Dream interpretation - drowning as dream symbols
What does drowning symbolise in dreams? How do we establish drownings symbolic meaning in dreams? This site has gathered together hundreds of dreams which we feel have been understood. By studying such dreams we can start to understand the symbolic meanings of virtually all of the main dream symbols.
Dream symbolism is a practical subject. Try this dream.
THE DREAM I dreamed I was driving coming down a side street next to a 2 lane highway where there was construction and due to the rain it was very cold and icy. A car ahead of me was speeding and as it tried to merge a bus clipped it, sending it spinning where it ended up sinking in a pond next to the highway. I jumped out of my car and ran to assist. There were four people in the car, and as it was sinking I was only able to save the girl and guy in the back seat. I woke up with tears in my eyes.
Many dreams will link to recent thoughts and feelings. Try to understand your dreams in the context of these recent feelings. In the case of the dream mentioned above the dreamer had an overwhelming day. He had been unemployed for sometime and was in danger of losing his wife and child.
In this case we can establish how the dream relates to reality. The dreamer was obviously feeling powerless. No matter what he did it was proving not to be enough to prevent the possible loss of his wife and child. If we are to translate this dream we find it captures these key feelings - "I feel totally powerless - I cannot prevent the end of my marriage. I am trying as hard as I can".
The drowning was a symbol for the feelings of powerlessness in real life. He really wanted to do as much as possible - in the dream he is trying to save the girl.
So in understanding dreams we need to refer to the specific emotions and thoughts that we associate with drowning. These are what our dreams refer to. Here we have captured the feelings of "desperation" and "powerlessness". Other drowning dreams use this symbol in different ways.
By analysing other drowning dreams we can establish other symbolic meanings. We shall not discuss the full analysis here but rather just concentrate on our conclusions. For instance one drowning dream captured the dreamers worries about her friend who she had been discussing her problems with the day before. So drowning captured the feelings of being "overwhelmed". Other drowning dreams have also pinpointed this key emotion within the dreamer.
Another drowning dream linked to the dreamers friend who was suffering from a terrible illness. His friend was in constant pain and it seemed like he was drowning. So we can guess that this was the symbolic meaning of drowning in this dream. So this drowning dream could be reduced to a simple meaning - drowning represented a "terrible illness". By reducing dreams symbols to meanings like this we can start to really collect together the different symbolic meanings.
Another dreamer had a drowning dream whilst they were suffering from a terrible illness. In this case they were suffering from depression. So the drowning was a symbol for the desperation and inability to cope with life generally. Its just a simple metaphor expressing the feelings of desperation – they feel like they are drowning.
So already we have several symbolic meanings. Many of these are related. We can also collect together several key words which help us understand this symbol. Drowning has several symbolic meaning associated with the following key words - "desperation", "powerless", "overwhelmed", "terrible illness" and "depression". In understanding dreams simply try to locate these words in your own feelings. Try writing down some key thoughts pinpointing your feelings. For instance "yesterday I felt overwhelmed by work problems", "My foot seems to be getting better" and "I want to save up for a car". We find that drowning in a dream could link to the feelings of being overwhelmed at work the day before. The key word we associate with drowning dreams appears in that thought. The other two quotes summing up the dreamers feelings seem unrelated to any drowning dreams.
You will find that dreams link to key thoughts and feelings. When fully understood they can capture exact thought processes. If you study the following dream then you will understand how this process works.
THE DREAM I was walking along a pier with my husband and son. I was walking ahead of them. I assumed my husband my walking along side my son holding his hand, but my he was walking ahead of my son. My son wasn't paying attention to where he was walking and bumped into a post that was on the edge of the pier, lost his balance and fell into the water. The water was calm but my son was drifting away quickly. I screamed for my husband to jump in after him but my husband couldn't catch up. A strange man jumped off the bridge and saved my son from drowning.
It is my belief that the dream above captured this exact thought process - "I really want my husband to put more effort in with our son. I want him to show how important he is to him".
So how could the dream capture such a thought? This was certainly a thought that was on the dreamers mind. But how does the symbolism work?
At first reading this you would think it might have been about the dreamers son. It could easily represent some reckless or clumsy behaviour. But in this case its actually about the father. The dream invents a random situation in which the dreamers son needs help. Then the rest of the dream concentrates on what the father does - so its actually about the father.
Actually this dream pinpoints a second type of drowning dream. These are drowning dreams where the emphasis is on saving someone. These dreams do not so much capture thoughts about how desperate someone was or how overwhelmed they have become. Rather these dreams are symbols of someone's willingness to help. They often measure how much you care about someone. Embedded in such dreams are questions like "I wonder how much he really cares?", "how much support would he provide in a crisis?" and "I really care about her and will do anything for her!". That final symbolic meaning is actually demonstrated by the following dream.
THE DREAM In my dream, Mary was drowning in a lake which resembled a beach setting. It was night and no one was around. The water was wavy but like a beach-nothing scary at all. So as she is trying to stay afloat, she can't any longer and she goes under the water. Then I go and save her from drowning and bring her back onto the beach. I give her CPR and revive her back to consciousness. As she wakes up, she has this confused look on her face as if she was expecting lifeguards or paramedics to save her but instead it was me. Neither me or her say a word. After that, I walk back into the water and disappear. Then the next "scene" is me in my room pissed off because Mary didn't recognized I saved her life. Then all of a sudden she appears in my room, and we start having sex.
The dream revolves around the dreamer and an ex girlfriend. The dreamer still wanted this ex and was realising that they had split up for no good reason. They had been afraid to show their emotions to each other.
In the dream the dreamer saves her. When you love someone you know that you would do virtually anything to help them. If they needed saving from a river then you would jump in. So a drowning dream does not always mean that you are thinking of someone's troubles. It maybe is just a device to prove how much that the person means to you.