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Because of the water, drowning depicts fear of being overwhelmed by difficult emotions or anxieties. But this might apply not to dangerous emotions or urges, but to natural urges such as eating, loving or sex, that some people have enormous conflicts about. Drowning in a dream is also about struggling to survive as a person, so it applies to your identity as it is dealing with relationship with other people, but also with your own internal world of instincts, body activities and needs.

This is about being or feeling overwhelmed by something. One can ‘drown’ in sorrow for instance. So you need to look at your waking life to see what you are feeling threatened or burdened by and see if there are ways you can deal with it. If someone actually drowns in the dream it may mean some of your feelings, your creativity and responsiveness are no longer ‘alive’. But they can be brought back to life if you care for that side of yourself. Sometimes it is simply anxiety we drown in, and much of anxiety is about situations we imagine. Separating what is imagined from what is real can help this.

If you feel you are struggling to you ‘keep your head above water’, do not give in for it is only emotions you re facing, not reality.

Water and drowning often indicates you are facing the unknown changes and so are afraid. But in dreams we can never die or even be hurt, for we wale without real hurt except for our feelings.

Dreamt about someone else: May occasionally show Your apprehension about their health or well being, having the suggestion of death or breakdown.

Example: ‘I fell into a pond. My brother was frightened to be by himself so he jumped in. We were both drowning in the water and we shouted out for Mum. My brother drowned.’ Poppy S.

Poppy dreamt this while feeling insecure and anxious due to her father being seriously ill.

Example: I had been dreaming about sitting on a sofa with my friends – well watching horror movies, when suddenly everything comes to live. I was afraid of the ghost that had been drowning with her husband in the movie comes to haunt me. I asked the ghost sister to help and she passes me a necklace with can protect me. And suddenly the ghost appears and told my friend she was pretty. What does this means?

It means that you need to understand how your mind works. It means that you have nothing to fear about ghosts. As the ghost that appeared showed you, there was no harm in it. Dream images are like images on cinema screens – harmless unless you are haunted by your own fears. But the dream also shows you that whatever you believe in becomes a fact. I mean that the necklace gave you confidence, and in fact the necklace is only a crutch for your confidence. But we need such things until we can deal with our own emotions. See Facing Fear

Idioms: drown your sorrow; if you’re born to hang, you won’t drown.

Useful questions:

What powerful emotions or changes am I dealing with?

Am I feeling overwhelmed by something?

Can I define the strengths and ways I use to deal with threatening feelings?

Do I feel as if I am ‘drowning’ in a situation or relationship?

What is it I am feeling overwhelmed by recently?

Is this someone else drowning – if so what facet of me do they represent?

What resource or person could help me survive in this situation?

Another person or animal drowning still suggests it is an aspect of your own personality you need to care for.

Whoever or whatever it is, imagine yourself back in the dream and save them. If necessary imagine rescue services coming to your aid. In doing this you are using imagery to shift your feelings and anxieties.

All water in some way signifies your own inner world of feelings, but the sea often suggests meeting urges and wisdom lying beyond the boundary of your conscious mind. What is it you feel in the sea or river? Try putting it into words.

See Associations Working With; Techniques for Exploring your Dreams; Avoid Being Victims; Secrets of Power Dreaming



-briguy 2015-01-20 20:39:08

Had a dream today where i was driving, it was winter, and my car went through the ice as what i thought was asphalt was not. Woke up as my che vy was sinking, water coming in and power to door locks went out.


-ki 2015-02-04 0:07:07



-Tammy 2015-03-12 10:53:12

I had a nightmare! I was driving somewhere with my sister,my sister being the driver, I was sitting in the passenger seat and my mother and my niece 1year old was sitting in the back, as we started driving my sister drove into a lake I could feel the car going deeper and deeper, I could feel the fear in the car and also the pressure it felt like the car was being crushed, I remember my sister trying to phone for help, but we were sinking so deep that there was no signal, the water quickly started filling the car i started breathing really hard and quick like when you have anxiety! Then I drown while watching my mother sister and niece drown! It felt so real that I woke up out of the dream breathless!

