Dreaming of an Earthquake: Discover the Spiritual Meaning and Interpretation

Damage to roads following an earthquake

Written by Aaron Webber

Updated: November 14, 2023

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Dreaming of an Earthquake is often associated with anxiety, fear, traumatic events, and healing.

Having an intense dream can be very overwhelming and scary, especially if those dreams are reoccurring. Humans throughout history have tried to find meaning in their dreams, whether good or bad. This is particularly true of earthquake dreams.

Because dreams about earthquakes can be particularly scary and memorable, interpreting their meaning can be very important, and very emotionally healing. This is a guide to help you find spiritual meanings and interpretations of earthquake dreams.

There are, generally, two different ways to think about interpreting your dreams. First, many see their dreams as predictors of the future. Second, and more popularly, they are a way for the mind to process trauma or current events. Either way, we will include all the information so you can analyze your dreams in the best way possible.

General Interpretations

Damage to roads following an earthquake

Asphalt road damaged by the volcanic eruption of Kīlauea Hawaii. Earthquake dreams can include big eruptions, or small cracks.

Dreams about natural disasters in general are usually associated to traumatic events. This is especially true for earthquakes. If you have lived through an earthquake, or a similar event such as a landslide or avalanche, you may experience feelings such as anxiety, fear, and depression in your dreams, and relive the experience. This is normal. Traumatic events often stay with us long after the event itself has passed, and our mind will use our sleeping period to process all the emotions it can’t get out during the day.

If you experience an earthquake in the future, you can expect to dream about it at least a few time in the days and weeks that follow.

It is important to remember, however, that the meaning of many subjects or scenes in your dreams will change depending on what else is in the dream. Dreams are dynamic in meaning and interpretation. For example, if your earthquake dream happened in your house, it would have very different interpretations from a dream about an earthquake at school or work. We will cover this later.

Interpretations as a Response

Your dream might be the beginning of your healing process

According to many dream experts, dreaming about an earthquake can be a suggestion that you are experiencing some king of “shake-up” in your life. If you have experienced, or are currently going through, some kind of big life-changing event, then dreams about earthquakes might be common. Things like divorce, breakups, moving, getting a new job, or the death of a family member can all shake up and transform our lives, much like earthquakes do to the terrain.

Your life might be changing or you are losing structure or balance in your life. The things you used to rely on for stability, whether that be a person, place, or something else could have been destroyed or changes in some fundamental way. These are all common threads in dreams about earthquakes.

This doesn’t mean that all earthquake dreams or shake-ups are bad. Having a dream about big, devastating earthquake can be a good thing, even if the dream itself is stressful or scary. If you have been growing and evolving your spiritual beliefs, leaving behind toxic relationships, or changing your life in a positive way, you can still experience earthquake dreams. Even if you are excited and happy about the changes in your life, your mind needs to process the emotional burden that comes with tearing down harmful or toxic influences in your life. You might continue to experience earthquake dreams until the transformation is over.

In some cases, your dream might increase in intensity from night to night. This is common if you are in the middle of a transformation that has not yet concluded. Things like a cancer diagnosis, the lead-up to a big event, or some other kind of conflict that is ongoing. During these times, feelings of anxiety, uncertainty about the future, and fear can be at an all-time high. They might manifest in the form of earthquake dreams.

Sometimes, we might not consciously recognize the source of this anxiety. If we have internalized the source of our fear and no longer recognize it as a stressor for our lives, an earthquake dream might be the wake-up call we need to understand what is happening. Subconscious fears and uncertainties about our relationships, jobs, or even the world as a whole can make us feel stressful in our daily lives. It is only when we pay attention to our dreams that we can wake up and address those issues.

Interpretations Based on Earthquake Behavior

Earthquake - Seismic Meter

The intensity of an earthquake is an important factor of your dream interpretation.

Other interpretations require a closer look at the earthquake itself. How does it behave in your dream? How did it affect the Earth?

The earthquake could act like the Earth was “opening up” and form large holes in the ground. This can be interpreted as you feeling the need to open up and express yourself. Perhaps you have felt smothered or that nobody is listening to you or understands you. Your mind is using your dreamscape to release emotions that it doesn’t feel safe expressing during your waking hours.

Does the earthquake cause large chunks of land to disappear or fall into the ocean or a hole? This might be a form of grief. Are you losing parts of your life? This could be family, relationships, money, or something else you lost due to a change in your life.

Does the earthquake behave like you would expect a normal earthquake to behave? Or, does it open and close? Does it open one big hole or does it form small cracks in the earth? Are there cracks and holes at all? All these differences can help you understand what your subconscious is trying to tell you. If a lot of small cracks are causing a big earthquake, you might feel overwhelmed by the small tasks of everyday life that you can’t tackle all at once.

Interpretations Based on Other Subjects

People looking at damaged buildings after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, CA

Result of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, California. This can resemble the scene in your dream.

Every object in a dream has some kind of meaning or significance. As mentioned earlier, the meaning of an object will change depending on what else is in the dream.

