other cultures as well), creating a wealth of personal references for dreams to draw on.
Dr. Jung describes flying saucers as a “modern myth.” He doesn’t mean myth in the sense of something fake or unreal. Instead he uses it to mean a central point around which people build meaning and describe deep personal experience. Myths are a canvas on which we project our psyches, providing a story structure to explain things that are otherwise difficult to put into words or unexplainable.
For example, slaying a dragon is an archetypal myth, meaning it appears in some form in most if not all cultures. Slaying a dragon is a way of describing overcoming the forces of resistance to exploring the unconscious mind, or overcoming the ego or some bad character trait. Dragons are a relic of the past, from before we knew they don’t exist. UFOs are a myth that describes the experience of living in the modern world, and we still don’t know if they really exist (though if you really look into the subject, there is no doubt). In a sense you could say that dragons are the aliens of previous eras, because aliens, too, can symbolize what you fear about yourself and your unconscious mind.
As a modern myth, UFOs are a sort of umbrella under which a wide variety of experiences and associations can be placed: fear, unknown, foreign, fantastic, power, paranormal. When UFOs appear in your dreams, take your pick among the many possibilities for symbolism. But remember that the experiences and associations which matter most are your own.
Dreams may be our visualized thoughts, even prophecy. It is our impulse to envision our future, like dreams are already giving us the hint of what is to come in our lives.
Dreams leave things left to be pondered most of the time rather than give the answer to every question. This is where our desires become graphical. This is where our aspirations are accomplished beyond comprehension, as if all the things we have designed to hope for exist in realms we are very much aware yet chose to ignore. What doesn’t happen in reality, as we think so much of it, becomes a subconscious byproduct in our dreams. What our emotions have triggered in our every dream may subject itself as the focus of our thoughts. It could vividly trigger something in us to contemplate on the repercussion of our actions once we switch back to waking reality.
What our dreams could mean to us is always subject to interpretation. But at the very least, we seek to have the closest, or the most convincing analysis of things that appear and events that transpire in our every dream. How our subconscious mind takes over smoothly as we doze off is like switching or shifting to another setting of our brains. On how a partition works on a Central Processing Unit (CPU) could be our best analogy when it comes to how we toggle from consciously aware to subconsciously responsive in dreams. This practically explains that we are capable to course through emotions while dreaming: we laugh, we get highly emotional, we even shed tears. And dreams, in a much broader sense, are the accumulation of our thoughts: be it desired or otherwise or even random and provides perspective that we can pick up on—as the source of our strength or as a reminder of our fears.
Dreams’ purpose is so enigmatic we might need the expertise of online dream analyzer to dissect its interpretation. As the activity of our brainwave gives birth to the content of our dreams, it is of utmost importance to seek out a specialist that has the professional credibility to analyze and convert the visuals or experiences in our dreams into something that can be used to interpret what the future holds. What dreams represent is often misunderstood and largely, the misconception is bred by the outcome or by the aborted resolution that transpired in our dreams. More often than not, we tend to have a hard time disconnecting what transpired with our dreams from the reality.
It is as if what came out from it has to continue in the real world for reasons unknown. Possibly because it is to serve our satisfaction or it fits our own narrative, or could be anything that we think as better version of things. There are perspectives that, if we lack the experience and knowledge to explore it, it often results with disenfranchisement. It leads into that misconception that could spell the difference between favored interpretation, from the analytical interpretation only an online dream analyzer can properly construe.
How online dream analysis is being framed constitutes the state of mind of an individual. What comes out from a person’s mental standing is as fallible as any other folly one is always capable of. Nonetheless, these are products of our thoughts—an indirect representation of who we are and our life’s objectives. While we tend to get indiscriminate scenarios or experiences while dreaming, there is an analogous interpretation as to why these events transpired in our dream—regardless of the timing it appeared and whether or not it holds importance to an individual’s current dealings. This is where online dream analyzers help us not to put so much weight to the obvious, as there was no objective nor material basis to ponder on with results of the subconscious mind.
Online dream analysis uses tools to properly deduce our dreams and use it as our own instrument to deviate from all the fallacy people often are inclined to in dealing with their dreams.
It’s just a wonderful thing to realize that with today’s availability of online dream analyzers right at the convenient click of our fingertips that we can properly thread through the mysteries of the subconscious. How dreams can be a tool towards the realization of our goals and how it can shed light to things that are beyond incomprehensible. It allows us to become more credible as a decision-maker; our choices in life couldn’t be well-guided as it is with experts adept at making sense of the furtive characteristic of our every dream. This is such a great point of discussion to share with everybody and it would be great to have you all chip in your own thoughts so feel free to leave comments about your dreams and how online dream analysis are such great tools to achieve higher learning of the interpretation of the subconscious.
Dreaming about Teeth | Meaning of Teeth Dreams
Teeth are a common dream theme with a variety of possibilities for symbolism.
