Fish Sea Creatures

When we decide to speak or move, unconscious physical and psychological impulses and processes occur to produce the response. These deeply unconscious processes are often depicted by fish. The fish can therefore depict something arising from within us that could be nourishing or threatening, depending on ones dream. For instance a person might allow feelings from within to emerge that had been held back. As the feelings flow a new sense of self might emerge, and be depicted as a fish.

It can also show the attitudes and urges we have in common with humanity – the collective unconscious – and the impulses or insights arising therefrom – can therefore represent the Self or Christ – the collective unconscious. Also the sexual drive in connection with reproduction, the many little fishes being sperm. In this sense we are the fish which swam the incredible journey and grew into a human, but is still on the odyssey of life and death. The fish may be the wisdom we have not yet brought to consciousness, regarding our personal journey in time and eternity.

Example: ‘Last week I suddenly started having a recurring dream. In it I woke, walked downstairs, went into the kitchen and looked in the kettle. It was full of little fish.’ Karen LBC.

The fact that Karen goes ‘downstairs’, suggests the lower part of her body, and the shape of the kettle, which is a round container, make it likely this dream is about pregnancy.

Example: Dreamt I was standing in a location by the bench where the carpet begins. The carpeted area and the hall was nearly a foot deep in water. (I had seen the kitchen as cold and uninviting and had bought some carpet and put it down to make it a softer area for my children.) I had bought all three fish. They were wrapped up. I unwrapped them and dropped them in the water. They immediately revived and swam away making a threshing noise in the water.

We had guests in the sitting-room, and after a while I went to look for the fish. The guests were just leaving the sitting-room to go upstairs. I found the fish and a carpet near the sitting-room door. It looked like the fish had been pushed there like rubbish. The scales were worn off and I felt upset by seeing them in that condition. I picked them up and wash them. Their heads were cut off and I was going to put them in the freezer.

This extraordinary dream was explored by the dreamer. He said of it, “I worked on the fish dream alone for a while, and nothing at all came for ages. Then suddenly I remembered how I had been thinking about fish during the day. I had seen how I stood out for my desire for fish despite my wife’s protestations. This was something I had not done before. The fish were my statement of strength in my own home. The carpeted area I had already seen as my putting a carpet down as giving of self to family and home. I had remembered talking to a friend about this the day before. After this I couldn’t get anything. But in the evening I was listening to a record – John Denver –  and I thought of my impressions of self when I went to Mr. Markham’s house. I realised myself as a very unimportant, middle-aged, not very successful man. I felt very humbled, and also the deeply gentle love for others that comes from such humility.

Then the words in the songs said, “The fish in the water,” and like a flash I realised what the water meant. Throughout the weekend I had been saying to the group, “The fish in the water doesn’t know it’s in the water. We are often so immersed in an attitude or state of consciousness we don’t even know we are in it.” My growing strength and self giving is so immersed in some sort of attitude I am unable as yet even to know I am in it.

A lot of emotion came. I cried with a feeling of humility and love for my wife. But I cried about something the crying didn’t make clear. Yet in a certain sense I felt the crying was like a breaking down, dying process.

Then I realised that was probably what the fish dream meant. The thing I was immersed in is my home that I don’t want to see. “The waters of Life. Self giving. All that which flows out of a man into his family, his sperm, his care, his strength, flowing out to his family. That’s the waters. That’s the dream. In the dream I gave my fish into my family, and I swam away. They said to me, “What is this fear underneath your pride? What is the strength underneath your fear?”

“They swam. Then they were under the mat, broken. That’s what life is. A proud, beautiful flowing out of strength, and then, it’s just swept under the mat. Life just builds bodies and then breaks them. Broken bodies on the sea of life. Life once flowed through them, now they are just so much waste on the flow of life, just like empty tins discarded.”

Here I had pictures of a group of monkeys all children. I saw how the fear or shock felt was usually only if their parent or comrades felt that falling over, shouting, fighting, was something to cry about instead of enjoy, that they started feeling apprehensive about the tumble of life.

