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Dreaming about a House You Once Lived In

A dream about a house you once lived in is not uncommon, especially if you’ve recently been thinking about it and missing it. It’s normal to dream of certain places you have previously lived in or visited as they could mean something to you. For example, dreaming about your childhood home is one of the most common dream scenarios involving houses you once lived in. 

Dreams about a house you’ve previously lived in can have various interpretations, both positive and negative. Some can even warn you and alert you to certain problems in your waking life while others can guide you towards your goals or a better future. 

Carl Jung & the Dream House

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychoanalyst who believed in the power of the unconscious. His own dream of a house not only had a powerful meaning, but its aftermath also started the downward spiral of his relationship with the infamous Sigmund Freud

In 1909, psychoanalysts were on a speaking tour throughout the United States. One night Jung dreamed he was in the topmost room of a grand, old house. This room was complete with fantastic art on the walls and antique furniture.

Symbol Sage Dreamcatcher-Tree-Of-Life-Necklace

Jung’s Dreamland Home

Jung poignantly acknowledged that he had never been in the house before, but he was certain this was his house, so he walked to the staircase and descended to several lower levels. The next level looked older then the first, filled with medieval furniture and had red brick walls. 

Jung then walked through the room and pulled back a heavy door. Here, he found another staircase, this one made of stone, leading to a vaulted chamber reminiscent of ancient Rome. The floor comprised an arrangement of stone slabs with an iron ring in the center of one of the slabs. 

When he lifted the ring, it showed yet another stone staircase leading into a low cave cut out of rudimentary rock. The floor of this room was thick with dust and prehistoric fragments. Bone and pottery were everywhere and among the archaic bric-à-brac, lay two human skulls. 

Jung then immediately woke up.

Freud’s Interpretation of Jung’s Dream

He relayed this dream to Freud who then gave an interpretation that did not entirely satisfy him. According to Freud, the house was a symbol of female sexuality and the skulls were those of two women Jung held particular animosity toward; even suggesting he secretly wished for their deaths. 

Jung, not wanting to upset or disappoint his esteemed colleague, mentioned his wife and sister-in-law. Although Freud was relieved to hear this, Jung did not feel that this interpretation was correct especially because he held no hatred for these women and was actually rather offended at the idea. Jung eventually told Freud that it was wrong to associate everything with sex and ego-based desires. Freud disagreed with Jung and, unable to settle their differences, they decided to part ways.

Jung’s Interpretation of His Own Dream 

Jung’s interpretation of his own dream differed from Freud’s to a certain extent. To him, the house symbolized his mind and the first floor represented his consciousness, which in turn, signified his experience and knowledge. Each level below was one layer deeper into his unconscious mind and the cavern at the bottom was where he discovered the primitive within himself. Therefore, the dream connects Jung to his history, ancestors, and prior cultures.

Modern Insights

Looking at Jung’s dream in the pragmatism of the modern era, the house did symbolize himself at that moment in time. He was on a speaking tour with a colleague whom he highly respected. Each day was filled with talks about psychology, analysis, and dreams. With his puzzled mind so focused on understanding the unconscious, Jung’s dream showed him something about it.

General Interpretations of Dreams about a House You Once Lived In

what it means to dream about a house you once lived in

While not every dream of a house will symbolize the levels of one’s unconscious in the way same way as Jung’s did, it will possibly be something representing the dreamer. If you’ve seen an old house where you used to live, it’s more than likely a link to your past and there may be some element about it that’s bringing your focus and attention to this period in your life. If you remember the details of your dream, ask yourself the following questions as they will help you to interpret it more accurately: 

  • Was the house being built?
  • Was it a newly finished or redecorated version of your old house?
  • Was the house sinister in any way?
  • Was it dark and gloomy on the inside or bright and filled with warmth and light?
  • Were the rooms completely empty or were they filled with furniture?
  • Were you moving out, moving in, or just visiting?
  • Was there a meeting or a party?
  • Were there any people in or around the house? If so, how many and what were they doing?
  • Was any particular room featured in the dream?

Broad & Varied Interpretations

A dream of a house you once lived could mirror a deep desire to show the world your authentic nature. In other cases, it can symbolize your body or some aspect of your physical existence.

