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The Dream Meaning of Death

December 10, 2023

Medicine wheel

Keywords: change,- transformation,- rebirth. Description: Death is the end of one phase of life and the new beginning of another. General meaning: Rarely – the actual death of yourself or another person,- more often – announcement of change,- leaving behind an aspect of your life that you have outgrown,- allowing transformation,- welcoming rebirth. Association: End of all life. Transcendent meaning: Help to leave behind an outdated way of being,- journey into a new aspect of life.

General

The dream has a lot to do with death, much to the dreamer’s dismay. For the dreamer all too quickly believes that such dreams herald his own death or the death of his family or friends. From the experience of thousands of small and large dreams one gains the certainty that dreams of death never announce physical death, that they are not dark predictions. Dreams in which death is spoken of, in which often strange images a death takes place, in which we ourselves must die, or even take part in our own funeral, say nothing other than that something is dead in the soul, that the relationship to the people we dream of as dead is lacking at the time of life.The dreams of death are of the greatest variety. It can happen that we suddenly walk in black mourning clothes. Then, if we do not understand the dream, we have to ask ourselves for whom or why our inner being is currently in mourning, why we are, as it is popularly expressed, ‘in grief’. Only rarely do we feel, without a personal relationship, that someone in our environment is inwardly dead. Dreams of the dead almost always concern us. Perhaps a love has died in us, although we may not yet consciously admit it. Perhaps we consciously emphasize that relationship particularly strongly because we sense that the life has drained out of it.We ourselves are perhaps currently in a process of ‘dying and becoming’, whereby ‘dying’ must first be brought very close to us. It is precisely at the turning point in life, when we have reached the peak of our existence and the dark gate of death looms in the distance on the near or distant horizon, that dreams of death and dying approach us and help us to come to the hesitant realization that the inevitable is not just a bitter fear of life, but that we should consciously accept it and shape our lives accordingly. It can also happen that in the dream itself, as once in the dances of death of the late Middle Ages, death enters our chamber as a physical figure.

Psychological

As terrible as death can be in reality, in dreams it is only a symbol of change and by no means a signal of an actual imminent death. What dies in a dream is replaced by something new. Dreams of death usually only tell us that something inside us is being kept alive that should actually wither away – they are therefore the unconscious helping us to give our life a different direction, to avoid the danger that is building up in front of us. According to C. G. Jung, when we dream of the death of someone close to us, it means detachment from a fusion with that person. Seeing the deceased die again suggests that they are still inseparably connected to us today, that we might want to emulate them in life in order to achieve something. If we ourselves die in a dream, it is a kind of cleansing process of our soul, the rebirth of our better self, which must change for the better in order to survive the struggle of life. The dreamer becomes aware of the opportunities he has not taken advantage of and realizes that it is now too late. The dreamer’s own death can also mean that he is exploring his feelings about death. He is coming to terms with the separation of spirit and body.Death in a dream can stand for a challenge that the dreamer has to face. Death usually marks the end of a phase of life – one will enter a new phase with new plans and hopes and should take into account previous experiences. In traditional dream interpretation, dreams of death were thought to be an indication that a birth might soon take place or that a change in the dreamer’s living conditions or those around him would occur. Death has always been associated with strong fears, and therefore it continues to symbolize great misfortune, after which nothing can ever be the same again. Ancient Indian dream theory understands it as a symbol of health and joie de vivre.

Spiritual

On a spiritual level, death in dreams represents the part of life that is not seen, omniscience, spiritual rebirth, resurrection and reintegration.

Artemidoros

Death announces marriage to an unmarried person and robs a slave of the position of trust he holds,- for both marriage and death are regarded by people as the goal and completion, and one is always indicated by the other. That is why marriage prophesies death to the sick – because both the bride and the deceased are given the same things, e.g. the company of friends, men and women, wreaths, fragrant essences, ointments and a written record of their fortune. Someone dreamed that Asclepius wounded him in the stomach with a sword thrust and he died. The man cured himself of an ulcer that had formed on his stomach by undergoing a surgical procedure.Death turns competitors into winners at the sacred games – the dead are just as likely to reach the finish line as the victors. A man who had accompanied his son to Olympia as an all-competeer dreamed that he had been condemned to death and was to be slaughtered at the altar of Zeus, but he himself managed to keep the boy alive by complaining loudly and imploringly. The son was admitted to the games and took part in the competition, but when he had the best chance of winning, he lost, as was to be expected,- for he neither reached the end, that is, he crossed the finish line as the victor, nor was he given any public honor,- for those who sacrifice themselves for the common good are rightly accorded great honors, but so are victors at Olympia.

