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We are all a sort of river, in that air water continually flow through us. If that flow dries up we die. Therefore the river depicts the richness or poverty of your life energy, flow of feeling responses and creativity. Your life processes, expressed as feelings, can carry you along, sustain you, or sweep you away. You might even feel overwhelmed by the torrent of what you feel, and this would be shown as drowning.
The river is also similar to a snake in its curving and so can be associated with this. Sometimes it represents the passage of time. Going against the current is to go against your inner flow or may be an effort to find the source, or get back to the womb.
Crossing a river: Making great changes. If one is in the water to cross, it means meeting a lot of emotions in the process of change.
Seeing someone cross a river: Feelings about death, as does falling in the river.
Going against the current: Resisting ones own feelings; going against prevailing influences or attitudes; going back to the womb.
Directing a river: Channelling ones emotional or sexual energy.
Stagnant river: Restrained feelings or sexuality; holding oneself back.