Dream interpretation - castles and forts as dream symbols

Dreams use dream symbols as metaphors for your own thoughts. A castle will be a symbol for anything that we classically associate with castles. What do we think of when we think of castles? A castle is strong and particularly in a defensive sense.

So when we analyse a dream we need to see how it could be a metaphor for something in your life. Castles do not just randomly appear in dreams - they have a symbolic meaning. Try the following dream - which was the dream of Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst.

THE DREAM I was walking along a countryside road through a valley. It was lit by the evening sunshine. On the right hand side was a castle stood on a steep hill. There was a woman right at the top of the castle sat on a bench. In order to get a good view I had to look right up. I felt the pain in my neck as I was looking up so high. I recognized the woman as a patient of mine. When I woke up I figured out that because I was looking up to her in the dream I was looking down to her in reality.

Most dreams tap into recent thought processes and emotions. In Carl Jung's case he mentions how he had been thinking about a patient who he had been treating. He was finding it difficult to comprehend her. Just prior to this dream he realised that he had been 'looking down' upon her. What he needed to do was respect her more and from that point on he would find her much more understandable.

So when he looked up to this woman on the castle it was a symbol for his need to 'look up' to her as a person. Previously he had been looking down upon her as the great psychoanalyst imposing his ideas on how she was thinking. The castle represented her impenetrability - she had a deep and difficult to understand personality.

This dream uses a castle in a slightly different sense.

THE DREAM I dreamt that my friend Jan saved me from a castle.

The dream featured a friend so there is a chance that the dream could be about her. The dreamer felt a strong bond with this friend who had helped her open up as a person. They were able to talk openly and joke about most things.

So the castle in the dream was a symbol of the dreamers own personality - she was deeply defensive and introverted. But recently her defensive nature had been breached by this friend who had helped her open up. So actually the dream translates into this exact thought process - "I used to be very defensive but my friend has helped me escape from all that."

In some ways the next dream uses a castle as a more obvious metaphor but in other ways its used in a way that is unusual. Dreams will often tap into things which are on your mind. In this case the dreamers mind was obsessing on the recent outbreak of bird flu. This new strain had broken out and the dreamer was wondering how this would affect the world. Scientists have long said that we could get a deadly outbreak of flu which would kill hundreds of millions. The dreamer was thinking over the consequences of this. He felt for sure that millions of old people would die. Try reading the dream and think what it represents.

THE DREAM - I outside my childhood home. I am looking around the neighbourhood(they are all bungalows) and see a house has a large painting of a castle in the window. You can see right into the house. I then look around and see more houses and they too have big paintings and they all appear to be of castles. Some are big and some are small. They are all beautiful paintings. I look in my childhood home. There appears to be some pictures of an abstract nature. They seem like an amoeba. I then appear to have a cold. I am trying to sleep and my airways are blocked up. I am then in my bedroom and say to my sister that death will come this year. I think of my grandfather.

Actually the metaphor and link to the flu outbreak is obvious. A castle is a strong defensive fortress designed to keep people out. The dreamer was thinking that a killer flu outbreak would mean that people would end up with people locking themselves in their houses and letting no one in. They would turn their homes into castles making them impregnable to all.

We have a second strong link in that the dreamer thinks of his grandfather - who is an example of an older person (the group of people that the dreamer feared would be affected most).

Fortunately, the dream did not come true. The bird flu outbreak fizzled out. The dream was a worst possible scenario dream. A major killer flu outbreak would have enormous consequences and would be highly disruptive. Dreams explore just how bad things can become. They are a way of preparing us for the worst.

The next dream is quite interesting. A dream symbol will link to reality in any number of ways. A castle is strong and impregnable place and that association has been used in several dreams featured so far. But a castle is also a beautiful and scenic place (usually) and is often a tourist attraction. That's relevant in the next dream.

THE DREAM I was near a river. Someone was taking pictures of the opposite river bank. I saw one and it was a very good photo. Later on I was at the bottom of a castle. There were guards on the fortress walls. I started to throw rocks very skilfully at them. We(though I do not remember anyone else being there) were invading the castle. A lot of the rocks were well aimed and were good shots.

In reality the dreamer was in need of a day out. He was feeling a little undervalued and needed a break from the usual routine. When he woke up he decided to go out taking pictures. So really this dream was just a story expressing his need to have a day out. The castle was just an example of the type of place he might end up visiting. So in essence the dream was just saying "I want a day out taking photographs. I could visit somewhere nice like a castle".

