common dreams

Top 10 Common Types of Dreams

Every dream is meant to bring something to our attention that is meant to provide an opportunity for healing.

On the subject of types of dreams, there’s a lot of ground to cover – dreams can be as varied as the people who dream them. Every dreamer carries a deep set of individual unconscious experiences that only the dreamer knows, and is able to identify. On the other hand, all dreamers share access to the collective unconscious, which carries a vast amount of information that is impossible to calculate or categorize.

However, there is a set of patterns in dreams that can be observed and identified as common types of dreams. I call them “dream scenarios”, and others may call them “dream themes”. This is my list of the top 10 most common dream scenarios and what they could mean:

Flying or Falling

Dreams of flying and falling are extremely common – I wonder if the unlikelihood of these scenarios helps us remember these dreams than usual! On the surface, falling and flying might seem like very different scenarios, but they both point towards one theme: Loss of control. Both scenarios bring similar questions to the surface: Is something changing in your life? How are you handling this change?

Falling is a dream symbol that is related to the earth element, and can be related to losing your ground or stability. Ask yourself: If I fall, who will catch me? Do I trust myself to be able to manage the changes that I am facing? Will I survive the fall?

In contrast, Flying is a dream symbol that is related to the element of air, which can be related to losing or gaining perspective. Ask yourself: Are you ready to fly? Are you be able to trust your own wings? Can you handle the winds of change?

Lost or Searching

Dreams of being lost or searching for something can be pretty self-explanatory. We could easily say that the dreamer is feeling lost and searching, however, I wonder if the dreamer needs to look within. Ask yourself: What am I not seeing? If you’re lost in the dream, gather your bearings and take a look around. This dream is asking you to take stock of what you currently have… perhaps the right path has been right beneath your feet this whole time. 

Traveling

Traveling and traveling symbols come in all shapes and sizes. These dreams bring messages of all sizes related to your movement in life: Where are you going and how are you going to get there?

The symbols that appear in the dream will give you more insight as to what the dream is referring to – If it’s a car, what type of car is it? In Freudian analysis, car dreams are related to sexuality. Mystics might relate the car to the symbol of the Chariot, or the power to move forward. A shamanic approach might see the car as an earth element and would ask the following: What’s the goal or destination? Earth elements are sometimes related to health, family, and finances. How much ground can be covered in this car? Whose car is it? And more importantly – Who’s driving? 

Traveling dreams can also bring symbols that signal collective movement, like trains (situations), planes (ideas), and ships (emotions). Ask yourself: What situations, ideas, or emotions are being transported from one realm of your life to another?

Fear

Dreams of feeling scared, terrified, chased, or oppressed are namely, nightmares. While the subject of nightmares deserves a series of articles all its own, the meaning of these, and all related, dream scenarios comes down to this: Something wants you to pay attention to it.  In other words – wake up.

The symbols, elements, and emotions that play out during a nightmare deserve close analysis because the frightening aspect of the nightmare is so powerful, that it might skew the dreamer into believing that the dream is real or prophetic.

My intuition when approaching nightmares tells me that the more we fear the actual nightmare, the more fear we add to the unconscious situation at hand. We run the risk of carrying this fear from the dream into our reality and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Nightmares have a powerful message: There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Many times, fears are unwarranted and end up being a reflection of that which what we don’t know, don’t understand, or might change our lives completely. 

Nakedness & Teeth Falling

Like falling and flying, these dream scenarios are seemingly different, yet bring the same theme to the surface: Exposure.

Dreams of the body have a powerful way of bringing our attention to our own insecurities and daily behaviors. Nakedness speaks directly about vulnerability – Am I enough? If you’re dreaming about being naked at school or work, think about the common theme that is on your mind while at work or school: What are you worried about exposing? 

Dreams of teeth and teeth falling out are also about exposure of words, thoughts, and communication. This is a dream that’s asking you to be mindful: What are you saying? What are you not saying? Could you be taking better care of your words?

School and Work

Dreams about school and work are similar in the sense that they are both related to life purpose and attitude. However, the context of these dream scenarios can be very different. 

