Discerning the sources of dreams

According to St Nikitas Stithatos, the various sources of dreams can be discerned as follows:

  1. If a soul loves materialism and pleasure, “it dreams of acquiring possessions and having lots of money, of female figures and passionate involvements;”
  2. If a soul is avaricious and grasping, it “dreams of gold everywhere, and imagines himself acquiring it, lending it out at interest and storing it up in his treasuries;”
  3. If a soul is hot-tempered and vicious, it imagines itself “pursued by wild beasts and poisonous snakes and is overwhelmed with fear and cowardice;”
  4. If a soul is full of self-esteem, it “will dream of acclamation and being feted by the people, of holding positions of power and authority;” and
  5. If a soul is full of pride and arrogance, it sees itself ” being carried along in a splendid coach and sometimes even flying through the air on wings, while everyone trembles at his great power.”

The aforementioned points clearly manifest the root passions involved in the sources of various dreams. Meanwhile, additional points below manifest the virtues involved in the sources of dreams, as follows:

  • If a soul is genuine and sincere in their struggle toward holiness and deification, the soul can see the outcome of various events when asleep, together with revelations and visions. Such a soul prays even when asleep and tends to awaken with “words addressed to God” on their lips. The soul also experiences their heart praying continuously, with the heart of their soul praying and praising God ceaselessly. If attacked by the Devil and/or demon-minions, the heart of the soul automatically begins praying to God (through noetic prayer, deep prayer of the heart) and the Devil and/or demon-minions vanish.


Met. Hierotheos. (2010). The science of spiritual medicine. Levadia, Greece: Birth of Theotokos Monastery.