Over the next several weeks I will deal with the elements of the meditative mantra, “Earth am I, air am I, fire and water and Spirit am I.” These elements also show up in our dreams and it is their meaning in dreams that I will be sharing.
The Earth image can speak to our need to be grounded i.e. realistic or be symbolic of your inner unconscious being. The image can show up as a cave or cavern, an abyss, a cellar, a mountain, a garden, a forest, or a grave. It can represent the body, your inner strength, or your mother.
As a mother it is the mother of us all, that which gives us life and brings us into the world. It is the grounded aspect between the father, the sun, and our spiritual self e.g. the other side of the Heaven and Earth or the mind/body dichotomy.
Scientific evidence as well as orbital pictures shows that the Earth is a great orb bulging near the middle because it’s spinning so fast (a little over a thousand miles per hour or 1675km/hr), 25,000 miles in diameter, thus taking approximately 24 hours to rotate once (thus our 24 hr day). The planet has been here quite a while, nearly 4.5 billions of years, but has only had life on it, multicellular life for the last 3.6 billion years. We animals didn’t show up until the last 600 million years or so. Human-like animals showed up about 2.5 million years ago so we’re pretty much the youngsters of the kingdom.
In its early stages before life the Earth was an inhospitable place, hurling through space being bombarded by huge boulders from the outer reaches of the solar system, with most of the land mass covered by scalding volcanic lava, corrosive acidic rains, and an atmosphere devoid of oxygen but full of sulfur gases.
Among the images of the Earth can be found volcanoes suggesting explosive personalities or situations and forests that symbolize the subconscious mind, or ones instinctual self. Walking through a forest can be about life transitions or changes in self-understanding. Forest fires can be about anger and the loss of control but it can also be about transitions and changes leading to something new.
Caves can be about your unconscious mind, the deeper you, but it can also represent the safety, warmth and retreat from the burdens of responsibility. Walking in a dark cave can be symbolic of exploring your inner self.
An abyss or canyon, can be an obstacle that is creating anxiety, something that one needs to overcome. It also represents the unknown. Standing before it can be about fears of “taking the plunge” and perhaps failing. Dark abyss’ can also be metaphors for hidden feelings and be a pit of despair and depression. Perhaps the dreamer is wallowing in negative self-talk?
A great plain can be about freedom, wholesomeness, smooth paths, or a pun on being “just plain”. A plateau in a dream might suggest that you are not growing or are in a rut, that you have “plateaued”.
Mountains also can represent obstacles or challenges to be overcome. Being on top can signify success, full potential– they often represent having a grand and bigger perspective on the world. The top of the mountain can also suggest a higher realm of consciousness, knowledge and/or spiritual awareness on the dreamer’s part.
To climb the mountain can symbolize the need to tackle some problem or to do what is necessary to grow in one’s job, personal life, spiritually or ones understanding of self. If the dreamer falls off the mountain it might suggest that they are rushing too fast without thinking things through e.g. being too impulsive. Falling can also suggest that the dreamer is giving up on something, perhaps too soon? Walking around a mountain instead of climbing it may suggest a more prudent action, that the dreamer needs to know their limitations and pace themselves. However, avoiding a mountain altogether because it looks too rugged or high could reveal a tendency to give up on, or avoiding, demanding situations.
Being in a grave or seeing a grave or hole in the ground can be about searching ones subconscious mind in search of something that may solve a problem or put some issue to rest, though it can also suggest the desire to cover something up, hide it, “bury” it so it won’t be found. We often do this with feelings, issues and aspects of our self and life that we find distasteful and don’t want to deal with. Graveyards often suggest the discarded aspects of ourselves.
To fall into a hole or a grave might suggest that you have dug a hole for yourself, created a problem for yourself, and are having trouble getting out of it.
Gardens or a farmer’s fields can be about personal growth and/or doing what is needed to encourage and tend that growth. To see weeds in that garden or field might suggest that the dreamer may be neglecting their spiritual growth or inner development.
Finally the Earth or any planet for that matter can be symbolic of exploration and new adventure. Because the Earth can represent ones body they might want to look at the condition of the Earth image.