Dreams have been an interest for humans since the beginning of time. Why do they happen? What do they mean? Many people brush off dreams as your sleeping mind creating images of things you have thought about or seen during your busy day. But, for the Surrealist art movement, dreams were considered extremely significant.
The work of Sigmund Freud, a huge influence for the Surrealists, thought that dreams are “valid revelations of human emotion and desires” and discussed them in depth in his book, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899).
The Surreal artist, Salvador Dalí, created artwork conjured up from the images and ideas formed in his dreams. He thought that the dreaming state was equally as important as their waking state.
So, to try and figure out if the Surrealists and Freud were onto something or not, here’s a list of the most common dreams and their meanings. Do they have any significance for you?
Being Trapped or Lost
The dream: Lost in the woods, a big city, or a maze. Or, alternately, you find yourself physically trapped in cage, buried alive, or stuck on a web.
Possible meaning: You are struggling to make a decision in your life. Otherwise, you feel trapped or uncertain in an aspect of your life and are unsure of the right decision to make or how to get out of it.
Failing a Test or Exam
The dream: You fail to make it to the test on time, get a bad mark, find yourself unprepared or are missing the correct exam equipment.
Possible meaning: Normally manifests in people who have been out of school for a long time and could suggest a feeling of not being ready for a change or upcoming event. More significantly, it could mean that you feel you’re playing the “wrong part” in life.
The dream: Being chased by a monster or creature, a frightening human, or sometimes an animal.
Possible meaning: This is the most common dream – or nightmare – experience. It can mean that someone or something (even an emotion) is making you feel threatened. Rarely, this can be a manifestation of a past real life experience.
The dream: Falling off a building or a great height. Normally waking up just before you hit the ground.
Possible meaning: Your subconscious is very unsettled with regard to a work problem, relationship trouble, or family problems. It also points toward a sense of lost control and feeling overwhelmed.
Being Naked in Public
The dream: Showing up to school or work and realising you’re completely naked!
Possible meaning: There could be a sense of vulnerability or shame that is prevalent in your life. It could also suggest that you are afraid that your actions or feelings will be revealed to someone… literally “baring your soul”.
The dream: You either suspect or catch your partner cheating on you emotionally or sexually.
Possible meaning: There could be underlying insecurities and belief that you’re not “good enough”. You may feel neglected by your partner if they are very busy with work or a project. Sometimes this dream can act as a warning to persuade you to communicate more in your relationship and be more open.
The dream: You are flying without a plane, like a bird.
Possible meaning: You could be feeling inspired and have high hopes that you will reach your goals. Success at work could also trigger this or a new sense of heightened spirituality. Alternately, if the first meanings don’t seem to fit, flying could be manifested from a lack of freedom or a constraint in your life.
The dream: You discover you are pregnant or are about to give birth.
Possible meaning: This usually only happens with females, and could mean that you have a desire to start a new creative project or that you, quite literally, want to have a baby. Otherwise, it could signify that a part of yourself is growing and developing.
If your mot common dream didn’t make the cut check out DreamsCloud for a full breakdown of a huge variety of different dreams.