What does it mean to dream about being chased?

Mad man chasing me…

Mad man chasing meDream: I dreamed of a mad man chasing me and when we eventually got to the point I could run no more, we began throwing stones at each other. I threw the last stone until my eyes opened from the dream. What does this mean?

DreamsMaster: By “mad man” do you mean “mad” as in angry or “mad” as in crazy? Did this man in the dream remind you of anyone you know in the waking world, either personally or from a movie or TV show, for example? What adjectives would you use to describe him, in addition to “mad”?

Did any of the stones either of you threw actually hit and/or hurt the other person?

What was on your mind that night when you went to bed?

Dreams hold many layers of meaning, and the more details you can draw out of them the more success you’ll have at unearthing these layers.

As the dreamer, you’re the only one who can truly determine what the dream means. But here are some ideas to try on and see what fits, and notice what ideas of your own percolate as you read on…

Being chased in a dream is generally a metaphor for trying to escape from some real or imagined threat in the waking world. For example, the “mad man” may represent an unpleasant or “maddening” situation at work or somewhere else in your life that you’ve been trying to avoid; something or someone that you just can’t shake loose psychologically or emotionally.

The “mad man” or perceived threat may also be a shadow side of yourself, a disowned part that you judge negatively and want desperately to avoid or eliminate.

Throwing stones is an interesting choice of offense / defense. For some dreamers, this may be a visual representation of the biblical expression about “casting the first stone” in regards to taking a look at one’s own actions before blindly judging the action of another.

It’s significant that throughout the dream you are not in any real danger, and in fact seem perfectly capable of escaping harm’s way. This could be the core of the dream’s message: That although you may feel threatened and powerless in some situation you’re currently facing in your waking life, in reality you have the personal resources and power to take control in a positive way. Consider how you could be more effective wielding this power.

See also:

Being chased by a dog…

Chased by a dogDream: I have been having a reoccurring dream where I am being chased by a dog. I’ve been having this dream for roughly ten years. It changes over time but more or less the same. The dog is not vicious (although at one point it was), it just tends to chase after me. It’s sometimes barking, but mainly just starts chasing me.

Last night I had the dream again and this time it is like embedded into my thoughts today. This normally does not happen as I tend to just forget my dreams as the day progresses.

Last night’s dream… I was walking down what seemed to be a street. Next thing you know I see a dog staring at me. I begin to run away from it. The dog proceeds to chase me down the street. I end up jumping over a fence to get away. The dog jumps over it as well. I jump over other side of fence and so does the dog again. Finally I jumped over the fence as did the dog. We made eye contact and I woke up. I did not wake up in fear but i could not get back to sleep. 

Please if you have any thoughts in regards to this I would truly appreciate it, as I am beginning to think my dreams have been trying to tell me something and I truly have no clue.

DreamsMaster: Yes, recurring dreams mean that your innermost self is trying to send you an important message. And the fact that this particular time the dream wouldn’t leave you adds extra emphasis to the urgency of the message. You mentioned that the dream first occurred 10 years ago. Can you recall what was going on in your life around the time you first had the dream? This would provide the first clue as to its meaning.

The dream’s recurring theme is rather straightforward: being chased by a dog. Let’s start by considering what a dog represents to you personally.

Since I don’t know you and can’t interview you in person, I will offer some general ideas of what a dog in a dream might mean. See if any of these seem to fit for you, and if not, see what other ideas are triggered that are more relevant.

A dog is often regarded as “man’s best friend” because of its unconditional trust and loyalty. A dog is also dependent on its master. In your dreams, the dog could represent someone in your life, or it could represent an aspect of yourself. It might even represent both. Here are some examples…

Perhaps the dream occurs when you are dealing with someone who is somewhat dependent on you. It might be a partner, a younger sibling, or even a child. At times this person’s dependency might become a bit overwhelming for you, and you may have an unconscious desire to run away from the responsibility. You may also be feeling some guilt about this, and trying to run from that feeling as well. This could be one possible interpretation of the dream metaphor of running away from the dog – trying to flee from the perceived burden of responsibility.

Being chased by “man’s best friend” could also by symbolic of betrayal. In other words, the dog could represent someone you’ve trusted and that has been loyal to you has suddenly turned on you.

