Dreaming of growing things can be a potent symbol of our own inner growth and how we feel about that. When positive, this can manifest as dreams of flowers, fruits, beautiful trees or healthy gardens. But when negative, the symbols can be more like dark scary forests, overgrown vines, or dead, wilting plants. (While different flowers, fruits and trees can all have their own unique meanings, I will address that perspective in a future post. This post is more about the concept of “plants” and trees in general.)
Positive plant dreams can be like other celebration dreams such as running or driving freely, swimming underwater or flying. This is often a healthy sign that we have learnt some important lesson – the growth, beauty and bounty of the plant representing new found feelings of confidence and self mastery. If we dream of nurturing a plant or garden, this can be a sign that we are learning to look after our self, to nurture our own inner needs, be they emotional, psychological or spiritual. To dream of picking flowers or harvesting fruit and vegetables can be a very powerful sign of reaping the rewards for hard-work invested, or of a new sense of abundance that might follow a period in life when it seemed we weren’t getting all the support and emotional nourishment we needed. Planting seeds can be the beginning of a new idea, relationship or way of thinking or behaving that we wish to grow into something stronger and more prominent in our self or in our life. Dreams of beautiful gardens can be almost mystical sometimes, and can create a profound sense of peace, belonging and union with nature. This is a sure sign we are onto some pretty good inner work, as we have discovered a place of great beauty within ourselves, and for some this may include the heavenly presence of a departed loved one, or even be a communion with the divine. Such dreams are to be treasured!
Trees can also be powerful symbols in that they can represent not only our self, but our connection to family and heritage, literally a symbol of our “family tree.” Depending on how we interact with the tree, we can look to see whether we feel supported or not, if we are trying to climb or sit in the tree – are the branches strong and hold us, or do they feel weak and unable to take our weight? This might mean we feel disconnected with our family or a particular family member, or that they literally aren’t supporting us in a project or course of action that is important to us. Is there a way we can make them see our point of view? We can see how connected with our past and how developed our sense of home and place is by understanding how strong and deep the roots are. If we have moved recently, it is not unusual to dream of a fallen tree, or one that is somehow out of the ground. This can represent that we feel “uprooted” and have yet to adjust to feeling at home in our new place. Roots as well can be a source of nourishment – from the ground the tree draws nutrients and strength, so dreams of tree roots invite us to look at where we gain our nourishment from, both physically and emotionally, and are we sufficiently “grounded,” or have we become a bit lost in our imagination with thoughts and fears and insecurities?
When plant dreams go bad, it can be a sign that something in our life is either out of control, such as when we dream of overgrown gardens or crazy vines; or it can be a clear message that we are neglecting something important, like the pot plant that dies when we forget to water it. These kind of dreams ask us what areas of our own personal life are we forgetting about and not caring for?
Dreaming of dark scary forest or wood can have multiple meanings. Often this symbol is used in fairy tales as the place where the hero or heroine runs away to escape something, only to face a hidden danger. This sense of lurking danger in the darkness carries over to our consciousness even today. But in the fairy tales, the hero or heroine either usually discovers a treasure, meets special helpers or else conquers the danger whilst in the forest. It is important for us to journey into this forest to learn a lesson, win a prize or find a treasure. In these dreams, the forest can be a symbol of the unknown areas of our own mind. It is not unusual to dream of dark forests as we begin dream work or other personal development work, as we bravely (if somewhat nervously!) venture into dark areas of our own mind. But remember, like Snow White found her seven dwarfs, we may find our special helpers, in key messages and symbols to teach us important lessons about our self. We need not fear what is in our own minds, for once we journey inwards and start to know our way around, we will find it is not so scary after all, but a place of magical wonder and mystery.
Our subconscious mind really is like a garden: nurture it with the attention it deserves, shine the sun of your own kindness onto your sadness and guilt, trim out the weeds of anger and fear, prune back the over-zealous emotions and indulgences, and dig the soil to tend the roots of your own sense of belonging – then you shall have a mind of peace and beauty, with a rich bounty to harvest of creative ideas, inspiration and solutions to problems.
You will know a place in your own mind that is untouchable by others, your own sanctuary where you can find peace, draw strength from, and retreat to when you need to contemplate or heal.
Such a garden bears fruits that nourish and flowers that inspire. It provides shelter and supports life.
Such a garden will benefit far more people than just the beautiful mind it exists in!