DREAM STUDIES

Dream interpretation - sharks as dream symbols

Dreams will often capture key emotions - the type of thing you would tell a best friend over a coffee or the type of thing that you might write in a diary. Think of key emotions that are forming in your mind right now and the day before the dream. Your dream is likely to be a symbolic version of that thought. Take this dream.

THE DREAM I was on the top floor of a tall building. I am telling the story of how I was nearly eaten by a shark or alligator. It had swallowed me up to my chest. I am laughing and joking.

If a dream is a symbolic version of something that is on your mind then we would guess that a shark would represent something bad. The day before this dream the dreamer had been really disappointed. He had been looking forward to a party for ages. It all went badly and he left early. He felt dejected and humiliated. Yet despite this he did not get particularly down about it. Simply got on with his routine.

In a way the dream clearly captures this exact thought. He had just gone through a harrowing situation (represented in the dream by him nearly eaten by a shark) but he did not actually feel bad. In fact he was in good spirits. Clearly the dream captures this odd situation where the dreamer felt good despite being humiliated. Dreams will capture unusual reactions to situations. They monitor our emotions and in this case the dreamer thoroughly expected to feel dejected and humiliated but was extremely happy.

Now try this dream and then read the background information which describes key feelings and situations in the dreamers mind.

THE DREAM I am swimming underwater. I spot a shark moving towards me. I get ready to kick it. Yet it suddenly stops dead. Its in slow motion or even stop motion. Its just sitting.

In real life the dreamer had been having problems with a woman. He had sorted things out via email. He did not want to approach her in person immediately. He was wanting to wait.

So again the dream describes every aspect of the dreamers feelings. The shark represents the mauling he will feel if this woman turns against him. The slow motion and stop represents the slow process of sorting things out via email.

It is obvious that sharks can represent something bad. So if dreams represent your thoughts just try to think of something bad that has been bothering you. There's a good chance that the dream is in some way connected. If you can establish a link to the real life issue then you can start to think about what the dream means. Most dreams simply translate into day to day thoughts like 'I have got some worries about ...". The next dream is an excellent example of that.

THE DREAM I was dreaming I was in a water park in the sea, and people would go inside of it. There were sharks in there (big white sharks). I got into this tank and saw the sharks chasing me. When I was in the outer sea the big waves pushed me down. I then saw more sharks and tried to escape them. I thought I was going to die.

The dreamer had just moved in with a room mate from college. This room mate was extremely smart but also very wild and weird and loved to party. The dreamer had been invited by his new room mate to a July Fourth celebration at his family's home in Missouri. He was a bit nervous about this given his reputation for wild activities. His room mate had even bought him a one way ticket. He kept mentioning parties.

Dreams use symbols to represent real life. In this case the water park was a symbol of relaxation and fun - which was the intention over the holiday period. The shark was a symbol of danger - the hidden doubts of getting involved in wild parties with his friend. So without actually mentioning parties or fourth of July the dream is quite clearly linked to this issue. It deals with the same themes as the real life issue on his mind. You just have to spot the relevance of the metaphors it uses.

Now we know that the shark could be linked to this issue we begin to see exactly what the symbolic meaning is. Sharks symbolise warning signs. The dreamer was not exactly sure what he had to fear but he felt something was not quite right with this. He sensed danger which tends to happen when we worry about sharks. We do not know exactly where they are but they are there. They can quite easily strike at any moment.

Sharks can mean other things. This next dream uses a shark as a symbol for a cruel person.

THE DREAM We were in the ocean playing fall off the boat and saw the shark very close to me. It tried to bite me on my neck but he couldn't. Some how I managed to swim off water into the house where the shark appeared once again. He followed me in to my room and I left him in there closing the door. Then I felt bad he was going to die and my dad helped me get it out by throwing meat at him but the shark would only tried to aim at me! The shark was not hurting me. Later it came back this time with an alligator in his mouth. Another family went into the water and I remembered thinking I should warn them but I didn't. The kids faced the shark and came back. Nothing happened. I remember the horrible feeling of having the shark near me teasing me on biting on my neck but not hurting me...

In real life the dreamer had started to feel unhappy about her marriage yet she did not want to speak out about it. By reading the dream we can see the shark acts like a person. It is teasing the dreamer in the way a human teases someone. This is probably a symbol for the dreamers husband. In other ways the shark does not act like a shark. It only picks on the dreamer leaving the others completely alone (a shark would kill any prey). So the shark obviously stands for someone who is subtly picking on the dreamer. The dream is recreating her husbands behaviour and pinpointing ways in which she feels unhappy with him.

Now read the following dream.

THE DREAM I dreamt that a shark bit me. It was my right hand-inside the palm. It was sort of sewn shut by the doctors. I couldn't see the stitches, only a little where the flesh underneath my pinkie finger is. My ex boyfriend was in my life but totally unavailable. No caring or nurturing from him. I don't remember being bitten or chased by the shark. It wasn't scary in that sense. It was as though I'd already been bitten but no memory of what the experience was like. I feel like I was showing off my wounded hand to everyone I'd come in contact with. It was an exciting feeling. I was proud. I survived.

The most prominent issue in the dreamers life was her breakup. She was still living with her boyfriend but they had split up. She was now dwelling on if this was the right decision. She concluded that he had not been there for her. He was emotionally unresponsive towards her.

Actually this dream captures this exact thought process - "I am proud of myself for leaving my boyfriend. He was emotionally unresponsive and would have been no support in a crisis". You can see how the dream subtly represents this exact thought. The dream creates a crisis - with the shark. The crisis becomes a test for the dreamers ex who fails miserably - he was useless in the crisis. On the surface the story is a strange one about sharks and surviving. But really its just a vehicle for the dreamer to express her emotions.