“They don’t care if they are a part of it, a part of the group, not excluded. If they are loved it doesn’t matter that a foot occasionally comes out of the wrestling match and hits you in the ear. We are just these animals, who look in on the fight, the shouting, the loving, and say, is it all right? What’s going on? Is it something to be frightened of or to enjoy? If we go up to them and say, “It’s OK. We love you.” We are like those monkeys in the book, The Shadow of Man, who hold each other’s hand if something frightening happens. Then we look at each other. “Is this something we’ve got to be frightened of? You don’t look as frightened as you were, so I’m not frightened.”

The little ones are looking to as for clues all the time. All the time looking. They’re asking, “Is it okay? Is it okay if I get knocked over? Is it okay if someone shouts?” “Yes, sure it okay. It’s all part of living and being human.”

“Oh that’s OK then. “Sure, roll about a bit.”

Then I began to shout, “Let me out please. Let me out of here,” banging my chest. As I cried out my head turned to the left and I felt I was a fish. The position was appropriate because my head had an eye each side of my body. I remembered my two fish dreams, one with the dead fish covered in flies.

“Stinking dead fish. Something really rotten. Something really stinking, right in their (in my left chest).” Suddenly I took on a very nose in the air, supercilious attitude toward this rotten thing in my chest. “Quite horrible. It’s a stinking thing. A stinking thing. It’s a stinking fish. Take it away.”

Now my superciliousness of voice and face went. “It’s a fish, like the fish under the carpet in the dream. It’s a bit of me. The wreckage of life. I am a bit of the wreckage of life. Dead fish – out of water – how does it all link up? Such a huge thing this dead fish.” Its fear of death – fish out of water – teenage – the pain in the chest – the weak? There’s something missing so I can’t link it all up.”

My father who had a all this bloody muck on top of him from our culture about tits and brassieres, and pictures of women with their legs open, as if that was womanhood. That’s not womanhood. It’s a part of a woman’s equipment, but a woman is something so different. Womanhood is a lovely thing. Why picture it as all those things? It’s not just a fairytale thing. A woman is a real animal who feels, behind all that from her body. There’s a real human being, with fears, hopes, love, weakness, strength, and we give our youngsters this bloody stupid image – of men too – part of the deadness.

As I held my wife and touched her body I wept at the depth of feeling between us. I also saw my hands upon her, and observed their strength. I felt the strength of my manhood.

“I have all my life fought and worked hard to gain strength, unconsciously fearing I was weak. Yet now I can see that I am a strong man. I am strong just through being myself. I am strong in my own right, not through doing anything to make me strong.”

After a long time of looking and touching and drawing closer, we got into bed and lay close together. There was no attempt to make love. My body at this point did not seek this and there was no direction. We talked about this. I felt that Life or God married/united couples through flowing through them, and we must wait for that. Gradually it happened and a very satisfying coming together occurred.

As we lay together afterwards many things arose into my awareness. I wondered what power intercourse had to do with a timeless or eternal, and a completely new (for me) view of our union and the eternal arose. Before we had come upstairs I had seen how mankind exteriorise everything. They exteriorise God, the Church, the eternal. Yet the altar, the Church, God, are our own being, our own everyday experience, and the act of love is the act of Creation, birth and death, the void, everything. Yet our union, after all, had been unspectacular. How was worship, sacrifice, God, all involved in it?

I saw that if we approached each other in reverence, care, gentleness, then we approached Life itself. There is no imagination needed to understand that. Our partner, our own being, is Life incarnate. It is only an attitude that causes us to approach without care, prayerfulness or reverence.”

The following was an inner insight the man received about a dream in which, “I seemed to be also see inside the tunnel looking down on the river and seeing many fish or fish shapes in the water flowing or moving to the tunnel end.”

Example: The river really lives within your soul; the fish are released from another reality beyond your own personal life. The reason you see living fish and shapes represents long-term benefits. Your present life brings into being factors that will not really live except in other lifetimes. These fish will nevertheless afford prizes in the form of bonus outflows from the one life. Your present life will release much that arises from the future. You are a gateway for the future to pour into the present. The past releases the living fish. Past and future are from the one source.

Dead fish: Non expression of basic urges. Non giving of self. No loving sexual giving.

