What does a sinking ship mean in a dream?

Overwhelmed by Titanic Emotions
Overwhelmed by Titanic Emotions

Dream 304: The Heroic Masculine Saves Your Ship

Water is emotion and the ocean is the best symbol there is for subconscious emotion. A ship represents how you are navigating your emotions, i.e., how you are keeping your head above water. A ship sinking in a dream usually means the dreamer is not doing well.

Ships have almost always been used to reflect emotional tones. When a political campaign is not doing well and staff start resugning and leaving the candidate, it is often said that “the rats are leaving a sinking ship.” When sudden good fortune comes into someone’s life, it is often said that “their ship has come in.”

The following dream is a good example of this imagery as well as talking about the reassuring role the heroic masculine archetype can take in the dreamer’s subconscious:

Dream 304: Saving My Ship

A young woman dreamt that she was on a sinking ship. A dark-haired man dressed in army gear helped her to not be afraid. She asked him his name so that she would remember him when she woke up. He said his name was Joseph Smith. She remembered this dream for years.


At the first level of dream interpretation each character in the dream represents a part of your psyche. The dark-haired man in the drean is the heroic masculine archetype with spiritual undertones. Let me explain.

The heroic masculine showing up is almost always good news. It is the part of your psyche that is willing to do anything for the dreamer’s own good and especially informs the dreamer’s actions. Soldiers are frequently representative of the heroic masculine simply because they are willing to die for their country.

The heroic masculine motto is “to serve and protect.” I believe he showed himself to the dreamer to reassure her that she had a part of herrself that would always be there to help her out of difficult emotional situations. Water is emotion and the ocean is the best symbol we have of the subconscious.

Her heroic masculine indicated that it was going to be there to save her from sinking into overwhelming emotions. Joseph Smith was the founder of the Mormon religion so this is a very spiritual heroic masculine archetype.

This dream is nothing but good news. The heroic masculine’s reassurance was meant to help her emotionally stabilize. Because it would use the founder of the Mormon religion, it implies that her growing spiritually may help her stabilize emotionally, to keep from sinking and being overcome by emotion.

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Published by Steven G. Fox Ph.D.

Psychologist and author of "Dreams: Guide to the Soul" & "Multiple Sclerosis Mission Remission" http://www.drstevenfox.com This first book of mine shows how I developed an intuitive dream interpretation method through clinical psychologist private practice and Jungian theory. The book is titled "Dreams: Guide to the Soul." It is available at http://www.drstevenfox.com I wrote my second book in 2018. The second book describes my miracle MS remission, and is called "Multiple Sclerosis Mission Remission: Healing MS Against All Odds." It is available at amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Multiple-Sclerosis-Mission-Remission-Healing-ebook/dp/B07D7JBZ5L/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1529367853&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=multiple+sclerosis+Mission+remission

22 thoughts on “What does a sinking ship mean in a dream?

  1. I dreamt my husband and I were at the shore and there was a cruise ship in the harbor. I decided to board and get a manicure while my husband went for a bike ride. Suddenly the ship set sail and promptly started to roll over and sink. It did a full roll and I saw the sky again and I knew I was going to survive. I found an air pocket with other survivors. There was a woman who worked on the ship with a passenger manifest telling the list of people where they were going to be taken to but, since I wasn’t a passenger, I wasn’t on the list. When I said “What about me?” she brushed me off, like since I wasn’t a passenger, I wasn’t important. I banged my fist on the table and said, “You’ve gotta get a new attitude!” I could hear my husband calling me from the shore. Then I woke up. Background: I’m working on an important event where most of the work has fallen on my shoulders, and my husband has had some very serious, unexpected health problems.

    1. The ocean is the biggest symbol of the unconscious or subconscious that we have. Being on a ship means that you are navigating your subconscious. So this dream is all about your subconscious Journey.

      You are literally being taken on a journey that you did not sign up for. The ship rolling over means that your world has been turned upside down. Each character in the dream is a different part of your subconscious. In spite of the recent tragedy, you need to find a place where you can survive, where you can breathe. I think this dream is trying to assure you that in spite of your world being roiled, that you will survive. Each person in the dream is a different part of your mind.

