Dreams can often be hard to interpret, especially when these dreams revolve around something drastic like death or infidelity. Just as the death card in Tarot does not necessarily mean a physical death. The meaning of death in dreams is not black or white either, it can serve for different meanings. For example, if death is something you are fearful of, then the dreams can be this fear manifesting. While other times, the death in dreams revolves around an actual death. Still other times, it can signal a new beginning or rebirth.
In some cultures, dreaming of your own death is considered a sign that you will live a long life. Dreams that have you dying may signal that you are growing and changing with the old parts of your life passing away. They may also be a manifestation of fears centered around your physical body or overall health. There is an old myth that if you die in a dream, you die in real life and while the adrenaline from fear can cause the body to enter a fight or flight mode, it is unlikely to actually cause a waking death. Your body will feel like you are in danger and cause you to jolt awake. If this happens often, it may be because you are not yet to the point of change, but on your way.
If you are dreaming about the death of your significant other it can be harder to recover from than dreaming of your own death. These dreams are often caused by the anxiety of losing someone and cause anxiety on their own. Think about who you were as individuals and a couple in your early relationship. If there have been significant changes then the death dreams may simply be a way to process changes in the relationship. If the relationship is currently in a bad place, the dream is an echo of fears about them really leaving or possibly your desire to be without them. If you are recently separated, you may dream of your partner’s death as a projection of being ready to let go.
When dreaming of the death of a loved one, including family members and friends, pay attention to the emotions you feel as a result of the actual dream. If you feel longing, perhaps you are missing them or they feel inaccessible. If you awaken angry you may be angry they made a life choice, like moving, that took them away from you. If you are relieved then your recent interactions may be negative and you need to make peace in your waking life.
Dreaming of someone who has recently died is likely tied to the death and not as symbolic. It can be a message from the person to let you know they are okay and you can gain some closure. These dreams may happen months or years after their passing and they may remain silent in the dream, speak through emotions, or actually speak.
If you dream of a stranger dying, it may be someone in your waking life that you have never really taken notice of, but our mind has still gathered a mental image that appears in our dreams. If someone you know, but not well, is dying in your dreams it may mean you are feeling helpless over something or attempting to process something traumatic you have encountered in your waking hours.
Some dreams about death involve murder. Dreams in which you are a killer can be highly disturbing, but they can have a positive meaning. If you are a killer in your dreams, it can mean you are making a choice to make a change like overhauling your diet or go for a new career goal.
Dreams about death are most often very different from physical death. As with all forms of dream interpretation, having a death dream is a chance to sit down with your emotions and sort out how you feel about yourself, others, and your life situations.