Dreams of flying are one of the most memorable types of dream – and they’re often the most exhilarating too.
But if you’ve had this dream, does it carry any special meaning? Is there anything you should do or think about as a result? Or is it just a sign that you’ve eaten too much cheese before bedtime?!
That’s what we’re going to find out! We’ll take a look at 14 possible meanings when you dream of flying. And we’ll discover that the details of your dream are important in interpreting it correctly.
So if you’re ready, let’s find out more…
Table of Contents
A Flight of Fancy
Nearly everyone sometimes dreams of having the incredible experience of flying through the air. So what causes these kinds of dreams?
Well, it’s clearly not the need to process experiences in our waking life – at least, not literally. The closest most of us will get to flying like a bird is sitting in an aeroplane. And while braver souls might try hang-gliding or parachuting, it’s not a patch on the dream experience.
The most likely explanation, then, is that our brains are using flight as a symbol to represent something else. In most cases, the experience is fun, even euphoric. But some people have also experienced dreams of flying where the overwhelming feeling is one of anxiety or fear.
Those different emotions are telling us something important about what the dream means to us. And that can be different for everyone.
That doesn’t mean, though, that there are no common themes. Talk to people about their dreams of flying and some motifs occur time and time again.
So let’s start by taking a look at some of the core messages in dreams of flight. We’ll then move on to look at some specific scenarios and find out what they might mean.
what does flying in a dream mean spiritually
Flying is a wonderful metaphor for freedom – as indicated by the expression “as free as a bird”. In dreams where we fly, we’re experiencing true freedom.
That freedom can be physical – we’re able to leave a particular place. But it’s more often emotional – freedom from worry or a particular problem that’s bothering us.
In real life, of course, we all know that we can’t fly. So this dream is allowing us to believe that nothing is really impossible. It can be a message to believe in our hopes and wishes, and to keep taking action to achieve them.
As such, dreams of flying are often joyous experiences, leaving us with new energy and motivation.
2. A New Perspective
One of the things we nearly always do in dreams of flying is to look down. Sometimes, what we see can have its own special message. We’ll look at some examples of that later.
But whatever the view beneath us, it always has one thing in common. It’s different from what we’d see if we were on the ground.
That can be an important part of the message of flight in dreams. It’s inviting us to look at a situation from a different perspective.
Perhaps we’re stuck in a negative cycle, reacting in the same way to the same problems, and getting the same results. Our dream may be inviting us to rise above the detail, and look at the situation in a different way.
Sometimes, we might dream we’re flying high above the ground. Below us, everything looks small and insignificant. That’s a reminder that problems that feel huge when we’re in the middle of them might not be so big after all.
The feeling of freedom we may feel in dreams of flying can sometimes be connected to a feeling of escape. That can be a positive thing – but it can also sometimes have negative connotations.
A temporary escape from the stresses and worries of everyday life can help us find energy and renewal. But dreams of flying might also suggest that we are refusing to confront issues that need our attention.
In that case, escape can quickly turn into …
Avoidance is the flip side of the positive aspects of flying dreams. So how do you know when your dream is offering escape, and when it’s warning you against avoiding confronting your challenges?
As so often with dream interpretation, the best guide here is your own intuition. What feels right to you when you think about your own life? Do you need a temporary respite in order to return to the fray? Or are you avoiding dealing with matters that will only get worse the longer you leave them?
The way you feel in your dream can also be a helpful key to what your dream is telling you. If you feel happy, blissful or joyous, your dream could well be telling you to take a break. It will benefit your physical, mental and spiritual health – and allow you to “fly”.
But if your dream self feels anxious, unable to enjoy the sensation of flying, something less positive may be going on. Your subconscious mind realises that trying to fly away from your problems isn’t the answer. That feeling of uneasiness is the result.
The ability to fly can be thought of as a supreme example of control. Your body has overcome the limitations of the physical world, and you are able to soar into the air.
In dreams of flying where the underlying message is about control, there are likely to be other clues. Are you able to change direction at will, heading wherever you want to by merely thinking about it? Your dream is telling you that you are in control of yourself and the situation.
But not every dream of flying is like this. Your dream self may be flying erratically, dropping suddenly or bumping into obstacles. If that’s the case, your dream may be reflecting a feeling of a lack of control.
Perhaps that feels exciting. Perhaps it’s frightening. In either case, your dream may well be giving you clues to your true feelings about a real-life situation.
In some cases, a sense of being in control can tip over into something less positive. In dreams of flying, you may find yourself – quite literally – looking down on other people. This could be a warning against an inflated ego!
