What Does it Mean to Dream You're Flying?
Have you ever had a dream you’re flying? Believe it or not, dreaming that you’re flying is one of the most common dream experiences. According to experts, up to 7.5% of people have this dream on a recurring basis. It’s thought to be more common in those who have taken many flights in their lives, or whose profession, habits, or tastes are related in one way or another to flying.
The meaning of dreaming that you’re flying already interested Freud at his time. Back then, he called these experiences “flugtraume” and related them to children’s games. Of course, we can find multiple interpretations of dreaming of flying, so in the following lines, we’ll summarize 6 of the most important and transcendent.
6 interpretations of dreaming you’re flying
Dreaming you’re flying is almost always related to lucid dreams. That is, it’s associated with the dream experiences in which you’re aware of what’s happening. In these cases, the dream feels more realistic. In fact, some researchers have been able to stimulate lucid dreams of flying through virtual reality.
Generally speaking, we can establish two types of dreams about flying: those in which you fly with artificial help (an airplane, for example), and those in which you can do it without any help. The latter are the least common, as studies indicate that only 1.72% of people dream of flying without any instrument.
Experts agree that there are many possible interpretations of dreaming you’re flying. Age, religious beliefs, culture and others condition the interpretation of these dreams. Next, we’ll take a look at 6 meanings of dreaming that you’re flying that could explain this phenomenon.
1. Ideas of freedom
The most common interpretation regarding dreaming that you’re flying is that it’s a symbol of freedom. Indeed, there are few images we associate more with full freedom than a flight in a clear sky.
However, freedom can be understood in many ways, both from a material and an abstract point of view. With this in mind, here are some illustrative examples:
- You’ve broken the chains that bound you to an old belief.
- You’ve said goodbye to an all-consuming job.
- You’ve managed to leave a toxic relationship for good.
- You’ve been able to express your emotions or feelings out loud without fear of consequences.
This is an example of how the idea of freedom can be attached to this dream. Anything that gives you a certain degree of freedom (it doesn’t have to be complete freedom) can be translated into dreaming that you fly. Overall, this is by far the most frequent interpretation of this experience.
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2. Success and prosperity
Flying implies ascending to the top. Therefore, it implies rising exponentially in relation to your starting point. If we take this into account, dreaming that you’re flying can be a symptom of your success and prosperity in real life.
Both success and prosperity have multiple interpretations. They’re also very personal concepts, as what represents a success for you may be an average achievement for someone else. Be that as it may, if you’ve reached such an achievement in your life, are about to reach it, or have hopes of doing so, these experiences may be translated into dreaming that you fly.
3. Dreaming you’re flying could indicate conceit or pride
Everyone knows the popular myth of Icarus and Daedalus. Daedalus, a skilled architect, built wings with feathers and wax to escape with his son from the island of Crete. When they both took off with the wings, the father warned his young son not to fly too high because the sun would melt the wax. However, Icarus ignored his father’s warnings, soared into the air and ended up dying from flying too close to the sun.
This summary of the myth allows us to extrapolate that dreaming that you fly can exemplify your conceit or pride about something. If in the dream you show absolute confidence, you can move with versatility and you don’t stop climbing higher and higher, the interpretation might point in this direction. It’s worth considering if this meaning fits your attitude during wakefulness.
4. A need to escape from your problems
Another interesting interpretation of this dream is that it’s a symbol that you want to get away from the problems of your real life. That is, your day-to-day life is full of problems, responsibilities, conflicts, unhappiness, monotony, and so on…and you want out.
Sometimes, the only time you have to be happy is in your dreams, so you may seek to recreate pleasant scenes that manage to compensate for the experiences of your day-to-day routine. Dreaming of flying is at the top of the list, as it is one of the activities we associate with tranquility, peace, relaxation, freedom, and contentment. The dream is an inner cry that alerts you to the need to stop and make a change.
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5. Autonomy or independence
If you’ve recently acquired autonomy, more freedom, or independence, surely this will be the explanation for dreaming that you’re flying.
For example, if you’ve taken your first steps towards financial autonomy, if you’ve moved out on your own, or if you’ve gotten a permanent job, these are all great reasons to dream you’re flying. Anything that grants you autonomy can be considered to be an interpretation of this dream.
Of course, the relationship will be more evident if there’s no machine propelling your flight. This shows that you’re autonomous, since you don’t need the mediation of something else to propel you. In the opposite case, it’s worth reviewing other interpretations of dreaming of flying.
6. Other spiritual connections
Finally, spiritual connections may also be behind dreaming of flying. This meaning is less frequent, and usually requires the involvement of other elements in the dream. For example, angels, luminous figures, indescribable beings, and so on. All this paraphernalia may symbolize some experience of a spiritual nature or at least one that’s related to your spiritual beliefs.
Finally, dreaming of flying is not always related to positive things. To determine the interpretation of this dream, you just have to make an assessment of your life. If you find direct associations to what we’ve explained here, then you likely have a good answer. Depending on the interpretation, don’t be afraid to make some healthy changes in your life if they’ll be beneficial to you.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Brink, T. L., Brink, G. S., & Hunter, K. L. Flying dreams: Four empirical studies of manifest dream content. International Journal of Symbology.1977.
- Picard-Deland, C., Pastor, M., Solomonova, E., Paquette, T., & Nielsen, T. Flying dreams stimulated by an immersive virtual reality task. Consciousness and Cognition. 2020; 83: 102958.
- Schredl, M., & Piel, E. Prevalence of flying dreams. Perceptual and motor skills. 2007; 105(2): 657-660.
- Schredl, M. Frequency and nature of flying dreams in a long dream series. International Journal of Dream Research. 2011; 31-34.