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 or to possess them. 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. See Reaction to the unconscious

But being a sea creature it can also represent an important realisation brought to consciousness from the unconscious.

Here is a woman’s experience of dealing with her octopus.

 Example: “If she killed the monster or let it kill her she would learn what it meant. If not it would continue to plague her. And plague her it did. That week she suffered octopus nightmares by the dozen. At the next session, a week later, out of the courage of desperation, she faced the octopus. First she tried to kill it, but found that the knife fell out of her hand. She did not really want to kill it. Then she looked directly in its eyes, at the therapist’s suggestion, and saw her own eyes peering out at herself. She finally understood that the octopus was some denied part of herself. Since it no longer seemed so menacing, she decided to let it eat her, and once inside its stomach she realized her own desires to devour and possess others. She had had them all her life but had never been willing to admit it to herself. The significance of the octopus was now clear and it vanished from her fantasies.” From LSD Psychotherapy

It becomes obvious that the image of the octopus had a dual function. In one way it presented her unconscious feelings. After all, the octopus had to be dealt with in some fashion or another. In another way the image of the octopus performed the function of a resistance to realising her real desires.


Useful Questions and Hints:

Do I have problems about letting go of people?

Have I felt difficulties in leaving my mother?

What was the octopus doing in my dream?

See Avoid Being VictimsIndividuationCollective UnconsciousBeing the Person or Thing


-Noelle 2017-03-20 20:55:24

I had a reoccurring dream as a young child where an octopus escaped from some kind of facility (like a museum or something idk why). The octopus was not very realistic looking, he had no face just a mouth that was invisible unless it was opened. It was white with vertical red stripes making it look sort of like a candy cane or a peppermint.
the octopus found its way into our house at night where I was in the bed with my parents. Then the octopus poisoned my father causing him to become obedient to the evil octopus. My father took me by the leg and fed to to the octopus. My mother was screaming.

-Haley 2016-09-04 10:23:31

hi, i just had a nightmare about an octopus latching itself onto my left arm and sucking some of my blood out like a parasite would. i felt the excruciating pain the octopus brought in my dream. when i pulled it off, it had inserted small spike-like things into my forearm. with time, another octopus grew under my skin and began moving around whilst under my skin. i took a knife and cut my arm open, only to have the same thing happen again, except it was still under my skin. i woke upwhile in the process of ripping the second octopus out from under my skin. when i woke up, i still felt the very noticeable pain in my left forearm. what does this mean?

    -Alicia 2016-12-09 19:18:42

    Strangely I had a very similar dream. A small octopus had attached itself to me like a leach and dug into my skin in my arm. Once I realized I was horrified and pulled it out, then another leach type creature had to be pulled out too and when I woke up I checked my arm to see if I had an injury there because it felt so real.
    In this dream I was being tricked and attacked by someone else as well. I needed to navigate an unknown place. Still not sure what it signifies.

-Breana 2016-03-18 18:24:22

I had a dream last night that I had a small octopus stuck on me and was trying to get someone to take it off of me so bad.
Any idea what this could mean ?

-Byron Lee 2016-01-14 18:19:54

Last night I had a dream I was talking to somebody I know for sure was a woman. She was holding my arm. Then she poked it with something a door opened of some type. And is really small looking octopus all white crawled out. It was so realistic I felt it on my skin as it crawled out. It woke me from my sleep. Still feeling the weight as if it just fell from my arm. Don’t remember see a face on it just the legs and the color.

-Polly inglis 2015-05-29 15:57:38

I had a. Dream last night, where I was on a beach with my children ( who dont exsist) and a man who I once dated but was rejected by, and it was a typical windy british beach. We looked down to the sea and there was a giant black octopus washed up onshore , me and another dream character ran down to have a look and my children and “theman” followed..we then discovered that our car was getting sucked under the octopus by the currents and there was alot of struggling to get to the car I think one of my kids were washed out to sea and the waves got bigger and the shore turned into a very steep hill that I had to try and deag myself up getting sucked in , and I guess we all got sucked out with the octopus and then I woke up feeling extremely heart broken. This defenatly relates to your meaning, what do you think?

-Angelik 2013-12-27 6:52:03

I had a dream with an octopus. I was a small octopus. I put it in a jar of water and it got extremely big. What’s the meaning

Thank you

-Amy Whelan 2013-06-26 2:47:48

Hi Tony, Very interesting web site. I had a very vivid, magical dream. I was involved with a team that was to go through a water obstacle course and at the end battle both white and black octopuses. We all thought they were very beautiful, mysterious, and also very frightening. We knew that only one of us would make it out alive. (FYI, I had just started Hunger Games with my oldest son, so this may have transferred to my dream–but the octopuses?) I’m very interested to see your take on this.
Warm Regards, Amy

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