Think about what other objects were in your earthquake dream. How were they involved in the event? For example, was your house in the dream? Did it fall into a hole or did it fall to pieces? Were friends or family present? How did they react?

Sometimes the earthquake is not the primary subject of the dream. It could be a manifestation of your feelings toward the other subjects. If family members fall into the earthquake, you might be afraid of losing them for some reason. If the house is damaged but not destroyed, you might be undergoing some change in your life that will alter your physical home or damage your safe, emotional places.

Interpretations Based on Your Reaction

Dreaming of Snow

A peaceful dream about an earthquake will have different meanings than a scary dream about earthquakes.

Speaking of subjects. In every dream, you are the most important subject. Every dream can have drastically different interpretations based on how we reacted to them in our dreams. Our dream selves often do not act rationally. Our dream selves act on dream-logic, or even as a separate character altogether, as a manifestation of our subconscious.

During your earthquake dream, were you afraid or happy? Did you run from the earthquake or run toward it? Did you control the earthquake or fall into it?

Our mind will use things, scenes, or objects we are familiar with to process and manifest feelings we can’t process otherwise. If you recently left an abusive relationship, evolved spiritually from a high-demand religion, or cut off toxic relationships, you might feel powerful or happy in your earthquake dream.

On the other hand, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, or suffer from narcissistic or emotionally unavailable family members, you might feel fear in your dreams and fall into a dark hole.

Earthquakes are naturally scary. So, while the earthquake itself might feel overwhelming or scary, knowing how you reacted to this scary event can help you understand the dream better.

Interpretations as Predictions

San Francisco earthquake 1906

Dreams will rarely be as literal as a dream about a future event. Such as the San Francisco April 18, 1906 earthquake.

Another option for dream interpretations includes predictions of the future. Many different philosophies, spiritualities, and sciences have their own interpretations about the predictive nature of dreams. These can by literal or metaphorical. So, if you feel like your dream is trying to warn you or help you navigate a future event, there is no harm in comparing interpretative methods to understand your dream better.

As opposed to using an earthquake to process change in our past or present, a dream of a predictive nature that includes earthquakes might be warning you that a big change is coming. In this case, the other subjects in the dream become even more important.

If you are able to find cover in the dream and emerge safely, then your dreams are telling you that you will overcome whatever event is upcoming. If you are trapped, injured, or lost in the earthquake, then you might have to be prepared for loss, injury, or damage in your real life.

Keep in mind, however, that other subjects in predictive dreams aren’t always representations of their real-world counterparts. If your house is razed to the ground in an earthquake dream, that doesn’t mean you might lose your house in an earthquake in real life. Your dreams might be trying to tell you that your “emotional home”, or your community, might be forever changed in some way by a future event. It could be bankruptcy, a death, or some other life-shattering event.

As with all dreams, pay close attention to the feelings that accompany the images you see. While it might be overwhelming, knowing the underlying “tone” of the dream is just as important as the earthquake itself.

Spiritual Interpretations

The mighty god of the sea and oceans Neptune (Poseidon) The ancient statue isolated on black background.

Poseidon, most commonly known as the god of the seas, is also the god of earthquakes.

Our minds use whatever tools it has available to protect us and help us achieve our goals. These tools include spirituality. Looking at your dreams through the lens of your spiritual and religious background can help you understand their meanings. Keep in mind: the spiritual meanings and interpretations of earthquake dreams depend heavily not only on your spiritual background (not just your current beliefs), but also your relationship to those beliefs.

In Christian spirituality, earthquakes represent god’s wrath, destruction, and devastation. If you dream about an earthquake as a devout Christian, you might be fearful of divine punishment. You might be anxious about some kind of destruction to you or friends or family.  

In Greek and Roman mythology, earthquakes are associated with the god Poseidon. He is known as a god with a bad temper. Earthquakes are a result of him striking the earth in his rage. If you suffer from a bad temper or extreme bouts of anger and tantrums, your subconscious could be telling you how your anger hurts and damages those around you.

Some Native American religions believe earthquakes are a manifestation of power and spirituality. In this case, your earthquake dream might be a reason to celebrate. You might be about to go through a period of intense growth, spiritual awakening, or about to overcome a significant obstacle.

In Chinese mythology, earthquakes are associated with Nuwa, a mother goddess. Through this lens, earthquakes can be seen as an opportunity for new beginnings or starting over (in a good way). If we recently passed through a destructive or life-changing event, an earthquake dream can symbolize that everything is about to grow and be rebuilt in a better, bigger way.

In the end, remember that in real life, an earthquake is a big deal. If your dreams include an earthquake, your mind is trying to tell you about something big that is coming, or that you need to process.

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About the Author

Aaron Webber is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering history, spirituality, geography, and culture. He has over 13 years of writing for global marketing firms, ad agencies, and executive ghostwriting. He graduated with a degree in economics from BYU and is a published, award-winning author of science fiction and alternate history. Aaron lives in Phoenix and is active in his community teaching breathwork, healing ceremonies, and activism. He shares his thoughts and work on his site, The Lost Explorers Club.

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