Anxiety and stress are the primary sources of dreams about problems with teeth. The figure of speech “grind your teeth” is associated with anxiety and stress, something that grinds you down. In dreams, ground down teeth are a physical representation of a personal situation—it shows how you feel.
Anxiety and stress can also be symbolized by teeth crumbling, falling out, or cracking. The symbolism is created by the connection between distress in your dream about your teeth and distress in your waking life. The condition and appearance of your teeth can be sources of anxiety and stress, giving dreams an association to work with.
Crumbling teeth in a dream can be a visualization of something in your life or yourself that is falling apart—health, self-image, a plan, a relationship.
Another common connection is found with teeth and loss. Losing teeth is something everyone experiences. Dreams compare losing teeth with losing something else. For example, losing a molar can symbolize a miscarriage because molars are deeply embedded in the mouth and a fetus is deeply embedded in the womb. The same idea applies to losing a loved one, someone deeply embedded in your life.
Losing a front tooth can symbolize loss of prestige, status, or reputation. Front teeth are part of the face, so losing front teeth means losing part of your face—a dream’s way of saying someone “lost face.” If you dream about a tooth dropping out of the mouth of someone you know, it might mean your perception of the person has dropped. Or maybe that person lied to you. You might not even know it consciously, but instead know it subconsciously.
Losing teeth in a dream can mean you lose hope, lose touch with reality, lose out on an opportunity, lose your mind, lose faith, lose confidence, lose a relationship, or lose part of yourself—anything involving loss. Losing a tooth creates a gap, and a gap can symbolize something missing from your life. For example, you lose custody of a child or a child goes off to college and now you have a gap in your life.
Loss of teeth is associated with changes. Losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth are a rite of passage. That connection between teeth and personal change can be used to symbolize anything about yourself that is going through a change.
Also consider the connection between losing teeth and neglect. You can lose teeth or have issues with them because you neglect to care for them. Even if you take great care of your teeth, you are still aware of the association between losing teeth and neglecting them. The association can be used to create symbolism that connects loss with neglect.
For example, you lose a friend because you neglect the friendship (or they do). You lose an opportunity because you neglect to follow through.
Anything involving the mouth in a dream can symbolize issues related to articulation and speech. For example, dreaming about teeth falling out while trying to speak to a group can symbolize fear of speaking in front of people. Chewing on something like a big wad of gum can symbolize difficulty speaking or “chewing on your words.” Chewing on glass or sharp objects can symbolize saying things that hurt people, or being careful to avoid saying something hurtful. Swallowing something sharp after chewing it can symbolize repressing something sharp you want to say or express. It means you are holding something back. Chewing on something rubbery or gummy in a dream can symbolize chewing on a thought. You are trying to wrap your mind around something.
If you get nervous speaking to someone then dream about having issues with your teeth while in the presence of that person, you have a strong clue that the dream is related to nervousness. For example, next is a dream about teeth breaking while the dreamer is with his father [edited for brevity].
The dream starts with me and my father in a restaurant. We order some food and wait.
The food comes. Once I bite into the mashed potatoes, my canine tooth and some teeth behind that one break.
My father freaks out, so he rushes me to the dentist, and my dentist begins talking with my dad about dental implants. I spit out some remaining pieces of the broken teeth.
So I get the implants and walk across a bridge.
The dreamer is nervous around his father because he came out as transgendered to him. Dad’s son is now his daughter. In her own words, “I’m paranoid about how he takes me … as a woman.” The dental implants could refer to the mechanics of changing into a woman, which might include implanted body parts, such as breasts. The bridge probably symbolizes the bridge between genders.
A situation of which nightmares are made.
Teeth are closely related to social status. Clean, white, straight teeth indicate a person has the money to take good care of their teeth, whereas crooked, discolored, and missing teeth convey the opposite impression. Teeth in bad condition can make you self-conscious, and a dream could use feeling self-conscious about your teeth to symbolize feeling self-conscious about something else.
By extension, teeth in dreams can symbolize something related to the image you project and situations related to your social image and standing. For example, dreaming about a hollow tooth and being told by a dentist that the problem will fix itself in time connects with the dreamer’s worries about paying for college. Getting a degree is tied closely in his mind with the sort of social image he wants. He will figure out how to pay for it in time.
Also consider the connection between teeth and attractiveness. Attractive teeth can indicate attraction to someone…or something, such a subject or prospect.
Removing teeth, or having them removed, can symbolize a loss that you initiate or acquiesce to, such as breaking off a relationship or leaving a job. If you pull your own teeth it might mean you are having difficulty getting yourself to do something (it’s like “pulling teeth.”), or you are thinking about ending a relationship. Also consider that your thoughts and feelings can be projected onto dream characters. So for instance you are having difficulty with your young child being obstinate, and dream about pulling your own teeth, symbolizing what it feels like getting your child to do what you ask.
