Inspiration

20 Common Dreams and Their Meanings

Human beings have been trying to figure out the meaning of their dreams probably for as long as humankind has existed. The need to make sense of our lives is as human as dreaming is, and dreaming represents an important part of our lives — we do it every single night! Some of the earliest recorded attempts to interpret dreams are from Ancient Babylon, Greece and Egypt. In those ancient societies, dreams were considered a sacred communication with the divine that could deliver omens of the future.

Thousands of years later, psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung interpreted dreams based on the theory that dreams are a depiction of our unconscious fears and desires. Some modern scientists who have tackled the subject of dream interpretation argue that dreams exist to aid our survival. These researchers theorize that dreams act as a “threat rehearsal” wherein we can confront primal threats, such as threats to our life or status, so that we can better confront these challenges in real life. Read on to discover the meanings of the most common dreams, as defined by today’s top dream experts. Keep in mind that dream interpretation is pretty subjective, so different experts may interpret the same dream in different ways.

1. Being Pregnant/Giving Birth

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

2. Water

beach-water

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

3. Spiders

As spiders weave intricate webs to catch unsuspecting prey, dreaming about spiders can indicate that the dreamer is being manipulated or is manipulating a situation or person herself, according to Cynthia Richmond, a behavioral therapist and dream expert who has appeared on Oprah. If the spider is poisonous, this may mean that the dreamer is concerned about some especially venomous, or even deadly force, says Richmond. However, if the dreamer is afraid of spiders in his/her waking life, a dream of spiders has a different meaning: he/she needs to come to terms with and overcome this phobia. According to dreammoods.com, a comprehensive online dream dictionary, dreaming about bugs in general can also represent something that is “bugging” or scaring you.

4. Being Chased

Being chased in a dream is typically your subconscious mind telling you that you’re avoiding a painful or frightening emotion, person or issue, according to Richard Nicoletti, J.D., a psychotherapist at the Jung Institute. Says Nicoletti, in dreams about being chased, the context also is important, i.e., who or what is chasing you. Lauri Loewenberg, author of So What Did You Dream Last Night? and founder of thedreamzone.com, says that you need to confront the threatening situation in real life in order to stop having such dreams.

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