Carl Jung believed that the unconscious could be revealed through dreams, premonitions or synchronistic experiences. Most often these revelations would be of a personal nature, commenting on the life experiences of the individual. There were also times, however, when the unconscious might deliver a message to the conscious mind that addressed collective issues and events. It is often difficult to distinguish which revelations contain an individual message and which are of collective import. Even if these two types can be differentiated, the full meanings and ramifications of such ‘collective dreams’ are often known only after the fact. But there is still value in paying attention to these dream images, which in many cases presage something yet to come
A dream that seemingly includes knowledge about the future which cannot be inferred from actually available information is referred to as a precognitive dream. For example, you may dream of your friend being involved in a skiing accident, only to discover a week later that this has actually happened when your friend calls you to say they have broken their leg. Precognitive dreams have been reported throughout history; famous examples are the Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven thin cows, and Bishop Lanyi’s dream of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that triggered World War I.
Most studies indicate that women report more precognitive dreams than men, while the frequency of precognitive dreaming declines with age.
Precognitive dreams tend to focus on the possibility of accidents or disaster. Though they are generally considered symbolic of psychological processes, some precognitive dreams and nightmares are intended as guidance or warnings on a very practical level. For example, if you were to dream about the brakes failing on your car, it might help to ponder whether you are figuratively having trouble ‘slowing yourself down’ in your life, however, it also wouldn’t hurt to check the actual brakes on your automobile in waking life. In the great majority of cases dreams about some kind of disaster or the death or murder of yourself or a loved one, warn of current behavior trends, courses of action, or decisions which may soon become detrimental unless you change them. There are however, extremely rare occasions when a dream occurs that does appear to accurately and inexplicably predict a future event; although this event may not always be about an important world event or news item and is more likely to be about normal every day events, such as who you might bump into on the way to work. How and why this occurs is unknown but if it does occur it could indicate potential psychic or clairvoyant ability in the dreamer.... The Element Encyclopedia