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Moon in a Dream and the Moon as a Dream Symbol

Updated on December 31, 2012

Finding Meaning in the Moon

Sister Moon - Take a Walk With Her
Sister Moon - Take a Walk With Her | Source

Dream Interpretation FAQ: What is a Symbol?

Since the conscious mind primarily interprets input in a concrete, literal manner, there exists a tendency toward a "what you see is what you get" mentality in the waking world.

The unconscious mind however, has quite a different perspective.

While sometimes, to quote Freud, "a cigar is just a cigar," more often than not, a cigar is a symbol with far more meaning than cigars found in the waking world.

In waking life written and verbal communication are the primary forms used to exchange information, to influence the environment, to get across one's point and make one's way in the world.

The unconscious, dreaming mind does not.

The unconscious speaks metaphorically via the use of images and symbols. It does not use words. It does not speak, nor does it write.

Its manner of influence and information dissimation is via the transposition of a literal, waking life object to a symbolic form of itself.

Those transposed objects still mean what they did in waking life, but they now have more meaning, the now have a depth of purpose.

That purpose is to make meaning. It is up to the dreamer to decipher what that meaning is.

Taking a Walk With Your Moon Sister

Introduction to Moon Dream Symbolism

The moon is easy to ignore.

Or rather, in today's world, it is easy to ignore the moon's effects.

Prior to electricity's advent, however, the moon was not only not ignored, it was the foundation of calendars and social structures.

Without electricity, humans needed the moon in order to navigate by night.

But the moon's usage as nightlight was not its only function.

The moon was used as a tidal gage, it informed humans of auspicious planting times and fortuitous times to harvest, it was even used to times for propitious hunting.

Even today some calendars contain symbols indicating the best times to fish based on the moon's activities.

Upon electricity's arrival, human dependency and reliance on the moon waned.

No longer dependent upon its light for nighttime activities, the moon became relegated to something whose primary meaning was found in its ability to provide a romantic backdrop for star-crossed lovers.

But dreams have not forgotten the moon's origins. The mind still uses the moon to communicate ideas, ideas not limited solely to the romantic plane.

As a dream symbol the moon can represent archetypes such as:

  • The Great Mother
  • The Sygyzy

Lunar dreams can also be expressions of:

  • Intuition
  • Emotions
  • Fertility
  • Creativity

Interpreting the lunar when it appears in one's nocturnal cycle involves more though than simply discovering the ideas behind the symbolism.

To accurately interpret the moon in dreams, one must also take into account other lunar aspects such as its proximity to the earth or its phase of development.

One must even consider those properties to which the waking world's moon is not privy such as the ability to rapidly contract and expand, run through its cycles in passing seconds instead of a month of days.

The Moon as Symbol of Female Receptivity

The moon is often personified as a female and the energy of the moon is often considered feminine.

This might be thought to be due to that fact that women's cycles, prior to the advent of electricity were lunar cycles kept in harmony with the earth's rhythm as set by the moon's beat.

But there is another reason for the moon's association with the feminine.

It is because of the origin of and the way the moon's light is received then reflected.

Moonlight is light that is reflected from the sun, which means that the moon is a receiver of light that is actively transmitted by the sun.

In Jungian psychology that which is passive and receives is considered female while that which is active and transmits is considered male.

From a Jungian standpoint then, the moon's action as a passive receiver makes it a symbol of the female principle.

The Moon and the Unconscious

Moon Gazing - A Remedy for Shadow Projections
Moon Gazing - A Remedy for Shadow Projections | Source

Man on the Moon

Lunar Symbolism's Link With the Emotions

With its linkage to the tides, the moon makes for a powerful symbol of the emotional life.

What do the tides have to do with the emotion?

Water is the symbol par excellence of the emotions and tides, as movement of water, symbolize a similar emotional movement.

Sea swells may indicate emotional lability; one's emotional may be fluctuating much like the ocean's tides.

If one is subject to high emotional variance, a moon dream may not only symbolize those variances, but it may also ask the dreamer to examine what is controlling the fluctuating emotions.

Are emotions responding to natural phenomenon such as changing life situations? Are one's emotional responses natural, that is, is the emotional response proportionate to the circumstance, or are one's emotional swells raging wildly out of control?

Tides are controlled by the moon--a force wholly outside of their watery realm. The dreamer might examine if his or her emotions are similarly guided by some outside force.

Whereas some outer life circumstances naturally provoke an emotional change, such as death's provocation of grief, all too often one's emotional control is unnaturally predicated upon the actions of others.

One might look to moon dreams as a call to examine how in touch with and how in control one is of the emotional life. The extent to which one maintains emotional control is proportionate to the amount of personal power one has in one's life. If one's emotions are controlled by outer forces or people, those forces or people are the very one's to which personal power has been ceded.

Dreams involving the sea can indicate labile emotions. Moods may change like the tides; the emotions may swell up on moment then plunge to depressing depths the next. This erratic emotional activity originates in and is controlled by outside forces.

Lunar Intuition Symbolism

Another concept which is considered feminine is the power of intuition.

