Dream Symbols of Body Separation


Considering that OBE's are promoted by relaxation, you have best conditions for body separation when sleeping.

A certain category of dream symbols and features of separation processes seem to be related to each other. In this article, some typical dream symbols belonging to this category are listed and explained. Persons who are trained in OBEing very often have such dream symbolism experiences and sometimes become conscious and aware of the separation process – and such verifying the interpretation of the dream symbols of this article.

The following report of dream symbols applies to passive body separation called "taking off", which is a process of floating out of the body (see Loosening of the Etheric Body). The separation process of "taking off" can be described as a vertical elevation of the subtle body. The process of floating upwards stops somewhat later and the subtle body sways and rocks above the physical body.

A theosophic theory postulates that the subtle body is tied to the physical body by the silver cord (see Silver Cord), hindered by the cord to move further away – this causes falling/ lifting and rocking.

The most reports below are examples for demonstration and they are not doubtlessly related to take-off but can also have different meanings (see Dream Gate). Only in rare cases, the symbolism can be verified when right afterwards a conscious take-off is experienced.


Phase of loosening

The subtle body is dissociating a few centimeters above the physical body. As postulated in theosophic theory, this causes a higher level of dream experiences – the dreams are more colorful, emotional and have better three-dimensional quality.


Phase of lifting and falling:

In this stage of subtle body separation, a frequent lifting and falling is observed. This can last for several minutes. During the slow lifting and rapid falling – corresponding to the fact of being pulled back to the physical body by the silver cord – this impression is ‘translated’ by the subconscious into dream actions in which you feel youself floating up and falling down.

Examples of dream symbols for the phase of lifting and falling:

"Enclosed in the elevator of a high-rise building I can’t get out at the floor wanted. I am unable to press the right button, because the board is chaotic. The movement of the lift changes from very rapid to slow and vice versa. In this chaotic way I move up and down, on and on." (S.)

"In a dream I saw about 8 to 10 lamps hanging down the ceiling, assembled by long tubes of brass. I took a pleasure in climbing up the tubes and jumping down again. This for many times." (S.)

"In a sledge I slid up and down the hills with breakneck speed. It was night and nowhere anyone to be seen. I found it romantic and I enjoyed this slide very much." (C.)

"In this dream, I was somewhere in a forest landscape that was covered in snow. I waited for my brother, who had went away for some reason. I realized that I could jump very high, until I was high in the cold air and everything below me vanished in a flurry of snow. Then I fell back again, but without getting hurt. This happened again and again for several times." (Corra)


Phase of swaying

In this phase, after lifting motion has come to an end, the separation process of the subtle body has stabilised and the double floats above the physical body, swaying horizontally above the physical body.

Dream examples for the phase of swaying:

"With some others I decided to go up a mountain with a cable car. We had serious problems, because a storm made the cabin sway dangerously. Thus, we did not succeed and after a long drive we arrived, got back again where we had started. We now decided to go by foot, but after each attempt to climb the mountain, we slid down again, because the slope was too steep. Again we try to go per cable car. This time we have a calm drive, and we glide above a plain with fantastically bizarre shaped rocks and big crystals." (T.)

"We drive upwards a steep street. The car jolts, because the road is under construction. Then we drive very fast downwards and we arrive at the sea. A boat is waiting there for us to carry us home. While on course the boat rolls in the violent sea and we try to balance. Thereafter I had a dream in which I was flying around a tree with my feet upwards. I was unable to land." (T.)

"I am hanging at the end of a rope, which was fastened on a tree, and I am blown horizontally above the stirred water of a river. I am not afraid at all, because I have the ability to control myself in movement." (S.)

"Fastened with a short rope on the waist, I am hanging down a rocking hang-glider, whose cord is held by the gurus. Looking down everything looks small like toys. At once in a next scene I am in a room, floating underneath the ceiling, my head stuck in the corner between wall and ceiling. In next moment I awoke." (J.)

In the above experience it is possible that the person landed in the etheric body after the dream, because he was finding himself floating underneath the ceiling of a room. It is likely that this second part of the dream wasn't dream anymore but a very short OBE in the etheric body and thus can proof the connection between symbolism and unconscious take-off. In the following experience it is similar: the person became conscious during the dream and found herself in the etheric body, so this too may be a proof that the dream symbolism was related to unconscious take-off.

"I had some meaningless dream, but I became half-conscious at some point. I jumped down from the roof of a high-rise building on which I had climbed before to have a perfect starting point for flying. I spread my arms and flew upwards. Firstly I had to fight to maintain straight-line flight because I was uncontrolledly swaying to one side, but I willfully tried to keep flying upwards. I succeeded and flew at a height of about 50, 60 meters above woods, mountains and valleys. But this was only for short, because everything around me vanished and I found myself being in the etheric body. As this happened, I began to slowly fall down back into my physical body, but I managed to come out again before I was drawn back completely and so I was able to start a short OBE." (Corra)

Symbols at the stage of swaying:

  • rolling with a boat
  • flying by aeroplane (unstable flight)
  • skiing
  • rolling with a car
  • swaying cabin of a cable car/ ropeway

Wind sensation:

Experiences very similar to the blow of wind are registered in a last phase before entering astral state. I am not quite sure how to explain these phenomena. I never have read a satisfactory theoretical approach on this kind of perception, though cool wind sensations often are reported in occultism. It is likely that the movement of fluidal substance causes this sensation of wind (see also Loosening of the etheric Body).


© Alfred Ballabene (Vienna)