The dream does have several links to this and works as an excellent metaphor. The dream features photography which is a very obvious link simply expressing his interest in photography in real life. In the dream he is throwing rocks - he aims them and throws them and they are described as good shots. The link there is not so obvious but they have used two terms clearly relevant to photography. The 'good shots' are symbols of him taking good photographs. The dream uses the language of photography and that's no coincidence.

You will notice that we have had three different dreams which have all used castles in different metaphorical ways. The first used a castle as a symbol for a woman's personality which was rather impenetrable. The second used a castle as a symbol of an introverted personality - someone who was obviously very defensive towards the world in general. The last dream used a castle merely as an example of a tourist destination and the dream expressing his wish for a day out. Actually we can start to select some key words which castles can be used to express. In these earlier three dreams the words 'introverted', 'impenetrable' and a 'tourist destination' come to mind. In truth dreams use castles in dreams in the place of these types of words. A dream does not form thoughts using words instead its a weird mixture of metaphors which often seem not to hang together. Actually a castle dream can simply use the castle in the place of the word "introverted". If this is the case try simply turning this around. Most dreams simply represent your thoughts and you already know your thoughts. So try thinking where the words "introverted", "impenetrable" or "tourist destination" might appear in your thoughts,. If you had a castle dream when you when someone had just pointed out that you were very introverted then that's an obvious connection. You may then explore this as a possible meaning and then try to fully analyse the other symbols.

So when you have a castle dream try to link it to the keywords which are associated with it - "impenetrable", "introverted", and "tourist destination". Of course keep an open mind as other key words will turn up from time to time. This dream uses the castle in a different sense.

THE DREAM I seem to be observing a competition. There seems to be around four castles. There is a competition to see which one is the best. It is about which is the strongest. Each castle has a king and the different kings and queens all give different reactions.

As we have said dreams link to recent feelings and emotions. In this case the dreamer had been thinking long and hard about his approach to something. He was wanting to try out a new method of doing something. He decided that he would try out several different approaches and then try to see which got the best reaction.

Actually the dream seems to be quite consistent with this possible cause. The competition is symbolic of the several approaches competing with each other. There is also a clear reference to "reactions" which was a key part of the dreamers thoughts - he was going to gauge which got the best reaction. The castle is a symbol for the approach which is strongest. So we can add a new key word which describe a castles meaning - "strong" (eg the strongest approach/castle).

Knowing the basics helps with dream analysis. Dreams often link to big issues and recent feelings which are dominating your mind. Dreams can translate into key feelings. Knowing this simple information can help you make some very accurate dream analyses. Take the following.

THE DREAM I had a dream last night I was in and around a castle. Most of the castle was as you would expect to see a medieval castle, cold grey walls and keeps and fairly unremarkable. The weird thing is though one of the corner towers was the complete opposite, very ornately constructed and pure white and had a very airy homely feel to it. I remember in the dream I was following someone as if I was asking for directions but they couldn't hear me.

The dreamer stated that she had been under lots of stress and was having problems with her partners family. They could be quite controlling and domineering at times.

How could we interpret this dream? Well the castle is cold and grey - and the dreamers partners family sound a bit cold and grey. So the castle could easily represent this extended family. The castle does have a nice portion to it which appeared very homely. That's probably a symbol for the dreamers own home - the inner family rather than extended family. The dreamer cannot be heard - that's probably a simple metaphor expressing the dreamers wishes not being met. I try to interpret dreams by translating the dream symbols into a quote which captures its meaning. In this case the dream probably captures this phrase - "I am having trouble with my partners family. They are cold, unwelcoming and domineering. I have tried to make my own home a refuge from them. But its just not working as I am just not being listened to".

As we have said before we can associate key words with castle dreams such as "strong","domineering", "defensive", "introverted", and "tourism". If any of these words feature in your thoughts then try to explore that meaning further. Now try the following dream.

THE DREAM I was a human with a secret. My friend and I were running on a track racing each other. She pointed to the opposite side of the field where there were a few hooded guys. I looked up in the sky and it was evening and I started to panic. She knew of my secret and said she wanted to help me. I ran away faster than she could catch up. I down an alleyway and phased painlessly. But when I looked up, the hooded figures were barring fangs and swords. I jumped at them and attacked - killing them. I ran/jumped up a castle type building and growled at the small army of vampires. I dodged arrows and killed them one after another. I went inside and bit some of the townsfolk. When I came back out I howled and was joined by my friend. After that, we slaughtered most of the remaining vampires and the dream ended. When I woke up, I was saddened that it ended.

