Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

[caption id="attachment-798" align="alignleft" width="300"]The Four Seasons, by Alfons Mucha The Four Seasons, by Alfons Mucha[/caption]

The seasons of the year play crucial roles in our lives and therefore, in our dreams. Before there were refrigeration, international shipments, central heating and electric lighting, the seasons determined what we ate, whether we could remain warm or cool and what time we went to sleep at night.

It’s no surprise then, that the seasons have a profound place in the human psyche. The symbolism of the seasons in dreams can also be found in myth, literature and religion.  Since ancient times, religious festivals have occurred during the solstices and equinoxes. The winter solstice has a strong association with death, a reflection of the fact that the Sun has been providing less heat and less light every day, culminating in this, the shortest day of the year. As the days decrease in size, there is less energy for light and life.  Without food or warmth, winter literally can bring death.

The symbolism of winter is pervasive in literature, from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and The Little Match Girl to Jack London’s the Call of the Wild.

In our dreams, winter is associated with endings.  Winter in a dream can symbolize the end of a life. More often, though, it represents the end of something of value to the dreamer – a life stage, a relationship or even a way of perceiving the world.

In nature, winter leads to spring, with its promise of new life and an end to despair. In dreams and myths, spring symbolizes love, fertility, rebirth and reawakening.  A dream of spring is a reassurance that things are never hopeless. Once again, flowers will bloom.

Spring is a symbol of newness and childhood, and a dream that takes place in the springtime can be a way of reminding you of an event from your youth.

Summer is a stage of growth and development.  A dream of summer can be a sign that you are learning and growing; it can provide reassurance that you are gaining the knowledge required to succeed in a task.

We often associate summer with relaxation.  Children stay home from school and adults take breaks from work.   A dream about summer can be a reminder that sometimes the best way to solve a problem can be to step away from it for a while.

Autumn, or fall, is the time of the harvest, when we enjoy the fruits that we planted earlier in the year. Therefore, autumn represents the accrual of benefits over time.  The autumn of our lives is the time when the experiences we have gained earlier are transformed into wisdom, so that we benefit even from our misfortunes.

In a dream, autumn can be a reminder to recognize your successes and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Because autumn is followed by winter, an autumn landscape in a dream can be a warning that you must prepare for difficulties that you will face in the future.  Just as our ancestors stored food in preparation for a harsh winter, so should we prepare for the obstacles that await us in our own lives.