Water is so common in dreams, and the forms of its appearance are so diverse, that it is nearly impossible to touch on all its symbolism here. It is more feasible to discuss briefly the common associations water has in dreams and the theories behind them.
When a person dreams that he or she is emerging from a body of water (a river, lake, ocean, or even a swimming pool) it can symbolize birth. This may be the birth of a child or of an idea that the dreamer has been working on. Bathing in a dream has a few different meanings, depending on the state of the water in which one bathes. Clean water indicates good health, while dirty water foretells sickness. It is a widespread belief that when people dream about water flooding their homes they are actually receiving a prophetic dream of their own death.
When a person dreams about a large body of water, it is most commonly thought to represent that individual’s unconscious mind. While these dreams are sometimes nightmares that indicate some sort of struggle within one’s unconscious, they can also be very pleasant dreams. One of the most important aspects of personal dream analysis is observing the emotions associated with the dream. If the dreamer is relaxed and calm, it is doubtful that the unconscious is trying to send him or her messages of inner-turmoil. Alternatively, if the dreamer is about struggling, panicking, or even drowning, it is probably time for him or her to reflect on the aspects of a life in which he or she feels out of control.