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Fall Fallen Falling Fell

Some dream researchers suggest falling is one of the main themes in dreams. In the sample used for this book, the words fall; falls; fell; falling, occur 72 times in a 1000 dreams. The words find; finds; finding; found, occur 297 times. Whereas the words connected with looking and seeing occur 1077 times.

This indicates a loss of confidence. a threat to usual sources of security such as relationship, source of money. Also falling can link with your social image such as loss of face or sustaining beliefs. It often involves tension, loss of social grace or moral failure – such as falling into temptation.

Sometimes it is about coming down to earth from a too lofty attitude or even sexual surrender. Apart from insecurity, falling might at times point to the dropping away from or pulling back from outer worldly activity. We can in fact ‘fall’ in love, with all its pleasures and pain, its ups and down. And as the idioms show at the end of this entry you can fall in many other ways.

During our development or growth we ‘fall’ from our mother’s womb when ripe; being dropped by a parent must be our earliest sense of insecurity and we fall many times as we learn to stand and walk. As we explore our boundaries in running, climbing, jumping and riding, falling is a big danger. At times it could mean death. Learning to walk down stairs is a great achievement for a baby, and has very real danger and fear of falling. See: stairs.

Out of this we create the ways falling is used in dreams. By learning to meet our insecurities, perhaps by using Secrets of Power Dreaming we can dare more in life. This is in essence the same as meeting the fear of falling off our bike as we learn to ride. If we never master the fear we cannot ride.

Example: ‘I am sitting in a high window box facing outwards, with my son and a friend of his on my left. I feel very scared of falling and ask my son and his friend to climb back into the building. I feel too scared to move until they shift.’ Trevor N.

At the time of the dream, for the first time in his life, Trevor was working as a full time freelance journalist. His wife was out of work and his frequency of sales low enough to cause them to be running out of money. The building behind felt like a place he had worked in on a nine to five basis, so associated it with security. Falling was fear of failure, getting in debt, dropping into the feelings of self doubt and being incapable and feeling inadequate. In fact it was just a fear, and he went on to develop secure work.

Example: ‘I was on a road which led up to the hospital I was put in at three. I felt a sense of an awful past as I looked at the road. Then I was standing on the edge of a precipice or cliff. My wife was about four yards away near the road. I stepped in an area of soft earth. It gave beneath my weight and I sank up to my waist. I realised the cliff edge was unstable and the whole area would fall. I was sinking and shouting to my wife to help me. She was gaily walking about and made light of my call for help. I cried out again. Still she ignored me. I shouted again for her help. She took no notice and I sank deeper, the ground gave way and I fell to my death.’ Barry I.

Through being put in a hospital at three without his mother, Barry had a deep seated fear that any woman he loved could desert him. The cliff edge depicts the edge upon which a lot of his life is lived – a point of insecurity about relationship. His fall is the loss of any sense of bonding between him and his wife out of this fear. His death is the dying of his feeling of love and relationship, and the pain it causes. Understanding these fears Barry was able to leave them behind in later dreams and in life.

Example: I am falling down a cliff. In the dream, I know if I hit the bottom I will die. (I’ve been told by dream ‘experts’ that this is so.) I hit the bottom – my body is splattered on the ground, but ‘I’ am floating through the air thinking ‘How strange! I’m supposed to be dead! But I’m alive and free.’ Ingmar Bergman.

Example: ‘Near where I stood in the school gymnasium was a diving board, about 20ft. off the ground. Girls were learning to dive off the board and land flat on their back on the floor. If they landed flat they didn’t hurt themselves – like falling backwards standing up.’ Barry I.

The school is a learning situation. Once we learn to fall ‘flat on our back’ – i.e. fail – without being devastated or ‘hurt’ by it, we can be more creative. Dreams like this take falling into realms beyond fear. The following examples illustrate this.

Example: ‘As I prayed I realised I could fly. I lifted off the ground about three feet and found I could completely relax while going higher or falling back down. So it was like free fall. I went into a wonderful surrendered relaxation. My whole body sagging, floating in space. It was a very deep meditative experience.’ Sarah D.

