Although every dream is unique to the dreamer, there are some popular dream themes that occur in many people’s dreams.
One of my all-time favorite authors on the subject of dreams is Dr. Ann Faraday (The Dream Game and Dream Power). Here are some common dream themes she discusses in her books.
Popular Dream Themes
– Falling: “fall from grace”; lacking support; “fallen woman”
– Flying: “rising above conflict”; “on top of the world”; “flying high”
– Nudity: feeling exposed, vulnerable, revealed, open
– Examinations: “under examination”; “put to the test”
– Losing teeth: “lost face”; “spoiled self-image”; feeling “toothless”
– Losing money and valuables: losing/reevaluating values; detachment
– Finding money and valuables: reflection of one’s own value or worth
– Sex: being excited, “worked up,” intimately involved, intruded upon
Frustration Dreams – Topdog (Moralizer) vs. Underdog (Victim)
– Missing the bus, train, boat or plane: “missed opportunity”
– Failing to get through on the telephone: “can’t connect” with someone
– The vanishing stairway, door, road, etc.: ambivalence toward progress
– Forgetting lines and inability to perform: roles conflict; perfectionism
– Being unprepared and arriving late: resistance
– The Toilet Thief: inability to release “shitty” feelings!
– Pursuit, attack, violence and intrusion: topdog punishment; shadow
– Animal nightmares: repressed “animal nature”
– Dreams of tidal waves and drowning: repressed emotions; unconscious
– Paralysis: at an impasse; topdog and underdog standoff
– Death of oneself: relinquishing obsolete roles and self-image for new
– Death in the family: someone “moving away”; obsolete image; anger
– Death of a stranger: symbolic extension of oneself
– Dreams of the dead: grief process
Dreams of one’s own death almost always reflect the fact that we have reached the point of being willing to relinquish our old roles and self-images, and for this reason these are often the most important dreams of all.
– Ann Faraday, The Dream Game