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Dreams With Lilies and the Meaning of the Lily as a Dream Symbol

Updated on April 24, 2014

Australian Flame Lily

Australian Flame Lily - check out the Dig Deeper section for more information on this fascinating species--you'll be glad you did.
Australian Flame Lily - check out the Dig Deeper section for more information on this fascinating species--you'll be glad you did. | Source

Introduction to Lily Dreams

Lilies are mainly associated with Easter and resurrection.

However, resurrection and Easter associations are not the only symbolic message lily dreams communicates.

Dream lilies also herald ideas such as purity and innocence, spirituality, death and rebirth.

The lily is also commonly associated with the Virgin Mary.

Lovely lily ladies in a row
Lovely lily ladies in a row | Source

Lilies in Mythology

Lilies in mythology again underscore their association with purity and innocence.

In Greek mythology, the story goes that Hera, while nursing Heracles, spilled milk onto the ground.

As soon as the milk hit the ground it caused the growth of lilies, which signified Hera's innocence and purity.

Oddly enough, to the Romans the lily was symbolic of envy and jealousy.

The lily acquired this curious symbolism thanks to Venus, the goddess of beauty, who tolerated nothing she thought more beautiful than herself.

When Venus encountered the lily, she could not contain her jealousy so she tried to insult the lily by giving it its characteristic pistil.

She believed that the pistil made the lily ugly so she could keep her "Most Beautiful" title.

And then there is the association with lilies and death.

The curious part of this association with death was not negative.

The reason?

Death was viewed as the manner in which one's purity and innocence was at last regained.


Waterlily | Source

Lilies in Dreams As Symbolic of Spirituality

Since lilies are associated with angels and highly charged spiritual icons such as Mary they often symbolize the dreamers spiritual aspirations.

However, lily dreams additionally communicate that the dreamer's spiritual goals are coming from a space of integrity and pure-heartedness.

Lilies in Dreams as Symbols of Purity and Innocence

According to tradition, the angel Gabriel presented a lily to the Virgin Mary at the annunciation, which is one reason the lily is associated with her.

As the Christian tradition reveres Mary via the concepts of the Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth, the lily's association with her make it a symbol of innocence and purity.

Therefore, in dreams lilies can mean the dreamer is soon to experience a return of innocence especially if involved in a waking life ordeal in which one feels one's innocence has been sullied.

The lily communicates that in reality, the dreamer has faced his or her trial and has been vindicated with the soul remaining whole and intact.

Pink Waterlily

Pink Waterlily
Pink Waterlily | Source

Origami Lily

Red Lily
Red Lily | Source

The Lily As a Symbol of Death and Transformation

It is common to see lilies at or to send lilies to funerals.

However, rather than symbolizing death itself, lily dreams are symbolizing the redemption of death from simply meaning the end of life into a time of hope and renewal of life.

The idea of death as transformation is especially true in dreams where death commonly represents natural evolution of life into a better space.

Lilies in dreams can therefore mean a natural and easy move from an old way of life into a new space wherein one feels rejunventated, reborn, and ready to take on the world.

Lily dreams offer the hope of renewal especially when one has undergone a period of dark depression and angst.

They indicate that the darkness one is experiencing in waking life is drawing to a close with the hope of resurrection not just in the dream world but in the waking world as well.

Time Lapse Lilies


The Portable Jung by C. G. Jung.

The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays 1959-1987 by Joseph Campbell.

The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life, by Richard Wilhelm, and C.G.Jung.

Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.12) by C. G. Jung.

What Do You Think Lilies Symbolize?

Which of the following do you believe lilies most readily symbolize?

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    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      Spot on! This echoes my comments on your hub on the meaning of colour in dreams. I used to dream of vivid green plants and it predicted death/transformation. Always used to happen. Amazing how this is trans-cultural