Sarah has found an attitude which enables her to soar/dare or fall/fail without being so afraid of being hurt or dying emotionally. This gives a form of freedom many people never experience. This does not arise from denying or suppressing fears.

Example: ‘I was standing outside my mother’s house to the right. The ground in front had fallen away. The house was about to cave in. I felt no fear or horror. Instead I was thinking about new beginnings and the possibility of a new house.’ Helen B.

Helen is here becoming more independent and leaving behind attitudes and dependency.

Example: I saw that I was lying on a bed. … Observing my bed, I saw I was lying on plaited string supports attached to its sides: my feet were resting on one such support, my calves on another, and my legs felt uncomfortable. I seemed to know that those supports were movable, and with a movement of my foot I pushed away the furthest of them at my feet – it seemed to me that it would be more comfortable so. But I pushed it away too far and wished to reach it again with my foot, and that movement caused the next support under my calves to slip away also, so that my legs hung in the air. I made a movement with my whole body to adjust myself, fully convinced that I could do so at once; but the movement caused the other supports under me to slip and to become entangled, and I saw that matters were going quite wrong: the whole of the lower part of my body slipped and hung down, though my feet did not reach the ground. I was holding on only by the upper part of my back, and not only did it become uncomfortable but I was even frightened. And then only did I ask myself about something that had not before occurred to me. I asked myself: Where am I and what am I lying on? and I began to look around, and first of all to look down in the direction in which my body was hanging and whither I felt I must soon fall. I looked down and did not believe my eyes. I was not only at a height comparable to the height of the highest towers or mountains, but at a height such as I could never have imagined.

… I thought of what would happen to me directly I fell from my last support. And I felt that from fear I was losing my last supports, and that my back was slowly slipping lower and lower. Another moment and I should drop off. And then it occurred to me that this cannot be real. It is a dream. Wake up! I try to arouse myself but cannot do so. What am I to do? What am I to do? I ask myself, and look upwards. Above, there is also an infinite space. I look into the immensity of sky and try to forget about the immensity below, and I really do forget it. The immensity below repels and frightens me; the immensity above attracts and strengthens me. I am still supported above the abyss by the last supports that I have not yet slipped from under me; I know that I am hanging, but I look only upwards and my fear passes. As happens in dreams, a voice says: ‘Notice this, this is it!’ And I look more and more into the infinite above me and feel that I am becoming calm. . . .I see that I no longer hang as if about to fall, but am firmly held. I ask myself how I am held: I feel about, look round, and see that under me, under the middle of my body, there is one support, and that when I look upwards I lie on it in the position of securest balance, and that it alone gave me support before. And then, as happens in dreams, I imagined the mechanism by means of which I was held; a very natural, intelligible, and sure means, though to one awake that mechanism has no sense. I was even surprised in my dream that I had not understood it sooner. It appeared that at my head there was a pillar, and the security of that slender pillar was undoubted though there was nothing to support it. From the pillar a loop hung very ingeniously and yet simply, and if one lay with the middle of one’s body in that loop and looked up, there could be no question of falling. This was all clear to me, and I was glad and tranquil. And it seemed as if someone said to me: ‘See that you remember.’ And I awoke. Leo Tolstoy, A Confession, 1879

Tolstoy’s dream is a wonderful example of the subtle balance between fear and confidence that goes on in each of us constantly. Not only does it illustrate the loss of confidence, but also how it is regained – by fixing on a different mental image. The strange and fascinating thing is that the immensity above and the immensity below are equally awe-full. Perhaps the difference between fear and confidence is that although we may be faced by the same situation, when there is a movement from the feeling of falling, or being out of control, to the feeling of rising or flying and therefore being more in control, our relationship with the world totally alters.

Example: I am walking along a road with my family. There is a large pit ahead and my mother falls into it. I wake feeling very disturbed. A few weeks later my mother died. Sarah B.

