Some time last year I had an amazing journey with my guide the blue whale. It has been a while, but the details are as vivid as ever. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, so I decided that it may be time to talk about it. It did have an impact on me, and I'm still sorting some of what I learned with whale out.
So, I started as I usually do. I crawled into a tunnel to take me to my favorite spirit spot. My friend Butterfly met me at the entrance as she usually does. She guided me to the shore, which is also not new as we had been there before. This time, however, there was whale waiting for me in the shallows. There was no doubt what I was supposed to do, so I climbed in the water. I was momentarily concerned that I would not be able to breath but she quickly put my fears to rest and beckoned that I follow.
We began to sink deeper and deeper. So deep the light became hard to see. I knew we had a specific destination in mind. We came to a chasm, and in the chasm I could make out a light in a cave. I was instructed to enter the cave. Whale did not join me. In the cave I was confronted by a "sea witch" is the only way I know how to describe it. It was a spirit that was obviously close to the sea, that lived off it, and reveled in the energy that is the spirit of water. She and I just looked at each other. She said nothing to me, so I just watched her. I felt mild apprehension and fear in her presence, equated her in my mind with the crazy sea hag. I saw her both as she looked young with pearls strung in her hair and old with hair so untamed it looked like masses of tangled seaweed. After a while, I fell asleep and lost the rest of the journey.
I have not known what to make of it. I have often come back in my mind to that journey. It wasn't until last week that I suddenly discovered/remembered that the sea-witch was me! I was looking at part of myself. I feel like I know an important piece of the puzzle now. This is something I did not know about myself. I still don't know what to make of it. The impressions and subtle feelings around this journey are still a bit of a tangled mess rather like the hair of my sea hag self.
From the spiritual point of view, the journey is never merely a
passage through space, but rather an expression of the urgent desire for discovery
and change that underlies the actual movement and experience of travelling. Hence, to study, to inquire, to seek or to live with intensity through new and profound
experiences are all modes of travelling or, to put it another way, spiritual and
symbolic equivalents of the journey. Heroes are always travellers, in that they are
restless. Travelling, Jung observes, is an image of aspiration, of an unsatisfied
longing that never finds its goal, seek where it may (31). He goes on to point out
that this goal is in fact the lost Mother; but this is a moot point, for we might
equally well say that, on the contrary, its journey is a flight from the Mother.
Flying, swimming and running are other activities which may be equated with
travelling; and so also are dreaming, day-dreaming and imagining. Crossing a ford
marks the decisive stage in the passage from one state to another (56). There is a
connexion between the symbolism of the journey, in its cosmic sense, and the
symbolism of the essential landscape of megalithic cults (or that seen by the
shamans in their visions). Travelling may also be related to the complete cycle of
the year or to the attempt to escape from it, depending upon certain secondary
characteristics of the journey. But the true Journey is neither acquiescence nor
escape—it is evolution. For this reason Guénon has suggested that ordeals of
initiation frequently take the form of ‘symbolic journeys’ representing a quest
that starts in the darkness of the profane world (or of the unconscious—the
mother) and gropes towards the light. Such ordeals or trials—like the stages in a
journey—are rites of purification (29). The archetype of the journey is the pilgrimage to the ‘Centre’ or the holy land—or the way out of the maze. The Night
Sea-Crossing, equivalent to the Journey into Hell, illustrates certain basic aspects
of journey-symbolism which still call for elucidation. Primarily, to travel is to
seek. The Turkish Kalenderi sect require their initiates to travel ceaselessly, since,
as we have suggested, travelling is often invested with a higher, sublimatory
To dream that you are going on a journey, signifies profits, self-discovery or progress. The scenery you see in your journey and the method of travel is telling of your feelings and circumstances you may be currently experiencing.
To dream that your friends go on a journey, signifies a welcoming and harmonious change.
To dream of the band Journey, represents advice that some of their songs may offer in some waking situation. "Don't stop believing", "Open Arms", etc.
To dream that you go on a journey, signifies profit or a disappointment, as the travels are pleasing and successful or as accidents and disagreeable events take active part in your journeying.
To see your friends start cheerfully on a journey, signifies delightful change and more harmonious companions than you have heretofore known. If you see them depart looking sad, it may be many moons before you see them again. Power and loss are implied.
