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.

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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