Most Common Dream Images | Dream Encyclopedia
One very important thing to keep in mind is to interpret symbols within the context of the dream they appear in, rather than piece by piece which would leave too much room for error. There are thousands of symbols, and it depends upon the context of one’s own personal dream as to what they all mean for him/her.
Look at it this way...a dream is like a puzzle, and although there are several pieces that are quickly pieced together because they are so obvious, the puzzle isn’t complete until all the pieces are placed together bit by bit. Then you have the complete picture...until then, you’ll only have disjointed images that don’t add up to anything coherent, and you’ll still be confused.
So please remember that and try not to piecemeal a dream...it needs to be fully interpreted or it will most likely be totally wrong.
Let’s look at some of the more common dream images and what they could mean.
Teeth Falling Out
This is probably the most prevalent dream image that people report. It is disturbing to them because it affects vanity and personal appearance – but only in the dream! a dream about one’s teeth falling out usually symbolizes that the dreamer is having a challenge getting their voice heard, or feelings acknowledged.
This may be referring to their conversations with a particular person such as their significant other, boss, or friend; or can be generalized for people who are shy, to include almost everyone they come in contact with.
The dreamer needs to brush up on conversational skills, believe in the value of their own opinion, and learn how to be less intimidated by aggressive people, and become more assertive and make their voice heard. Once they do that, this dream (which is a common recurring dream) should evolve & show improvement...or disappear altogether.
Another theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxiety about your appearance and how others perceive you. Sadly, we live in a world where good looks are valued highly and your teeth play an important role in conveying that image. Teeth are used in the game of flirtations, whether it is a dazzling and gleaming smile or affectionate necking. These dreams may stem from a fear of your sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. Teeth are an important feature of our attractiveness and presentation to others. Everybody worries about how they appear to others. Caring about our appearance is natural and healthy.
There are cultural interpretations of this type of dream as well. A scriptural interpretation for bad or falling teeth indicate that you are putting your faith, trust, and beliefs in what man thinks rather than in the word of God. The bible says that God speaks once, yea twice in a dream or a vision in order to hide pride from us, to keep us back from the pit, to open our ears (spiritually) and to instruct and correct us.
In the Greek culture, when you dream about loose, rotten, or missing teeth, it indicates that a family member or close friend is very sick or even near death.
According to the Chinese, there is a saying that your teeth will fall out if you are telling lies.
It has also been said that if you dream of your teeth falling out, then it symbolizes money. This is based on the old tooth fairy story. If you lose a tooth and leave it under the pillow, a tooth fairy would bring you money.
Dreams about flying usually represent freedom from the physical body, as we experience in sleep while dreaming where we don’t use our physical bodies but instead use our mental & spiritual bodies to experience our dreams. It’s one of the first things people attempt to do when they gain control of their dreams and start lucid dreaming.
Everybody seems to have a natural inclination to want to fly, unless that is changed by a fear of flying due to a frightening incident in their waking lives. Flying = freedom; either a desire for freedom, an “escape” from restraints in your physical life (like a mini-vacation for the mind) or any number of possibilities.
Tie it in with the context of your dream...what were you doing in your dream besides flying? How did it make you feel? Also, the type of flying here is the person flying on their own without an airplane or any aircraft at all. That would be a different symbol dealing with spiritual awareness, among other things.
Flying dreams fall under a category of dreams where you become aware that you are dreaming, known as lucid dreaming. Many dreamers have described the ability to fly in their dreams as an exhilarating, joyful, and liberating experience.
If you are flying with ease and enjoying the scene and landscape below, then it suggests that you are on top of a situation. You have risen above something. It may also mean that you have gained a different perspective on things. Flying dreams and the ability to control your flight is representative of your own personal sense of power.
Having difficulties staying in flight indicates a lack of power in controlling your own circumstances. You may be struggling to stay aloft and stay on course. Things like power lines, trees, or mountains may further obstruct your flight. These barriers represent a particular obstacle or person who is standing in your way in your waking life. You need to identify who or what is hindering you from moving forward.
If you are feeling fear when you are flying or that you feel that you are flying too high then it suggests that you are afraid of challenges and of success.
In reality, we do not have the ability to fly. Thus such dreams may represent that which is beyond our physical limitations. In your mind, you can be anybody and do anything. Another way of interpreting flying dreams is that these dreams symbolize your strong mind and will. You feel undefeatable and nobody can tell you what you cannot do and accomplish. Undoubtedly these dreams leave you a great sense of freedom.
Being Caught In A Tornado
This symbol points to emotional turmoil, as in a “whirlwind of emotions”; and/or rapid or sudden changes in your life. It is a sign to “get a grip” on what is possibly spinning out of control & deal more effectively with your emotions. Meditation and finding some private “think time” for yourself would be a good idea.
Dreaming that you are completely or partially naked is very common. Nudity symbolizes a variety of things depending on your real life situation.
Becoming mortified at the realization that you are walking around naked in public is often a reflection of your vulnerability or shamefulness. You may be hiding something and are afraid that others can nevertheless see right through you. Metaphorically clothes are a means of concealment. With clothes, you can hide your identity or be someone else. But without them, everything is hanging out for all to see. You are left without any defenses.
The dream may telling you that you are trying to be something that you really are not. Or that you are fearful of being ridiculed and disgraced. If you are in a new relationship, you may have some fears or apprehension in revealing your true feelings.