For instance, if you currently feel restricted and dream about your beloved childhood home, it could reflect a deep-seated need for freedom, or indicate that you’re sensitive and vulnerable. There are also many other possible meanings including the following: 

It’s Time to Let Go of the Past 

If the house is from a time in your life that was not good or peaceful, it can reflect the fact that there are old habits and tendencies beginning to resurface in your waking life. On the other hand, it can also indicate an attachment to old ways and traditions that no longer serve you. 

If the house was happy, thriving, and bustling with people, it could be a sign that your habits are fine but some slight changes could improve them further. 

Attitudes toward Current Events in Life

Sometimes, a dream about a house you once lived in can show your attitude toward your life. Perhaps you’re holding onto the past and feeling nostalgic. You may be cherishing an experience or feeling you had while living in this house.

This dream can also indicate how you feel about yourself or symbolize your dissatisfaction with your life. You may be feeling tired of living a monotonous lifestyle and longing for change. It’s quite possible you’re challenging yourself to improve your present conditions.

Feelings & Emotions Being in the House

Emotions are intrinsically intertwined with the house you’ve dreamed of so recalling the emotions you felt during the dream can help you to interpret it as accurately as possible. 

If You Had Positive Feelings

If you had a pleasant experience in the house that gave you positive feelings, the dream could symbolize your beautiful and gentle spirit. Feeling a sense of relief when you see the house could represent a difficult time you’re going through. If you were surprised, it’s likely you’re looking for an outlet to express your feelings. 

If You Had Negative Feelings

sad woman in a house

If the dream was full of negativity, animosity, arguing, or if you experienced any negative feelings, it could mean that you have some regrets in waking life. You may also feel as though certain situations are holding you back, physically, emotionally, or mentally. This dream may indicate your deep inner fears, frustrations, or anger. 

When stress, tension and anxiety rule your dream experience, it could indicate disappointments from the past that have resurfaced. Your dissatisfaction or disappointment could be impacting how you feel about yourself or the world in general.

Dreams about a House You Once Lived In – Common Scenarios  

a house in good condition

Dreaming of a House in Good Condition

The condition of the house will be very telling about the nature of the dream. When it’s clean, new, shiny and perfect, it connotes a desire for or an experience of beauty, peace and gentleness. It could also mean that things are currently going well for you and it may also mean that good fortune is on the way. 

Dreaming of Others in the House 

The dream of a former home carries an even deeper meaning when other people are present. The emotions and actions of these people will also have specific importance. If they’re sad, you may need to confront your feelings before they spin out of control. If the people ignore you, it signifies a lack of support and acceptance in your waking life. It could also indicate that someone close to you feels neglected or ignored by you.

Dreaming of Walking Away from an Old House

If you see yourself walking away from an old house that you once lived in, it can indicate the end of something that was once integral to your personality, nature, or mindset. It’s likely you’re saying goodbye to an attitude, belief, or certain ideas you’ve held onto since living in the house.

Dreaming of a House That Needs Repairs 

a house that needs repairs

If the house you once lived in is dilapidated and needs repairs, it can be an indication of unresolved issues that you should resolve as soon as possible. It also implies that you need to make slight improvements to certain aspects of your waking life.  

If you see yourself doing the repair on the house, you should reflect on the elements of the dream as they may give some instruction as to how you could transfer those improvements to your life.

For instance, if the staircase needs repair, it could mean you have to change some aspect of your thinking. A broken window could signify a needed readjustment to your perception of the world and a broken faucet could represent negative emotions. 

In some cases, the house would be beyond repair. If this is the case in your dream, it implies that you’re unhappy about your current situation or something else in your waking life. However, a ruined house, especially with mold or rot, could indicate that you need to take better care of your health.

In Brief

Dreaming of an old house you once lived in can represent yourself and your state of mind or your body indicating some aspect of your health. The condition of the house, the people inside and the events that take place will give added depth to the interpretation. 

Regardless of the circumstances, something about this old house could serve as a reminder of certain things you learned or experienced while living there in your waking life. Take the time to evaluate current events and how they might relate to your time in that house. You may surprise yourself with the insights you’ll glean from doing so. 

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Apsara Palit
Apsara Palit

After completing her post-grad in Values, Ethics and Indian Culture, Apsara is sharing her knowledge of symbolism, mythology, history and culture through her blogs. Apsara lives in India and believes in getting a first-hand understanding of culture through travelling.