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Dear Claire,

I have this dream about running along a path or trail that is like a maze. It is in the wilderness, but, in a way, it is also like I am in some video game. There are lots of twists and turns on my way, and lots of paths to choose from. Some paths lead to dead ends, and some don’t. There will be things that block my way, like a big rock, and there will be things that pop out of nowhere like a weird animal snapping at my feet. The more dead ends I run into, the more lost I feel. And the more lost I feel, the more I start to feel anxiety and then start to run even faster. As I run faster and faster, I start stumbling and falling. Then, I get up as fast as I can and just start running again. I don’t know where I am running to; I am just trying to get out of this wilderness maze. The faster that I run to get out, the more that I can feel my heart pound. My heart starts pounding so hard that it hurts and feels like it is going to explode. Just at that moment, a huge, dark-blue bird comes out of nowhere. It swoops down and picks me up with its claws and flies me out of the maze. Could you tell me what the symbolism of this could be?

Pathways, trails, and journeys in a dream are usually representative of pathways, trails, and journeys in life. Because mazes are just twisting and turning pathways, and are usually quite complicated and challenging, mazes can represent a tortuous, complicated, and challenging journey in life. The difficulties, dilemmas, and obstacles in a dream maze most likely mirror the difficulties, dilemmas, and obstacles in waking life. The above dream appears to be a classic example of this—and then some! Not only due to the fact that the dreamer is overcoming obstacles and attacks in order to “find a way out,” but also because he is racing against time and filled with anxiety while doing so. What further supports this analysis is the fact that the dreamer is not running towards a prize or a finish line—but is instead running towards an exit, which indicates that he is trying to make his way out of some difficulty or challenging situation in his waking life.

As to the “stumbling and falling” portion of the dream, control of the feet and steadfastness of the feet is most often associated with stability and a sense of being grounded in waking life; being firmly planted on the ground being symbolic of being firmly planted in life. This dreamer’s continual stumbling and falling most likely indicates that, at this time, the dreamer does not feel like he is in a stable or grounded place in life. Furthermore, falling in a dream often represents some type of “real world” decline in position or station, or a decline in behavior, morals, relationship status, or performance level. Yet, there are also times when falling in a dream can merely represent the fear of losing status or position—or the fear of not living up to set standards and the “fall” from grace which accompanies that.

The bird in this dream is extremely symbolic, as well, not only due to its ability to fly, but also due to its coloring. Dark-blue is a peaceful and tranquil color -the color of the sky at night, the ocean, and the symbolic color of sleep, night time, and the dreaming world. As a result, the coloring of the bird appears to indicate a desire for peace and tranquility and the fact that it swoops down and flies the dreamer out of the maze is especially significant.

Birds most commonly represent freedom due to their ability to not only fly away, but to fly off into the sky, towards the heavens. Furthermore, birds are often a symbol for heaven and/or the divine due to this closer proximity granted to them by their ability to fly. As a result, it is quite likely that the bird picking up this dreamer and carrying him out represents that dreamer’s wish for divine intervention – or a belief and/or desire that a higher power will eventually take control and “fly” the dreamer out of his difficulties in life and into peace and tranquility.

Life, for most of us, is a difficult journey – riddled with obstacles, complications, and conundrums. However, regardless of how difficult this dreamer’s journey is at this time, positive themes do prevail in his dream. The dreamer is able to stand up every time he stumbles or falls, and the dream ends with freedom and the promise of a positive outcome. In the final analysis, this person’s dream could merely be the reflection of his desire to escape trying times or it could be a message of perseverance and hope sent by the subconscious mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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