Native American Symbolism in Dreams

Native American Symbolism in Dreams

Last Updated on October 28, 2023 by Avia

Native Americans have a high regard for dreams. They do not see them as just occurrences but rather as a way or a medium of communicating with the ancestors and spirit guides. They, therefore, often see dreams as equal to reality. In fact, they usually see dreams as an extension of reality where we can travel to other realms and have communication with other beings in that realm of the shamanic world. Given this, you can see how Native American symbolism in dreams is a very powerful and profound concept.

About Native American Symbolism in Dreams

Symbolism plays a central role in Native American dreams. It is with the interpretation of these symbols that they get to understand the deep connection that exists between the physical reality and that of the dream world. 

There is also a great belief that ancestors manifest in spiritual occurrences at some specific hours of the night (usually between midnight and 2:00 a.m.), and in those times, it is possible to have prophetic dreams. Every dream is, therefore, associated with symbols that include the following: 


Native American Symbolism in Dreams - Animals Meaning

Animals carry great significance as they are seen as great symbols that represent different qualities. They are spirit guides that carry different messages depending on the behavior of the animal dreamt about. In Native American culture, different animals would carry different meanings in a dream, and these include the following: 

  • Bear – when you dream of a bear, there are meanings that are attributed to it in the Native American dreams, and this could represent healing, strength, or power. 
  • Eagle – being wise and with excellent vision, means the same in the Native American dreams. Dreaming about eagles is taken to mean wisdom, freedom, and vision. 
  • Snake – A snake in most cultures is a scary animal, and even dreaming of it could be a scary experience. However, in the Native American dreams, the snake symbolizes healing, transformation, or rebirth. 
  • Wolf – in a dream, wolves symbolize loyalty or community in the Native American dream. 


Native American Symbolism in Dreams - Water Meaning

Water is also one of the sacred elements when it comes to Native American dreams. Of course, this is an element that also cuts across different cultures but may carry different meanings. In the Native American culture, water in a dream is taken to symbolize different qualities or events depending on the state or condition of the water. For example:

  • Still waters – still waters usually symbolize inner peace, reflection, or introspection. 
  • Flowing water – flowing water symbolizes transformation or change. 
  • Clean water – clean water symbolizes healing, purity, or emotional clarity. 
  • Dirty water – dirty water symbolizes bad things such as illnesses, emotional turmoil, or negativity. 


Native American Symbolism in Dreams - Feathers Meaning

Native Americans have rich symbols to which they draw meanings from the spirit world through dreams. Feathers are also sacred, and when a dreamer sees feathers in a dream, the interpretation is often drawn from the color, which can have different meanings, such as: 

  • White – white feathers in a dream, according to Native American dreams, means peace, spiritual guidance, and purity. 
  • Black – dreaming of black feathers would symbolize strength, protection, or mystery. 
  • Yellow – yellow feathers in a dream could possibly mean discernment, wisdom, or intelligence. 
  • Red – Red feathers could mean a life force, courage, or passion in doing something. 
  • Green – green feathers are taken to signify growth, nature, or healing. 


Colors also have been a way in which the interpretation of dreams can be drawn since ancient times. Of course, this cuts across many cultures. Native American culture, since ancient times, has used colors as symbols for understanding the dream world and connecting to real-world experiences. 

Each color carries a unique interpretation, but they generally communicate emotions and nature. For instance, some of the prominent colors in the Native American dreams could mean different things, such as:

  • White – represents tranquility, peace, purity, and spirituality. 
  • Red – this color often represents passion for something, courage, or a life force. 
  • Black – black is usually associated with bad luck, death, or mystery. 
  • Green – this color usually portrays growth, nature, or even healing. 
  • Yellow –  represents wisdom, discernment, or intellect. 


Native American Symbolism in Dreams - Trees Meaning

Dreams in different cultures across the world carry unique symbols that often communicate the meaning in real-world experiences. Trees, in this case, are central and sacred symbols that have been regarded highly for the messages they carry. Therefore, trees signify different meanings depending on the state of the tree or even the age. In the Native American culture, trees symbolize the following: 

  • Young tree – a young tree could symbolize growth and new beginning. 
  • Old tree – an old tree carries a meaning of longevity, wisdom, and strength. 
  • Fruit trees – fruit trees in Native American dreams and most other cultures mean fertility, abundance, and nourishment. 
  • Bare trees – bare trees usually carry negative meanings, and in Native American dreams, it means death and rebirth, winter, or dormancy. 


Native American Symbolism in Dreams - House Meaning

Houses are also some of the key elements that are observed in the Native American dream. They are sacred and highly regarded because they communicate the dream just like other symbols could do. When in a dream and you see houses, to better interpret that dream, Native Americans usually observe the state of the houses for instance, a new house could signify a new beginning, new opportunities, or a fresh start, and an old house could mean tradition or family. 


Another sacred symbol that is useful in the interpretation of dreams in the Native American culture is fire. This also cuts across cultures, and whenever a fire appears in a dream, it could mean different things depending on the fire’s condition. 

For instance, controlled fire could mean healing or transformation, while uncontrolled fire could mean danger, chaos, or destruction. In addition to that, the light and warmth of fire also carries special meaning such as wisdom, comfort, love, and passion. 


There are other numerous elements that are useful in the interpretation of dreams among the Native Americans. Such include vehicles, air, earth, and other elements that communicate different meanings. 

Therefore, Native American symbolism in dreams is an important aspect when it comes to interpreting and communicating the dream world experiences and what they possibly mean in the physical world. 

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