To make a long-distance journey in a much shorter time than you expected, denotes you will accomplish some work in a surprisingly short time, which will be satisfactory in the way of reimbursement.
This indicates that there will be a great change in conditions and circumstances.
Good journey indicates good conditions and bad journey with troubles indicates a bad life.
Dreaming that you are going on a journey means profits, self-discovery or progress. The scenery you see in your journey is telling of your feelings and circumstances you may be currently experiencing. Dreaming that your friends go on a journey means delightful and welcomed change and harmony.
A dream about a journey represents your path in life or a part of your life's journey. It may reflect some of your fear and anticipation.
The meaning of a dream about a journey will depend upon where you are going and the form of transportation that you use.
Superstion-based dream interpretations say that if you go on a voyage by sea, you will have an unexpected visitor, and that if you take a trip to the shore, you will receive money.
Symbolic of the world, the body and the grave (20), and also regarded
as an essential symbol of containing (and concealing). Rabanus Maurus (Operum,
III, Allegoriae in Sacram Scripturam) lays particular stress on this aspect (46).
Nowadays, however, the whale seems to have acquired more independence as a
symbolic equivalent of the mystic mandorla, or the area of intersection of the
circles of heaven and earth, comprising and embracing the opposites of existence
To dream of seeing a whale approaching a ship, denotes that you will have a struggle between duties, and will be threatened with loss of property.
If the whale is demolished, you will happily decide between right and inclination, and will encounter pleasing successes.
If you see a whale overturn a ship, you will be thrown into a whirlpool of disasters.
To see a whale in your dream, represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tuned with your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, a whale symbolizes a relationship or business project that may be too big to handle. You are feeling overwhelmed. The dream may also be a pun on "wailing" and a desire to cry out about something.
Seeing a whale in your dream, represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tuned to your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, it indicates a relationship or business project that is too enormous to handle.
For most people, dreaming about whales is a pleasant experience. These huge water dwelling mammals may be symbolic of the connection that exists between the unconscious and conscious mind. They may represent the dreamer's level of awareness, perceptiveness, and intuition. Some think that they represent our emotional power or are messengers from the spiritual realms. If the waters are rough and the whale was unpredictable or on the attack, think about the emotional environment in your everyday life. Under such unpleasant dream circumstances, these large animals may represent overwhelming emotional or psychological issue and problem.
Whale Totem Meaning
Where the edge of land ends and the fringe of vast oceans begins is a threshold of mammoth proportions. To garner in-depth understanding of symbolic whale meaning, we've got to pay homage to its environment, the oceans of our planet.
The oceans, and water in general holds age-old symbolism of emotional depth (I've written about potential water symbolism here, if you're interested). As humans, we all experience an array of emotions. Some are on the surface; we can experience these emotions easily because they float on top of our life-experience as driftwood on the surface of the water. We can observe these top-layer emotions clearly, they are familiar and we deal with them daily. Other emotions, however, run very deep within us. Some emotions we burry beneath the fathoms of our consciousness; these emotions are the leviathans of our being - the lumbering beasts we dare not let surface.
From this perspective, we can easily relate to the depth and breadth of water with the essence of emotions. Given its habitat is the water realms, the totem meaning of the whale largely deals with emotions too. The whale symbolizes emotional creativity, well-being, nurturing as well as emotional depth.
Those who are magnetized by whale energy will tend to be incredibly deep in sensitivity. The depth of feeling whale-totem-people endure can be overwhelming. Whale people are super-perceptive about the feelings of those around them, and this can manifest into an internal pressure that can be quite crushing. The whale can help with overwhelment of feelings and even temper the onslaught of emotions picked up from other people too. If you are extraordinarily affected by the emotions of others, or your own emotions are so intense as to cause discomfort, your whale totem can help.
Why? Because whales are masters of:
Navigation: Moving through emotional depths
Communication: Effectively expressing emotional experiences
Conservation: Using emotional energy for fuel and not being consumed by emotional floods
I love poking through old myths and parables, especially when exploring totem meaning and the whale has plenty legends to its name. From Native American to Islam, the whale is featured prominently in ancient lore. Take the prophet Jonah. It's a classic passage in the Bible. I'm fortunate to know a several Biblical scholars, and I've talked to these folks (thanks to Robert, Jim and Diane!) about the deeper symbolic meaning of Jonah's three days and three nights in the bellies of the mega ketos ("great fish" in Greek), dag gadul ("big fish" in Hebrew), and the nun in Arabic - all terms describing the huge fish-whale who swallowed Jonah in the Biblical account. My Bible-savvy pals relate the story as an allegory of deliverance of the Jews from Babylonian capture. The great mother of Babylon's first queen (Semiramis) was Derceto, and the Babylonian sea goddess Derceto (a behemoth being of the sea) is the very same 'great fish' who swallowed Jonah. This perspective illustrates the Jews' liberation from Babylonian captivity with Jonah being expelled from Derceto's belly.
