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What Does it Mean to Dream About Tornadoes?

Updated on January 17, 2019
EsmeSanBona profile image

Aisling Ireland, author of Dog Funeral Evangelism, writes extensively on dream symbolism, Jungian psychology, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

How Prevalent Are Tornado Dreams?

Do you dream of tornadoes?

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Are Tornado Dreams Prophecies?

Does tornado dreams indicate the coming of destruction in waking life?

Just as when the weather in the waking world produces conditions favorable for tornado formation, so can certain mental states produce chaos.

However, dreams are typically more symbolic than prophetic. They are also there to help alert us to what is going on in our minds so that we can take action and remedy problems when they arise.

In the waking world, when times are ripe for producing tornadoes, we prepare. When the sirens sound, we go indoors or seek shelter. We vigilantly protect ourself and loved ones and move out of harm's way.

Similarly, certain mental states produce conditions conducive to finding one's life spiraling out of control. A tornado dream is a warning alerting the dreamer to those swirling psychic contents, which if left unchecked, may create waking life chaos.

Learn how to recognize what those conditions are by interpreting dreams involving tornadoes.


Parallels Between Waking and Dream World Tornadoes

In waking life, whenever conditions seem ripe for a storm cell to spawn a tornado, meteorologists spring into action, tracking the cell's development, keeping watch for the appearance of funnel clouds.

Tornado watches are issued, letting residents know they should be alert to the possibility of tornado activity. Once a cloud is spotted or reports of one exist, watches are upgraded to warnings. Sirens blare. Residents are told to take cover. Unless one is completely isolated, there is practically no way to miss the cues that a tornado is on the way on in the area.

Unlike earthquakes, which arrive in the form of completely unforeseen, devastating jolts, unless a tornado forms in the middle of the night, it rarely sneaks into a community with no forewarning.

However, where dreams are concerned, the tornadoes that appear are not the destructive force but rather that which is behind them--chaotic thoughts, unbridled emotions, lack of self-control, life situations spiraling out of control, these are the forces threatening the dreamer. Tornado dreams simply function as warnings to their existence. Failing to heed a tornado dream's warning can be as catastrophic as ignoring the sound of a tornado siren.

Storm Trooper Twister

Storm Trooper Twister
Storm Trooper Twister | Source

Tornadoes as Symbols of Catastrophic Change

Somewhere inside one knows when life is off kilter. One know when changes, especially those of the painful variety must be made. Often this awareness is denied or repressed with the level of denial regarding change being direct proportionate to the level of pain making those changes will entail.

Tornadoes are master change makers. Tornadoes level homes and uproot lives as easily as they uproot hundred year old oaks. They bring not only devastation and decimation but change that reaches right down into the very foundation upon which one has built one's existence.

In dreams, tornadoes can warn of the advent of change as cataclysmic as that left in the wake of their waking life counterparts.

The reason the coming change might occur in some catastrophic manner is because by ignoring, denying, or repressing intuitive information from the psyche regarding the need for change, the dreamer has created a situation where subtle change is no longer likely.

Rather than changing her life, the dreamer has contrarily cemented to where she is so expertly that only cataclysmic change, only that which completely uproots her entire life will accommodate her freedom from that life.

Tornadoes as Symbols of a Chaotic Thought Process

Cyclonic dreams can symbolize a chaotic mind
Cyclonic dreams can symbolize a chaotic mind | Source

Air is often utilized as an expression of thought and the thought process and that symbolism holds true in dreams.

Thoughts are not static. They are the active precursors to action. Thoughts also presage emotions--that which is felt in the heart is often born in the the activities of the head.

In dreams, therefore, tornadoes serve double duty.

They symbolize not only thoughts running amok, but also the potentially dangerous emotions resulting from those thought processes.

A tornado in a dream can indicate that one's is obsessive over a particular subject, spinning the same idea around and around in the mind.

They may also indicate a similar emotional confusion or an inability to stop metaphorically spinning in circles in the waking life.

The dreamer's obsessions may have reached the point where she no longer has control over her thoughts, but cannot hold reign over her emotions either.

