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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



-Oliver 2015-11-20 0:06:05

My boyfriend has been having this dream lately where he looks into the sea and then falls in, he sinks and sees a little girl at the bottom and tries to reach for her. People jump in to save the girl but never see him and so he drowns. He told me he doesn’t know who the little girl is. Could you tell me what this dream means?


    -Tony Crisp 2015-11-20 9:45:43

    Oliver – It sounds like your boyfriend is trying to explore himself, because going under the surface of the sea – in dreams – represents becoming aware of what was his subconscious, the world experienced after death, so discovering a new world.

    The little girl he reached for leads me to wonder whether any of his family died young – a little girl for instance. Or it could be someone he felt love for when he was young, because love links us all in mysterious ways.

    But of course it could simply be his female self, and only he can find what it is by ‘being the young girl’. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-animus-jungs-view-of-the-male-in-the-female/

    Death in dreams is nothing like it is seen in many people’s thoughts and feelings. In our inner world of dreams death is simply an end of something we have outgrown and the beginning of a new life. Think of the times you have died in that way – the death of the baby you as you developed into youth; the death of youth in you as you became a teenager; the death of the teenage you as development took place and you moved into adulthood.

    His death says he has changed in some way and is ready to emerge with new views or realisations. Tell him to explore being dead by imagining himself – while awake – and watch what happens.



-Alba 2015-11-20 21:41:48

I saw a dream about me and my brother being followed by a lion i escaped but my brother couldnt so i went back for him and me and my brother were bein followed by the lion again so what we did we went to the door next to our home to ask for help shouting but nobody helped us and then i woke up … Can you please tell me what this dream means


-Meg 2015-11-22 11:24:09

My boyfriend told me he had a dream that I was drowning him whilst he was trying to swim but after a while I let him back up. Could this mean that I’m holding him back from something?


    -Tony Crisp 2015-11-22 13:28:07

    Meg – Not necessarily – it’s his dream not yours, and so deals with his feelings and fears.

    I am guessing he is learning to ‘swim’ in the relationship. Many males feel inadequate in today’s world, and so have a trouble feeling proud of their masculinity – many men shave all their hair of trying to make themselves more like a female.

    But that might not apply to you boyfriend, but he felt he wasn’t doing to well, but has now come up again.

    Also he wasn’t dreaming about you, the figure in the dream is one he made up from all his memoires and feelings about you he has collected. Nearly always when people dream about someone they know or a strange new person or situation they automatically believe the dream is about that person, situation or animal. But when we think of our friend or partner our thoughts are not them – just our thoughts and feelings about them. See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing



-Courtney 2015-11-24 14:45:23

I just had a dream where I was being drowned by someone I haven’t met. They were wearing rugged clothing and looked pretty scary. They would hold me down under the water for a minute or two, pull me back up, and then immediately push me back under. What does this mean?


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