The Meaning of Cheeks in a Dream


This post is in response to questions asked by R. Thanks for your questions!

As a part of our face, cheeks can be symbols of how we present ourselves to the world, what we want people to think about us, and how we signal feelings and thoughts that may be going on inside.  Depending on what is going in our lives at any particular point, this may make us feel bold, guarded or vulnerable.

To dream of being hit or slapped on the face or cheek can be an expression of shock and hurt we are trying to assimilate, that we feel we have been “slapped in the face.”  This may be as a result of some favour or kindness being taken for granted or betrayed, of being let down by another’s actions, or even our own behaviour or choices.  Other symbols in the dream can help point to what this action may be. Being slapped on the cheek could alternatively be a representation of shock, that something completely unexpected has caught us off guard. Dreams can try to warn us when we are overlooking or ignoring something important.  A slap on the cheek may be our subconscious trying to give us a wake-up call, urging us to pay attention!

Cheeks can have interesting meanings when we look at the roles of puns. If the cheeks are large or prominent in some way, do you feel that you or someone you know is being “cheeky” with you?  And is this cheekiness a fun, pleasant thing, or do you feel that someone is taking advantage, and that the cheekiness is a little bit naughty?  Or might this be an urging from the subconscious to not be so timid, to be a bit bolder in some regard and have a little “cheek?” If the dream is “tongue in cheek”, could there be a joke you are missing, where things are not exactly as they seem?

To dream of both cheeks, but individually, may be a reference to “turning the other cheek.”  A dream such as this may be asking us to forgive, to let an offence or insult pass by and to move on.  Or it may be a reflection that we have learned to do just that, and that our personal growth has taken away the power of others to hurt us.

If we dream of one cheek more than the other, or only one side in particular, it is worth considering the role we assign to left and right in our lives. Right, for right handed people, tends to be our dominant side, the one we use to control and manipulate things in the world.  A right cheek then could be the way we present ourselves to the world, what we want people to know about us, the image we project on purpose. To a right hander, the left is a side that is less used, and can represent the more passive, or the hidden aspects to our nature.  The left cheek than can be about our “deeper” selves, the part of our personality we do not wish others to see, or that we prefer to control how and when it is revealed. Most of these meanings will be reversed for a left handed person.

Our cheeks can be barometers of our feelings in waking life and in dreams.  Flushed cheeks can reveal shame, embarrassment, anger or frustration.  If shame is indicated in our dreams, there will often be other symbols to help us recognise this, things like hiding, burying, covering or running from someone or something if we are trying to avoid the source of shame, or of revealing, uncovering, being naked or being caught if we feel confronted with our source of shame.  Lifting a red cheek may be asking us to look inside at what we are ashamed of. But red cheeks can also indicate the gentler feeling of being caught gazing at the object of our affection, this is still a little embarrassing, but not really shameful – more bashful!  Dreams of this nature will often include other symbols of a crush, such as flowers, hearts, the colour pink and so on, or sexual imagery if the crush is more passionate.  Anger or frustration may indicated by things being broken, stretched, shattered, torn, or put under stress weighed down etc. Volcanoes, steam, explosions, other instances of the colour red, sharp or jagged objects, fists, finger nails, pulling hair and loud noises can all help indicate that anger or frustration may be at play in dreams of red cheeks.  Red cheeks though, can also be signs of being happy and jolly, as Santa Claus, a clown or a person who is slightly inebriated.  It usually does not take much to recognise happiness in a dream, but o dig deeper the questions to ask could be who is so happy, and how are they important in our lives? What can we learn from them?

Are you earning your warrior stripes?
Are you earning your warrior stripes?

We may occasionally also dream of cheeks that are a different colour (see my post for individual meanings of colours here: As well as considering the meaning of the colour itself, we can look at how the cheek came to be that colour.  If it was painted, was this as a mask, trying to project a certain image?  Was it sacred and celebrational, representing a special ritual, or rite of passage?  This can happen when we pass through a period of great learning or difficulty, or when we change life stages, such as graduating, marrying, giving birth, losing a loved one, becoming single again and so on. Painted cheeks can also be warrior signs. Have you undertaken, or are you about to undertake some great struggle?  This may or may not be a “battle” that is visible in the outside world.  It could be a fight against injustice, a fight to achieve a goal, a struggle to let go of a fear or limiting behaviour or belief.  If the cheek is not painted, but a strange colour, is there an emotion that is dominant in your life?  Could you be green with envy, or white with fear? (White cheeks may be accompanied by a statue, who is frozen, is with fear.)

What part of yourself are you learning to love and respect?
What part of yourself are you learning to love and respect?

A kiss on the cheek is a chaste kiss, in a dream it may indicate affection or respect, or both.  When we have close, intimate encounters such as kissing in dreams, it is usually a profound and special occurrence. (See also my post The Embrace here:  To be kissed, or to kiss on the cheek can symbolise that we are integrating a new aspect of ourselves into our psyche, that we are recognising and respecting our wise elder, our caring parent, our inner child, our Shadow or another important archetype.  Such dreams are special gifts indeed!

To dream of cheeks is to dream of our face, and what we are prepared to face up to, and what we want others to know about us.  Cheek dreams ask us to question our vulnerability and boldness, and to explore who we show the world we are, and then who we really are.

4 thoughts on “The Meaning of Cheeks in a Dream

  1. Dear Amy, 27-8-13

    First of all I hope your little boy is doing well !

