A house nearly always refers to you, depicting your body and aspects of your personality. This becomes obvious if, having visited friend’s houses you judge their character by the condition of the house. The following description of a man returning home gives a graphic example of this.
Example: When I arrived home and walked through the garden gate I noticed things about the garden I had never let myself see before. The untidiness and absence of care were no longer hidden by veils. Particularly the track I had worn across the small front lawn. It was worn because I used it as a shortcut instead of walking along the path. But then I arrived at the door, I knew suddenly that it was me. The door was me, and every scratch on its paint was a part of my life, reflecting my state. Opening the door I went into myself. The door and garden had already shocked me with my lack of attention to outer details. Now inside the house, the same things showed themselves in the state of my house, depicting my inner health.
We are all human animals trying to deal with and confronted by the complexities of modern life, with its subtle and ingeniously devastating values. A house is a modified cave. It is so easy to get lost in the jungle of values and forget that. As (primitive) humans, we may recognise what are the basic needs – food, shelter, and human and physical warmth. A cave without emotional warmth was deadly and even if it fitted the modern “values” was deadening. Love was a food that we all needed to face the outside world with outgoingness and pleasure. Without it there was no flowing radiating charge in us to transform the outer world into a place we could meet with courage. See Opening to Life
Thus if you take a large house with its many functional rooms, the library would represent the mind; the bathroom cleansing or renewal of good feelings; the bedrooms ones sexuality or intimacy; the roof your protectiveness or ‘coping mechanisms’. But these parts of the building may also be seen as different parts of your body. So going into any building suggests an entering into something within you, perhaps a searching or looking within yourself. So the structure of the building not only associates with your physical age and well-being, but also with the structure of attitudes and viewpoints built in your youth through your relationship with those around you. In a larger context, a house can represent a family tradition, the class the family is in the social hierarchy.
The house can depict a way we allow the world into our life, or exclude it, and the love or attitudes, the pain or hidden secrets of relationships. But a house is a massive symbol and it can link with many aspects of you and your life. So to really get from your dream house what it refers to you also need to ask yourself what type of house it is. For instance how old is it and how does that refer to your age and what period of social attitudes your were born in and influenced by. What social strata does the house represent and what environment does it stand in?
Then, in what way are you influenced by or developed from that social background. If we then go into the house, what is happening inside, and whereabouts in the house? This indicates things, feelings, past influences you are presently dealing with. As a person you have many facets and possibilities, and the various parts of the house depict these. The interaction between these facets are what make you who you are. Understanding them enables you to find your way through the things you face in yourself and the world.
Example: I started to identify with the building, and realise that I am the building. My body is the building. As the building, as my body, I realised that I have been built by many different influences. Not only have my parents contributed by their genetic make up, but also the environment I have lived in, the food I have eaten, the society in which I lived and its many chemicals and waste products all have been influenced in the building and shaping of my being. In fact in the dream the building appears strong, solid and functional.
first floor - Floors of house - Floor – fortress – ground floor – Home – house - attackers or intruders from outside- house burnt or falling – cramped house – damage to structure – - Front of House – house known only in dream – haunted house – inside of house – kitchen in woman’s dream – kitchen - larder or fridge – living room – Looking back at a/your house - moving or new house – nursery
Abandoned house: Suggests it was lived in at one time and was then no longer used or honoured. It also has suggestions in a dream of things that have left memories. There might be things left there that would be useful. Sometimes there have been things done there that you are frightened of or regret.
ancient house: A very old house, especially if it is large, can depict what could be called past dwellings, or past lives involved in or connected with your present life. In general it depicts the past from which your present life has emerged, and the influences from which it arises.
apartment or flat: In general the same as house or home – below – but may have a slightly different significance if you have lived in an apartment or flat. Therefore the questions need to be asked as to whether the dreamer lived/lives alone in the apartment? Does the dreamer share the apartment with others? What was living alone or sharing like? These form the associated feeling states connected with the dream apartment. See Settings in Dreams
attic: The mind, ideas, memories, past experience; things that are out of sight or forgotten. See larger entry on attic
Example: I was sleeping in an attic. A large dog was with me – a wolfhound like I used to exercise a few years ago. I and the dog would go out together. The dog was wild and free. I enjoyed being with it. together we did things like hunting which felt very real in the sense of not being artificial behaviour. Although I never washed I felt clean and healthy. Leon.
