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Stairs Staircase

As a baby, stairs presented a huge challenge. To deal with them we had to develop several major abilities, such as steady balance, confidence, control of fear of falling, strength of purpose. Therefore, stairs represent many feelings in connection with achievement, failure, climbing and falling. When these feelings also connect with work, relationship, social standing or sex, then we use stairs as a symbol of what we are feeling.

Taking steps toward something; going up or down in life in your own estimation; moving from one environment to another, so a shift in some way; gaining a new skill, or facing a challenge – stairs are difficult and dangerous when we are children, and so probably remain as a symbol of challenge, danger and achievement in adulthood. Many dreams of climbing stairs include feelings of high anxiety. This is either to do with avoiding a danger at the foot of the stairs, or arriving at something threatening or dangerous at the top. But the difficult feelings might not be due to danger, but to finding or realising things that radically change the way you see yourself or the world. The following example illustrates this.

Example: We move into a house and nobody but myself has really taken any notice of the stairs. Nobody has been up. In one dream I try to go up but the children are scared for me. They plead, “don’t go up Mum, just forget them.” Then I wake. In the next dream I wait till they are asleep. Half way up I can see there is a glass roof, the wooden frames painted green. I am terrified but have to go on. Then I wake. Next dream I got up there. It smells very musty. Lots of draw sheets
covering things. See Nothing Can Hurt You in Your Dreams

Running up: Escaping from urges arising from lower down in the body – so a movement of attention towards the abstract or mental away from fears arising from unconscious or sexuality; lack of confidence, a fear of failing or not being capable is also a common feeling in connection with stairs; if running up with pleasure, then it suggests exuberance producing a change in your feelings and situation.

Walking down: Going down stairs, apart from a descent from a higher place, a more inclusive view, is also a controlled fall. This might suggest being in control of a changing situation.

Skimming down: This is a dream often experienced by children. It is almost like flying down the stairs, the feet just touching the edge of the stairs every so often, creating an exhilarating sense of pleasure. The reason for the dream is most likely that going down stairs as a young child is a difficult and dangerous skill. Most of us have fallen at some point. As we gain greater physical control and can run down stairs, a sense of greater achievement arises. Not only stairs, but other areas of our environment that were dangerous, are now a source of pleasure. The dream translates this feeling into the image of skimming the stairs.

Going up stairs: Again, this is about a change of situation or environment, but going up frequently depicts greater excitement, awareness or discovery of new experience.

Going up shows you leaving the everyday, ground level or ordinary world of experience.

So it can be an escape from involvement with others or events, or also an ascent into greater vulnerability.

The example below shows how going upstairs can be an opening or widening of awareness to include areas of experience usually avoided. In fact Mrs. H. takes her awareness down to more everyday levels to escape meeting the light. This shows how we not only avoid unpleasantness, but also something wonderful or out of the ordinary.

Example: ‘I go up the first flight of stairs, then the next, and there is my ex husband’s Nan who is dead and whom I have never met. I don’t see her face but I know it’s her. She is a blinding white light and I run down the stairs.’ Mrs. H.

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-Annie 2015-05-08 15:57:36

I had a dream last night. I decided to take a direction and walked up a flight of stairs. However, as I was walking, there were muddy steps like that of a dog. When I got to the top there was a bathroom and somebody was in there taking a shower (door was half open) Somehow I knee that he was the one who caused those muddy steps. There was also mud on the floor. I thought that there was also blood on the floor but as I kept walking I realized that it was just a reflection through glass of red walls from inside another room. I continued walking and didn’t remember anything after that. Hope I get a reply. Thanks!

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-05-11 20:12:10

    Dear Annie – Your dreams shows the power of intention; “I decided to take a direction and walked up a flight of stairs.”
    While walking up the stairs you become aware of a dog/person that must have been “muddy”; which is a symbol of ill health. (One’s life needs ‘cleaning up’ morally.)
    A dog depicts your natural drives that are well socialised, but still have the tendency to revert back to the spontaneous or ‘wild’ state quite easily. For instance your anger might usually be well under control, but if someone teases you, you might surprise yourself by the amount and strength of your anger.
    Similarly your sexuality may be usually expressed in a socially acceptable way, but if you are in a situation where your sexual pleasure is stimulated or allowed easy expression you might deeply shock other people and yourself by what you do.
    Please also see http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/energy-sex-and-dreams/
    Taking a shower is a way of changing or shifting ones feelings; cleansing irritations or emotions that cloud ones inner life.
    After having looked at this part in your dream you continue to make your own way at your own pace and it leads to more awareness; “I realized that it (the blood) was just a reflection through glass of red walls from inside another room.”
    In the context of your dream I see a red reflection as a symbol of becoming aware of your healed basic emotions, earthy nature, and sexuality. In this sense it depicts your strength or vitality and your down to earth health and power.
    Because your role in the dream is that of an observer your dream expresses too that
    through simple self-observation you gradually arrive at a form of insight which leads to a transcending of oneself as you stood prior to the insights.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/self-observation/
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Cynthia 2015-05-19 18:56:20