Along this line, a dream about feeling some pain in a tooth and deciding to pull it, and ending up pulling five teeth, symbolizes the dreamer overreacting to something and almost ending a relationship because of it.
False teeth can symbolize lying and other false words that come out of your mouth. Since teeth are associated with giving impressions, consider that false teeth can symbolize giving a false impression. Use the link to read about a dream featuring false teeth.
Now take that idea a step further and consider that teeth are in the same mouth as your tongue, and they work together to form the sounds that we turn into words. This creates a strong association between teeth and what a person says, especially in relation to honesty and confidence in what you say. Next is a great example of this use of the symbolism, from a dream about teeth falling out I helped with at Reddit Dreams.
A bottom left tooth felt like there was food in it so naturally I tried to tongue it out. Well, when I did, the tooth popped out. But then the entire bottom left row of teeth fell out. But get this, they fell out with the gums they were attached to. I called my boyfriend and said, “This isn’t like the dreams I’ve had, this is real. My fucking teeth came out with the gums.” (I said that in the dream). Told him to get over here and take me to the hospital. While I was waiting for him, the rest (of my teeth and gums) started to come out in chunks. Top left side, bottom left, top right. Eventually I couldn’t even talk.
So I said:
Because the action of your teeth falling out occurs when you use your tongue, I wonder if the symbolism is related to something you said that is dishonest or at least less than truthful. And because you call your boyfriend, perhaps it involves him. It’s just a possibility. Does it ring a bell?
I don’t think so. I’ve never lied to him except for those little white lies.
And my reply:
And teeth are what color?
Also notice that by the end of the dream you can’t talk. That’s another clue pointing toward the same conclusion. White lies are still lies.
The dream amplified the seriousness of the situation to really get the dreamer’s attention. Her conscious attitude is that white lies are no big deal, but her unconscious mind, which produces dreams, sees no difference. A lie is a lie. She needs to know that her white lies register deep in her mind the same as other lies.
If you follow the first rule of dream interpretation and consider the obvious, a dream about a problem with your teeth can reflect worries about the condition of your teeth and the need to see a dentist. Also, if you are self-conscious about your teeth, a dream about them can simply be a reflection of your thoughts and feelings.
One more possibility is you might dream about an issue with your teeth because you grind them in your sleep.
To explore further, read a group discussion and discover some fantastic examples, check out this thread about teeth dreams.
“A great introduction to dream interpretation.” -Amazon Reviewer
Hey, I wrote the book pictured above. It shows you step by step how to work with your dreams to gain insight and better your life. It takes you through the three steps of dream work:
- Remember your dreams.
- Interpret them.
- Live them.
I show you what you need to know to unlock the meaning of your dreams, using dozens of dreams as examples culled from the thousands I have interpreted as “RadOwl” at reddit. This post is a taste of how I approach the subject and make it easier to understand. No jargon, no mumbo-jumbo, just a real 1-2-3 system that anyone can use. Click the cover to see the book at Amazon. It’s titled:
Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret, and Live Your Dreams.
You can also find it at Google Play, B&N, Abe Books, and many other online sources.
Meaning of Dreams about Sex
Let’s talk about sex—sex in dreams.
Sex is commonly used by dreams to create symbolism. Even virgins and celibate priests and nuns dream about sex—very intensely and realistically, too.
Interpreting a dream featuring sex or arousal does not have to go very deep, in some cases. It simply means that sex is on your mind, or you are aroused during sleep. People can experience periods of arousal while asleep. Dreams turn physical input into dream imagery, so arousal while dreaming is likely to be turned into sexual imagery or symbolism. However, the ‘chicken or egg’ question has not been answered: Does arousal cause sexually related dream imagery, or does sexual dream imagery cause arousal?
It is common to dream about someone who arouses you. If you have been having thoughts or fantasies about the person and dream about having sex, it might simply reflect your thoughts or fantasies. Even if you are married or in a committed relationship you can be aroused by someone else. While it might not be wise to pop awake and tell your significant other, having such a dream is not something to feel guilty about. Which is a typical reaction.
If you already know that a person in your dreams turns you on, you are not learning anything new. Instead, it might be giving you a safe forum to work through the situation—a simulation—or a safe outlet for your feelings and desires. At least you get a taste of that fruit, perhaps enough to satisfy you. The same idea applies to people who are celibate. Sometimes they have intensely sexual dreams that provide an outlet for that energy, and at heart it is a healthy process, not something to be ashamed of or repressed.
Your physician would probably agree that sexual arousal in dreams is healthy for you, especially if you are not having any sex in your waking life. A wet dream helps the prostate. Arousal and orgasm get the blood pumping and dilate blood vessels. It releases stress and anxiety. And it’s pleasurable. Enjoy it!