Here the pit obviously deals with Sarah’s sense of her mother’s impending death. This enabled her to face the event with greater balance when it happened.

Occasionally: If we use fantasy and thought to get away from the ‘real’ world’ or if we use entertainment, alcohol, socialising, to escape from inner pain and conflict, when these distractions are taken away and reality breaks through again there is a sense of falling and threat. So falling may depict this fear of being faced with our own inner feelings.

A person falling: Wish to be rid of them; or anxiety in regard to what they represent.

A child or son falling: See: baby; son.

Falling into an abyss or pit: Fear of failure; fear of meeting ones own depths of feeling and the hidden side of oneself; anxiety about some form of death. It can often be a way of facing fears involved in falling, and can be met by imagining yourself falling into the pit or abyss. See FallingSecrets of Power Dreaming

Fear of falling: This may refer to anxiety about falling into old patterns of behaviour or past depression and difficult feelings. But of course it can still link with the other definitions of falling such as failure or lack of confidence.

House falling down: Personal stress; illness; personal change and growth due to letting old habits and attitudes crumble. Sometimes it is about leaving an old way of life behind and starting a new one.

Going fast to an edge and falling: Could mean overwork and danger of breakdown of health.

Seeing things fall: Sense of danger or change in regard to what is represented. 

See: house; abyss; chasm. See also: flying.

Idioms: break your fall; fall apart (at the seams); fall asleep; fall behind; fall between the cracks; fall between two stools; fall flat on my face; fall for; fall for that; fall head over heels; fall ill; fall in line; fall in love; fall into a trap; fall into my lap; fall off the wagon; fall on deaf ears; fall on your sword; fall short; fall through; fall through the cracks; fall to pieces; let the chips fall where they may; pride goeth before a fall; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; the bigger they are the harder they fall; the wheels fall off; wheels fall off; fall-out.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Did I actually fall in my dream, and if so what did I feel?

Was I near a hole or an abyss, or at a great height, and what was the outsome?

Did someone else fall?

Where you hurt in a fall?

See Characters and People in DreamsExploring Dreams Techniques to use Facing Fear



-laura 2011-05-30 9:32:26

My dream was so real. i felt it. i was at alton towers on the oblivion. the first time round it didnt stop at the top. it stopped half way down. we all complained. so they let the ride go again and an indian man was falling from his seat. he grabed mine then before we went through the tunnel he undid my belt. and fell. i came out of my seat but managed to hold on dangling behind the ride with an arm through the loop of my belt. i was with my two sisters. the younger was crying i was screaming and the older didnt seem to bothered. people were screaming from below as the watched me dangle in the air what does this mean. please help


    -Tony Crisp 2011-06-07 6:47:32

    Laura – I wonder whether you were seeking a thrill; a sort of stimulus of facing possible death if anything went wrong. And it didn’t work the first time so the ride went again – you were still seeking.

    Then the Indian man released you – a real thrill and facing death. The Indian is probably an action from an unconscious part of you that really wanted to face you with death. Knowing that you cannot die in dreams, if you had let go you would have experienced something worthwhile. But fear makes us hang on and so blocks the action. Try imagining it again, and this time let go all together. You may need to do it several times to really get through. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-in-your-dream/



-julia 2012-01-23 15:33:01

I dreamed my husb was driving us at night and drove us off the road. It looked like we were going over a cliff, I was fearful but her was calm, and we drove onto a metal roof of a barn. Frightened, I begged him to carefully get back on the road. He asked me to trust him and he floored it…straight off the roof and we fell to the ground below. The car landed in a deep pond and sank into the mud, never to be discovered. Somehow, we were outside the car when it went into the water, so I was able to watch it sink. My husband asked the land owner for directions, and we pushed a bicycle back up the incline to the road to continue our journey. ???


