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Boat Ship

This probably depicts our journey through the seas of life and how we meet the rough and smooth experiences, as with example below. In many dreams boats and ships appear to depict a situation, environment or relationship the dreamer is in – as in the saying, ‘in the same boat’.

Because of the fact that once in the water it is difficult to leave the boat, the situation is often one that has certain bonds or commitments which may not be easy to leave or break away from – such as occurs in a close relationship or a work situation. The condition the boat depicts may relate to a physical one, such as a work opportunity, a place we live in, a relationship that, like any relationship, offers certain opportunities and restrictions – or it might be an attitude a feeling or a belief, such as pride or love, which places you in a certain connection with the world – i.e. ‘at sea’ or lost; in a stormy situation; in dry dock, etc. The boat can also be a place of safety amidst the storms of life. Thus attitudes or strengths enabling the dreamer to meet difficulties.

A boat is the thing that keeps you afloat in a different element than you are used to. As such it depicts the attitudes that enable you to have a clear boundary and certainty of who you are. It is your confidence and the threshold that separates your waking self from the massive and deep unconscious – the ocean of collective awareness. This is clear in the following example.

Example: Opened a paper at the comic strip. Began to read and become involved in the story. A small speed boat was at sea. But the sea dissolved anybody who fell in. One man fell in but held himself together as a blob of water and jumped back to the speedboat. I remember the words “The sea is a great solvent.” Anthony.

This dream pictures Anthony’s identity or ability to be an individual amidst the great ocean of life or consciousness. So the boat probably represents how he sees his body, as a thing separate from the rest of the world.

The various environments boats may be in show the condition or feelings surrounding the basic life situation the boat depicts. For instance being ‘at sea’ – depending upon calmness or rough seas – shows the dreamer being away from a familiar base or in difficult or uncertain times.

Example: I am in a large glass boat with my wife. The sea is very rough and I am afraid the boat will sink.’ Ron D.

The dream occurred a few weeks before a breakdown occurred in which the dreamer’s wife left him.

Example: I was inside a large boat, probably a tanker. There were a lot of passengers, but it appeared as if we were imprisoned in a huge room. It was very dingy and dismal. I am not sure though whether people realised they were prisoners. Maybe one only realised one was imprisoned if one tried to escape. Bob. A.

This boat obviously represents a situation Bob finds it difficult to get out of, and is only just realising he is trapped in. It also shows him involved with other people.

Example: I’m a young woman standing on a sea shore. I am waiting for my man. I hear the oars in the row locks of a boat, then it comes into view. A man comes to me, and puts his arms around me like he’s known me all my life. My man pauses, turns his head to a man still in the boat and says – Tell them this is it. Phillipa.

Here the boat holds the suggestion of being an event bringing Phillipa a love she has been waiting for.

 

Anchored boat: Security; stable relationship or situation; opposite of drifting.

Beached boat: Possibly suggests a situation in which you are ‘on dry land’ not subject to many changes or uncertainties. But it could also relate to a project, relationship or endeavour that cannot be got underway, or has got stuck in some way. However if you beach the boat and get out, then it shows the end of a journey, project or relationship.

Boat without oars: Ill equipped to deal with the situation you are in. A loss of motivation and being subject to external events to direct your life. So this might point to indecisiveness or lack of initiative.

Bows: One’s strength to meet life’s changes.

Canoe: Much like a small boat, but with overtones of nature, of being in the wild, of surviving. It is sometimes in testing surroundings or ones in which you feel the presence of nature, which can be wonderful or scary.

Disembarking: Leaving a phase of life, such as motherhood, marriage or a job. Ending a relationship or arriving at a new phase of life, a new possibility or great change.

Dock: A feeling of security when you have left an inner journey. Also because a dock is a permanent feature boats or ships can be moored to, it might indicate a safe ending to a relationship. A secure though public place to be. The end or beginning of a journey or a life change and the beginning of another phase of life.

If you are leaving the dock in a boat/ship, it suggests facing going out into the world and putting out something of oneself into the world through your relationships and life with people.

Dry dock: Necessary changes being made; circumstances not conducive to being actively involved in a project or relationship; delays. There might be a link with ill health here also.

Embarking alone: Independence or loneliness. Entering a new situation and perhaps unknown events or possibilities. Opportunity for new relationships.

Ferry boat: If across a river, end of a relationship; transition from one phase of life to another or one life situation to another; the emotional connections in a relationship. Sometimes links with death or the loss of someone.

Going on a cruise: Desiring relationship with others; or to be a part of other peoples life. Leaving ones everyday life behind.

Boat journey by night: Classic archetype of searching for one’s roots in life; the journey into ones unconscious experience. See: night sea journey under archetypes.

Keel: Basic personal strengths. The foundation of your personality or identity.

Leaving boat but leaving bag on it: Losing confidence or self value, such as might happen when children have gone or job ended.

Lots of small boats: Other peoples relationships.

Missing a boat: Missing opportunity; not grasping significance of events; not ‘making it’ in a relationship.