Eaten by fish: Feeling threatened by irrational urges or emotions; threat of losing conscious or rational direction of life. It is an example of fear of Life in us and so repressing its urges.

Eating fish: Integrating our inner realisations. Partaking of Christ – i.e. feeling connected with society and the world, as in communion. Being a part of everyday life in giving and receiving.

Fishing: Creating a receptive state of consciousness which allows the deep insights or processes to become known; trying to find spiritual nourishment; ‘fishing’ for ideas; compliments or information; seeking intuition.

Many little fish in round container: Could be sperm or depict becoming, or wanting to become pregnant.

crab The shell of brittle emotions we guard ourselves with grasping or hurtful attitudes. Being nipped by crab: Physical or psychosomatic pain or even illness caused by being too tight or self protective.

Dolphin and porpoise Because dolphins are wild creatures of the sea that actively develop a relationship with humans, they are often taken to represent the contact and relationship we have with the deeply unconscious natural forces within. Such dreams suggest life is not simply operating blindly, but reaches out to us if we reach out to it; powerful unconscious energies in us; conscious awareness of one’s link with all life; contact with the one life within all things.

Example: About a month ago I decided to terminate a relationship which had lasted more than twenty years. Two nights after making this decision my body took over at night and started rocking, banging, pushing, the back arching. These alternated with rest and floods of soothing energy pulsating through my whole system. In the morning my back felt totally open and vulnerable. Soon after this event I had this dream – I was swimming in a broad river of clear, warm water full of life energy. It was deep and the river had rock cliffs rising either side of it, 40 meters high. Above that I could see the green of some trees in the sunlight. Further up stream the walls of rock joined and formed a tunnel.

I was swimming on my back when suddenly I saw a huge fish. It was about 4 meters long, coming out of a cave towards me. I panicked. Then I thought it might be harmless and went on swimming quietly. It was a dolphin, and very gently it swam behind my back and covered it, hugging me from behind. I lay absolutely quiet embraced by the powerful and gentle energy of this being. Energy was pouring into my back. Finally I reached round and touched the fin of the dolphin. It was like thick velvet. Rhea.

jellyfish – Feelings arising from the unconscious which might be painful / sting the dreamer, bring a sense of helplessness / spineless, or are from a non verbal level of memory.

octopus Feeling trapped by the influence of one’s mother; dependence upon mother; one’s own possessiveness or desire to cling to someone in a relationship. Hadfield in Dreams and Nightmares, says that a baby often seizes upon its mother’s breast with this feeling, so it may represent the desire to posses or devour others. The octopus can also symbolise any unconscious fear which may drag us into its realm of irrational terror, or any influence you fear will engulf you.

sea lion It is similar to seal described below, but has also the male has the charcter of a bull type creature, who has a tremendous fight to get a mate and to produce offspring. The female sea lion is seeing who is the more dominat male to mate with and produce her child. So it is very much about our own primal instinct to mate and carry on the next generation.

 Example: I was standing on top of a small mound or rock, about fifteen feet high. At the base of this mound my wife was bending down looking at something. Nearby was a buffalo which was a smooth skinned blue bull. It had the rounded body lines of a sea lion. I sensed that it was going to charge at my wife’s behind. I called to her. The bull was walking toward her, speeding up as it approached. Then she was on the rock beside me. The bull was now excited and running around. I was anxious it might get at us somehow. On my left, I could see the mound connected with a flat area of higher ground, and I hoped the bull would not get onto the higher level and attack us.

The dreamer, who had a habit of not having regular sex with his wife, realised that his standing on the rock represented his being independent from his wife. But the bull/sea lion in him saw his wife’s attractive behind was an excitement to his own instinctive urges. He was anxious that the animals side of him would get to him, which he felt as an attack.

seal As the seal can emerge from the water entirely and live on land, the seal is sometimes used to represent the emergence from the womb and the pleasures or difficulties of life as a ‘land animal’ physically independent of our mother. This is especially so if it is a baby seal. It can also depict the emergence into your conscious life of your deepest instincts and life energies – in Eastern terminology the kundalini. Otherwise the possible meanings are much the same as dolphin – see above.

shark Fear of death; fear of the collective unconscious, or loss of self in the impersonal Whole or All; the power of the unconscious – so its protectiveness; someone who is a ‘shark’ or unscrupulous.

shell fish Often the defensive shell we use to avoid hurt or sexual or emotional involvement; the female sexual organs.

