Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

Flying is one of our greatest and oldest dreams, it is a deep-rooted topic in ancient literature and still fascinates us today. One of the most famous stories of ancient flight is that of Icarus and Daedalus, son of Metion. Descended from the craftsmen God Hephaestos, it is no surprise that Metion had such an inventive offspring as Daedalus who lived with his wife Nausicrates and high spirited son Icarus in Athens. King Minos of Crete  invited Daedalus to build a palace in the city of Knossos, where the king could hide his treasures. Daedalus succeeded in building a complicated complex of rooms and corridors, the Labyrinth, where enemies of the king would become lost if searching for his treasure. However, as Daedalus knew the layout of the treasury and a secret of using a thread to find your way out, the paranoid king wouldn't let Daedalus leave and locked himand Icarus away.

dreaming of flying

Deadalus told the secret to King Minos’ daughter named Ariadni. She fell in love with Thesseus, who was the son of King Aegean of Athens and told him the secret as well. Theseus entered into Labyrinth and killed the Minotaur who was eating seven virgin Athenians girls per year, an offering from King Minos as a peace gift.

Deadalus had a solution for this difficult situation, using his talents he built wings glued with wax for him and Icarus. King Minos believed that Daedalus betrayed him and the two pioneer pilots escaped by air. Icarus flew too near the sun and after his wings melted, dropped into the sea near an island, that is called today Ikaria. Deadalus arrived safe in Athens and then travelled a lot, running away from the king. He built a temple to Apollo at the city of Kyme and dedicated his wings to God. He finally went to Sicily at the services of King Cocallus. Icarus was worshiped as a hero for his sacrifice.

Freud and Flying Dreams

Freud described dreams about flying as ‘typical’ because they occur in large numbers of people with very similar content. Freud did not dream of flying himself.

It could be argued that dreaming of flying is a natural progression as we grow. First we crawl, then we toddle, walk and then run; it would be natural for a child’s mind to expect to fly next.

A Feeling of Freedom in Flying Dreams

Flying in dreams is very rarely unpleasant, usually when the dreamer lands it is with a gentle floating down to earth. The sense of freedom in flying dreams may open the dreamer’s mind to infinite possibilities. Such dreams are often interpreted as ambition, it could be important to note how the flight was achieved. If the lift off was difficult it may relate to problems with waking ideas and ambitions. Perhaps you could take a careful look at what you are trying to achieve in your life, you may be wasting energy unnecessarily? If you are flying with ease it could indicate that you are achieving all that you want to. If you reached the top of a building with little effort it may suggest self-confidence.

Released from the constraints of our earthbound lives it is not uncommon that we fly within our dreams. Flight gives a different perspective on the world, though often we only dream of skimming over the surface of the ground. A dream of falling is usually a less pleasant experience, because of the physical sensations it may bring, and also because falling often points to troubles in our waking lives.

Confronting Our Inner Fears

For some people a dream of flying or falling may be an attempt to confront a fear of heights. It is possible to reprogram the subconscious before sleep with an instruction like "if I dream of flying or falling I will have wings and come to no harm". If this is repeated often enough, then you will indeed have wings in your dreams and cope better with the sensations.

There have been cases of people scared to sleep for fear of having flying or falling dreams. Sleeping with a pillow or cushion pressed up against the soles of the feet helps by stimulating sensors in the feet and restoring the sense of balance, so there is no unconscious worry about being in free-fall.

Theoretical Interpretation

Freudian psychology states that for men dreams of flying are usually associated with sex, whilst women who dream of falling are succumbing to sexual temptation. Other beliefs say that these dreams indicate that there is a soul which can leave the body while we sleep and the dreams themselves may be memories of these out of body experiences. Others say that falling dreams may indicate anxieties about our ambitions - the fear of falling from power or position.

Personal Interpretations

Our dreams are personal to us and we need to take into account our situation, experience and feelings, together with the details of the dream itself, before we attempt to interpret its meaning. Flying in our dreams is often a positive and liberating experience, shedding our earthbound physical limitations. Flying high may indicate our aspirations or may suggest that we are seeking a new perspective on some aspect of our lives. We may be trying to escape from something - a dull daily routine or possibly something more urgent and threatening. Our dream flight may be frustrating - not being able to get airborne despite our efforts, examine closely what is holding you back; also are there any obstructions or difficulties to the flight - these could all indicate hindrances in your life.

Falling may be liberating but is more likely to be linked to a loss such as falling from power or grace. It may represent loss of control or even be about getting into trouble. The feeling of falling into an abyss may be to do with the actual process of falling asleep. Note whether you catch on to something while you fall, this may indicate something that might help you. If you land is it hard or soft? What do you land on - maybe a safety net or water.

Flights of Fancy

If you lie down and close your eyes within a few minutes your body will probably be relaxed. Concentrating on the rhythm of your breathing can give a sensation of movement. It is easy to imagine flying or falling. These feelings of flying or falling may well be carried into your dreams.

Sometimes when you dream that you are falling, you may fear that if you land in the dream you might actually die in real life; this is a common misconception that simply is not true. Many dreamers experience landing after falling and it is usually soft and painless. The landing can, on occasion, cause some pain but is never fatal. If this happens to you it might be a good idea to examine your life closely. You may be pushing yourself too hard and setting yourself up for a fall? Falling dreams can also suggest that you are feeling out of control; they may also be trying to tell you to let go of a situation. These dreams can also reflect a genuine fear of falling that often occurs beyond middle age.

Jumping Dreams

Jumping up in a dream is similar to flying, and a dream that you jump very high can often be interpreted the same way. Jumping up may also stand for a desire to better yourself.

If you are jumping forward, you want to move forward in your career or in other aspects of your life.

Jumping down can symbolize a descent into the unconscious.

A dream that you are jumping up and down in the same spot can mean that you are very happy about something.

If you jump over a wall, your unconscious is assuring you that you have the ability to overcome obstacles.