      The woman with the Manifest list is the part of you that doesn’t want to fully recognize that you are on this journey, like it or not. When the dream says something with a powerful voice, when you tell her that she has to change her attitude, that is the message you are giving to your emotions because women in dreams tend to go with your emotions, while men tend to go with actions.

      That you are going for a manicure, while your husband is going for a bicycle ride, means that your husband needs to take care of his health; you need to continue to do the little things to take care of yourself. The ocean goes with emotions and the subconscious; land and the shore go with consciousness. Your husband calling you from the shore is a calling to join him in conscious life.

  2. I had a dream that I was holding a baby on the deck of a ship and another ship smashed into us and the ship tipped over. We were alive under the ship in s big sir pocket and then I woke up. Just before I woke up though the baby turned into my son who is 12.

    1. Each living thing or force in a dream is seen as part of the dreamers subconscious at the first level of dream interpretation in my world. Babies are usually a new plans, new projects, new creations, or a significant new part of your life. Boys tend to go more with some part of the dreamer’s actions. Girls tend to go more with the emotional parts of the dreamer’s psyche.

      The ocean is the biggest symbol of the subconscious that we have. A ship usually has to do with how you are navigating or making progress in your subconscious. It is interesting that there are two ships involved.

      I believe this may mean that you had two courses of subconscious plans or actions going forward, that were in conflict with one another. It involving a baby boy turning into your 12-year-old son implies that already established facts in your life recently interfered with new plans of action or planned projects or new creative actions.

      I think that the one ship tipping over, the ship that held you and the baby, indicates that you will survive this conflict of a new projects or plans with established emotional patterns. I think the dream may be saying, that you had new emotional or subconscious plans that reached a “tipping point” or critical place in its development, where it could not proceed any further because of crashing into more established patterns of action in your life (your 12-year-old son).

      At the second level or interpersonal level of dream interpretation, it may have something actually to do with your son, but this level is much more unreliable, and I would need additional content from you to be able to guess at a possible condensation of the first level with the second level of dream interpretation.

      1. Mm I am looking at taking my career to the next level so that may have to do with it.
        In regards to my son he has special needs and can be challenging at times. I am very protective of him.

        1. It is a major concern for your subconscious that navigating a new course of career action could affect concern and care for your son. You sound like an admirable mother. This dream is an excellent example of condensation of the first and second levels of dream interpretation. Thank you.

      2. hi.i also had this dream when my house is near the ocean and theres a storm on that area and a lot of boats coming in the ocean and the water has a huge waves then suddenly when i turn around i saw a ship that is drowning and sinking.it was a cruiseship and I realized on my dream that my friend was there..and when i look again i saw some rescuers and a lot of people whos saving all the passengers there and I even saw my friend.He is alive and i hug him.I didnt see any casualties..just a lot of people..and i dont know the meaning of my dream.I was born on september 8,1992 and honestly right I was involved in a relationship with someone who has another girl and he chose that girl so i was broken hearted.I dont know if this has something to do with my dream.and I am also working on a cruiseship I just have my vacation and I will be back on ship this sept 25.Thank u and i hope u can answer and help me.

        1. To me this is all about your emotions being devastated, probably by finding out that he had another girl and chose her instead of you. Each person in the dream represents a different part of your mind.

          There is a strong heroic part of you, which is related to the heroic masculine archetype, that in this dream is saving yourself from the devastating emotions. Men in dreams usually represent an action part of yourself. The man that you hug in the dream is probably the part of yourself who helps others.

          Dreams always use the current day residue, what you have recently experienced in your life. Working on a cruise ship would be a big part of the residue from which your dream

          It sounds like you help people a lot in your job. The good news is, that with this dream, you are taking the action of saving yourself from emotions of hurt and not letting them overwhelm you.