Nudity also symbolizes being caught off guard.
Finding yourself naked at work or in a classroom, suggests that you are unprepared for a project at work or school. You may be uninformed in making a well-formed decision. With all eyes on you, you have this fear of having some deed brought to public attention. You fear that people will see through your true self and you will be exposed as a fraud or a phony.
Many times, when you realize that you are naked in your dream, no one else seems to notice. Everyone else in the dream is going about their business without giving a second look at your nakedness. This implies that your fears are unfounded; no one will notice except you. You may be magnifying the situation and making an issue of nothing. On the other hand, such dreams may mean your desire (or failure) to get noticed.
For a small percentage of you, dreaming that you are proud of your nakedness and show no embarrassment or shame, then it symbolizes your unrestricted freedom. You have nothing to hide and are proud of who you are. The dream is about a new sense of honesty, openness, and a carefree nature.
Chase dreams often stem from feelings of anxiety in your walking life. The way we respond to anxiety and pressure in real life is typically manifested as a chase dream. Running is an instinctive response to physical threats in our environment.
Often in these dream scenarios, you are being pursued by some attacker, who wants to hurt or possibly kill you. You are running away, hiding, or trying to outwit your pursuer.
Chase dreams may represent your way of coping with fears, stress or various situations in your waking life. Instead of confronting the situation, you are running away and avoiding it. Ask yourself who is the one chasing you and you may gain some understanding and insight on the source of your fears and pressure.
The pursuer or attacker who is chasing you in your dream may also represent a part of yourself. Your own feelings of anger, jealousy, fear, and possibly love, can assume the appearance of threatening figure. You may be projecting these feelings onto the unknown chaser.
Next time you have a chase dream, turn around and confront your pursuer. Ask them why they are chasin you.
One may be consumed by their own anger, jealousy, love, or self-destructive behavior. For example, you may be drinking too much or exhibiting open hostility toward others around you. You may subconsciously be threatened by these actions which have been jeopardizing your relationships and/or career. Your dreams are a way of calling attention to these self-destructive actions.
A more direct analysis of chase dreams is the fear of being attacked. Such dreams are more common among women than men, who may feel physically vulnerable in the urban environment. These dreams are inspired by fears of violence and sexual assault in which we are so over-exposed from the media. The violence that the media portrays magnifies our fears and how at risk we all are.
Falling dreams are another theme that is quite common in the world of dreams. As we said earlier, contrary to a popular myth, you will not actually die if you do not wake up before your hit the ground during a fall.
As with most common dream themes, falling is an indication of insecurities, instabilities, and anxieties. You are feeling overwhelmed and out of control in some situation in your waking life.
This may reflect the way you feel in your relationship or in your work environment. You have lost your foothold and can not hang on or keep up with the hustle and bustle of daily life. When you fall, there is nothing that you can hold on to. You more or less are forced toward this downward motion without any control. This loss of control may parallel a waking situation in your life.
Falling dreams also often reflect a sense of failure or inferiority in some circumstance or situation. It may be the fear of failing in your job/school, loss of status, or failure in love. You feel shameful and lack a sense of pride. You are unable to keep up with the status quo or that you don’t measure up.
According to Freudian theory, dreams of falling indicate that you are contemplating giving into a sexual urge or impulse. You may be lacking indiscretion.
Falling dreams typically occur during the first stage of sleep. Dreams in this stage are often accompanied by muscle spasms of the arms, legs, and the whole body. These sudden contractions, also known as myclonic jerks. Sometimes when we have these falling dreams, we feel our whole body jerk or twitch and we awaken from this jerk. It is thought that this jerking action is part of an arousal mechanism that allows the sleeper to awaken and become quickly alert and responsive to possible threats in the environment.
According to biblical interpretations, dreams about falling have a negative overtone and suggest that man is acting and walking according to his own way of thinking and not those of the Lord.
Taking An Exam or Test
To dream that you are taking an exam indicates that you are being put to the test or being scrutinized in some way. Such dreams highlight your feelings of being anxious and agitated. You may find that you cannot answer any of the questions on the test or that the test is in some foreign language.
Is time running out and you find that you can not complete the exam in the allowed time? Or are you late to the exam? Does your pencil keep breaking during the exam? Such factors contribute to you failing this test.
These dreams usually have to do with your self- esteem and confidence or your lack of. You are worried that you are not making the grade and measuring up to other people’s expectations of you. You may also experience the fear of not being accepted, not being prepared, or not being good enough. You feel nervous, insecure and tend to believe the worst about yourself.
These dreams also suggest that you may feel unprepared for a challenge. Rarely, are these dreams about the content of the test, but rather the process and how you are feeling during the exam taking process. Generally, you feel distressed and frustrated. These feelings may parallel how you are feeling in a particular challenge or situation in your waking like.
Dreams of this nature are also an indication that you are being judged and this dream is a signal for you to examine an aspect of yourself that you may have been neglecting and need to pay attention to. You may harbor some guilt because of your neglect in preparation for a school exam, meeting, business project, or some challenge. Most of the time people who have such dreams are unlikely to fail a test in real life. This dream goes back to their fear and own anxiety that they may not meet other’s standards of them. They are afraid to let others down.
Now let’s look at some specific symbols that appear in dreams and what they might mean.