Some of us remember our dreams more often than others. But if you’ve had a dream in which you remember every detail, that may be because it contains a message. And if you’ve dreamed of fish, you’ve come to the right place to figure out what that is!
We’re going to take a look at twelve meanings when you dream about fish. We’ll look at the different things fish can symbolize. And we’ll search out clues to guide you in your interpretation.
So step this way to find out more!
Table of Contents
- Fish as a Symbol
- what does it mean to dream about fish
- 1. Dream About Fish in Water
- 2. Dream About Fish Jumping Out of the Water
- 3. Dream About Colorful Fish
- 4. Dream About Big Fish
- 5. Dream About Dead Fish
- 6. Dream About Koi
- 7. Dream About Goldfish
- 8. Dream About Going Fishing
- 9. Dream About Eating a Fish
- 10. Dream About Fish Tanks
- 11. Dream About Fish Market
- 12. Dream About Being Attacked by a Fish
- Fish Dreams, Emotion and Fortune
Fish as a Symbol
In dream interpretation, land is often seen as representing the physical world, while water represents the psychic realm. As creatures who live in the sea, therefore, fish often act as symbols of our own subconscious hopes, desires and fears.
Fish have also been important symbols in cultures from the earliest times. They were used as emblems of Christianity, and appear in the Bible, where they often signify abundance. Jesus filled the nets of the apostles with fish, and later fed the 5,000 with six loaves and two fishes.
In the Tarot, fish appear in all the Royal Arcana cards of the suit of cups. This suit is associated with water, and with emotion, intuition and the unconscious mind.
Dreams featuring fish may be drawing attention to your spiritual nature. They can be showing you thoughts and feelings you have not yet consciously acknowledged.
The precise meaning of your dream will depend on the context in which the fish appear. And it will also be influenced by the meanings you personally ascribe to your dream symbols.
Those meanings will be founded on your own life experiences. And that means there’s sadly no such thing as a complete manual for dream interpretation. But there are nevertheless a number of themes which can help you as you explore our own dream.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some scenarios and what they might be telling you.
what does it mean to dream about fish
1. Dream About Fish in Water
As we’ve already seen, water can symbolize the psychic world, emotions and intuition. Fish swimming in water can therefore mean that your dream is highlighting feelings you haven’t yet consciously recognised.
Fish are also cold-blooded creatures, so their body adapts to their environment. This dream may be drawing attention to the way those unacknowledged emotions are influencing your behavior.
Some believe that the depth at which the fish is swimming is important to the interpretation of your dream. Fish swimming close to the surface are believed to be a good omen, signifying prosperity and abundance. But if the fish are swimming deep underwater, they may be a sign of peril.
The quality of the water can also be a factor. If the water is crystal clear, some people believe it’s a sign of good fortune ahead.
2. Dream About Fish Jumping Out of the Water
Dreaming of fish jumping out of the water brings the element of air into the mix. Air symbolizes the intellect and inner knowledge. So this dream could be reflecting the way your emotions are coming to the surface, exposed to your conscious mind.
It may also be the case that a dream of this kind is your brain indulging in some word play. A “fish out of water” is a common expression, and your dream may simply be replaying this literally.
Perhaps you feel that you’re out of your comfort zone in your waking life. Your dream may be highlighting those feelings, encouraging you to take action to resolve the situation.
3. Dream About Colorful Fish
Dreams with lots of colorful fish could be highlighting different aspects of yourself. Just as the fish in your dream have many different hues, so you have many different talents. And your dream may be encouraging you to explore those different aspects of your personality.
Perhaps you’ve been considering taking up a new hobby or activity, or pursuing a new career path. This dream could be showing you there are lots of different paths to fulfilment. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be scary, but will allow you to learn and grow.
If the fish are in open water, this could be another example of word play by your subconscious mind. Have you experienced a break-up or relationship difficulties? If so, your brain could be replaying the message that there are “plenty more fish in the sea”.
Even if the experience has been painful, your mind is already recognising the opportunities before you.
4. Dream About Big Fish
A big fish in your dream could be interpreted in a number of different ways. The fish might be representing someone or something in your immediate environment. Or it could relate to emotions – the balance between your heart and your mind.
We’re used to talking about “big fish” to mean someone with power or status. The big fish in your dream could be representing someone you see in that way. They could be someone giving you guidance, perhaps in the role of a coach or mentor.
It could also be that the fish represents yourself as a leader. If the big fish is surrounded by smaller fishes, that could indicate you see yourself taking a leadership role.
A more emotional interpretation is that your dream is prompting you to respond calmly to the negative emotions of others. It could be encouraging you to set personal boundaries, and not to be unduly affected by other people’s way of thinking.
5. Dream About Dead Fish
If the fish in your dream is dead, it may be a message that you’re not listening to your instincts. Perhaps you’re trying to do so, but are feeling blocked in some way. Or you may be worried that you’re telling yourself only what you want to hear.
This dream could be a sign that it’s time to relax and trust your intuition.
Another interpretation is that the fish represents your desires and goals. They may not be realistic, and hence may not come to life. Or perhaps you’re framing what you want in a way that doesn’t address your deeper spiritual needs.
