Dreams about flying are a very common theme at bedtime. If you or a loved one have been covering this ground at night, you may have questions about what it all might mean. As part of a Huffington Post series on dreams and their meanings, we spoke to Jeffrey Sumber, a psychotherapist and author in Chicago, to get expert advice about the meanings of your or your loved one’s flying dreams. Note: While dream analysis is highly subjective, this post might provide some insight into why this dream occurred or is recurring.
What do dreams about flying mean? "A lot depends on the nature of the dream and the relationship we have to flying," explains Sumber. Often times, though, flying represents a sense of freedom. Sumber explains that flying dreams serve as a sort of escape from the pressures of the real world (which is represented by the ground).
What can I learn about myself from dreaming about this subject? "Usually, they occur when we are dealing with issues of freedom, momentum or a lack thereof," says Sumber. "These dreams can be purely informational in the sense that they highlight an experience we are having, but have not yet been conscious of." They may also provide "actual tips on how to remedy a situation."
Are there any tricks to avoiding or inducing dreams about this subject? Flying can be a liberating experience, so wanting to induce a flying dream is understandable. Think about flying before you fall asleep for a greater chance of inducing the dream.
Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about this subject? In almost every culture, flying dreams represent freedom or a release from daily pressures.
Who tends to have dreams about this subject most frequently? According to Sumber, dreams about flying are extremely common. However, they are more common in adult males than other segments of the population.
Why are men more likely to dream about flying than women? "Often times, men in today's world negotiate issues regarding freedom," explains Sumber. "There is great pressure to perform at work, at home, in the bedroom, financially, athletically, socially, and more and more, emotionally. Thus, it has become fairly common for many males to confront their feelings about this pressure as well as their relationship to the underlying desire to be free, by working it out in flying dreams."
Jeffrey Sumber earned master's degrees in theological studies from the Harvard Divinity School and in transpersonal psychology from Southwestern College. He has also taken specialized courses in dream interpretation at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. In addition to teaching psychology at National-Louis University in Chicago, he has served as a licensed clinical counselor for more than 10 years.