What Does It Mean To Dream About An Earthquake?

An earthquake, whether occurring in your dream or in your waking life, can be a terrifying experience which has a profound impact on you, where you’re jumpy at the slightest sound, and you feel danger is around every corner. You may have only dreamed of a building shaking to its foundations, or you were caught up in the destruction of an earthquake, and the horror you felt was so awful and so real that you startled yourself awake.

In Greek mythology, an earthquake was the sign of a god’s wrath or displeasure about something. In life, earthquakes occur when tectonic plates rub against each other, and the resulting shockwave can cause a small tremor that lasts only for a few seconds, or a lot of devastation within a few minutes. Volcanic eruptions can also cause earthquakes.

Dreaming of an earthquake indicates that there’s an imbalance in your life, or you’re going through some emotional turmoil, or you feel disconnected from your life and everything seems to be happening far away. 

The Meaning Behind Your Earthquake Dream

If everything in your dream is shuddering during an earthquake, this can mirror emotions and thoughts which have disrupted your sense of security, or affected your sense of wellbeing. A dream of an earthquake can appear as a result of feeling unable to cope with something, and stress is usually our first reaction. This can make you overthink and make a problem bigger than it needs to be. Earthquakes can also indicate impending change, and the aftershocks are a mirror of how you’ll adapt to the new situation.

An earthquake in your dream, while it was probably a horrible experience, is not a sign of bad things to come. You may be looking forward to the tasks ahead, and feeling like you’re being challenged can drive you to be more productive and can lead to a better outcome than if you were just completing something for the sake of it. If, in your dream, you knew an earthquake was coming, this suggests you’ll recognize an opportunity when it comes up, and you’ll take full advantage of it. If no one believed you, you may recognize a chance to further yourself, but you’ll fall short of achieving your goal. 

How intense the earthquake was in your dream can help inform the meaning. The bigger the earthquake, the bigger the change, and although you may struggle at first, you will adapt. You may start a new chapter in your life, where there is no turning back. 

You may even feel that an earthquake will happen in waking life, and that’s the cause behind your dream. Sometimes we pick up on things without a conscious reason. Or, you’ve watched too many disaster movies or listened to the media cry everything is terrible! In Freudian terms, a dream involving an earthquake suggests an emotional change is on its way, or you’re feeling sexually frustrated.

In Jungian terms, the earthquake can point to a transformation of self, and the emotions which follow, which can provoke a feeling of disaster, or of such change you need a minute to find your balance again. A dream of an earthquake can also suggest you need to do some introspection, where you need to reach a new outlook or way of life, otherwise you won’t get stronger.

An earthquake is a powerful image in any dream, and it’s important to consider the meaning behind it, as it’s not one you should ignore. This dream can suggest it’s vital to make a decision – if you’ve been mulling over some choices, now is the time to act. If you felt worried during your dream of an earthquake, this mirrors waking life where you feel out of control, and it’s time to do something about it.

This will sound strange, but any natural disaster (see also Tornado Dream Interpretation) occurring in your dream can be a sign of good things for the future. The destructive nature of the disaster indicates how much this event will change your life. For example, if you’re just starting a relationship, and you have this dream, it could be a sign that this connection will change your life. It’s also your subconscious telling you to pay attention to your words and actions when it comes to others, as you don’t want to cause needless pain, where you and the other person will suffer.

If this earthquake in your dream seems to drag out or last longer than one in waking life reasonably would, this indicates you’re worried about a friend. Their health or wellbeing is suffering, and your anxiety about them has made it into your dream. If the earthquake was quick, this reflects your state of mind. You’re quick to anger, nervous, or irritable with others, there’s an undercurrent of worry running through your life right now. If you dream of seeing people trapped beneath the devastation of an earthquake, this suggests that you’ll receive some bad news, from someone who’s not close to you. If you dream of a tsunami occurring after an earthquake, the choices you make in the near future will have a big impact on your life, and you may reach some important milestones.

Dreaming of an earthquake can be caused by a subconscious worry which rises to the surface during your dream. Sudden change will affect your sense of equilibrium, and you’ll struggle to find a new balance. When you’ve had a dream like this, it can be helpful to trust your instincts and make small changes as you see fit, or even begin again in some areas, as you move to improve your life. Occasionally, this dream will warn you of something, which will – frustratingly – only become clear with hindsight.

If you felt terrified during your earthquake dream, this can be a bad sign. All dream symbols incorporate both positive and negative meanings. In this case, this dream can suggest you will have a bad time at work, or a creative project will stall, but you’ll get there eventually.

What does it Mean to Dream of the Destruction Caused by an Earthquake?

Earthquakes in waking life can disrupt nature and its resources, and cause people to lose their homes or even their lives. When you see the destruction caused by an earthquake in your dream, this means you will feel the need to protect what’s yours, either in a material way or the people who are close to you. This dream can also indicate you feel inadequate or insecure in some way.