Motor boat: Similar to car but more sense of isolation or aloneness. The motor boat also shows the powerful feelings and drives which impel us into action, or give us a direction in life, as in the following example. For instance a strong anxiety can be a power, an engine, which motivates us to do or avoid certain things, such a taking risks, entering a relationship. So too can love, dependence, desire for wealth, loneliness, and the struggle to survive.

 

Example: My wife, H and I were on a large and beautiful motor boat, about thirty feet long. We were speeding along a river about hundred yards wide. I didn’t seem to be steering with a wheel, but there was no problem. Instead of water the river appeared to be a thick slurry of some kind. We were passing through countryside and suddenly H dropped what I felt might be an important envelope overboard. It lay on the top of the river. I wanted to stop and retrieve it. Other boats were coming along some way behind and I wondered if one of them would go over it. There was a lever which was the accelerator. I pushed it right back and the boat slowly reduced speed, but we were a long way from the envelope/package. The further away we got the less important it seemed, although I had wondered if it contained documents important to where we were going – which I felt was to do with some sort of work or teaching an official or business group.

Suddenly H was on the right bank of the river. I am not sure why, but she had left the boat. I wasn’t sure how she could get back on board again as the river was now full of debris and weeds – tree stumps, metal poles, cans, really full – and the banks were shallow and difficult to approach. I found a place where I could pull in, and there were steps in the earthy or limestone type bank that had been worn in with use. I managed to stop the boat – I still couldn’t find controls to guide or stop the craft – by holding on to the bank, and H got on. I was very pleased and felt love and pleasure that she had got on again. I kissed her warmly. We pulled away from the bank, avoiding a big metal post and chain low in the water. I felt if we went slowly we could get through all the debris okay. Roz.

This dream occurred during a period of separation in the marriage and shows how Roz is not really guiding the boat. He is being impelled by drives he doesn’t have full control over. Parting and coming together again are clearly depicted in the dream.

Rowing a boat: Personal skill or effort to achieve a goal. Whether you are succeeding well or not shows how you are assessing your own efforts to reach goals or take a direction in life.

Rudder: Sureness about direction in life; ability to take a direction in life and maintain it against other influences.

Shared journey on boat or ship: A situation we are involved in with other people or person, such as marriage, business partnership, armed forces; this is the relation-ship, a shared journey in which you ‘are all in the same boat’.

Sinking ship/boat: Fear of relationship ending; difficult events or circumstances; could be children leaving mother, so the collective ‘boat journey’ has finished; illness; death.

Small Boat with one other person: One’s relationship with that person.

Idioms: Burn one’s boats; in the same boat; miss the boat; rock the boat; ships that pass; ship comes in; a tight ship; in a boat without a paddle. See: anchor; submarine.

Useful questions:

If I am not alone on this boat, what is the dream saying about my shared journey with the person or people I am with?

What is the situation depicted – storm, calm, etc – and how does that relate to my life?

Am I directing the boat or am I a passenger – and in what way am I alone or going along with somebody in life?

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Comments

-Laurie 2016-06-29 5:00:15

I keep dreaming that I am on a large cruise ship but then get lost. It’s like a maze that keeps shifting with secret passageways, false balconies, stairways to no where. I know there is a desired location on the ship but I can’t seem to find it before things shift again.

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    -Dan 2016-09-10 16:39:00

    I had the exact same dream. Wish I knew what it meant

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-Kim 2016-07-13 10:30:11

I dreamed I was on the upper deck of a huge wooden ship. It was full of people straddling it. It appeared to have a closed top or roof and that’s what people were sitting on. I was near the front with coworker of 14 years. The sea was rough and the boat swayed side to side violently. My coworker attempted to tie my hands to a piece of the boat in order to help keep me from falling into the ocean. Then I woke up. (My current life situation: I lost my middle school teaching job of 14 years due to budget cuts. I’m being transferred to a primary grade level and I’m overwhelmed by it. Consumed by it.)

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-07-16 11:32:07

    Dear Kim – What I see in your dream is that it may serve a purpose to explore what will happen if your hands are not tied and so if you allow yourself to fall into the ocean.
    It will give you the freedom to behave in any way that you would like to.
    Going under in the ocean may help you bring internal contents to consciousness, possibilities you have not seen before, which process may give you a wider range to deal with having to leave this ship; the job of 14 years.
    Our Life is a learning experience and there may be valuable lessons that this loss can provide you with; http://www.elizabethlesser.org/broken-open/
    It might be the start of another direction in your life, perhaps by not accepting the transfer and aiming for something new?
    Anna :-)

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-Bridget 2016-07-14 17:15:07

I had a dream about running from Randals an island in the middle of New York City and seeing motor boats that have the option of rowing. I see couples getting on and families and there was a sign that states you need groups of 2 or more the boats could fit up to 4 people. But the women noticed my sketch book and said I was the one doing graffiti around the park, ( I’m a Fine artist and I don’t do graffiti but I knew someone who did in real life). So the lady lets me get on the boat by myself. When I’m riding through the Hudson River into New Jersey, I feel sad, the sky was grey the water was calm, and I just kept looking forward. I saw huge rocks and turned to get off where there was a dock. I looked back at New York City, but I didn’t recognize it anymore.