Clam: Emotional withdrawal. Some part of your feelings may be closed up. The clam suggests there is some sort of outer hardness to protect a sensitivity or hurt. Often the defensive shell we use to avoid hurt or sexual or emotional involvement; the female sexual organs.

Oyster: A defensive shell, but may link with sexuality through common association of eating oysters as an aphrodisiac; tight lipped; secretive; frigidity. See: crab; pearl under jewels.

Lacking shell: Our naked vulnerability.

swordfish The same as fish but with the fear of being hurt by our realisations.

turtle There are so many different sizes of turtles it is difficult to be specific, but turtles are creatures that can live under water and also on land. They also have a protective shell they can withdraw into, and these are probably the main points your dream uses to depict something of yourself. So this part of your dream may link with feelings of deeply inner feelings or even vulnerabilities that are surfacing or being felt at present.

In other words you may feel vulnerable and withdraw into a protective shell – or are emerging from such vulnerability. It may be referring to a time in the past you did one or the other.

For women the turtle can appear in dreams about pregnancy, so you may dream this if you are, or are trying to become pregnant. See: Pregnancy and Dreams.

The turtle is a slow mover, but nevertheless is a survivor and can live easily in different environments. So the turtle might reflect a need for you to acknowledge these aspects of your own behaviour or character.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I feeling vulnerable at the moment, and if so what about?

Are there ways I withdraw sometimes, and in what way do I do that?

What am I feeling from deep within me?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsProcessing DreamsEdgar Cayce

whale The powerful evolutionary drive involved in reproduction, which lies behind individual male or femaleness; the beneficent power of the collective unconscious. Also the ability to dive deeply into ones unconscious life process and awareness.

Example: ‘I was leaning over the settee with my hands cupped under my chin looking out of the window. The view was spectacular, in that it was as if the house was situated on top of a cliff overlooking a huge bay, shaped like a horseshoe, with the house in the middle. From the sea suddenly, coming into the bay I could see three enormous whales making their way toward me. As I was staring in amazement they began to transform themselves and come up out of the water as three giant Viking like figures. They were so huge, that the water came up only to their knees and everything was moving so slowly, as they waded towards me. It was the most awe inspiring thing I had ever seen in my life.’ Sue B.

The bay, the beautiful sea, the sperm? whales / men, show Sue touching the most primordial yet inspiring aspects of her own womanhood and urge to love.

See: Christ under archetypes; religion and dreams; sea. Idioms: Big fish; big fish in a small pond; cold fish; fish for compliments; fish out of water; queer fish; smell something fishy.

Useful Questions and Hints:


Am I meeting a deeper awareness of my relationship with the fundamental drives in me?

Has a change occurred where I am starting the inner journey into who I am beyond the surface personality?

Have I recently felt a wider awareness of what I am?

