Dream symbols - guns,rifles and fighting and practical dream interpretation

What do guns mean in dreams? How do we go about showing how the whole process of dream analysis works? Many people now argue that dreams link to recent feelings and thoughts. Dreams represent conscious thoughts - they are just written in a strange language of symbolism. If we interpreted dreams we would find that they would translate into the types of things that we would tell a friend or write in a diary. Take the following dream.

THE DREAM I dreamt walking at night ,a guy came out of the car pointing the gun at me telling me to lie down.

We find out that the night before the dreamer had an argument with her boyfriend. So we can assume that dreams about guns can symbolise arguments that have just taken place. An argument involves confrontation and a dream about a gun could symbolise a situation involving confrontation. It could be your minds way of saying that "he was not willing to compromise" as people with guns are just not willing to compromise.

I try to reduce a dreams meaning to just a key word or sentence which truly pinpoints a symbols meaning. In this case the dream meant that the dreamer felt her boyfriend was becoming "confrontational" and that they had had an "argument". This is helpful as it allows us to interpret other gun dreams. As we go along we may add other key words and phrases to this list. Then when we get another gun dream we may analyse them and see if these keywords and phrases link to a theme in the dreamers life at the time (most dreams are in the here and now).

These dreamers all just had gun dreams and they recorded the following background information.- A dreamer who had a gun dream mentioned that he was getting angry towards those around him. Obviously the key word "confrontation" was important here. Actually the word "anger" could be added as a keyword as its very similar.

- One dreamer had a dream of her friend pointing a gun. In real life he had been fairly confrontational as he had become obsessed with politics and was always talking about human rights. Clearly the word confrontational was relevant but other similar words may come to mind with a similar meaning such as "obsessive" and "insistent" (again a person holding a gun is both obsessive and insistent).

- Another dream about a gun took place as the dreamer was thinking about how people were blaming her for her own grandfathers death. Quite clearly again confrontation is relevant in this situation (the dreamers family were confrontational about this issue and also angry - two keywords mentioned before). A similar and related keyword might be suggested in "blamed" (the dreamer was being blamed for her grandfathers death and blame is often something which involves anger and confrontation).

- Another gun dream took place whilst the dreamer was still angry and passionate about an argument. The dreamer did not want to get dragged into this argument. He wanted to argue things from another point of view but realised that this might provoke his friend. The dream involved two people pointing guns at each other and one backing down. Quite clearly the situation involved "confrontation", "argument" and "anger" (three keywords discussed already). But we could again add other related keywords such as "passionate" and "provocative" (as someone holding a gun is likely to be both passionate and provocative) .

So with just a few dreams we already have a list of related keywords which all featured in one or more dreams which we feel we have understood. The list so far includes the words "argument", "anger", "confrontation", "blame", "provocative", "obsessive", "insistent" and "passionate". If you were to get a gun dream now then try to meditate on these keywords and its likely that the meaning would link to whatever enters your mind right now.

Other dreams symbols involve their own keywords and so by analysing all the symbols you may build up a strong idea of what the dream means. Analysing dreams in this way may help youstart to understand how dreams work and the whole process of dream symbolism. Dreams can portray very sophisticated thoughts and feeling. Take for instance the following dream.

THE DREAM I was in a house. There were two babies there and a gun.So we start off by looking at the background information looking for obvious causes of the dream - issues dominating the dreamers intuition. The dreamer was thinking of moving in with her boyfriend. They were both working from home so this could cause a lot of tension. Neither were particularly responsible either and they could both have tantrums.

Now we start to analyse the symbols. Guns we have previously stated can link with key words like "argument", "anger", "confrontation", "blame", "provocative", "obsessive", "insistent" and "passionate". Some keywords were relevant to the dreamers situation. The dreamer feared confrontational arguments with her boyfriend if they moved in together. She feared that they may get on each others nerves especially as they both worked from home.

The art of dream analysis really comes into its own when we deal with more than one symbol. We could suggest some possible keywords for babies in dreams such as "immature" and "tantrum". Next we try to place these two sets of keywords together and try to form a greater meaning. Here we have two sets of keywords - "argument" and "confrontational" linked to guns, while "tantrum" and "immature" are keywords linked to babies. If we try to merge together these two meanings we could build up a thought process which has some greater meaning. In this case one comes to mind - "I really fear moving in with my boyfriend because we are both quite immature and I worry we may get on each others nerves and start arguing badly". The gun may even symbolise the fear that an argument may get out of hand. Basically the dream links to the following obvious metaphor - would you really leave two babies with a gun? This hints at the dreamers worries - "could we really live together? Would our arguments get out of hand?"

Now try the next dream.

THE DREAM Dr Who was pointing a gun at some ugly woman. He was threatening her. (Dr Who is a science fiction character who was somewhat a mentor for me - he is always good and honest and always has a sense of humour).