What intrigued me further was discussions deeper emotional allegory associated with Jonah's account. Imagine the emotional duress Jonah endured. Charged with the task (from God, no less) to travel to Ninevah and speak to the people about the righteous path of God. Now, at the time, Ninevah was quite inhospitable, and it was highly unlikely they would be keen to hear what Jonah had to say. Knowing this, Jonah retreated from his responsibility, essentially hiding from his soul-purpose (God) and that's when the mammoth beast of the sea swallows him whole.
We've all been in Jonah's sandals. We've all had a scary task to set before us, a heavy task with potentially frightening responsibilities placed on our shoulders. When we turn away from these responsibilities (knowing what we should do, yet refusing) it churns up massive emotional upheaval. We become swallowed ourselves in an emotional quagmire. We stew in our emotional soup, until we reach a boiling point. We all struggle with emotional buildup over choices we need to make, or even those choices we cannot bear to execute. Some of us, after days and nights of stewing within the womb of the soul, finally emerge (spit from the whale, so to speak) with renewed determination and a rekindling of faith. Others of us return to the emotional abyss until we can process our fears and indecision into a more refined state of being.
This kind of emotional swallowing, digesting and processing is key to whale totem meaning. Luckily, the whale can facilitate emotional clarity, and help us navigate through the often ambiguous and confusing seas of emotion. Whales themselves are incredibly nurturing; we see this in how they raise their young as well as their close-knit connection to others in their community herds or pods. Whales, and those with whale totems have a natural affinity for helping, especially promoting well-being within their community. People who are attracted to the whale often feel devoted to a greater cause, and although they may struggle with their own personal emotions, they tend to naturally conjure healing powers towards others in emotional trauma. Does this sound familiar to you? If you have these tendencies, I encourage you to swim deeply with the whale in your meditations and prayers. Navigating the emotional waters with the whale by your side will afford guidance and clarity.
Whales ask us to embrace the unknown, and that's precisely why they are so connected to the emotional depths of the oceans. To be sure, our current circumstances are born from an emotional womb. In other words, our reality is intrinsically connected to our thought and our emotional choices. It can be frustrating and confusing to track down the emotional origin of the stuff that's manifested in our lives, and the whale can help us understand, on a deeper level, the actions that have caused unrest in our daily life.
In many sects of Native wisdom, the whale is symbolic of the beginning, the creation of all life on earth as we know it. They aren't the only ones. Countless cultures around the globe associate themes of creation, birth and rebirth with the whale. Other symbolic suggestions to add to whale totem meaning include:
Emotional Rebirth and Understanding
Nurturing and Devotion to Community
Appreciation for Beauty, (especially song and dance)
The Importance of Balance (emotional and otherwise)
I hope these philosophical ponderings about whale symbolism and whale totem meaning has inspired you to dive more deeply into the cetacean realms. Perhaps these insights might inspire you to meditate and soulfully contemplate the presence of the whale in your own life. To be sure, joining with whale energy in your devotionals will eventually lead you to a cohesive view - an expansive clarity into the deeper fathoms of your emotional worlds.
The whale is the keeper of the Earth's history and secrets. It keeps alive the memories of the legendary motherland of Mu, which was once located in the west of America and to which all Native American tribes trace back their origins. The whale was once the witness of the great disaster to which the motherland fell victim. People who own the power of the whale are often very perceptive and can, with the help of this gift, access all the information that exists in the universe. They often have telepathic powers, but the source of their knowledge frequently remains unknown to them. It is only with time that they realize how to utilize their powers. The whale teaches one to find and blend with one's own original sound, because it carries the history of all living beings. It shows that the right frequency can heal and, with the help of the whale, you can learn to connect with the ancient language that was used for communication before language in its current form was developed. The whale always guides the way to discovering the meaning of your own life.
