If you’ve ever had a river dream, it’s very easy to just focus on the huge amount of water flowing at a high rate of speed. In fact, if you are not careful, it’s very tempting to just think that your river dream meaning doesn’t add up to much.
After all, if you look at any kind of nature scene or you think about the great outdoors, there’s usually some sort of body of water. It could be a stream, it could be a river, but this type of dream is easy to overlook.
If you keep seeing river dream imagery, you should sit up and pay attention.
The Hidden Role of Emotions
Your subconscious is telling you that emotions and issues revolving around it are pressing on you. You may not be aware of it, but it’s having an impact on your daily waking life.
If you are distracted or you feel you’re just too busy, don’t be surprised if your emotional life starts crashing down all around you.
You have to understand that your logical reasoning side is not divorced from your emotions.
A lot of people like to pretend that this is the case. No wonder so many people suffer from the clash of emotions and reasoning.
Our Emotions Run Us
You should not have any illusions. As rational as you may imagine yourself to be, the truth is, according to research studies by psychologists, your emotions play a big role in how you make choices.
Sure, people can come up with all sorts of seemingly logical explanations when asked to discuss their decision.
We play this game with ourselves. We make a decision based usually on impulse or intuition guided by emotion.
But when asked to explain, we come up with something that’s more rational sounding.
Do you play this game with yourself? You are not alone.
The General River Dream Meaning
A river of course is a body of water. It’s flowing at a high rate of speed.
A River Is Associated with Emotions
Water, as you probably already know, is associated with emotions. It’s hard enough dealing with emotions on a deep level on a day-to-day basis.
Can you imagine having to manage or control a huge amount of it?
A river after all involves a huge volume of water. This is why it’s really important to pay close attention to the specific contexts of your river dream.
Your subconscious is telling you in broad terms that you have to do a better job managing your emotions. This part is very easy to see when it comes to imagery involving rivers.
But it’s the details that truly matter because if you’re just seeing the big river, this is really hard to make sense of it.
You have to pay close to the small details that would give the proper context to your river dream.
A River Can Also Stand for Your Life’s Journey
In addition to emotions, a river is also an analogy for your life’s journey.
There’s all sorts of things that go into your life, and a lot of them you’re completely unaware of.
Did you know that if somebody just says something to you or tells you a story, it could actually change the direction of your life?
Unfortunately, you probably won’t even be aware that this happened.
Different Influences Color Your Life’s Journey
Our subconscious picks up all sorts of influences. A lot of the time, we’re not aware that this is happening.
But sooner or later, when it comes to certain decisions or certain actions we take in the future, all these small influences from a wide range of unnamed people or forgotten sources add up.
Much like a river picking up all sorts of debris as well as different fluids as it runs its course, our life journey has many different tributaries, and so many other people and situations contribute to how our life eventually turns out.
This is the general meaning of a river dream. It’s not just emotions.
It’s also about influence.
Controlling Your Emotion Is a Good First Step
The first step to controlling anything is to be aware that you are dealing with something.
If you have this habit of constantly being thrown off track when you think of something and it makes you emotional, you need to be aware that you can control the flow of your thoughts.
It’s Possible to Control Your Emotions
You don’t have to be thrown off each time you think about your ex- or a traumatic experience from your childhood or worries at work. These don’t have to happen.
You have a lot more control than you give yourself credit for, and a lot of this has to do with the emotional reading you have regarding certain stimuli.
Do you think about certain things and they’re almost always guaranteed to make you angry, make you upset, or sadden you?
You have a lot of control over that. You can make new associations with those mental imageries.
You don’t have to feel bad.
The Negative Consequence of Not Controlling Your Emotions
If you don’t police your emotional state, eventually it opens you up to make certain decisions, especially bad ones.
And if you find yourself in a pattern where you are triggered emotionally and you end up making the same decisions given the same set of circumstances, it’s easy to feel trapped. It’s as if you feel that there’s really no change possible.
But that’s just an illusion!
You just need to change how you respond on an emotional level to certain stimuli.
What Does a Dirty River Dream Mean?
When you look at a river, typically it picks up all sorts of debris. But on the surface, it seems rather clean.
If your dream imagery, on the other hand, shows a particularly dirty river, it indicates that you have issues with key people in your life.
Maybe you’re not happy with your boss. Maybe you have loose ends with your father.
Maybe you have unresolved or closure issues with your mother.
Whatever the case may be, when you see a dirty river in your dream and it seems to be the central focus of your night vision, this indicates emotional turmoil.
This emotional turmoil is so heavy and has different sources that it can lead to a deep and profound sense of confusion and ultimately helplessness.
This is something that you need to resolve immediately.
Now, I’m not saying that you’re going to completely handle it once and for all. But you need to get the ball rolling.
Maybe you need to get professional help. Maybe you need to pick up the phone and just express your feelings to a friend.
Whatever the case may be, get some help because that dirty river dream is your subconscious telling you that there’s a lot going on under the surface and it can overwhelm you. This is usually related to an image of a rapidly flowing river.
Generally speaking, this type of river dream doesn’t involve a dead or stagnant dirty river.
Again, a river can reflect emotions.
What Does a Muddy River Mean?
A muddy river in a dream is easily confused with a dirty river, but dirty rivers have debris. Sometimes, there’s even dead animals floating on the river.
A muddy river is fairly straightforward. It’s mud.
It could be relatively clean but there’s mud in the river.
Please understand that this means that there was turbulence that stirred up the mud and that changed the color and consistency of the water in that river.