When Leon explored his dream he felt the attic was a place where he could exist but not be involved with people. The attic reminded him of the attic in a childhood house, where his mother never went because of the steep ladder. So he could go there and be alone, free of other people’s presence and influence.
balcony/veranda: It can mean an attitude of looking down on people, maybe superiority but it could also be about not wanting to get involved or express who one really is. A balcony in a theatre is also a special place for important people, and also a dangerous place for young children. Veranda can be an outdoor place for entertainment or socialising, so can suggest an ability to express yourself and be sociable.
ballroom: See: ballroom.
banister: A feeling of security against falling or being hurt. Something that protects you; a protective barrier. See: the section on stairs under house and buildings. It might at time be a link with childhood memories where hurt was involved.
Useful Questions and Hints:
What part does the banister play in my dream, and what does that suggest?
Am I near a dangerous edge in my life?
Is this something I have built out of my attitudes?
basement and cellar: Usually the things we have hidden from awareness in our unconscious. The example shows how Mrs L. has killed or repressed a part of herself. We might ‘kill’ ambition, love, sexual drive, and these be pushed into our unconscious.
But the basement or cellar also is the entrance to personal and transpersonal memories, our biological ‘unconscious’ functions, archetypal patterns of behaviour, subliminal or psychic impressions, the collective unconscious. Frequently it is the place we keep memories of traumatic events in our life. So a dark shape or intruder might emerge from ‘downstairs’. Our dark deeds or guilty memories are also in the basement.
A snake in the cellar or cave: Our psychobiological drive; the energy behind our growth and motivation which includes sex drive. Often experienced as our emotional or feeling drive or zest for life. This connects us with awareness of our evolution as a person.
Example: ‘I know I have killed somebody and their body is walled up in the cellar. The strange thing is I haven’t a clue who this person is. Various people visit my home and I am terrified the body will be discovered. In one of these recurring dreams the police actually investigate the disappearance of ‘the person’ and go into the cellar. When I wake from these dreams I always have the most terrible guilty feeling.’ Mrs P. L.
bathroom: If you are from the USA going to the bathroom can mean you want to use the toilet, in which case see toilet – or maybe you need wash, or have a shower or a bath, in which case see bath/bathing.
buying a house: See: purchasing a house.
corridor: No man’s land; limbo; in between state; the process of going from one thing to another. The corridor, because of its shape directs ones progress along it. So it is both limiting and yet gives opportunity to traverse a building quickly.
So if it has this feel in your dream it links more with the expression of your potential or energy. As such it is a channel for the energy of potential to flow through you, into the many departments or ‘rooms’ of you. The example may refer to the experience of birth – the birth canal. Such a corridor can also depict a sense of not being able to get out of a dissatisfactory situation. It may refer to a direction in life produced by circumstances, or even the female genitals. See: white. Many corridors in a building might suggest the complications and barriers that stand in the way of simple effective action or expression.
Example: ‘I’m trapped in a long passageway or corridor. I can’t get out. I’m feeling my way along the wall – there is a small light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t get to it. I’m very frightened. I wake up before I get to the end. Then I feel afraid to go back to sleep.’ Margaret.
door: Freud felt that a door, a keyhole, a handle, a knocker, all depicted sex and sexual organs. The first example shows this clearly. Knocking refers to the sex act, the cul-de-sac is the woman’s legs. But the image of a door has so many other ways of being expressed in dreams and is used very frequently. In the first example it represents the experience of discovering a new feeling state. For instance if one had always been apologetic and now became affirmative, ‘new doors’ of experience could well open.
Door – General meanings depending on dream: A boundary; the difference between one feeling state and another, such as depression and feeling motivated; a barrier to change or growth; the passing from inside oneself to exterior life; the feelings or attitudes, such as aloofness, we use to shut others out of our life to remain independent or private; being open or inviting; a sense of leaving an environment or relationship – escape; entering into a new work or relationship situation; entrance to a new life style, or a new phase of one’s life. Or conversely, an exit from one situation into another.
Black door: The barrier that ones fears or apprehensions set up; the unknown, but perhaps imagined in a way that does not relate to reality. Going through the black door may therefore lead to a freedom from the limiting fears.
Doorknob: Turning point in opportunity, sexual or otherwise. The ability to make a change or to enter into a new situation. See: knob.