Now let’s say there’s no one in your life that fits either of these descriptions. In this case, it’s possible that at times you unconsciously distrust and tend toward fleeing situations (such as potential relationships or jobs) that may require a certain level of personal responsibility.

Finally, take a look at these traits in yourself: dependent, loyal, trusting. Do you distrust or feel anxious about these aspects in yourself? Have they gotten you in trouble in the past? Do you experience any fear of commitment?

An important common factor in this repetitive dream is that at no time are you in actual danger. In fact, in the last dream you finally stop and make eye contact with the dog. This could represent that you’re ready to face your fear and stop running from this misconceived threat in your life.

Start keeping track of what was on your mind the night before you have the dream. You’ll see a pattern emerge, which will shed further light on the dream. Once you start acting on the dream’s message, the dream will either no longer occur or will change in nature… don’t be surprised to find yourself petting the dog instead of running away from it!

See also:

Chased and shot by a laser gun…

laser gunDream: I dreamed I was running through the forest being chased by a person with a laser gun. I ran into a building covered with exercise mats. When I came out the other side a wheel of fire was rolling at me. I dodged it but the guy with the laser gun shot me and I disintegrated. 

DreamsMaster: Wow, what a powerful dream! First question that comes to mind is whether or not you play a lot of video games or watch a lot of adventure movies. Or, maybe you recently engaged in a game of laser tag? If so, you may have borrowed some of these dream images from those games and movies.

What you dream about most often has something to do with what was on your mind when you went to bed. For example, since this dream has multiple themes of trying to escape from danger, think about if there’s someone or something you’ve been feeling “threatened” by in your waking life. It could even be a part of yourself (more on this later). The feelings in the dream can help point the way to the dream’s interpretation. For example, if you felt afraid in the dream, think about where in your waking life you’ve recently felt a similar sense of fear or unease.

Since each dream is unique to the dreamer and what’s going on in the dreamer’s life, only the dreamer can truly interpret their own dream. I can offer ideas about what the dream means, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide on the true meaning. That said, here are some ideas for you to consider. As you read through them, pay attention to what feels like a fit. If something feels way off base, think about why that is and what might fit better. User your imagination in the waking world just as your dreaming mind used its imagination in the sleeping world, and see what conclusions you come to.

Running through a forest: A forest is made up of trees and other untamed growth. In dreams, a forest may represent our own personal growth, both physical and mental.

Building covered with exercise mats: When I picture this, I imagine the mats laid out in such a way as to soften the impact of a fall. Since they are exercise mats, think about what “exercise” means to you. If it were my dream, I might describe exercise as a way to get stronger in body and mind.

Wheel of fire rolling at me: Fire is often symbolic of transformation. It may also represent intense anger or rage. The fact that it’s a “wheel of fire” reminds me again of adventure movies such as Indiana Jones. You dodged this danger as you’d successfully dodged danger through the forest, which shows how capable you are at dealing with challenges.

Shot by the guy and disintegrated: Other people in dreams are often extensions of ourselves. In other words, dreams are like theater – where the dreamer plays all the roles. So in this dream, though one part of you was shot and disintegrated, another part of you pulled the trigger. Looking at the dream this way, think about if there are two sides of yourself in conflict these days – maybe a more aggressive side of you that’s trying to get rid of a more passive side. Or, perhaps the growing young man that you are becoming is causing the child in you to “disintegrate.”

A single dream can have many layers of meaning. I hope my ideas have given you some ideas of your own!

