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The Symbolism of Windows in Dreams (and Waking Life)

There is profound symbolism in even the smallest elements of the world around us. Sometimes these elements appear sychronistically – repeating over and over in our lives, our minds, or our dreams.

The more we see the symbol, the more we look for it. And the more we look for it, the more we start to wonder what deeper meaning it could have for us mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

an old wooden window open to a view of the ocean and trees.

In addition to researching the meaning that certain things have for us in our dreams, I love to investigate the symbolism that everyday elements, objects, or themes can have in our waking lives.

When it feels like something is showing up over and over in your life, look a little deeper and consider what your inner self or your spirit guides might be trying to reveal to you!

Learn more about why we dream and what dreams are.

Windows offers a new perspective

Windows are a classic symbol of an opening, a portal, a new view or perspective. They can also signify coming changes and glimpsing the future or the unknown.

The window can allow light in, and it can shed light on that which is unseen. Glass provides a thin and transparent veil between this world and another. Though separated by only a delicate, impermanent barrier, the two worlds can seem as different as night and day.

young woman sitting in the sun in a large window.

When windows appear to you, where are you finding yourself? Are you on the inside or the outside, looking in? Carefully consider your relationship with the window to better understand its meaning to you personally.

Being on the outside looking in

The idea of being outside and looking in a window is the quintessential description of loneliness, isolation, and exclusion. Are you finding yourself feeling like an outsider, watching what’s going on from behind a glass wall?

If you’re instead finding yourself on the inside looking out, ask yourself if there any commonality to the scenes you’re observing. If the windows are appearing in your dreams, are they showing you a glimpse of your world, or another world altogether?

Consider if the world that you’re glimpsing one that’s familiar or unknown. The answers to these questions can lend a lot of insight into their meaning in this moment.

The symbolism of windows vs. doors

Unlike a door, a window shows us what’s out there without necessarily allowing us to enter into it. As a result, window symbolism varies quite a bit from doors and centers on that which is seen, rather than experienced.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream About Houses?

three large arched windows in an open ball room.

It’s possible that the window is symbolizing you watching the world go by, rather than taking more of a participatory role in life. Another possibility is that you’re feeling like there’s another world that you’re missing out on, another place you’d rather be.

In contrast to a door, a window can symbolize the very beginning of change, or a hesitation to make an important move. You are glimpsing that new world, you need only decide if it’s the right decision to step out into it.

Learn about the symbolism of windows in art.

An open window

If the window is open, it’s often a very positive sign that you’re emotionally or mentally willing to allow some fresh air into your life. You’re open to change, to new experiences and to embracing the beauty of the unknown.

an old window open to a view of sunny rolling hills and trees.

A closed window

If the windows are closed, it could indicate that you’re just starting a new journey and the pathways of thought are only beginning to open the portal. If you see yourself reflected back in the window, like a mirror, it’s time to reflect on where you are now and whether you’re ready to move forward. Your inner self is asking you to look within in order to see what is truly possible.

A dirty or cloudy window

A window that’s dirty or that you can’t see through is one step behind the closed window. You’re not ready to make the changes, but you’re beginning to realize that there is another world beyond what you’ve become accustomed to.

black and white photo of a cloudy window.

A dirty window can also symbolize feelings of guilt, shame, or suppressed traumas. You may be unwilling or unable to clearly look through that window at this time. Consider that symbolically cleaning those windows can bring clarity, self-acceptance, and a brand new perspective.

Stained glass windows

Stained glass windows are a thing of beauty. When the light shines through them, the colored glass is illuminated like jewels. Rather than allowing someone to look out, a stained glass window is itself the view. It needs only let the light shine in. It makes sense that many churches and places of worship use stained glass in their windows.

a colorful church stained glass window.

These places are where a visitor can come to look within themselves and their faith for answers. Stained glass in your dreams can be a profound symbol of spiritual awakening and awareness.

You are opening yourself to your deepest self, to the soul. Stained glass reminds us that at times, there is no need to look outside of oneself for the answers. Instead, simply allow the light in!

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream of Stairs?

Small windows

Very small windows are an unusual symbol. A tiny window provides just a small piece of the puzzle, a minute glimpse into what’s on the other side.

an arched church window surrounded by darkness.

If small windows repeat in your life or dreams, take great care to assess what view the window frames. It may be time to look at the details, rather than the “big picture,” so to speak.

Large windows

Large, grand windows provide a huge field of vision. Is there an open, sweeping landscape beyond? Or an incredibly intricate cityscape, dotted with millions of tiny yellow lights?

a large round window to a fish tank at an aquarium.

Like with small windows, it’s a good idea to take into account what the window is showing you. Often a large window is telling you that what you’re viewing is of great importance.

Bars on the window

If there are bars on the window, there is information withheld. Barred windows are associated with security, and a need to protect oneself from the outside world. Barred windows may indicate a feeling of being emotionally closed off and deeply isolated.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream of an Island?

an old barred window in a stone building.

Broken window

If the window has broken panes, there’s inner pain and feelings of being unable to overcome or move beyond an event, time, or place. However, glass is easily broken, and just as easily repaired.

It’s important to remember that although broken glass can symbolized hopeless and helpless feelings, windows are very much a symbol of hope. The broken window is a reminder that there is still hope and that change will come.