See Techniques for Exploring your DreamsProcessing DreamsEdgar Cayce


-Valissa 2017-12-09 14:23:29

I’m on the beach. Tan/gray sand. Just beyond the sand dune is the ocean. It’s relatively calm. I’m there with one of my daughters (not sure which). And we’re sort of playing at the water’s edge. Our house is right next to the beach, though it doesn’t seem like our current house. The ocean begins to rise, so we grab our stuff and head down the dune to our house. Once inside, I look out the back window to see the watch rushing in a large stream over the edge of the dune. My husband is in the house and I tell my daughter to look at the water. Then I’m upstairs getting ready for bed and the sea animals start coming in everywhere. There are these patchwork porpoise-like animals with black working clocks on their bellies crawling across the roof which I can see out our bedroom window. Then I feel something pulling on my PJ pants. It’s crabs and other sea crawly things that I take a pen and flick them off. There are giant turtles crawling down the hall. Then it’s the next morning and I find 3 or 4 dark skinned, maybe middle eastern, maybe Hispanic, one African American men sleeping in one of our beds. My husband comes charging up when I yell that there’s a man in a bedroom, then sees that there are 3 or 4 and backs up. I go downstairs and discover a bunch of women sleeping in another bedroom. They’re kind of hippy-ish and proceed to go upstairs, out a door and onto a flat roof where a pretty tent is set up with pillows and candles. We walk past the tent to a giant picnic on the ground. There’s fried chicken and some other stuff. I quickly assess the layout and determine they need fruits and vegetables and say I’ll get them some plus some chips too. I ask how they found us and why they stopped here. The show me a note written on a concrete wall that’s right next to our house and say the note was welcoming and nice so they knew they could stay. I was too far away from the scratched note so I couldn’t read what it said but it looked like several smaller notes, each with lines drawn around them, sort of connected like a puzzle. I start to go back into the house and one of the men is by the door. As I reach of the handle he reaches for me and gropes me. I push him away, yell at him, telling him it’s not okay. About that time, I notice an older man there who isn’t paying any attention to us and when I look at him he turns and defends me and yells at the other guy. I tell the groper he has to leave and then I turn to the others and say “if there is any kind of sexual misconduct you will leave.”

    -Tony Crisp 2017-12-15 11:40:18

    Hi – It would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read –


    Valissa – In dream terms you got near to the edge of a massive natural environment – the sea. But you were playing, partly like a child, with little realisation of the huge depth you were on the edge of. So in your dreams about the sea, you may be accessing some aspect of this immensity, stretching from today to the primeval depths of your existence.

    Most of the activities that underlie our physical and mental life are beyond our awareness. For an immensely important period of development your being existed in a pre-conscious, pre-verbal state as it grew from the single cells of sperm and ovum to the foetus and new born child. But even after birth there was a timeless period before speech and self-awareness were achieved.

    You began to feel this as the ocean began to rise, and you moved away into the dune, an area that is usually fairly sterile as far as growth is concerned. So you moved away, but the life of the sea is still entering your daily life and your sleep life – the creatures.

    The sea, with its surface and hidden depths, lends itself to depicting this human experience of known and unknown regarding yourself. The enormity of the sea is also a visible image of the enormity of your own inner world – much of it unknown and lying in pre-birth or pre-speech – and also the relationship you have with the processes underlying your existence, that you exist by yet know so little about. The sea holds vast treasures, curiosities, and your history. Not simply because life emerged from the sea, or your blood is as salt as the ancient sea, but because so many ships and shorelines are now beneath the waves. Sometimes these can be recovered, and this too is an image reflecting your relationship with your own deeps.

    The rest of the dream shows the many things that you are not aware of because they are below your normal level of consciousness, but which get in the way of an easier and creative life. The Middle Eastern men, the sexual conflict, in dreams depict this almost unconscious side if you. Please see

-Saundra 2017-06-01 0:24:49

I wanted to thank you for posting your Dream Dictionary online. Various times I have had interesting dreams in the last few years (often beautiful dreams of fish) & I have found your site so thoughtful & insightful, so much so that I finally/recently read the “about you” section. Thank you so much for sharing about your life as well, I so enjoyed learning about you.
Sincere warm thanks & well wishes to you from Southern California (Saundra)

-ivan 2017-05-03 15:42:26

i had a dream about 2 enormous and monster like fishes jumping out of the water. it looks like they wanted to attack everyone that got close but they never did. what could that possibly mean?

-Vicki 2017-03-20 13:35:31

Some men were working on my house. It was a new house. They were putting up lights and laying wooden floors. One of the guy almost got whacked with the light and I thought it was funny. One of the men threw a small sledge hammer onto the wooden floor. The floor was dusty. I told him he was going to damage the floor. He said something about being new or he didn’t care or something and I told him I was going to have his boss take it out of his paycheck.

Part of the dream was about fish, fish you would keep in an aquarium. I had a bunch in a large Ziploc bag and I was trying to make sure they had enough water. I was telling somebody, probably Erica, that Wal-Mart had a bunch of nice fish I wanted to get but wasn’t ready yet. Those silver cat fish with the black spots and long whiskers that I like. Some just like them only a dark gray version and some orange gouramis. Both the bag and the aquariums probably had more fish than they should have held to be healthy.

