Dream symbols: Wood and stone – and what they mean

I sometimes think that wood and stone (or rock) are opposite materials when it comes to dreams symbols.

They are so common that you might not even take notice of the fact that an object is made of them in your dream. But it can mean more than you think – so ignore it at your peril!

In this article we will unpack the biblical symbolism of these materials, and what that might look like in a dream – plus some real dream examples.

The symbolic nature of dreams

Firstly, if you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read Dreams as parables and Symbolic language in dreams to give you a foundation.

Secondly, remember that dreams are personal, so the meanings that I suggest may not apply to your specific dream. But please feel free to use my ideas as a springboard to thinking and praying about dreams yourself. Don’t take my ideas as gospel, but rather let them help you start to think metaphorically.

I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.

Contents

Dream symbol: Wood

By wood I am talking about the material – rather than lots of trees!

Wood is commonly used in construction because it is easily shaped and widely available. It can be used for houses and furniture, as well as many household implements.

For this reason, it appears frequently in dreams, but we may not take notice of it. For example, we might visit a log cabin or walk on a wooden path. This can be a very helpful clue – if we pay attention.

In some settings wood seems strong – such as thick planks and construction timbers. But in other situations, it is weak – for example in the presence of fire!

Consider the children’s story of the three little pigs: The house made of bricks was the strongest and the house made of straw was the weakest. The house made of wood was in the middle: It was strong, but not as strong as brick – and the wolf could still blow it down.

Wood in the bible

Wood was a widely available material in bible time, and was associated with human frailty. This was due to its properties as a material with limited strength and lifespan – and comparing its attributes with those of an eternal God. Although not specifically about wood, the following bible verses capture this essence:

  • Job 14:1-2, NLT How frail is humanity! How short is life… We blossom like a flower and then wither. Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.
  • Psalm 103:14, NASB…for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust…

Wood was used widely in the construction of the tabernacle (tent of worship), where wooden items were overlaid with gold. This was a foreshadow of Jesus: the combination of humanity (wood) and divinity (gold).

Wood as humanity

In a dream, wood commonly represents humanity or something man-made. For those of you, like me, who desire to seek God’s perspective on situations, this is very helpful for discerning which things are from God and which things are from ourselves.

Wood is an extremely strong indication that the thing the wooden object symbolises is not from God: It is from people, and it is probably not reliable. Even if you don’t have a faith, it would still represent something that’s not the best idea!

Wood is a strong indicator that the object it symbolises is from people (usually the dreamer) rather than God.

This is not always a bad thing! God delights to use us in our weakness. But it is very helpful to know. For example, depending on the context, it could represent:

  • Our own flawed ideas
  • A man-made system or structure
  • A false assumption or worldview

It can also mean that we are doing something in our own strength rather than in the power of God’s Spirit.

Some other meanings of wood

There are many reasons why wood could appear in your dream. The context will tell you whether the material (wood) is the main point, or whether the dream symbol is there for another reason. Here are a few ideas:

Humility: This is when our humanity is revealed – but we are encouraged to embrace it anyway! We acknowledge our weakness and trust God to empower us. This theme will be expanded in my article on the colour brown – which is coming soon. Brown has a very similar symbolism to wood.

Trees: These are made of wood but are living. They often represent people or leaders. A big / old tree can represent maturity.

Forest: Woods or forests can have many meanings, depending on what is happening in the dream. For example: It could be a dark or difficult place where it’s hard to see (understand); coming out into a clearing would be getting clarity. It could also be a place/organisation with lots of people. Or it could represent a busy time with lots going on.

Real dream examples: Wood

Here are some examples of how God used wood in my dreams to alert me when something was not from Him.

DREAMINTERPRETATIONEXPLANATION
I dreamed a man was making something big out of wooden blocks. He said it was one of his dreams. There was an idea it could be something big.This was a heads up that a big dream I had was not from God; it was not a good idea and there was a better way for me.The man was reflecting me and one of my unrealistic plans. Later I realised what it was about, and it helped me make a better choice.
I dreamed I was driving and came to a ‘cute’ bus stop in a layby with a wooden deck. I wondered whether to catch the bus – but eventually continued by car.I was thinking of signing up for a paid course to help me with something. The dream told me that I should just carry on as I was. The course seemed attractive but was not the best idea for me.The bus represented the course (a potential vehicle to achieve a goal).  I might not have taken notice of the wooden deck – but it was the vital clue.
I dreamed that the couple who trained me in dreams had bought a new house with newly sanded wooden floorboards. I didn’t like it though.This dream was alerting me that I had made a wrong assumption about what my recent dreams meant, so I should go back and double check my understanding.The couple represented my dream interpretations. The house was my latest idea of what they meant. The wooden floor was dodgy foundations / assumptions

Dream symbol: Stone (or rock)

Stone is the exact opposite of wood in dreams! As a material it is hard and enduring. It is not burnt by fire. It is used for permanence – for example in houses and flooring – and it is hard to destroy.

