Flowers as a Dream Symbol and the Meaning of Dreams About Flowers
Interpreting Flowers as Dream Symbols
Dream Interpretation FAQ: Why So Many Meanings?
Dreams are messages sent from the unconscious psyche to the conscious mind. The unconscious mind is does not use verbal communication. Instead, it uses concepts, images, and symbols to get its message across.
To get meaning from the message one must learn to speak dream language. Symbols are the foundation of that language--and symbols rarely, if ever, have singular meaning.
Often when dreamers have complicated dreams they turn to dream encyclopedias hoping to find the one meaning that will unravel their dream. But symbols come from within the dreamer and dreamers are complex and unique individuals. What a symbol means to one person may not be what it means to another.
For example, many people fear snakes. For them, dreams of snakes may have meanings involving that very fear. But others are fascinated by and intrigued with snakes. For those people, the snake may be a symbol of wonder and mystery and not have a trace of fear involved in its interpretation.
A symbol's meaning is also predicated on the dreamer's own encounters with and experiences of the symbol the unconscious is using to get its message across. No dream encyclopedia or article can ever encompass the entirety of human experience.
Introduction to Flower Dream Interpretation
In waking life they people cultivate them in gardens and hothouses.
Brides spend countless hours deciding which ones will adorn the church in which she will be wed and which variety will be in her hand as she walks down the aisle.
Lovers send them to their beloveds.
Friends give them as tokens of affection.
Prom goers pin the to their gowns, or wear them on their wrists when pinning proves too awkward.
Flowers are also a primary way to send well wishes to those who are ill or in hospital.
When loved ones die, the custom of sending flowers is a long-standing method of expressing sympathy and condolences.
Just as flowers in the waking world are used to express everything from grief to love, so do flowers in dreams carry a multitude of possible meanings.
When interpreting the meaning of flowers in dreams, a number of attributes must be considered. The flower's color, whether that color is fast or fading, dying, wilted, healthy, or if the flower is cut or still growing in the earth.
In addition to the aforementioned symbolism and considerations when one is interpreting flowers in dreams, one should also consider the shape of the flower itself because flowers can also serve as mandalas, which are often stand-ins for an important Jungian archetype--the archetypal self.
Look at the Basics
When interpreting flowers in dreams, look to the very basics.
Some initial considerations are:
- Where are the flowers? Are the dream flowers growing in a locale known to you or are they in a place visited only in dreams? Does one have any experience or associations with the locale?
- Think of locale in broad terms. Is the locale indoors? Are the dream flowers inside the home? If so, what room are the flowers in?
- Are the flowers growing in the ground? Is this ground outside, as in a garden? If so, is the garden one known to the dreamer? Is it the dreamer's own garden? Or is the garden a magical one?
- Are the flowers in the dream growing in a pot inside the home? Where is this pot?
- Are the dream flowers cut? If cut, are they in a vase? If so, what kind of vase? If not, where are the flowers? Are they in water?
- How many flowers are there? Are there fields of flowers, a pot fully of growing flowers, or a lone flower blossoming in solitary beauty? Is there floral arrangement in a vase or is there a single one, cut and laying by itself somewhere?
- What kind of flower or flowers are there in the dream? What personal experience with or connection does the dreamer have with that particular variety?
- What condition is the dream flower in? Is it healthy and vibrant or fading and dying?
These are some very basic ideas to consider when attempting to get meaning from dreams about flowers.
Extreme Corona Macro
Condition of the Dream Flower
One place to start unraveling the meaning of flowers in dreams is to have a look at the flower's condition.
The condition of the dream flower can symbolize health and that health can be emotional, mental, physical or spiritual.
If one's dream flower or flowers are fading or colorless, this can indicate that one feels similarly about life, that one feel that there is no color in the waking world or that a hopelessness exists within the dreamer.
Similarly, dreaming about a single flower out of water or dying or alone in a vase can indicate feelings of isolation. It is important for the dreamer to examine whether or not such isolation is self-imposed and if it is profitting the dreamer or if attempts need to be made to regain contact with the outer world.
When one dreams about brightly colored flowers, dream flowers that are well watered, or healthy, this can indicate a similar vibrancy in waking life. One may feel physically healthy, or nourished on all levels. If one dreams of flowers bathed in sunlight, this can indicate a time of feeling spiritually alive or a time of feeling in touch with the spiritual life.
Wilted flowers in dreams indicate something, some need is not being met. This need can be physical, mental, spiritual or emotional.
