Dream interpretation: Recurring dreams

Recurring Dreams Jane Teresa Anderson

Do you have a recurring dream theme? I asked this question on my Facebook page on Monday, to gather some material for today’s blog and to provide some glimpses into what these dreams mean. So thanks for your contributions, guys, and read on!

First up, remember that a dream reflects your conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 24-48 hours of your waking life. So, when a dream theme recurs it’s because your waking life experiences are recurring. If there’s an unresolved issue in your life that keeps coming up, you probably have a dream theme that goes with it, appearing one to two nights later.

So if you have a recurring dream theme, look back over the previous two days each time you have the dream until you see a pattern. Your quest is to note the issue that precedes your dream. You’re halfway there before you even interpret your dream.

Next, ask yourself when you first had this dream. Think back to that time. It’s probably when the issue first raised its head, or when it really became important.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the dream themes listed on Facebook:

Kellie dreams she's forgotten about the fish and they're barely surviving.

Kellie dreams she’s forgotten about the fish and they’re barely surviving.


This recurring dream has plagued Kellie for years. She finds one or two fish aquariums that she’s forgotten about and the fish are barely surviving.

Everything in a dream reflects something about the dreamer, so Kellie might ask herself, when she has this dream, what she has been neglecting to nourish in her life.

Daniell dreams she’s just had a baby but keeps losing him in odd places like a couch or another state. I’d say that Daniell has plenty of ideas and ‘births’ new projects but loses touch with them, or holds back for fear of losing interest. A clue might be to look back to the first time she had this dream to identify what was new in her life then and why it didn’t work out as she had planned.

Talking of lost opportunities, Renee’s recurring dream is of a delivery man who delivers her a package. She’s signed for it a few times, but never opened it.

Renee might like to look over the two days prior to each return of the dream and ask herself what opportunity she signed up for but didn’t pursue.

Of course, dream interpretation goes much deeper than this, but in each example, the dreamer gets to ask a question that helps them identify the waking life issue.

Here are some more:

For the past year Cathie has had a recurring dream that her husband is going to die from cancer. She wakes with a deep heartache and sobbing. So, first of all, Cathie can ask what change occurred in her life a year ago, as this probably triggered the dream. Death in a dream is often about something ending in our life, not the death of a person, but an end of an era, attitude, belief, study course, hope, goal … anything. There are times for letting the old die so the new can enter into our lives, and there are other times when we may let things end prematurely and need to energise them back to life. Either way, there is grief to feel, and that is why Cathie wakes up sobbing. To move on, we need to release grief for our old hopes, plans, attitudes or ways of life. Again, this is a superficial interpretation, but a starting point for Cathie as she contemplates her dream.

Bonnie Belle looks for toilets or even pees in public in her dreams, often accompanied by celebrities, so she’s releasing or letting go of some issues around the difference between her public and private life, I’d say.

Beverley used to have her dream “very, very often” but not so much now. She might like to look back to when the frequency of the dream began to slow, and ask herself what changed in her life then. Whatever changed softened the waking life issue, so that it only comes up now when it occasionally becomes more pressing. There’s a big clue for Beverley here. In her dream, she is happily doing craft with children when a man arrives and she’s happy to see him: a classic case of finding your passion (being creative, in the flow).

Barbara dreams of lots of cameras. I’d need to hear more about the dream, but it probably reflects the way she frames her experiences, different perspectives and views. What would she see if she stepped back from life to look at the big picture? What would she see if she focused on one area? Why is she not in the picture herself, perhaps taking an objective view of her life? If Barbara answers these questions she’ll gain some insight into a recurring waking life issue. 

Christine comes face to face with a harmless crocodile after rescuing a baby that turns out to be herself from its mouth.

Christine comes face to face with a harmless crocodile after rescuing a baby that turns out to be herself from its mouth.

In her dream, Christine comes face to face with a harmless crocodile after rescuing a baby that turns out to be herself from its mouth. My feeling is that Christine may have had recurring dreams of crocodiles but this dream looks like a once-off, a healing dream, the end of the issue. Christine overcomes a sense of danger that has been holding her back in some way, and feels able to move forward without ‘bite’ and without fear of being bitten.

Jennifer has several recurring dream themes, one being living back in the Bronx (NYC) and walking up a hill, rather unsuccessfully, back to the apartment building where she used to live. The issues going on in Jennifer’s life whenever she has this dream most probably began when she used to live in that apartment building. That’s the key to healing the issue, yet Jennifer resists exploring those times: the hill, and the difficulty climbing it represent her hesitation and fear.

These are tip of the iceberg interpretations only! Listen to The Dream Show podcasts to get a feel for how to explore your dreams deeply and meaningfully. Or read this more detailed article on recurring dreams.

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1 comment on “Dream interpretation: Recurring dreams”

  1. mel Reply

    I have this reoccuring dream of a crocodile named henry whom is missing a leg he is in an enclosed area I’ve been having this dream for sometime now

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