Dream Interpretation for Personal Growth

By Dayna Winters

I’m Dayna Winters, and I have practiced interpreting dreams for well over a decade. Through this column, I will help you explore the messages your dreams convey. Dreams are a form of communication between the subconscious and conscious mind: a way the higher self, universe, or divine uses to communicate. Your nighttime visions are richly embedded with significant symbols, all of which you can explore for personal meaning. Dreams are sometimes precognitive, lending hints about future events. Typically, dreams have multiple layers of meaning even when they are not predictive. Much like the Tarot is a tool for gaining personal and spiritual insight, dreams are a tool you can use to make personal discoveries and epiphanies; And as it is with the Tarot, every interpretation is deeply personal – what one person might get from a dream symbol, another person might derive an entirely different interpretation. And that’s what this column is all about; here, we will explore the fascinating world of dream symbols, and how you can use them to enhance your mundane and spiritual life.

To begin our exploration, lets examine what the appearance of a home/house in your dreams might symbolize. Common dream scenarios involving a house/home include the appearance of a childhood home; being in a strange home you have never seen or been inside before; being in a dilapidated house, and a house that is surprisingly larger than it first appears – one that often possesses secret corridors. The key to understanding house symbolism is to realize a building often symbolizes the self. The home is sacred space, your personal temple, and represents your physical body, and/or your emotional or spiritual state. Each room in a home, the condition of the house, and your familiarity with the interior/exterior of the house, all elicit meaning. Let’s break down each image and explore its meaning in-depth.

Childhood Home – The childhood home is a symbol of your roots and where you came from – the home represents fundamental concepts and beginnings. Dreaming of your childhood home signifies a longing for more innocent times where there is less responsibility and stress. This dream image suggests you either miss something/someone from that time period, or, if you have happy childhood memories, you might “long for the comforts of your childhood home.” If the home of your childhood is a place connected with traumatic experiences, the appearance of the home in dreams might indicate a karmic cycle coming up in your life where you will need to address past issues you have not yet emotionally resolved.

The appearance of your childhood home may also signify a deeply rooted connection to the past, or a desire to return to a former way of being. The important thing to remember if you see your childhood home in a dream and you feel a driving need to return to an old condition, situation, or way of being, is often when you attempt to “go back home again,” or revive a past condition, the experience is never the same, and is sometimes an incredible disappointment. Thus, the appearance of the home of your younger years could suggest a need to carefully consider if you want to revive an old condition, situation, or relationship at all.

On a more positive note, the childhood home might suggest a need to get in touch with your inner child. Remember when you were a kid and everything seemed magical? Remember when every life experience was a new discovery and when your creativity was encouraged? Do you remember the joy you use to find in the simplest of things? The childhood home image is one that might be urging you to bring back the joy in your life, become more creative, have more fun, and to simplify your life.

A Strange Home – The appearance of a strange home in dreams relates to “fish out of water” experiences. In your waking life, whether you know the owner of the home or not, a strange home most likely feels unnatural and uncomfortable for you, at least until you gain your bearings. Thus, a strange home in your dream indicates that you are either uncomfortable/uncertain of a new situation you have recently entered into, or you might soon be faced with a “fish out of water” experience where you are outside your natural environment or comfort zone. If the strange home belongs to a friend or a loved one, then your dream suggests that the situation you face is one where you will be able to recover your sense of comfort/balance relatively quickly. If the home belongs to someone you don’t know, then the recovery of your sense of comfort/balance might not be as simple or possible at all.

If you have entered into the strange home willingly, your dream suggests you are open to new situations, despite your uncertainty about any potential outcomes. If you are dragged or forced into the strange home, the dream suggests quite the opposite – it can signify your unwillingness to participate in new situations or that you have a stubborn nature that making it difficult to embrace new things. If the strange home has some familiar elements (for example, parts of the house’s interior has rooms from your own home), it can indicate that you will be familiar with some, but not all of the elements of a situation/condition/relationship in your waking life, and such familiarity will give you some comfort even though you are really going beyond your personal comfort zone. Being in a strange environment might also indicate an upcoming event where you feel socially isolated. Further, if you consider the strange home as a depiction of the self, this dream signifies a need for personal exploration, or the need to get in touch with the parts of yourself that you intentionally/unintentionally left untended or abandoned, like creative pursuits or hobbies once enjoyed.

A Dilapidated Home – When the home in a dream is run down, it can signal it’s time for self-improvements. The part of the home in need of repair can prove important in determining exactly what parts of your life require attention. For instance, if the entire exterior is run down, but the interior of the home is beautiful, your dream might signify a need to pay more attention to your body – perhaps you need to engage in more exercise, or your subconscious could be telling you it’s time to change up your external appearance with a new wardrobe, look, hairstyle, or image. If the interior rooms of the home are in disrepair, think about what a room symbolizes to you. As an example, let’s say you see a kitchen with broken appliances or the room is empty and in total disrepair. Since the kitchen is a place where you cook nourishing foods, it might be time to re-examine how you are nourishing your body. And since food is transformed into energy once consumed, it might also be time to consider how you nourish your spirit. Now imagine you dream of seeing broken windows throughout the home – this image may signify that it is time for a new view or perspective related to an old condition/situation.

A Larger Home with Secret Corridors – I can’t tell you how many times I have dreamed about a home that, once inside, is far larger than it appears and hosts endless secret corridors. This image represents a need for self-exploration and such a quest will lead to fascinating self-discoveries. If you see rooms and corridors filled with objects of all kinds or hidden storage areas in the home, this symbolizes a time to release unnecessary emotional baggage so you can make room for better things. The secret corridors represent the parts of yourself yet unexplored. In your waking life, if you have ceased being creative or partaking of spiritual practices, such as meditation, ritual, or prayer, the dream of the secret passages in the larger home (temple of the self) suggests a need to return to such practices where personal/spiritual epiphanies await you.

Associated deities – If you want to connect with dream archetypes representing the home, there are a number of deities associated with the hearth. Among such deities are the the Roman goddess Vesta and the Greek goddess Hesta. Also, in the Roman pantheon, there are Lares Domestici and Lares Familiaries, protective deities of the house and family respectively.

Questions to Ask Yourself

In your dream, what was the condition of the home?
Was the house yours or did it belong to someone else?
What primary colors are in the home (colors are highly symbolic and can elicit meaning for you.)
How did you feel about the home; were you comfortable or uncomfortable with the environment?
What rooms did you see and what do those rooms signify for you?
If known, what was the external environment surrounding the house like? For instance, was the home near a body of water (symbolizing the subconscious and deep emotions)? Was it sunny outside or was there a storm on the horizon (indicating potential trouble ahead.)

While it is impossible to cover every dream scenario involving a home in this short column, this article should give you a good sense on where to start when you want to interpret the meaning of house images in dreams. The important thing to remember is the home is a symbol of the self, with the exterior of the building representing the physical body and the home’s interior symbolic of the emotional and spiritual bodies. An examination of home dream imagery in this context can elicit deep, symbolic meaning you can extrapolate and use for personal growth on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

About Dayna Winters:
Dayna Winters is a solitary Witch, author, and artist. She is the co-author of three books written with Patricia Gardner and Angela Kaufman including, “Wicca: What’s The Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions,” “Sacred Objects, Sacred Space: Everyday Tools for The Modern Day Witch,” and “The Esoteric Dream Book: Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind”, all of which are published by Schiffer Publishing. You can find out more about Dayna and her work at her blog: http://daynawinters.blogspot.com/.