Air, Earth, Water and Fire are the building blocks of the world around us. They are also, in ways similar and amplified, the building blocks of our dreams. We aren't just talking of you dreaming of a hurricane or of being lost inside a cave. Feeling a gentle breeze, standing in a swimming pool, or even reading by a warm fire in your dreams offers subtle hints at the state of your mind, body and spirit.
Breaking it Down
• Air - Essentially, air represents mental energy including thoughts, ideas, doubts, perspectives, plans, etc.
If these elements occupy a significant place in the story and experience of your dream, you know that one or more of these aspects of yourself are in the spotlight.
An Example of a Dream about Water
The fact that water was the pronounced setting of this dream was clear indication that I was dealing with emotional energy. Further, the swimming pool, the cloudy water, the crowded conditions, and the fact that my friend stood outside it - each of these offered clues to interpreting this dream. I woke up knowing that the pool in his house symbolized his emotional space, and that at that point there were just way too many women crowding it - both from his past and his present. If anything, this dream was a warning not to get emotionally involved with him - there was little to no room for me; a warning I paid attention to and am glad I did.
Knowing the energy an element portrays is fundamental to understanding its presence and impact in a dream. But there are layers upon layers of meaning often built upon it. When working with these natural elements in dream interpretation therefore, there are a few ways to approach and interpret their presence and form
Interpreting the Elements in Your Dreams
1. Each of the elements in your dreams portrays the dynamic between you and the subject of the dream. The subject could be you, a situation, person, possibility, etc. The dynamic could be mental, emotional, physical or spiritual, with each of the elements representing a certain dynamic. For example, dreams of gales and storms draw attention to your thoughts about a subject, while an underwater dream is an invitation to dive into your emotions and feelings about this subject.
2. The state of an element in a dream is oft the state of you in life. The richness of your dynamics, as portrayed through your dreams, takes on different tones and shades through different forms and states of the elements at play. Whether the air, water, fire and earth are calm or agitated, how you interact with them, the feelings and thoughts they invoke in you, as well as their impact on you and around you, each of these offers a clue into the message your dream brings you. For instance, a simple dream of you swimming towards your partner could take on completely different meanings depending on the type of water body you are swimming in, the conditions and clarity of the water around you, water temperature and just how deep or shallow it feels.
3. The Elements are more than just symbols - they are your energy manifested. Every element and aspect of your dream is an aspect of you - the buildings you move through in a dream is your own body and life, the air around you are your thoughts, the water your emotions, and so on. The relationship you have with your own energy and its aspects is what your dreams portray to you through their stories and experience. The way these elements manifest in your dreams - their physical state, how prominent or subtle they are, etc. - are therefore vital parameters to assess not just the message of a dream, but the state of you.
4. Your dreams may amplify to catch your attention. Your waking relationship with your thoughts, emotions, physical world, etc. translates into the symbols, situations and stories of your dreams. But to ensure the message catches your attention, the dream may amplify it for your convenience. A mole hill may quite literally become a mountain in your dream, a small doubt may appear as a giant challenge, and the most fleeting of feelings may be the subject of a long-winded dream. Your mind and subconscious often take the opportunity to isolate and delve in, to explore the length, breadth and depth of your thoughts, feeling and energy concerning an aspect of yourself and life. The idea is to show you what lies beneath, and the elements help deliver that impact.
5. God is in the Details. It isn't just in the broad strokes and metaphors that you may find the message your dream is delivering, sometimes it is the little stuff that can turn a meaning around. For instance, a dream of moving through muddy waters may indicate a period of muddled feelings in your life, while crystal clear waters are a much healthier sign of the state of your emotional affairs. Even the flow and direction can play a role - was the wave (of emotion) coming into the shore or moving out of it? Was the wind blowing against your face and challenging you or against your back and pushing you onwards? Was the forest fire moving towards you, surrounding you or was it safely spreading away from you? The element and its dynamic may take on a positive or a negative tone depending on its direction and if this makes you feel threatened.
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