What Does It Mean to Dream of a Ladder?

Climbing up on a ladder may be intimidating at times, but it might be the only way to get your job done. Seeing a ladder in your dream could show that you have a similar interest in getting things done.

Ladder Dream Summary

Ladder Dream Symbolism

Dreaming of a ladder can symbolize a situation where you are following the rules to advance toward your goals and are satisfied with the progress you are making. It could also symbolize a situation where you feel pressured to follow society’s path even if it is not a good fit for your unique circumstances.

Common Ladder Dreams

  1. Dream of climbing up a ladder
  2. Dream of climbing down a ladder
  3. Dream of being stuck at the top of a ladder
  4. Dream of a rope ladder
  5. Dream of a ladder to the clouds
  6. Dream of carrying a ladder
  7. Dream of a ladder of a particular color
    1. Dream of a white ladder
    2. Dream of a red ladder
    3. Dream of a silver ladder

Ladder Dream Symbolism

Ladder Dream Symbolism

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Advancement

Dreaming of climbing a ladder could symbolize that you are advancing toward a goal of yours. This positive interpretation of a ladder dream would be more likely if the ladder dream generally felt good.

Ladders are portrayed in this way in the board game Chutes and Ladders. This common game also associates climbing the ladders toward the goal with morality.

The copy for the 1979 Milton Bradley edition of the game states, “In going up the ladders and down the chutes, a child will learn by the pictures the rewards of good deeds and the consequences of naughty ones.” For example, as the game board depicts, helping a cat stranded in a tree sets the player on a ladder with being rewarded by the cat’s affection at the other end.

Dreaming of climbing a ladder could therefore symbolize that you see the progress you make in life as the result of your own good deeds. This might be true, but watch out for the pitfall of using your experience to judge others who are struggling, as there may be more complexity to their stories than you are able to see.

Orderly Process

A ladder in your dream can symbolize a situation where you must go through an orderly series of steps to reach your goal. In some cases, having these steps spelled out for you can make your journey easier. If the emotional atmosphere of your ladder dream is positive, this could show that you feel like the process you are following is generally helpful and fair.

In other cases, however, the sort of orderly process symbolized by a ladder can have its problems. If there is something unique about your personal circumstances, a path that works for others might not work for you. This might provoke a dream of something like a broken ladder.

You might alternately feel oppressed by a petty bureaucrat who seems to prioritize checking the right boxes on their paperwork in the right order over actually getting the task done. A ladder dream involving skipping a step could reflect this type of situation.

Danger

It stuck with me when I once heard a physician say, “The most dangerous place for a man over 65 is on a ladder.” Indeed, the losses in balance and coordination that many people experience as they grow into old age may make ladder use especially dangerous for older people.

However, ladders have some amount of risk for users of any age. You can fall off a ladder if you lose your balance, or the ladder itself can fall and take you down with it if it is not placed on sturdy ground.

Dreaming of a ladder that you don’t feel safe on could symbolize that you are being pressured to do something you have misgivings about in order to achieve your goals. It might also symbolize a situation where you feel like you have no good options.

Common Ladder Dreams

Dream of climbing up a ladder

Dream of climbing up a ladder

A dream of climbing up a ladder could symbolize that you are making progress toward your goals in an orderly way. As long as the emotional atmosphere of your dream is positive, this is probably a good omen.

Dream of climbing down a ladder

Dream of climbing down a ladder

The direction you are moving on a ladder in your dream can be relevant symbolically, as it is for elevator dream symbolism. If climbing down a ladder in your dream feels bad, this could symbolize that you feel like you have been demoted, either professionally or in terms of some other form of status that matters to you.

Dreams about climbing down from high places may alternately be about the idea of a mountaintop experience, which refers to a moment of spiritual or intellectual clarity that is often achieved in a setting a bit different from the rest of your life. After you have an insight of this sort, climbing down the ladder in your dream could show that you need to find a way to bring your new knowledge into your routine activities.

Dream of being stuck at the top of a ladder

Dream of being stuck at the top of a ladder

Dreaming of being stuck at the top of a ladder can symbolize a situation where you are afraid to delve too deeply into some issue because you suspect you will not like what you find. Your dream shows, however, that you can’t go any further if you don’t confront your fear.

Dream of a rope ladder

Dream of a rope ladder

Though not everyone is physically capable of climbing a regular ladder, climbing a rope ladder requires additional skills that exclude more people. If you are physically capable of climbing a rope ladder, dreaming of a rope ladder can symbolize a situation where you have to rely on the strength of your body to meet your needs. You may be proud of your physical abilities.

If you are not physically capable of climbing a rope ladder, however, dreaming of a rope ladder being presented as the path you must pursue could symbolize a situation where people think you should be able to get out of some predicament, but you do not have the resources you need to do so.

Dream of a ladder to the clouds

Dream of a ladder to the clouds

Dreaming of a ladder to the clouds could reference the Bible story of Jacob’s ladder, especially if that story is already familiar to you. In this story, Jacob, at a critical juncture of his life, had a dream in which angels were ascending and descending a ladder between Earth and Heaven. God then appeared and promised Jacob that he would be blessed with land and offspring.

A Jacob’s ladder dream meaning could therefore be that you are seeking a spiritual connection or divine guidance for your life. The dream might show that this connection is available to you.

Alternately, a cloud ladder dream meaning could be that you are frustrated because some journey, especially an educational or professional trajectory, you are on seems to have no end. You might like to stop and have a stable, enjoyable life somewhere, but you feel like you are pushed to just keep moving forward.

Dream of carrying a ladder

Dream of carrying a ladder

Dreaming of carrying a ladder could symbolize that you are taking an assertive approach toward reaching your goals. It might also show that you have a substantial amount of control over the process and are not at the mercy of others.

Dream of a ladder of a particular color

Dreaming of a ladder of a particular color could combine the dream symbolism of a ladder with the meaning of that color given in color dream symbolism.

Dream of a white ladder

Dream of a white ladder

The symbolism of the color white has to do with innocence and purity. The dream meaning of a white ladder could therefore be that moral correctness is a priority on the path you are pursuing. If this is a dream where you get stuck at the top of the ladder, though, it might show that your desire to be seen as a good person is getting in the way of what would actually help you and others.

Dream of a red ladder

Dream of a red ladder

Red is a color associated with taking action. The dream meaning of a red ladder could therefore be that you are actively pursuing your goals. Red is also associated with material security, so your red ladder dream might indicate that getting the money or other resources you need is a big motivation for you.

Dream of a silver ladder

Many metal ladders have a silver color, so the dream meaning of a silver ladder could be that you tend to take a straightforward route without frills toward achieving your goals. Silver can be associated with money and success, however, so that might be something to consider if the ladder in your dream was much shinier than the average metal ladder.

Conclusion

Ladder dreams tend to emphasize a narrative of following the rules to make progress toward socially approved goals. If this is what you are trying to do in your life, a ladder dream can be a positive omen.

While this story works well for many people, however, it may not be the only story possible. A negative ladder dream might validate your suspicions that the common path is not a good fit for you, giving you permission to look for your own way.

Eva Sylwester

Eva Sylwester has been fascinated with the interpretation of dreams since middle school. She got a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Oregon in 2007. After that, she began exploring astrology and other new frontiers in spirituality. In her approach, the goal of dream interpretation is to help the dreamer articulate their own intuition. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

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