  3. I keep haveing a dream where im on a 3 flor boat and the bottom boat is underwater and there are alot of people on the second for eating and acting like its not happining and there is a little boy in the water drowning and im on the 3rd floor trying to save the little boy and no body is even looking but there is another little boy on the left side of the boat just watching the boy in the water and i think its like his brother or some thing but every time i tuch the boy in the water i wake up

    1. Mm I am looking at taking my career to the next level so that may have to do with it.
      In regards to my son he has special needs and can be challenging at times. I am very protective of him.

    2. That you are on a ship implies that you are navigating your life. The three-floor ship is interesting. Water usually represents emotion in dreams and the ocean is the subconscious usually. The part below the ocean, I believe, would symbolize your deep subconscious.

      The people on the second floor of the ship, who are oblivious to the boy drowning in the bottom of the boat, probably represent your consciousness. The upper deck, the third floor of the boat, probably represents your higher self that directs your life.

      Each living thing in a dream is usually a part of the dreamer’s mind. Little boys tend to go with relatively new actions. Little girls tend to go with newer emotions in the dreamer’s psyche. There are two little boys in this dream, one of them drowning down below, and one safe from above.

      It sounds like you are frantic about saving the little boy drowning at the bottom of the ship, while the people on the second floor are oblivious. It sounds like the boy on the upper deck is like the boy drowning or very similar to him. It sounds very unlikely to me that you are going to be successful saving the drowning boy from the upper deck.

      At the first level, what the dream seems to be saying, is that you are trying to save some course of action you’ve initiated. The dream to me seems to be saying that you are unlikely to be successful in saving this course of action. The good news is that there is probably a similar course of action that appeals to your higher self that you should pay more attention to because that course is more likely to have a future.

      This is all said without my knowing you, and is, therefore, speculation.

      I even believe that you wake up when you try to touch the boy because your subconscious wants you to wake up consciously, to the idea that you need to take a new course of action probably.

  4. I just woke up from the dream. I saw I was in a sinking ship I tried calling for help, but nothing happened. Then I finally accepted my death and still decided to swim suddenly the anchor fell in and the ship’s wreckage went steady. I saw a shore and swim towards it and touched the land. But I had no proper clothes and saw there were other survivors too! I felt embarrassed.

    1. Water is virtually always emotion in dreams. The ocean is the biggest symbol of the subconscious that we have. Death in a dream frequently means that a major part of your personality is dying or needs to die. It sounds like a significant part of your life or emotions have “fallen in” and you may not feel as anchored as you did in the past. The dream is reassuring you that you will survive these changes. Having no clothing usually means feeling vulnerable or defenseless since clothing is what we show the outer world. I think the dream is advising you to become more grounded because you mentioned “touching the land.” I think it is likely that the dream is wanting you to be more social with other survivors of what you have been through since you may be less embarrassed around others who have survived similar stress. This represents speculation as I do not know the details involved in your life.

  5. Last night I had a dream. The Setting was night time The ship was sinking. Many people panic & many jumped on the water. My husband was looking for a life vest. My 2 daughters Jump on the Water. I was afraid but I Jumped on The Water Too. My youngest daughter was Swimming Going Far From me so I swim to reach her..with my 2 kids Three of us were safely floating. We were calling my husband to jump..but too late the ship sink..

    1. It sounds like you are a protective mother who is emotionally sensitive and values your family. It sounds like you may be saddened that your husband does not take the necessary steps to save himself emotionally. This is speculative as I do not know you.

  6. i dream that i was on the tatnic ship with my boy friend and my four kids i was going to get paper work when i notice the song came on then the video it felt werid cause i felt like i was in someone else body the next thong you know i had a feeling it was going to sink and i was looking through someone eyes i can see the ship crashing and sinking the next day i know i was laying down in the ship and it was dark and small but it was no water in and out of no where i couldnt breath or talk i try to get out i couldnt all i was thinking about my kids i try saying jesus or god nothing came out i got up and i can breath again what does this mean

    1. I get the feeling that you may be worried about your life sinking like the Titanic. Water is virtually always emotions in dreams. But there is no water toward the end of the dream. You regain your breath of life when you stop laying down and stand up. I believe the dream may be asking you to be less passive emotionally. You find your voice when you become active and stand up for yourself. This dream hits me as giving advice.

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