In ancient times, numbers were believed to hold mystical powers, and even today we still hold certain numbers in high regards as “lucky numbers” and are suspicious of others as potentially bringing bad luck. The special associations we give to certain numbers often continues into our dreams. Just as certain numbers gain significance through history, so too can numbers gain special meaning through our own personal history. Some scholars suggest the number 13 is believed to be unlucky in Western Christian society because it was the thirteenth disciple, Judas, who betrayed Jesus, among other reasons. But in ancient pagan times 13 was not considered unlucky at all. (By the way, those who have an extreme fear of the number 13 are said to suffer from “triskaidekaphobia.”) When deciphering our dreams, it can be helpful to look back through our own lives and see when a number became significant to us. Moments of trauma, achievement and transition are the most common times a number gains a special personal significance to us.
If when we write our dreams, we use the number symbol instead of the word for any numbers that appear in our dreams, it can be easier to recognise them later. It is easy to scan a page to see “7” than “seven” for instance. This can be applied to things like dreaming of 6 white birds, a 4 year old child, choosing between 3 doors, getting out a lift on the 20th floor, for example.
Numbers in dreams can refer to our age, or the age we were when a significant even occurred. Numbers can also appear in dreams as indicators of an address or house number we lived when an event happened. Numbers may also have special meaning such as number on a jersey or strip we wore when playing a team sport, the license plate on our first car or where we finished in an important competition, such as first second or third.
Another way numbers can play an important role in our dreams is an indicator of time. Numbers can give clues about when events hapenned in waking life that we are now dreaming about. Maybe we are dreaming about a stressful situation that is quite like another we had 5 years ago. Maybe this is about a project we started 3 months ago, or maybe it reminding us the importance of what somebody said 2 days ago when we weren’t really paying attention. Most dreams will draw on recent memories, usually within the last few days, unless the event we are dreaming about has connections or similarities with a significant even that occurred some time ago, even years ago.
Another common association dream numbers can have is to represent dates. This may be personal dates like birthdays, anniversaries and so on, or it could apply to newly significantdates like a looming deadline, then end of holiday’s or the day we start a new job. And of course, some numbers we have a special attachment to, and call them our “lucky” numbers. Dreaming of our lucky numbers in some way can be our subconscious helping us make a decision. If how we dream of our lucky numbers seems good, it can indicate to go with our choice; but if the outcome is negative (such as our 7 white birds falling our of the sky) this might encourage us to consider a different option, as to pursue our current course of action could be “unlucky.”
While our subconscious can reveal things we know deep down about how long things may take to happen in the future, it is wise to exercise great caution when interpreting numbers this way. While it may be one thing to dream of wedding on the 9th or a job interview on the 26th, it is quite another thing to assume we can predict a completely unknown event on a day that has not yet occurred. Numbers in dreams can be very easily misinterpreted when used in this way, so often the wisest behaviour is first, to come understand how numbers are communicating about our past and present, and try to do that accurately first. This will help us to identify patterns and repeating significance in our dreams, and that can reveal deep meaning as to the subconscious patterns at play in our waking lives.