Hello, I had a dream of me standing still on the stairs but it moves up by itself and I saw my brother too but he is in the other stairs and he is just standing on the stairs and it moves up too, it’s like the stairs is flying up and I felt joy and I Keep on smiling to my brother but were not talking to each other on my dream. Hope to get answer from you, Thank you very much.:-)

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-05-20 6:24:41

    Dear Cynthia – Everything you see in your dream as outside you is coming from you, your emotions, your fears, your beliefs, your joys and explorations and are all you, clothed in the dream images and drama. So when you dream of your brother you should not feel you are dreaming about that actual person. As with most dreams, the person in the dream is not the person themselves, but is a collection of memories, associations and feelings about him or her.
    So what do you associate with your brother? http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/association-of-ideas-with-dreams/#Working
    Down flow and up flow of life energy – like your “flying stairs” – are often shown in dreams when people are working on improving their inner life. There are two flows of energy in our being; the upflow is released potential from our physical body. The down flow is an opening to the universal existence and can bring new realisations, healing or speeded up evolution.
    Our potential can be released when something that blocked our flow is unblocked.
    Kundalini is the Sanskrit word for life energy. Basically it means the potential that resides within us; the serpent power is the psychobiological energy that expresses in you as the many processes and functions of your body and mind. It is like the electricity that flows into a house that while it is not the picture on the television screen, or the movement of the cooling fan, is the power underlying all the many things arising from electricity.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/kundalini/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/energy-sex-and-dreams/
    You wrote “I Keep on smiling to my brother but were not talking to each other in my dream”.
    Perhaps you feel like exploring ways to express yourself?
    Our throat deals with speech and communication. Also the expression of passionate feelings and joy as in singing. We can express ourselves easily if this segment is unblocked. Often our expression may come from below rather than from the head. At such time we may feel we are being inspired to express deep things spontaneously. See http://dreamhawk.com/body-and-mind/methods-of-awakening/#Voice
    Good Luck!
    Anna :-)

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-S 2015-06-13 14:14:53

I’ve had this dream at 2 times in my life, but both were very different, vivid, and I can’t forget the first one even though it’s been 4+ years since it first occurred. I woke up today screaming and crying, it felt so real and all the feelings from the dream passed over to when I woke up. I felt both times as if I really had irreversibly damaged and caused pain to my dog.

In the one I woke up from today I don’t remember as much but the ending was horrible. I accidentally dropped my chihuahua through a trap door opening in the floor of my dream. it had ladder stairs and she missed almost all of them and just plummeted straight down two flights shrieking, then I heard her hit the last couple stairs, break her ribs, and start screaming basically. I woke up crying thinking I had killed her.

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-Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-15 11:42:19

Dear –S – You wrote “I accidentally dropped my chihuahua” but in your dreams there are no accidents or chance events. In one way or another, you create the whole dream.
Every image and person and animal in your dreams is an expression of your own life process. As such it is alive and intelligent and is something sent to help you. A dream is like a projection from a movie projector, except that you are the projector.
Everything you see as outside you is coming from you, your emotions, your fears, your beliefs, your joys and explorations and are all you, clothed in the dream images and drama.
A trapdoor in a dream is a symbol of a realisation or feeling by which you can access unusual or hidden parts of your own mind, feelings or memories; a trapdoor behind which you hide your feelings and ideas from others and perhaps even from yourself.
Your dream helps you to meet these hidden parts of yourself and your own depths of feelings.
See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/integration-meeting-oneself/
The breaking of the ribs – those parts that shield you from heartbreak – helped you to release sorrow, grief, loss, memories that have been held back, knowingly or unknowingly, during the day and probably even over years.
So try to explore what the loss and the sadness is about by “Being your dog” and/or “Talking as your dog”.
See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
and
http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/#TalkingAs
and
http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/dog/
Because every dream has many layers, I feel it will also be helpful to explore if you relate to your dog as a child or a love object?
See http://dreamhawk.com/relationship-sex/ages-of-love-2/
Good Luck!
Anna :-)

