Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

The ancient Greeks called Earth, Air, Fire and Water the four elements. They thought that these elements had properties that could represent abstract concepts. Earth represents stability and practicality. Air represents the communication of ideas. Fire signifies passion. Water represents emotion.

Throughout history, many different cultures have had similar beliefs about fire, air, water and earth and what these elements represent. Therefore, they often play an important role in our dreams.



We use Earth to create and build solid structures. It can therefore represent stability and conventional ways of thinking. The way that Earth appears to you in your dream can indicate how secure you are feeling. If you dream about a quiet meadow, you are probably feeling at peace. On the other hand, if you dream of an earthquake, you are probably feeling troubled or insecure.

In dreams, Earth can represent our physical experiences. Jung would say that it represents sensation. People who are realistic and pragmatic, and people who tend to focus on their body and their physical surroundings, are the most likely to have dreams featuring Earth.


Air represents our ideas and emotions and the way we express them. Air enables us to breathe and to speak. Air is the medium by which our words are carried to others

The clarity of the air in your dream can be a sign of how clearly you are giving and receiving information. If smoke or haze obscures your view, you may not be thinking clearly. Debris flying through the air can mean that you are being distracted by different ideas.

Wind can symbolize the direction and force of your intellect or your emotions. What is the wind in your dream like? Is it soothing and helpful, like a cool breeze on a hot summer's day? Is it helping you, carrying you or enabling you to fly? Is it destructive - a tornado or a hurricane?

Dreaming that you are suffocating can mean that you do not have enough freedom to express yourself or to use your intelligence to its full capacity. Someone who is experiencing an episode of sleep paralysis may feel as though they are being suffocated.

Air can have a spiritual meaning for some people. "Prana" is the Hindu word for holy breath or cosmic spirit. The Taoists of China refer to a cosmic spirit of energy that flows like air which they call "chi'i", and of "feng shui", which means, literally, "wind and water." In the bible, the Holy Spirit sometimes appears in the form of wind.


Fire symbolizes vitality and passion. An open log fire can represent comfort, warmth, romance or intimacy. A bonfire can represent a celebration, or the purging of clutter from your life. Fire can represent hope, providing warmth and freedom from darkness. It can symbolize creativity. We use fire to cook our meals and to create beautiful pottery.

Fire can be a destructive force, symbolizing the end of a phase of your life. It can also represent cleansing and purification. The feeling you have about something being burned will depend upon the value that you attach to that thing. The way you feel about books being burned, for example, will have to do with how you feel about literature and freedom of speech. The burning of letters from an ex could give you a feeling of relief.

The amount of control you have over a fire in your dream can indicate the amount of control you believe you have over a difficult situation in your life. If you are tending the fire in your dream, you feel that you are able to manage things. If the fire in your dream is out of control, you may feel that you are overwhelmed or that the situation you are in will have disastrous consequences.


Water represents sensitivity and the way we express our emotions. The shape and depth of our emotions can be extremely varied, just like the shape and depth of water. Water can take the form of a leaky faucet or tap, a puddle, a pool, a thunderstorm, a waterfall or waves in an ocean.

We use water to nourish ourselves, drinking it and cooking with it. Using water to wash ourselves or our possessions can symbolize getting rid of negative emotions.

A river can represent an emotional journey. The type of river in your dream, strong and flowing quickly, or slow and gentle, can give you an idea of the strength of your emotions and how you allow them to be expressed. Crossing a river can be a sign that you are overcoming obstacles that your emotions have created.

The ocean or the sea can represent emotions that are hidden deep within your unconscious. A still pool or pond can represent tranquility and peace. A lagoon can stand for a haven from the open ocean that allows you to connect with your emotions while you feel safe and protected.

The quality of the water in your dream can tell you about the quality of your emotions. Water that is stagnant, muddy or polluted can mean that your emotions are unhealthy, possibly even harmful. Dreaming that you are in a dry, barren place, or that you are extremely thirsty, can mean that you are not paying enough attention to your emotions.

Where you are in the water, and how you react to your situation, can tell you something about the way in which you deal with your emotions. If you need to cross a body of water, are you hesitant about sticking your foot in, or are you in a rush to dive in. If you are already in the water, are you floating, swimming or sinking?

Some people believe that dreams about water are memories of the pre-birth experience, when we spent nine months surrounded by liquid.