-michelle ward 2012-02-04 2:13:09

father fallen from a hight


-michelle ward 2012-02-04 3:01:01

father fell from a shead


-sid 2012-11-23 23:09:46

Hello Sir,

I had a terrible dream while on afternoon nap, it was kind of half sleep. I and my wife were going to visit a holy place in the car. The weather was rainy, and very windy. The car was being pushed by the wind. As we drove I suddenly saw a large water pit on the road and I applied brakes. There were construction workers near the pit. Although I applied brakes my car spun around and we was falling in the pit rear end going down first. I wondered this might be a shallow pit, and the workers will help us. But the pit was so deep that the car was just sinking for about half a minute, and I lost all hope of coming back alive. At this point I woke up.

I shall appreciate any help with the interpretation of this dream.


    -Tony Crisp 2012-11-26 10:26:13

    Sid – Your dream suggests that a lot of changes are going on in your life, and it is causing you to feel uncertain and anxious, and also that events or circumstances seem to be pushing you about.
    But the high wind is a sign that it is the spiritual forces within that are the power behind the changes. The pit you and your family fall into is the despair you feel. If you are not afraid of the changes that are occurring you will pass through strengthened. The period we are passing through is a time of great events and changes and it involves everybody. Please see http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/the-vision-of-tomorrow/



-alex 2012-12-24 8:05:41

I dream t that I’m on top of a huge storage tank with some people discussing about some gap of the tank’s steel roof, i step back and didn’t realize it was the tank edge and started to fall, at that moment while falling I told myself ” I think this is it, I’m gonna die” , I accept that notion and started to pray. The fall seems so long for im waiting to touch the ground soon but took some time, then as i got closer to the ground, the speed of the fall became very slow and i think i landed on my 2 feet but in a different place. Im a filipino and i found myself in a flower store in china, i figured that out because i dont know what they’re saying and the writings are in somewhat in Chinese, where i never been in my life. I walk around and found a calendar that is showing its sometime in 1988, i felt a combination of fear and wonder knowing i’ve time travelled and telling myself ” wow, time travel is true but how will i go back to my place”.

That’s all i remembered, hope you give me some answer, i am just curious, but the dream doesn’t scared me


-Kayla 2013-05-09 15:32:16

When I was younger, I used to have almost the same dream every night, but I’ve never found any interpretation of this specific event. I would always be running from something or someone, and I would end up climbing a tower (like a cell tower or an electrical tower), and somehow once i reached the top the entire tower would fall over, not collapse straight down but simply lose balance and fall to one side, and I would cling to the top and watch the ground getting closer bracing myself. I usually wasn’t too terrified, I’ve never really been afraid of heights, but to this day I can remember exactly what it felt like to hang on to this tower and fall with it from astounding heights, and it never resulted in death or injury. I’ve always found info on falling dreams and climbing dreams and dreams about watching towers collapse, but nothing on this. Any thoughts?


-Macarena 2013-05-10 1:59:16

I used to have this dream where I’m standing on a cliff, I look down, spread my arms and let go, and I know I’m falling but I feel really liberatated as I fall, and I have the biggest grin on my face. I wake up right as I’m about to hit the floor, but right to the last minute I’m happy as I fall, which is really weird because I’m afraid of heights so I have no idea what’s this dream supposed to mean.


-Pearl 2013-05-17 23:43:44

Every few months I have a dream of falling……mind you I am very afraid of heights but in these dreams I fell the pressure of me falling to the point where I am trying to catch my breath. I always jump out of sleep before I hit the bottom always feeling my heart beating fast and gasping for air…….What does this mean?


-Carlee 2013-07-02 1:16:34

I keep having this dream that I am in a high rise building. I can feel it sway back and forth and by the time I look out the windows I can see that it is falling in almost slow motion. Like someone cut it in half and the top part is being tipped over. Nothing falls through the windows or breaks, but I can see that people start to rush towards the windows. For some reason no one rushes to the stairs and I just stand there trying to figure out what to hold onto. And I can see the rest of the city through the window shift as if we are falling. I wake up before the building hits the ground and I am panicked.