The whale gives you the ability to know the wisdom of the ages - from the time before time.
Inner awakening, creation, movement, strong sense of family, sprout in creative imagination, reaching within or outside to find inspiration, don't hold back your endeavors, be strong and move swiftly. Whale shows how to dive deep within to awaken your creativity, imagination and intuition. He teaches awakening inspiration so you can see your own beauty reflected into the world. It is time to create you own song, your own rhythm in which for creative imagining takes place. Are you using your true creativity? Whale will teach how to access the power and magic of the creative - emotional - passionate force.
The symbolic significance of the sea corresponds to that of the ‘Lower
Ocean’—the waters in flux, the transitional and mediating agent between the nonformal (air and gases) and the formal (earth and solids) and, by analogy, between
life and death. The waters of the oceans are thus seen not only as the source of life
but also as its goal. ‘To return to the sea’ is ‘to return to the mother’, that is, to die.
To see the sea in your dream, represents your unconscious and the transition between your unconscious and conscious. As with all water symbols, it also represents your emotions. The dream may also be a pun on your understanding and perception of a situation. "I see" or perhaps there is something you need to "see" more clearly. Alternatively, the dream indicates a need to reassure yourself or to offer reassurance to someone. It brings about hope, a new perspective and a positive outlook on life no matter how difficult your current problems may be.
To dream that you are lost at sea, suggests that you are drifting around in life without any direction. You are feeling overwhelmed by emotions.
To dream of hearing the lonely sighing of the sea, foretells that you will be fated to spend a weary and unfruitful life devoid of love and comradeship.
Dreams of the sea, prognosticate unfulfilled anticipations, while pleasures of a material form are enjoyed, there is an inward craving for pleasure that flesh cannot requite.
For a young woman to dream that she glides swiftly over the sea with her lover, there will come to her sweet fruition of maidenly hopes, and joy will stand guard at the door of the consummation of changeless vows.
Seeing the sea in your dream, represents your unconscious and your transition between your unconscious and conscious. It also often represents your emotions. The dream may also be a pun on your understanding and perception of a situation. "I see" or perhaps there is something you need to "see" more clearly. Alternatively, the dream may indicate a need to reassure yourself or offer reassurance to someone.
To see hair in your dream, signifies sexual virility, seduction, sensuality, vanity, and health. It is indicative of your attitudes. If your hair is knotted or tangled, then it is symbolic of uncertainty and confusion in your life. You may be unable to think straight. If you dream that you make a drastic change to your hairstyle, then it means that you are making a drastic, new approach to some issue in your waking life.
To dream that you are cutting your hair, suggests that you are experiencing a loss in strength. You may feel that someone is trying to censor you. Alternatively, you may be reshaping your thinking or ambitions and eliminating unwanted thoughts/habits.
To dream that you are combing, stroking or styling your hair, suggests that you are taking on and evaluating a new idea, concept, outlook, or way of thinking. You may be putting your thoughts in order and getting your facts straight. A more literal interpretation suggests your concerns about your self-image and appearance.
To dream that you have long hair, indicates that you are thinking long and carefully before making some decision. You are concentrating on some plan or situation.
To dream that you are losing your hair, denotes that you are concerned with the notion that you are getting older and losing your sex appeal and virility. You are preoccupied with aging and your appearance. Losing your hair also signifies a lack of strength; you do not have the power to succeed in an undertaking. You may be feeling weak and vulnerable.
To dream that someone is smelling your hair, indicates sexual curiosity and your need for some sensual stimulation. You have a lot to learn about a relationship. The way yours or someone else's hair smell may remind your of a particular person.
To dream that you are reaching for someone's hair, suggests that you are trying to connect with that person on a spiritual or intellectual level. It also refers to sympathy, protectiveness, and fraternal love.
To dream that the wind is blowing through your hair, signifies freedom to express uninhibited feelings. You are "letting your hair down".
To dream that your hair is white or turns white, indicates that something important has just been made aware to you. It is a symbol of wisdom and insight. The dream may also be a metaphor suggesting that you are feeling "light-headed".
If a woman dreams that she has beautiful hair and combs it, she will be careless in her personal affairs, and will lose advancement by neglecting mental application.
For a man to dream that he is thinning his hair, foreshadows that he will become poor by his generosity, and suffer illness through mental worry.
To see your hair turning gray, foretells death and contagion in the family of some relative or some friend.
