Most Common Dream Symbols and Their Meanings That You Need To Know!

Dreams are like letters from the unconscious mind. If only they were written in the same language we use in waking reality.

Fortunately, we do have the ability to study our dreams and interpret the common dream symbols they contain.

Although there aren’t always hard-and-fast universal definitions, the following dream meanings offer a sound starting point to understand your own personal dream meanings.

Also, don’t forget: before you can interpret them, you need to first remember your dreams!

30 Common Dream Symbols

Animals

often represent the part of your psyche that feels connected to nature and survival. Being chased by a predator suggests you’re holding back repressed emotions like fear or aggression.

Babies 

can symbolize a literal desire to produce offspring, or your own vulnerability or need to feel loved. They can also signify a new start.

Being chased

is one of the most common dream symbols in all cultures. It means you’re feeling threatened, so reflect on who’s chasing you (they may be symbolic) and why they’re a possible threat in real life.

Clothes 

make a statement about how we want people to perceive us. If your dream symbol is shabby clothing, you may feel unattractive or worn out. Changing what you wear may reflect a lifestyle change.

Crosses

are interpreted subjectively depending on your religious beliefs. Some see it as symbolizing balance, death, or an end to a particular phase of life. The specific circumstances will help define them.

Exams 

can signify self-evaluation, with the content of the exam reflecting the part of your personality or life under inspection.

Death of a friend or loved one 

represents change (endings and new beginnings) and is not a psychic prediction of any kind. If you are recently bereaved, it may be an attempt to come to terms with the event.

Falling

is a common dream symbol that relates to our anxieties about letting go, losing control, or somehow failing after a success.

Faulty machinery 

in dreams is caused by the language center being shut down while asleep, making it difficult to dial a phone, read the time, or search the internet. It can also represent performance anxiety.

Food

is said to symbolize knowledge, because it nourishes the body just as information nourishes the brain. However, it could just be food.

Demons 

are sneaky evil entities which signify repressed emotions. You may secretly feel the need to change your behaviors for the better.

Hair 

has significant ties with sexuality, according to Freud. Abundant hair may symbolize virility, while cutting hair off in a dream shows a loss of libido. Hair loss may also express a literal fear of going bald.

Hands 

are always present in dreams but when they are tied up it may represent feelings of futility. Washing your hands may express guilt. Looking closely at your hands in a dream is a good way to become lucid.

Houses 

can host many common dream symbols, but the building as a whole represents your inner psyche. Each room or floor can symbolize different emotions, memories and interpretations of meaningful events.

Killing 

in your dreams does not make you a closet murderer; it represents your desire to “kill” part of your own personality. It can also symbolize hostility towards a particular person.

Marriage 

may be a literal desire to wed or a merging of the feminine and masculine parts of your psyche.

Missing a flight

or any other kind of transport is another common dream, revealing frustration over missing important opportunities in life. It’s most common when you’re struggling to make a big decision.

Money 

can symbolize self-worth. If you dream of exchanging money, it may show that you’re anticipating some changes in your life.

Mountains 

are obstacles, so to dream of successfully climbing a mountain can reveal a true feeling of achievement. Viewing a landscape from atop a mountain can symbolize a life under review without conscious prejudice.

Nudity 

is one of the most common dream symbols, revealing your true self to others. You may feel vulnerable and exposed to others. Showing off your nudity may suggest sexual urges or a desire for recognition.

People 

(other dream characters) are reflections of your own psyche, and may demonstrate specific aspects of your own personality.

Radios and TVs

can symbolize communication channels between the conscious and unconscious minds. When lucid, ask them a question.

Roads

aside from being literal manifestations, convey your direction in life. This may be time to question your current “life path”.

Schools 

are common dream symbols in children and teenagers but what about dreaming of school in adulthood? It may display a need to know and understand yourself, fueled by life’s own lessons.

S*x 

can symbolize intimacy and a literal desire for s*x. Or they may demonstrate the unification of unconscious emotions with conscious recognition, showing a new awareness and personal growth.

Teachers

aside from being literal manifestations of people, can represent authority figures with the power to enlighten you.

Teeth 

are common dream symbols. Often we are afraid of dreaming about teeth due to its traditional interpretation as the death of someone we love.

Rotten teeth symbolizes fear and anxiety. Pulling them out means that something within you needs to come out. While teeth falling out might mean that you will be dealing with a new situation that may cause you trouble or stress.

(Being) trapped

is a common nightmare theme, reflecting your real life inability to escape or make the right choice.

Vehicles 

may reflect how much control you feel you have over your life – for instance is the car out of control, or is someone else driving you?

Water 

comes in many forms, symbolizing the unconscious mind. Calm pools of water reflect inner peace while a choppy ocean can suggest unease.