Popular Themes

What are the most popular themes in dreams, and what do they mean?

Middle of the earth was falling in…

earth was falling inDream: My boyfriend and I have been fighting a lot lately. I had a dream that the middle of the earth was falling in and he was hanging on to my hand for dear life. I saved him and managed to pull him up and save him from being sucked in, and even though I saved him in the end he left me anyway. I saw my best friend standing there watching. She killed herself a year ago. Please help me interpret what’s going on. 

DreamsMaster: My sense from the dream and what little you added about your waking life is that you may be harboring some guilt inside for not being or doing enough for the ones you love. In your effort to help (or save) your boyfriend or this relationship, you may have crossed a line into being the Rescuer, and when we cross that line, we can fall into the trap of the Rescuer > Persecutor > Victim cycle (google: Karpman Triangle), a psychological dance that can lead to resentment in relationships. This might be the source of the arguments you’ve been having with your boyfriend.

The “earth falling in” could be a metaphor for your sense that the relationship is losing ground. It could also be symbolic of your sense that your boyfriend is slipping away, not just from you but from life itself.  In the dream, your trying to save him from being “sucked in” could mirror the waking world of your trying to save him from something you perceive is sucking the life out of him. This might be a real danger, perhaps an alcohol or drug addiction? If that doesn’t fit, think about what else you may perceive as a danger to him, which you may be trying in vain to rescue him from.

Your best friend who killed herself is watching. She might represent your fear that your boyfriend is killing himself (either literally or figuratively). She might also represent grief and loss. And abandonment. It’s a pretty intense thing to lose a best friend to suicide. This layer of the dream might be a message to you that try as you might, you cannot rescue others from themselves.

Think about where in your relationship you’ve been crossing the line between helping and rescuing, and take a step back. Ultimately, others must help themselves. Sometimes all we can do is love them through it. And sadly, sometimes a relationship does not withstand the fall.

Stay strong.



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It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

– Virginia Woolf

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.



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Dreams about having cancer…

Dreams about having cancerDream: Lately I’ve had a couple of dreams about having cancer. In the first dream, I had lung cancer. Four days later I had a dream that I had cancer in my legs. Should I be worried?

DreamsMaster: My approach to dreams is to consider the literal meaning first, and then to move on to the symbolism.

If you haven’t visited a doctor in a long time, maybe now is the time. Perhaps you have been noticing some odd sensations in your body that you’ve been ignoring or pushing away to the “back of your mind”, and your dreams are bringing these unconscious concerns to the forefront.

Another possibility is that the dreams could be serving as a warning. For example, if you smoke, the dream could be throwing up a red flag about the danger you’re exposing yourself to.

If a literal interpretation doesn’t fit, next look at the symbolism. If it were my dream, having cancer would symbolize something in my life is threatening to consume my life force. Along these lines, in response to a dream about lung cancer, you might ask yourself, “Where in my life do I feel like I’m unable to breathe freely, or I’m suffocating?” Similarly, dreaming about cancer in one’s legs might also represent a threat to one’s freedom, or the ability to “run away” from some perceived danger.

This is not a dream to be ignored, whether literal or symbolic. Your innermost self is sending you the message that there’s some type of malignant or negative presence threatening your well-being, and it’s up to your waking self to take action.



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In my car upside down…

in my car upside downDream: I dreamed that I was in my car upside down in the middle of the highway. In my dream I did not experience a wreck or the fright of crashing. Only that I was in the car on the passenger side upside down in the car. All of a sudden (as if my dream went to act II, as if it were a play), I was then standing on the side of the road looking at my car upside down and I can see that I was in the drivers seat. Well, I thought it was me, but the body was just that, a body. I did not recognize myself and the body did not look real. Then someone came and helped the body be taken from the car. The person who helped seemed to think that I (body), was ok and I actually saw me the body standing against a wall. Then I woke up frantic.

DreamsMaster: What interesting dream images! Here are some ideas for you to try on to see what fits…

A car in a dream often represents one’s independence or sense of control. I can also be a symbol of transition, since metaphorically it’s a way of getting ourselves from one place to another, from one way of being to another way of being.

Another metaphor comes to mind, the expression of “being in the driver’s seat” – the one in control – vs. being a passenger along for the ride, not in the position of control. Add to that being upside down in the middle of the highway, and that’s a very strong case for feeling a lack of control and like the world has turned “upside down”!

Interesting that in “act II” your dissociated body is now in the driver’s seat, while your conscious self is outside looking in. Is this a metaphor for how life has been feeling for you lately, like events are happening beyond your control and you’re more of a bystander on the outside looking in?

What’s curious to me is that you woke up “frantic”, even though you were not in any real danger in the dream. What, specifically, were you feeling frantic about? I’m guessing it was out of a sense of powerlessness over your own destiny, and perhaps angst about not being seen for who you are.

This brings us to the following questions for self-reflection:

  • Where in your life are you feeling powerless or out of control?
  • Where in your life do you feel that you’re not being seen for who you are, just a body taking up space?
  • In what way are you approaching life as a passive bystander instead of as an active participant?
  • What can you do to stand up and be seen?


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Dreamed that my ex is pregnant…

ex is pregnantDream: I had a dream that my ex is pregnant… For 8 hours I had the dream replay over and over… In the dream I was approached by my ex… who I still love. She told me she was pregnant and we held each other… knowing it wasn’t mine. This is my worst fear… we were a family and she left with our son 7 months ago.

DreamsMaster: I see a couple of ways you can go with this dream. Before I continue, though, keep in mind that you are the only one who can truly interpret your dream, so trust your instincts to decide what fits best for you.

In the dream, your ex is pregnant with new life that isn’t yours. When the two of you split, was she involved with another man, or did you suspect that she was? If so, her being pregnant with another man’s child in the dream could be driving home the fact that she no longer has an emotional attachment to you.

If she is not actually pregnant or in another relationship, then the dream could symbolize the fact that she has embarked on a new life (represented in the dream by the pregnancy) that does not include you (the child growing within is not yours).

In either case, the core dream message appears to be that it’s time for you to let go of your denial and move on with the grief process toward acceptance of the loss of the old relationship.

It’s very significant that in the dream you held each other despite the fact that the new life inside her wasn’t yours. If your worst fear is that you won’t continue to have contact with your son, another key message of the dream could be that the more you accept or “embrace” you ex’s new personal growth or direction in life, the greater the chance you’ll be able to maintain a relationship with your son.

That this was a recurring dream means there’s a very important message your innermost self is trying to send to you. If you still feel in the dark about the dream’s true meaning, when you go to bed tonight ask yourself for another dream to shed further light on the message.



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