Common Nightmares and what they mean

I don’t believe anyone who says they sleep soundly through the night; we all have nightmares.

It would appear that myself and a few others are plagued with them.

Sigmund Freud and a few other psychologists believed that they were the subconscious coming to life in our sleep, and whilst “The Interpretation of Dreams” Isn’t lauded for its clinical acumen, it’s an interesting read nonetheless.

It’s 2019 now and the ‘Always-on’ digital culture we live in has resulted in busy minds, anxious thoughts and restless sleep.

It’s no wonder Mindfulness has become so popular.

If, like me, you are continually haunted by terrors in the night, it may give you some comfort to understand the meaning behind them.

This is not an exact science, but I will attempt to break down some common dreams and their meanings here:

The Hag:

As seen above, a hunched, goblin-like figure sat on our chests – usually taking the form of a wizened old woman, is extremely common and has been around in folklore for hundreds if not thousands of years.

The view is that the Hag is not our mother figure, but our legacy and a representation of us becoming newer and “civilised”, versus her natural ways.

Traditionally representing the witches of the past, the Hag is here to remind us that there are other ways of living, and represents the risks associated with the past.

Man-made disasters like plane crashes:

Perhaps more logically than the hag, the view here is that if you’re experiencing some disaster of our own creation (you might be flying the plane, or a passenger, it doesn’t matter) it is a representation of some element of our life being out of control that it is within our power to change.

Natural disasters like volcanoes or tidal waves:

The reverse of the plane crash dream, this means that something you cannot control is affecting your life and you cannot or do not yet know how to change it.

These two dream types are very common and typically arise in reaction to traumatic events.

Insects, spiders, crustaceans and other creepy crawlies:

This is an extremely typical stress dream, and quite simply means you are becoming overwhelmed by millions of little worries, concerns or anxieties.

If they are falling onto you, biting you or burrowing into your skin, your anxiety has become quite bad and it is time to think about how you’re going to deal with it.

Something pulling at your ankles:

This can be extremely disturbing, especially if you’re experiencing a very life-like dream.

Made famous by horror films, this dream of – usually hand – pulling at our legs and feet, trying to drag us out of bed typically represents a warning from our subconscious mind that someone or something in our life is trying or succeeding to literally drag us down and prevent us from succeeding.

Try to identify what this is and deal with it quickly before it does damage.

Defending a building from external attack with improvised weapons:

This one is fun, and normally involves fighting giant bugs with a baseball bat as they try to climb into your home through the window.

Typically this means a couple of things:

  • The building is your consciousness
  • The attackers are conflicting beliefs demanding your attention
  • Your improvisation means you’re making up how you deal with it as you go along

Walking through a trapped house:

This dream will give you great insight into your own psychology depending on some of the details within your dream.

For instance, in this reoccurring dream I would know not to open a drawer – having learned from last time – as it was full of bats that would fly into your face upon opening it…

Other things such as doors closing and locking, or endless stairs, can represent parts of yourself that you consider damaged or difficult and are trapping you within yourself.

A type of chaos is now ruling your house (your life) and you are stuck with it.

Worms and string in your eyes:

Especially if you’re trying to pull them out, this means you’ve seen something you didn’t like or weren’t supposed to see, and are trying to remove the memory.

The Wolf (or big dog):

JK Rowling is quite familiar with this one.

A large wolf or dog, often bearing its teeth and snarling at you in warning, represents something quite upsetting.

Someone or something is criticising you, is angry with you, or does not want you to succeed in your current endeavours.

Those who are that way inclined often believe dark magicks are being used against you, and therefore this one is quite concerning.

If you’re able to identify you are within a lucid dream, you should tell this thing to get gone and never come back.

The Key:

A message of hope

Saving the best for last, it took me some time to analyse this dream, and I’m glad I did.

It is possible but unusual that you would be given the key by someone.

More likely, you would find it. Perhaps in a pocket, or such as in my case, you might pull it out of your heart.

This, of course, is a message of hope and positivity.

Many of the dreams above might leave us feeling hopeless, traumatised and scared, but your dream about the Key might be just around the corner to remind you that all the subconscious stress you are feeling, can be defeated and the key to that is understanding that the power is within you.

If you’re not into the detailed psycho-analysis of dreams, a couple old rules of thumb might help you:

  • Take it easy on booze, cheese and caffeine
  • No late snacking
  • Stress is bad
  • They’re just dreams

Keep an eye out for ‘The City of This’ coming soon,  in which our hero must understand the importance of his dreams after receiving some possibly fatal inheritance.