Cultural Interpretations

Arabic

  • If one dreams that he has died, he will serve a powerful prince and receive a handsome reward but cast envious glances at other people’s wealth.
  • If he thinks he has been buried, he will gain as much money as the earth thrown over him.
  • To dream of falling ill and being abandoned by everyone foretells wealth but with a reduced fortune.
  • If one dreams of oneself or another deceased person coming back to life, they will earn a lot of money but lose their power. The emperor, after such a dream, will be relieved of distress, constraints, and wars and will achieve victories. A common man will no longer be subservient to any lord and will become prosperous.
  • If the emperor dreams of his death or receives news of his death, joy and a long life await him, but he will lose his horses.
  • If someone is carried out on a bier like a dead person, the latter indicates a powerful person. The fact that the dreamer is carried on shoulders signifies his imminent elevation and a long life. After such a dream, a poor person may hope for a life in secure conditions.
  • If someone digs his own grave, he will achieve the lofty goal set in his life and become rich. If someone is buried alive, he will face great difficulties in his profession for a long time.
  • If one dreams of being thrown into prison, he will abandon a planned journey or face obstacles in all his endeavors.
  • If one dreams of receiving something from a dead person, he will find support from the sovereign but may also fall ill. If the dead person speaks kind words, he will receive a gracious response from the high authority.
  • If the emperor dreams of talking to or escorting a deceased ruler, he will face war, constraints, and battles with clumsy, unknown enemies, but eventually, he will triumph.
  • If someone wrestles or fights with a known dead person and loses, he will be punished by the sovereign and fall ill. If he wins, he will have no fear of the sovereign and will show courage.
  • If the emperor dreams of aiming an arrow at a dead person and hitting him, he will send his people against a clumsy, unknown enemy and defeat them. If he misses the target, the opposite of what was said will happen.
  • If someone takes something from a dead person that belongs to them, he will gain profit from the sovereign according to the object taken.
  • If one gives his garment or shoes to a dead person, and the dead person accepts the shoes, he will lose his lowest servant through death. If he gives him an undergarment or shirt, his daughter will die. If he gives him a chiton or diplois, he will bury his wife or a close relative. If he leaves a toga or skaramangion to the dead person, his wife will die soon. If it is a turban or a camel-skin cloak, he himself will die. If it is a loincloth, his children will die, or if childless, his closest relatives will perish. This interpretation applies to everyone, including the emperor.
  • If the emperor dreams of carrying out a dead person to bury him, he will be oppressed by his enemies and elevate an unworthy person under his rule. A common man will serve high lords and follow them.
  • If one takes flesh or bone from a grave, he will receive money from the sovereign that is frightening.
  • If someone dreams of being locked alive in a grave, he will be punished by the authorities according to the smell of decay. If he dies there, he will change his faith and be elevated together with those who punished him.
  • If someone dreams of dying and coming back to life, he will be relieved of great fear but fall into extreme destitution.
  • If one engages in relations with a dead, well-dressed woman, he will sleep with the wife of a powerful man.
  • If one thinks he has inherited the house of a deceased person, he will gain the favor and high authority of the sovereign.
  • If a poor or common man takes the hair of a dead person, he will become rich. The emperor will draw soldiers and power from other rulers with a strong arm, depending on whether he took much or little hair.
  • If the emperor dreams of bringing a dead person into his palace, he will shackle a powerful individual.
  • If heads of fallen soldiers are brought to him, he will gain control over leading heads of enemy peoples.
  • If a common man dreams of cutting off the head of a dead person and carrying it away, he will receive a considerable sum of money from the sovereign, causing fear and trembling.
  • If a woman dreams of visiting graves or talking to a dead person, she will deceive her husband. If she is unmarried, she will lead the life of a harlot.
  • Standing in front of the door: do not live day by day; think about your old age. –
  • Seeing the Grim Reaper: promises relief from a burdensome load.

European

  • Clear conclusion of a chapter in life; an old dispute will finally be buried.
  • Hearing about a death: news of a birth.
  • Seeing a skeleton with a scythe: signifies liberation from a burden.
  • Seeing one: indicates a long life.
  • Seeing an unknown dead person: symbolizes thoughts of separation or overcoming a difficult life situation.
  • Being alive and buried or having been buried alive: announces misery.
  • Seeing deceased individuals: joyful events will occur.
  • Talking to deceased friends or relatives: signifies receiving news from living friends or relatives.
  • Touching or kissing them: suggests receiving sad news.
  • Standing at an open grave: in real life, a line has been drawn, but there is still hope of regaining the loss.
  • Feeling increasingly dark and having the sensation of dying or wanting to die: bidding farewell to a past phase of life.

