What Does It Mean to Dream of War?

What Does It Mean to Dream of War?

Whether your dream of war portrays you as an angry crusader for some righteous cause or as a victim cowering in fear of an unwarranted attack, dreaming of war may show that things in your life have broken down beyond what rational communication is able to address.

War Dream Summary

War Dream Symbolism

Like any other dream, a war dream can be informed by your life experiences. If you were a soldier or a civilian in an actual war, your dream of war may be processing events that really happened to you. In that case, the symbolic interpretations of a war dream might be less relevant to you than they are to someone who has only seen war in movies.

Symbolically, a war dream can mean that there is conflict in your life, whether inside you or with the people around you. It may also show that how you use aggression is out of balance in some way, whether you are too quick to anger or too repressed.

Your war dream might also suggest what is at the root of the conflict between you and someone else in your life. Possibilities include disrespect of personal boundaries, as well as differing ideas of right and wrong.

Common War Dreams

  1. Dream about being in a war zone
  2. Dream about military invasion
  3. Dream about war and death

War Dream Symbolism

War Dream Symbolism

Conflict and Aggression

One of the more obvious things a war dream could symbolize is that there is a serious conflict in your life, and efforts to resolve it peacefully have so far not been successful. Like a death dream may symbolize endings of any magnitude, a dream of war can symbolize conflict that feels big to you even if it is not really on the scale of a war between countries.

A war dream could show that accepting your own capacity for aggression is challenging for you. You may prefer to see yourself as rational and peaceful. The more you try to suppress your primal side, though, the more violent the dream version of yourself might be.

Alternately, a war dream may show that you rely too heavily on your capacity for aggression to solve your problems. You might be escalating things that actually have the potential to be talked out into war-like conflicts too easily.


One thing wars are often fought over is territory. The boundaries of where one country’s land ends and another country’s land begins can be contested.

A dream of war could therefore symbolize a situation in your life where someone else is trampling your personal boundaries. Alternately, it might symbolize that you feel entitled to override another person’s boundaries because they seem to be standing in the way of something that you need.

Right and Wrong

Another common cause for wars is differing ideas of right and wrong. One religion may go to war against another. Alternately, a country might go to war to stop another country from doing something that seems to violate a universal moral principle, such as enslaving people or committing genocide.

Your war dream could therefore symbolize a situation where you feel like you need to make a strong statement about what is right and what is wrong. You may also need to act on your beliefs, even if you face costs for doing so.

Common War Dreams

Dream about being in a war zone

Dream about being in a war zone

If you dream of being in a war zone, this could symbolize that there is conflict among the people around you. You may feel pressured to pick a side between two individuals or groups.

Even if you have picked a side in whatever dispute is raging around you, your dream about being in a war zone may show that you are struggling to determine what to do about it. You may have to decide whether to actively engage in the conflict or prioritize your own safety.

Dream about military invasion

Dream about military invasion

Dreaming of a military invasion taking place in the area where you live may have similar symbolism to a home invasion dream. This could include a situation where you feel like someone is disrespecting your boundaries or even attacking you. Dreams about military invasion, as opposed to dreaming of home invasion by a single intruder, might be more likely to indicate that you feel a large group of people or even an institution is against you.

Some illnesses like cancer are commonly talked about with military metaphors, so being on the receiving end of a military invasion in your dream could symbolize that you feel concerned about something going on with your physical health. As always, this website does not provide medical advice, and you need to see a healthcare professional for that.

If you dreamed that you were one of the invaders in a military invasion, however, did you think what you were doing was justified? If you felt like you were part of a righteous cause, this dream could symbolize a situation where you are working with others to defeat something you see as evil. Whether or not you were motivated by an ideal of justice, though, being part of an invading group could refer to a situation where you are following peer pressure, for good or for bad.

It might also be worthwhile to consider whether the military invasion in your dream was organized or chaotic. If the invasion sticks to its intended purpose, this could symbolize that, though you or someone else in your life may have to do something that is not universally popular, it will be done in a way that minimizes fallout.

If the military invasion in your dream devolves into a wild frenzy of raping and looting, however, this could symbolize that you or someone else in your life is vindictive about an injustice, real or perceived, and feels entitled to get vengeance in any way possible. See also rape dream symbolism.

Dream about war and death

Dream about war and death

If your dream about war emphasizes your own death, this could share the symbolism of other dreams of death and dying, like going through a personal transformation or ending some important component of your life. With a large, collective force like war to blame in your dream, however, whatever change is happening in your life may seem to come from factors beyond your control. This would be the exact opposite of a suicide dream, where you are in full control of the process.

If your dream emphasizes that you are dying for your country – or your faith, or some other affiliation you are attached to – this could symbolize that you feel proud of your commitment. Such a dream might be provoked by a situation where you feel that your country (or equivalent) is under attack.

Dreaming of dying for your country may also show that you feel like the interests of some larger group are more important than your own personal interests. This might be an admirable self-sacrifice. Depending on the context, though, it could also show that you think poorly of yourself to the point you are not willing to advocate for your own needs even when doing so would be appropriate.

If you dream of killing others in a war, this could symbolize you are taking decisive action against what you see as obstacles in your path. Dreaming of shooting to kill may show that you have an especially focused and precise approach to solving your problems.

If your war dream features chaotic mass death, however, this could symbolize that you feel life in general has gotten totally out of control. Dreaming of trying to flee a bombing may show that you feel attacked. Alternately, this dream could just symbolize that you are overwhelmed and inundated with more responsibilities than you can bear, even if no one has bad intentions toward you.

If you are the one dropping the bombs in your dream, this could symbolize that your anger at the world around you is reaching a crisis point. You might be tempted to take action in a way that is not really constructive, but maybe circumstances are such that scorching the earth is your only path forward.


War is a destructive force, yet it is the origin of many of the world’s national boundaries. Similarly, a war dream may show that you need to assert yourself, even if it leads to conflict with others in the moment, in order to define yourself.

You may not know what your personal boundaries are until someone else steps on them. In this way, conflict may be an unavoidable part of the human condition.

Conflict does not have to become war, however, if people are willing to listen to each other. Your war dream may therefore symbolize that communication has broken down in some important part of your world. As uncomfortable as your emotions and those of the people around you may be, hearing them out may be necessary to achieve lasting peace.