What does this mean?


-Jasmine-Pearl 2015-03-17 2:32:03

I had a dream where I was at a pool with some people I didn’t know, and I dived in. Once underwater I couldn’t move, couldn’t swim and could feel myself breathing water into my lungs but it was oddly calming. I didn’t panic, I just accepted what was going to happen.


    -Anna 2015-03-17 11:45:51

    Jasmine – I trust it will be helpful if you go back into your dream and explore why it does not bother you, that you were drowning.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/
    Because a dream can be approached from many angles and on many levels I like to add that the positive sight of being at peace when facing death is that you have lost your fear for it.
    Being under water in the pool: Something that is ‘submerged’ such as feelings about a past relationship that still exist, but are not ‘on the surface’ of one’s mind. Or perhaps an aspect of one’s personality that has not yet been recognised consciously. Also it suggests seeing what is going on unconsciously or under the surface in a group.
    I wonder because of the last meaning – seeing what is going on unconsciously or under the surface in a group – if you pick up too many signals from other people – in this case the people that were with you in the pool?
    Perhaps you are more focused on those signals from others and these signals more or less “drown your own feelings”?
    If you feel that that is what this dream is about, then I trust it will be a helpful start to read this book:
    Good Luck!
    Anna :-)


-Emma Leigh Godley 2015-03-23 23:18:25

I had a dream that I was in deep water with my boyfriend. We were both able to swim under the water easily and talk. The water was also shark infested from a very far distance. The water got darker and darker and I felt like I was sinking. I saw my arms floating above me and the distant silhouette of my boyfriend near the surface I hear him shout “Pike Emma pike! Nobody can see you!”
I believe “pike” is the term to float in one place. But what I also didn’t understand was the reference to “nobody can see you” when it was only me and him there. The dream ended when I felt I had hit the bottom of the ocean. What are peoples thoughts on this?


    -Anna 2015-03-24 7:19:52

    Emma – In your dream you entered the collective unconscious, you were not drowning. When we are confronted with this “inner world” in which we move (sink) beyond the boundaries of experience usually set up by our conscious self or ego, there can be some fear involved, if only “from a very far distance”.
    The sharks are a symbol of this fear of death; fear of the collective unconscious, or loss of self in the impersonal Whole or All. In your dream the sharks can also be a symbol of the power of the unconscious – so also its protectiveness.
    You did not share if you were afraid in your dream.
    Your boyfriend – a symbol for the male inside you – served as a guide on this inner journey in this “new world”; he knew what you had to do.
    I believe that Pike Emma pike, refers to an old use of the word pike:
    “Late Middle English (as pike oneself ‘take up a pilgrim’s staff’):
    I think what your guide refers to is that although you are asked to surrender yourself to be able to enter the collective unconscious; you CAN be a traveller once you have entered it.
    A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveller (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey.
    When Edgar Cayce entered the collective unconscious, he was looking for “bodies”, for this was his way of finding information about the person he was “examining”.
    Please read http://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/edgar-cayce/
    I feel it is best to ask your inner guide what he meant with “Nobody can see you”, for he knows what this inner journey is about, and I feel he does not need my help any further.
    Perhaps it will be helpful if you read some more about the collective unconscious?
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/collective-consciousness-the-dawn-of-awareness/
    Anna :-)


-walter 2015-03-24 1:45:41

I had a dream last night i was in a boat with two people i had never met and i fell into the water. When i feel in the water wouldnt let me come up for air i swam as hard as i could but noth out ng happened and so i died. But when i died i awoke and could barely breath heart was pounding. So tonight i googled drowning dreams and read this site and sure enough its all clear im about to start a new chapter of my life at the end of the week im moving in with my gf of a year and her kid and i think that the change is what i am needing to confront thanks for opening my eyes


