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Snow dreams happen year round--they need to precise temperature in order to form in the mind as we sleep.
The symbolism in dreams about snow are as unique as the snowdrops making up a snowfall. However, there are some general concepts that help decipher the meaning of snow in dreams.
We'll cover a few of those ideas in this article such as:
- Snow's emotional symbolism
- Snow as rebirth
- Snow as symbolic innocence
For those of us interested in taking our dream interpretation to the next level, we will also look at snow as a symbol of the anima archetype and its stage of integration.
So let's shovel a path to the unconscious and get to our snow dream's meaning.
Water typically symbolizes the emotions. Since snow is a form of water, the unconscious may choose to use snow dreams as a manner of communicating one's emotional state.
Snow is water that is frozen, therefore, the message communicated in a snow dream may be that the dreamer's emotions are similarly cold or that he or she feels emotionally paralyzed in some manner.
Water also symbolizes the intuition and when it shows up as snow in dreams, it can be an indicator that the dreamer's intuition is frozen. This state may be as simple as the dreamer's intuitive information is exceptional, but the ability to act upon or trust the information received is blocked.
If one is dreaming of snowstorms, the message may be that one is feeling emotionally overwhelmed, unable to see clearly through a waking life situation--blinded, in fact, by one's emotions.
In the West, white is the color par excellence of purity, hope, innocence, and rebirth. Infants are dressed in white for their baptisms, brides use it as their go to color choice to walk down the aisle, the white unicorns or the white hart was used in religious imagery as symbolic of Christ.
In the East, however, the color westerners associate with happiness and joy is the exact same color easterners associate with death and mourning. In fact, white is the color one wears to a funeral--not a wedding. In the East, white means misfortune. White can even mean sterility so brides steer clear of wearing it to their weddings!
These cultural differences underscore the necessity of looking to our own lives and our own mythologies to interpret our dreams. It also underscores the trickiness of tracking down a dream's meaning.
Snow in a dream may be asking the dreamer to look not to the cold, but to the color--the color white. If the dreamer has a strong negative association with the color white, it will be best to look at the color to see the dreams meaning.
For example, does the dreamer feel like disaster is lurking? Does the dreamer feel like misfortune has come like a thief in the night stealing any thought of happiness or that spring is even possible?
Or does the dreamer associate snow, and therefore the color white, with childhood memories of gloriously unexpected days off from school?
If the dreamer's association with snow is positive, the color white may indicate a time of recovered innocence or the dream may be reassuring the dreamer that yes, spring really is resting in buds waiting to burst forth from limbs currently covered in snow.
Even if snow or the color white do mean innocence and rebirth to the dreamer, Therefore, dreaming of snow can symbolize feelings of having been laid completely bare, stripped down to the core, with most everything one held precious ripped away.
Painful as that sounds, when all artifice is stripped away, all that is left is the purified soul. Rebirth and innocence come at a price--a price far from cheap.
Snow Dreams and the Anima
The Anima is one of the four primary Jungian archetypes. It symbolizes the unconscious female side of the male psyche and its integration is integral in order for a man to complete the individuation process.
A critical component of Anima integration is purification.
The Anima is a psychic principle, a receptive principle, not an active one like the animus. Receptive principles include intuition and creativity.
Unfortunately, the female principle is often confused with the females one has encountered in waking life.
Experiences with such women, particularly experiences with women from one's formative years, end up in the psyche as imprints of the female principle. These imprints lead to all manner of Anima malfunction and must be purged.
Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, proposed that snow symbolized the white stage of the Anima, the time when the feminine principle is free of the imprints of waking life women and is functioning freely as a receptive force.
When this occurs, one not only begins accessing one's intuition and creativity more freely and purely, but one's relationships become authentic expressions of love and appreciation for another individual--not an addiction to projections of the images of what women are or should be, or frantic searches for one's missing half.
If it is true that no two snowflakes are identical, then snowflakes are exceptional individuation symbols. Snowflakes are complete, whole works of singular design. They are pure expressions of individuality, they aren't seeking a soul snowmate.
Individuation brings us to another characteristic of snow. It is said that no two snowflakes are alike so it is possible that a snow dream may be pointing to a profound level not only of purification but of individuation--a reaching of an authentic Self unhindered by the ideas, thoughts, and projections of others.
Children love snow. They love it even before they are old enough to connect it with snow days.
Children do not see snow as a chaos creator. They do not worry about getting to work, or going to the store, or the slushy mess it will be when it melts. Children basically only care if the snow is going to stick, and if it does, if it will get deep enough for making snow angels.
Dreams of snow can be dreams of nostalgia, they can be dreams the bring back childhood memories of a time when snow was fun, not a force to fight.
Snow dreams may also symbolize innocence--that same innocence that shines on a child's face when she runs outside, with her head turned up to catch flakes on her tongue as they fall.
Snow dreams can mean that feelings of wonder and innocence are returning, especially if one has been experiencing a difficult emotional time or coming to terms with issues from childhood.
As we've seen snow can symbolize everything from innocence to mourning, misfortune, and death depending on one's cultural and personal associations.
Always remember that no dream encyclopedia or dictionary will even carry more importance or meaning that your own mythology and lived experience--not even this one.
Symbolism gives broad strokes to get us started but it's up to us to give meaning to the symbols we see whether they are in the waking or dreaming world. To paraphrase C.G. Jung: learn all you can about symbolism and then forget it!
Your Face Like Snow
- Myths-Dreams-Symbols The Unconscious World of Dream
Myth Dream Symbols explores Jungian psychology in-depth. This is a great resource for those looking to take their Jung to the next level.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Madailein Aisling Ireland