The emotional is a good place to start as water is typically symbolic of the emotions. The dreamer should ask himself if he feels as if he is cut off from his emotions or if there is some kind of emotional imbalance occurring.
Similarly, a person who is of a spiritual nature who is experiencing a time of doubt might be thirsting for spiritual nourishment. Wilted dream flowers may be a call for the spiritual person to attempt to reopen communication with the divine.
If one is dreaming about flowers that are dying this can indicate the end of a relationship or that a romance is ending.
Star Flower Cactus
In the waking world, flowers serve not only as marvels of creation but as miracles of creativity itself.
They come in myriad forms, grow in marvelous mandala-like patterns or in shapes that resemble the birds that land on branches filled with their blossoms.
They also provide bees with pollen that they use as the prima materia for their strange alchemy that turns yellow dust into sweet, edible, delicious golden syrup.
It is easy to see how flowers in dreams can symbolize creativity and the power of creation.
Look to the dream flower--if it is growing, is it growing in a field? Or are they fields of flowers? If so, this can indicate that one's own creativity is growing, is blossoming or at a peak?
If one is dreaming about weeding a flower bed this can indicate that one is carefully attending to one's own creative garden, tending it, protecting it from undesirable influences, taking it seriously, and giving it love and nurture.
Dreams about planting flowers can mean that one is in the beginning stages of a creative process, sowing the seeds that will soon blossom into full-fledged creative impulses.
Dreams of planting flowers indicate that the dreamer is courageously acting on information received by the unconscious, that he or she is making use of the intuition to give those intangible ideas form in the manifest world.
If the dream flowers are cut, take a look at them. If they are bright and beautiful, this can symbolize the harvest of creativity endeavours. This can go as far as to symbolize the birth of a child.
If dreaming about flowers that are cut and are dying, this can indicate that one has closed off the mind to the intuition and the creative process.
If creativity is important to the dreamer, it is important that he not allow the outer influences or destructive voices to cut out this vital influence in one's life. What causes one to blossom is nothing to ever surrender.
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The Mandala PatternClick thumbnail to view full-size
Flowers and Mandalas
What is a mandala?
The word mandala comes from Sanskrit and loosely translated, the word in English means "circle."
However, when one typically discusses mandalas, one is typically discussing the intricate patterns created in Hindu and Buddhist artwork. Vajrayana Buddhists create elaborate sand paintings that are destroyed after creation to demonstrate the impermanence of the world.
Mandalas are also used to symbolize the inner workings of the cosmos and the human being as a microcosm of the greater universal macrocosm.
Mandalas typically have a center point and radiate outward from that center point in radial symmetry.
Another symbol similar to the mandala is the symbol of the circle with the dot inside. That symbol is used as an expression of the archetypal self--the dot being the center ego or personality with the outer circle symbolizing the unconscious. The entire unit, however, the dot, the outer circle and everything within and without, is the entire, unified Self.
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung saw flowers as mandalas. With a center point that radiates outward, sometimes in soft, intricate petal designs, as in dahlias, sometimes in seeds that spread from the center as in sunflowers, sometimes with a simple stamen surrounded by outer petals as in the lily, the flower is a perfect form of expression of the macro in the micro and the micro in the macro.
If one has been engaged in therapy or some spiritual discipline that has entailed that difficult work of confronting the psyche and some of its more unpleasant attributes, dreams of flowers could herald the appearance of the archetypal Self, the being that is the foundation of Being itself. Flowers in dreams, can in fact mean that one is integrating the Self, of coming into a higher level of Self awareness.
Bear in mind that Self integration does not mean the dissolution of the personality. Self integration is an expansion of being, a being that includes those areas that were previously inaccessible to the dreamer, areas that mean acceptance of the truth that one is a whole, sufficient, unique being, not an incomplete person in need of completion. This status has always been the truth of one's existence, Self-integration simply means that one is now aware of this fact as truth.
Diamond and Streisand: You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Finally, when attempting to interpret a dream flower's meaning, one should consider the symbolism of its color.
Just as flowers in waking life are picked out based on the meaning of their colors, so do dreams select colors to stand-in for various concepts.
For instance, a white lily might symbolize spirituality. A red rose might mean romantic passion. A purple orchid might mean one is feeling quite regal.
The dreamer would do well to look into color symbolism or ask herself what various colors mean to her when attempting to interpret her flower dream.
Always take a look at the vibrancy or the lack thereof of a dream flower to get a better understanding of the dream--is the flower indicating infusion of life or is it calling one's attention to areas that are beginning to fade away.
Flowers on the Wall
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.