-Kristi 2015-03-26 17:15:55

Lastnight I had a dream that I was at a party then I was going somewhere in a car with my uncle and someone else. The guy was driving and my uncle and I were in the back seat. It was dark outside. We were at a Stop and this car turns and hits is and the guy In the other car says “I’m going to smash you Inbetween the car coming from behind” so I look back and far behind there is a car coming. What ended up happening was the guy pushed us almost into a “ditch”. The cars back tire was hanging off with no traction, my uncle started yelling telling me to get out so I hop out leaving the door open but the the car fell into the ditch which turned out to be deep and full of water kind of like a pond but looked like a ditch. The car starts sinking with my uncle In the back seat so I couldn’t see him because he was under water but the guy in the front seat wasn’t under water yet so he press the gas and the back end of the car came up to where I could see my uncle he was choking/drowning on the water. He was purple and blue. The driver hopped out and then my uncle did too as he was still choking so I jump over to the other side of the ditch to where my uncle was to try to do cpr on him but then I woke up. Before this dream my uncle recently passed away in his sleep. Not sure what the cause of death is yet. I also just recently received my cpr certificate. I’m just wondering what this dream means, why I dreamt it.


-Keisha 2015-03-29 15:27:42

My daughter (4yo) dreamt that her and her father (my husband) both drowned in a body of water (larger than a pool but she wasn’t exactly sure what it was i.e lake, ocean etc). What could this mean? Btw, also living in the same household are my son (her brother) and myself.


    -Anna 2015-03-30 16:19:10

    Keisha – I feel that your daughter is very capable of “translating” whatever she picked up from her father and her response to that, in concrete symbols in a dream.
    It may be that her dream portrays unspoken moods felt by her father, that she feels anxious about. It could be that your daughter sensed something going on that is not spoken about or visible externally. Such hidden things are picked up by her unconscious mind that attempts to communicate them as a dream, so she can digest her experience.
    An approach to help her not to “drown in what she picks up”, could be to be more open as parents about your feelings in a simple way your daughter can understand and can relate to.
    I think it will also be helpful to read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/father-dad/
    Anna :-)


-Gaby 2015-03-30 12:45:35

I keep having a dream where Im drowning and there’s a friend (my exboyfriend who I still speak with) who is just there. He won’t save me. He just stands there and lets me drown. What does this mean?


    -Anna 2015-04-01 13:21:11

    Gaby – When you can relate to your boyfriend in your dream as an inner part of you – your male part – then you can understand that ignoring you is a symbol of you repressing or denying part of your feelings, needs, urges etc. This is because every dream image, animal or person is a subtle or powerful aspect of your own efficient working. Just as car is made up of many parts to work well, so are we. A car without efficient brakes or carburettor works, but not well. So we do not work efficiently with parts of us ignored, held back or repressed.
    Ask yourself if you have created a situation like this, because rather than dealing yourself with your own feelings, needs, urges etc., you are looking for someone external in your waking life – your ex for instance – to save you from drowning in them.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-animus-jungs-view-of-the-male-in-the-female/
    It will be helpful to explore what it is you are repressing or denying, for you can only deal with these feelings, needs, urges etc. when you are aware of them. Observing your own ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings, your own habits and responses to things, is one of the most powerful of tools to use in transforming your life. This also leads to a fuller connection with your intuitive connection with your core. Much of our behaviour is largely or wholly unconscious. Becoming aware of something can by itself produce a change. If you are not aware of how you act or respond, there is less likelihood of satisfying change. Such observation can begin anywhere and should be continued until it becomes a habit. Once you learn it in connection with one thing the skill can be used in any other direction in your life or in your own behaviour. But before you start, remember that some things you do are not comfortable to become aware of. Personal growth is not a constant delight. There are growing pains occasionally. Remember also that self-observation is not aimed at correcting wrong behaviour. There are not a set of right things to do. But there are ways you can discover of satisfying yourself more fully, and there are ways of responding and living that have the opposite effect to producing satisfaction and peace. Another important thing to remember is that most of what we do is habitual. It takes no thought or effort to do it. Habits feel right because they have been done for so long. Even emotional responses are often habitual. So when you change you are going to confront a habit. Practising the new thing is necessary. Practice until the new thing is itself a habit and easy.
    Please see also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/self-observation/
    Anna :-)


