Dreams of a tidal wave, a tsunami or any massive wave, is usually experienced from the viewpoint of watching it approach, either on shore, from a hill or some other near-by vantage point. This dream may often be accompanied by a sense of fear or panic. To understand dreams of this nature, it can help to start by understanding what water and the sea mean to us in dreams (see “Dream Meanings: Water” post.) If we look at water in our dreams as a symbol of our emotions and feelings, part of our inner world, then tidal waves can be like our emotions welling up and getting a little out of control. One of the advantages of being on shore or nearby watching the wave approach in the dream, is that it gives us an opportunity to step outside ourselves and look at what we we are feeling. This is usually a helpful thing to do when our emotions get so strong that they well up into a massive wave!
Tidal waves often appear in our dreams when are under a lot of pressure or when significant change is occurring. They may be a an indication that we feel a little overwhelmed, that maybe we fear we won’t be able to cope or adjust with what we see in our own future. They may occur as recurring dreams, with the wave getting bigger or closer over subsequent nights. This may correspond to our increasing anxiety, or the looming date we fear getting closer. It is worth recognising that when we have these dreams there is often an area of our life that we are not looking at clearly, or that we are avoiding. Tidal wave dreams remind us that if we don’t confront and deal with things that are out of balance in our life, then they will confront us first! There are fewer clearer signs of confrontation than standing right before a towering body of surging water!
The things that we aren’t confronting may be as easy to identify as a test we are afraid of failing, a deadline we feel we won’t be able to meet, or a location or job move we don’t feel ready for. Tidal wave dreams may come because we are procrastinating, or simply don’t feel prepared. Or as water relates to our emotions, tidal wave dreams can come at the beginning of new relationships. We may even feel overwhelmed at how much we feel for someone! But tidal wave dreams, like most dreams, often work on many levels. Whether external pressures are dominant in our life or not, tidal wave dreams will often indicate a period of internal change. Remember that the sea is often a symbol for our own subconscious, so a giant wave in the sea can be like our subconscious rising up, making sure its power is felt through-out our waking and conscious life.
This need not be such a scary or intimidating thing. By working with our dreams, we can come to feel comfortable in the realm of the subconscious. Those big, powerful, unknown forces that exist inside us and drive us and sometimes feel like they are going to overwhelm us, become far less terrifying when we are familiar with them. When we realise they are simply a part of us and can be managed, tidal wave dreams no longer seem so urgent. To deal with tidal waves in dreams we can apply the same technique that we use when fleeing anything that scares us, and that is to confront it. You may think, how on earth do I confront a a tidal wave? It is so big, it can’t be killed or negotiated with, so how can it be beaten? But just as all things in our dreams are part of us, so too are tidal waves. And if tidal waves are a symbol for our subconscious, this is not something I would suggest we should want to beat into submission or seek to tame. The approach then is to merge with it. Tidal wave dreams invite us to dive into our subconscious, then perhaps we can learn to swim or surf and enjoy the experience of being at one with our-self, of exploring our emotions. If we are lucky, we may even learn to breathe under water. Some people are able to use diving into tidal waves as a trigger for lucid dreaming. Like flying then, swimming underwater or surfing a tidal wave can become one of the most exhilarating dream experiences, rather than one of anxiety or fear. Just one of the many rewards of working on our dreams and coming to know our own subconscious mind better!
Thanks to these two websites for the amazing art: