The lantern as a symbol often represents illumination, guidance, and the act of finding one’s way through the dark. It stands for hope amidst uncertainty, knowledge in the face of ignorance, and the human quest for truth. The lantern’s light piercing the darkness can signify enlightenment, the dispelling of shadows of doubt, or the discovery of hidden truths. In various cultural contexts, it may also represent protection, as it provides visibility and comfort in navigating unknown or challenging paths.

Lantern in Dreams

In dreams, a lantern might symbolize the need to understand something more clearly or to find a solution to a problem. Psychologically, it may reflect the dreamer’s search for direction or purpose, or the desire to guide others. It can also represent the inner light, or consciousness, that one seeks to maintain amidst confusion or emotional turmoil. A lit lantern in a dream could indicate hope or insight, while an extinguished lantern might suggest a loss of direction or a sense of being overwhelmed by circumstances.

Lantern in Myths and Folklore

Within myths, fairy tales, and legends, lanterns are often endowed with magical qualities, guiding heroes through treacherous paths, revealing secrets, or even containing spirits or magical entities. They are frequently featured in tales where characters must venture into the unknown, serving as a steadfast companion and a symbol of the wisdom that leads to victory. The image of the hermit holding a lantern can be found in various mythologies, representing the search for spiritual truth and the illumination of the mind and soul. Lanterns in folklore can also signify celebration and remembrance, as seen in festivals where lanterns are released into the sky or set afloat on waters, symbolizing the lifting of spirits and the honoring of past ancestors.

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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