    And thank you so much for your ample information about cheeks.

    I am grateful for your offer to help me find the solution to the ‘left cheek’ symbol.

    There is so much in what you write to consider in connection with my dreams.

    Some of it you wrote had already crossed my mind (like vulnarability).

    But it might also have a connection to healing.

    The reason for me to first of all think of healing is (besides a scar and blod) this: In an attempt to understand a dream (more than 15 years ago) I visited a dream expert who was well inknown for explaining dreams in radioprograms. Sadly she dit not make me any wiser about the dream I presented to her, but before I left she put out a deck of cards, spread them out upside down in front of me and asked me to pick one card. Then the strangest thing happened: two of the cards stood out, because they had lots little lights on the outer four sides of them. I picked one of them and turned it around. It said HEALING. I had no idea what to think of it. Did I need healing? Was I supposed to be a healer, which had been my wish for years? Later I regretted not having turned the other card around as well. Silly me. I now think it might have said something like “Insight”, or Peace, like perhaps the first blue on de pub-man’s cheek.

    Also I connected the cheek with love and affection or with pain. Or the right of the wrong side. I read somewhere that is has to do with influences from the past. Well, who hasn’t had those?

    The left side could – according to my diary – be something that should be left behind. Or the ‘wrong’ side, like something wrong that happened that caused a wound, left me with a scar and which needs healing with oil???. Also left side seems to point to suppression or rejection. Looking at the dream of the pub there is this empty container where flowers should have been. Lack of flowers could well be suppressed feelings that are in the end somehow connected to the left cheek.

    O, it dazzles me. I have been searching in my dream diary (about 2000 pages!!!) and find so many possibilities for cheeks and left cheeks that have crossed my mind without a real aha, that I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start or where to go. I was hoping that the connecting factor of the left cheek (the ‘dream people’ that are involved) would give me the insight I am looking for, but alas, all these people are so different……

    I decided to look back at two of the dreams. Uncle and Tine.

    2004. My dear Uncle. In real life love and kindness. .

    In 2008, working with this dream I ask my dreampower to show me the meaning of this uncle symbol. My next dream showed me some sort of illuminated billboard with text moving from right to left, which read: ” an old belief – vow – basic essence”.

    Now I must say that ‘vow” rings a bell. I did quite some ‘vowing’ as a teenager, with the purpose to be perfect. Perhaps this refers to an emotional wound that needs healing…

    I had many more dreams about him. One dream advised me to see him as upside down. In another dream he is baking eggs for me with mushrooms. Once he is in a wheelchair, or has cancer, Or he is dead, poisoned, killed. Once I am told in a dream that he never lost his spirit. He advised me in a dream to ‘laugh (or not be bothered) about the oilprices’. He made a beautiful round table for me, etc., etc. …. all in my dreams.


    She might be my lack of appreciation for myself which has been keeping me on hold in the parking lot. I may have the means to heal from that mindset, not just emotionally, which seems to work well, but hopefully also mentally, which is not going smoothly right away and needs some more effort, hence the unequal result.

    (This dream reminds me of another healing dream (1990) in which I am about to undergo (a third) surgery in my forehead, which will be heavy, in order to make the left and the right side of my forehead into one whole).

    This how far I got, Amy, rumbling through my diary. I need to stop now, or else I will not be able to sleep tonight. Soooo much on my mind….

    So do you think I gave you enough of my thoughts to start with Amy? And has my English beenclear enough? Do you have questions…?

    Love to hear your from you again Amy,


  2. So, there is this guy that I find attractive, but I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me, but we have the same friends. We have never talked before, but sometimes I just look at him. I think I am getting over the last encounter I almost had with a jerk who said he liked me. I liked him back, but didn’t believe him and he ended up hurting me. I was hurt for a while and then when I thought I was over him, I guess I wasn’t. But now, I don’t think I like him anymore. The other guy, who I was talking about being attractive and stuff, yeah so last night I had a dream and he looked at me, then kissed my cheek, but in a more romantic way than friendly. I don’t know what this means, and I am kind of scared. I am more of a romantic type person, but I doubt myself too easily and the school year is almost over. It was this particular guy. What does this mean? Will we get to know each other next school year? What was he dreaming of? Was he dreaming of kissing a girl(me) on the cheek or was he dreaming or thinking of something or someone else? I don’t know what’s happening. Please help.

  3. I just woke up from a dream about twenty minutes ago. In that dream I was punched in my left cheek s hard that it crumbled my molar. My mouth filled up with what I thought was blood, but when I spit it out I realized it was pure saliva. I found myself unable to communicate with others in the dream because I was “bleeding” so much saliva from my mouth. When I woke up, I was struck by how visceral and powerful the punch felt in the dream–I’ve never had such a physical experience (or very few) within a dream–and, for some reason, it felt incredibly important that it was my left cheek. I think my dream had something to do with gluttony, looking back on it is seems that there were a few items I interacted with (like a cheese grater) that centered on food. But, there was also a sense of an ambiguous sense of self. I was diffuse in the dream, making mistakes, not staying focused or communicating well, and I think the left side cheek had something to do with representing this. It is almost as if my left cheek was my insufficiencies, and being punched there was like getting hit in my Achilles heal….the weird thing is: the pain and the crumbling of my molar re-centered my ‘self’ around physical sensations in the world. It was like I needed to be hit in my soft spot to realize he nature of being a self . . . to be mind and body IN THE WORLD.

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