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A guide to interpreting stair related dreams

We have all woken in a cold sweat - shot bolt upright in bed - and thought what on earth was that all about? From dreams about teeth falling out to taking exams in your underwear dreams play a huge part in all our lives.

Unsurprisingly at StepJockey HQ we think about stairs a lot - maybe slightly too much - and now a couple of the team have started to dream about them.

Common dreams about stairs include; climbing a staircase which narrows to a claustrophobia inducing point, descending a staircase which suddenly collapses & climbing a never-ending spiral staircase.

Concerned to find out what these stair dreams meant, we made like Freud and starting digging around for inspiration.

Here is StepJockey’s guide to interpreting all your stair related dreams.

What do stair symbolise?

Stairs are widely thought to represent both personal & professional development, overcoming obstacles in your life or in some cases a sense of futility and lack of direction.

Is the condition of the stairs important?

Too right. The condition and location of the stairs in your dream is pivotal to their significance. Are they old or new? In a home or in a public space? Are the stairs familiar to you or strange? All these factors could impact your understanding of the dream.

New stairs are generally thought to represent a new challenge in your life whereas old stairs signify revisiting an old adversary. If the stairs are in a home or private dwelling this could signify that the challenge is a personal one rather than a professional one whilst public stairways tend to be related to work.

Are you going up or down the stairs?

You’d think this would be a simple black and white analysis. Up is good down is bad, right? Unfortunately dream interpretation is rarely that simple.

Both can be positive or negative depending on context, moon cycle & star sign (the last two, not really).

Climbing up stairs can signify a positive change in your life and moving on to something brand new whilst it can also signal the difficulty that this path will cause.

Heading down the stairs suggests revising the past which is by no means a negative as this is often a healthy life choice. However, heading down the stairs could also mean regression in some aspect of your life.

Can you see where the stairs are leading?

If you can see where the stairs are taking you this could provide answers. Then again it might not.

Once you introduce another image into your dream analysis it opens up a whole new cavalcade of interpretations. There are too many possibilities to rehearse them all here but if the stairs in your dream lead to an infernal pit of lava then let’s just say you’re in trouble!

Sorry that last part probably isn't very helpful!


What if I don’t recognise the place the stairs are taking me?

A mysterious endpoint to your nocturnal clambering, whilst having the benefit of being more exciting, could also perversely provide you with more answers in terms of interpreting your dream. An unknown destination could suggest that the meaning of your dream is more general and does not relate to a particular event.

For example your dream could relate to a more overall feeling of change in your life. You might feel that your life is entering a new phase or that there as yet undefined challenges on the horizon

How do you feel about what lies at the end of the stairs?

The way you feel during your dreams is essential to how you interpret them. You might have a dream that sounds terrifying in its’ retelling but because of the way you felt during the dream it is hilarious or exciting to you.

If you feel excited and positive about where the stairs lead the chances are you are feeling excited and positive about whatever challenge or change the stairs represent. A new job or a new relationship, for example.

Conversely if you feel a sense of dread whilst climbing the stairs the dream may well be rooted in anxiety about an upcoming event in your life. We recommend you don’t mention such dreams to your life partner without due consideration.

What if the stairs don’t lead anywhere?

Congratulations! If you have the ability to construct a Penrose Staircase or an Escherian web of abstract stairs in your subconscious - you certainly have an active and creative imagination. Perhaps you could consider a career as a spy who enters the mind of unsuspecting victims to steal corporate secrets. Didn't they make a film about that?

Staircases that lead nowhere or seem to make little structural sense can be indicative of a feeling of futility or purposelessness. Again this depends on your experience whilst in the dream. If you feel frustrated at their lack of direction this can be linked to the above feelings of dissatisfaction. However, if these architectural anomalies are more of an interesting diversion the interpretations may be more positive.

What if I dream about taking an escalator or lift?

Shame on you!

Dreams about escalators or lifts have many of the same connotations as dreams concerning stairs. However, dreams involving lifts etc. have the potential to gloss over the significance of the change or challenge they represent.

The conclusion is clear. In your dreams as in reality take the stairs not the lift.

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