Grand house or stately House: Possibly represents either your inherited tendencies from your ancestors or your logn past; or your vision or ambitions for something you would like to happen. Remember that great things have always developed from people’s great ideas that they then work at making real – for the real is only our vision of the future that we put our life energy into building. See The House of the Ancestors
Shutting a door: Privacy; trying to find ‘space’ for oneself; the dismissing attitudes or tension we use to shut others out of intimate contact; repressing memories or feelings; decisively ending something.
Example: ‘I find my way to a door and knock. It is at the end of the cul de sac. An old woman of about sixty comes to the door. Although old she is healthy and well preserved. Without a word I grab her in my arms and have sex with her.’ Patrick S.
Example: ‘I come up to a door which I’d never seen before, and on opening it, I came across another house fully furnished.’ Mrs R. F. Example: ‘I am being strangled from behind by a faceless man! I had gone down to lock my flat door for the night when I noticed the door was open. I hastily bolted it and ran upstairs, but unknown to me the intruder was already in the flat.’ Miss H.
Here the door represents the censorship the dreamer places between her conscious self and her sexual drives. In ‘strangling’ our own life drive, we ourselves feel cut off from life.
empty house: Suggest that you are feeling empty of purpose and perhaps are slightly without purpose. Or it could mean that you have a completely new beginning to be very creative with your life and direction.
first floor: (In this dictionary the first floor is called the ground floor)
fortress: See: castle.
ground floor: For all the ‘floors’/levels of a house see Floor
Home: Ones basic needs such as shelter, warmth, nourishment – but usually in the sense of what we have created as our basic way of life; the values, standards, goals we have accepted as normal, or are ‘at home’ with; as in the first example – the situation or feeling state in our home, which here means family atmosphere and attitudes; the state of feeling relaxed, being oneself because away from other people and what we need to be in relationship with them. Thus a sense of being oneself, or absence of concern over other peoples criticism.
In clarifying this dream symbol, it needs to be defined as to what the state of feeling was in the home, and whether one shared the space with others, and what this was like.
In a past home: Depicts the parts of our character or experience which developed in that home environment.
Someone else’s home: What we sense as the attitudes and atmosphere – or the situation prevailing in that home. So a young woman going to the home of her lover and his wife, shows her facing the fact of her lover’s home situation and commitment in marriage.
Future home: The direction you would like your life to take, or fear it might. See: house below.
Idioms: Bring something home to someone; close to home; come home to roost; home and dry; broken home; home truth; home is where the heart is; feel at home.
Example: ‘I was sitting in the living room at home and my mum was sitting there; like we do when we’re relaxing in the evening. From nowhere in particular my dad was there. He held his girlfriend in his arms and displayed her in front of us. She was stark naked. My mum tensed up, tightened her lips, and tried to look away. I felt acutely embarrassed for me, mum, dad and his girlfriend.’ Lynsay S. Example: ‘I am walking down a busy street when I realise all I have on are my bra and pants. Everyone is staring at me and I try to appear unconcerned but feel more and more embarrassed as I go on. Eventually the street and the people fade and I am alone in my own home and a great sensation of relief comes over me. I do not bother to put any more clothes on but wander about the house secure in the comfort people are no longer looking at me. Mrs S. C. This depicts the home as absence of demands made on us by other people or social rules – so the ability to be oneself.
Basement: See: basement.
Bedroom: See: bedroom
Big house: People often dream of a very big and grand house, and often feel it is not theirs, but everything in a dream is created by your own thoughts, fears, and genius. It depicts the many different departments and areas of yourself you could explore, also your ancient past can be open to you if you enter your dream house.
The big house is a sign that you are much bigger and have more space/potential than you presently believe or know. You need to explore that potential and develop it, for you are a miracle of life, and nobody fully understands what we are. So see Being the Person or Thing
While awake we often think we have a view of what we are based on other peoples opinion of us, our parents lack of interest in us and their comments, that may have made us feel small and insignificant, or even our own view of ourselves, what our body looks like. And so often we have a diminished view of ourselves. But being alive is a miraculous and amazing thing – probably the most amazing thing in the universe.
Our astronomers are searching everywhere to find life on other worlds. In one way that is ridiculous. We spend enormous amount of money and time in such searches on other planets and yet forget that we are living beings with enormous – even infinite – potential and do nothing toward caring for and helping each and every one to unfold their potential.
