Shoes have a very peculiar symbolism within dreams, and here too the language of Tarot can help us figure out the meaning of dreams about shoes.
But (talking about shoes!) let’s take a step back first.
In the sequence of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (for example, in the Tarot of Mantegna) there seems to be a succession of characters, from the humblest to the most “powerful”.
We find the same idea in the Tarot of Marseille. The first numbered character we meet is in fact the Bateleur, the Magician, who has the appearance of a craftsman. Le Bateleur could be a cobbler, a shoemaker, so much so that in some versions of Italian Tarots we find exactly a shoemaker as the first Major Arcana.
Shoes symbolism in dreams
Marie-Louise von Franz attributes to the shoemaker a very precise and particular symbolism.
In the Middle Ages the shoemaker was a humble person, just like our Magician; but we know for sure that Le Bateleur already holds the treasure of the Self in his hands!
In dreams it is often the humble, unpleasant and marginalized characters of the Shadow who bring enrichment to our Ego.
Specifically, dreams about shoes have a symbolism linked to self-affirmation, to a new awareness on the level of reality. Consider the various metaphors, such as “take a stand”, “standpoint”, “keep your feet on the ground”, “walk a new path”, etc.
If so, the Magician / shoemaker is the one who creates the tools to seal a new awareness on a concrete level.
Now let’s take the Fool, and put the Magician next to him, as suggested in the image:
The trajectory of the Magician’s wand seems to point to the Fool’s shoe. And the object in his hand could be a button, or a coin: tradition has it that a coin in the shoe is a good omen, a wish for economic security for the person who embarks on a new path.
Consequently, the Magician gives the Fool – always with his head in the air and his feet in the clouds – the tools for a new awareness on the concrete and material level.