Now that we have covered the personal and physiological aspects of sex dreams, let’s talk about the symbolic aspects.
Sex in a dream can symbolize intimacy of any kind. You can be intimate with a person without having sex with them. You can be intimate with a subject or idea, and with your creations.
Here is an example of sex being used to symbolize intimacy with another person. A female in a committed relationship dreams about having sex with mutual friends of her boyfriend. She wonders if she has a repressed desire to cheat, but the dreams reflect the intimate conversations she has been having with those mutual friends. It feels like cheating because she is sharing thoughts and feelings with them that she isn’t sharing with her boyfriend.
Another example that expresses a similar idea: A teenage girl dreams she is told by her mother that she has to have sex with her father. She reluctantly follows him into the bedroom, where he casually disrobes and they have sex. She is disgusted. In her waking life, her parents are divorced and the father is distant from the family. Her mother uses her to maintain a connection between him and the family. She pushes them closer, telling her daughter to have a relationship with him, but the dreamer doesn’t want to be close with him. Sex in this dream symbolizes forced closeness.
Now for an example of sex symbolizing intimacy with a subject. A student dreams about having sex with her professor. She is not at all physically attracted to him in waking life, but in the dream he is a real Casanova. The dream helps the student realize that her professor intellectually stimulates her. His lectures are dynamic, turning her on to the subject of the class. What she is really attracted to is the subject and the professor’s teaching ability.
Sex in a dream can express intimacy with what you create. A writer dreams about a sexually charged situation with a character he invented for a book he is writing. The dream reflects the closeness and intimacy he feels with the character. Our creations are often expressions of our inner lives. Story characters, in particular, reflect the writers that create them, so the leap from a story character to a dream character is a short one.
Sex in a dream can be used to express thoughts and feelings that are intimate or private, or as symbolism for jealousy. For example, a man dreams that his wife is having sex with her co-workers. He does not suspect she is cheating in waking life, but does feel a bit jealous of all the time she spends at work. He keeps those thoughts and feelings to himself, knowing that her time away is part of the job. He can’t help but feel some jealousy and miss his wife. The dream amplifies his feelings so he will consciously deal with them rather than ignore them. In this case, sex is symbolism for feeling jealous.
The dream about the girl having sex with her father brings up a type of dream: Sex with relatives. The typical reaction is to wonder if the dreamer has a secret desire to commit incest, but very rarely is that the case. Sometimes these dreams can reflect physical attraction, but not necessarily desire to have sex with that person.
A typical example is a college male dreams about having sex with his younger female cousin. He feels dirty because in waking life he has been trying to avoid noticing that the innocent little girl he grew up with has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. He can’t help but notice, and the more he tries to ignore it the more he feels conflicted.
The dream is simply reflecting his thoughts and feelings. It’s not saying he wants to have sex with her. Instead, the dream amplifies his feelings of attraction so he will stop repressing them and come to terms with himself that allow him to notice that his cousin is attractive and not feel guilty about it.
Another possibility to consider is incestuous sex simply reflects closeness and platonic intimacy with a relative. For example, a female has dreams about having sex with her brothers. During the dreams the sex feels perfectly natural, but after waking up, she is repulsed by the implications. However, sex with her brother is a way of saying that part of him has become part of her. It is inside her. Get the idea?
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that the most basic purpose of sex is pregnancy. Sex in a dream can be about pregnancy or issues related to it. For example, a female dreams about having hot sex. Her partner pauses to put on a condom, and while doing so spills a drink on the mattress, infuriating the dreamer. She kicks out her lover. It symbolizes her fear of getting pregnant. The drink spilling while putting on the condom symbolism her fear she could accidentally get pregnant if semen spills out of a condom.
Sex in a dream can symbolize dominance and submission, giving and receiving. The symbolism derives from the roles played and positions assumed during sex. For example, dreaming about being on top during sex might symbolize being in a dominant position in a business deal or relationship. Also consider the idea of getting what you want.
Sexual dream imagery that is absurd or outrageous can be a sign of something out of kilter in a person’s sexual attitudes and perceptions. Interrupted sex in a dream can symbolize lacking privacy or opportunity for sex or masturbation.
In 2012, the journal Dreaming published a study that caused quite a stir. Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, a dream researcher in Hong Kong, found a correlation between sleep position and dream content. Specifically, sleeping on your stomach produces erotic dreams. The results were somewhat controversial, but physical stimuli can influence dream content, and sleeping on your stomach causes more stimulation of the genitalia.
Phallic symbols…oh god, do we want to go there? In my experience, dreams are more to likely to directly refer to sex and genitalia rather than use phallic symbols. Western society is not sexually repressed as it was back in Sigmund Freud’s day. However, phallic symbols and symbols for female genitalia can be used in dreams. One of the cleverest I’ve run across is a dream about entering an underground parking garage. The entryway symbolizes the vaginal canal, and the parking garage symbolizes the uterus.