To see yourself covered with hair, omens indulgence in vices to such an extent as will debar you from the society of refined people. If a woman, she will resolve herself into a world of her own, claiming the right to act for her own pleasure regardless of moral codes
If a man dreams that he has black, curling hair, he will deceive people through his pleasing address. He will very likely deceive the women who trust him. If a woman's hair seems black and curly, she will be threatened with seduction.
If you dream of seeing a woman with golden hair, you will prove a fearless lover and be woman's true friend.
To dream that your sweetheart has red hair, you will be denounced by the woman you love for unfaithfulness. Red hair usually suggests changes
If you see brown hair, you will be unfortunate in choosing a career.
If you see well kept and neatly combed hair, your fortune will improve.
To dream you cut your hair close to the scalp, denotes that you will be generous to lavishness towards a friend. Frugality will be the fruits growing out therefrom.
To see the hair growing out soft and luxuriant, signifies happiness and luxury.
For a woman to compare a white hair with a black one, which she takes from her head, foretells that she will be likely to hesitate between two offers of seeming fortune, and unless she uses great care, will choose the one that will afford her loss or distress instead of pleasant fortune.
To see tangled and unkempt hair, life will be a veritable burden, business will fall off, and the marriage yoke will be troublesome to carry.
If a woman is unsuccessful in combing her hair, she will lose a worthy man's name by needless show of temper and disdain.
For a young woman to dream of women with gray hair, denotes that they will come into her life as rivals in the affection of a male relative, or displace the love of her affianced.
To dream of having your hair cut, denotes serious disappointments.
For a woman to dream that her hair is falling out, and baldness is apparent, she will have to earn her own livelihood, as fortune has passed her by.
For man or woman to dream that they have hair of snowy whiteness, denotes that they will enjoy a pleasing and fortunate journey through life.
For a man to caress the hair of a woman, shows he will enjoy the love and confidence of some worthy woman who will trust him despite the world's condemnation.
To see flowers in your hair, foretells troubles approaching which, when they come, will give you less fear than when viewed from a distance.
For a woman to dream that her hair turns to white flowers, augurs that troubles of a various nature will confront her, and she does well if she strengthens her soul with patience, and endeavors to bear her trials with fortitude.
To dream that a lock of your hair turns gray and falls out, is a sign of trouble and disappointment in your affairs. Sickness will cast gloom over bright expectations.
To see one's hair turn perfectly white in one night, and the face seemingly young, foretells sudden calamity and deep grief. For a young woman to have this dream, signifies that she will lose her lover by a sudden sickness or accident. She will likely come to grief from some indiscretion on her part. She should be careful of her associates.
Seeing hair in your dream means sexual virility, seduction, sensuality, vanity, and health. It is indicative of your attitudes. If your hair is knotted or tangled, then it is symbolic of uncertainty and confusion in your life. You may be unable to think straight. Dreaming that you are cutting your hair, suggests that you are experiencing a loss in strength. You may feel that someone is trying to censor you. Alternatively, you may be reshaping your thinking or ambitions and eliminating unwanted thoughts/habits. Dreaming that you are combing, stroking or styling your hair, suggests that you are taking on and evaluating a new idea, concept, outlook, or way of thinking. You may be putting your thoughts in order and getting your facts straight. A more literal interpretation suggests your concerns about your self-image and appearance. Dreaming that you have long hair indicates that you are thinking long and carefully before making some decision. You are concentrating on some plan or situation. Dreaming that you are losing your hair indicates that you are concerned with the notion that you are getting older and losing your sex appeal/virility. You are preoccupied with aging and your appearance. Losing you hair also signify a lack of strength and that you do not possess the power to succeed in an undertaking. You may be feeling weak and vulnerable. Dreaming that someone is smelling your hair indicates sexual curiosity and your need for some sensual stimulation. You have a lot to learn about a relationship. The way yours or someone else's hair smell may remind your of a particular person. Dreaming that you are reaching for someone's hair, suggests that you are trying to connect with that person on a spiritual or intellectual level. It also refers to sympathy, protectiveness, and fraternal love. Dreaming that the wind is blowing through your hair means freedom to express uninhibited feelings. You are "letting your hair down". Dreaming that your hair is white or turns white indicates that something important has just been made aware to you. It is a symbol of wisdom and insight. The dream may also be a metaphor suggesting that you are feeling "light-headed".