From talking to the dreamer she described herself as introverted which was one of the key words we associated with castles. So this dream maybe exploring some aspect of her introversion. We have other clues - its very much an 'us against the world dream. The dreamer is fighting against the world with her friend. The dreamer also mentioned that she is obsessed with werewolves and enjoys her reoccurring werewolves dreams.

People who are introverted will often have dreams which are not so much about issues but about their inner emotions. Their dreams may concentrate on fantasies or paranoias. Emotions in the dream maybe linked to emotions in your head rather than real life emotions. They may feel someone is against them. In this case the dreamer was probably in a mood which tapped into the emotions in the dream. She was in an 'us against the world' mood. Her emotions maybe locked into a battle with a foe that may or may not exist. Or she may simply feel that the world is against her generally.

We can never truly know what a dream means. The only person who can truly tell what a dream means is yourself. This last dream is like many. We have hints about what it may mean. But we can never truly know what a dream symbol means. Feel happy if you can decode some of your dream. Do not get too downhearted if you do not understand it - the dream mind always retains the right to hide its meaning. It feels it unnecessary to explain itself.

DREAM INTERPRETATION TIP : The dream mind is a conceptual mind. So whatever is contained is likely to be ideas and conclusions about situations you have been thinking about. So instead of trying to work out a dream through complex symbolic meaning try to understand what types of things you are likely to dream of. Think of quotes which encapsulate your thoughts such as "My students are really not working hard enough. I have maybe got to stamp down on this by being tougher with discipline. It may just send a message to them". With some practice you can learn to spot issues which stuck in your mind from the day before.
DREAM INTERPRETATION TIP : Think about dream carefully. Look for associations. The following dream seemed to place great emphasis on the dreamer bending his neck. This led the dreamer(Carl Jung) to conclude that because he was bending his neck to look up he realised that he was looking down on one of his patients in real life. He therefore deduced from this that he needed to respect his patients more. Think about little moments in dream which stick out. Take note of any associations you make. They maybe the key to understanding a dream .
DREAM INTERPRETATION TIP : Think of a castle in a dream as representing a word such as "cautious". Then think of the rich and varied ways in which that word can be used in the English language such as "My girlfriend thinks I am too cautious", "My friend is less defensive and cautious nowadays" and "There was definitely a need for caution yesterday". dream symbols are used in equally rich and varied ways by dream . Do not make the simple mistake of saying that dream about castles have simplistic meanings such as "you are feeling very cautious". Look for ways in which the theme of caution is applying in your life right now.
DREAM INTERPRETATION TIP : Think about the actual day of the dream . Have you been thinking about some important event that is happening then? Have you been thinking about how you are going to put some plans into action. dream may focus on the day to come and how you are relating to problems you wish to solve.
DREAM INTERPRETATION TIP : The link between dream and the previous day is really quite strong. During the day we store up thoughts in short term memory. Then at night time we start to work through these memories and transfer them and integrate them into long term emotions and feelings. So because of this dream do tend to link to the previous day and important feelings and incidents which have caused shifts in our feelings.

CASTLES : Castles in dream are actually quite tricky symbols. They may mean an awful lot of things. The main link seems to be caution. If you have acted cautiously in someway during the day before then the dream may have been triggered by that. But castles also symbolise strength and your wish to develop an approach which is a strong as possible. Castles also have strong defensive features and may symbolise how you have been very defensive about an issue and feel that the world is against you. The castle may also capture moments when you have put up a stiff defence against someone who is trying to force you into something.

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream ) :
- "very defensive and sensitive"
- "stiff resistance "
- "acting cautiously"
- "a need to feel safe"
- "strengthened my confidence"
- "as strong as possible"


CASTLES in dream : A detailed essay on the symbolism of castles using real dream interpretations
PRISONS in dream : What actually do prisons mean in real dream interpretations
MANSIONS : Mansions and their symbolic link to dream
GUARDS in dream : Real dream studies have revealed exactly what guards mean
dream Dictionary : An A to Z of symbolic meanings with every meaning for each symbol