Dreams make oblique references when they need to, and phallic symbols are from another era when sex was taboo. That’s not to say that dreams don’t use symbolism to represent sex. Dreams have hundreds of euphemisms for sex to draw on to create symbolism: plowing a field, climbing a flagpole, eating a hot dog, stuffing a taco, hitting a home run. Just keep in mind that your dreams don’t bring up sex just for the fun of it. Or do they? With dreams, anything is possible.
Fellatio and Oral Sex Dreams
More about sex dreams
Dream Symbolism | The Rosetta Stone for Translating Dreams
To celebrate my inaugural blog post at HuffPost, where I was recently invited to create a blog, I hand you the key to unlocking your dreams, the Rosetta Stone for translating their messages and meaning. Symbolism.
Symbolism is the language dreams use to communicate. It is a language of analogies, comparisons, metaphors, puns, and word plays.
Dreams use symbolism to create stories containing personal meaning to you, communicating through stories rather than lectures. People engage more with stories and understand a point better when they have to think about it. The stories tie in with yourself and your life.
Symbolism is a shorthand way of expressing an idea, using settings, characters, objects, and actions to represent something else.
Two good rules of thumb are, everything in dreams is symbolism, and all the details weave together to tell a story–even in dreams that seem disjointed and random, presuming they are meaningful.
Some dreams are not meaningful. Meaningful dreams engage you. They impact your emotions and feelings. They burn into your memory. Dreams that are not meaningful tend to fade into the background.
Telling the difference between meaningful and non-meaningful dreams is a subject for another blog post. Right now my intent is to give you the Rosetta Stone for translating dreams.
Your Dreaming Mind: a Universal Translator
Think of your dreaming mind as a translator that takes any input and spits out symbolism. Input includes physical stimuli, thoughts, memories, and emotions. So for example, a book falls and slaps the floor nearby as you are dreaming, and your mind produces imagery of a gun firing. Go to bed thinking about a test scheduled for tomorrow, and your dreams are full of schools and books. Have an argument with a friend during the day, and dream about fighting a dog that night.
Why a dog? Because dogs are “man’s best friend.” You only have to know about the association between dogs and friendship for your dreams to use it as symbolism.
Symbolism is created by your associations. People who associate dogs with friendship are more likely to dream about them in relation to friendship. But let’s say that the dog in your dream is your neighbor’s, and you argue with that neighbor over it crapping in your yard. Perhaps the symbolism ties in with the situation with the neighbor.
Symbolism of Driving
Driving is a theme that pops up frequently in dreams, and no wonder. It offers many possibilities for symbolism. Driving is used in all sorts of comparisons, metaphors, and figures of speech. It’s ready-made for your dreams to tell stories about your life. Three quick examples:
- Drive in reverse.
- Spin your wheels.
- Brakes don’t work.
When your life goes the wrong direction or takes a setback, your dreams can tell the story as driving in reverse.
When your efforts get you nowhere, your dreams can tell the story as spinning your wheels.
When your life is super busy and you can’t slow down, your dreams can tell the story as brakes failing.
I said earlier that everything in dreams is symbolism, generally. By identifying it you have a place to begin interpreting your dreams. Symbolism…
- Stands out, draws attention to itself, especially absurd dream imagery. The more absurd the imagery, the more likely it is wickedly clever symbolism.
- Stirs you. Sometimes your reactions in a dream appear totally out of place within the larger context of the story. However, subconsciously you already know what the symbolism means and react based on that knowledge, not to the overt story.
- Makes sense at the time. So when you dream about riding in a hot air balloon with Snoop Dogg and landing in a village of oompa loompas, you go along with it. It makes sense when understood as symbolism.
Let’s get into some examples drawn from dreams I interpreted as a moderator at Reddit Dreams. I learn best through example, and I bet you do, too. I use this example to illustrate symbolism that appears absurd and meaningless but actually tells a story about a situation in the dreamer’s life. The description is paraphrased:
I dream I am walking down the street alongside a giant banana with legs. A man yells, “Are you sure you want to go that way?” I answer no, turn around and walk the other direction.
You have to admit, walking down the street with a giant banana is pretty absurd. It would be easy to write off the imagery as meaningless, but with the help of the dreamer’s association we pieced together the message.
The dreamer is a young American man with many Asian friends. The possibility of romance has come up with some of the Asian girls in that circle, but the dreamer is hesitant to go for it because he knows the high expectations his Asian friends have for behavior and conduct in dating relationships. That is what the man in the dream means when he asks, “Are you sure you want to go that way?” What is really being asked is, “Are you sure you want to date an Asian girl?” His reaction gives the answer.
Now consider the walking banana. Bananas are yellow, typically. A stereotype about Asians is they have yellow-toned skin. Some do, some don’t. Point is, it is a common association of which the dreamer is aware, and that association what the dream uses to create the banana symbolism.
