Dreaming of water and dreaming of drowning
What does it mean dreaming of water? What is the interpretation of the typical dream of drowning?
Water in dreams is the element of the unconscious. It is all that is beyond our control and that we fear can overwhelm us.
Meaning of the recurring dream of drowning and dreaming water
Dreaming of water, or the recurring dream of drowning, or of being overwhelmed by floods or real “tsunamis” represents the fear of letting ourselves go to what we cannot control.
It is the fear that the unconscious can take over our lives and “spread”, overwhelming the barriers of rationality.
The water symbol in the Tarot Wheel
In the Tarot, this idea is expressed by Arcanum X, the Wheel of Fortune.
In this Arcane we observe a monstrous being on the left, the side that Jung associates with the unconscious. It represents our “Ego” fearful of drowning and losing control of our identity.
It is indeed what happens in the dream. The Ego is about to immerse itself in the waters of the unconscious. But this immersion constitutes an opportunity for growth, for evolution: it is the creature on the right that emerges (or is reborn) from the waters.
Letting yourself go to this bath in the unconscious waters without resisting is an opportunity for growth. Immersion in the waters has always been a sacred ritual of purification, an initiation whose symbolism still remains today in the rituality of baptism. It is a moment of rebirth, just as life is generated from water and as we are all born from the “waters” of the maternal placenta.
Dreaming of water: water as a mother’s womb
In numerous alchemical symbologies, this sacred knowledge is expressed as the sun sinking in the waters to return to a renewed shine in a later stage.
This is also an astronomical theme, which concerns the succession of the seasons, the cyclical nature of time and the archetype of death and resurrection. These are other ideas underlying Arcanum X.
The same event is found in all mythologies with a solar hero who is swallowed up by sea monsters or finds himself trapped in caves or in underground places, also expressing maternal feminine symbols.
See also the episode of Jonah and the whale, or Christ who dies and resurrects after three days in the grave. Or even Pinocchio in the belly of the whale. It is the eternal myth of returning to the womb, returning to the “lost paradise” of our childhood.
This idea is associated with the feeling of well-being that we experience when we bathe in wonderful waters! But lingering in this “swallowing” maternal waters of the unconscious can be an obstacle to our evolution, if we do not reintegrate the treasures we find under water into the light of consciousness. It’s the risk of not re-emerging!
Dreaming of water, as we have seen, contains fearful aspects but it is also an opportunity for enrichment and rebirth.