If you've ever had a dream where you were flying, unaided, you'll probably remember the feeling of amazement that you
experienced; a feeling so powerful that it can sometimes startle you into wakefulness. Flying dreams are awesome and often
leave the dreamer in a state of wonderment. Of course there are flying dreams where we are in some form of transporting
machine, for example, an aeroplane or helicopter. These modes of transport are possible in everyday reality and do not usually
elicit any feelings of wonderment. Such dreams are usually about life situations we are currently 'travelling through'. An exception
would be those dreams where the form of transport we are using is not possible in reality. So, for instance, if I dream of flying
around with mechanical wings on my back or sitting on a magic carpet, it's likely to elicit the same feelings as flying unaided. So a
flying dream might be defined as a dream where we are flying in a way that is not physically possible in everyday reality.
However, I once dreamed that I was floating over open countryside in a hot air balloon. Although this is perfectly possible in
everyday life, and was an experience I fulfilled in reality a few years later, the dream had a very numinous, ethereal quality to it
causing me to describe it as a flying dream. I find my flying dreams always take place in a wondrously bright and colourful
So what does it mean if we dream we are flying?
Depending on where you go for information, you'll discover a lot of different interpretations. In my dreams, flying usually means
that I'm feeling joyful and happy and am experiencing lightness in my life. Sometimes though, the experience is so gloriously lucid
and the scenery so vivid that I might conclude that a part of me is actually travelling through another reality in another dimension.
Because of these two completely different ways of viewing flying dreams, I've split what follows into two distinct categories. My
advice, however, is to always consider metaphorical interpretations first. For example "I'm flying high", "I feel as light as a feather",
"I'm flying round, trying to get everything done". Next ask yourself WHY. Why was I flying over green fields and not a city? Why
was I flying like superman rather than just floating around aimlessly? Why was I riding a magic carpet rather than a broomstick; or
Some cultures have seen flying in a dream as a prophetic omen of a death. The Crow Indians, for instance, believed flying
dreams meant you were sick. In contradiction of this, however, in Central Africa flying dreams meant you were in good health!
Whatever interpretation you come across, alway remember that it's not necessarily useful, or advisable, to stick to rigid
categorisations or definitions suggested by other people; including me! Other people's ideas should only be used as
suggestions; it's up to you to find your own truth.
Some dream workers have categorised the different flying positions, assigning different meanings to each. I haven't yet found any
resource that mentions the way I used to dream fly regularly, which was floating through the air on my back. I concluded that
these dreams suggested I was "very laid back" about something. From a psychoanalytical stand point, it's advisable to first ask
yourself what are your own personal associations to the way you were flying in your dream. May be your associations will be on
the lines of: bird, freedom, flying high. My associations with the dreams where I was floating on my back, were: floating, laid
back, relaxed, resting. Once I was flying on a magic carpet; Arabian Nights, Eastern magic, jewels. You should see from these
examples that your associations may be different to mine and, therefore, the conclusions you come to, about the meaning of your
dream flight, may also be different. If you take your associations and relate them back into the dream, you should be able to
ascertain what the dream was about and how you are experiencing that life situation on a subconscious level. The feeling the
dream left you with, will be a clue to this. Most dreams of flying leave us feeling exhilarated and happy. Of course, this is not
surprising when you consider that dreams use metaphorical associations to relate their stories. We're hardly going to be feeling
low or weighed down by worry if we dream we are flying. Yet if we were feeling bad when we went to bed, but dreamed we were
flying, we can be sure that the problems that gave rise to our depressed mood will soon be resolved and we'll feel better when we
wake up. Recent research studies seem to indicate that flying dreams can signify mental recovery after a period of depression or
that they signify the integration of a learning experience. This makes more sense to me than the idea proposed by Freud about it
revealing a desire to have an orgasm!
There are some flying dreams that leave us with a deep sense of having experienced something out of the
ordinary; for instance my hot air balloon ride! Some dream flying experiences seem so real, especially if we
gained and maintained lucidity, that it's hard to believe that our soul, or spirit, or astral counterpart, or
whatever you want to call it, was not actually flying. Such dreams should be given special attention as they
can open the door to healing or spiritual transformation.
Even in our modern, high tech world, indoctrinated by an unshakable belief in scientific objectivity, the existence of a spiritual or
dream body cannot be disproved. It's all a matter of personal experience. There's no doubt that many of these dreams feel like
out of body experiences, (OBEs), and can provide information about spiritual or psychic landscapes. Even more exciting is the
exploration of these landscapes, and the people or animals you meet there, whilst in a state of lucidity whilst the dream is still
happening. This is true Shamanic dreaming, enabling you to visit other realms of existence, whether these be internal or external
One of my recent flying dreams, titled "Lucid travel with two angels" is a typical spiritual flying dream. I became lucid in the dream
and found myself sitting on a metal framework, flying through the air. There were two male, winged figures behind me; about
twenty or thirty feet away. They were naked, but with no apparent sexual organs, and were a pale golden colour. They were
directing my flight path and showing me the world from this great height. It was a truly awesome experience that was no less
"real" than waking reality. Dreams like this can change the world!
Perhaps, at some time in the future, these subjective experiences will be considered as admissable, empirical evidence and may
eventually lead us to a deeper understanding of the totality of human existence.
Copyright J C Harthan (2012)