When we were born, one world of experience ended for us and another began. When we witness the birth of a new child, we see a new beginning, the emergence of a new being and life. Birth is about the possibility of infinite potential expressing some of its qualities. Birth in a dream has the same meanings. So it can indicate the beginning of a new way of life; a new attitude; new ability; new project. But also the death of the old. See: first example under woman.
The birth can be about our own physical birth, its difficulties and trauma. But most difficult birth dreams are about coming to terms with our existence. Many of us are still wondering whether we wanted to be, or want to be, born. ‘To be or not to be’, that is still the question for many of us. Lots of us live at a remove from life because of this. If there are connections with our own birth, any negative feelings, fears and pain may need to be met before one can continue real development and growth in life.
This is not an easy process as birth experience is deeply primal and existing at the very foundations of our identity. Even if one manages to let this material rise into consciousness in the form of present day fears – such as loneliness, feelings of vulnerability etc – it usually takes a long time to move through them. To help with this process see the features on Life’s Little Secrets; active imagination; compensation, processing dreams. But if one had a very difficult birth in which one nearly died, life and death can get very mixed up in you, and need at some time to be met.
Example: I realised during this that I had gone back to birth because my fear of death was inherent in birth. I was afraid I was dying as I was born. I also felt that my chest pain could not be healed or got out of my being. Death was in us from birth, working away like corruption. We cannot heal death, we cannot get it out of us. Perhaps what I could do would be to open the rest of my being to it instead of fighting it. Maybe it was like my weakness and failure I had so long fought out of consciousness. If we admit our weakness, failure, our germ of death, perhaps death enriches as like our failure humanises us. Example: Ever since childhood I had a nightmare dream of being in a very confined bag and being suffocated, I try to get out of a small and seemingly impossible outlet. I used to dread this awful dream. Then, at the birth of my daughter, I realised my dream was of my birth. I never had a recurrence since. D. R. Hobs
This is very clearly a dream about her difficult birth. When the birth in your dream depicts a new phase of your maturing process, a new stage of growth, see the feature on individuation for clarification. In such cases your birth dreams may be an expression of huge changes in your life that are occurring over quite long periods of time.
The birth might have come after much has ‘died’ or been lost. Birth is also the moment of our coming into a particular set of circumstances. These include everything from the relationship, social status, financial wealth, education and background of our parents, to the physical environment in which we grew, the social customs and culture in to which we are born. So birth can also depict a sort of destiny, the taking on of a set of influences, burdens and opportunities. In the East this is all placed under the one word karma – the situation of ones birth, its working out in the present, and the streaming influences from the past. See: karma and past lives.
Example: I was in a room apart from friends and family, they were unaware I had the child but I knew they were expecting it with joy. I was trying to name the baby. It was a baby boy, but the name that came to mind was “June”. It wasn’t right and I kept trying to consider other names but none of them felt right. Just..”June”. The baby was a lovely blond boy with a wide smile, very happy. I am a single mother unable to have more children (I have no sons) and living a chaotic life but moving forward with help of friends and family. I have professional and moving plans for late summer but nothing in the pipe line for June.
This is the interpretation given for the dream in March – “What does giving birth to a lovely baby boy mean – and I take it no man was involved – it means that you, like any mother, can dream and create something that wonderfully adds to you. You create it from all that you have gathered of life, as if you have reached up to the sunlight, the clouds in the blue sky, and added the moon and stars, and pulled them into you and brought forth this little man.
For each child, whether a dream child or one taking on the weight of a body, is a birth of the whole of creation. For aren’t we ourselves, our very bodies, formed out of the mystery of the universe, and the bodies of old stars?
But in another way your son is a new aspect of you, something that hadn’t been known to you so far, with infinite possibilities. It is still young and vulnerable, so needs your love and care for it. But it will grow quickly, and then you will see traces of it in your everyday life – the new happy you.I think you should watch for signs of this little man growing into your life in June and flowering. Such signs are not usually very materialistic, but are new awareness and abilities that will be seen as you look back.” Then from the dreamer again in June – “I wanted to update you on developments that have been connected to my dream. Dates and times moved around and I find myself moving this month. A new start! On a very fun note, I also have begun a relationship with a man who looks very much like the little baby I cradled. I actually “recognized” him! It was really unusual and regardless of how the relationship turns out, it’s been a great awakening to have a bright, positive experience with a good man. Thanks again.”
Birth of a shining, talking or holy child: The beginning of awareness – not intellectual knowledge – of how the conscious self is interwoven with the processes and beings of the cosmos. This includes any unusual features straight after birth, such as being able to walk or sit.