In older dream lore, an earthquake’s devastation in your dream points to a social transformation of sorts, or moving house in the future. It’s also a chance that you may lose your job or your business, but you’ll be able to recognize the risk before it can happen. In some cultures, an earthquake in a dream suggests a victory over something, or good news. Broadly, an earthquake dream is usually considered a forewarning of change that will transform your life. 

What does a Dream of Running Away from an Earthquake Mean?

Dreaming of running to safety, away from people who are hurt or from buildings that are shaking suggests that an event in the future will have a transformative effect on you. Obviously our first instinct is usually self-preservation, and the determination to see things through to the other side. The same can be said for major change in life – the first thing you might do is retreat, to find a new sense of balance before you do anything else. This dream can be a byproduct of transforming your life for the better, and while we might fear change, it usually makes us into better versions of ourselves.

If you dream of driving away from an earthquake, this reflects the desire to escape a difficult situation or the responsibilities that are weighing you down. You may feel stuck in the middle of a vicious cycle, and you don’t know how to take the first step in breaking away from it. You may also be searching for easy solutions where none will appear. You may want things over quickly, but that doesn’t mean they’ll just happen. Some things take longer than others. Dreaming of driving away from an earthquake can symbolize the desire to change your life, or it can reflect your ability to adapt to any situation you face.

What’s the Spiritual Meaning behind a Dream of an Earthquake?

Normally, we don’t expect the earth to move beneath our feet, and when it does, it can send us into a major panic. Dreaming of an earthquake can disrupt your sense of security, and can make you worried about the future and what it has in store for you. Your dream may not be an indicator of things to come, but of the difficulties you’re facing right now, and the struggle you’re battling through. The dream itself can reflect how we deal with troubling situations, or how you think you might handle something stressful. 

While you may not always hear about it, earthquakes happen all the time. If you live somewhere that’s prone to earthquakes, it’s natural to have this dream! Earthquake dreams can signify a transitional period in your life, one in which you’re unsure how things will turn out, but you’ll work through it. If you’re going through something incredibly difficult, like a divorce, a break-up, or a change in job, or you even argued with someone you’d never thought you’d fight with, these can all cause a dream of a natural disaster. 

Dreaming of an earthquake can signify how you’re struggling to adapt to change, or you’re fighting it completely, which will only hold you back in the long run and cause more suffering than you need to go through. This dream can also mirror how you feel in waking life – if you feel terrified, powerless, or shocked.

What’s the Biblical Interpretation of an Earthquake Dream?

In the Bible, a dream of an earthquake is a warning. It can represent destruction of some kind, or an impending accident. You may also need to be careful of whom you trust and who you rely on, as this dream can indicate you’ll be let down by someone.

What Does it Mean to Dream of Being in a Building During an Earthquake?

Dreaming of being in a building during an earthquake suggests that you’ll go through something which may change who you are, or how you think. Alternatively, you’re overwhelmed by problems in waking life, and you want to run away from them, as you feel that’s the easiest way to cope. You may be focusing on the cause of your problems, and the feelings involved, rather than how you can solve them. If you felt scared, trapped, or you felt you might die in this building in your dream, you feel trapped by circumstances in your waking life. This dream can also indicate an unwillingness to process your emotions in a healthy way.

What does it Mean to Feel an Earthquake in Your Dream?

Feeling an earthquake in your dream mirrors the loss of security, routine, or stability in your waking life. Something is coming to a close; your job, your relationship, a divorce, and you don’t know who you will be at the end of it. Whatever difficulty you’re facing, your subconscious has reflected in your dream, and it can also symbolize the emotional turmoil involved. You’re overwhelmed, and unsure of the best approach to adapt to changing circumstances. Alternatively, you’ve encountered someone who is changing your life for the better, or you’re nearing the end of a goal, and you’re questioning the person you’ll become.

Does my Earthquake Dream Mean there will be an Earthquake?

As I’ve touched on earlier, dreaming of something doesn’t mean it will happen in your waking life. You may be wary of the possibility, so you’re watching for signs of it, and it’s the watchfulness that’s causing this dream. Your dream can also be caused by your mood swings, if you’re going through a tough time right now, and you’re jumping from one emotion to another, disrupting your sense of balance.

What does it Mean to Dream of the Ground Cracking during an Earthquake?

Dreaming of the Earth cracking beneath your feet suggests there will be a tough period ahead, where you might lose your “emotional footing” for a minute. You may even question your sense of self, or your ability to handle problematic situations. This dream points to change, and a struggle to regain a sense of stability. You may lose something you never thought you would, something or someone you’ve taken for granted in the past. It may be a warning not to take the things you’ve always had for granted, as that might be the reason you lose them in the future. To put this dream’s meaning into more positive terms, so I don’t completely depress you, this change will bring about new opportunities, a brand-new beginning, and you may find yourself in a better place than you ever were before.

What does it Mean to Dream of Dying During an Earthquake?

