The Bible is written in the language of dreams

Wild animals that threaten you, wars and natural disasters, funerals, marriages and births, an exciting journey with perilous adventures. You experience it at night in your dreams, and the Bible is also full of it. That’s no coincidence. The Bible is written in the same symbolism in which dreams package their messages for us. And both use this language, consisting of archetypes, metaphors and universal patterns, for the same purpose: to give us insight into the way to wholeness, or the way to God.

Most stories in the Bible are not meant to be taken literally. They depict inner processes of the spiritual seeker. Jesus walking on water, for example, informs us that he was completely in control of his emotions (water). Unlike his disciple Peter who wants to walk on the water to Jesus, but fails. (1) The raging waters and near-drowning represent Peter’s fears. Fear is a great stumbling block on the spiritual path. Peter will have to meditate, let go and detach even more, in order to make the crossing to Jesus (God) with dry clothes. Similarly, we can dream about high waves, or floods, that threaten us, if we are ‘overwhelmed’ by our emotions during the day.

A journey

Another classic theme is the journey. There is a lot of traveling in the Bible and in our dreams. These are miniatures of the inner journey we travel. They show us something of the spiritual growth process to which we are all called. Carl Jung called this the individuation process. Indivisibility, wholeness or sanctity; whatever words you use for the final goal, the language of symbolism that expresses our ups and downs on this road in dreams remains the same.

All the details of a dream about a journey can yield interesting self-insights. Is the journey going smoothly, or not? What does the landscape look like? Is it a bare, like a desert, or lively and full of green? If there is a vehicle, who is behind the wheel? Is that you, or have you handed over control to someone else? Do you know the way, or are you lost? These kinds of metaphors are usually not difficult to translate to what is going on in your life during the day.

Wild animals in a dream represent your own emotions and urges

In the Bible, Jesus begins his travels with a forty-day stay in the desert. This barren place, where “heaven remains shut,” represents being cut off from God. During this time, Jesus is tested by Satan (his ego) and confronted by wild beasts (2). Wild animals represent our animal instincts, which must be overcome. Who has never had a dream about a terrifying animal chasing you? As long as you are still afraid in your dreams and flee from animals, you have not yet mastered your instinctive life.

In the Bible we find many heroes who were not deterred by a few predators. For example, the legendary Samson slays a lion with his bare hands (3) and the prophet Daniel miraculously remains unharmed after a night in a lion’s den. (4) If you dream about wild animals that pose no threat at all, it is a wonderful spiritual milestone!

Day and night

The amount of light in a dream also says something about your growth process. As your consciousness expands your dreams will more ‘illuminated’. You will also begin to perceive more details and colors. Every now and then you will also dream of something that takes place in the twilight. This is about an aspect that is still in your subconscious.

In the Gospels, the Pharisee Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night and asks him about the Kingdom of God. Jesus responds in surprise: Are you the teacher of Israel and do you not know these things? (5) The spiritual ignorance of Nicodemus is consistent with the statement that the conversation takes place at night: his consciousness is totally unenlightened. According to the Bible writers, the consciousness of the apostle Judas is also completely darkened when he betrays his master on the eve of the crucifixion:

When he had taken the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. (6)

The amount of light in a dream says something about your consciousness


Emotional healing is an important aspect of spiritual growth. Our emotional injuries are often expressed in dreams as physical ailments. A stomach wound, for example, depicts unprocessed emotions. Not having hands can indicate an inability to connect. Also, if other people or animals are injured in a dream, it generally refers to your own injuries.

Jesus heals a blind man

The Bible is teeming with the lame, blind, dumb, and deaf. Jesus is busy! He spends much of his time healing. We may translate these ‘miracles’ that he performs to the spiritual level. He opens the ears, eyes and mouth of those who are closed off to the divine. He puts the spiritually paralyzed moving in the right direction.

He also heals diseases such as dropsy (bloating, arrogance) and leprosy (uncleanness), and casts out demons (ego aspects). Everything that stands between the spiritual seeker and God is healed or removed  by him. The underlying message of this is that wholeness is a prerequisite for the inner realization of the Kingdom of God. We must return to the state of wholeness of a child:

And He said, Verily I say unto you, Unless ye change and become as little children, ye shall by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (7)

Cleaning and tidying up

Purification is another important aspect of growing towards God. In the language of dream symbolism, a house is a so-called ‘I-symbol’; it represents the dreamer himself. To dream about cleaning or redecorating a house means that you are working on yourself. Floors and walls that are being scrubbed, a new wallpaper, maybe furniture will be replaced. The attic (symbol for the head, the mind) is cleaned up, or the basement (the subconscious) is emptied. You will encounter huge amounts of dirt. More than you expect.

If the house becomes larger and lighter on the inside, this indicates an expansion of consciousness. New colors on the walls or floor – especially if they are striking colors – often refer to an increased activity of certain chakras, as a result of your growth process.

This necessary inner purification is beautifully depicted in the Gospels by the famous temple cleansing. In a fit of rage, Jesus drives all the merchants and money changers out of the temple of Jerusalem. The tables and chairs fly through the air, if we are to believe the Gospel writers:

And they came to Jerusalem; and when Jesus had entered into the temple, he began to drive out those who sold and bought in the temple; and the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, he overturned…(8)

The merchants symbolize qualities such as materialism and greed. From this the heart (the temple) must be cleansed in order to experience God. The pieces of furniture that are knocked over by Jesus must give us the image of an ‘upturning’ of our inner self. A purification process may sound appealing, but in reality it is a tough time. In addition to uplifting dreams of cleaning processes, there will also be many nightmares, which are a representation of ballast that is being removed.

