With all that's been happening lately, if you've been dreaming about violence, mayhem, killing or being killed, it isn't necessarily something to worry about. Keep in mind that dreams are a perfect place to work out stress of just about any kind, so seeing yourself killing or being killed in a dream can tell you a lot more than it appears on the surface. And this is just as true for accidents and war as for any other violent events.

    Killing something or someone most often symbolizes the parts of yourself being killing off. These can be outdated thoughts and attitudes, behaviors; even people can actually be representing parts of your own personality. And killing might be an early warning that some parts of you are in danger - talents or personality traits you might not really want snuffed out.

    Who is being killed: male, female, child, adult? Pet or wild animal? Angel or monster? Friend or enemy? Do you actually know the person? How do you feel about the killing in your dream? What emotions were involved? What weapon was used? Who ordered the hit? Why? Was there blood, pain? What body part was hit? All of these things are telling you something.

    You can see that the interpretation of the act itself depends entirely on the story, the context in which the killing takes place. Remember that you cannot take a symbol out of the plot of the dream. And - take note here - men just naturally tend to have more violent dreams than women, and these can become increasingly violent as a man ages.

    But dreams of killing do not automatically mean that you want to kill or be killed. In our culture, where else can you safely release unexpressed rage?

YOU AS VICTIM - can mean you are losing way too much energy, especially when blood is involved. What part of you is feeling victimized? How?

A CHILD - frequently represents the destruction of a childlike part of yourself, but could also be telling you it's time to get rid of infantile behaviors, depending on the context. Could also be a message it's time to lighten up, that you're choking your trustful, playful, innocent, childlike sides.

SUICIDE - often symbolizes you should take a deeper look for any unconscious dangerously destructive feelings at the time of the dream. But mostly they tell you that you're in danger of killing off creative, vital parts of yourself. The method of suicide will clue you which parts of you they are. Or are you feeling so bored, unappreciated, neglected that you just want to forget the whole subject of your dream, kill it off?

PARENT - almost always symbolizes that you are forcefully getting rid of attitudes and beliefs you soaked in from your parents and culture. While it can represent unresolved issues with parents, it rarely means you really want to follow through.This type of dream is fairly common during early adolescence when the child is reaching for freedom from restrictions, becoming an individual. Teenagers should know this.

    So while violent dreams are definitely upsetting - and we do get dream hangovers - don't shove them under the carpet just because they disturb you. Treat them like any other dream and start unraveling what you're trying to tell yourself. Certainly if killing dreams take over, talk to someone. Couldn't hurt. But they do not in and of themselves make you a violet or bad person.

    See you next week. In the meantime, work that stress out safely in your dreams....

[Excerpted in part from Letters From Home: A Guide To Symbols - Awake Or Dreaming available from Amazon at and at your favorite bookshop.]

Copyright 2013 Patricia Troyer
All Rights Reserved
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