Looking through the dreamers background information we find that recently he had become very bitter and angry. He had lost his easy going nature. Quite clearly some of the key words we have linked to guns are relevant here - "confrontational" and "anger" (the dreamer was very angry and in losing his easy going nature he had become quite confrontational). So the dream could possibly link to this one issue. To check the dream even further we need to understand the other symbols. Dr Who was described as a hero or even a mentor to the dreamer. The evening before he had watched an episode of Dr Who and in it Dr Who pointed a gun at a war criminal and threatened to kill him. This was most unlike Dr Who who was always easy going, compassionate and non violent. Here in lies the meaning to the dream. The dreamer was normally kind and easy going but just recently he had lost his way (just like Dr Who) who had also not been himself. So really we can see an entire thought process portrayed in various dream symbols - "I have become angry and confrontational. I am usually so easy going - I seemed to have lost my way. It reminds me of that episode of Dr Who last night - where Dr Who seemed to have lost his way and become bitter and angry".

Now lets try another dream which uses guns in a slightly different way.

THE DREAM There are terrorists. They are terrorising ordinary people. At the end of the dream the terrorists are getting ordinary people to do things they would not normally do. They are holding a gun to their head. They are getting the ordinary people to act convincingly so they can fool people. The terrorists were fighting back and winning.

Now remember the key words already listed - "argument", "anger", "confrontation", "blame", "provocative", "obsessive", "insistent" and "passionate".

In real life the dreamer had been to visit a friend who was had become deeply ill and was in psychiatric hospital. She went to visit her friend but was disturbed to see him so completely paranoid. None of the words are directly mentioned but they do have a relevance in mental illness. People who are mentally ill can often be "insistent", "angry", "argumentative", "confrontational", and certainly "obsessive". They can be deeply "passionate" in what they think and believe that people are "blaming" them (paranoia). So, even though none of the words are mentioned specifically, nearly all the key words associated with guns in dreams are relevant. We could even add some new words to the list such as "paranoia" and "phobic". After all paranoid people believe that the world is out to get them and guns really tap into the violent feelings that stir within them.

Actually, if we look at this dream in detail we realise that it portrays this thought exactly - "I was surprised at the state of my friend. He was so paranoiac. The thing that struck me was that he actually believed that people were really out to get him". This is what the ordinary people who are acting convincingly portray in the dream.

This next dream also uses guns in an unusual symbolic way.

THE DREAM I cannot recall the events that led to the significant part of my first dream that I remember, but I do recall that I had this absolute urgent need to stop my best friend from doing something. As he turned away from me, all of a sudden, I looked down and saw a very large, heavy, shiny gun. I panicked, and I shot him twice in the back. I specifically remember thinking in my dream that I had to be careful not to hit any major organs. I didn't want him to die, or even to hurt him. I just needed him to stop whatever he was about to do. In my dream I actually hit my mark twice and somehow did no discernible damage. Yes, there were bullet holes, but he didn't even bleed, and it only slowed him down slightly. He was hurt that I did this, but he didn't get especially angry though. He laid on the couch with me on top of him, apologizing. I tried going back to sleep but only ended up having a worse nightmare that this same best friend's mother passed away and that, overcome with grief, he took it out on me, assaulting me in the parking lot. He said to me (in the dream) that now I would be burdened with a secret and I would know what it felt like to feel so overwhelmed.

The previous day the dreamer visited the man in the dream and while she was there, he complained that his chest had been hurting him all day. His whole family has a history of heart disease, so she basically begged him to see a doctor, especially when he said his arm felt tingly. He, being stubborn, said he would be fine. Thinking back she wished she had been more forceful with him and made him go to the doctors. When looking over the dreamers background information we find that several of the key words we have linked to guns are relevant. The dreamer wished that she had been more forceful with her friend so you could say that she should have been more angry and argumentative with him. Clearly she wished that she had insisted on him going to the doctors. So clearly we could add some new key words such as "compel" and "force". If we think about the dream its meaning is quite simple - it portrays this thought "I should have forced him to go to the doctors" or "What could have I done - I could hardly hold a gun to his head and make him go to the doctors".

Eventually we can spot what may link to any gun dream. We can automatically spot what issue may link. Most dreams capture key thoughts about dreams and these key thoughts will in some way feature the key words we have suggested. Think of the following.

- A dreamer had the previous day intentionally tried to wind up a woman he disliked. He meant to subtly provoke her and make her look like a fool. Unfortunately, this plan backfired and he became very angry and wound up by the whole situation. So when he had a dream about shooting lions we look for ways in which this situation is portrayed in the dream. In the dream he feels he will be OK with the lions and that he can manage them - a mirror of reality as he felt he could subtly wind up this woman yet without harm to himself. In the dream he shoots one lion but the other gets him. The lion killing him mirrors this plan backfiring on him - he is savaged instead of the lion being shot.

So yes the key words we have built up seem relevant as the situation was "confrontational" and "argumentative". But the gun has other symbolic meanings. It links to the dreamers feeling that he could cope with that difficult and dangerous situation - he could cope with the lion because he had a gun. So it touches on his belief that he could defend himself and that he had adequate protection. So the dream links to the level of force need to defend yourself. So we might add other key words to our growing list "strong defence", "ability to resist".