Note that this dream provides us with some difficulties as far as interpreting dreams are concerned. often a shark will represent a very real fear or worry. In this case case the shark was there to express the dreamers feelings about how her ex would have behaved in a crisis. So spotting this dream would not have been easy.

That's not the case in the next dream. It starts off with the line "my sister almost got ate by a shark". In real life the dreamers sister was in difficulties so its an obvious symbol for those problems.

THE DREAM - My sister almost got ate by a shark. And after she escaped a huge wave came and we all went under water. Then they just kept coming. I was able to climb up a big cliff so they couldn't reach me but it still went a little over my head but I was able to stand the waves. And my sister and her little daughter was on the beach and she was trying to hold her daughter up so she could breath but she kept falling down. So I told my sister to bring her to me and she would be safe on the cliff. And my mom and grandmother were also with me on the cliff but my grandmother was writing her Will.

We already know that the dreamers sister was going through a hard time in her life. The dreamer was offering to look after her sisters daughter. She was constantly worrying about them both. The dream was simply a way of her expressing her concern for her sister and her willingness to help out with her sisters daughter.

Sometimes you will just know that you will dream about something. The day before this dream the dreamers house mate 'flashed' him. He responded to this by pretending to ravage her. This issue is so full of the kind of issues that cause dreams. We like steady and straightforward relationships. We expect a teacher to act like a teacher and a house mate to act like a house mate. When a house mate just flashes her breasts for fun it all becomes very complex. Suddenly all sorts of questions arise. Does the dreamer find the girl attractive and want a sexual relationship with her? Does the girl find him attractive? Was this done in fun and was not meant to be sexual at all? Did the dreamer go too far in pretending to ravage her? All sorts of important emotional issues are raised by this. Here is a summarized version of the dream.

THE DREAM I was on a ghost ship. there were a few crew members around who were very much pirates. I was chasing one little girl and having some fun and she ran to her room where it was very very hot. As I got to the door way something warned me not to cross the red line in the floor or that is where I would have to stay. I decided that it was tohot so I started looking in other rooms. I found one room with a very beautiful gypsy dancer as I entered her room I looked down for the red line but there was not one. so I asked her where her red line was and she moved herhair and It was on her neck.

The ship sailed and we had a good time. we pulled into a port which was really bad. There were girls that were crucified into all sorts of positions and they were in agony.when we pulled into the port the town was on fire. as we went exploring into the local tavern we met other ghosts that were mean. they tried to kill us. They had somethingcalled a ghost blade. It was any blade that had the effect of killing a ghost.

one came after me and cut me on the hand and I started to bleed. He wanted to prove to methat he had a ghost blade and could kill me any time he wanted to so I needed to watch my step.

later in the bar I walked up to the same pirate that threatened me with a sword in my hand.(the sword is the very first sword I bought in real life.)he scoffed at me asking "What are ya gonna do with that boy" so I ran him through. and he stoodthere just drinking laughing at me saying that ain't no ghost blade. i just simply smiled at him.I turned the sword up so that the sharp edge was now facing up and it started to glow blue.

I sliced him in half from the stomach to the head. and he dropped dead.the rest of the evil pirates started coming after me but they were all moving in slow motion.I cut through them one by one. until they were all dead.

Then the dream changed a couple of times. I was in my cabin when Tom Cruise walked in he was wearing a long red jacket with a ruffled collar and he was going to beat me up because I was attracted to the gypsy girl early in the dream . The one with the red line across her neck.

He took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. I told him I was not going to fight himbut he said that I dishonoured him and I needed to be taught a lesson but he wasdrunk. we started to scuffle I was trying not to hurt him.Then he hit me which made me really angry. I grabbed a glass pot and smashed it on the groundand it turned to dust in my hands and I told him to knock it off or that I was going to turn him intodust the same way I just did the glass jar.

Then it was storming bad and the ship was falling apart. I was on a plank floating in the water.with another one of the pirates and I saw the fish jump a round us I knew the only reason thatfish jumped out of the water was when a bigger fish was after them. They knew it was a shark so they put me in a glass bubble near the shore and were trying to close the lidbut the shark was partially inside and its teeth were inches away from me. They were pulling him back.away from me.

Obviously its difficult to interpret every part of the dream. But we can see obvious symbols which clearly could have relevance to the issue mentioned. The pirate could easily be a symbol for the dreamer pretending to ravage his house mate. The dream even mentioned the dreamers worries about crossing a line - a clear link to reality. In real life the dreamer pretended to ravage his house mate - obviously he was having fun but would never cross a certain line (he did not want to cross a line and behave inappropriately). The gypsy girl is a clear symbol of the dreamers house mate - she acts in a sexual way behaving wildly. The shark comes right at the end and is a clear symbol - if the dreamer behaves inappropriately with his house mate he will be dealt with savagely (just like a shark would deal with you).

So on the surface the dream appears completely unrelated to reality. But it deals with the same themes - a girl acting wildly (the gypsy) and a man acting wildly too (the pirate). In real life the dreamer was frantically trying not to cross a certain line and behave inappropriately - pretending to ravage her is OK but actually ravaging her is not. The dream even mentions him not wanting to cross a line. It clearly using that metaphor but seems to do it in a way which is clumsy. Dreams will use metaphors but often do not try to make them clear. Dreams are like poetry but they are like bad poetry. The metaphors they use are linked to how we store complex ideas and feelings. They are not meant to impress a learned audience of poets. Indeed dreams are not meant to even be remembered - as we turn off memory blocks during sleep.

DREAM STUDIES