Indian

  • If someone dreams that they have died, death signifies the loss of faith but also a long life.
  • If one thinks they have been buried, the burial indicates the finality of their ruin and the inability to turn back.
  • If they are buried without the usual ceremonies and funeral songs, there is still hope for salvation.
  • If someone dreams that a long-dead person is alive again and says, ‘I have not died but live,’ and the dreamer is surprised, such a confession means the salvation of the dead, as fulfilled based on the Holy Scriptures, where it says, ‘God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’ Therefore, a dead person dreamed to be alive is blessed, a living person dreamed to be dead is eternally damned.
  • If someone dreams that they have died, even though they are alive, and is carried out on a bier, they will renounce their faith but will be elevated in rank to lead the people and subject themselves according to the number of those who gave them the last escort. However, there is still hope for a change of heart because they are not yet buried.
  • If someone digs their own grave, they will turn their heart to repentance and prepare a dwelling in heaven.
  • Dreaming that one is not yet dead but already being buried predicts bonds, imprisonment, and tribulation.
  • If someone dreams that they are imprisoned in an unknown place, they will die soon, as no one knows where the souls of the dead will reside. If the dreamer knows the place of their imprisonment, they will experience the torment and tribulation of this world.
  • If someone receives a worldly thing from a dead person, they will gain temporal goods and an increase in wealth.
  • If the dead person talks to them or instructs them in matters of faith, the dreamer will find grace in their faith because the dead person points to the afterlife.
  • If one gives food or drink to the dead, they will fall ill and lose their money.
  • If they give the dead new clothes that no one else has worn, they will become seriously ill and diminish their possessions.
  • If, however, they clothe them with garments they have worn and discarded, or intend to do so, the giver will die soon. The one who only intended to do so will also end similarly, but not as soon.
  • If someone dreams of carrying away a dead person without giving them the last honors, they will shamefully enrich themselves dishonestly. If, however, they give the dead person the last honors, they will serve a mighty prince, be subservient to him, and gain his favor.
  • If someone thinks they are not yet dead but are already being buried, it announces chains, imprisonment, and distress.
  • If one dreams of being imprisoned in an unknown place, they will soon die because no one knows where the souls of the dead will dwell. However, if the dreamer knows the place of their imprisonment, they will experience the torment and distress of this world.
  • If someone receives a worldly possession from a dead person, they will gain temporal goods and increased wealth.
  • If the dead person speaks to them or instructs them on matters of faith, the dreamer will find grace in their faith because the dead person points to the afterlife.
  • If one gives food or drink to the dead, they will fall ill and lose their money.
  • If they give the dead person new clothes that have not been worn by anyone else, they will become seriously ill and diminish their possessions.
  • However, if they clothe them with garments they have worn and discarded, or intend to do so, the giver will die soon. The one who only intended to do so will also end similarly but not as soon.
  • If someone dreams of carrying away a dead person without giving them the last honors, they will shamefully enrich themselves dishonestly. If, however, they give the dead person the last honors, they will serve a mighty prince, be subservient to him, and gain his favor.
  • If someone thinks they are not yet dead but are already being buried, it announces chains, imprisonment, and distress.
  • If one dreams of being imprisoned in an unknown place, they will soon die because no one knows where the souls of the dead will dwell. However, if the dreamer knows the place of their imprisonment, they will experience the torment and distress of this world.
  • If someone receives a worldly possession from a dead person, they will gain temporal goods and increased wealth.
  • If the dead person speaks to them or instructs them on matters of faith, the dreamer will find grace in their faith because the dead person points to the afterlife.
  • If one gives food or drink to the dead, they will fall ill and lose their money.
  • If they give the dead person new clothes that have not been worn by anyone else, they will become seriously ill and diminish their possessions.
  • However, if they clothe them with garments they have worn and discarded, or intend to do so, the giver will die soon. The one who only intended to do so will also end similarly but not as soon.
  • If someone dreams of carrying away a dead person without giving them the last honors, they will shamefully enrich themselves dishonestly. If, however, they give the dead person the last honors, they will serve a mighty prince, be subservient to him, and gain his favor.
  • If someone thinks they are not yet dead but are already being buried, it announces chains, imprisonment, and distress.
  • If one dreams of being imprisoned in an unknown place, they will soon die because no one knows where the souls of the dead will dwell. However, if the dreamer knows the place of their imprisonment, they will experience the torment and distress of this world.
  • If someone receives a worldly possession from a dead person, they will gain temporal goods and increased wealth.
  • If the dead person speaks to them or instructs them on matters of faith, the dreamer will find grace in their faith because the dead person points to the afterlife.
  • If one gives food or drink to the dead, they will fall ill and lose their money.
  • If they give the dead person new clothes that have not been worn by anyone else, they will become seriously ill and diminish their possessions.
  • However, if they clothe them with garments they have worn and discarded, or intend to do so, the giver will die soon. The one who only intended to do so will also end similarly but not as soon.
  • If someone dreams of carrying away a dead person without giving them the last honors, they will shamefully enrich themselves dishonestly. If, however, they give the dead person the last honors, they will serve.

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