Our dreams are a direct pathway into our subconscious, and as such, they hold an immense amount of information about our desires, ambitions, fears, and more. This guide to common dream symbols will help you better understand the meaning behind your own dreams.
And if you’re really ready to dive into that parallel world and find deeper meaning, you can jump to my list of top online psychics that specialize in dream analysis.
22 Common Dream Symbols and Their Meanings
1. Dogs, Cats, & Snakes
Some of the most common animals seen in dreams are dogs, cats, and snakes. Dogs usually represent a friend and loyalty. To understand the meaning of a dog in your dream, you should consider the setting. Based on that you can then determine who you know in association with that setting, and which friend the dog might represent.
Cats in dreams are less clear. What they mean depends on both the context and how you feel about cats. If you’re someone who doesn’t like cats, then they might represent a threat. If you do like cats then it’s possible that the animal is an embodiment of your feminine side.
Seeing a snake in your dreams is not necessarily bad news. While they can represent fear, anxiety, and deceit, they can also represent rebirth. It is common for people to dream of snakes when they are facing a difficult or conflicting decision.
Because there are so many different animals you might dream about, and their meanings can vary wildly depending on the context, it’s best to consult with a dream analyst to uncover the meaning behind your vision.
It’s possible that you’re dreaming about your cellphone because it’s the last thing you were looking at before falling asleep. But cellphones in dreams can also symbolize communication or the breakdown of it. If your phone is broken or missing, it symbolizes an inability to communicate effectively. Whereas finding a cellphone, particularly one you don’t recognize as your own, can mean new communication being established.
3. Being Chased
Chase dreams are some of the most common stress dreams people experience, and can mean different things depending on your situation. Being chased can symbolize fear, avoidance, and an unwillingness to confront a problem. If you’re the one chasing someone, this may symbolize your ambitions or even your impatience.
Cheating dreams have very different meanings depending on who is doing the cheating. If you dream your partner is cheating on you, this might signal that you’re feeling neglected in your relationship or that you have trust issues. When you’re the cheater, it might mean that you’re fantasizing about someone else and that you’re experiencing guilt. Be careful not to misinterpret these dreams as a sign that you’re supposed to be with someone else. These kinds of sensitive topics are really worth discussing with a dream analyst on a site such as Keen to get a personal interpretation of what they mean for you.
Children in dreams can indicate a desire to have your own children, but they can also represent a longing for the past. To dream of yourself as a child, or to see yourself surrounded by children, may symbolize your desire to be rid of your responsibilities and any pressure you’re feeling in your life.
Despite the fact that death dreams can be quite frightening, it’s widely accepted that they actually represent new beginnings. You might have a death dream when you’re at a point in your life where things are about to change. You’re closing one chapter of your life and beginning another.
Dreams involving driving can mean many different things depending on who the driver is, what type of vehicle you’re in, and what you see outside of the vehicle. Driving dreams have to do with your feelings of control over your life. If you can see the road in front of you and have an idea of where you’re going, it may symbolize your future plans and ambitions. If you can’t see the road, that may mean you’re having trouble making a decision regarding your future. If someone else is driving, then it symbolizes your lack of control over a situation. And if you’re in a vehicle such as a bus or taxi, it may signal that you have somewhere to go with others.
Dreams where you or someone else is drowning are usually an indicator of repressed feelings. If you are drowning then you’re likely feeling overwhelmed by a situation in your life. If you’re seeing someone else drown and you can’t save them, this may represent a situation where you’re not in control. If you manage to save the person, this represents a desire to resolve a conflict in your life.
Falling, like being chased, is another very common stress dream. When you dream that you are falling it usually represents a loss of control. It can also represent self-doubt and inner turmoil about yourself.
Fire is another symbol that can have both positive and negative meanings, depending on the context. Fire can represent passion and desire, as well as a transformation. But it can also represent anger, hatred, and resentment.
Unsurprisingly, hospital dreams often happen when you’re concerned about your health, or the health of someone else. If you’re the patient in the dream it may be because you’re anxious about something happening to you, or because you’re worried about your body. If you’re in the hospital but you’re not the patient, then you’re feeling anxious about the health of someone else.
If you find yourself searching for a key in your dreams then this may mean that you’re searching for the solution to something, or that you are trying to find a way to access or control something. If you have a key, this may symbolize you’ve found an answer to something you’ve been struggling with. It can also symbolize power since you are the one that holds access to something locked away.
Money is one of those symbols that can mean many different things depending on the context. If you dream that you’ve lost money, this may relate to an opportunity you feel you have lost. Whereas to win money symbolizes new opportunities and chances at success. If you’re dreaming about not having money, or searching for money and being unable to find it, then this may relate to feelings of failure, or over-extending yourself. If you dream about spending money, this frequently means that you are sharing something you value with others.
14. The Moon
The moon often represents intuition and femininity in dreams. If the moon you see is full in the night sky, this means that you’re feeling in touch with your feminine side. If the moon is a crescent it may mean that something is causing you to lose touch with this side of yourself.
