The world abounds with symbols. Some are universal and others unique to certain cultures. Symbols are profound expressions of our intellect, emotions, and spirit. A symbol can represent deep intuitive wisdom that eludes direct expression, and symbols can be found in our dreams certainly, but also in our waking state. It is helpful to observe the symbols in your life in your waking day, allowing the universe to speak to you through its symbolic language.

Throughout the centuries, symbols in their infinite forms have enriched people’s lives. Cultures in all parts of the world have built upon a universal understanding of symbols to better understand well-being of mind, body, and spirit. Often in deep spiritual work, we are asked to identify and focus on symbols that appear in our dreams and in our waking lives. These symbols may, for example, appear in our drawings and over time become highly personalized, take on deeper levels of meaning, and come to help us express aspects of the psyche that may be difficult to put into words.

We find symbols in our daily life and in our dreams. Here are some common examples defined:

Did you know?


Seen as a life-source, rivers carry potent meanings. They can represent the boundaries between life and death. In Hindu belief, rivers symbolize purification.


Ice symbolizes coldness, rigidity, and stillness, both in humans and in nature. Therefore, snow as a form of “softer” ice often expresses the return of life. Snow can stand for truth and individuality.


The meeting place of heaven and earth, the mountain symbolizes eternity and our ascent on our life’s journey.


Symbolizing passion and energy, fire can represent deep emotion, such as love, or alchemical transformation.


Wholeness, harmony, and family are reflected in the tree image.


When a cave is found in a dream state, it may mean that this is a time of initiation, truth, wisdom, or readiness for going deeper.


Is the door or window open or closed? Doorways and windows symbolize opportunity, opening, luck, and progress. Have you heard the phrase–“a window of opportunity” or “the door to success”?

Pay attention to the symbols that occur in your dream state and also in your daily life. Record patterns, spend some time journaling, and meditate on their significance as messengers in your life right now!