10 Common Dream Symbols
June 19, 2019

10 Common Dream Symbols

Flying, falling, broken teeth, birds, lost loved ones, missing a deadline...All of these are common dream motifs that you might have encountered as you wander through the sleeping realm. And if upon waking you’ve found yourself thinking “what could that mean?”, you’re certainly not alone.

Dreams are fascinating things. Scientists and mystics alike have long studied the world of dreams to see what they reveal about our subconscious selves. Some people believe that dreams can contain omens, prophecies or messages from other realmsincluding the afterlife. Others have the ability to consciously navigate their dreams via the practice of lucid dreaming. Many believe that dreams reveal hidden desires and fears that we’re struggling to comprehend in the waking world.

Below, we take a look at some of the most common dream symbols and what they might reveal:


Dreaming about flying can evoke a sense of liberation and independence. You might dream about flying when you are feeling trapped or restricted by a situation and need to escape. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about travelling or undertaking a big move. Dreaming of flying can also give you a sense of confidence in your own skills and abilities - after all, if you can fly, what else are you capable of achieving?


It might sound odd if you haven’t experienced it, but many people have dreams about their teeth breaking or falling out. This type of dream indicates that you are feeling like you lack control or power in your everyday life. It can also relate to communication - without teeth, it’s harder to talk, so dreams of losing teeth might mean that you’re struggling to find your voice and communicate your opinions. It can also mean that you’re worried about your physical appearance, attractiveness, or the process of ageing.

A Place from the Past

If you dream about a significant place from your childhood or your past, this reveals something about the version of you that’s most dominant in the present moment. If it’s a place from your childhood, you are likely desiring a sense of play and imagination that you had when you were a kid. If it’s a place from your early adulthood, you might be nostalgic for that youthful sense of independence and adventure. Dreaming about past places takes us back to the past version of ourselves that inhabited that place.


Water in dreams can take many forms : oceans, lakes, waterfalls, swimming pools and more. Water is a common symbol for your emotional self and inner psyche. The type of water you encounter in your dreams will indicate how you’re currently feeling emotionally. If the water is tumultuous, then you’re likely feeling emotionally unstable. If the water is calm and cleansing, then you’re probably in need of healing of some kind. Water dreams help us feel more in tune with our inner selves, which can help us in our waking lives.

A Lost Loved One

If you have a dream featuring someone you love who has passed away, it could simply mean that you’ve been thinking about that person and want to feel a sense of connection to them. The essence of that person might be exactly what you need to deal with a difficult situation - whether it’s their great sense of humour, rational wisdom, or calming presence. However, some people believe that our lost loved ones can actually visit us in our dreams. Dreams like this normally bring a sense of peace and serenity when we wake, whether they’re truly a message from the afterlife or simply a way of remembering.


Dreams about falling suggest a fear of letting go. You might be afraid to make a big decision, take a significant leap, or relinquish control of something. Dreams of falling can be frightening, but they can also sometimes evoke a similar sense of liberation that dreams of flying do. If you dream about falling, it may be a sign you need to loosen up and take more risks.


Dreams of being nude, especially in public, indicate that you’re afraid of exposing yourself or shedding your protective armour. You might be facing a situation where you have to reveal your true self, or perhaps you have a secret you’re afraid to share. These dreams are a chance to examine whether the cloak you’re hiding under is a protection or a burden.


Dreams about babies don’t necessarily mean the obvious (that you’re going to have a baby). Rather, they’re a symbol of creative and maternal energy. They indicate that you’re in a state to create new things or to take responsibility for the things that you currently have. They reveal that you’re in a nurturing mood, which could relate to work, creativity or relationships.

Being Chased

Dreams of being chased are often distressing. They indicate that you’re feeling anxious in your waking life and feel that you’re being pursued by something. Perhaps it’s a toxic relationship, an impossible deadline, or a hang-up from your past. This kind of dream is a chance for you to examine what it is you’re running from and decide how you’re going to tackle it head on in the waking world.


Dreams featuring animals can have a multitude of meanings, depending on what the animal is and your relationship to it. If it’s an animal you’re afraid of, it signifies confronting your fears in real life. If it’s a domestic animal you care for, it suggests you’re concerned about the things you’re responsible for or need to look after. In a previous blog post, Of Feathers and Fur, we took a look at a few popular animals in the spiritual community and their significance, from cats to snakes. This might help you understand what these particular animals mean if they appear in your dreams.


We spend a great deal of our lives sleeping, so it's only natural to want to examine and understand the dreamworlds we enter. These are just a few of the common motifs you might encounter in your dreams, but the possibilities are as boundless as the human mind!

If you're interested in dream study, take a look at some of the dream-related book titles we currently have in stock below: