Flying – not in airplane

This has many levels of significance, depending on the dream. It can mean you are flying or fleeing, from something you find difficult to face. This is usually something in your life you try to get away from by using distractions like social life, media entertainments, reading a book or watching a film, becoming over idealistic, religious, or living in the clouds of fantasy. See airplane

When flying we do not have our feet on the ground and so it can suggest either that you have found a positive expression to your energy, or that you have lost a practical grasp on what is happening. The positive flying when you are not fleeing from something, often indicates independence and the ability to deal well with your emotions or fears.

Flying suggests the desire to rise above things, to attain greater heights, to break free of limiting viewpoints or cultural norms. Freud explained all flying dreams as expressive of sexual desires, intercourse, or life in the womb, which in some cases is true. But flying also represents ambition, abstract thought, and rising above your fears.

Flying, in a plane, or without it, can also symbolise attempts to gain a view of what lies ahead of you in the future, or your potential. From the air we can see ahead, and back. We quickly review where we are heading, and the possibilities of our possible directions.

But flying does not necesarily mean movement, for in dreams flying indicates that you are in control of your fears and urges so you can hang in space.

Example: ‘I was floating atop a tree near houses and a rising walkway. I was saying to people around the tree that I had found something wonderful. Reaching out my hand I told them they could join me if they accepted this possibility in themselves. Some thought it was a publicity campaign, but were enjoying the spectacle. A few reached out and were immediately with me, until there were about six of us, men and women. We joined hands, experiencing a most amazing sense of well being. Then we slowly and effortlessly flew to a great height, leaving a trail of coloured smoke which could be seen for miles. It was to demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit. We then descended and were going somewhere else to show others.’ Margareta H.

There is a negative side to flying which depicts how we try to move away from internal trauma or fear by disassociating our feelings and mind from reality. We may do this by constantly reading books, watching television, or by internally deadening our feelings and body sensations. Thus some victims of sexual abuse dream of flying as an escape from their internal pain. Willa’s dream below expresses her own fear of her father who abused her, and shows how she attempted to escape this fear by ‘flying’.

The example below illustrates how much will, effort and learning can be involved in flying in dreams. This aspect of flying connects with the gaining of independence and the expression of one’s potential. Adler saw flying dreams suggestive of confidence and ability to solve present life problems. They portray the overcoming of obstacles and the people who have them are positively directing their life. The positive side of flying almost certainly depicts the ability to hold a steady state of mind against the difficulties of life. The negative side of flying shows a retreat from such difficulties.

 Example: I was held prisoner by an ‘evil scientist’ who appeared as an older white man, short, and wearing a white lab coat. We were in a room that looked like a laboratory high up in a tower. He seemed to want to conduct some kind of painful experiment on me. My fear was immense. I tried to escape by flying out of the only window in the room. I did fly out, but he came after me and pulled me back inside. Willa. Quoted from Sexual Dreams by Gayle Delaney published by Piatkus.

Example: ‘I was in a building with a group of people. I was being chased and suddenly fly up in the air to escape my pursuers.’ Michael O.

Example: I often dreamed I was being chased by boys or men. I would suddenly take off like a helicopter and fly away, sometimes narrowly escaping from my pursuer. M.C

Learning independence, and the ability to make decisions despite what others feel, may be done by ignoring our own feelings. This may be achieved by always keeping busy; never having quiet moments alone; filling empty periods with entertainment or company; smoking, drinking alcohol, taking sedatives or tranquillisers; rigid positive thinking. Then, as Michael does in his dream, we fly from issues we are pursued by instead of resolving them. This may lead us to the extremes of being either rigidly materialistic, or as rigidly ethereal. In either case we lose contact with everyday human issues, and may begin to have the ‘escape’ type flying dream, or out of body experiences. See Nothing Can Hurt You in Your Dreams

We are all born into a certain paradigm or ‘reality’. At one time, part of the ‘reality’ for most Britain’s was that anyone without a white skin was a heathen or savage. At other times the ‘reality’ has been that anything heavier than air could not fly. Meteors did not exist because theory discounted them – and so on. To break free of such paradigms and from the ‘gravity’ or hold our parental and social authority has on us, and to find a measure of emotional and intellectual freedom, takes the sort of will, effort and learning depicted in some flying dreams. See Archetype of the Paradigm 

‘During childhood I learned to fly in a long sequence of dreams. Each linked very clearly to the last. I would go to the nearby churchyard and in the beginning I would run along as fast as I could then jump and just manage to extend the jump by a great effort of will. In subsequent practices I managed to gradually extend the jump for many yards; and eventually I could skim along indefinitely. The next stage though was to extend my height, and this took enormous effort of will and body. I made active swimming motions and climbed, but only held altitude with great and constant concentration. With further practice still, this clumsy mode of flying was left behind as I learned to use pure motivation, decision or will to lift me into the air and carry me easily and gracefully wherever I wished. At this stage my flying was swift, mobile and without struggle.’

It is important to learn to fly because it is an excellent training for decision making, concentration, pure motivation and perseverance. You can train it first by imagination, by seeing if you can take of and not be afraid of falling/failing.

Flying expresses also the dealing with other internal influences which hold us down, such as self doubt, anxiety, depression.

Example: ‘I was flying. I felt nervous at first that I would fall down, but not afraid. I soon became confident and felt very happy and wanted the sensation to continue. I was flying over a building, could have been a small church, crematorium or graveyard but did not feel afraid or upset. When I woke I lay in bed and tried very hard to keep the feelings with me and, for reasons unknown, I do not wish to forget it.’ Mrs S. M.

In flying, Mrs S. M. is finding a way to look at death – the graveyard – which gives her a different viewpoint, a different feeling reaction to it, and she doesn’t want to lose that precious newly learned view. In their maturing process, some people learn to see their thoughts and emotions as things they experience rather than what they are. For instance I might feel a failure and thus believe I am indeed a failure. Or I might recognise the feeling of failure as simply an emotion I sometimes have which I can choose a reaction to. This brings the sort of new viewpoint and freedom seen in the above example. See Avoid Being Victims

Flying alone occurs most frequently, showing the independent aspect of flying. But because it often involves our positive feelings of pleasure, flying may depict our sexuality as below, especially aspects of it expressing freedom from social norms and restraints.

Example: ‘I knew I could fly. I picked up one of the young women I felt love for and flew with her. Laughingly I felt like superman, and flew easily.’ Simon W.

Example: I miss my flights. I miss the feel of the wind. Soaring to the closeness of the earth and in full lightless speed into the high sky. Soaring down to touch the brim of the water below and seeing the flights reflections. I miss looking to my left and seeing my flight partner, a beautiful Hawk with beautiful yellow eyes. Never did the Hawk fly ahead nor behind or above nor below. I learned to see far below from high above. And when the flight was over I felt complete. I miss soaring!

Example: Particularly I miss coming alive for the first time – really alive and with a knowing and awareness that was like quicksilver and penetrating. I was flying – out of the heavy almost blind body still lying on the bed, and below me I cold see great radiations coming from places on the surface of the earth. Was it prayers reaching out?

Transcendence is also depicted by flying. The tree is Margareta’s personal life. She is at the growing tip, transcending, leaving behind her past. Being high in flight, or on a hill or mountain also represents the action of seeing our life as a whole, having a sense of our overall direction and destiny, our essential self. This frequently gives rise to the drive to give of one’s best to others, as Margareta does in leaving behind a sign – the spire of colour.

Some researchers believe flying dreams often precede lucid dreams. See: lucid dreams; out of body experience. See also: hill; mountain.

Example: As this occurred I had a wonderful sense of being a lovely bird that has been in some way ill all its life. This meant it never flew when the flock took flight. Instead, to deal with its own difficulty it felt feelings of not wanting to fly like the others, of not wanting to be like them and do the meaningless things they do. But with the healing came the realisation I could fly, and I took wing and joined the flock. Now I am a creature of spirit, which I have always been, and I asked the Light to help me learn the ways of ‘flying’ in the spirit.

Another view of flying is that it is a way of exploring one’s own awareness and possibilities.

Example: That night I dreamt I was on the hill behind my old “home” in Amersham. A strong wind was blowing, but it was warm, sunny, and peaceful. Spreading my arms I caught the wind in my short coat and rose up like a kite. Higher and higher I went, and I experimented with diving and gliding. Sometimes I lost the airlift and tumbled over and over, but at no point did I feel fear. I twisted and found the lift again. At one point I rose to an enormous height and saw the earth distant below me.

Then I glided down and approached the field to land. It was near where Piggots Orchard council houses backed right onto the open hillside above the two old elm trees. A young girl of about six was playing in the field. As I came in to land she saw me and ran away very frightened. I was gliding in the same direction she was running and called out to her not be frightened. She stopped and I landed. In amazement she looked at me and said, “How did you get to be up there?”

Flying in the clouds: This can either be about a sense of yourself free from the usual limitations of body, of concepts learned in a materialistic culture – or losing touch with your everyday life and escaping into imagination and longings. If it is the first it usually involves recognising that your essential self is not the body or the thoughts and emotions.

Idioms: Fly by night; flying high; send flying.

Useful questions and hints:

If I climbed above the clouds by flying, what sense of myself and the world did I arrive at?

Did I fly to escape from something or someone?

Are there difficulties in flying or is it easy?

Where did I fly to and what did I find?

See More than you Presently KnowTechniques for Exploring your DreamsProcessing Dreams – Archetype of the Paradigm

 

Comments

-Jim 2013-06-18 9:05:38

When young 5-10 yrs old I can flying dreams that would start by me running fast and eventually taking off…..now in mid 30’s and I’m having flying nightmares. They still deal with speed, usually going fast around a turn or an incline and going up in the air and awake suddenly scared once about to fall. Any meaning to this

-Jim Rodman 2013-04-23 18:35:11

I had a dream last night that I was flying over the city I grew up in. I was flying over downtown and observed 2 people doing something wrong and I yelled out to them “WHAT ARE DOING DOWN THERE?”

I have a lot of dreams about flying. I just don’t know what to make of it.

-Tricia 2013-03-04 15:35:24

In real life, I had a miscarriage last week and 2 days ago, I had the D & E procedure where they removed the baby. had a dream last night that feels too real to actually be a dream. I was in bed sleeping when I felt her (the baby’s) presence and she levitated me above (about 2 feet) the bed. I was so thrilled that she was connecting with me. Then, she lifted my arms a few times and I kept hoping she would do it again so I would know she was still wanting to connect. It was such a euphoric experience feeling my body completely weightless and at one point I thought, I know this is real because I am facing the wrong way in my bed yet I am awake (although now I realize I wasn’t really awake). Then she levitated me again to face the right way and raised my arms again. Any interpretation would be greatly received! 🙂 On a side note, we knew the miscarriage was coming as we watched the demise for the last month and actually felt peace (along with incredible sadness), but it was a very stressful process watching her get worse every week. She was 15 weeks.

-Sheri 2012-12-03 18:31:05

I have been flying for a long time. It took quite a while to master this. It was difficult to maintain balance and I could never choose my altitude. The dreams come rarely now as I get older. I had one last night though, and in it I demonstrated the most skill I have ever had in flying. I was able to control every moment, which seemed to last longer than I recall the other dreams being. I even made an attempt to teach another how to fly by explaining that gravity was only a state of mind and that it could be turned on and off with power of thought. I suspect that my dream had everything to do with the fact that I found a deceased owl yesterday and released his spirit after asking and being granted the gift of his medicine.

-Serenity 2012-11-10 17:30:35

I had a dream of flying, rather floating two nights ago. I was with a friend and we floated over square tiles in water. It was very mystical and soothing with waterfalls. Upon waking, I felt very blissful and wanted to keep that feeling and was wishing I could go back to sleep to recapture this moment forever! Truly amazing!

    -Tony Crisp 2012-11-11 10:34:56

    Well Sweet Serenity – There is no reason that you cannot capture that feeling again and again. Of course you will never have the same dream again, and you do not have to go to sleep to return to it. You can imagine yourself back in the dream. So do not struggle to recapture the feeling, as that will destroy it. Take on the keyboard condition and allow it to fill you. See http://dreamhawk.com/body-and-mind/the-keyboard-condition/

    Tony

-Priya 2012-07-30 7:33:52

Hello Tony,
Thanks for replying to my earlier queries. This time, it is about a levitating dream. I hav had dreams of me flying many times and i hav thoroughly enjoyed the feeling..and always wanted the dreams to occur. this time, it is slightly different from what i usualy dream in that, am aware that am asleep. I feel like someone is gently holding by shoulders and making me sit and then i see myself floating in the room with legs crossed. i reach till the door of my bedroom and then again my bed. i suddenly get a feeling – lke this cant be real or smething. and the next thing is am on by bed with my heart beating fast. i wanted to open my eyes whn i felt someone is holding my shoulders, but then i wanted to experience what it is and so dint open my eyes. i was excited at the same time scared.

what could this possibly mean?