Find a more in-depth discussion of this dream here.
Now consider the dreamer’s reaction in the next example:
I dream that I find a dead rat in my bed and it leaves a stain on my mattress. I scream at my parents.
Why scream at the parents? Because the dreamer subconsciously knows what the rat symbolizes. A definition of rat is “someone who betrays.” The dreamer feels betrayed by something his parents did–he wouldn’t tell me what, but he latched onto that idea when I mentioned it. The stain on the mattress symbolizes a strain on their relationship. He doesn’t trust them anymore.
His reaction to the dead rat sticks out. To me it screams “symbolism!”
We can go on for days about this subject, and if you want to know more, check out a thorough exploration of dream symbolism at my website, dreams123.com.
We will have plenty more opportunities to discuss symbolism at this blog. In the meantime, take note of the symbolism in your dreams. Think expansively and creatively about what it could mean. Approach it like learning a foreign language. With practice and exposure you are sure to get better at translation. And as you do, the meaning of your dreams will be unlocked.
Writing down your dreams is the foundation of dream work. Two great guys I know are funding a Kickstarter project for a dream journal that is more than a mere journal to record your dreams. It has questions that help you understand the meaning and significance of your dreams, too.
To learn more, use this link (opens in new tab or window):
Dream Atlas Kickstarter presentation
A walking banana in a dream is meaningless, right? Not in this case.
Absurdity of Dream Symbolism
As a dream interpreter and moderator of a dreams forum I hear frequently from people who insist that dreams are just a random mishmash of imagery with no meaning. They point out absurd, irrational dreams to make their case. The following dream is an example. [Link to original post.]
Last night I dreamed that I am walking down a sidewalk alongside a human-sized banana with legs. We walk by a man who yells, “Hey, are you sure that’s the way you want to go?” I respond by saying, “No, it’s not.” I turn around and start walking in the direction I came from, and the banana continues on.
A giant, walking banana is pretty absurd, right? It’s the sort of imagery that people cite when arguing that dreams are meaningless, but to me it looks like symbolism. This dream has meaning, and the dreamer figured it out simply by using an old trick for dream interpretation: association.
Dream association is basically just brainstorming ideas based on the dream imagery. You think off the top of your head and see where it leads you. The guy who dreamed about the walking banana first made an association with his lunch. He said he packed a banana everyday but sometimes didn’t eat it, in which case it would get brown and mushy.
That association didn’t resonate with him, so he came up with another one. Yellow is associated with Asians. He said, “I have a lot of Asian friends, and at times I get drawn into their circle. They have high expectations for how to act and behave. Sometimes I feel like I am getting in too deep, especially in instances where romance seems to be potentially blooming. If romance develops, these high expectations will be a daily way of life for me, which I am apprehensive about.”
Now look at that observation in light of the man in the dream who yells, “Are you sure that’s the way you want to go?” He is really saying, “Are you sure you want to get involved romantically with an Asian girl, knowing what it entails?” The answer is seen in his reaction. He says no and walks the other direction. It means he is walking away from the possibility. The dream gave him a way of thinking through the situation symbolically and making a decision about it.
The association between Asian and yellow is not racist or bigoted. It’s simply an observation of a stereotype. It doesn’t mean the dreamer believes it, only that he is aware of it.
Some dream imagery is meaningless in the sense that it is not used to tell a story. Some dreams don’t have meaning, but that fact can’t be used to say that all dreams don’t have meaning. You can start to dream soon after closing your eyes to go to sleep. That imagery is basically just your brain spitting up memories from the day and visualizing processes in the body. But after a full sleep cycle or two, the dreaming mind heats up and weaves the imagery together into stories that are memorable and emotionally involving. Those dreams have meaning.
The dreamer raised a point about the symbolism. He asked, “Why was the banana reference necessary? Why not just use one of my Asian friends in the dream? When I think about going a different direction in real life (away from those friends or potential romances) it is disheartening.”
The answer is three-fold.
One, the dreaming mind uses symbolism to communicate. It’s like asking a cat why it meows instead of uses human language. My theory is that the unconscious mind (where dreams originate) developed during the early days of the human species when humans communicated more in signs and gestures than with words, and the dreaming part of the mind still speaks that way.
Two, when told with symbolism, dream-stories make you think about the points they make, instead of just handing you the information. Think about it this way: When Jesus was asked difficult questions or had an important point to make, he often used parables––little stories with a moral to them. He made his listener really think about the answer and put themselves in the scene. For thousands of years humans have used stories to express complex ideas. For the same reason, dreams tell stories instead of give lectures.
Three, Sigmund Freud proposed that dreams use symbolism to avoid arousing the dreamer and disturbing sleep. Dreams bring up emotionally-charged subjects. In the walking banana dream, the dreamer is thinking through a situation that is important to him. If the dream used an Asian friend to make the meaning more obvious it might disturb him. He might jerk awake or become conscious of the situation before the dream ran its course.
