For millennia, humans have studied their dreams, searching for meaning or messages in the jumbled images and surreal adventures that sometimes bear little resemblance to our waking life. While we’re not sure we believe that the symbols in dreams can tell the future, we’ve compiled a small selection of artworks depicting five of the most common dream images. Explore these works below and see if the theories of some dream interpreters could, just maybe, apply to your own life.
Constantly running to…or from…something in your dreams, especially when you’re feeling stressed or anxious? Some theories suggest that dreams of being chased may indicate you face a difficult choice and feel incapable of or unwilling to make it.
Leaving the terrestrial behind for the skies? Dreams about flight are considered lucid dreams, and some believe they may symbolize a greater desire for freedom and independence or that you’re ready to make a change and leave something behind.
Bare Your Thoughts
Seated Nude (1919) by A.S. Baylinson
Feeling a little exposed? If you’ve dreamed about giving a speech or showing up to work and found yourself unclothed, some theorize you may be hiding your true or authentic self and have a desire to be exactly who you are.
A.S. Baylinson, Seated Nude (Desnudo sentado), 1919. Oil on board. Gift of Richard Anderman in honor of Joan and Lorenz Anderman.
Home bound? If your current or childhood house show up in your dreams, it may not just be a little too much quarantining. Some dream interpreters suggest that a house may be a symbol of your own body. Is the house abandoned or falling apart? You might need a little more self care.
Something feeling amiss in your mouth? Loose or lost teeth is one of the most commonly reported dream motifs and may symbolize your fears and anxieties about loss of power, control, youth, or virility.