Thanks in advance
Priya

-Surreal 2012-07-05 9:41:12

Hi Tony,
I have recently had a dream which felt so surreal. I have only ever had two of these types of dreams where I wake up and can’t stop thinking about it. The most recent dream though was that I was flying through these trees (I could see myself even though I was flying), I could feel the wind and cool air on my face and through my hair. As I came down towards the ground I flew down to this letter box and saw the number ( but can’t remember it now) it was if I had to see the letter box number. I went inside and it was our family only my husband wasn’t there….I sensed that we weren’t together, when I woke up it felt like he had left me.

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thank You 🙂

-Eleni 2012-07-02 8:18:43

I dream i was swimming very fast, like dolphin, suddenly i came out of the water, flying, close to the road, and i was going around the city, passing from familiar to me places. The feeling was amazing!

-Rose 2012-03-03 0:28:35

I was flying and felt happy and it was amazing, I was flying to the beach to meet my partner and daughter when I notice a plane crash on the beach ahead of me, as I approached I started getting upset as I knew there was a possibility my partner and daughter were dead. As the police released the names of the dead it had there name written down I felt pain and despair and wanted to die with them when all of a sudden I woke up it felt so real

-inigo 2012-02-28 13:13:26

Thanks Tony, i’ll certainly do some research at the sites you mentioned. Thanks for getting back to me.
blessings
inigo

-inigo 2012-02-22 16:21:33

i learned to fly much the same as Jason V. Recently i had a dream of flying in a very large warehouse like structure. i moved into the air performing a series of level 4 yoga like postures. My previous flying dream was also in a large room-a new contemporary art museum in Venice, where i flew to see the art works high up. In both these dreams the spaces were enormous and i navigated the space with intention and relative ease. in the most recent dream i noticed Through a doorway) redwood trees (trunks to half way up) growing outside but i knew the warehouse to be in France where i have been living and have never seen redwood trees. this specific warehouse space i often visit in my dreams, but this is the first time i flew within it. i know that it ‘belongs’ to me.
i studied art in Venice, grew up in California and now live in the UK and France.
I would be interested in your thoughts as i find your dream site to be of the highest caliber.

    -Tony Crisp 2012-02-23 10:49:38

    Inigo – Interesting dreams.

    I see your flying as an exploration of the dimensions of your mind/consciousness. I would love you to actually explore the dreams more thoroughly because there is so much under the surface of dreams. Also you are obviously intelligent and not scared of dream images. As I say in http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/ “A dream image is, in many ways, like an icon on your computer desktop. It just sits there, you can think about it till you are red in the face, but it doesn’t come alive until you click on it. A dream is a product of the miracle we do not understand – LIFE. As such each dream image is alive with intelligence and information, and links not simply with ideas we read in a book or website, but with the workings and wonders of our body, the depths of our mind and even beyond. My poor attempts to communicate this in words as a dictionary are pitiful – unless you actually explore your dreams as explained below. You can then ‘click’ on your dream images using the following ways in.”

    Your being able to see the redwood trees is another aspect of dreams – you are capable of being everywhere.

    I think it might also be worth reading http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/levels-of-awareness-in-waking-and-dreaming/ . Unfortunately it is very wordy and when I get time I will make it more concise. But I hope it will give some idea of the immense range of our abilities/dimensions.

    Tony

-Chrisitne 2012-01-13 20:42:54

I have flown in many dreams. I am often around other people, not in threatening situations. It will suddenly occur to me that I have the ability to fly, so I do! Often I start out a bit slow and gradually fly higher and higher using my whole body. It’s exhilarating and I have confidence in my ability. Interestingly, I never remember my flying dreams in the morning, but they were brought to my attention after watching a boy juggle an object in his hands on television other day. I suddenly realized I have flown many times!

    -Tony Crisp 2012-02-12 14:05:45

    Christine – I have had this experience also, where a remark or an object suddenly opens my mind to vistas or dreams that I had never before remembered.

    It sounds as if you are a confident and assured person to dream such dreams. It usually also depicts someone who can get where they want in life.

