Ever have a dream so random you can't help but wonder "WTF?" whenever you open your eyes? Turns out those dreams might not be so random after all — take dreams about fish, for instance. If these creatures are baiting your nighttime fantasies, it could be a window into your emotional life, according to dream experts. So what do dreams about fish mean?
"First and foremost, remember that dreams love to use wordplay," says certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg. Ever heard the phrases "plenty of fish in the sea" or "fish out of water?" If your dreams mirror sayings like these, it's likely your subconscious is using a metaphor to communicate with you, she tells Bustle. Or perhaps you're facing a decision or uneasy thoughts, like contemplating a break up or you feel out of place at a new job. Loewenberg says fish dreams might help you process how you're feeling about things that have been on your mind.
To better understand your fish dreams, details matter: Where the fish are, what they're doing, and what kind of fish it is can clue you in to your thoughts and emotions, she says. Below, dive into six common fish dreams and what they might be telling you.
What Dreams About Catching A Fish Mean
If you've ever had dreams about catching fish, it could mean that you're literally reeling something new into your life, says Loewenberg. Oftentimes this can signify something good is on the horizon, like a budding friendship or new career opportunity.
Take notice if there's an unpleasant fish at the end of the line, she cautions. If a shark or sea monster is attached to the hook, this can signify that you're bringing something new and dangerous into your life, says Loewenberg. And if you throw your catch back into the water, that's your subconscious telling you that there's something (or someone) in your life that's not worth hanging onto, she adds.
What Dreams About Fish Swimming Mean
When it comes to dreams about swimming fish, there are a few things to consider. For starters, where are they swimming? According to The Mystica, if the fish are swimming at the bedrock, you might be headed toward a challenging situation. If they're swimming near the surface, however, it could indicate success in your future.
What kind of fish are they? If it's a school of colorful or exotic fish, this could be a symbol of creativity, says Loewenberg. These dreams might happen when you're already feeling creatively stimulated, or they may be a sign to tap into your artistic side.
The amount of fish swimming around can also be telling, she notes. If there are a ton of fish, it could signify abundance in your life.
What Dreams About Fish Eggs Mean
Though dreaming about fish eggs might sound next-level random, rest assured there's a more promising meaning behind it. Loewenberg says that dreaming of eggs generally points to a fresh start. In many cases, it's linked to fertility, she notes: If you're trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant, dreaming of fish eggs is common. Other times, fish egg dreams might symbolize new beginnings, like if you meet someone new and there's fertile ground for a relationship. Bring on the fish eggs!
What Dreams About Eating Fish Mean
"But I prefer chicken," you say. Hold that thought, because as always, there's a different meaning here. "If you're eating fish and you're enjoying it, that's a good sign that you are currently doing something in your life that is feeding your soul," says Loewenberg. If that's the case, keep doing what you're doing to nurture yourself.
If you're not enjoying your fillet, it's a sign that something that's happened recently has left a bad taste in your mouth, she adds. Come sunrise, it might be wise to assess what person or event made you feel that way so that you can do something to overcome it.
Dreaming of eating fish can also be a sign that you're connected to your faith, says Loewenberg. If fish are symbolic of your spirituality, incorporating them into your dreams indicates a connection to that belief system.
What Dreams About Dead Fish Mean
You don't need Freud to tell you this one isn't too happy: Dreams about dead fish signify, well, death. "That's an indication that there's something in your life — a skill, a talent, a relationship — that you've neglected, and your subconscious is warning you it's about to die and it's worth saving," Loewenberg tells Bustle.
Luckily, once your subconscious sets off the alarm bells, you can usually do something about it. Consider what's taken a backseat in your life. If it's worth saving, try making it a part of your daily life again and see if the dead fish dreams disappear, says Loewenberg.
What Dreams About Getting Eaten By A Fish Mean
This one is more of a fish nightmare than a fish dream. If fish are eating you while you snooze, Loewenberg says it's a sign that something in your waking life is eating at you. She recommends to evaluate your relationships first: Consuming, negative dynamics are often the trigger for a dream about getting chomped by a fish.
Fortunately, these dreams could be the sign you need to make positive changes in your life. If it's a fight with a friend or a toxic relationship that may be to blame, take this dream as a sign that it's time to tackle the problem before it eats you alive, she says.
Have fun doing your dream research, look for ways to improve your life, and try not to stress about any dead fish that pop up in your subconscious.
Payne, J. (2004). Sleep, dreams, and memory consolidation: The role of the stress hormone cortisol. Learning and Memory, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534695/
Scarpelli, S. (2019). The Functional Role of Dreaming in Emotional Processes. Frontiers in Psychology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6428732/
Lauri Loewenberg, certified dream analyst
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