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-ariana 2015-07-05 22:58:55

I’ve had this same nightmare dozens of times since I was little. In my dream I’d be standing at the top of stairs and someone would push me off or I’d jump and right before I hit the ground, I’d wake up. However recently its been a different but similar dream with a fear of stairs, it usually takes place in a school setting, and I’d be absolutely terrified to go up stairs, so I’d crawl up them fearing that at any moment I’d fall off. Its started to affect my life and I now am scared of walking up certain staircases, I even had a panic attack some weeks ago. Its quite embarrassing. Despite all of this I have no recollection of an incident in my past involving stairs.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-11 11:01:34

    Dear Ariana – Please don’t feel embarrassed. The way I see it is that you are working your way through memories/feelings/habits/beliefs that are part of your inner child and that is not always easy.
    Your panic attack I see as coming from that inner child too and with awareness you can learn to manage “her fears” by stepping back and by becoming the observer who is not lost in the fear.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/self-observation/
    It will be helpful to get a better understanding of what you are dealing with by reading some general information first.
    So please see http://dreamhawk.com/health-and-healing/inner-baby-and-child/
    and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/beliefs/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/habits/ and http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/#MakesInner and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/fall-fallen-falling-fell/
    Research and human experience over many years have shown ways we can work with the wonder of our dream process. From such research Dr. Nielsen and Levin suggest that dreaming attempts to create ‘fear extinction’ to deal with painful or fearful past experience. The dream process succeeds at this when we do not wake from a fearful dream. When we wake from a nightmarish dream it has failed. As Dr. Nielsen points out, ‘If you feel yourself falling spread your arms and learn how to fly’.
    This is not a crazy suggestion. Dreams are simply feelings put into images. Nothing can actually hurt you while you dream. If you really take that in and decide to confront your dream fears – don’t confuse this with externally dangerous things – you can transform your inner world of anxieties, heal past hurts, and open up the treasure house of your potential. When this happens it flows into confidence and pleasure in daily life
    Please continue reading at http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/ and use this means to become more confident at climbing the stairs and gaining a wider awareness of your true nature and the wonderful potential that is part of your mind too.
    Good Luck!
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-ana 2015-07-17 6:48:23

Hi. I dream last night. I was going up to stair but there are 2 kids with me that makes me afraid to go more steps higher because i was afraid that they will fall. And also when that kids already get by their parents, and i was alone going upstairs, i saw the metal barriers at the side of stairs are rusty and weak so i was afraid to touched them as my support while going up. So i decided to take other side of stairs then at the upper area i saw old women senior citizen who are going for vacation and they talked to me. Then i woke up. What does it mean?

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-27 11:03:42

    Dear Ana – The way I see your dream is that it reflects your growth process “in a nutshell”; in other words, what takes only one dream – in dreams we move beyond time and space as known in everyday life – will take more linear time (a life time?) in your waking life.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/body-and-mind/every-seven-years-you-change/
    Your dream figure is confronted with childhood fears, which are still a part of your inner world now; “I saw the metal barriers at the side of stairs are rusty and weak”.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/childhood/
    It will be helpful to explore if you can relate to the metal barriers in your dream as your ideas, beliefs and habits that are no longer able to support your growth in life, because they are “outdated”.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/beliefs/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/individuation/
    Also when you see going up the stairs as a movement toward inner growth and gaining a wider awareness; what then do you associate with “the other side of the stairs”?
    You wrote “at the upper area I saw old women senior citizen who are going for vacation and they talked to me”.
    I believe it reflects that when you have climbed these stairs – there are always more to climb – that you will get in touch with your inner wisdom, which inner connection will change your feeling state too.
    In general these archetypal figures offer guidance and feeling wisdom gleaned from personal and cultural experience. One may even note from the wise old woman, the signs of deep wisdom that is a synthesis of what has arisen out of the pain and strength of the women in your family, stretching back through time.
    These figures tend to appear in our dreams at times of great transition – perhaps because we need fuller access to our resources of insight and information at those times. During such periods of one’s life, the aid these figures give can lead to greater self-actualisation. In general these figures depict our inner awareness or contact with the enormous but subtle influence of our generations of ancestors, and the power of our cultural background.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/wisdom-in-us-as-old-as-time/
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Tori 2015-07-24 13:20:53

I just had a dream about stairs. I was walking up the emergency stairs of my apartment building and got to a point where my left leg was paralyzed and I couldn’t climb up anymore. People were coming down from a higher floor and making small talk with me while I sat on the step. I struggled to keep going up but then decided it was easier to walk down one set of stairs to get to the elevator.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-27 10:11:42