Hair symbolizes vitality. If you dream that your hair is thinning or you are going bald, you may lack confidence. Dreaming that your hair has been cut signifies a fear of emotional or physical castration. Dreaming of healthy and shiny hair may mean that things are going well for you, but it may also be a sign of vanity.
Dreaming that you are talking to an unknown spirit, forewarns that someone is trying to deceive you. Generally if the spirit is known and welcomed it is a sign of great good luck and/or good fortune in business affairs.
To see or dream that you are in a cave, symbolizes the womb and thus signify refuge, protection and concealment.
To dream that you are walking in a dark cave, represents an exploration of your unconscious mind. It signals self discovery.
Dreaming that you are walking in a dark cave means refuge or the unconscious mind. It also means that you experience some unexpected misfortune or disagreement.
Caves are rich and thought-provoking dream symbols. At times, a woman with reproductive issues may have a cave dream, in which case it represents the womb. The cave, as the womb, can represent new life, new opportunities, creativity, warmth and safety. The cave can be a general symbol of a safe place, a sanctuary or a refuge. If you are experiencing much anxiety in daily life, in your dream state you may retreat to a warm cave where you cannot be disturbed by worldly demands. The cave could also represent the mysterious and unexplored parts of our selves. It could be symbolic of the unconscious mind, which could be a pleasant or a frightening experience. Your personal associations and experiences with caves, as well as the details and the emotional content of this dream, need to be carefully considered before making an interpretation.
In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the symbol for water is a wavy line with
small sharp crests, representing the water’s surface. The same sign, when tripled,
symbolizes a volume of water, that is, the primaeval ocean and prime matter.
According to hermetic tradition, the god Nu was the substance from which the
gods of the first ennead emerged (19). The Chinese consider water as the specific
abode of the dragon, because all life comes from the waters (13). In the Vedas,
water is referred to as mâtritamâh (the most maternal) because, in the beginning,
everything was like a sea without light. In India, this element is generally regarded
as the preserver of life, circulating throughout the whole of nature, in the form of
rain, sap, milk and blood. Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and
the end of all things on earth (60). Although water is, in appearance, formless,
ancient cultures made a distinction between ‘upper waters’ and ‘lower waters’.
The former correspond to the potential or what is still possible, the latter to what
is actual or already created (26). In a general sense, the concept of ‘water’ stands,
of course, for all liquid matter. Moreover, the primaeval waters, the image of
prime matter, also contained all solid bodies before they acquired form and rigidity. For this reason, the alchemists gave the name of ‘water’ to quicksilver in its
first stage of transmutation and, by analogy, also to the ‘fluid body’ of Man (57).
This ‘fluid body’ is interpreted by modern psychology as a symbol of the unconscious, that is, of the non-formal, dynamic, motivating, female side of the personality. The projection of the mother-imago into the waters endows them with
various numinous properties characteristic of the mother (31). A secondary meaning of this symbolism is found in the identification of water with intuitive wisdom. In the cosmogony of the Mesopotamian peoples, the abyss of water was
regarded as a symbol of the unfathomable, impersonal Wisdom. An ancient Irish
god was called Domnu, which means ‘marine depth’. In prehistoric times the
word for abyss seems to have been used exclusively to denote that which was
unfathomable and mysterious (4). The waters, in short, symbolize the universal
congress of potentialities, the fons et origo, which precedes all form and all
creation. Immersion in water signifies a return to the preformal state, with a sense
of death and annihilation on the one hand, but of rebirth and regeneration on the
other, since immersion intensifies the life-force. The symbolism of baptism,
which is closely linked to that of water, has been expounded by St. John
Chrysostom (Homil. in Joh., XXV, 2): ‘It represents death and interment, life and
resurrection. . . . When we plunge our head beneath water, as in a sepulchre, the
old man becomes completely immersed and buried. When we leave the water, the
new man suddenly appears’ (18). The ambiguity of this quotation is only on the
surface: in this particular aspect of the general symbolism of water, death affects
only Man-in-nature while the rebirth is that of spiritual man. On the cosmic level,
the equivalent of immersion is the flood, which causes all forms to dissolve and
return to a fluid state, thus liberating the elements which will later be recombined
in new cosmic patterns. The qualities of transparency and depth, often associated with water, go far towards explaining the veneration of the ancients for this
element which, like earth, was a female principle. The Babylonians called it ‘the
home of wisdom’. Oannes, the mythical being who brings culture to mankind, is
portrayed as half man and half fish (17). Moreover, in dreams, birth is usually
expressed through water-imagery (v. Freud, Introduction to Psycho-Analysis).
