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Why Visitation Dreams Occur (and What They Mean)

Karen Frazier
A couple dancing under water in a intimate moment

Visitation dreams may occur when you're missing a loved one, particularly in the weeks or months after their death. Is a loved one really visiting in your dreams, or is it wishful thinking?

What Are Visitation Dreams?

Have you ever had a hyper-real dream in which someone, living or dead, comes to see you? It may be a visitation dream, in which the soul of another human or a beloved pet comes to see you in your dreams. You may also receive a visit from a spirit guide or guardian angel in a visitation dream.

Characteristics of Visitation Dreams

While there's no proof another's soul is visiting you in your dreams, there are some signs that may indicate you are being visited by a loved one while you sleep:

  • The dream is even more real than waking reality. It is a very vivid dream.
  • Conversations and circumstances in the dream don't necessarily seem as weird or symbolic as other dreams; however, the being visiting you will communicate a message of significance.
  • If you wake during the dream, you may experience momentary sleep paralysis in which it seems as if you are unable to move or speak.
  • The dream sticks with you after you awake; you may even recall the details of the dream years or decades later.
  • The being visiting you in the dream will be able to communicate clearly, even if they don't appear to be speaking through their mouth. Communication may be telepathic, verbal, visual, or you may emerge from the dream with a "knowing" about what was being communicated.
  • Encounters in the dreams tend to be fairly brief.
  • The dream may be lucid, and you may be able to control your thoughts, words, and actions in a way you can't during a normal dream.
  • The dream is almost always positive, peaceful, loving, and comforting.
  • When you wake from the dream, you may notice sensory input that seems out of place, such as aromas, sounds, a chill, other physical sensations, or the sense that there is a presence in the room with you.
Couple taking walk at sunset

Why Visitation Dreams Occur

Visitation dreams occur for a number of reasons:

  • A deceased loved one wants to reassure you or tell you they love you.
  • Deceased loved ones or spirit guides/angels may have an important message to impart.
  • A deceased loved one or pet may simply wish to spend a few moments in your presence.
  • Your loneliness or grief may draw a deceased loved one to you.
  • It may be wishful thinking or a memory.
  • You may be in need of comfort.
  • The soul of a dying person may come to tell you goodbye.
  • You may meet with an astrally traveling soul.

Visitation Dreams Meaning

Visitation dreams tend to be more literal than symbolic dreams in which your subconscious communicates with you. Therefore, you usually don't need to try to interpret the dream symbols in a visitation. Rather, you emerge from the dream with an understanding of its purpose and meaning, which is clear because of conversations and events in the dream.

Visitation Dreams in Grieving Individuals

When a loved one dies, it's natural that in your grief, you miss them and wish you could see them again. Sometimes, this loneliness is enough to spark a visitation dream. Is it really and truly a visit? That's up for interpretation, but what matters is you feel comforted as you grieve. Some believe spirits may be better able to communicate with the living during dreams, which is one potential explanation as to why someone grieving meets up with their deceased beloved while they sleep.

Two females under water in flowing evening dresses

Visitation Dreams From the Living

It is also possible to have a visitation dream in which someone who is still alive appears. The dreams will still be identifiable with the characteristics noted above, except the person visiting is still alive. These types of dreams may be soul communication between you and that individual, or you and/or the person in your dream may actually be astrally projecting during dreams, and you're meeting on the astral plane. You can learn to have astral projection dreams, and you can even try arranging a dream meeting someone you know on the astral plane.

Visitation Dreams Offer Comfort

The primary purpose of visitation dreams is to offer comfort or share important information. And regardless of whether they are a form of spirit communication, wishful thinking, or simply your subconscious in action, the result is that you get to spend time with someone you love.

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Why Visitation Dreams Occur (and What They Mean)