But the dream also hints at something else - the level of provocation. An argument involves a low level confrontation whilst a gun fight suggests a high level of provocation. So the dream also hints at the dreamers wish to strongly provoke the woman. So we might refine our list by amending one of the key words ("provocative") to a key phrase - "highly provocative".

So now our list stands at this - "argument", "anger", "confrontation", "blame", "highly provocative", "obsessive", "insistent", "passionate", "phobia", "paranoid","compel", "forceful", "ability to resist" and "strongly defend". We might add another few because they clearly deal with similar themes such as "determined" , "threaten" and "prevent"

Of course there will always come dreams which do not fit into the dreams symbolism. Dreams use symbols in sophisticated ways some of which we cannot imagine. Think of this dream.

DREAM - Mass Murder ...So a teacher comes into the hall and calls this teenager that looks like the omen kid or something. Tall black hair and pale. Somehow he gets a gun with unlimited ammo. The teachers try to run but is shot and the kid then goes on a rampage.

During the last six months five people the dreamer knew have died. Just recently a close friend died who was just 23 years old. The dreamer felt sad for a day but was not feeling any remorse. So actually the dream was about the dreamer dealing with grief. The mass murder was symbolic of the many people who had died in the dreamers life. The dream dealt with the cold way in which the dreamer was dealing with grief. None of the earlier meanings of guns have any relevance here and none of the key words discussed so far are relevant at all such as "confront" and "argument".

So always be careful with dream analysis as a dream symbol may link in ways which you have not come across or cannot have imagined.

DREAM TIP: Dreams are about our feelings. So when a fight occurs in our dreams it means that we feel as if we are fighting against something. Think about what things you have been fighting against in real life. Are you fighting against someone who is being confrontational? Are you fighting against something that you disagree with. Are you fighting against your own poor self image and a wish for greater recognition.
DREAM TIP: Dreams often feature strong symbols like murders and rapes. But remember dreams are about our own feelings. We often feel worse than is actually the case. We often feel as if we could kill someone at work or at school. Look for the extreme emotions in your own life. Look for strong emotions from the day before as they can easily trigger dreams.
DREAM INTERPRETATION TIP : The dream mind is a conceptual mind. Therefor try to think about the kinds of conceptual thoughts and emotions currently occupying your mind. Try to write down some quotes which capture your feelings on major issues concerning you and especially events from the day before the dream . For instance think of quotes like "I have been unhappy at work recently", or "I had a really strange conversation with my best friend yesterday and don’t know what to make of it". Its quotes like this which interest our dream minds. Try to link your dreams to conceptual thoughts currently rising to the surface of your mind.

GUNS : Guns have obvious links to strong feelings. They capture moments when we focus our anger and argue intensely. So think back to the day before and see how confrontation featured in your mind.

When you point a gun you are targeting something and pinpointing it. In dreams there are several unusual meanings of guns. Guns can link to inhibitions which have been focused on by others. They can link to precise arguments that we are pointing out to others so think of debates where you have been trying to highlight something.

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream) :
- "My inhibitions were obvious"
- "focusing precisely on... "
- "I told him precisely"
- "The focus was concentrated on her"
- "I got totally blamed"
- "there was a confrontation"


FIGHTS : Fighting in dreams often links to very powerful emotions. Its a very male thing and usually quite easy to spot. Just think back to the day before the dream. What was the source of aggression in your mind. Did you feel resentful? Did you feel drawn into a heated and difficult situation or did you start an argument? Just simply ask yourself what annoyed you the day before!

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream) :
- "He should respect me more"
- "I hate it when things do not turn out right"
- "Why am I always a failure!"
- "confronting him"
- "I just cannot stop thinking about it"
- "I cannot accept it"
- "an epic struggle"
- "struggling against something "
- "reasons to avoid doing something"

KNIVES: Knives are fairly easy symbols to understand. They symbolise how we have become deeply interested and stimulated by something. It maybe a relationship that has become very intense. It maybe simply a TV program or film you got very emotionally involved with. It maybe an academic subject that you are trying to understand. The dream simply shows that you are getting highly involved either emotionally or intellectually in something. Simply ask the question - "what could I not stop thinking about yesterday?"

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream) :
- "I cannot stop thinking about it"
- "I have been getting really into it"
- "Starting to understand the subject in great detail"
- "I could not stop thinking about what happened yesterday"

POISON : Poison is a fairly obvious symbol. It rarely links to poison itself but is more connected to bitter feelings and poisoned atmospheres.

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream) :
- "poisoned relationship"
- "she cannot see its slowly destryoing her"
- "a poisonous atmosphere"

Guns in dreams : A detailed essay on the symbolism of guns
Knives in dreams : A detailed essay on the symbolism of knives in dreams
FIGHTS in dreams : Fighting In dream symbolism
MILITARY in dreams : What is the significance of the military in real dreams
Dream Dictionary : An A to Z of symbolic meanings with every meaning for each symbol