The expressions ‘risen from the waves’ and ‘saved from the waters’ symbolize
fertility, and are metaphorical images of childbirth. On the other hand, water is, of
all the elements, the most clearly transitional, between fire and air (the ethereal
elements) and earth (the solid element). By analogy, water stands as a mediator
between life and death, with a two-way positive and negative flow of creation and
destruction. The Charon and Ophelia myths symbolize the last voyage. Death
was the first mariner. ‘Transparent depth’, apart from other meanings, stands in
particular for the communicating link between the surface and the abyss. It can
therefore be said that water conjoins these two images (2). Gaston Bachelard
points to many different characteristics of water, and derives from them many
secondary symbolic meanings which enrich the fundamental meaning we have described. These secondary meanings are not so much a set of strict symbols, as
a kind of language expressing the transmutations of this ever-flowing element.
Bachelard enumerates clear water, spring water, running water, stagnant water,
dead water, fresh and salt water, reflecting water, purifying water, deep water,
stormy water. Whether we take water as a symbol of the collective or of the
personal unconscious, or else as an element of mediation and dissolution, it is
obvious that this symbolism is an expression of the vital potential of the psyche,
of the struggles of the psychic depths to find a way of formulating a clear message
comprehensible to the consciousness. On the other hand, secondary symbolisms
are derived from associated objects such as water-containers, and also from the
ways in which water is used: ablutions, baths, holy water, etc. There is also a
very important spatial symbolism connected with the ‘level’ of the waters, denoting a correlation between actual physical level and absolute moral level. It is
for this reason that the Buddha, in his Assapuram sermon, was able to regard the
mountain-lake—whose transparent waters reveal, at the bottom, sand, shells,
snails and fishes—as the path of redemption. This lake obviously corresponds to
a fundamental aspect of the ‘Upper Waters’. Clouds are another aspect of the
‘Upper Waters’. In Le Transformationi of Ludovico Dolce, we find a mystic
figure looking into the unruffled surface of a pond, in contrast with the accursed
hunter, always in restless pursuit of his prey, implying the symbolic contrast
between contemplative activity—the sattva state of Yoga—and blind outward
activity—the rajas state. Finally, the upper and lower waters communicate reciprocally through the process of rain (involution) and evaporation (evolution).
Here, fire intervenes to modify water: the sun (spirit) causes sea water to evaporate (i.e. it sublimates life). Water is condensed in clouds and returns to earth in
the form of life-giving rain, which is invested with twofold virtues: it is water, and
it comes from heaven (15). Lao-Tse paid considerable attention to this cyclic
process of meteorology, which is at one and the same time physical and spiritual,
observing that: ‘Water never rests, neither by day nor by night. When flowing
above, it causes rain and dew. When flowing below, it forms streams and rivers.
Water is outstanding in doing good. If a dam is raised against it, it stops. If way is
made for it, it flows along that path. Hence it is said that it does not struggle. And
yet it has no equal in destroying that which is strong and hard’ (13). When water
stands revealed in its destructive aspects, in the course of cataclysmic events, its
symbolism does not change, but is merely subordinated to the dominant symbolism of the storm. Similarly, in those contexts where the flowing nature of water is
emphasized, as in the contention of Heraclitus that ‘You cannot step twice into
the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.’ Here the reference is not to water-symbolism as such, but to the idea of the irreversible flow along a
given path. To quote Evola, in La tradizione ermetica: ‘Without divine water,
nothing exists, according to Zosimus. On the other hand, among the symbols of
the female principle are included those which figure as origins of the waters
(mother, life), such as: Mother Earth, Mother of the Waters, Stone, Cave, House
of the Mother, Night, House of Depth, House of Force, House of Wisdom,
Forest, etc. One should not be misled by the word “divine”. Water symbolizes
terrestrial and natural life, never metaphysical life.’
This indicates birth (of some person).
To dream of clear water, foretells that you will joyfully realize prosperity and pleasure.
If the water is muddy, you will be in danger and gloom will occupy Pleasure's seat.