One of the most common ways to interpret this is that it speaks to your tendency to confront life’s challenges in a less than optimal way.
A lot of people fail to live up to life’s challenges because they don’t want to realize or become aware of their own life.
You are responsible, not your parents, not the people around you, not your past, but you.
This is a very heavy responsibility, and that’s why a muddy river dream means running away from responsibility or engaging in some sort of self-deception like delusion.
Please understand that if you add to this the additional dynamic of a raging river that’s muddy, this dream suggests that whatever issues you’ve been trying to hide under the rug or run away from is soon to overcome you.
Here’s the scary part. It can take many different forms.
It can involve you not being able to land a job. It can involve frustrations when it comes to trying to get a raise or get some sort of recognition.
It might even involve sexual frustration or the inability to take your relationships to the next level.
What Does a Polluted River Dream Mean?
A lot of people confuse muddy rivers and dirty rivers with polluted rivers. I can’t blame them.
But the truth is, a polluted river might look really clean. This is the most dangerous type of river because you get a false sense of confidence in the seemingly clean water.
Unlike a river that obviously has muddy water, it’s very easy to let your guard down.
And you only know that you’re dealing with something polluted or less than pure when you suffer from bouts of intense passion and then negative feelings. It’s as if you’re going on a roller coaster.
You have joyful pleasures on one end, and then feel emotionally unsettled only to have this process repeat itself over and over again.
It’s very easy to feel tired.
And the truth is a lot of people who haven’t been paying attention to their emotional growth can feel really frustrated with this situation, and a lot of this has to do with repressed emotions and games that people play with themselves.
That’s what makes the polluted river dream imagery so dangerous because it requires a tremendous amount of awareness.
You can’t just go on raw emotion. You can’t just automatically assume that a lot of this stuff is basically repressed memories and your creative ability is being challenged.
Sure, there’s a lot of that going on, but that’s not the only thing at play.
You really have to commit yourself to a higher level of self-awareness so you can consciously pay attention to these things that tend to happen beneath the surface.
A polluted river is really flowing water that goes to a turbulent phase that ends up combining a lot of influences.
There are obviously negative influences, but what makes them tricky is that this all happens in your subconscious mind. It’s unseen just like chemical pollutants in an otherwise seemingly clean river.
What Does a Frozen River Dream Mean?
If the water on your river is frozen, this indicates that you feel cold at some level or other.
I’m not talking about necessarily emotionally absent or emotionally unresponsive. That’s the obvious reading of emotional coldness.
But you can also feel cold when you feel numb. You’re no longer living with a sense of anticipation.
Very few things excite you, and you tend to have a dismissive or overly skeptical mindset.
Have you reached this stage? Do you know people that have this attitude?
They kind of have a negative vibe, right?
Well, the reason why people have this type of mindset is that they feel tired.
Feeling tired flows from the sensation that you feel cold about certain things in your life. It’s hard for you to get excited about good news anymore.
When you reach a new stage in your life, you instantly ask:
“Been there, done that. What’s next?
Why is this a big deal?”
When you reach this stage, you have to take an active role in your emotional state because it seems that the otherwise lively and turbulent emotional journey that you’re on has frozen.
Basically, you’re just restricting yourself to a small pole of emotional states much like when water freezes and it’s restricted to a certain temperature range.
Also, keep in mind that frozen rivers are prone to cracking and breaking.
You may be thinking that you’re walking on solid ground, but all of a sudden, the water swallows you. It turns out that you were walking on a river all along.
What Does a Calm River Dream Mean?
When you see clear water and it’s nice and calm, your subconscious is telling you that you can easily succeed in whatever you focus your mind on. You just have to have a goal that is well measured, well designed, and actionable.
It’s not much different from crossing a river because when you know where to cross and why you’re crossing and you time it right, you succeed.
A lot of people have a tough time wrapping their minds around this.
It means that they have to calm their minds. They have to understand that their experiences laid the foundation for where they are now.
Nothing is an accident.
But unfortunately, if you define your life as just one random accident after another, the river becomes unnecessarily turbulent.
In reality regardless of whether your life journey is full of dirty water or not, if it’s a calm river, things are doable. Sadly, when you hang on to emotional baggage, you end up squandering time.
What Does a Flowing River Mean?
Flowing river dream, whether it has contaminated water or muddy or dirty water, means a steady flow, and this means that you have the right foundations to take control of your life, to make things happen, and otherwise go towards a specific goal that you set your mind to.
What’s important is that the river is flowing. It’s all up to you how to direct it and how to manage your current life situation.
You can go swimming with the current and speed things up, but you can do what a lot of other people are doing, which is to end up swimming against the current.
This is not necessarily bad.
Maybe you’re swimming away from black water. Maybe you’re bathing and trying to soak everything in.
What’s important is you just need to be aware of how things are flowing and make the right decision.
What Does a Dry River Mean?
When you see a dry river with maybe a tiny stream of water going through it, it can indicate a deep and profound sense of disappointment in many areas of your life.
You may be feeling that you’re a failure. But in reality, things are never as bleak as you imagined them to be.
You’re just emotionally unsettled.
Allow yourself to relax and accept your current situation. Once you get past this initial stage, your level of self-awareness can get deeper, especially if you practice mindfulness, and things will start to fall into place in terms of your awareness.
You’d be able to connect the dots, and eventually, you will be able to look at the dry river as a challenge that you can overcome.
You’re gonna also look at it as a foundation or an opportunity.
Because flowing rivers can be used for purification and for moving to better areas where one can run dry.
But it’s not permanent. It’s up to you to make it permanent and respond to it as such.
Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.