Dreams of stairs, staircases, lifts or escalators are often very confusing, and can make us feel like we have followed a lot of twists and turns in our mind all night, only to wake and realise we have not arrived anywhere! And this is not surprising, when we realise that dreams of this sort may be forcing us to look at where in our lives we are feeling lost, or preventing our-selves from reaching a destination we think we are consciously working hard towards. Getting nowhere in a dream of staircases may be challenging us to examine where we are sabotaging our own efforts, or putting off the inevitable. Are you failing your exams because deep down you don’t want to leave the security of home or school and become self sufficient? Are you putting off the end of a project because you don’t know what you will do when you finally finish it? Or is it something more subtle, like not wanting to address an ongoing relationship problem, or feeling you are not worthy of success? These kind of dreams may be asking to us to finally take the next step in our life, instead of putting it off and going sideways, or backwards, or around.
Stairs in a dream can also refer to our sense of hierarchy and progress in life. If you are happily ascending stairs or a lift, this could mean you are confident in the face of graduation, promotion or some other form of success “moving up in the world”. Or it might mean that you are growing in your own self confidence, experience and wisdom. If you feel you have been overlooked for a promotion or failed exams, you may dream of going down stairs, like you are “descending” in your social or personal stature. These dreams may also occur if we feel we are slipping in someone else’s esteem of us, if we feel people are “looking down” on us and we are losing some degree of power and confidence. But as with all dreamwork, only you know the entire story of your life, and it is worth remembering that “down” does not equate with “bad.” Stairs in dreams going down can also be a symbol for entering our “deeper” self, as when we start dreamwork and start to access our deeper subconscious. You may find all kinds of symbolic creatures or events here as you journey into your deeper self and start uncovering the secrets you subconscious has kept hidden!
To understand your dream of stairs, look at the condition of the stairs (lift etc) and whether you are going up or down, whether you eventually get to your destination or not and what kind of environment you are traveling through. Old or decrepit stairs in a dream may invite us to revisit an issue from our past, or something we have been putting off for a long time. Conversely, new shiny stairs may be a new issue or something you have not given much thought to yet. Also look at floor numbers, this could give you a clue to what the issue relates to. The number of the floor you can’t get to, or perhaps keep returning to, may be the age when the issue first came up for you, or else how many years or maybe even months ago the event first started. Try to “step back” from your sense of personal involvement, and describe your dream in very basic words, and then list your emotions. Where does this relate to your life? What kind of “steps” or connections do you need to take to amend your current approach? Staircase dreams can seem frustrating and confusing, but they invite us to look at what we are in control of, and how we can take steps to get to where we want to be.