But more importantly, a literal representation wouldn’t give him the same opportunity to see his honest, emotional reaction. He might think too much if it is obvious that the dream is showing him a story about his possibilities for romance with Asian girls and the depth of his involvement with his Asian friends.
This brings up an important point about symbolism, perhaps the most important one so far: You already know subconsciously what the symbolism means and react to it, not to the overt story.
When the dreamer sees himself walking down the street with a human-size banana and is asked if that’s really the direction he wants to go, he knows what it means. But because the meaning is disguised from the conscious side of his mind through symbolism, he reacts from his gut. It’s his true, unvarnished answer. He knows deep inside that he has to go another direction romantically, despite how it disheartens him.
Personal associations form the basis of dream symbolism. The ideas that dreams turn into symbols arise from your experiences and exposure to the word plays, analogies, metaphors, figures of speech, and other clever tricks dreams use to express ideas.
Children, who have not had much experience with life, tend to have simple dream symbolism. A monster hides in their closet. Holding mom’s hand. Playing at recess. The dreams of teenagers take the next step. The monster becomes a dragon, and they are the hero sent to slay it. Mom’s hand becomes their girlfriend’s. The recess yard becomes a ball field. The symbolism adds layers of complexity the longer a person lives and the more experience they gain.
Some symbolism, though, is archetypal, meaning universal. It appears in the dreams of people of many cultures, and arises from what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious. Dr. Jung theorized that the mind has a base layer that is shared by all people, and when it influences dreams the symbolism is recognizable to anyone, anywhere. A person from the Australian Outback might not have ever heard of an association between Asians and the color yellow, but they sure know what it means metaphorically to slay a dragon. Slaying a dragon is archetypal symbolism. It appears in the dreams of people regardless of their culture. It is a universal theme.
Meaning of Dreams about Riding a Bus
When you are part of a large group of people it’s like riding on a bus with them, because you are together going in the same direction, figuratively. Think of classmates or people you work with. You are united under the common circumstances of going to school or working together.
Another way of looking at it is a passenger on a bus is on someone else’s schedule. You can’t control the pace unless you’re the driver, and even then you have to stick to a predetermined schedule and route. When on a bus you are, in a sense, following the herd. Busses can be dreary, and the daily grind of life can be dreary, too.
Get up. Ride to work. Go home. Go to bed. Repeat.
Another possibility to consider is the idea of “everyone under one roof.” The psyche is constructed from many parts. Being on a bus with passengers can be a way of giving you a look at those parts of yourself personified as other people. Your ego is personified as dream-you, and the passengers are parts of yourself. They could be your charm, your drive, your responsible side, your creativity, your alter ego, your sexuality. Many possibilities.
Figures of speech that use buses can be enacted by dreams. If you are overweight you could be “wide as a bus.” The way a bus lumbers along carrying all that weight can be an analogy for extra weight on your body. There are other figures of speech, too. With that in mind, analyze the next dream.
I am a grown woman and I ALWAYS have dreams about school buses. Mostly the dreams are of me missing the bus at school, but sometimes I am just riding the bus. I am so sick of big yellow buses. What does this mean?
The dreams are obviously using symbolism because the dreamer is an adult woman and no longer rides a school bus. If she was a schoolchild who rode a bus the imagery of the bus could be more direct, but she’s not a child, so to interpret the dream you presume that missing the bus is symbolism.
What does the figure of speech “miss the bus” mean? It means that some opportunity passed you by. You could have married your high school sweetheart but you didn’t. Or you could have gotten the job you wanted if you only would have studied more when in school and gotten the education required.
I think that’s the idea being expressed in these dreams. Because they recur you can bet the situation described is ongoing. It’s not a one-time event being described with the symbolism of missing the bus. That narrows down the possibilities. Every time the dreamer goes to work she knows in the back of her mind that the opportunity to have the job she really wants has passed her by.
The dreams about being a passenger on the school bus might symbolize being taken somewhere figuratively by her knowledge and education, which determine the direction of her life.
Another series of dreams involving buses:
For the last year or more, almost all my dreams involve public transit like buses. I use the transit system in my city, but not all the time. In my nightmare last night the bus driver almost ran over some kids.
I think this person’s dreams about buses are related to the idea of “following the herd.” Living in a big city can be a depersonalized experience. There you are, just another face in the mass of humanity, just another passenger on the bus. The part about almost running over kids might express the idea of adult life killing the kid inside. Children have free time. They play. They have fun. Some adults don’t have free time, no time to play or fun. A bus running over kids can symbolize that idea.
I’m on a bus with my youth group. My youth pastor drives it. I have a feeling that it’s going the wrong direction.