Again, your feelings in your dream are a good guide to whether this is the case. Are there people below you? How do you feel when you look at them? Do they seem small and insignificant? Are they unable to fly, like you can?
If that’s the case, you may need to reflect on your approach to a situation. Are you valuing the insights and experiences of the other people involved? Your dream may be a warning not to consider yourself as being above others.
7. Spiritual Connection
Your dream of flying might also suggest quite the opposite of having a problem with your ego! It might be that what you are “rising above” is not other people, but your own limitations.
In this way, dreams of flying can also be a sign that you are connecting with your higher spiritual nature. In some faiths, the sky is associated with God, heaven and heavenly creatures. Dreams of flying may be a reflection that you are attaining higher levels of enlightenment.
Related to the ideas of escape and fresh perspectives, dreams of flying can also relate to change. You are seeing the world in a new way, rising above previous adversities.
Dreams of flying are commonly reported in pregnancy. That is, of course, a time when significant change is on its way.
The connection between dreams of flying and pregnancy might, however, be a physical one. It could be that pregnancy hormones are creating physical changes that your brain is interpreting in a particular way.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing for sure what’s behind your dreams.
9. Flying Low
When we imagine dreams of flying, we often picture ourselves soaring at a great height. But that’s not always how it works. Sometimes, our dream selves skim just a few inches above the ground. It’s flying, sure enough, but not as a bird would do.
So what does this different kind of flying experience mean?
Some interpret this it meaning you are being tied down in some way. You’re trying to fly, but you’re not able to reach the heights you could or should. Perhaps there are external barriers. Or maybe your own feelings and emotions are holding you back.
It might also suggest that you’re unable to see things from new perspectives. Or that you’re scared of letting others down.
Some cultures also see dreams of this kinds as presaging illness. In such cases, however, it is thought that the dreamer will recover quickly.
10. Flying into Obstacles
Sometimes our dreams of flight are fraught with obstacles. We may find ourselves flying into ropes, webs or other barriers.
This can signify a subconscious realisation that there may be trouble ahead. We’re trying to make progress, but things are getting in our way.
Dreams of this kind can be warnings to proceed with caution. It’s a good idea to consider the risks of the course of action you’re embarking upon. What would you do if things went wrong? Is there anything you could do to mitigate the impact?
You may be happy to go ahead anyway. Your dream is simply telling you to make sure you think things through.
11. Flying Over Snow
As mentioned above, sometimes the scene below the flyer is as important as the act of flying. Different landscapes are thought by some to have different meanings.
Flying over snow is considered a good omen. The white blanket beneath you is thought to symbolize purity in thought and deed. And snowy landscapes are considered to signify that success is on its way.
12. Flying Over Ruins
Flying over ruins is thought to have a quite different meaning. If you find yourself looking down on a scene of devastation, it could indicate that you’re bored with life. Everything has stayed the same for so long, it has become aged and decrepit.
If you have a dream like this, it might indicate it’s time for a change. A new hobby, travel or learning a new skill could help refresh your everyday landscape.
13. Flying Over Water
Water is commonly held to be a symbol for emotions or your psychic life. If you dream of flying above it, your dream may be suggesting you have overcome worries or negative thought patterns.
Some interpreters of dreams also believe that the condition of the water holds its own meaning.
If it’s turbulent, it suggests an inner turmoil that you’re not confronting. If it’s muddy, it’s considered a warning that an enemy is watching you carefully – take care in your private life!
14. Flying on an Animal
Sometimes dreams of flying involve flying with, or on, a bird or other animal. Some believe the animal symbolizes the self – the wild, untamed part that may be acting against your own best interests. For others, the meaning of the dream depends on the type of creature that is flying.
Butterflies are believed to presage change for the better, while bats are reminders to trust your own intuition. Dragonflies are symbols of joy, purity and transformation, while eagles symbolize independent thinking and action.
Ravens are considered to be spirit guides. They may symbolize the protection of a deceased loved one. Doves symbolize love and purity. Crows, however – always getting a bad press, despite their keen intelligence – are emblems of conflict or verbal criticism.
Flying may be a well-known phenomenon in dreams – but it’s clear that dreams of flying aren’t all the same. We hope our round-up of 14 meanings when you dream of flying has helped you interpret your own dream.
And remember, the meanings set out here can be a guide, but they’re not rules. The way signs and symbols appear in your dreams will be affected by your own experiences and ways of thinking.
A good approach is always to meditate on the different elements of your dream. What do they mean to you? And what story might your dreaming mind be telling you as it puts them together?
Sleep well – and sweet dreams!
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