DREAM STUDIES

Dream interpretation - cold and winter as dream symbols

In ordinary every day spoken language we use words to express our feelings. Dreams symbolism is a language but its a very different type of language. It uses metaphors - many of which do not hang together as naturally as we should expect. Poetry is a language of metaphors but its often a lot more skilful and quite well thought out. Dreams use symbols in rather sloppy ways and so this gives the appearance of dreams seeming ridiculous. However, most dreams when properly understood represent exact thought processes or feelings. Take for instance this dream.

THE DREAM I see my girlfriend. She is in a wheelchair. She orders me to get into a very cold bath.

The dreamer was being cold shouldered by his girlfriend. She had ignored him and simply cut him off. The cold bath is a very effective and easily understood metaphor. I even used the phrase "cold shouldered" in a similar sense. Anything cold can represent unfriendliness.

Although the dream has used this symbol we can obviously translate the "cold bath" into several single key words and phrases such as "unfriendly" and "ignored". These key words help us get right to the core of the symbolism – they pinpointed the dreamers exact feelings in this situation in real life . They will also be helpful in interpreting other dreams featuring "cold".

Always try to think in the here and now. Dreams will often represent important feelings in your mind right now. Its quite erroneous that dreams link with deep issues in your personality. Well, actually that's only half true. Dreams will link with issues concerning your personality but they will be within the context of the present. They represent how you are dealing with personality issues right now. They represent ways in which you are adapting to new circumstances.

The following dream also uses "cold" in the sense it was used in the first dream.

THE DREAM I was in this cold bedsit type place. It was empty and felt very eerie and ghostly. I seemed to be at the back of the house. The whole flat was difficult to heat and incredibly cold. I was looking at some neighbouring flats. They seemed much more warm and homely.

Having analysed the previous dream we linked cold to the words "unfriendly" and "ignored". These words did feature in the dreamers current thinking. The night before he dreamer was very depressed. He felt a total lack of trust in someone that he had placed a lot of trust in. He had hoped this woman would have supported him and stood up for him. Instead he had been the subject of gossip. So one of the two keywords clearly has relevance here. The dreamer felt his "friend" was not being as friendly and supportive as she could be. So clearly the dream taps into similar types of emotions as the previous one. This dream however probably connects with different keywords such as "uncaring" and "unsupported". So we now have four words which we can associate with cold things in dreams - "uncaring", "unsupported", "unfriendly" and "ignored".

When next we analyse a "cold" dream we could look for any way in which these words feature in our emotions. We must also be open to new ideas and new keywords which "cold" things and feelings associate with. Dreams use symbols in complex ways. Think of dream symbols like words - the average word in the English language has several different meanings and each of these can feature in different contexts. Try this dream.

THE DREAM I am near my childhood home. I appear to be on the road somewhere. There appears to be some world record temperatures set. There are snowmen around. There are record cold temperatures.

The dreamer had just received a video camera that she had been waiting for through the post. However, parts of it were missing. So she was unable to use the camera at all and she was really frustrated by this delay. Nothing else was really on her mind - she expected this camera that day and wanted to get busy using it. The day was extremely frustrating.
So analysing this dream what could it mean? I often try to make a dream fit an important issue. I do see some links here. Cold is seen as good and warm is seen as bad. We often associate cold with lack of activity and delays. That's really a perfect link to this dream. So we can guess that the dream does link to this issue as it was big enough to dream about - dreams are about key emotions and feelings dominating our minds right now. So if the dream was about this issue (we can never be totally sure) then we can suggest other keywords which cold link to - "delays","lack of progress" and "inactivity".

What about the next dream?

THE DREAM I was stuck between these two people who were very much in love. They were kissing and I was caught up in it all. I felt totally dejected and cold.

With all dreams we try to associate anything we can with the dream. The night before the dream felt "cold" after watching two neighbours kiss passionately. She was feeling very upset about a man she was very much in love with. Watching others very much in love upset her. She felt very jealous.

We already have a list of words which can associate with "cold" - these are "uncaring", "delays","lack of progress","inactivity", "unsupported", "unfriendly" and "ignored". Obviously some of these keywords figured in his emotions notably "lack of progress" in that the dreamer was unhappy at the lack of progress in his own love life. However, we can think of other keywords which we can associate with this situation which are very similar to the ones in the list but more accurately describe the dreamers emotions and pinpoint the symbolic meaning in this case. The dreamer felt cold because he felt "dejected" and "unhappy".

