Cloud Symbolism (13 Meanings in Life, Literature and Dreams)

Cloud symbolism is closely tied to the meanings of conscience, emotion, secrets, burden, and even confusion. However, the symbolic meanings of clouds can vary on their colors:

  • White clouds are normally positive and represent stability and positivity, but also a light approach to life.
  • Grey clouds might represent your emotions, especially the negative ones. It’s often said that grey clouds have a direct effect on your feelings and how you’re going through your life. They feel much heavier than white clouds.

So if you look up to the sky and see some clouds, they might be telling you something. You can examine how they look and they’ll tell you more about yourself. Even the absence of clouds might be telling you something!

Cloud Symbolism

> This article is from our series on weather symbolism


Cloud Symbolism

Here are the main meanings we often connect to clouds.

1. Emotion

One of the main cloud meanings is that of emotions. The main feeling we connect to clouds is heavy-heartedness and depression, although that’s not always the case. Different clouds can bring you different meanings, and it also depends on your current situation.

For instance, grey clouds can bring about negative emotions. They’re much darker than other types of clouds, and they also make us feel a bit more down and depressed. On the other hand, white clouds are much more lightweight and they represent positivity and direction in your life, but also a feeling of lightness.

You might not be aware of it, but clouds can have a direct effect on how you feel. That’s because they control your emotions, and they might command how you live your life. 

2. Secrets

What’s hidden behind the clouds is invisible. That’s what happens when the clouds form and collect over the sun. It becomes invisible, and the only thing we see is a cloudy sky. That’s why we often say that your emotions can cloud your judgment.

Clouds are full of secrets that are not visible to us. So they’ve become a symbol of mystery and secret. It’s one of the most common cloud meanings and also one that is often used to describe something that’s hiding or secret.

3. Burden

Clouds are not always a positive symbol. In fact, more often than not, they represent negative meanings. And one of them is the meaning of burden. 

We often connect clouds to the meaning of burden and even obstacle. They obscure the sun, so we see them as unwanted and as a burden. They bring about bad weather, just like they can bring bad and negative emotions and feelings to your life.

That’s why clouds often symbolize doom and gloom, and all the negativity they bring with them. That’s especially common when the clouds are dark and grey, and when they look imposing and unpleasant.

4. Cleansing

But there’s also a silver lining to the clouds. Just like they can bring negativity, they also bring rain with them, and rain is the ultimate symbol of cleansing. So there’s one positive that they bring with them, even though there’s that initial period of negativity and heaviness.

Perhaps this meaning might be a bit surprising to some, but it’s the meaning that can be closely connected to what clouds bring to your life. At first, you might have to suffer to achieve your goals, but when you do manage to achieve them, you’ll feel cleansed and ready to go further.

5. Confusion

When clouds descend onto the earth, we get fog. And fog represents confusion and a feeling of a lack of clarity. You normally can’t see a few feet in front of you when fog descends, which can make it hard for you to find your path, especially if the fog is thick.

This can be symbolic of confusion that you might experience in your life, and in your mind. We often say that you might have a foggy mind when you don’t have clear thoughts or ideas. And clouds can bring about confusion and there’s also no clarity when they enter your life. 

6. Transition

Clouds come and go. They’re never there in the sky, always present. They can form in a matter of minutes, and they’ll also travel quite quickly, depending on the winds that carry them around.

And the same happens to us. We’re often carried away by the flow of life, as it’s often hard to go against this flow of life. Just like clouds come and go, almost nothing in our lives is constant – we keep changing all the time, which is what the clouds can symbolize. 

> Read Also: Wind Symbolism

7. Consciousness

We often see the clouds as this entity that separates the sky from the ground. What is beyond the clouds, is also beyond our consciousness. This might represent your mind and how you think about the things around you.

Too often, we struggle to find our real thoughts, and we’re constantly clouded and bombarded by various stimuli that make it hard for us to focus on what’s really on our minds. So we have to break through the clouds and peer to the other side, which represents our consciousness.

8. Dreams

Clouds also represent dreaminess and drowsiness. They move around swiftly and quickly, and they’re secret and have something to hide from us. When you dream, it’s almost always not clear what you dream about, as it is shrouded in clouds. This can be symbolic of dreams.

Read Also: A List of Dream Metaphors and Idioms

5 Meanings of Clouds in Dreams

What do clouds represent in your dreams?

  1. If you see grey clouds pouring with rain, then you’re going through a tough period and you’re finding it hard to get out of this hard period. But, the sun always shines after rain so be patient, and better times will come, too.
  2. White clouds in your dreams represent stability and certainty. You’re positive about your future and you have a good feeling that something good will happen soon in your life.
  3. If you see a scary cloud in your dreams, then you’re scared about something that’s coming into your life soon. This might be an event or maybe even a person that you’re not sure about.
  4. Traveling around on a cloud in your dreams means that you have high hopes for your future and that you’re optimistic about it. It also represents that you’re an adventurous person and you’re currently not catering to that personality. It’s telling you to become more outgoing as a person and travel around the world.
  5. If you see a cloudy sky in your dreams, then it means that you’re about to get a lot of opportunities at once, and these are the opportunities that you should not waste. Instead, you should grab them with both of your hands and make sure you get the most out of them as possible.

> See Also: Cloud Metaphors

Final Thoughts

Clouds will always be present, whether you like them or not. They come and go, just like how cloud symbolism changes based on the type of clouds you’re looking at. Grey clouds can have negative meanings, while white clouds have some positive meanings to bring to you. The silver lining is that they bring cleansing with them if you’re patient enough to endure the storm and reap the benefits later on.