The Cleansing of the Temple

The end of the world

If the purification process touches the core of your being, it will be accompanied in your dreams by images of death and destruction. Earthquakes, collapsing buildings, destructive fires, and atomic bombs hitting symbolize your “old world” disappearing. No matter how intense these nightmares are, they are often a positive sign.

The Second Coming of Christ is also depicted in such images in the Bible and many a believer has been waiting for this Last Judgment with fear and trembling ever since. A fragment:

And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be terrified, for this must be done, but it is not yet the end. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be earthquakes in divers places and there will be famines and disturbances. These things are the beginning of the contractions…
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light. And the stars of heaven will fall from it, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken violently. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory. (9)

However, as in our dreams, these apocalyptic images are not about the end of THE world, but about the end of the old world of the spiritual seeker, who stands at the gates of the Kingdom of God. The Second Coming of Christ is about an inner process. The wars Jesus speaks of are images of the inner battle to be waged between our higher nature and our lower nature – between the divine and the animal in man – before God can make his home in us.

Significantly, Jesus concludes his argument about the horrors and devastations of his Second Coming with the following metaphor:

And learn from the fig tree this parable: When its branch is already tender and its leaves sprout, then you know that summer is near. So you too, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, at the doors. (10)

With this tender image of sprouting branches, he confirms that we may interpret the violent images of war and disaster as positive transformation symbolism. New life – a birth of a baby or an animal – refers to new aspects in the dreamer’s life. This can also concern something in the outside world. A new job or a new hobby, for example. Plants and trees generally refer to inner, spiritual aspects. A plant gets new shoots, or an old tree is cut down and a new tree grows on the old trunk.


The persistent spiritual aspirant will also have dreams of a “new world” forming within him or her. A beautiful city, with impressive buildings and lots of green (the color of the heart chakra), for example. These kinds of transformation images are often accompanied by feelings of euphoria and wonder.

In the Book of Revelation we read about the “New Jerusalem” coming down from heaven:

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. She had the glory of God, and her radiance was like a very precious gem, like a crystal clear stone of jasper. (11)

This recorded vision is a representation of the spiritual awakening of the (unknown) author himself. He too first had to completely let go of his “old world”. The passage in Revelation that describes this is known as the Battle of Armageddon:

And there came voices, thunders and lightnings. And there came a great earthquake, such as has not been since men have been on the earth: such an earthquake, so great! And the great city fell into three pieces, and the cities of the nations fell… And all the islands have fled, and mountains were not to be found. And great hailstones, each weighing about a talent-pound, fell from heaven upon the people. (12)

The dismantling of the ego

Who does not know Jesus’ statement:

Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter in by it; but narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. (13)

The broad and the narrow way

The broad, easy way is a life focussed on material possessions, filled with greed and selfishness. The narrow, more difficult way is to choose a spiritual life, including austerity and service. Only the narrow way leads to God. But how are we to interpret the wide and the narrow gate? The size of the gate is a measurement of the ego. You can only go through the narrow gate that gives access to the Kingdom of God if your ego is small enough.

We also see this theme in dreams: the spiritual seeker is confronted with doors or openings that – much to his or her frustration – are too small to pass through. The theme of “luggage” fits in seamlessly with this. What you carry with you in a dream can bring a lot of self-understanding. According to Jesus, this is ideally nothing at all. He sends his disciples out with the words:

Do not equip yourself with gold or silver or copper money in your belts, or a bag for your journey, or two sets of tunics, or sandals, or a staff. (14)

What’s wrong with bringing fresh, clean clothes? You could even see this as a form of compassion toward fellow travelers… However, we should not take this literally, but as symbolism: the disciples must leave behind their “ego-luggage”. You can’t go through the narrow gate carrying all that “stuff” with you.

The wedding

Finally, the theme of the wedding: the crowning of the diligent spiritual work. An image of the inner fusion of the opposites (the duality); of the masculine (animus) and feminine (anima). This inner unification restores the connection with God, the ultimate goal of the journey.

For the dreamer, the marriage partner can provide surprises. The person one marries can be a brother or sister. Relatives often figure as anima or animus in a dream, because they are so close to us (“blood relatives”).

The famous wedding at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine also depicts the inner process of this so-called SACRED MARRIAGE (click here). Although everyone has heard of the spectacular wine miracle, no one knows who the bridal couple actually were. The Gospel writers have hidden this between the lines, for those “who have ears”: it is Jesus himself who marries his mother, whom he addresses in this story as the impersonal “woman”, to underline the anima-animus symbolism. The water being turned into wine is a direct result of this marriage. It symbolizes the deification of the person who has completed the process of kundalini awakening. (15)

The Wedding at Cana

The wedding theme can be supplemented in a dream with a communal meal. A table full of acquaintances and strangers celebrating and eating together symbolizes inner integration. Aspects of the dreamer that have never blossomed, or that have been pushed into the subconscious (the unknown persons present), are absorbed into the total personality. A feast is a powerful symbol of healing.

Source of inspiration

There is something else that dreams and the Bible have in common: they are not always valued. With this article I hope to have shown that both can be a great source of inspiration and nourishment for the spiritual seeker.

1. Matthew 14:24-30
2. Mark 1:12-13
3. Judges 14:5-6
4. Daniël 6:17-24
5. John 3:10
6. John 13:30
7. Matthew 18:3
8. Mark 11:15

9. Mark 13:7-8 en 24-26
10. Mark 13:28
11. Revelation 21:10-12
12. Revelation 16:18-21
13. Matthew 7:13-14
14. Matthew 10:9-10
15. For a complete analysis of the wedding at Kana, see my book: Kundalini Awakening in the Bible

This article was published in Mantra magazine (Dec ’16)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2016

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Anne-Marie wegh is author of the book:
Kundalini Awakening in the Bible

By |2023-10-29T09:58:37+00:00September 19th, 2022|Anne-Marie|0 Comments
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