Common themes in dreams part 2

Police Officers

The police represent control. Very often when the pusher energy is out of control in our lives, we have dreams of a police officer stopping us for a traffic violation. This dream is also a compensatory dream. There is something in your life that is out of control and your control side is trying to help you regain control and, most likely, trying to get you to slow down. These are warning dreams and you need to learn to listen to them.


There are very many variations on the house dream. The image of the home represents your personality and how it is operating in the world. The house gives you a picture of how you are living. Is there enough space? Is there enough light? Is it cold? Is it magical? Do you have your own special space? Dreaming of moving into a new home is connected to a major change in personality. Many times when people are bringing more choice into their lives, they dream of new and more spacious houses.

Sometimes people dream that they are going down into the basement where they feel fearful. In this case they are moving more deeply into the unconscious as they explore new aspects of themselves. Discovering new rooms or new treasures in a house is learning about new parts of yourself. Dreaming of living in a Victorian-type home might be related to having a set of primary selves that is based on Victorian values.

Dangerous People or Things

Being chased by dangerous people or things is one of the most common types of dreams. Whatever is chasing you in your dreams is essentially based on what you are disowning. Many people disown their instinctual energies. They are afraid of their anger, their sexuality, and their emotions. So in their dreams they are chased by wild animals or by dangerous men who want to kill them or have sexual relations with them. By examining what is after you in your dreams, you have immediate access to discovering your disowned selves!

Sometimes these disowned selves can represent parts of ourselves other than our instinctual energies. If you are a pusher type bent on success then you may find yourself afraid of people who are not busy, like unemployed street people, people in hammocks, or “ladies who lunch.” We saw a woman once who dreamed a dragon was chasing her. She crossed a small body of water and there the dragon stopped and became a book. She was a woman who had disowned the serious use of her mind and that became the dragon that was after her. A few months after this dream she enrolled in school and ultimately pursued a professional career.

Birth and Death

The unconscious needs a way to describe change in our personality development. The image of people giving birth to babies is a wonderful way to describe the development of new ideas, new feelings, and new ways of being in the world.

Conversely, the image of someone dying is a way of describing the end of a certain cycle, the end of a certain way of thinking or feeling or being in the world. There is a Buddhist saying that life is a thousand births and a thousand deaths and when we look at the frequency of the birth and death motif in dreams, we can certainly see how this is true.

If you dream that you die it is generally a time of great change in your life. In these situations you are usually shifting away from your primary self system. It is like a death. The old you is dying and a new you will be born.


There are a wide variety of cataclysmic dreams. These suggest that there is a big change coming. Here are some of them. There is a huge earthquake and you know that it is the end of the world. It is World War III and you know that the world is coming to an end. There is a gigantic tidal wave that is going to destroy everything.

In most of these dreams the dreamer is going to die. Keep in mind that the dreamer in the dream is generally one of your primary selves. Dreaming of a tidal wave may suggest that your disowned emotional selves are getting ready to overwhelm your rational, controlled primary self. An earthquake means that your primary self that had everything in order is about to be overturned.

Flying (Not in a Plane)

This is also a very common kind of dream. To make sense out of it we have to determine the primary self of the dreamer. If someone is a very concrete thinker and a practical person with a strong attention to detail, then the dream reflects a readiness to move into his or her intuition, into the world of the imagination, and, very possibly, into the spiritual sphere.

If, on the other hand, the dreamer is very much identified with intuition and spirituality, then the dream can reflect an overidentification with intuition and the spiritual world. It means that the dreamer is always up in the air and does not have his or her feet on the ground.

Sometimes you are being chased in a dream or a situation is extremely emotional and then you jump up and start to fly. This would be a reflection of escaping into fantasy to escape a situation that is too difficult to handle on a psychological level.