-Timia Lee 2015-04-02 22:20:29

I had a dream that I was in the car with my boyfriend and our daughter in the backseat. We were going house shopping and came across this big house that had a lake in the back with boat docking stations. When we pulled into the drive way, the person showing us the house told us to drive around back. My boyfriend began parking his car in between a docking station and backed the car into the lake. The car was filling up with so much water and I started panicking trying to get my daughter out of the backseat. I somehow end up out of the car and swam up to catch some air and I noticed a couple in the water and asked them to help me. They said they never heard the car hit the water so I immediately swam back down into the water to save my family without their help. When I got to the bottom of the lake, my boyfriend and daughter was out of the car and I was relieved to see that they were fine. I swam over to my daughter who was naturally standing at the bottom of the water and grabbed her as my boyfriend pulled is up. By the time we got out of the water, there were people everywhere and a news reporter. We had survived in my dream and walked away fine. I just still can’t imagine why I dreamt this, it really has me shaken up.


-owen 2015-04-03 11:30:11

I have this dream at least 7 times a year,for the last 4 years.
I’m walking down this path, it’s dark , very eerie and surrounded by dead trees. Beside the path there are two rivers at each side. They are both black, no reflection. I keep walking till I get to this circular plateau and I get dragged into the river and I drown….nnothing ever changes


-Diann 2015-04-06 2:41:40

My brother drown in a lake, about a month ago! Last week I got ready to get in my bathtub and it had sand are mud in it!!


-May 2015-04-08 18:09:13

I had a dream a year or so ago about my little brother drowning in the bathtub that’s in our only bathroom. Me and my older brother were sitting in the living room watching TV when suddenly we noticed water that was coming from the hallway on the floor. We rushed and banged on the bathroom door but he wouldn’t open (he was 11 at that time). We finally broke the door down and I opened the blinds/ curtain connected to the tub. I saw his unconscious body just floating and I turned off the faucet. The most vivid part was how heavy his body was as we tried to drag him out onto the floor. I did cpr on him and it felt like forever. He didn’t wake up. I felt terrible, like a hole was forming in my chest. Those feelings got more intense and I woke up :( it was the most frightening thing ever. Especially the feelings, because I thought to myself that this is how it feels to lose someone you love because you failed to do cpr.


-Dale 2015-04-08 18:13:05

I had a dream where me, my wife, and kids where in a car taking a trip, my wife was driving and she took a wrong turn and we ended up on a doc.
my wife went to turn around and backed up too far and we went off the doc with the car. This dream happens about a moth or 2 every year before we go on a family vacation. We usually go to New Jersey but this time we are going to Florida. Can you tell me meaning of this recurring dream?


    -Anna 2015-04-10 6:48:19

    Dale – I wonder if this is about the problems you meet every year when you have to adjust to “a different position”. Perhaps you are more in charge of where to go and what to do in your “every day (working) life” and when spending time with the whole family, your wife is mainly in charge?
    Also the build up to a family vacation is often long (up to 2 months!) and intense, probably because of everything which has to be organised.
    In general dreams recur because there are ways the dreamer habitually responds to their internal or external world. Because their attitude or response is unchanging, the dream that reflects it remains the same.
    So why not experiment with a difference approach this year and talk about this with your wife and/or family?
    Perhaps you can schedule some ‘me’ time while on vacation? If your busy lives at home mean you’re not used to living in each other’s pockets, set some time off when you can pursue your own interests. A morning swim or an afternoon stroll round the local shops can give you some much needed space.
    In other words, change (some of) the habits which led to these dreams.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/habits/
    Anna :-)


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