Buildings in Dreams


My dreams frequently involve houses, ones from my past, most I’ve never seen, mine, someone else’s. Sometimes I discover rooms I knew nothing about, or furniture crammed into one room. There might be a door on the street level I’m worried about, that won’t quite close, or lock. But what about warehouse-type places, or semi-barnlike homes with dirt floors?

May 31 2021 dream: I’ve rented a place without really looking at it. The kids (their current ages, I think) have been looking around for a while, more involved with it then I’ve been. The whole thing is sort of like an ancient barn or farm building. I go to the “kitchen” – there’s just a big fridge. The freezer has several layers of plastic sheeting before you get inside. I say wait, is there a freezer? They say yeah you just have to keep opening. I seem to slowly realize it’s all dirt floors, big rooms converted to rental. There’s a room where we put our sleeping stuff, on pallets on the floor. In another room, there are loads of containers of cherries on pallets. My son goes to the lowest part of a room that sinks down to a lower level. There’s nothing there except plastic dividers, like for conference exhibits. I go down there with him, then can’t get back up the sloping dirt ramp at one side. It doesn’t look that steep but I can’t go up. He has to push me. I discover there’s no heating and say I’ll need to buy space heaters. I hope the energy bills aren’t enormous.

Jung had one of his great epiphanies in a dream about a many-layered house, including his concept of the collective unconscious. In this dream, he started out on a floor that looked like a normal middle-class home. As he descended through successive floors, “he found himself in primal territory, in a dirt-floored basement containing skulls and bones of distant ancestors.” Though there weren’t bones or skulls in the subterranean room of my dream, there was the smell of old earth and a feeling of excavation.

The several rooms of the farm building fascinate me: stacks of cherries stacked and stored, a bare sleeping chamber (sleeping close to the earth), multi-layered freezer. And the deep, lower level. Do the dirt floors represent antiquity, or earth, or raw, unfinished plans? Something not yet developed? That day I was offered a job I’d interviewed for the previous week. Sweet fruits to come?

In another dream, just over a week later, there are unrefined walls but in the city.

June 8 Dream: I travel to NYC with a woman who’s just coming along for the ride, it seems. When we get there, we go to an old industrial building. I need to transport something in trucks. On the second floor, a woman with big blondish reddish hair – kind of old fashioned glam – comes out of an office. I say I always work with Debbie (but I have someone in mind, from a show, who’s not my sister Debbie). She laughs, like “you don’t need her, silly” and leads us into a huge warehouse-type room with very high ceilings. It’s busy. Men are working. The walls are dirty and peeling. I say to my friend, “it’s never been painted as long as I’ve been coming here. I explain that I like it that way. I walk over to a line of very old metal numbers nailed in a vertical line on a wall, not in order, like 7, 4, 6, 3, and comment on them, loving their old look.

“…ruined in its own way … [it] carries its own story” Robert Moss wrote in a blog post about run-down houses in a dream, reminding me of my rundown city warehouse. He has a blog post titled “On the Enjoyment of Unpleasant Places,” based on a Robert Louis Stevenson article of the same name. “We see places through our humors as through differently colored glasses,” RLS wrote, and declared that we can choose to find beauty in an “unsightly” place…” I don’t know what it means about my psyche but it resonated with me regarding the June 8 dream.

Moss suggests that when a dream space intrigues us, we should return to it, with active imagination or dream re-entry. He writes, “I need to understand what life story I am inhabiting in this place that has seen better days.” (Robert Moss blog.) I want to spend more time in the May 31 dream. It has a strong feeling for me and, I think, speaks to me about my life right now, when I’m not sure where I’ll be living but after seven years in one place, am about to relocate (a couple of hours’ drive away). Moss wrote, “The dream house may be a structure that the astral architect in you has constructed for various purposes: as a place for rest and relaxation, as a sanctuary or a study, as a place of rendezvous, as a pleasure palace. Such creations may have their own stability… Your dream house may be a place where you are leading a parallel life with people you may or may not know in your physical world. It may be a construction or renovation site, a place waiting for our imagination to raise the walls or put on the finishing touches.” I’ll have to sit with this notion, of a place that could be more for us, if we give it our active attention.

Dreaming of an old farm building storing pallets of cherries, and a warehouse where I’ll need to obtain large transport, I’m seeing my life right now as it may feel to my psyche, in temporary storage, with large movement in sight. In both, there’s some sense of historicity.

Has anyone had an interesting dream house or dream building? Share in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Buildings in Dreams

  1. I do have recurring dreams of being in a new house. My new homes in these dreams are always enormous and architecturally interesting. After an initial period of elation at having so many rooms to explore and inhabit in a Tudor, Victorian, or Frank Lloyd Wright which is now mine, I am always let down when I realize it’s falling apart and needs so much work.

  2. Fascinating! I think of buildings in dreams as our psychic space. Expansive homes seem like new psychic spaces opening up. I wonder if something precedes the let down. Maybe there’s fear of the energy required for new growth and development, expansion. I’ve read that emotional content arising in a dream can shift its direction. Maybe write down the next dream like that in detail, if you can recall it. I’d also try to do artwork – whatever medium you like – paint, pastels, collage – of those spaces. They sound amazing and I think working in any way with a dream can help the meaning to come through on some level.

    I’m always left with an amazing feeling after a experiencing a fabulous architecture. I remember one dream home with trees and nature inside, I should go back and collage that one!

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