You may, for example, be focusing on material gain in the hope that this will make you feel happier. But your dream could be reminding you money doesn’t solve all problems. If you don’t address the root causes of your emotions, improving your financial circumstances won’t make you feel better.
6. Dream About Koi
Some people believe that the kind of fish that appears in your dream can be significant. And if the fish you see is very obviously a particular type, the chances are it’s that type for a reason.
Koi are often seen as special fish, and they carry their own specific symbolism. They are associated with wisdom, confidence, bravery, inspiration, determination and rebirth. They are one of the most common symbols used in Japanese tattoos.
If your dream features koi, it may be inviting you to look at a situation in new ways. It can also be encouraging you to look inside yourself, attending to your personal growth.
It may also be encouraging you to persevere to overcome difficulties. Keep swimming through your troubles as the koi does, and you will eventually enter calmer waters.
7. Dream About Goldfish
The beautiful metallic colors of goldfish mean that they’re often a symbol of abundance. If they’ve appeared in your dream, it could be a sign that a pleasant surprise is heading your way.
It could be a job opportunity, news of a birth, or some other change. But whatever it is, it’s something to be happy about!
Goldfish are also messengers in some cultures, bringing good news. So you may be about to receive glad tidings of a new project, or fresh insights into an emotional challenge.
8. Dream About Going Fishing
Dreaming about going fishing may symbolise that you’re reaching out for something. Just as your dream self is seeking to lure fish to your line, your waking self may be seeking new opportunities. Perhaps you’re developing a new idea or project.
So do you catch a fish in your dream? If you do, it could reflect an inner belief that you will succeed. If you don’t, perhaps you’re worried that you’ll fail.
Or it could relate to more material matters. The fish you catch could represent an increase in wealth. Some people also believe that it represents previously hidden feelings being brought to the surface.
And as with dreams of fish swimming, the condition of the water you’re fishing in could be significant. If the water is clean and fresh, it could mean that the way ahead is clear. But if it’s dirty or murky, it could signify obstacles along the way.
9. Dream About Eating a Fish
A dream about eating a fish is often interpreted in similar ways to dreams of goldfish. Here again the fish may be sending a message that good news is on its way. This could be practical or emotional in nature.
In some cases, this dream is thought to presage financial gains, even a lottery win. (So if you don’t usually buy a ticket, maybe this is the time to do so!)
And if you’ve watched the fish being cleaned and cooked before you eat it, that’s good too. You know that there’s nothing in your meal to make you ill. In other words, your approaching good fortune won’t be tainted with any unpleasant side effects.
10. Dream About Fish Tanks
If your dream featured fish swimming in a tank, it might be a message about stepping back from a situation. You may find that it’s better to observe than to participate in what’s going on.
Fish tanks can also represent material success. A large tank full of tropical fish is an expensive investment. If you’re watching one in your dream, it could be a sign that you’ll be lucky in business or commerce.
Some interpretations also extend this good luck into your emotional world. So this dream could also be foretelling a new relationship, or good fortune in affairs of the heart.
Other interpretations are less positive. The fish inside the tank may represent your own emotions that you’re trying to keep hidden. Perhaps you’re worried that if you’re honest about how you feel, others will reject you.
The message of the tank could be that you are imposing limitations on yourself that don’t need to be there. Take some time to analyse your situation honestly and consider whether this might be true.
11. Dream About Fish Market
If your dream takes place in a fish market, it’s likely to have been full of colors and smells. So what does it all mean?
Well, it’s generally interpreted as another sign of forthcoming good luck. You have the ability to achieve your goals, and doing so will bring you happiness.
If you were buying fish, some people believe this foretells the need to take care of family members.
But if the fish were very smelly, it’s not the bad news you might imagine! Traditional interpretations see this as a good omen, with positive things coming out of a challenging situation.
12. Dream About Being Attacked by a Fish
When it comes to thinking of scary wild animals, fish aren’t usually the first things that spring to mind! So if you’ve had a dream where you’ve been attacked by a fish, it’s likely that there’s some interesting symbolism at work here.
As we’ve seen, fish are closely associated with emotions. It may be that it’s your own inner thoughts and feelings that are causing you to feel under attack. If lots of fish are attacking, there may be lots of different negative thought patterns at work here.
Your dream could be telling you to investigate ways of thinking that are affecting you negatively. And if your dream self kills your attackers, it’s good news. You’re already on your way to overcoming these issues and moving into a more positive mindset.
Fish Dreams, Emotion and Fortune
That brings us to the end of our round-up of twelve different meanings when you dream of fish. As we’ve seen, fish are closely associated with emotion and intuition.
These dreams are often bringing to the surface aspects of our inner life that we haven’t yet fully recognised. By doing so, our subconscious mind is encouraging us to process these thoughts and beliefs. That will allow us to acknowledge – and change – the way they’re affecting our situation.
For those who believe dreams can predict the future, fish are also associated with good fortune and surprises. Your dreams may be foretelling an increase in material wealth or other good news. So dream of fish, and you could have a lot to look forward to!
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