Burning or falling down: Big changes in attitudes; leaving old standards or dependencies behind; sickness. See: Last example in falling.
Cellar: Similar to basement – what is unconscious or below ones usually level of awareness. Also may still have associations to do with ‘below stairs’ referring to what is beneath one or a lower class. Also in the cellar or basement one is near to the earth, the primordial forces of nature, what moves beneath ones ‘street level’ personality. The basement can also link with what your present personality has been built upon, your past or family and cultural influences. If there are no walls to the cellar, or tunnels leading from it, it shows an openness or connection with influences beyond your own personality.
Ceiling: Protection, security, against the life’s difficulties. Something above your head, or out of reach. The attitudes or beliefs you use to protect your identity, the height or range of your imagination, or your mental limit or boundary. If you live in a flat with people above you, the ceiling can mean the things other people do that enter your life, interfere with it, or even damage you in some way. Chimney: Smoking; the birth canal; sign of inner warmth. If belching black smoke – the grim mechanised side of our culture centred on production instead of humanity.
First, and other middle floors: Internal needs, rest, sleep, hungers; the trunk. See floor for fuller description.
Floor and floorboards: Basic attitudes and confidence; what supports you and you may take for granted, such as health, good will of others, the house you live in. The floor often appears without much emphasis in many dreams. This suggests it is depicting the present situation or environment you are in. For instance first floor or second floor would suggest a different situation in which the events of the dream are taking place. Front of house: Our persona; facade; social self; face.
Ground floor: Practical everyday life, sexuality; hips and legs. It can sometimes suggest real love because all live has to be grounded, it has to be expressed unless it is brought down to earth. See floor for fuller description.
Example: I believe there were other people in the huge attic room with me. Then the scene changed and I was walking up the several flights of stairs to get to the attic room. I was holding a small dog in my arms – one of those rather flat nosed toy dogs. When I arrived at the attic I put the dog down. But now the attic was empty and dark. I could feel my hair stand on end and my skin ‘crawling’. Actually I feel it all again as I write this. The feeling arose because there was an unformed dark shape creeping around at the far end of the room. The dog was really afraid and came into my arms. Then the dark creature leapt at me, transforming into a massive mouth with huge fangs and awful demonic face. Immediately I leapt at it in the same way and smashed against its face with my own huge fangs. This utterly disarmed it because it had felt, in its primitive way, to terrify me. It surprised me too that I could so immediately transform into a monster when necessary. Then I approached the dark form, back in its original condition, trying to find out what it was and why I had met it in that way. Gradually I experienced its situation. It had originally been a human being, but had gradually lost its humanness and become this slinking darkness. I was slowly able to help it realise that it could once more take the path to become human if it wanted to. Then it asked me how that could be done. I told it that first of all it had to come out of this dark and empty place to mix with people. The human environment created a different surrounding and influence that would penetrate it and help it to change. It also asked me how I knew about its condition and how I could transform into its own monstrous form. I told it I had once experienced that condition, and that’s how I knew it was possible to come out of it.
Kitchen in woman’s dream: May refer to pride in the ability to create a home and contribute something valuable to the family. See: cooking.
Living room: This is the mental and emotional space you live in. Your dream will usually give you a pictorial version of what you have created within yourself, what you exist in and its quality, space or despair. It might also refer to personal leisure or ‘space’ to be oneself and everyday life.
Moving or new house: This can either refer to a radical change in the way your attitudes and feelings create a sense of the world around you, or that you are in process of being changed by circumstances and events, and therefore deals with the difficulties or excitement/plans in facing the change. Certainly it reflects some sort of personal change, most likely to do with the way you live your life.
Example: Joan had a dream as an 11 year old child and has had it 20 times over the past 40 years. When she was 11 her family moved from a wonderful big country home into a small city road. She didn’t want to move house and didn’t have anyone to share her difficult feelings about not wanting to move. So, never having expressed her feelings the dream kept recurring. Example: The difficulty of facing change is also reflected in the dreams Diana still has as an adult. She dreams her children are always young and her parents always as they were when she was young.
Old House or house previously lived in: A previous set of values or way of life, sometimes even a suggestion of influences from lives previous to your present one. This can have very deep meaning, as it can show the influences from your past that are still active in you; it can mean influences from your ancestors and your far past.
