Sleep Disorders

Updated 05 August 2015

Our Sangoma explains what these 10 common dreams mean

Health24's Sangoma, Gogo Moyo, is an expert at interpreting dreams and their symbolic meanings. She explains to us the spiritual significance behind 10 of the most common dreams.


We all have dreams. Sometimes they give us joy while we're sleeping and other times they ruin our rest.

Though many people do not pay much attention to their dreams, and often don't even remember them, some experts claim they have a deeper meaning.

Psychologists suggest that our dreams may be the mind's way of alerting us to unresolved issues, while psychics argue that our dreams hold important clues about the future.

African traditional healers, such as our Traditional Healing Expert, Sangoma Gogo Moyo, say that dreams are a platform for communication with our ancestors.

While we may have different views on their meaning, we all experience similar types of dreams.

Could that mean that certain dreams have a universal meaning?

Gogo Moyo says the scenarios we experience in our sleep have meaning, and if we understand what our dreams mean we have the power to respond to the messages we receive in them.

1. Dreaming that you're falling

Falling in a dream suggests that you're having trouble finding your feet in life and maintaining stability. You're anxious, moody and find it hard to stay in a relationship. You need to seek help to bring stability to your life.

2. Dreaming of being chased

If you're being chased while you're sleeping it suggests that someone is looking for you in real life.

Dreams which involve being chased is a warning that you need to be aware of what is going on around you. It indicates that you aren't safe. The biggest concern for this type of dream should be if you are caught in the dream. Then the meaning is different and trouble is lurking.

3. Dreaming of an ex-lover

When a previous lover appears in your dreams it can be interpreted in different ways.

The meaning of such a dream is dependent on various factors, including the reason for your breakup, your relationship after you broke up, and your relationship status while you were together. For example were you dating or engaged?

When dreaming of your ex, look out for the action taking place in the dream. What is your ex doing in the dream? Is he/she laughing, fighting with you, crying, or are you two in love again? Look out for specific actions and ask Gogo to interpret its meaning, giving as much detail as possible.

4. Dreaming of snakes

A person who dreams of snakes is spiritually gifted. Though snakes are scary to most people, they symbolise your ancestors. 

As long as the snake in your dream doesn't bite you, it simply means that your ancestors are trying to reach out to you. If bitten, you need to be worried because then they aren't going to be friendly.

It means that they have tried to reach out to you on a number of occasions and you have not responded to their communications.

5. Dreaming of a dead person

When the deceased person appears in your dreams it could be that they are trying to show you how they're doing since they've passed. Again, it is important to take note of what they are doing in the dream. The meaning of the dream lies in their actions.

If they're smiling, happy and relaxed, then they are sending a greeting and letting you know they are there for you.

However, if their actions represent sadness, such as crying or anger, then you know their soul is having trouble resting. In either case, communicate with them and let them know you received their message and ask for guidance as to how to proceed.

6.  Dreaming of money

Money is something we all dream of having.

Being handed money in your dreams is great, whether you see a chest full of coins or a pile of paper money. It shows that money or good luck is on its way to you.

For example, if you were waiting for a reply from that company you went to for an interview, and dream of tons of money, you can know that you've got the job. 

Losing money or handing money over is not a good thing, so be mindful of your spending if that's what you dreamed about.

7. Dreaming of water

Again, this is a dream that has more significance for spiritually gifted people, even if you don't regard yourself as such. 

If you dream that you're in water, or in contact with water, it could be a sign that you need a "cleansing", or that you need to pray near water. Water is profoundly liberating and good for the spirit.  

8. Dreaming of a wedding

Despite popular belief, dreaming of someone tying the knot means the total opposite. It's a warning of death.

9. Dreaming of being naked

If you dream that you're naked, or someone else is naked, you should be concerned as it doesn't bode well. It indicates that someone is bewitching you. Gogo Moyo advises that you pray or consult a healer if this ever happens to you.

10. Dreaming of food or eating

Dreaming of eating is as bad as dreaming you're naked. It means that someone is trying to bewitch you through food. When you dream that you're eating, be careful of who prepares your meals as they may just be plotting to take over your actions/thoughts through food.

Things to watch for in your dreams

Gogo Moyo says that if you want to know what your dreams mean, you need to look out for the following things and jot them down, then discuss them with a Sangoma:

Your location: where are you in the dream and are you familiar with the place or is it a venue you've never visited?
Your actions: what are you doing in the dream – are you running, fighting, dancing, teaching, cooking etc.?
Your company: who are you with in the dream – family, enemies, friends, or are the people in your dreams complete strangers?
Your emotions: how do you feel in the dream – were you anxious, scared, ashamed, worried, relaxed, happy etc.? 

Dreams play a pivotal role when you're working on enhancing and heightening your spirituality. But anyone, whether gifted or not, can decipher their own dreams. Understanding your dreams will always, without fail, give guidance as to what is happening in your life and what to watch out for.

If you have a specific question about your dreams, feel free to ask Gogo. But, and this is important, provide as much details as possible so that she can provide the best interpretation. 

Read more:

Scientists can 'read' dreams

5 types of nightmares

How smells affect your dreams


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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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