The meaning of music in your dream is very subjective, since the music you’re hearing is likely a direct reflection of your musical taste. If you’re hearing songs and genres that you enjoy, then this likely symbolizes happiness and feelings of bliss. If you’re hearing music that causes stress and anxiety then you’re likely feeling tense and uneasy about something coming up in your life.
Rain in dreams can symbolize sadness and tears. But it can also symbolize a revival or feelings of renewal. If you’ve just come out of a difficult situation and dream about rain, it likely symbolizes the feeling that something has washed away and you are feeling clean and refreshed.
17. A Ring
A ring symbolizes loyalty and commitment. While it can symbolize a commitment to another person, seeing a ring in your dream can also symbolize a commitment to yourself. If you’re contemplating a decision that goes against your beliefs or values you might dream of a ring that you need to find, or a broken one that you’re trying to mend.
18. A Road
Seeing a road in your dream commonly symbolizes your path or journey ahead. The details about the road will tell you more about how you perceive that journey. If the road is winding, uphill, made of gravel, or otherwise difficult to travel, then you’re anticipating a trying journey ahead. If the road is flat and smooth then you likely feel confident about where it is you’re going. And if you can only see a very small piece of the road, then it likely symbolizes that you’re unsure about where you’re supposed to be heading.
It’s common to dream about climbing up or going down a seemingly endless staircase. The two have different meanings though— going up a staircase symbolizes growth and gaining awareness or insight. Going down a staircase symbolizes descending into your repressed thoughts or feelings. If a piece of the staircase is missing this may symbolize that you are considering taking a shorter, but incorrect path to get to the thing you want to achieve.
20. The Sun
Seeing the sun in your dreams can symbolize hope, peace, or illumination. However, the sun can also be a negative sign. It may be too close to you and is causing you pain or stress. If the sun is burning you or feels blinding, this may symbolize that you have come too close to a dangerous situation or a person who is a bad influence on you.
Teeth dreams are some of the most common stress dreams people experience. If you dream that your teeth are falling out, or that you can actually remove your teeth, you’re likely struggling with a difficult situation in your life. If your teeth are broken or rotting it might mean that you’re stressed about how others will perceive you.
If you find yourself standing in water in your dream, try to recall what that water looked like. The state of the water can likely tell you a lot about your current state of mind. If the water is calm and you can see beneath its surface then you are feeling ground and clear-headed. If the water is turbulent then you’re likely dealing with a stressful decision or situation that you can’t seem to navigate. If the water is dark or muddy then you may be struggling with feelings of guilt, self-doubt, or pessimism.
5 Best Dream Analysis Psychics
1. Stefans – Kasamba
Stefans is a 5-star rated psychic on Kasamba based on over 17,000 reviews. He specializes in dream analysis and performs what he calls “soul readings”. Many of his client reviews mention his honesty and ability to provide accurate readings, particularly based on dreams. One client wrote, “Provided excellent insights and guidance into my current situation and helped me to make some tough decisions!” Stefan provides readings via chat and phone.
2. Reina – Mysticsense
Reina is a 5-star rated psychic on Mysticsense who specializes in a range of tools including dream interpretation, astrology, numerology, and tarot. Reina has helped many clients find the right path both in their personal and professional lives. She is naturally gifted with tarot and has known she is a psychic since birth. “Reina picked up on my situation without me having to throw hints. She gave me really great advice.” Reina delivers readings via chat, phone, and video.
3. Artemis – Psychic Source
Artemis is a top psychic on Psychic Source who specializes in tarot, angel cards, and reiki. She is also skilled in dream analysis and has helped many clients make sense of their visions that previously left them feeling confused. Many of her clients have commended her ability to answer their questions quickly and clearly: “Complete Awesomeness! Artemis was on point and focused both with time and answers. What an utterly beautiful experience. I’m glad I wrote the questions in advance and focused on each before I rapid-fired them at Artemis. She took it in stride and was just as rapid as my firing!” Artemis offers readings via chat.
4. Brandon – California Psychics
Brandon is a 5-star rated psychic on California Psychics based on over 1,000 reviews. He is a clairvoyant empath and dream analyst that delivers readings without tools. He explains in his bio that he is able to name and answer your questions before you even ask them, and many of his client reviews testify to this exact ability: “Brandon is amazing! I didn’t tell him anything other than my name. And he picked up immediately what was foremost in my mind. I’ll definitely read with him again! Worth every dime!” Brandon offers readings via phone.
5. Raelyn – PathForward
Raelyn is a top-rated reader on PathForward who uses cards during her readings. She also uses crystals and sage to better connect with your spirit guides to get answers to your dream-related questions. “She was spot on about everything, even what I already knew was true.” Raelyn offers readings via phone and chat.
While dream guides are a great way to get a general understanding of your dreams, nothing beats meeting with an experienced psychic who can offer unique and valuable wisdom. My advice is to keep a dream journal close to your bed and record as many details as you can remember as soon as you wake up. That way you’ll have more info to share with your psychic and you’ll get a much more detailed and insightful reading in return.