Other person’s house: Another person’s life. If you go in the house, it shows you getting involved with that person, perhaps being a part of their life – as for instance entering a relationship. If you are watching someone else go in the house, it suggests an awareness of that person, or an aspect of self, being involved in another person’s life. See entry below on seeing partner go into someone else’s house.
Purchasing a house: In general this may relate to making a decision to change, or wanting a change in your life or circumstances. Purchasing something in a dream also often involves the process of deciding or being uncertain. The decision making is to do with clarifying what you want, what you would like. See: purchasing.
Roof: The philosophy, beliefs or coping strategies we use to protect yourself from stress. The roof can also suggest how you are dealing with the energies of emotion, and whether your ‘house’ or personality, is sound.
Standing on a roof: Heightened awareness. See: spiritual life in dreams
Mending roof: Developing new coping strategies; feeling vulnerable; developing the qualities on your life that lead to wholeness.
Leaking roof: Need for new coping strategies; a suggestion that you need to deal with personal problems.
No roof: If not a threatening dream, suggests no barrier between personality and psychic or spiritual awareness; a sense of connection with life or wider awareness. If threatening, feeling invaded by forces outside oneself, or disturbing emotions if raining.
Roof garden: Spiritual or mental growth or flowering of new ideas, insights or abilities. See: Last example in window.
Room: A particular feeling state – for instance the room might feel sinister, warm, spacious, cold, etc. – so depicts such; womb; your life situation if it is a room you are living in. In this sense the room can depict what difficulties, what traps, what poverty or richness of life you are living in. Sometimes a room, because of its spaciousness represents the amount of potential or opportunity one has. The ‘containing’ quality of a room may also depict involvement in ones mother. The décor of the room usually suggests how you feel about the quality of your life.
Bare room: This may suggest you feel your life lacks comfort, or the joy of your own created environment. It can also suggest potential.
Entering another room: Entering a new experience or phase of your life, a new feeling.
Room without doors or windows: May represent the womb and life in the womb. What is happening in the room may show the state of a pregnancy, or feelings about pregnancy; feeling trapped.
Secret room or finding of extra rooms: A common dream theme – recognition or discovery of previously unnoticed aspects, abilities, fears, or traits in oneself. If the discovery is distressing, this may reflect a feeling of a change in ones status quo which is disturbing.
Example: ‘There was a room in my house I had never been in before. It was filled with water and had three kittens submerged in it. While in the room I didn’t need to breath.’ Audrey P. The room here represents Audrey’s childbearing function – her womb. The room can therefore depict mother or qualities of mothering.
Seeing your husband/wife/partner go in someone else’s house: This may suggest your partner has the tendency to move into another relationship. This may be only your fears, but it may show you sense a growing distance in your relationship, and the possibility of your partner going elsewhere.
Example: I was with my husband down some back alley ways – behind houses – all a bit grey looking and maybe evening light. We were looking for a way through and my husband suddenly took off down a very narrow alley through a wooden tumbled down fence and was gone. I tried to follow but when I got through the fence I felt my husband went through the house that was ahead. It was a strangers house and I just couldn’t make myself walk up to it, open the back door and go through it – what if someone saw me or asked me why I was in their home uninvited – I imagined that the owner was a young oriental woman – and I wasn’t sure IF my husband HAD gone that way or down another alley way. Kate.
Some months later Kate’s husband went to live with another woman. Shelf: Possibly your memories, of something that is a part of your everyday awareness; something that is accessible in terms of your using it or remembering what it represents. See: ledge.
Shelf: Possibly your memories, of something that is a part of your everyday awareness; something that is accessible in terms of your using it or remembering what it represents. But principally the way you display or store things that are either precious to you or things, memories you store that still have importance,
Stairs: See stairs
Toilet: Privacy; release of tension; letting go of emotions, fantasies or desires which we need to discharge. See: toilet.
Top floor or attic: Thinking; the conscious mind; memory or memories, things that haunt you; the head. See: attic.
Wall: See wall
Windows: Ones outlook on life; how you see others. See larger entry on window.
Useful questions and hints:
What is happening to the house – changing – decorating – exploring – and how does that apply to me?
What does the quality, age and areas of this house describe about me?
If I describe myself as the house what do I say?
If I am exploring new areas of the house, what am I finding?
See Techniques for Exploring your Dreams - Questions - Using Symbols to Change Life Problems See: For fuller insight into house – House in Your Dream; Basement, Stairs, Window, Glass, Door, Furniture.