Intuition is informative inwardly, not acquired via conscious reasoning.

Intuition is not a product of consciousness; one does not work at acquiring intuition.

Intuition is innate, instinctive and irrational. It is information that requires no reasoning to assess it and decipher meaning.

Intuition is that information that is passively perceived, in a manner similar to the way in which the moon receives the sun's light.

Intuition springs from the unconscious well waiting for the conscious mind to pick it up and put it to use.

When the moon appears in dreams it con indicate one's own intuition.

It can be calling the dreamer to let go of logical, conscious thought and constant conscious analysis in favor of quietly allowing one's self to perceive and receive information one already knows in the unconscious mind.

The moon in dreams as a symbol of the intuition can also indicate that the dreamer's intuitive nature is active, that he is allowing intuitive instinct to shine forth into his consciousness.

As a symbol of intuition, the moon may also herald the growth of or bursting forth of intuitive abilities long held in check.

By considering the phase the moon is in in one's dream, one can gain insight into how one's intuitive self is developing.

The tiny, fingernail like crescent of the new moon can indicate that growth is beginning or that one is entering into a fresh, new relationship with the intuitive nature.

One's dream moon's phase can provide clues as to how advanced or how receptive one is to the intuitive part of the psyche.

Receptivity, while a passive action is still an active concept--one must be open in order to receive, not shut down.

Part of receptivity involves trust, another aspect of intuition that the moon phase can indicate. One may have intuitive impulses all day long, but unless one trusts those impulses, one is still shut down, denying the truth of a part of one's self.

Intuition is perception and perception is how one apprehends the world.

While one's intuition may sound foreign and odd, what trusting one's intuition actually indicates that one trusts one's own perception, one believe in and has faith in that information that one simply "knows" when one encounters it.

The Dream Moon's Phase Gives Clues to the Dream's Meaning

Dream Moon Phases Indicate Growth Patterns
Dream Moon Phases Indicate Growth Patterns | Source

What Adjacency Articulates

While the moon in waking life exists in fixed proximity to the earth, in dreams its juxtaposition may change.

Dream moons may be far more distant from the earth than the one in waking life. By contrast, a dream moon can exist so close to the earth as to literally touch its plane.

So how does the moon's nearness or distance from the earth affect its interpretation as a dream symbol?

The earth in dreams typically symbolizes the conscious mind while the moon is generally thought of a representing the unconscious.

Emotions are unconscious responses to waking life situations. One must go to the unconscious, plum the depths of those areas not readily apparent to the conscious mind, to learn what provokes them and how to control them.

How near or far the moon is from the earth can indicate the degree of closeness one has with one's unconscious. It can indicate of the contents of the unconscious are familiar friends or distant enemies. The moon's span from the earth can indicate the gulf between the conscious and unconscious. The greater the gulf, the more the likelihood exists that the unconscious is projecting shadows onto the waking world.

But the symbolism found in the moon's distance from the earth is not limited to defining the relationship between the unconscious and the conscious.

The distance of the moon from the earth can also symbolize feelings of emotional distance if the moon is far from the earth. When close, it can indicate qualities of emotional connectedness, of feeling satisfied with one's relationship with the world.

Dream Moon Proximity

How Close is Your Moon?
How Close is Your Moon? | Source

Dream Moon Phase and Its Symbolism

The phase of a moon's phase in a dream can give some key information regarding how to interpret the moon as a dream symbol.

A phase, according to, is defined as:

  • a distinct period or stage in a process of change or forming part of something's development.

In dreams, the phase of the moon can symbolize where one is in relation to the overall dream symbolism, or what degree of development is occurring in relationship to that symbol.

A full moon in dreams can indicate that one's development is nearing completion.

This could mean that some idea that has been simmering in the unconscious is now fully cooked and ready for birth in the outer world of form.

Or if, for example, one's intuition has been developing, a full moon dream can indicate the fullness of intuitive awareness or it can indicate full trust in the intuitive information one perceives.

A gibbous moon can mean progress in a certain waking life area is happening, but more growth is necessary before maturation is met.

The tiny fingernail of the crescent moon indicates the start, the infancy of something.

The crescent moon can indicate feelings of renewal, a resurrection of life after the discarding of old habits or outdated modes of being.

Crescent moons indicate the fragility of beginning, a time when that which is growing needs nurture and care so that it may safely grow to the fruition indicated by the moon's fullness.

On occasion one may meet with a dream moon behaving oddly with regard to its phases.

The moon may appear to be expanding and contracting, mercurially moving through stages from crescent to full moon with supernatural swiftness.

This kind of dream moon may indicate that something is quickening within the dreamer at an advanced rate.

Change, perhaps bold, wildly unexpected change, can be indicated by such a dream.

The Moon as Archetypal Feminine and Great Mother

The Moon as Archetypal Feminine and Great Mother
The Moon as Archetypal Feminine and Great Mother | Source

Fertility and Creativity

Prior to the advent of electricity, a woman's monthly cyclic rhythms harmonized with the moon's phases. Since a woman's cycle is the basis for determining fertility, the moon in dreams can symbolize that same fertility.

Dream fertility does not necessarily equate to actual, waking life fertility. Dreams speak symbolic language, so the fertility a dream speaks of is likely symbolic rather than literal. This is important to bear in mind especially is the one having the moon dream is male.

Dream fertility refers to more to the state of mental fertility, that state of being wherein the dreamer is receptive to the intuitive prodding, a mental state where the dreamer is allowing the creative impulse to flourish, where an idea's germination has found place in which to prosper and grow, unimpeded.

Moon Archetypes

As previously discussed the moon's symbolism is linked to fertility and creativity.

However, that linkage can go further than personal creativity and fertility.

The moon can also stand in for the archetypal Great Mother, the Mother of all mothers, the fundamental precept behind moms and that for which one intuitively knows all mothers stand.

For a man, the moon might also symbolize the anima, the hidden female inside the male, the name given for a gendered male's unconscious psyche.

The phase of the moon in a man's dream can indicate his progression with the anima's integration or the degree to which his conscious mind relates to his unconscious.

The moon, according to Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Jungian analytical psychology, Carl Jung, is also a symbol of the archetype known as the Syzygy, which is an archetypal union of the male and the female.

Why would the moon, typically a symbol solely equated with the unconscious also function as a symbol of conjunction between conscious and unconscious?

Because of the manner in which moon both receives and reflects light.

The moon's light is actually the sun's property.

Without the sun, there would be no moonlight. But without the moon, the sun would have no ability to shine in the dark of night.

The moon acts not only as a passive, female, receptive entity, but also functions in the capacity of active, masculine projector.

This conjunction of the masculine and the feminine, of the active and the passive is symbolized in the Sygyzy archetype and the moon fits the requirement's of that archetype beautifully.

What Do You Believe the Moon Symbolizes?

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Lunar dream symbolism runs as deep as the tides over which it holds sway.

Finding meaning in dreams involving the moon requires the dream to dig deeply into the unconscious psyche. A moon dream's meaning, like all dreams, is ultimately found within the dreamer.

Does the dreamer remember any momentous event in waking life that occurred under moonlight? Is one a waking life dreamer who looks to the moon for inspiration? Does one keep track of the moon's monthly cycles? When one thinks of the moon, what is the first image or feeling that springs to consciousness?

To determine what the moon means in a dream, to determine whether it is a symbol of creativity, intuition, new beginnings, or a stand-in for one of the great archetypes, the dreamer must examine his or her own feelings, thoughts, and experiences with the moon.

Take a Tour of the Moon


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    • profile image


      20 months ago


      Today I saw big orange moon with the sunny-like center that resembled burning sunrays. While it was crossing the night sky I heard the woman voice speaking to me over the phone. She said that the fact that I see this moon is very significant (I can't remember the exact words). In this dream the moon was not like calm cold object, rather like a sister of Sun.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi, I had a dream that I was driving toward a very beautiful, large orange moon which was very close to earth.

      Would love to know your thoughts on what this could mean.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      in my dream i was at hilltop when i saw fullmoon...i quickly ran down the hill towards moon to see it...and it was like extra large/very huge full moon..golden colored...the size was remarkable...what does this tell...

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      What does it mean if me and my boyfriend were on a hill looking at the full moon and it seemed to be right next to us?

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      4 years ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      So sorry Robert. I have been dealing with heath issues, so I've been out of touch, not being rude!

    • Robert pires profile image

      Robert pires 

      5 years ago's good to know that there are people who love to see stars and is so busy.people hardly find time for all these things but these things are true beauty of you think that our existing technology is better? we can travel in space but we still don't know if the universe has edges or not.what do you think about this? i really like this topic.

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      5 years ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      So do I. I'm looking to get a great pair of binoculars or a telescope so I can see more stars and planets.

    • profile image

      Robert Pires 

      5 years ago

      it's also my favorite time.i also like stars and black sky.i like calm atmosphere.

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      5 years ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      I love that moon gazing photo as well. I spend a great deal of time outside at night--nighttime is my favorite time and the moon rocks, pardon the pun!

    • Robert pires profile image

      Robert pires 

      5 years ago

      i like the moon gazing photo.i like's always good to walk in the moon light.i believe the moon symbolizes creativity.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      That's funny, Esme. I used to think the same thing!

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      5 years ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      You can look up at the sky and tell how far away the full moon is by sight? That is actually amazing. You are probably very in tune with your intuition and emotions as well, I would bet. That's much more difficult than it sounds!

      I am a huge fan of the moon as well. I have had only a few moon dreams, but they were very memorable. One of my favorite waking life moon stories was I was a child. I saw the moon behind clouds, but thought the moon was moving. I told my granddad, "The moon is moving fast tonight!" He had to break the news to me that the clouds moved not the moon. I still, to this day, sometimes look up and think he was wrong. :-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Very interesting. I've not had 'moon' dreams, but I look at the moon every night. I can predict how many days away the true full moon will shine. I have not been wrong ever in my life. I chalk it up to the minimal amount of Cherokee blood that flows thru my veins.


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