    Tony

    -Tony Crisp 2013-05-26 9:58:06

    Christine – Lucky you – so why not try to use this special talent you have?

    Getting very high is about seeing more of the world and what is happening. So you could ask yourself as you go to sleep what you have gathered from this expanded awareness.

    Tony

-London 2012-01-13 8:06:18

I miss my flights. I miss the feel of the wind. Soaring to the closeness of the earth and in full lightless speed into the high sky. Soaring down to touch the brim of the water below and seeing the flights reflections. I miss looking to my left and seeing my flight partner, a beautiful Hawk with beautiful yellow eyes. Never did the Hawk fly ahead nor behind or above nor below. I learned to see far below from high above. And when the flight was over I felt complete. I miss soaring!

    -Tony Crisp 2012-01-13 10:23:54

    London – I miss them too. They come and go, often suddenly out of Nowhere.

    Particularly I miss coming alive for the first time – really alive and with a knowing and awareness that was like quicksilver and penetrating. I was flying – out of the heavy almost blind body still lying on the bed, and below me I cold see great radiations coming from places on the surface of the earth. Was it prayers reaching out?

    I miss it.

    I would love to know what you saw/realised as you flew.

    Tony

-Kim Christie 2011-01-11 19:55:29

Dream started of watching myself asleep, then I felt the head of the bed jolt then the foot of the bed. All of a sudden I felt the bed rushing out of my bedroom window and soaring very fast upwards. I was so scared I tried to wake up but couldn’t. After awhile I managed to manage a scream which woke me up.
This dream scared me because I could actually feel the bed move and soar.

    -Tony Crisp 2011-01-21 12:41:38

    Kim – You need to realise that while you are dreaming you are in total virtual reality. The fact that you were not dreaming a ‘normal’ dream where people are in everyday environments and are still very much as things are in everyday life, is what threw you. You were scared because you had held on to the belief that if you dreamt of your bed flying – it WAS flying.

    But in a dream you create your own reality, however bizarre it is. And it is VERY REAL – except it is not physically real. Obviously you were not flying out of your room because when you got your eyes open and awake you were still in bed.

    This is an ability you can develop if you wish to. And the dream means that you were exploring the possibilities of dreaming, and using images that gave an impression of real waking experience. It is a well known phenomena know as ‘out of body experience’, and you can read more about it here: http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/out-of-body-experiences/

    Tony

-cathy poole 2010-08-08 2:47:01

My boyfriend, when he was young taught himself to fly. yes, fly. It is a very interesting story. He remembers everything. It’s the same every time he talks about it. He overcame getting over a wall and finally leaving his yard. He taught himself how to do aloop also. He usually does positive flying and has fun. He has always wanted to know what it means.I will share this site with him

    -Tony Crisp 2010-08-24 11:51:43

    Hi Cathy – Thanks for sending this interesting dream. I know very well what it means because I also learnt to fly. I used to dream going to St Pancras Church graveyard and running and at first skimming the ground. Then I would go higher until I could do it well.

    It is about the ability to gain independence of mind. We are all born into a certain paradigm or ‘reality’. At one time, part of the ‘reality’ for most white people was that anyone without a white skin was a heathen or savage. At other times the ‘reality’ has been that anything heavier than air could not fly. Meteors did not exist because scientific theory discounted them – and so on. Today the paradigm we are trapped by is that there is only matter, and that if the brain is damaged you are dead. To break free of such paradigms and from the ‘gravity’ or hold our parental and social authority has on us, and to find a measure of emotional and intellectual freedom, takes the sort of will, effort and learning depicted in your boyfriend’s dreams.

    Flying expresses also the dealing with other internal influences which hold us down, such as self doubt, anxiety, depression.

    Example: ‘I was flying. I felt nervous at first that I would fall down, but not afraid. I soon became confident and felt very happy and wanted the sensation to continue. I was flying over a building, could have been a small church, crematorium or graveyard but did not feel afraid or upset. When I woke I lay in bed and tried very hard to keep the feelings with me and, for reasons unknown, I do not wish to forget it.’ Mrs S. M.

    In flying, Mrs S. M. is finding a way to look at death – the graveyard – which gives her a different viewpoint, a different feeling reaction to it, and she doesn’t want to lose that precious newly learned view.

    Tony

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