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Mythology and dream navigator Joseph Campbell says that "Myths are public dreams. Dreams are private myths." That may explain why some themes or symbols frequently occur in our dreams. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that dreams relate to our collective unconscious and can reveal a lot. Check out these 10 common dream themes and what they mean.
A study found that being chased is one of the most common types of dream. This theme can literally mean that something is trying to catch up with you, and it often refers to the difficult parts in your life, such as a stressful event, an unrecognized trauma, or something you fear. Jung theorizes the "monster" chasing you as an aspect of yourself that you're trying to deny.
Flying is said to be the second most common theme in people's dreams. These dreams usually reference independence, freedom, or a "birds-eye view" of the world. Campbell notes that men flying is often seen as a cautionary tale about hubris, and Jung cautions that it signals a warning that you're flying too high and risking a fall.
Falling dreams come in two distinct types: the terrifying out-of-control plunge and the slow-motion downward drifting. The former can signal a loss of control somewhere in life or a metaphorical warning that your inflated conscious ego needs to come back down to earth; the latter may express letting go of your anxiety, fears, or a need to control things around you.
Teeth represent youth, strength, and social interaction. Lost teeth can signal growing old and makes eating and speaking harder. If you dream that you're losing teeth, it may indicate that you're worried about aging, losing your power, or you're having trouble communicating with others. However, losing a pain-causing tooth may suggest an enormous relief or impending rebirth.
Water is significant in our waking life, and in dreams, it also reveals something important. Often appearing in different forms, water in a dream may suggest a tidal wave of emotion, your soul recognizing a fresh beginning, your immersion in deep feelings, or a place where your waking life may have become stagnant.
It should come as no surprise that money or jewelry in dreams represents something of value to your soul. Finding money or treasure suggests discovering valuable things in yourself. For example, finding $100 in the pocket of an old coat probably reminds you to reconsider the talents or qualities you've forgotten you possess.
Death means the end of something. When you dream of death, dying or dead people, you may fear that it predicts a literal death, but another approach suggests an aspect of yourself or a new start. Next time, consider carefully what the dying person you dream of means to you, what aspect of yourself you fear losing, and prepare to move on to something new.
Jung believed that people in our dreams represent parts of ourselves. When you dream you're having sex with a person of authority or a celebrity, it could mean that you want to integrate a quality of them into your own personality. If you dream of having sex with someone you'd never choose as a partner in waking life, consider the part of you that you are in denial over.
Being naked in waking life often leaves people embarrassed, humiliated, and exposed. Dreams of being naked in public often suggest that you're feeling vulnerable or afraid of being seen as your true self, without your clothes. On the other hand, they could indicate that you have nothing to hide, or that you're self-confident enough to let others see you as you are.
Houses in dreams often represent our bodies or ourselves. If you dream of wandering through a house, it could hint that you're exploring your inner landscape. Notice the condition of the house - is it decayed or well-tended? This could reference qualities in you. And if you dream of a previously unnoticed room, you may be discovering something new about yourself.
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