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Houses Often Represent Ourselves

Thu., Nov. 7, 1996

Dear Nancy: Recently, I’ve had several dreams in which I have inherited old homes and castles that need renovating or repair. This latest one caused me to wake up smiling. - Jeff

I am approaching my grandfather’s house which I have inherited. I am dismayed at the overgrown condition of the rock garden my grandfather planted. I am resolved that I will restore the house and grounds to their former glory. I walk into the house and it seems larger than I remember. A space that formerly had been only a nook is now large enough for a home gym. A bedroom down the hall is also larger. I find a new room at the front of the house where part of the attic used to be. I feel uncommonly happy to be here and as I explore I keep finding new spaces.

Dear Jeff: Inheritances are gifts and, in dreams, they can symbolize rewards for a job well done or new opportunities for growth or expansion. They can also illustrate what has been handed down in your family, such as gifts of wisdom, talents and abilities, family stories and secrets, and the general richness of family life.

In your dream, the house had belonged to your grandfather so it is quite likely that this “inheritance” may be a quality or characteristic that you both share.

How are you like him? Did he have a talent or a particular trait that you find in yourself? Since he is deceased, you may want to question family members. Perhaps a certain quality that you share with him has long been neglected and now is ready to be given attention and expanded.

Of course, these dreams may also be taken literally, in that a physical gift or inheritance from your family or in-laws may be coming your way. Although this particular home was sold years ago, it may be a representation of another piece of property you will be given.

Because houses in dreams often represent ourselves, an important aspect of this dream is the implied expansion and discovery of new spaces within. This dream is indicating that you are in a period of exploration and restoration of untapped parts of yourself. Enjoy this time in your life. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity for expansion.

Tips for readers: Do you find yourself feeling inhibited or restricted in your dreams? Do your feet ever feel so heavy that it’s a struggle to move? Do you dream of obstacles such as roadblocks, fences or hostile dream figures?

When you experience these situations in a dream, ask yourself, “What is it that inhibits me and holds me back? Am I feeling restrained for fear of disapproval or punishment?”

If the dream takes place in a setting from childhood or includes family or childhood friends, the message may be that it is time to look at old behavior patterns that you are ready to let go of. So many of us were told in various subtle and not so subtle ways, “Who do you think you are? Do as you’re told! Following your own wishes and dreams is selfish and irresponsible!” All these remarks serve to suppress our natural joy, creativity and adventure, and show up in our dreams in various ways.

Sometimes we dream of figures such as thieves and thugs to call attention to our feelings of victimization. This may be addressing an outer situation such as a relationship or working condition, but it could be illustrating that we are robbing or hurting ourselves. Ask yourself, “In what way do I feel like a victim? What is robbing me of my energy, time, money, etc.?”


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