Dream meaning of ship

To dream of ships, foretells honor and unexpected elevation to ranks above your mode of life.

To hear of a shipwreck is ominous of a disastrous turn in affairs.

Your female friends will betray you.

To lose your life in one, denotes that you will have an exceeding close call on your life or honor.

To see a ship on her way through a tempestuous storm, foretells that you will be unfortunate in business transactions, and you will be perplexed to find means of hiding some intrigue from the public, as your partner in the affair will threaten you with betrayal.

To see others shipwrecked, you will seek in vain to shelter some friend from disgrace and insolvency.


On coins, a ship ploughing through the seas is emblematic of joy and happiness. But the most profound significance of navigation is that implied by Pompey the Great in his remark: ‘Living is not necessary, but navigation is.’ By this he meant that existence is split up into two fundamental structures: living, which he understood as living for or in oneself, and sailing or navigating, by which he understood living in order to transcend.

The Odyssey is, basically, nothing but a navigation-myth in the sense of victory over the two essential perils of all sailing: destruction (or the triumph of the ocean—corresponding to the unconscious) and withdrawal (regression or stagnation).

But to come back to the symbolism of the ship, every vessel corresponds to a constellation. The ship-symbol has been related to the holy island, in so far as both are differentiated from the amorphous and hostile sea. If the waters of the oceans are symbolic of the unconscious, they also can allude to the dull roar of the outside world. The notion that it is essential first to learn to sail the sea of the passions in order to reach the Mountain of Salvation is the same as the idea mentioned earlier in connexion with the perils of exploring the oceans.

Some of the less clearly defined aspects of the symbolism of the ship—comparable here with the small boat and the carriage—are related to symbols of the human body and of all physical bodies or vehicles; in addition to this, there is a cosmic implication deriving from the age-old comparison between the sun and the moon on the one hand, and, on the other, two ships floating upon the celestial ocean.

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4 Definitions
  1. Large bodies of water are natural symbols of both the unconscious and the emotions. Thus, a ship may represent a vessel of the self moving through the dreamer’s emotions or unconscious. Many other interpretations are possible, depending on whether the ship is large and secure or small and fragile, whether the body of water is smooth and peaceful or disturbed and dangerous, and so on.
    Naturally, if the dreamer is a sailor, an engineer, or someone else for whom ships are part of daily life, the ship would probably have a more mundane meaning as simply the stage setting for his or her everyday activities.

  2. The Big Dictionary of Dreams » Martha Clarke April 7, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    An oneiric ship can represent our life course and, depending on how it appears, will reveal the state of our mind.

    If it is a cruise ship, the dream alludes to the pleasant calm that you are going through.
    If it is a warship, you may be showing too much aggression. The appearance of a lifeboat at the scene indicates your need to escape a storm of feelings and problems in real life. If, however, is a submarine, the dream indicated your desire to explore the unconscious.
    On the other hand, ships also symbolize the ability to communicate with people who are far away, whether geographically or in their way of thinking and feeling. For this reason, a journey by sea means you have begun a new life stage or a new relationship. By contrast, in this sense, a ship that sinks warns of the danger of a breakup.

    A ship docked at the pier or sailing a calm sea predicts great happiness in love.
    If you dream that there is a storm, this happiness will be delayed. In the case of a shipwreck, you will receive bad news.

  3. The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams » Stearn Robinson & Tom Corbett April 12, 2022 at 5:38 am

    Whether powered by sail, steam, or motor, ships in your dream are an augury of profitable ventures.
    To be in a shipwreck portends a situation in which you will have to defend your reputation.
    To see or build a model of a ship promises a mad new love affair within the year. A single battleship seen in your dream indicates an improvement in your living conditions; a fleet of ships is a sign of business success. In any dream of ships, the condition of the water and weather must be taken into consideration.

  4. Complete Dictionary of Dreams » Dr. Michael Lennox April 15, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    A ship is a vehicle that travels on the ocean. The ocean represents the unconscious mind, and a ship traverses the very top layer of this mysterious place. In a dream, a ship implies an investigation of matters of an emotional nature. The state of the ship in your dream offers distinctions around this exploration.

    A sinking ship implies that your feelings are overwhelming you in a profound way. A more powerful ship, such as one that is run by steam or motors, suggests that there is more strength around what you are exploring.

    A sailing ship implies a simpler or personal search, but also one that relies on things beyond your ability to control. How well the ship you are on is handling the water that surrounds it could point to how well you are managing a difficult emotional situation in your life.

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