Now try this dream.

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.

Recently the dreamer had been under a lot of stress and was having problems with her partners family. They were controlling and domineering.

Could the dreamer's partners family be the cause of this dream. Could this cold grey castle be a metaphor for their tendency to be domineering and unfriendly? It is certainly a possibility. The huge castle could be a symbol for the extended family - and that's appropriate as its the wider family that is unfriendly and unsupported. The homely corner to the castle could represent the inner family - the dreamer and her partner. This could hint at the dreams meaning. The dreamer wants to establish her own home as a refuge from the wider family.

Its ideas like this which will tend to link to a dreams meaning. The symbolic meanings of "cold" apply nicely. The dreamer felt her extended family were "uncaring", "unfriendly", and "unsupported". They made her feel "unhappy" - all of these are keywords which we know associate with "cold" dreams. So if any of them appear then its possible that the dream links to that issue.

Of course we can never truly tell what a dream means. We can only guess that a dream links to something. We can only test if the symbolism appears consistent with the symbolism we have already established for symbols that appear in the dream.

By analysing other dreams which feature "cold" we can test out if they could be consistent with the symbolism of cold in dreams. One dream which featured "cold" took place while nothing much was happening in the dreamers life. There was a coldness to his emotions. So clearly this possible trigger for the dream does seem to work out in practice. The dreamers thoughts featured some of the key words that we associate with "cold" dreams. The dreamer felt "unhappy", and there was a "lack of progress" in his life. So clearly the coldness in the dream could be a symbol for that unhappiness and lack of progress.

Another dreamer had a dream about a cold dark house. One possible trigger for this was the dreamers thoughts about starting university. She felt people did not understand her religious beliefs and she felt unwelcomed. So clearly the keywords that we have associated with "cold" dreams do seem to apply to this situation. The dreamer felt "unhappy" and also felt people were "unfriendly" and also "unwelcoming". So we have some keywords which apply but we can also add a new keyword which obviously fits quite nicely in "unwelcoming".

If you try this form of analysis then you can start to really pinpoint the symbolic meaning of "cold" in dreams.

This website also believes in the possibility that dreams in some way capture the future. Take for example the following dream.

THE DREAM - In the spring and early summer of 1914 Carl Jung had a thrice repeated dream that in the middle of the summer an Arctic cold wave descended and froze the land to ice. He saw the whole of Lorraine and its canals frozen and the entire region totally deserted by human beings. All living creatures were killed by frost. The dream came in April and May and for the last time in June, 1914.

Carl Jung had these dreams just prior to the outbreak of World War One. Trenches stretched from the Alps down to the North Sea and covered much of the area of Alsace Lorraine. The frozen and deserted land was an excellent metaphor for the outbreak of World War One. It perfectly captures the bleak existence of trench warfare.


So reading through these dreams you will notice the vast number of ways in which "cold" can be a metaphor. Often you will encounter new uses of cold as a metaphor. These will help you refine the meaning and spot it in other dreams. Take this next dream.

THE DREAM - I am in Newcastle. I seem to be in some kind of underground subway. Its full of water (up to my chest). Its really cold. The dream reminded me of the film Titanic where they are wading through icy waters in the sinking ship.

The dreamer had been getting a lot of pain recently. It seemed to have become something permanent. He was suffering from arthritis and felt that he would never recover his former health. The cold in the dream - which reminded him of a sinking ship was an excellent metaphor. The dream tapped into some keywords already discussed such as "unhappy" and "lack of progress" as the dreamers life was blighted by illness. But we might even consider adding “persistent illness" as another key phrase.

Take this next dream.

THE DREAM I was in a loft. It was quite cold and I felt exposed. I then woke up. As I woke a wolf appeared in real life. It was threatening me. It looked towards me. Slowly it disappeared.

The dreamer was in a bit of a crisis. He was falsely accused of something. He was suffering from relentless stress because of this. Earlier keywords are obviously relevant here - such as "unhappy", "unsupported" and "unfriendly". But we could refine the meaning by suggesting a new key word "exposed". This obviously pinpointed the dreamers feelings with this situation.

DREAM STUDIES