  • If wood is dodgy foundations, rock is solid foundations
  • If wood is false assumptions, rock is truth you can depend upon
  • If wood is man’s idea, rock is God’s idea
  • If wood is temporary, rock is long-lasting
  • If wood is weak, rock is strong

Hopefully, you get the picture!

Stone and rock in the bible

In the bible stone was used to make things that were meant to last. This could be good – such as making buildings, or permanent memorials to what God had done. But it could also be bad – for example when they made false gods and altars to idols (this was not limited to stone; they built idols out of almost everything!).

The word rock appears countless times in reference to God. God is described as our rock: a firm foundation; someone who can be relied upon; unchanging; a safe place to shelter. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Psalm 62:6, NASB He alone is my rock and my salvation, my refuge; I will not be shaken.
  • Isaiah 26:4, NASB Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.

Jesus is also described as our rock, or cornerstone – and those who follow Jesus as living stones or rocks (reliable people who reflect God’s character).

God is our Rock

And finally, many of will remember the parable Jesus told – about the wise man who built his house on a rock.  This wonderfully illustrates the symbolism of stone/rock as something trustworthy we can depend on. In this case, sand is used as a comparison – to represent the unreliable foundation.

  • Matthew 7:25, NASB And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

I love this quote from the footnote to Isaiah 26:4 in The Passion Translation:

The concept of God being our Rock speaks of the enduring protection, safety, and security we have in him. We plant our feet on the Rock and find boldness and confidence. Throughout every age and season of our lives, God remains our faithful Rock of all Ages.

Footnote to Isaiah 26:4 – The Passion Translation

Some negative meanings of stone and rock

Most of the time when rock appears in a dream it represents something reliable/of God. But occasionally it can appear in a negative context. Maybe there is a bad atmosphere, or the context alerts you that something is not right. Here are some examples:

Hard hearted: Stone can be likened to hard or cold hearts; this suggests being unfeeling or unmovable – or even stubborn!

Barren or rocky places: These can represent difficult (hard) times where there is not much growth.

Rocky soil: This could mean that we are unable to receive or accept something – because we are set in our ways and hardened to it (like the rocky soil in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13).

Stone statues: These could represent idols (as could any kind of statues).

Real dream examples: Stone or rock

Here are some examples of how God used stone or rock in my dreams to show me that something was from Him.

DREAMINTERPRETATIONEXPLANATION
I dreamed I was cycling fast then suddenly hit a curb stone. My stomach lurched as I came to an abrupt stop.The night before, I’d had an urgent feeling I should stop something I had just started. This dream was confirming that this thought was from God.The stone was the clue here: the bad feeling I had about this new thing was from God.
I dreamed I was visiting a place with some ancient stone structures. My mum had paid for my son to come here because he likes the sun.At that time, I had signed up for a course to help my spiritual journey – using birthday money my mum gave me. I was wondering whether it was the right thing to do. This dream confirmed that it was.The link with my mum confirmed that this place represented the course. My son was reflecting me. The stone structures indicated that there were some good things from God for me there.
I dreamed I had a photo book with my dreams printed out. The background image in the book was of rocks.This dream was encouraging me that I could rely on what I was hearing from God through my dreams at that time. I was understanding them correctly.The rocks represented God’s truth. I needed that confirmation at the time – because I needed to make a decision based on what I was hearing.

Conclusion

Wood and stone are both very helpful materials in dream interpretation – for opposite reasons!

They can help us discern whether something is coming from heaven, or from our own limited perspective. For example:

  • Knowing whether something is God’s idea (stone) or our own idea (wood).
  • Knowing whether our assumptions are correct (standing on rock) or not (wooden floor).

Some final tips:

  • Consider the atmosphere and context of the dream to see whether the material is being used in a positive or negative sense.
  • Is the object in the dream because it is made of that material (i.e. is the material the main point), or is it is there for another reason and it just happens to be made of that material?
  • In additional to the meanings that I have shared, remember that it could mean something personal or culturally significant to you, that isn’t mentioned here.

If you want to know more about the biblical model of dream interpretation, do get in touch, or subscribe to my emails below to receive regular helpful dream interpretation tips.

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