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Dreams of Finding Treasure

They may portend a period of creativity

One of the most enjoyable dream types I have ever had is that of finding treasure. I recall several in my life and each one seemed to be associated with periods of exceptional creativity in at least one area of my life. I suspect therefore that they generally portend realization, at the very least, of some spiritual, emotional or intellectual riches.

To my knowledge there are no controlled scientific studies of these dreams. Charles Stewart (Stewart, C (2003). "Dreams of Treasure, Temporality, Historicization and the Unconscious" Anthropological Theory December vol. 3 no. 4 481-500), has shown that dreams of treasure in Greece often contribute to the development of historical consciousness among Greeks, given that country’s illustrious past. For example, the treasure found in these dreams among Greeks often consists of discovering or digging up artifacts from Greek’s past. In cases where the artifacts are ancient Christian icons, the people may actually go digging looking for the icon. In at least one case an icon was found after a dream indicated where to dig. The site and the icon then became a holy site of pilgrimage.

The folk theme of a dream leading to riches by indicating where to find buried treasure is a very common folktale motif. It can be found in virtually every culture and across all historical epochs. A man down on his luck dreams one night that a supernatural agent comes to him in the dream and tells him to go to a distant major city where he will find buried treasure. He wakes, obeys the dream and goes to that city. He arrives in the city but instead of finding riches he is set upon by thieves. In hospital or jail or during his recovery he meets an individual who asks him why he came to the city. Our hero explains that he was a fool who obeyed instructions he received in a dream to find buried treasure in the city. The interlocutor laughs with contempt and he says “You fool you should never listen to your dreams…I too have had a dream several times that there is buried treasure under a house in a distant city.” He then describes that house in exquisite detail. Our hero suddenly realizes with a shock that the guy is describing our hero’s own house back home. So he rushes home, digs under his house and indeed finds treasure. His original dream did indeed bring him riches and one SHOULD listen to one’s dreams when they indicate where to find treasure!

But as I mention above I know of no controlled studies on dreams of finding treasure. It would be interesting to conduct a simple descriptive survey of a random slice of the population and query how many have had such dreams and whether anything came of them. As I mention above whenever I have had dreams of finding treasure (buried or otherwise) they have been associated with a period of creativity of some kind in my life.