The youth group is on a bus because they participate together in this activity. The pastor drives the bus because he controls the direction of the group. The dreamer’s feeling that the bus is going the wrong direction expresses her doubt about the direction of the group and the pastor’s leadership.
I have a recurring dream that I’m waiting at a bus stop and the bus approaches carrying other freelancers like myself, but the bus doesn’t stop. It passes me by.
Now that you know what a bus in a dream can symbolize, I bet you have an idea what this dream means. The dreamer, a freelancer, has been having difficulty getting work, but other freelancers he knows are doing just fine. It makes him wonder what he is doing differently than they are. He feels left out.
More about the symbolism of driving and vehicles here.
Teeth are among the most commonly reported dreams symbols. Everyone, it seems, dreams about something happening with their teeth: teeth loose, teeth crumbling, teeth falling out. In this episode of the Reddit Dreamscast, a podcast about dreams, we explore the symbolism of teeth.
Use the link below:
Reddit Dreamscast Ep. 2: Symbolism Teeth Dreams | Podcast about dreams
Dream about kittens interpreted
When interpreting a dream I look for details that tie together, a central thread that runs through the story. Two or more details point the same direction to reveal the meaning. This fact about dreams is a blessing, otherwise it would be next to impossible to pin down the meaning of some symbols.
Dream symbols don’t have pat definitions. Instead, the meaning is multiple choice. It’s like looking up the word “spring” in a dictionary. Does it mean spring as in ‘the season,’ or spring as in the ‘coiled piece of metal,’ or spring as in ‘jump’? You can tell which definition is correct based on the sentence the word spring is used in. Dream symbols are defined by the story they are in.
Take the example of kittens in dreams. One definition is kittens represent something cute, sweet, or playful. They can represent innocence and purity. A kitten can represent something about yourself or characterize someone you know. Kittens can represent something new in your life, since they are newly born. Or a kitten’s young age can refer to something that is immature, undeveloped, dependent, or helpless. Another possibility is the young age refers to a young child, or pregnancy. Terms like “puppy,” “cub,” and “kitten” are used to refer to a fetus, baby, or young child. On top of that, dreams can use your personal experiences with, and feelings about, kittens to create symbolism, raising more possibilities.
With so many possibilities to consider, how do you narrow them down? You tie the other details of the dream together with the kitten(s) in it. Look at the kitten(s) in the context of the story. Here is an example from a dream I helped interpret. [Link to original post at Reddit Dreams]
A few nights ago I dreamt that I was sitting on the ground doing something when a bunch of small kittens came over to play. I distinctly remember them being very fluffy and cute, which is strange because I hate cats (sorry!) and there were specifically a gray, an orange, and a white kitten. I was more drawn to the gray kitten.
Two details stand out to me. One, the dreamer likes the kittens even though she usually hates cats. Two, she is particularly drawn to the gray one. I will explain the significance in a moment.
A third detail that could be significant is the scene seems to show the dreamer in an ordinary situation just sitting down doing something that isn’t particularly important. It suggests that the dream is speaking to an ordinary part of daily existence. Some dreams draw attention to specific events or circumstances in your life. Some dreams are nonspecific and look at the overall picture. For example, if you are overweight it is an ongoing aspect of your daily existence, part of the big picture.
The dreamer gives more details about her situation that help clarify what her dream is about. Keep in mind that she volunteers this information without being asked, and one of the main ways of figuring out what a dream means is to simply talk about it and make connections based on what spontaneously comes to mind. This detail reveals the ongoing aspect of her life the dream is referencing.
I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and single. Baby daddy chose to step out of the picture and so naturally I’ve been experiencing a lot of pressure from all sides to “deal with it.” I feel like I’ve made a huge portion of my friends and family upset that I’ve decided to keep him.
Now we have a clue that the meaning of the symbolism of the kittens in the dream could relate to her pregnancy. However, more supporting details are needed before feeling comfortable with that conclusion. I conversed with the dreamer to find out more about her situation. She said when she first found out she was pregnant she wanted to abort but it was too late. Then she looked into giving up the baby for adoption.
She was going to go the adoption route—especially with all the pressure on her to give up the baby—but once she saw the baby on a sonogram and found out it’s a boy, she changed her mind. In the dream, the gray kitten she is drawn to is a boy, and the other two kittens are girls, a detail that our conversation revealed. This detail points the same direction as the kittens in the dream representing pregnancy.
The clincher comes in a third detail that emerged during our conversation. The dreamer had been considering the name Sterling for her baby boy. Sterling is associated with silver, and the color silver is close to gray. The dreamer is drawn to the gray kitten. The dream symbolizes her warming up to the idea of having a baby boy, the kitten growing in her womb.
All the details fit together now and point toward the dreamer’s pregnancy as the subject of the dream. That’s how I interpreted this dream about kittens.
Find out more about kitten symbolism in dreams by reading this post.