To see a city in your dream, whether you recognize it or not, signifies all the aspects of your social environment. The dream can also refer to your spiritual community, since a city was originally given its status because it had a cathedral. Dreaming of a city or town that is known to you refers to your sense of community or belonging to a group. In dreams, we often give clues as to what we require emotionally from our environment and streets that are totally empty or crowded with expressionless hurried people may emphasize a need for more intimacy. Dreams in which you are lost in a crowd can suggest the desire to blend in so attention is taken away from you. It can also indicate that you do not have a sense of your own identity at present or that you long to join a group of likeminded people.
If you have a dream set in an urban landscape, this is your dreaming mind’s way of exploring your social feelings and beliefs. It can also be an expression of your work and career aspirations. Alternatively, such dreams can also represent you as a person; as Jung pointed out, cities can be a symbol of the self. In particular, he noticed that in dreams the structure of a city is often symmetrical in the shape of a mandala. Jung interpreted mandalas as an expression of the fullness of the self and wholeness. According to Jung, every town and city that is mapped to a mandala format is an expression of the human desire for wholeness; in dreams, the pattern can remind dreamers that the path to happiness is not to be found in the city but within yourself. To dream that you are in a deserted city or that you feel alienated from the activity of the city suggests that you feel rejected by those around you. To see a city in ruins denotes that you are neglecting your social relationships and allowing them to deteriorate. This dream image can also stand for the destruction or ideals and goals. If the ruins are ancient, you may be yearning for an idealized past. A walled city may signify resistance to change and the refusal to accept or listen to new ideas. Alternatively, it may indicate a desire for seclusion so you can recharge your emotional or spiritual batteries. In contrast to the city, a dream set in a village may evoke a longing for simple and traditional values in waking life. It may be an attractive ideal for dreamers disillusioned with the rushed and impersonal nature of city life.