What does my dream about war mean?

Once in a while, I like to blog with a term from my dream dictionary, Dream Sight (Llewellyn Press, February 2011).  Usually, a dream I have had or heard from another person inspires me to pick a specific term and post it.  Recently, several people have shared with me their dreams that are either about war or taking place in war.  And, of course, we are all in a battle with our selves every day of our lives.  It is my hope that though dream work, each of us can be on the winning side of our own personal wars and emerge from the fray with our dignity in tact, more self-aware and conscious of who we really are.

With that, here’s “War/Battle.”


Universal Landscape:  Shifting boundaries.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you in a battle?  How much danger were you in?  Were you connected with others on your side, or were you close to the enemy?  Were you advancing the front line, or attempting to damage the resources of your enemy?  Did you know the cause for which you were fighting?

Personal Focus:  The object of war is for one entity to obtain the land and/or resources of another.  Therefore, war in a dream indicates change on such a large scale that it can only be accomplished by the use of major force.  Our world is a set of organized boundaries we know as countries.  Our psyches are divided in a similar way.  These boundaries are, ultimately, fluid.  Things change—sometimes dramatically—which leaves us feeling vulnerable.  When the change is sudden and violent, the unconscious may use a dream of war to express the enormity of the internal shift that’s occurring.

There is a distinction between war and battle.  War implies an ongoing state of flux whereas battle is the actual shift taking place in a small increment of upheaval and change.  If you dream of being in wartime, then your life may reflect a grand cycle of transformation that is currently taking place.

Most people living in America have never experienced wartime, but to live under the threat of war is to be in constant, hyper-awareness of danger lurking just about everywhere.  If this is the case in your dream, look to where in life your defenses might be running on high.  If you dream of an actual battle, then the immediacy of the symbolism implies something much more current in your waking life.  Look to where changes in boundaries are eminent, both in your outside world as well as within, as many battles are with ourselves.

Generally speaking, there are two points of focus for modern war: one is to advance the front line in either direction, essentially shifting the land borders between countries.  This connects symbolically to the establishment of boundaries that we must carve out each and every day of our lives.  The greater intensity of the war in your dreams, the more intense the daytime conflict being expressed is likely to be.

The other focus of war is to destroy the resources of the enemy.  This has a more complex symbolism as it involves invasion and aggression; qualities which imply assumption and risk.  When this is the focus of your dream, know that you are in some dark and dangerous territory.   If you knew the cause you were fighting for, you must add this information to your interpretation.

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3 Responses to What does my dream about war mean?

  1. Lucero Zavala January 25, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    What dose it mean when you dream with your recently deceased father (6mnths) that you are being held by large group of Army in a town and you already escaped but will go back because you will not leave without your father and the small group of people and you and your father and leading a small group of people as well, but completely surrounded by the army men who are now on high mountain’s and we are at the bottom trying to dodge bullets.

    sincerely, Lucero Zavala

  2. mo October 17, 2015 at 6:11 am #

    I’ve had crazy dreams about war. And even tho I only remember bits and pieces of those dream. Those bits and pieces stand out.
    1. I have a dream of me running home while balls of fire were falling from the sky and I was on the phone with my mom and she was telling me “hurry get home now! Get home!” It felt so real idk how to explain it but in the dream my thoughts were this is the end God is here. But when I woke war definitely was something I thought of as well.

    2. A second dream that is vivid is that we were in a middle of a war. Me and my older brother were guiding families to a certain room but kept telling them “we need to be quite or they will find us”

    3. One of my many vivid but most recent dreams was me and my mother running while things were getting bombed and I kept telling her “mom we can’t stop running we need to keep going”

    Idk I got so many trippy dreams idk if I’m doing this to myself. But I would like to speak with someone who knows a thing or 2 about the dreams I have

  3. Alice November 14, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    I had a dream similar to yours MO. In my dream there were gigantic concrete balls falling out of the sky and I wasnt the warrior or even fighting I was lik a jew in a modern ww2. When I woke up and started thinking about the dream it felt useless to hide from the enemy and from the boulders but then again what else was I supposed to do stand there and die? I feel like the places I was hiding behind like broken/ruined houses that were destroyed by the boulders and even stone or concrete tables/benches symbolizes comfort and that I needed comfort even if it was hopeless. I also felt like the elder sister (yet in real life I don’t have a sister) taking care of my sister as best as I could even though I always kept telling her to hide to close her eyes that it will pass and we won’t be killed at any second, I think I was pretty bad at that too. I remember her huddle into a little ball and if she couldve moved in The tight corners we had to squeeze into I knew she would sway back and forth. And I felt like I just stared at her but staring through her because it was easier to think that I didn’t know her and that that fact would cause less pain then the deceitful lies I told her. She cried, I didn’t. And in all this catastrophe it was a hot sunny day lik in a desert in winter, a pretty nice day with beautiful white clouds and green grass patches on the ground.

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