If you see it rise up in your house, denotes that you will struggle to resist evil, but unless you see it subside, you will succumb to dangerous influences.
If you find yourself baling it out, but with feet growing wet, foreshadows trouble, sickness, and misery will work you a hard task, but you will forestall them by your watchfulness. The same may be applied to muddy water rising in vessels.
To fall into muddy water, is a sign that you will make many bitter mistakes, and will suffer poignant grief therefrom.
To drink muddy water, portends sickness, but drinking it clear and refreshing brings favorable consummation of fair hopes.
To sport with water, denotes a sudden awakening to love and passion.
To have it sprayed on your head, denotes that your passionate awakening to love will meet reciprocal consummation.
The following dream and its allegorical occurrence in actual life is related by a young woman student of dreams:
``Without knowing how, I was (in my dream) on a boat, I waded through clear blue water to a wharfboat, which I found to be snow white, but rough and splintry. The next evening I had a delightful male caller, but he remained beyond the time prescribed by mothers and I was severely censured for it.'' The blue water and fairy white boat were the disappointing prospects in the symbol.
To see water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment. To dream that water is boiling, suggests that you are expressing some emotional turmoil. Feelings from your unconscious are surfacing and ready to be acknowledged. You need to let out some steam.
To see calm, clear water in your dream, means that you are in tune with your spirituality. It denotes serenity, peace of mind, and rejuvenation.
To see muddy or dirty water in your dream, indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to take some time to cleanse your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, the dream suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions.
To dream that water is rising up in your house, suggests that you are becoming overwhelmed by your emotions.
To hear running water in your dream, denotes meditation and reflection. You are reflecting on your thoughts and emotions.
To dream that you are walking on water, indicates that you have total control over your emotions. It also suggests that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, the dream is symbolic of faith in yourself.
Seeing water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment. Seeing calm, clear water in your dream means that you are in tune with your spirituality. It indicates serenity, peace of mind, and rejuvenation. Seeing muddy or dirty water in your dream indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to devote some time to clarify your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, it suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions. Dreaming that water is rising up in your house means your struggles and overwhelming emotions. Hearing running water in your dream indicates meditation, reflection and pondering of your thoughts and emotions. Dreaming that you are walking on water, suggests that you have supreme and ultimate control over your emotions. It may also suggest that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, it is symbolic of faith in yourself.
Light, traditionally, is equated with the spirit (9). Ely Star asserts that
the superiority of the spirit is immediately recognizable by its luminous intensity. Light is the manifestation of morality, of the intellect and the seven virtues
(54). Its whiteness alludes to just such a synthesis of the All. Light of any given
colour possesses a symbolism corresponding to that colour, plus the significance
of emanation from the ‘Centre’, for light is also the creative force, cosmic energy irradiation (57). Symbolically, illumination comes from the East. Psychologically
speaking, to become illuminated is to become aware of a source of light, and, in
consequence, of spiritual strength (32).
To see light in your dream, represents illumination, clarity, guidance, plain understanding, and insight. Light is being shed on a once cloudy situation or problem. You have found the truth to a situation or an answer to a problem. Also consider the color of the light for additional significance.
If the light is particularly bright, then it indicates that you need to move toward a higher level of awareness and feeling. Bright light dreams are sometimes common for those who are near death.
To see soft or shadowy lighting in your dreams, indicates feelings and thoughts from the primal aspects and less developed parts of your unconscious.
To dream that you cannot turn on the light, indicates a lack of insight and perspective on a situation.
If you dream of light, success will attend you. To dream of weird light, or if the light goes out, you will be disagreeably surprised by some undertaking resulting in nothing.
To see a dim light, indicates partial success.
To dream of lights is very good. It denotes riches and honour.
Seeing light in your dream indicates a clear mind, plain understanding, and insight. Light has been shed on a once cloudy situation or problem. You have found the truth to a situation or an answer to a problem. Seeing a bright light in your dream indicates that you need to move toward a higher level of awareness and feeling. Bright light dreams are sometimes common for those who are near death.
To see a hag in your dream, represents the "Wise Old Woman" figure and thus refers to nurturance. Negatively, to see a hag in your dream, signifies the devouring mother.
Seeing a hag in your dream, may represent the "Wise Old Woman" figure and thus refers to nurturance. Negatively, to see a hag in your dream means the devouring mother.