The Meaning of Fish in Dreams
Dreaming of Fish
Dreams of fish swimming often represent insights from your unconscious mind, especially when associated with the ocean. Catching a fish represents insights which have been brought to the surface.
Dreaming of Fish Eggs
Eggs are often associated with potential and new beginnings. Seeing fish eggs in your dream may represent a new idea or new direction that is emerging from your unconscious.
Fish and Fertility
Fish are often seen as a symbol of fertility and personal growth. Seeing a fish swimming in your dream may symbolize conception. People often associate the image of sperm with fish in the ocean. Some women dream of swimming fish when they get pregnant.
A Play-on-Words With "Fish"
Common fish-related phrases may link the dreamer to the meaning of his/her fish dream. Consider the following: "like a cold fish," "fish out of water," or something that is "fishy" about a situation. Depending upon the nature of the fish, you may also want to consider phrases associated with being "lured" or "hooked" to something (or someone). A dream fish may also imply a slippery or elusive situation. Perhaps your dream could be telling you that "there are plenty of other fish in the sea" in regards to some relationship issue. Lastly, the dream could relate to "fishing for compliments" and show that you are have a need for attention and recognition.
Eating or Cooking Fish in a Dream
Cooking and eating are often associated with nourishing the soul and are looked upon as spiritual in general.
Eating fish in a dream is often symbolic of the dreamer's beliefs, philosophy, or spirituality. Eating fish shows you are incorporating your new realizations into your identity. Cooking fish in a dream means the same thing as eating it but is focused more on preparation and the process the dreamer is undertaking in order to incorporate new information, new concepts, and new discoveries into who they are as a person in their waking life. How the dreamer is preparing the fish may give important insight into what the dreamer is struggling with during this inner transformation.
Cleaning Fish: Related to cooking and eating fish, cleaning fish in a dream suggests that you are altering your emotional expression in a way that will be presentable and acceptable to others. The dreamer is censoring him/herself and not expressing how he/she completely feels.
Dreaming of Dead Fish
A dead fish in a dream signifies disappointment and loss. This loss may be associated with power/wealth, an idea, a spiritual chapter of one's life, or infertility. Since fish are often associated with the unconscious, a dead fish may symbolize something old giving way to new growth and potential.
Death is an important symbol in dreams and can have both positive and negative associations for the dreamer. It is important to decipher if the dream is about an ending or a new beginning and if it is positive or negative for the dreamer. Ending something prematurely could have negative consequences, yet holding onto something too long can stunt the dreamer's personal growth and development.
Dreaming of a Fish Tank or Fish Bowl
A fish tank is the container of our emotions. The size and general quality of the fish tank will show the dreamer what state their emotions are in. Fish tanks in general indicate that the dreamer may be compartmentalizing their emotions, which may lead to losing touch with their full being. Dreaming of a fish tank may show you how you keep your feelings in check. If you are watching the fish in a fishbowl, you may feel detached from society, as if your life is going nowhere or that you are swimming in circles in life.
Dreaming that you are living in a fish tank or bowl may mean you are feeling detached from society, but may also mean that you are feeling the pressure of those around you. Consider the phrase of "living in a fish bowl." Fish in fish bowls have nowhere to hide (catching them is like "shooting fish in a barrel"). The dreamer may feel judged, criticized, and scrutinized by others. This dream is most often associated with a family unit, a school setting, or a workplace.
Dreaming of Someone Fishing
A fisherman in dreams suggests the dreamer is trying to catch something in his/her waking life.
Dreaming of fishing could mean the dreamer is confronting repressed emotions and bringing them to the surface. Ice fishing suggests the dreamer is breaking through a hardened emotional barrier and confronting difficult feelings from the unconscious.
Be careful with over-interpreting a dream. Fishing could also simply mean the dreamer needs leisure and relaxation.
Dreaming of a Fishing Rod
A fishing rod in a dream represents the tools and motivation you have necessary for your quest and exploration of your unconscious mind. You are ready to confront issues and emotions you have suppressed. Dreaming of the fishing rod may indicate to you that you are going to embark on an internal journey of self-discovery. If your dream is focused on the tools and planning and not the act of fishing, this may show that you are preparing for this personal quest and are close to gaining insight.
Dreaming of Fishhooks
Fishhooks in dreams may refer to an idea that you need to "catch." The dream may also indicate that you are getting hooked on something. A fishhook may also mean you are being tricked or manipulated into doing something or buying into a false idea.
Dreaming of Jellyfish
Jellyfish in dreams can mean a few different things, depending on the type of jellyfish; some can sting and are very dangerous while others are simply harmless and spineless. A jellyfish may represent painful memories that are emerging from your unconscious. There may be hidden hostility or aggression in some aspect of the dreamer's waking relationships or situation. Dreaming of a jellyfish may also indicate feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty, and a lack of self-esteem. Perhaps you are having trouble standing up for yourself in a specific situation in your waking life or perhaps you feel as though you have no spine and are not upholding your morals and what you believe and stand for.
If the jellyfish in your dream seems like a positive symbol, it may relate to going with the flow. Jellyfish move with the ocean. Perhaps you've been swept up by something larger than yourself and have found serenity.
Dreaming of Fish: The Christian Perspective on Dreams
The fish is also an ancient symbol of Christianity and dreaming of a fish may refer to the dreamer's beliefs and experiences within the Christian church. Look in any illustrated Christian book and you will find images of Jesus on a fishing boat. Even the apostles were referred to as fisherman or "fishers of men." Common proverbs such as, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" may also give meaning to a dream of fish.
Here are Bible verses which mention fish:
- Mark 1:17: "Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
- Matthew 12:40: "...Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
- Matthew 14:17: "And they said to Him, 'We have here only five loaves and two fish.'"
- Luke 5:6: "And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking."
- Luke 24:42: "So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb."
- John 21:6: "And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish."
- 1 Corinthians 15:39: "All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and another of birds."
According to Albatrus.org: "When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ, Christians used the fish [symbol to] mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes."
The fish symbol is still used to signify Christianity today. We often see fish bumper stickers on cars, for instance, as we drive on the highway or people with fish symbols on necklaces or t-shirts.
Dreaming of Fish: Alternative and Cultural Perspectives
Dreaming of a fish may relate to historical and/or cultural meanings of fish. Perhaps the dreamer is either from, is influenced by, or has studied these cultures.
- Pagan: Great Mother goddess was often depicted as a fish or a woman with a fish over her genitals.
- Chinese: Kwan-yin was often symbolized as a fish.
- Indian: The goddess Kali was called the "fish-eyed one."
- Egyptian: Isis was called the great fish of the abyss.
- Greek: The Greek word "delphos" means both fish (dolphin) and womb.
- Astrology: Fish are often associated with the astrological sign of Pisces.
- Mediterranean: Various religions used fish, wine, and bread for their sacramental meal.
- Scandinavian: Fish was eaten in the great goddess Freya's honor. The sixth day of the week was named "Friday" after her.
- Middle Eastern: The goddess of Ephesus was depicted as a woman with a fish over her genitals.
A note on requests for interpretations
Comments are welcome. Although I sometimes interpret dreams in the comments section, due to overwhelming requests, answers will only be provided to Hubbers with at least one published Hub. All others can feel free to access Sue B's website for more in-depth feedback.