Our dreams are our simplest connection to the unconscious. Every time we dream, the unconscious is speaking directly to us. It is a form of communication which asks us to grow into ourselves both psychologically and spiritually. Dreams frequently are a pointing to wholeness and individuation. Dreams often have a healing component which may relate to the physical as well as the psychological or spiritual.
Dreaming of a house is a common symbol among people. A dream of a house typically is a kind of prompt to explore different facets of our internal landscapes. Like other symbols within a dream they often represent different aspects of ourselves. Different parts of a house can represent different areas of life to look at. Rather than look at some of the possible meanings suggested in this article as fact, it is more helpful to think of them as suggestions or possible avenues for exploration.
In each of us there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude. ~ Carl Jung
One of the first things to consider when thinking about what a house may represent is to consider what period it seems to exist on. Is the house something where you once lived or visited as a child? If so what associations can be made between the dream and the corresponding period of life.
We can also consider if the house is new, or old. If the house is new it could symbolize that new ways of being in the world might be called for. Or it could symbolize that your embarking on a new project or idea which might be worthy of further introspection. If the house is run down it could be a pointer to things we have neglected about our inner world. Are we taking good care of ourselves might be one way to look at it?
Is the front of the house prominent in the dream? Or is it the back of the house which is more featured? The front of the house can be representative of the face we project outward to others. The back of the house could be representative of things we keep hidden from view. It is good to initially think of what parts of ourselves are being featured or hidden.
In a similar vein, an upstairs room could represent the intellect. Are we thinking too much or perhaps not enough? Have our thoughts run away from us in some way? Are we too analytical with people? A downstairs room could represent instinct. Do we need to act on our instincts? Is there some benefit to using more instinct in life? Or perhaps the reverse could apply, is there some benefit to using less instinct in life. Another possible meaning could be that the foundations of life have to be attended too. Sometimes people forget the basics and dreaming of a downstairs room or basement could symbolize a return to those.
If the house is too small, it can reflect an inner feeling of being weak or shrinking from an issue which we need to face. Do we feel stifled in some ways? Do we need to grow or even grow up? A house which feels to big can also be symbolic of trying to grow into something. Additionally, it can be that we feel overwhelmed by something in our lives.
If we are peering out through a window in the house it might be a call to recognize a barrier. A woman dreamed of a large window and outside was a beautiful vista of nature. Large expansive trees with full leaves. Lush green foliage underneath the tree. It could be a clear literal signal that the woman needs to be in nature more. But it’s also possible the dream is pointing to an invisible something which is not allowing her to fulfill her deeper inner nature. The glass of the window representing an invisible barrier. Another avenue to investigate is what is your outlook on an important subject or event in life? Or is there something that needs to change in terms of a perspective? What room are you looking from and where are you looking too, can be good clues as to what the dream is attempting to convey.
A fence around the house can infer boundaries. It can be a reminder that some boundaries need to be looked at and addressed. It could also be a symbol for feeling fenced in or confined in some way.
Rooms within a house tend to have meanings and interpretations tied to them. For instance, a kitchen often symbolizes nurturance or feeding oneself. It often has spiritual and psychological connotations but could also include the physical. What are we feeding our souls? Do we need to find ways to better nurture ourselves or our aspirations? Are we a cesspool of negativity and drama and is this what we are feeding ourselves and others? You could also think about what is cooking in your life or what is the recipe to get our desires met?
A toilet is typically symbolic of elimination. Something within us or something in our lives needs eliminating? What not longer serves us? What do we need to let go of to experience a fuller healthier life? A bathroom could imply a cleansing. There might be something that we need to clear up. Or there might be areas in life which could use some lightening up.
A bedroom often reflects intimate details about ourselves. They could be things, emotions and thoughts which we keep close to ourselves. Sex in a dream especially in a bedroom could mean that a union or pact is called for with our opposite sex aspects. For males it would be some form of inner union with the feminine and for females a union with the masculine. Sometimes it is better to think of it in terms of integration or an alignment with our contra-sexual sides. Another possible interpretation could be that bedroom is a call to rest and recharge the batteries. Perhaps in life there has been an over extension of ourselves and we have gotten to busy to rest up. A bedroom in a dream could well be a signal to take some time to rest.
A living room often is about our relations with others. If the room is untidy it could symbolize that some relationships with others could use a tidying up. It could also be a pointer to relaxing, putting our feet up or taking our mind of things by being entertained. The same points can be applied to our relationships with others. Perhaps we could learn to be more relaxed in some relationships.
As you can no doubt tell, there are many possible interpretations available to the house symbol. One of the more useful things we can do is to keep a dream journal and keep track of what happens with houses or a house. Usually some patterns emerge over time which are useful avenues to explore. We can learn a great deal about ourselves and how we interact in the world from our dreams. I have a similar article available on the meaning of water in dreams located here;
The best book I know of on dreams is called Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert Johnson. Well worth the investment.