Dreams about drowning and water symbolism
Here is another of those very intense and unpleasant recurring dreams: dreams about drowning, dreaming of floods and “tsunamis”, dreaming of sinking into the sea.
First of all, water in dreams represents emotions, something we cannot contain and control. Dreaming of drowning generally means that we tend to exclude emotions in our lives. But these excluded emotions come back in our dreams to flood us!
The sea as a symbol of the collective unconscious
Water, and specifically the sea, is also one of the most representative symbols of the collective unconscious. For Jung, the sea represents that aspect of the psyche that is common to all human beings. Just as all life forms originated from the sea water, so we are born with a pre-existing psychic baggage. A legacy much older than our individual psyche.
Sinking into the sea, our individual psyche dissolves. amd the collective unconscious strongly reaffirms its power over our consciousness. While remaining proud of our individuality, we must always deal with the unconscious. Realizing with humilty that we are nothing but a small drop among other infinite drops and that the power of our consciousness is rather limited!
Dreams about drowning as a rite of rebirth
Anyway you should consider that the sea, just like the unconscious, is not only a source of fear. It is indeed true that the sea hides unfathomable depths and sea monsters of all kinds. But beneath its surface we can find forgotten treasures and precious pearls. And, of course, fish to feed us! Not to mention the healing and regenerating power of water. Diving in water has always been a purification rite. Even today the rite of Baptism contains this idea. It is a re-immersion in the maternal womb to come to life again, with a consciousness enriched by treasures that we are able to bring to light.
However, in order for this miraculous renaissance to take place, we must abandon ourselves to our destiny. We must allow our individual consciousness to dissolve for an instant in this therapeutic bath in the waters of the unconscious. We must accept that our ego is canceled, without exercising any form of control. In the Alchemical Opus, one of the first operations for the realization of the philosopher’s stone concerned precisely the “solutio”, the dissolution of the body in mercurial waters.
The symbolism of water in the Tarot
In the OniroTarology method, which links the interpretation of dreams to the symbolic elements of the Tarot, Arcanum X of the “Wheel of Fortune” can be connected to dreams about drowning. Tarot experts know that water is present in other Arcana, as in the Star, in the Moon, etc. But it is in the Wheel of Fortune that the sea is properly depicted. A river is visible in the Star, which has a different symbolic meaning. The river in fact regards the “flow” of life and time, the river of births, and so forth. In the Moon we find instead a sort of pond delimited by banks. According to Jung, when the water we sink into is in some way delimited, it means that we are in the field of our personal unconscious, rather than the collective one.
The general symbolism of the Wheel of Fortune concerns the astronomical motif of the two solstices. This relates to the archetype of the solar hero.
To learn more about this topic in relation to drowning dreams, click here.
For a more psychological interpretation of the Tarot Wheel of Fortune symbols, I invite you to read here instead.