Tornado dreams can indicate that the dreamer is at a dangerous place where destructive emotions and even self-destructive actions may overtake her.

Tornadoes as Anxiety Symbols

Tornadoes can symbolized a generalized anxiety about what is waiting down the road
Tornadoes can symbolized a generalized anxiety about what is waiting down the road | Source

Tornadoes in Dreams as Manifestations of Anxiety

The appearance of tornadoes in dreams can sometimes be expressions of anxiety.

Typically, anxiety dreams are the product of worrying about an upcoming life event. People getting married often dream of wedding disasters. Expecting parents dream of pregnancy problems. College students dream of testing disasters during finals. These types of anxiety dreams are triggered by external waking life events.

However, another form of anxiety dream is the type that is a manifestation of a deep-seated, generalized anxiety, an anxiety not rooted in waking life, but deep within the psyche. This type of anxiety is fear or chronic worry that something is waiting in the wings, something over which one is completely powerless, something that will either ruin the dreamer or rip away all that he loves no matter how much preparation he makes.

Dreams about being chased and dreams about tests for which one is unprepared when one is not participating in academics are also dreams that express generalized anxiety.

Ironically, sometimes dreams of tornadoes or other anxiety dreams surface when one is enjoying a time of success. This can be because many people fear losing what they gain almost as much as they fear never getting it in the first place.

Tornado of a Different Sort

Final Thoughts

Given the above listed interpretations, tornado dreams may seem omens of unavoidable disaster, but this is not necessarily true.

Dreams manifest as symbols of what is occurring at an unconscious level; they are basically report cards from hidden areas of the psyche that are presented to the conscious mind.

Dreams provide information, not prophecies. Nothing occurring in a dream is an unstoppable portent of what is absolutely assured in the waking world.

The reason dreams sometimes seem like prophecies is because since they report on what is going on inside one's mind, they reveal where one's thoughts and intentions are and they reveal what one can realistically expect based on those thoughts and intentions.

In short, dreams tell the dreamer all about the condition of the inner mind, the place that often ends up projected onto the outer world. They are designed to present the dreamer with useful information she can act on, not prophecies she needs to fear.

Solar Twisters

© 2012 Aisling Ireland


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    • writinglover profile image


      6 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      Hello, again! I never really thought about tornadoes being a sign of well...something. In the past, I have had numerous dreams of tornadoes plague me but I never really understood their significance. I believe half of those dreams may have had something to do with my stressful childhood and the rest just being anxiety over upcoming tests and change in general. I'm glad that you've written these kinds of hubs. I would definitely read these over and over again as interpretations of dreams are something I am fascinated with. Thumbs up!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for that wonderful reply. I look forward to being in touch.

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      6 years ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      Thank you so much! My interest in dreams goes back to childhood as well. My dreams were highly symbolic. But of course, I had no idea what symbolic meant--all I knew was that really wacky things happened that made practically no sense when I was asleep and I thought it was hilarious! I would bore people to tears going on about my dreams, laughing myself silly while they yawned.

      Then, when I started working as a inpatient mental health counselor, I became fascinated with Carl Jung's work, especially his work with schizophrenics. I began experience amazing synchronicities and have been a devotee for the past twenty years.

      I try to write from a space that demonstrates how his process works with the goal of helping readers understand that there is no single, one size fits all interpretation, to see that symbols have many sides and angles and trapezoids. :-) I see dreams as invaluable tools for personal awareness and for helping overcome personal traumas when they are carefully explored.

      What you have written on your profile is absolutely beautiful. I am honored you enjoyed my article and I am so pleased to meet you. It makes my heart happy every time I encounter someone putting their faith into action and working for those many often forget. I will be following your hubs!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi EsmeSanBona, this is a very well-done, well-written hub. Your presentation, organization, and images are excellent. It's also very informative. I really enjoyed it. I've been intrigued with dream analysis since I was a child. I occasionally explore dreams with clients in therapy sessions. Voted way up, useful, and interesting, and will share.


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