    Dear Tori – I feel that your dream is not about whether you will deal with your fear that is paralysing you, but you are exploring HOW you will deal with it.
    The dream expresses that you took the decision to “meet your fears” – social anxiety? – and your first approach is to “struggle with it”.
    You become aware that struggling with these feelings, and so with ideas and beliefs that are not supportive to your inner wellbeing does not work, which I see as a wonderful step.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/lame/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/news/avoiding-being-my-own-victim/
    Your dream figure reflects that by deciding to walk down one set of stairs, which I see as a symbol of being able to manage your feelings again.
    Going up by using the elevator I also see as a movement toward becoming more aware and use awareness – becoming an observer – as a tool instead of struggling.
    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.
    If one uses observation you may at time realise that you are cycling through feelings or moods. So it can imply that one is experiencing a cycle which you may be trapped in. The way to get out of this cycle is to step back from it using observation; this is like stepping back and not be lost in the emotions or moods.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/self-observation/
    Can you relate to what I see in your dream?
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Doopy 2015-08-05 6:44:50

Hello,
I get a strange recurring dream of me in my highschool, 15 years ago actually, climbing 3 floors only to find its empty , there’s nobody there. When I try to walk down the stairs to come out of the building, the stairs r all broken dangerously, which I didn’t notice when I went up. I somehow make it to ground floor and get out. Please could you explain this.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-08-31 11:44:17

    Dear Doopy – I believe it is important to go back into your dream while awake and explore what you feel when you see the empty room without any-body being present there.
    A way to do that is to “Be the empty room” as is described in http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    The way I see your dream is that your feelings about the empty room are symbolised by “stairs that are all broken dangerously”; as if you then become aware that climbing up was in fact a dangerous act because of what you see; there is no-body there.
    Recurring dreams can arise because there is a need to learn something. Also the growth instinct is incredible powerful one and pushes us through growth, sometimes unwillingly and if we resist it can cause recurring dreams.
    Perhaps you can learn to climb up the stairs, enter the empty room and go down again while the stairs are still intact?
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/empty/
    Does that give you a start?
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Robin 2015-08-20 10:10:33

I’m keep having similar dreams. I find myself in a (mostly) industrial setting. The main thing in the dream is always either a stairwell or ramp that descends in a circular or square motion like in a parking garage. For some reason I always head on downwards (walking). Each Level seems to be slightly to extremely different from the last one, and it always also gets darker and more claustrophobic. The one thing I hate is that with each level I descend the feeing of impending harm/increasing “evil”/hostility/being watched/being hunted/facing death gets stronger and stronger. I usually stop and run back up when it gets too much. I also get a sort of shaky/vibrating vision just before I turn around. I hate these dreams so much because I am not usually fearful and I really want to know what’s at the bottom.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-08-31 12:16:11

    Well dear Robin, I salute you for being so persistent in your continued efforts in daring to look into your unconscious mind.
    What you become aware of while descending into the depths of your mind is your shadow; “with each level I descend the feeling of impending harm/increasing “evil”/hostility/being watched/being hunted/facing death gets stronger and stronger”.
    You must be very aware that this is “only” a feeling, because as I understand from the way you described your dream, nothing is actually hunting you or attacking you.
    So you are aware that the shadow is not “out to get you” and merely waiting to be integrated into your conscious being.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/integration-meeting-oneself/
    The shadow is any part of ourselves that we reject, and so do not allow sufficient expression in our life.
    The shadow develops in us, according to Jolande Jacobi, because as we grow and absorb our culture, we naturally repress parts of our nature as they are not acceptable to parents or society. These grow and mature in just the way our conscious personality does, through experience and further information – except the shadow has a life under the surface like any socially unacceptable organisation, criminal activity or individual.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-archetype-of-the-shadow/
    We all fear and hate our shadow, also because we have judged it as “evil”.
    Evil is ‘live’ spelt backwards. In dreams the sense or presence of evil is often depicting those things you have so repressed that they are no longer properly alive and healthy. Repression has turned them back upon you making them an internal evil. They therefore need meeting and being brought into proper recognition and expression.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/evil/
    Facing death is part of the process as well, because old ways of dealing with yourself and your inner and outer world will “die” in order to make room for new ways of approaching Life.
    You wrote “I also get a sort of shaky/vibrating vision just before I turn around” and I believe that this moment is expressing your opening up to Life, which IS healing.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/lifes-little-secrets/
    So you ARE doing a wonderful inner job and there is nothing that I can add to that.
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Eloise 2015-08-22 15:25:11

I have this repeated dream that I am at the top of the stairs at my old home and everywhere above the stairs is dark and unable to see anything whereas at the bottom it is light and things are visible. I would be wearing almost like a sleeping gown in white and sometimes I dream a teddy in my hand too. The dreams would always end in me gliding forwards down the stairs and then a burst of light. Hope you can help me explain this reacurring dream I have and thanks if you dooooo!!:)

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