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-joe 2016-07-29 7:46:35

I dreamt i was in cruising boat with my family and other friends. The wave was so rough and wild,strongly hit the boat with huge noise. But deep inside my heart I felt that everything would be fine and the wave would turn calm. The dreamt most likely focused on what on my head, that was about my faith that the boat would find way out and safely reach the destination. Yes it was, we finally found a bay with no wave and quiet.When the wave hit hard, I saw my late father who died last two years ago, standing on boat balcony and I shouted at him, ‘Dad, stay away from the balcony, you can enjoy the sea later when its calm.’ I saw someone pulled his shirt and led him into the dock. I didnt see his face but I noticed that it was my late father’ s back.
I woke up and felt shock, not only shaking and feeling how I mentally struggled on the boat,but more impressed was that I saw my late father. He never came and visited me on my dream before. Such a wonder I notice him only from his back.

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-Laci 2016-08-15 16:54:31

Just woke up from a dream and I’m terrified. I’m actually leaving for my 3rd cruise in 5 days from now. This was my dream… I was on top deck of a cruise ship and I knew my son, my mother and sister was in the ship. The ship was in murky ocean waters and it went airborne and underwater then it came back up. There was a storm and then it began circling within a wave and then it flipped over on its side. Me along with several others was walking on the side trying to look for people we could save. I scrapped through a layer of debris and begin seeing faces everywhere. Some dead some almost dead. I was crying and screaming. Looking for my family. I was yelling a people not to step on people’s bodies and faces. Then I knew everyone was dead. My sons wife and my granddaughter stayed behind before we even left on that cruise on a smaller ship with a daycare in it. So a rescue boat took me to that boat and I was lost and running around crying trying to find my 1 year old granddaughter and my daughter in law and then in real life my phone rang and woke me up. It was my daughter in law. I told her my dream and she said that is insane. She said she had a dream last night that me and my sister got into a horrible vehicle accident on our way to Galveston to go on our cruise. What does all of this mean? If it helps to mention in my life this past year it’s been a struggle on many levels. Lost my home and car after my fiancé cheated on me and just lost my job due to medical issues after being with the company for 8 years. This vacation/cruise has been the highlight of my life as everything else has been falling apart and now even my cruise is scaring me.

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-alice 2016-09-12 7:28:32

I had a dream where I was stuck on a long stretch of sandy land in the middle of the sea I have no idea what I was doing there or how long I had been there for. I had basic clothing on jeans t shirt comfy hoodie. There was a golden Labrador male dog with me. It was misty and gusty winds but not strong, then out f no where on what was the right side of the island a small white boat with no engine turned up. I didn’t hesitate to go and observe in the bottom there was some slushy black stuff but I manoeuvred the boat to the left side of the island. (No engine.) But I could direct the boat where I wanted to go. I had left a mobile a 3 figure some of money back on the island. The dog came with me though I don’t know where he sat on the boat he seemed to be like a spirit animal. So controlling the simple white plastic boat easily I landed on an unfamiliar rocky mountainous island. I decide to climb up a rock face and was greeted by a humongous row of young orange crabs it was disgusting yuck. So I climbed back down the rock face and saw there was this girl with blonde hair no feelings of resentment occurred on seeing her, but questions as to where I was rose up in my head. I walked along a beach with the dog still and came to a house. Somehow I knew the people who lived there one seemed to be a reflection of my mothers spirit. She see angry that I ha not stayed on the island but wouldn’t tell me why. But I said to her. “I would rather die trying to get home than stay on that island and starve to death.” This seems to have occurred after reading new books and recently got in touch with my engaged ex.

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    -Tony Crisp 2016-09-12 10:16:31

    Alice – A dream is a communication between what has no recognised form – our core self – as far as our personality or reasoning mind is concerned. So to do this it uses images of people, things and animals, as well as scenes that we might understand if we explore what we associate with the dream images.

    So your dream images suggest you started this dream journey from feelings of being alone – the sandy island. Perhaps you also felt cut off from the way you wanted to live your life. But you found a way – in your inner life – to manifest a way to change your feelings. See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/#MakesInner

    Our mental state creates our own inner life, shown by the small boat appearing. Also it also shows that you are learning to move about your inner life – moving the boat easily. But you are still a learner.

    The dog is an aspect of your instinctive and intuitive yet ‘tamed’ self. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/brain-levels-and-dreams/

    You start you climb in awareness, but stop because the orange crabs you felt were disgusting – yuck. That show how much you are still a student of the inner life, because any obstacle is self-made as a learning experience. Instead of passing on you met memories of a younger you, which I guess has some issue you need to meet.

    You enter a new relationship then with your inner mother. Many people do not realise that they have an inner mother equally as powerful as an external mother. You have taken in millions of bit of memory, lessons learnt, life experiences along with all the feelings or problems met by loving and living with your mother, and they are a major influence in your early life. The memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person or event. Such an inner mother can appear in dreams because you are still deeply influenced by what you hold within you.

    As I cannot know exactly what the exchange means, I suggest you find out for yourself by using http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson

    The fact that you have some skills in moving about in the inner world, means you should be capable of exploring in this way.

    Tony

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