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What does it mean when you dream about stairs?

Climbing or descending a flight of stairs denotes, respectively, a rise or fall in social or economic status. The same actions may also be interpreted as an increase or decrease in consciousness.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Here one side of the mountain had a great hole in it, like the mouth of a cavern, and the stairs stopped at the near edge of the floor and commenced ascending again at the opposite edge.
"With my mother up stairs. She will be down in a moment, I dare say."
'When he ran down stairs and joined the lady he had left in the hall with his hat'--Miss Jenny began.
'When he came down stairs and joined the lady who wouldn't let me come up, he gave me the pieces for you, and I was to say, "With Mr Alfred Lammle's compliments on his leaving England."' Miss Jenny said it with such spiteful satisfaction, and such a hitch of her chin and eyes as might have added to Mr Fledgehy's miseries, if he could have noticed either, in his bodily pain with his hand to his head.
Another member of the family appeared on the stairs -- Miss Garth, the governess.
Nine o'clock struck; and the minute-hand stole on to twenty minutes past the hour, before any more footsteps were heard on the stairs. At the end of that time, two ladies appeared, descending to the breakfast-room together -- Mrs.
More afraid of her husband at the moment than of the mysterious sound in the kitchen, Affery crept away as lightly and as quickly as she could, descended the kitchen stairs almost as rapidly as she had ascended them, resumed her seat before the fire, tucked up her skirt again, and finally threw her apron over her head.
Affery still remaining behind her apron, he came stumbling down the kitchen stairs, candle in hand, sidled up to her, twitched her apron off, and roused her.
We thought it best that he should stay in his own rooms, and we left him on the landing outside his door, holding a light over the stair-rail to light us down stairs. Looking back at him, I thought of the first night of his return when our positions were reversed, and when I little supposed my heart could ever be as heavy and anxious at parting from him as it was now.
When we got to the foot of the stairs, I asked Herbert whether he had preserved the name of Provis.
A few minutes later he was disturbed by a gentle creaking of his own door, as though some one were pushing cautiously against it, and immediately afterwards he heard the soft thud of cautious footsteps upon the stair which led to the room above, followed by a confused noise and a muffled groan.
From the first floor to the second story, (third from the ground,) is a way by a stair in the wall five feet wide.