Do you ever dream about people in your life?  Have you ever wondered what it means when you dream of a past boyfriend – does it really mean that you want to get back with your dreaded ex?  How about when you dream of your aunt who past away several years ago?  What does that mean?

In this installment of Dream Symbolism, I want to break down what it means when you dream about different people in your life.  I don’t know anyone who has never had a dream involving people.  People showing up in our dreaming world is pretty much universal.  So what exactly does it mean when someone pops into your sleeping world?

Character Aspects

If you have ever received a dream interpretation from me or even read what I ask for when submitting a dream, you will notice that I ask for the first three adjectives that come to your mind when you think of someone and a brief description of who that person is in your life.  This serves a pretty simple function.  Most of the time when we dream of people, what we really are looking at is different character aspects of ourselves.

So what exactly does that mean?  Let’s break it down with an example.  Say I dreamed about an old friend, let’s call her Sandy, from elementary school who I haven’t seen in years, but I would describe them as outgoing, friendly and inquisitive.  This friend was with me in a dream as we boarded a plane to an unknown destination.

Now what does this dream mean?  When I look Sandy, what I am really seeing is that part of myself who is extroverted and friendly. This is speaking of that part of myself, you could call it my personality or my soul, who is outgoing.  If we want to take this one step more, we could say that the part of myself that is outgoing is about to undergo a transformation (getting on a plane – see this blog post for transportation symbolism).

What would this then look like in my waking life? Maybe I decide that I will strike up a conversation with someone in line at Starbucks instead of keeping to myself like I normally would.  Or perhaps I will ask some friends out to dinner instead of waiting for an invite myself.  Little steps that show the beginning of this outgoing side transforming and evolving.

And, in case you are wondering, this dream was totally made me.  I don’t know anyone named Sandy.  But, for full disclosure, I am an introvert.


Another way people show up in our dreams is through the lens of an archetype.  Archetypes are a pretty hot topic in the metaphysical realm – it seems like you can relate almost anything to an archetype.  So what are they really?  Archetypes are simply characteristics that we have come to associate with a word over a long period of time.  These are so ingrained in everything we do – from the stories we hear to the shows we watch on tv – that they have become ingrained in us and our collective unconscious.

Now how does this work in the dream world?  First off, when you have an archetypical dream it usually is just one scene instead of bouncing around from scene to scene.  These dreams hold a greater significance and will be more focused, specifically on one of these characters.

Jung (the famous psychoanalyst) himself had this type of dream with the archetype of a wise old figure standing in a field.  This character did not speak and did not do anything in particular, just stood there.  Jung spent a lot of time trying to figure out what this dream meant for him.  What is clear is that when dreams like this occur, according to Michael Lennox in his book Dream Sight it usually symbolizes a time where you are integrating deep levels of information in your psyche and going through a major evolution.

Visitation from spirits

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you wake up in the morning and you swear your great aunt Ida had just been there?  Maybe you even catch a brief scent of her perfume. Visitations from the spirit world are a fairly common occurrence in dream form.  I heard somewhere (I have totally forgotten the source of this) that a spirit can come through in a dream three times.  I have no clue the validity of this statement, but it is something to think about.

Dreams that are visitations are similar to archetypical dreams in that there is very little else that goes on in the dream.  There won’t be multiple scenes or car chases.  These will be simple dreams and they tend to leave you with strong emotions when you wake up.

I have found that even people who discredit the metaphysical tend to believe that our loved ones can visit us in our dreams.  There is something comforting about the thought of getting one last visit from a loved one.  Practically, however, there are some considerations to think about with these dreams.  They usually do not happen right after someone has passed to the other side.  There seems to be a readjustment period for spirits to reacquaint themselves with the workings of the other side.  Also, strong emotions tend to make it harder for the spirit world to communicate.  So if you are still in the midsts of grief or are trying too hard to make this connection, it usually won’t happen.

I have found, at least for myself and those I know, that these type of dreams occur most readily out of the blue – when you are not really thinking about the individual.  And it is not only people’s spirits that can make an appearance in a dream – animals have been known to make themselves known as well.

Guides, Ascended Masters, Angels

I didn’t know really what to label this category.  Basically, these are entities that are in the spirit realm but you did not necessarily know them in your current incarnation.  Dreams that include these beings are similar to visitation and archetype dreams in that there is not usually too much extra going on.

I have found, however, that sometimes our guides like to pop up in our “common” dreams to help really leave a powerful impact on the dreamer.  Dreams with your guides may seem a little more “common” as well in that you won’t feel a big emotional reaction to their presence.  Your guides are with you at all times and you are, most likely, very accustomed to their energy vibration so them showing up in a dream won’t really feel like anything different or out of the ordinary.

Ascended Masters will have that more emotional impact that is common with the visitation and archetypal dreams.  These dreams will fill you with intense emotions and may leave you a little afraid or scared of the energy you experience if it is the first time.  You can read about my encounter with an ascended master here.

And remember, if you are interested in a free dream interpretation check out my dream collector’s page.

What type of people show up in your dreams?  Have you ever had a visitation dream?  A dream where an ascended master shows up?  How about an archetypal dream?

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