Water holds profound symbolic meaning, often representing life, renewal, and purification. It is the essence of life, and its flowing nature symbolizes motion, transformation, and the passage of time. Water’s cleansing properties link it to notions of emotional and spiritual purification, washing away impurities and enabling rejuvenation and clarity. It can also symbolize the unconscious and the emotional aspects of the psyche, reflecting depth, intuition, and the mysterious aspects of existence. In contrast, turbulent or murky water can represent chaos, danger, and emotional turmoil.

Water in Dreams

In dream psychology, water’s symbolism is versatile, representing various emotions and life experiences, depending on its state and context within the dream. Clear and calm water can signify emotional clarity, tranquility, and a sense of well-being, whereas turbulent or dirty water may reflect emotional distress, overwhelm, or the need to confront unresolved emotions or issues. Flowing water often symbolizes change and the passage of time, and vast bodies of water might denote exploration of the unconscious or unknown aspects of oneself.

Water in Myths and Folklore

In myths, fairy tales, and legends, water is a recurring symbol with diverse interpretations. In various creation myths, water is the primordial substance from which the world emerges, symbolizing potentiality and the source of all life. Many mythologies feature gods and goddesses associated with water, representing its life-giving, destructive, and transformative properties. Water creatures like mermaids and water nymphs populate folklore, often symbolizing the allure and mystery of the unconscious. Rivers in mythology often represent boundaries between worlds, serving as passageways to the afterlife or other realms.

Alexander Lys

Reviewed by Alexander Lys, M.L., a specialist in the field of symbolism research and dream psychology. A certified participant in numerous psychological seminars and courses, the author of hundreds of articles on psychology, including studies on symbolism in dreams and myths from a scientific perspective.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

About the Author

Symbolopedia is a comprehensive guide to the meanings of symbols. Our content is crafted by professionals in psychology and symbolism, striving to maintain a balance between scientifically proven data and insights derived from myths, legends, and folklore. While our approach leans towards scientific interpretations of symbols, we acknowledge the significant role of the subconscious in their understanding, allowing for a blend of rationality and creativity.

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