Being pursued and didn’t know why…

Being pursuedDreamI was in this town on the edge of the woods, very beautiful, but I was being pursued and didn’t know why. I came to the edge of this creek and took my boots off to cross, when this beautiful girl asks me what on earth I was doing. I told her I was trying to get away, although I wasn’t really scared or nervous. I crossed the creek and  proceeded to a house, which I knew was an elderly couple’s who had recently passed away. The house was unlocked and I thought I could hide out there. It was a massive two story house overlooking town with a hallway upstairs with windows. I looked out the window and noticed a cop (very traditional 1920’s uniform on). He saw me and began to alert other officers.  I quickly bolted down the stairs and out the back door. Before me was this large open field with a slight hill and woods approximately half mile away. I began to run across this field from the cops. I noticed when I was running I wasn’t nervous or scared of capture, as if it was a game. As I was running I felt as if my boots were heavier then normal. When I reached the woods I heard the sound of dogs so I knew that they had got dogs to track me. So I thought I could lose them in the smokey forest ahead (a large forest with smoke and fog so thick I couldn’t see but a foot in front of me). As I was heading to the smoky woods the girl appeared again and this time wanted to go with me. We ran into the smoke and ran for what felt like a long time. I knew we lost the authorities because I couldn’t hear the dogs anymore. We came to this cliff and jumped into this giant well of water, not knowing for sure there was water due to the fog and mist (as if it was a leap of faith). We survived, and after exiting the water we were in a familiar place on a dirt road. We saw a motel so we ran to it. It was run by an older couple and they agreed to give us a room. We stayed in the room together for what felt like a couple days. I got this feeling that we were gonna be caught. Sure enough, I opened the door to the room and I could hear a private detective asking the couple about us. We then decided it was time to give ourselves up. I had this odd feeling that I was going to be able to get the private detective to let us go. I was somewhat disappointed that we didn’t finish whatever journey we were on, and I was sad to be separated from this girl. Then I woke up.

DreamsMaster: What an involved dream! What particularly strikes me is the amount of confidence and faith you exude throughout the adventure. Despite all of the obstacles and challenges, the whole thing feels like a game to you, not to be taken too seriously. I don’t know you personally or what current life challenges you face, but the message that comes through to me from this dream is that you are fully capable of handling whatever is thrown in your path. And even if you don’t succeed in crossing the desired finish line of this particular leg of life’s journey, you will be all the more enriched for trying.

That said, let’s get down to more detailed dream interpretation. There’s so much to this dream, I’ll just go with the symbols that feel the strongest to me. As I put my ideas forward (my own projections), look internally for more pieces of the puzzle to reveal themselves to you.

These symbols appear multiple times:

  • Boots (taking them off to cross the creek; feeling heavy while running): A form of protection; sense of groundedness
  • Water (creek, giant well): Emotional/spiritual state
  • Trees (woods, smokey forest): Obscure one’s direction or path
  • Elderly couples (in both instances, the owner of dwellings): Could represent wisdom that comes with age and experience
  • Shelter (house, motel): Often represent one’s ego or self – the house is massive, multi-dimensional, with windows to a full view; the motel is a temporary dwelling, a place to hide out
  • The Law (old-fashioned cop, private detective): one’s conscience or superego
  • The Edge (of the woods, of the creek, of a cliff): a metaphor for living on the edge?
  • Beautiful girl (in both cases appears just ahead of immersing in water): The yin to your yang; inner harmony and balance

And this thread throughout:

  • Being pursued
  • Trying to get away
  • Hiding out
  • Running
  • And finally, peaceful surrender

As I run through this exercise and project my own meanings onto your dream, I arrive at this message, phrased as if it were my dream:

I have a desire to make certain life choices that may not be completely acceptable to others or to myself. A wise part of myself is in support of these riskier choices, and feels safe to take a leap of faith. Another part of myself is trying to stop me from veering away from the more conventional or righteous path. Both of these sides are equally compelling and I will be fine with whichever direction I take, but I may be somewhat disappointed and experience a sense of loss if I surrender to the more righteous path.

See also:

Chased by an elephant…

ElephantDream: I have been chased by an elephant.

DreamsMaster: In general, an elephant often symbolizes strength and wisdom. An elephant is also associated with strong memory. In some cultures, an elephant has spiritual significance and may represent good fortune. The real question is, what does an elephant mean to you personally? How would you describe an elephant to someone who had never seen one? Not just its appearance, but also its personality? As you describe the elephant, think of how you personally identify with these traits. The elephant could represent these aspects of yourself that you find unacceptable or threatening and are trying to avoid facing.

There’s also the expression “an elephant in the room”, which refers to something of obvious concern that people are refusing to acknowledge. If you are familiar with this expression, explore the possibility that the dream could represent a major concern in your life that you’ve been trying to ignore but is “chasing after you” for attention.

Another way to work with this dream is to imagine asking the elephant why it is pursuing you, what it wants from you. This dialog between your conscious and unconscious self may reveal some interesting new awareness.

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