Carl Jung Resources > Dream Interpretation

[Analysis of Several Dream Symbols (continued)]

Black Sea

The symbolism of the Black Sea is primarily related to that of water. You should therefore read the above on water symbolism first. Secondly, the sea is an allusion to amniotic life, to the time of living in the womb as well as to the mother. It is by no mere chance that in French there is a striking phonetic similarity between "mother" and "sea" ("mére" and "mer"). The mother is the life bearer and caregiver (feeding and providing security).

An additional symbol of the sea is the unconscious, which, in Freud's opinion, makes the origin (mother) of conscious mind or the ego. Psychologically speaking, the unconscious is another mother. 

In Jung's terms, the sea, the ocean hint to the collective unconscious, the abode of archetypes, one of which is that of the Self or Center that Jung assimilates to the experience of God in various religions.

The Black Sea takes over all the above-mentioned symbols, as the case may be, also making an addition. As "black" hints to death (mourning, etc.), we have to think of the individuation process again (refer to water symbolism discussed under Bathtub) in its first stage which is nigredo or "turning to black" (disolutio, separatio), the ego dissociation in psychological terms. This dissociation has to be followed by a new synthesis to include the entirety of human personality.

Dirty Water

Water symbolism is involved here again, therefore one should first refer the respective chapter; nevertheless, dirty water also has to mean something else too.

In a fantasy film, a magician offers the hero a glass of water and asks him to be as pure as the water inside it. The hero notices the water in the glass is not so clear and the magician answers: "In keeping to your soul". An unsettled soul is troubled by contradictory, "unclear" states or feelings. Foul water may suggest a "dirty" inner state for a dreamer with an extremely active moral superego.

Water purification therefore suggests the purification of the soul. Although personally I do not think "purification of the soul" to be viable, I cannot deny it may represent an ideal for very many people. 

Dirty water - photo
Dirty/polluted water may suggest the need for soul cleansing or purgation

Greenish Water

Green is the color of life by excellence. Spring, the season for a new beginning, brings everything back to green. Life resumes its growing cycle culminating in the fruitfulness of summer. This process may suggest a new beginning in human life.

But the greenish water borrows something of the general water symbolism. The green color adds a new dimension to water: that of resuscitation, rebirth, and rejuvenation, of starting things all over again.


A specification has to be made here: we dream dogs or puppies. Dog is generally considered man's best friend, very loyal and devoted. Dogs also suggest bad people though, those who will not leave one alone, sticking to one until their purpose is accomplished - persistence in evil. Should such dogs be puppies, this may indicate the dreamer is not afraid of like people, whom he/she looks down on. As dreams also show what we would like to do, be or what things we would like to happen, the idea above might be interpreted as the dreamer's desire not to be affected by evil people's schemes.


Flowers are the symbols of fruitfulness, of fertility. They symbolize the Self in Jung's psychology. The flower can also be a symbol of the most refined in the transmission of spiritual information. In a dream, a China orchid, for example, may suggest the heritage of Taoist philosophy.


The fish is a Christian symbol. Jesus Christ is the fish, according to the hidden meaning of "IHTIS" (Greek for fish) - the Savior therefore, the one all Christians' hopes for Eternal Life are related to.

Another Christian symbolic meaning of the fish is death and rebirth - Jonas is swallowed by a huge fish and then returned to life in an allegory of life and death, and a forecast of the coming of Jesus, of the message of Life that the Savior brings along. 

However, the fish as an animal of deep waters is also a hint to the unconscious. For Jung, it may be a symbol of the collective unconscious contents, related to our phylogenetic heritage.

In Freud's view as well as in that of his followers, fish is also a phallic symbol, given its elongated shape, and may lead to the idea of male sexual organ.

The fish is also the name of one of the signs (Pisces - the 12th) in the Zodiac, therefore hinting to a certain person in the dreamer's environment, a person born under that sign.

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  • Read more about the dream interpretation method according to Jung here.
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