Hurricane Symbolism (7 Meanings in Dreams and Literature)

Hurricane symbolism revolves around:

  • The force of nature. Hurricanes can’t be controlled. It causes destruction and chaos wherever it goes.
  • Wisdom. An important symbolic meaning of the hurricane is the so-called “eye of the storm”, which we often connect to wisdom.
  • Invincibility. This is often framed and as a negative – as in “the enemy is invincible”.

Other meanings of the hurricane symbolism include change, new beginning, and even rebirth. It’s sometimes present in dreams but also in literature, where it might take some deeper and underlying meanings.

Hurricane Symbolism

> This article is from our series on weather symbolism


Hurricane Symbolism (7 Top Meanings)

These are the main meanings of hurricanes.

1. Force of Nature

Nature is unbeatable. It challenges the living creatures on Earth constantly. For thousands of years, humans have adapted to it and also changed it in such a way that it’s a bit friendlier to the species.

But there’s still an element of nature that can’t be controlled. This is the force of nature which is cruel and shows itself in the form of natural disasters such as hurricanes. When it comes, it’s best to accept it and cope with it, and then rebuild what we’ve built previously. It’s unforgiving and harsh, but that’s what we have to face as a species.

Hurricanes are there to remind us that nature is still ever-present and that it controls us. It causes damage and destruction, but at the same time, it prevents us from becoming too complacent and too ignorant of the power of nature.

> See Also: Earthquake and Tsunami Symbolism

2. Destruction

Like most natural disasters, hurricanes will inevitably cause damage and destruction wherever they go. The closer you are to the eye of the storm, the more powerful the hurricane will be, and the more damage it will create.

In 1998, one of the most powerful hurricanes struck the Caribbean and the country of Honduras. It caused up to $5 billion in damage, and up to 11.000 people killed. This just shows you how destructive a hurricane can be, which again, shows the strength of nature.

That’s why we connect hurricanes to the meaning of destruction. It has become a symbol of natural destruction, along with other natural disasters that have similar or worse effects on the human population.

3. Chaos

Even though there are some models that can be used to predict hurricanes, a large portion of them are unpredictable – at least in what they will do in terms of damage. They bring chaos which is an inevitable part where there is no order – just destruction. This meaning of chaos can also be tied to other meanings in life where there is chaos to be found.

This chaos is created when the hurricane happens, and it will also leave chaos once it’s gone. It’s one of the most chaotic events in nature and it will disrupt the entire flow of nature.

4. Eye of the Storm

When a hurricane happens, the evident eye of the storm happens, which is the middle of the storm where the hurricane is the strongest. There’s been a lot of speculation as to what this eye of the storm can symbolize – to some, it represents this magical field of power and strength of nature, while others see it to be the symbol of wisdom.

Sometimes, this can be seen as the all-knowing eye that watches from the earth and controls the hurricane. In some instances, it was even connected to God himself, which is why it’s perceived as a symbol of wisdom.

5. Change

A large-scale event such as a hurricane will always bring change. It will change the landscape forever, crushing everything it comes in contact with. Whether people like it or not, they need to evacuate the area where the hurricane will sweep in. This means that things will never be the same after it.

Thousands of people are affected, if not millions of people when a large hurricane comes in. Humans have learned to adapt to it in the areas where hurricanes are especially common, but some damage will be done nonetheless.

6. New Beginnings

Where the hurricane happens, death and destruction are present. But that also means new chances for new things to develop from scratch. Once the storm is over, life begins anew and people have to start living again.

A hurricane will wipe out animals and also vegetation, but that only enables new vegetation to start growing. It’s a long process that takes time, but this healing process can be seen as a new beginning.

7. Crisis

A hurricane symbolizes the crisis that it brings with it, both during the hurricane and in the months after it. Initially, it creates destruction and changes the lives of the people in the area. In the long-term, a hurricane means that the entire area will still be picking up after the unfortunate event.

The good thing about this is that many people are prepared to help in the form of humanitarian actions. A big thing like a hurricane can bring people together in order to help them save what can be saved.

What does it mean when you Dream of a Hurricane?

Dreaming about hurricanes is normally perceived as a more negative dream, but in some cultures, hurricane dreams might even have positive meanings.

  • A hurricane in dreams symbolizes negative emotions that are coming up in your life, such as anger, sadness, and other negative feelings. This dream might be relevant to you if you’re feeling these emotions in your waking life. These emotions could be your own emotions, or they could be the emotions of someone else that’s close to you in your life.
  • If you’re scared of a hurricane in dreams, then it can translate to your fears in your real life. You’re worried about losing someone dear to you in your life. This disturbance can be avoided by paying more attention to your dreams and trying to improve the relationship with this person.
  • Hearing the sound of a hurricane in your dreams represents that there might be some bad news on the way for you. This can be a bad omen for your life, and prepare yourself for this eventuality. 
  • In some cultures, hurricane dreams have positive meanings. They are more connected to what will happen after the storm passes by, which is when the sun will shine again and a new era will begin. This can be significant for you as it might represent a new chapter in your life that you’re positive about.
  • Getting caught in a hurricane means that you’re currently caught in a bad moment in your waking life. This might mean that you’re struggling in one or another area of your life, and that you should try and do everything you can to get out of this rut.

Hurricane Symbolism in Literature

In literature, storms and natural disasters often play the role of predicting something bad will happen in the story. But this is more evident with storms as it is with hurricanes, which normally predict chaos or a conglomerate of negative or even dramatic events.

In the book “Every Little Hurricane”, the hurricane symbolism is an ever-present force, which symbolizes fights between the main character of the story, Victor, with his family. In this sense, the hurricane is thus a symbol of chaos and disarray, as well as aggression. When these fights get bigger, the hurricanes also get stronger.

Hurricanes are also often portrayed as these powerful events of nature that can’t be controlled by humans. This is especially evident in the 1937 novel called “Their Eyes Were Watching God” written by Zora Neale Hurston. The hurricane in this novel plays the role of nature, and it acts as a reminder to humans in the story to respect the power that nature has over them.

Sometimes, the hurricane symbolism in literature is also used to strengthen the feelings of dread and fear in the reader. This is especially common with horror books and thrillers where a hurricane would create a stronger sense of drama and would predict that something bad was about to happen.

Final Thoughts

Nature rules the human population, and hurricanes show that perfectly. Over the centuries, humans have managed to tame nature and shape it according to their needs and wants. But some parts of nature still can’t be controlled – these are shown as natural disasters that wreak havoc and cause damage. 

Hurricane symbolism mostly represents negative meanings – destruction, chaos, and crisis. But sometimes, it’s just good to appreciate the force of nature and respect it, so that we don’t forget that we were able to survive for thousands of years thanks to nature and how we’ve shaped it, but we mustn’t neglect now, or else it will strike back and punish us.