In the natural world, green surrounds us. So it’s no surprise that green often appears in our dreams, too.
In dreams, each color has special significance, and if you see green, it may well be more than just a backdrop. Let’s take a look at the symbolism of green and what it might mean in your dream.
The Meaning of Green
Your own opinions of (and associations with) the color green play a major role in what green might mean in your dream. However, traditional and cultural meanings of the color can also help you figure out what green is trying to tell you. Here are some of the many meanings of green:
Over time, green has come to be associated with Ireland, a country often called the Emerald Isle. Ireland, in turn, is associated with lucky four-leaf clovers. So if you dream of green, it may be a sign of upcoming good luck (or at least wishing for luck!).
New Beginnings and Nature
In most of the world, green is connected to nature. And because new trees, grasses, and other plants are so often green, the color has come to be associated with new beginnings as well. Of course, green is the color of spring, the season when the natural world comes alive again after the winter. If you see a lot of green in your dream, it could be a sign that you feel renewed in some aspect of your life.
Peace and Tranquility
In many parts of the world, the color green has come to symbolize peace. Some of that may be from the sense of peace we often feel when out in nature. It also may be because an olive branch is a symbol of a peaceful relationship, especially after conflict. This idea dates all the back to ancient Greece — the Greeks associated the olive branch with Eirene, their goddess of peace.
Fertility and Youth
Because green is so often associated with new beginnings, it’s no wonder that some parts of the world, particularly many Asian countries, view it as a sign of fertility. Green was also the color of fertility in many ancient cultures.
At least in the United States, green has become strongly associated with money and wealth. That’s because American money has been printed in green for over a century. The original greenish ink was chosen because of its resistance to fading, which made it harder to counterfeit.
This might not seem like the most obvious association with the color green. However, when you think about a stoplight, it makes sense — there’s a reason why “give it a green light” is an expression! Even if the green in your dream isn’t in the form of a stoplight, it might be a sign that you’re moving forward with something important in your life.
This association might seem counterintuitive, as in many cultures, green is the color of life. But in some areas of Indonesia, the color is actually forbidden. On some beaches on Java Island, locals believe that Nyi Roro Kidul, the ruler of the Southern Sea, wears green clothes. If you also wear green, she will pull you into the sea and you will drown.
Indonesia isn’t the only place where green is viewed in a negative light. Some contemporary Latin American cultures associate green with death. The ancient Egyptians did, too.
The Egyptians depicted Osiris, god of the underworld, as having green skin. Osiris oversaw the passing of souls from this world to the next, so the color came to be associated with both life and death.
In Mexico, green is considered a color of freedom. Its use on the Mexican flag is highly symbolic: green stands for hope and independence, red stands for the blood of patriots, and white stands for unity and purity.
Like Mexico, much of the Middle East has its own associations with green. That’s because green is the color of Islam. The reason why might surprise you — green was allegedly the prophet Mohammed’s favorite color. He often dressed in green and referenced the color many times in the Quran.
In most of the world, green is not associated with infidelity — this association is mostly in China. Men even avoid wearing green hats, as that indicates their wives have cheated on them!
In many parts of the world, green is connected to envy. Although nobody is exactly sure where the phrase came from, it likely came from the Shakespeare play Othello. In that play, Iago tells Othello to “Beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” However, in France, Germany, and some other countries, yellow is the color most closely associated with jealousy.
The Symbolism of Green in Dreams
Now you know a bit about the many symbolic meanings of green. Keep in mind that some culturally-specific meanings may not apply to your dreams. For example, if you are not Muslim and don’t study Islam, the green in your dream probably isn’t symbolizing Islam.
So how do you get to the bottom of what green is trying to tell you? As soon as you wake up from your dream, ask yourself these questions and write down the answers:
How Much Green Was There?
The more green that appears in your dream, the more likely that it’s symbolically significant. For example, if you have a dream where you’re surrounded by green, the symbolism is probably stronger than it would be in a dream where you notice a couple of green plants.
What Was Green?
Make sure you write down every green thing you saw. Even small details are important! Pay special attention if you see something green that normally is not. For instance, if your skin is green or if you see a green cat, your subconscious is likely trying to tell you something.
What Shades of Green Did You See?
There are seemingly endless shades of green in the world. Bright, springlike greens are likely to have a more positive meaning. However, if the green in your dream is a yellow-tinged, sickly shade, it might mean something a bit more negative.
How Did You Feel?
When you’re analyzing a dream, the way you felt during it can help you get a sense of what the shade is trying to tell you. For example, let’s say you dream of being in a vast, green forest. If you feel calm and at peace, the green in your dream might symbolize a feeling of tranquility or being content with your daily life. On the other hand, if you feel anxious, the color green might be representing death, or at least danger.
What Important People/Animals/Objects Did You See?
The answer to this question can offer valuable insight into the possible meaning of your dreams. Whether they were green or not, take note of any important things you see. For instance, if you have a dream where your childhood pet appears, your dream may indicate a sense of nostalgia. If you have a dream about a prestigious college (especially if it’s surrounded by greenery!), it might be a sign that you’re feeling confident in your ability to re-invent yourself at a new school.
It can be helpful to write down any associations you have with the objects you see. If you dream of green rats but are afraid of rats, your dream’s meaning will be much different than if you love rats and have one as a pet.
An Example Dream Analysis
If you haven’t ever tried interpreting your dreams, the process can be daunting at first. Dreams are highly personal and highly subjective, so figuring them out can be a challenge. Here’s an example dream to help you get the hang of dream interpretation:
You’re out for a jog on a beautiful nature trail. Birds are singing and there’s a light breeze. The path has been fairly level so far, but you notice it becoming steeper. Soon you’re running up a seemingly endless hill. Your legs feel heavy and it starts to become harder to breathe.
However, as you struggle up the hill, you notice that the surrounding grass and trees seem much brighter and greener than they did behind you. That alone seems to give you some encouragement. Soon enough, you’re at the top of the hill. You stop to rest and enjoy the view — below is a beautiful green field dotted with wildflowers.
As you know, green can symbolize a number of things. But the biggest clues here are that (1) you noticed the color green while going up the hill and (2) the color itself seemed to encourage you.
In this dream, your journey up the hill is a fitting symbol for personal growth: you’re struggling but ultimately elevating yourself. Green is often used to symbolize transformation, so jogging up the hill likely stands for self-improvement. Maybe you’re going through a journey of self-improvement in your waking life.
If you are, this dream is a good sign: you made it to the top of the hill and enjoyed a magnificent view. Your subconscious is telling you that your hard work is going to pay off!
What Does Green Mean in Your Dream?
Color is a critical part of any dream as it can shape the overall mood and show you what symbols you should pay attention to. When green appears in your dream, be sure to consider both traditional associations with the color and your own experiences with it.
It can be hard to know exactly what your subconscious is trying to tell you with each dream, but the more time you spend analyzing your dreams, the better you’ll get at understanding them.
Learn more about dreaming in color and discover what different colors mean in dreams.