Example: “Was in a basement where my wife and a woman I loved was giving birth to a baby, but I was somehow the one who gave birth to it without a doctor being there. It was a lovely boy. Its lower face was covered by a tight caul, but I pulled this off and it began to breathe. It opened its eyes and looked about, fully conscious; then said something about Jesus, and, “It is gone!” I asked what had gone, and it replied, “The other ego; where has it gone?” I explained that the spirit self it knew before birth was now gone so it could live in the body. The baby was then taken upstairs, and I felt it was a holy and wonderful baby. I was going to rest from the rigours of the birth, but on looking around saw how dusty and dirty the basement was. I began to clean it, and felt I would go upstairs and rest afterwards.”
The man who dreamt this said that he felt afterwards that at the time of the dream he had given birth to the very best of him. This became more and more obvious as years went by. Also he realised that his inner life, his unconscious needed cleaning.
Boasting about birth of child: Difficulty about responsibility of parenthood, but coming to terms with it.
Childrens view of birth: Many dreams of birth are symbolic attempts to come to terms with the fact of birth. It is difficult to accept accept. For children it felt that one was not born at all; one always was. Really it’s no theory but an instinctive spontaneous conviction.
“Recently my four-year-old son was inspecting a copy of a Raphael Madonna. He scrutinized it meditatively for a minute or so, then, pointing to the Christ child, announced, “That’s Michael Caldwell.” “Oh,” I responded. Then he pointed to Mary. “That’s Mama.” I nodded acceptance. Then he went on to bigger things. “He came out of her belly?” A little rise of intonation at the end showed he was looking for reassurance. I thought we were getting along fine. “Mama kept you in there cozy and warm until you were ready to come out.” He took it all in, puzzled it over, and then let fly: “Why did she eat me?” It was utterly incomprehensible that he had been made out of nothing, and most infants, could they communicate, would laugh at the proposition. However, as it must to all men, the serpent of knowledge appears in this Garden of Eden. Other children appear, little boys and girls talk about it, and slowly the uncomfortable knowledge grows that one had to come from somewhere.
Giving birth or Birth pains: The creative process; pain of arriving at a wider vision. Giving birth to a more mature self is a struggle. The NEW in our life is sometimes born out of such pains. If you are pregnant at time of dream this is probably about working out of anxieties about birth. See: birth dreams during pregnancy.
The mouth can also give birth: People often dream of giving birth from the mouth. The shape of the mouth is similar in some ways, and can also discharge things. This usually happens when the person has something important they want to say, and is a way of allowing lifein us to give thanks and birth to something new.
Recurring dreams of giving birth: The drive to have a child doesn’t stop just because one has one or more children. Many women, even past childbearing age, dream this over and over as in the example below. The urge to care, to love, to give birth, exists despite one’s age, and the dream may be a way of trying to satisfy that. The dream may also be, as with Pamela below, an urge to have a child of the sex dreamt of. It might of course be that you are incredibly creative and constantly ‘giving birth’ to new ideas or conceptions. See Woman’s Creative Power.
Woman’s dream: Desire to have a baby. Giving birth to a new aspect of yourself. Man’s dream: Envy of the creative ability of women. Giving birth to a new aspect of self.
Example: Thinking about the young monk – Hare Krishna – I met yesterday. I realise how much I still have to learn. I gathered hardly anything about him. He told me a dream that he had given birth to a baby out of his rectum. It was quite bloody, but he said he didn’t feel any pain. Just with this image in mind.
Example: For years I have dreamt I am pregnant. I go into labour in different surroundings, not always hospitals, with different people. I never see the child but I think it might be a girl, and the labour is different each time. I stop dreaming as the birth is completed. I have one 33 year old son – my only pregnancy. Pamela B. Example: I am on a table giving birth to a baby. It was very small and very ugly, with a hawk like nose. I am walking down a corridor carrying the baby, who is smoking a cigar. I must have had some feeling for the baby as somehow I lost it and was very concerned about its whereabouts. I must have found it again because I was walking down a street and passers by would stare and condemn me for allowing the baby to smoke. I awoke with stomach pains. Mark M.
See Woman’s Creative Power. Useful Questions and Hints: Also see: baby in your dream. What have I given birth to – i.e. what quality or potential? If I imagine myself as the baby what do I feel? For help doing this see Stand in Role. Is there any suggestion of problems that might point to my own birth? Try Acting on your dream.