At some point I was climbing up a small dirt hill. It may have been by my new house.

-Carolyn Peters 2017-01-14 15:03:47

Last night I dreamt that a large dolphin flew into my 10th floor apartment window. It was like an unexpected miracle. That is how I look at it. I love fish , dolphins, and whales and have them all depicted in artwork in my home. I even have a little gold Beta fish named Ferdinand (Ferdy). I think this dream foretells of big needed changes in my emotional life. What do you think? Coincidentally, I am a Pisces born March 18th.

-Tiffany 2017-01-11 20:05:49

Happy New Year, Tony! Long time no comment, <3 but I am happy to be back. 🙂

I had a crazy dream last night of a huge, blue fish flying through the sky! It was really big, and eventually it landed and I wanted to put it back in the sea, but my uncle decided to eat it!

I have been vegan for awhile now but started eating a bit of shellfish recently as my body was really craving it. But I've never seen anything so spectacular really, as this giant flying blue fish.

Love to hear your thoughts!

    -Tony Crisp 2017-01-12 12:16:24

    Hi – I must take time to upgrade the dream dictionary, so must halt from answering your posts – I started revising the dictionary in 2006, and haven’t neared the end yet. I believe someone else may start giving interpretations.

    So, for a while I urge you to read – It describes ways that can help you. And often it would help too if you looked at


    Hi Tiffany – It sounds as if your uncle was wise in taking the fish to eat. I see that we all kill to eat, life gives itself to us o we can survive, for even plants are living aware beings, for we all arose from single celled creatures and are all of the same life process. In June 2007, Canadian biologists discovered that plants have “complex social behaviours such as altruism towards relatives.” This was revealed by watching how plants in the same ‘family’ “do not increase their root growth while sharing a pot with siblings or family. But if they share a pot with a stranger, they “get competitive and start growing more roots, which allows them to grab water and mineral nutrients before their neighbour’s get them.”

-priya 2016-02-19 9:58:48

I had dreamed in which I were in the sea surrounding with fish.

-Lee 2015-11-15 23:08:20

I had a dream in which I acquired a blue goldfish. The blue color was extremely present. I was holding it in my hand and wondering if I would keep it alive in my hand as long as I kept the gills wet, either with water or my own saliva. It seemed to be doing pretty well, but jumped around and onto the bed sheets (as I was sitting in bed) and I realized I should put it in a container. I tried to find the right size and had a myriad of choices of containers, small to large and of either plastic or wood. As I chose a container too small and was filling it with water in the sink, the goldfish jumped out and went down the drain even as I tried to catch it. I was devastated! And felt I had lost an opportunity for something. My friend opened a portion of her drain (as it was now her drain in her house and not my own) and the fish popped out and I caught it! I felt now I really had to care for the fish properly and would research how to do so, but still needed to contain it until I had the answers. As I put the fish in what I thought was a proper sized container, I saw a black particle floating through the air that seemed like a bug or another creature, and somehow I knew it was supposed to go into the water. So I caught it and put it in the bowl with the fish, but it grew into a black sting-ray looking creature and then became two black creatures looking like eels or leeches. One attacked the goldfish – sucking and biting on its gills and I had to pull it off. My sister appeared and we put the two black creatures in the bathtub to examine them. They looked very evil like black alien leeches. And we left them there in the bathtub, feeling no further threat from them, and then forgot about them – putting our attention back on the goldfish who still needed a proper bowl to swim in. The fish was jumping out of the bowl again and almost going back down the drain and I kept trying to catch it and putting the bowl on top of it, but being afraid I was hurting the fish by trying to squeeze it in my hand or squishing it under the bowl. I felt I was ill-prepared to take care of the fish, didn’t know what I was doing and hurting the fish greatly. I was worried it would die soon if I didn’t learn quickly how to take care of it, but I really wanted to care for it so it could grow and be happy.

    -Louise 2017-01-17 3:51:12

    What an interesting dream Lee. Did you work out the meaning of it?

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