The Dream Book of Self-Knowledge


  • an instrument of God, an instrument of knowledge that cuts through the illusions of the material world.
  • sticking vertically into the ground, a table or other object: practically the same as a cross whose intersection unites antitheses, the hilt and two shoulders can symbolize the trinity*74 (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the sword's blade, resting in the ground or in a wooden table, refers to the connection with the earth element containing darkness and the evil of the lower nature.
  • throwing a sword at someone, getting rid of a sword: symbolizes a foolish and inane act by which a person rejects God's will, justice and order.
  • wooden: represents the desire for power, but also the possibility to fulfill it; which is why a wooden sword is a frequent toy for boys, who already at an early age are acquiring power-hungry behavior.
  • finding a sword: you have a unique chance to imprint order and meaning on your life in accordance with God's laws.
  • finding a rusty sword, holding it: a warning from the unconscious since the dreamer's heart is filled with hatred for another person (or for himself), hatred which could bring far-reaching consequences for the dreamer's life.
  • a rusty sword turned against the dreamer: the dreamer will have to deal with great hatred, which is the result of the dreamer's past negative acts, and will have to forgive the bearer of this hatred.
  • being killed or executed by a sword: one of the images by which the dreamer gets used to the loss of personality and seeks an egoless state; such dreams are the inevitable result of the self-knowledge process in which a person suppresses manifestations of the ego; similar dreams are also an expression of past visions (see Past and Future Visions archetype).
  • in a title, image, emblem or coat of arms: the unconscious is pointing out to the dreamer that upcoming events are fateful and preparing him to face them.
  • in the hands of personified evil: only a negative approach to life, submission to earthly desires (greed, uncontrolled sexuality, hatred) can turn God's instrument against the dreamer so that in moments of anxiety he understands the errors of his hitherto life, view and ideas.
  • wielding it, knowing how to use it: represents honor and justice, but also the desire for power and the possibilities to fulfill it (especially relates to inner life and only marginally to external life).
  • wielded a knight: unless a king is present in the same image, it is an instrument of God, an instrument that has fatefully entered the dreamer's life.
  • wielded by a knight who fights to liberate a woman (usually a princess): can represent in dreams a tool for understanding the spiritual anima; in the dreams of women it symbolizes a tool for understanding the spiritual animus (of the knight); such a dream is usually a path toward enlightenment and understanding divine realities.
  • wielded by a king or wielded by a knight in the presence of a king: Divine will and divine justice.
  • seeing a flaming sword (usually in the sky): God's punishment; such a vision is often accompanied by apocalyptic images.
  • in certain phases of spiritual development a sword deprives spiritual personifications of power over the dreamer's consciousness.
  • beheading with a sword a multi-headed monster (usually a dragon or hydra): a rare dream in which the dreamer eliminates the usurping family relations in his consciousness (see Hero archetype).
  • also typical for alchemical symbolism, in which the knight, representing the almighty God, breaks through the will of God (the sword in the shape of the numeral one, which is more a symbol of God than of the numeral) the philosophers' egg, whose content conceals the foundation of the world – earth, water, fire and air; such a dream is a prefiguration of realization.