School dreams are dreams in which we are back in school, in a classroom, taking a test, enrolling in school or university, or doing something with old friends from school or university. Not surprisingly, these dreams are about preparation, competence, and education. A detail that dream analysts often overlook with these dreams is the subject of awareness. When in school, we tend to receive preparation, but we’re not always sure what the preparation is for. This dream is basically saying, “Hey, do you know what you’re doing with your life right now?” Do you feel ready? How are you going to prepare for it? And more importantly – Is this really what you want?

On the flipside, dreams about being at work take for granted that you are supposed to have the preparation and competence to handle your current life’s progress… But do you have the right attitude? Are you insecure, anxious, overworked, and generally unhappy? Are you considering starting over (going back to school)? The emotions you feel in the dream will give you insight into your current attitude towards your current life progress.

If you’re a teenager in school, a college student, a teacher or a professor, you might need to evaluate both spectrums if you’ve been dreaming about school or schooling.

Relationships or Other People

Like nightmares, dreams with other people deserve a category all its own, because most dreams include other people, regardless of the scenario. In a general sense, dream scenarios with other people are scenarios in which we evaluate relationships, and our relationships with ourselves.

When we speak of relationships, we’re dealing with two things that are happening at the same time. This might be a bit mind boggling, but here it is: Every character in your dream is showing you an aspect of yourself, and how you relate to it. Simultaneously, the way you relate to this aspect reflects the way you relate to other people in your life.

Let’s say for example, that you had a dream with a coworker. How would you describe this person? What you identify in them is an aspect of yourself – So does this play out in the dream? Are you integrating or rejecting it?

Dreams of other people can play out in different dynamics. They can be sexual dreams, romantic dreams, dreams with strangers, dreams with celebrities, dreams with people who have passed away, and dreams with family or friends. 

Telepathic Dreams

Telepathic dreams happen often, especially with people who like to guide themselves through life using their intuition. Because we are all connected with the collective unconscious, it’s only natural that we occasionally connect or ‘pick up’ on energy that’s outside of our individual experience. However, this doesn’t mean that every dream we have is actually telepathic. I always guide my clients and students into examining a dream before determining if it was indeed, telepathic or not.

Examples of telepathic dreams are: prophetic dreams (what will happen), intuitive (what other people are experiencing), past life dreams (re-living a past life event), visitation dreams (by loved ones who have passed on), and what I call “global intuition? (information about, or a sense of, what’s going on in the collective energy).

Psychological Dreams

A psychological dream refers to thoughtforms, behaviors, and hidden (or not-so-hidden) situations that are being reflected back to us for a reason. With psychological dreams we begin to move past dream scenarios into dream purpose – the underlying energy or message that the dream brings.

Some examples of psychological dreams are: recurring dreams (repeating symbols or themes), daily processing dreams (replaying what happened), wish fulfillment dreams (perfect scenarios), and traumatic dreams (replaying a traumatic event. Psychological dreams require you to pay special attention to your attachments and anxieties.

Epic or Apocalyptic Dreams

Sometimes, dreamers experience scenarios that feel very otherworldly. They can come up as natural disasters, visits to outer space, dystopian nightmares, spiritual battles, scenarios that feel like we’re in an action film, or sometimes it can only be an instant in which we’re about to be ‘hit’ by a natural event (like an impending tsunami).

Like a nightmare, the meaning of an epic dream can be understood by evaluating the symbols in the dream, the elements related to it, the emotions felt during the dream, and how it all plays out in the end. It goes without saying that these dreams can also be Relationship dreams, Psychological dreams, Nightmares, and yes, even Telepathic dreams.

One thing that sticks out with epic dreams is the power they have to stay in our memory. These aren’t dreams that are forgetten easily, and they can point towards something in our lives that might be intimidating or too much to handle. It also signals a pulsating energy of untethered creativity, and a need to calm the mind down. In other words, epic dreams are so ‘out there’ that the Soul might be simply using them to ask you to ground yourself.