    -Tony Crisp 2013-07-08 7:38:56

    Carlee – I see the dream as showing that you have attitudes or views that are not connected with the reality of who or what you are. Also the building falling suggests that your present personality if ready to go, to be destroyed so anew you can emerge.

    We all go through such stages and it sounds like it is a good one. So go along with the feeling for in dreams nothing can hurt you; all you are experiencing is the fear of falling – which doesn’t apply in dreams. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/



-vwillow 2013-07-23 14:42:36

Several years ago I had a disturbing dream. We were camping in the mountains. My adult son was moving our older van and he backed up too far. The back wheels of the van slipped off a cliff. I was helpless as I watched my son’s face through the windshield of the van. We looked at each other and both of us knew what was going to happen. I can’t forget the image of his face full of fear. I have never spoken this dream and have never told it to anyone. It was terrifying. Can you tell me what it means?


-Jacqueline Abad 2013-08-04 11:43:06

I have dreamt of my husband falling twice already and getting injured. In the first dream, he confidently ran across a narrow bridge to the other side. I said I’d just put down my things and follow him. He laughed, ran back to me got my things and started to run across again when he fell. I rushed down and he was unconscious and bloody but I couldn’t tell if he was dead. I was crying. In my 2nd dream, he laughingly crossed a narrow ledge — while I was telling him to wait and evaluate how we would cross. He slipped, banged his head at the edge of the ledge and fell into a stream. I screamed and a man pulled him up to a lower ledge but he was still in water. I was crying and went on to the ledge and stayed with him until we got him to a hospital. He recovered completely. These dreams scare me with their similarity. What can they mean?


    -Tony Crisp 2013-08-04 12:19:08

    Jacqueline – The meaning depends upon how old you are. Also what you feel about your husband. You see it is not him in your dream but your thoughts and feelings about him? Most people we know in waking life, and then dream about, are an inner person we carry within us and use in our dreams. An inner person is the collection of all the memories and experiences of them – not them as a person.

    So in all likelihood you are using him as a dream image to show you the danger of acting in a way you associate with him. It seems you are facing big changes in your life – thus the bridge and the narrow ledge – telling you that you feel carrying on in the way you are could be dangerous but not life threatening.

    But it is a wise precaution to pray for protection against whatever the danger is.



      -Jacqueline Abad 2013-08-05 7:57:26

      Thank you for your quick response, Mr. Crisp. My foremost fear from the dreams is my husband dying. I love him very much. I am 52 and he is turning 50. We have been married for 15 years. We run a trade and legal consulting firm and we have been struggling to keep it afloat – dipping into our savings steadily to pay office expenses. We have paying clients but not enough to make the firm profitable — but having the firm makes my husband happy. I don’t know if that relates to my dream or something more dire.


        -Tony Crisp 2013-08-05 8:19:00

        Jacqueline – Thank you for giving me exactly the information I needed.

        Because I receive so many dreams, I began to notice that women in their fifties reported much the same dream. They lose their husband – their husband dies – and they feel lost and incredibly worried.

        I realised that women know at some level that the man often dies before the woman partner, and the dreams are a way of getting emotionally ready for such a loss if or when it occurs. So such dreams are a practice run, but are not usually predictions of his death. So feel whatever feelings are involved. Obviously you will meet death at some time, so it is best, if you can, to talk openly about it if possible. Also to ask your dreams about another way your husband could be happy. Sometimes dreams are incredibly shrewd.



-Marie 2013-08-23 18:02:30

A couple of months ago I had a dream that I was on an interstate. I look back to see a tornado coming at me. In order to escape I jump over the guardrail and begin to fall. I just know the result is going to be disastrous. To my surprise, I land softly on my feet in the middle of a beautiful forest.


-Shane Warren 2014-03-06 6:20:47

Hi Sir/Madam, just had a dream where I climbed some stair, but once I wanted to go down there were not steps and I felt I could not find my way down until someone came along(only when someone appeared the stair would reappear). What do you think this means.
Thank You
Shane Warren


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