the immense size and changing depth of the sea symbolizes the dimensions in which human feeling can dwell and also the dimensions of the unconscious in which a person is like a drop and all of humanity like the sea; then with an awareness of his own drop, a person lives in the ego and it is only in realizing the indivisible unity of the human ocean that a person understands the unity of being, which is why the sea can be the most enduring maternal symbol (The Little Mermaid has similar symbolism).
the color of the sea can significantly aid the interpretation (see Color).
rising (including tide): the dreamer's increasing emotional potential and also a more introvertive experience.
dropping (including tide): the dreamer's decreasing emotional potential and also a more extrovertive experience.
sea surface: usually separates humanity's collective unconscious from the conscious content of people's thoughts, but can also separate hidden emotional content from the dreamer's conscious content; see Surface.
night swimming in the sea: fear, uncertainty and fumbling in emotional matters; this image can foretell the death of the ego (sinking, drowning).
especially calm, loving, welcoming: can be recollected images of prenatal development as a paradisal memory of being in the womb (see Basic Perinatal Matrix archetype).
going in and out of the sea: related to prenatal memories (see Basic Perinatal Matrix archetype).
a tranquil sea changes into a stormy one: this occurs especially when we begin to deal with sexual symbols in an idyllic and tranquil setting or we become involved in a relationship with instinctual personification; sometimes the transformed sea can be accompanied by huge whirlpools or large gates, in which case it is a memory of a prenatal experience (see Basic Perinatal Matrix archetype).
a stormy sea in which we don't find a single reflection of the world or sky: synonymous with a person desirous of positive intensive emotional experiences; high waves provide such a person with frequent emotional excitement when the top of the wave offers him a slightly larger view of the world; yet he then falls into depression between two other high waves and suffers incredible fear of his existence; wrath, anger, emotional ambivalence and sometimes even a turbulent fate.
a stormy sea changes into a tranquil one: only by replacing the emotional content of the mind with a spiritual consciousness where we will find the peace and tranquility of paradise will this miracle occur.
objects, shapes, animals and beings emerging from the sea: the unconscious is releasing hitherto hidden content for conscious processing (the unconscious releases into dreams only the amount of subconscious content that the dreamer is able to process; the unconscious never demands too much from a person).
an island emerging from the sea: the unconscious is urging you to process more instinctual content.
island in the sea and everything on it: usually symbolizes the dreamer's instinctual content that is isolated predominantly by the emotional content of the mind; it expresses along with the setting and inhabitants of the island a central motif that the dreamer will soon have to face.
being lost at sea, on an islands and not able to find your way home: the dreamer is stuck in his own feelings and will encounter on the islands the original content of his psyche (similarity to the mythological stories of the Greek hero Odysseus is no coincidence); more on the similarity of mythology and spiritual experience in the Hero archetype.
all mythologies placed fresh water above sea water.
an animal from the sea's womb: a mythological image; see Dolphin.
a seal, walrus or other creature hunting in the depths of the sea: emotions are penetrating deep beneath the surface of awareness to find spiritual ideals (fish) for their strength and growth (spiritual ascension).
going to sea; especially if the destination is remote places or a discovery voyage: leaving the family or a change in the dreamer's hierarchy of values will be the result of an inner alienation in family relations, which is completely normal on the spiritual path (Jesus Christ spoke in similar terms: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26).
being able to breathe without an apparatus in the depths of the sea: the dreamer is able to fully live in an emotional environment and can also easily recognize the unconscious content of the psyche.
working in the sea depths: clearly related to an introvertive experience; such dreams are the result of intensive meditative efforts.
ice floating in the sea: the remnants of a spiritual consciousness (ice) are dissolving into emotions (water).
an icy ocean: the transformation of an emotional consciousness (the seawater) into a spiritual one (ice).
rivers emptying into the sea: sometimes symbolizes the fusion of the soul, opinions, or currents of thought and the unconscious into an indivisible whole (the dissolution of the ego); at other times it can relate to prenatal memories (see Basic Perinatal Matrix archetype) or is the result of the dreamer's penetration to the unconscious content of his psyche.