A ladder symbolizes ascent, progress, and the pursuit of higher goals, illustrating the journey between lower and higher realms or states of being. It serves as a conduit to transcendence and spiritual enlightenment, suggesting a link between the earthly and the divine, or the conscious and the unconscious. The ladder often represents opportunities, advancement, and a way to overcome obstacles. Each rung may symbolize a step in personal development or spiritual evolution, reflecting the challenges and achievements experienced along the way.

Ladder in Dreams

In dreams, a ladder can have varied interpretations but often symbolizes personal and spiritual growth or the quest for success and enlightenment. Climbing a ladder may reflect an individual’s aspirations, progress, and efforts to elevate themselves, whereas descending may represent regression, grounding, or exploring one’s inner depths. The stability or instability of the ladder in dreams can mirror feelings of security or insecurity in one’s waking life, indicating whether the path one is on feels stable and well-supported or fraught with instability and uncertainty.

Ladder in Myths and Folklore

While not as prevalent as other symbols in myths and fairy tales, when a ladder does appear, it typically represents a means of transformation or transition. In various legends and folk tales, ladders serve as bridges between different worlds or realms, allowing characters to traverse between earth and heaven or to access otherwise unreachable places. The ladder can be a tool for heroes or other characters to obtain divine wisdom, overcome obstacles, or escape peril, often embodying themes of struggle, ascension, and achievement. The symbolism of the ladder in such stories emphasizes the transformative journey and the pursuit of higher knowledge or states of being.

Reviewed by Olex Lys, enthusiastic in the field of symbolism research, and in the psychological interpretation of dreams.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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