Dreaming of dying during an earthquake suggests that you’ll suffer from a problem or a situation which will “break” you. You may feel like giving up, or you’ll surrender a sense of self, a purpose, or an outlook. The good news is that you’ll find a new purpose, a new outlook, and a better version of yourself at the end of it. You may discover a new way of life or a relationship which sparks a new wellness, or a new journey. This doesn’t mean that you’re weak for letting change get the better of you, it denotes the opposite. You’re better because of change, because you don’t try to stay the same, as you always have been. You’ll grow with every experience you have.

What does Dreaming of Rescuing Someone from an Earthquake Mean?

Rescuing someone from an earthquake in your dream suggests you’re worried about this person in waking life. You may fear something bad happening to this person, and you won’t have the power to help them. Well, you can still help them even if you can’t change a troubling situation – just be there for them when they need it. Alternatively, this dream may suggest you have a bit of a savior complex going on, where you need to feel like you help others, in order to feel good about yourself.

A negative interpretation of this dream is that you’re putting yourself in danger or at risk to help someone. You may not be able to tell the difference between someone in need and someone who takes advantage of kindness. Or, you are putting your health behind the needs of others, and you’ll soon feel it.

What does Watching an Earthquake in Your Dream Mean?

Dreaming of watching an earthquake reflects how you’re seeing something fall apart in waking life. This may not have anything to do with you, but you may be watching someone else’s relationship deteriorate, or they’re going through a tough time, and because it’s something they have to handle on their own, you feel frustrated. Alternatively, you feel like a bystander in your own life, where you feel as though you’re watching everything from a distance, and you don’t know how to get back. This is a sign of stress. Breathe. 

What do Dead Bodies Mean in a Dream?

Dead bodies (see also Dreaming Of Dead People) in your dream can signify a subconscious cry for help. You are going through a tough situation, and you’ve realized you need help to get through it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Alternatively, the words you’ve used lately have hurt others. Choose them more carefully.

Earthquakes In Folklore

Earthquakes symbolize different things in different cultures, there’s no “right” meaning, but one that feels true to you. Some of the earliest ideas of why earthquakes occur are very interesting, so I’ve included some below. Who knows, they may provide further insight into your dream.

  • Hindu Mythology: Elephants hold up the “corners” of the earth, which rests upon their backs. They stand on top of a huge tortoise, and when one animal moves, this causes an earthquake. In the 5th Century, the names of the elephants were written in the Amarakosha, which is a thesaurus written in Sanskrit. 
  • Mongolian Mythology:  the god that made Earth had a frog carry it on its back.   When the frog moves, so does the Earth. 
  • Greek Mythology: Whenever Poseidon was in a bad mood, he’d strike the ground with his trident, which would cause an earthquake. The Ancient Greeks also believed a theory that Aristotle put forward. Strong, wild winds are trapped underground, and when they escape, they cause earthquakes. You’ll also find a reference to this in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV.
  • Japanese Mythology: a very large catfish, referred to as namazu, lives under the sea, curled up. The islands of Japan directly rest on his back, and a demigod (known as a daimyojin) keeps him from moving by holding a heavy stone over his head. No one is perfect though, and the daimyojin gets distracted occasionally, and the namazu moves, causing tremors to wrack the Earth. It’s also said that an oarfish comes from the Sea God’s palace as a messenger who bears a warning. When they arrive at the beaches of Japan, an earthquake is coming.
  • Norse Mythology: Loki was imprisoned underground for murdering Baldr, the God of ‘Beauty and Light’. He was lashed to a rock, and placed under a serpent that dripped a nasty venom. His life, Sigyn, held a bowl to catch the poison and prevent harm from coming to Loki, but she had to empty the bowl eventually. When she did, Loki would thrash against the pain, and caused the Earth to quake.
  • Mayan Mythology: the Mayan God of the underworld is called Cizin, or Kisin (this translates to “Stinking One”).  He appears in pre-Columbian texts as a dancing skeleton holding a cigarette. Another recognizable feature is his death collar, which is made of eyes which dangle by the nerve cords. He causes earthquakes, and often appears in scenes of human sacrifice, as well as scenes where he destroys trees planted by the rain God, Chac. After the Spanish conquest, Cizin was replaced with the Christian devil. 
  • West African Mythology: the Earth is a flat disc, which is held up by a giant in the East, and a mountain in the West. The giant’s wife holds the sky, and sometimes the giant takes time out to hug his wife, and the Earth shakes.

In Your Dream, You May Have:

  • Seen an earthquake
  • Been in the middle of an earthquake
  • Been told there was an earthquake
  • Seen buildings collapse during an earthquake
  • Seen people die in the earthquake
  • Known people were trapped under debris from the earthquake

Positive Changes Are Coming, If

  • You managed to escape the earthquake
  • You didn’t feel scared
  • No one was hurt in your dream
  • Nothing was damaged in the earthquake
  • After this dream, you adjust your goals
  • After this dream, you’re more honest

Feelings You May Have Experienced During Your Earthquake Dream

Powerless. Terrified. Relieved. Worried about others. Upset. Insecure. Vulnerable. Shocked. 


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