In Jungian terms, a cave symbolizes the unconscious (dark secret). To enter and explore is to gain the process of awareness or transformation or individuation. As a dark place to enter or leave, cave is also a symbol of the womb, and can represent mother; the feminine the vagina; sex; the birth process. In myth it sometimes symbolizes a place of initiation or rebirth, where one learns secrets truths that lead to growth and enlightenment.
The cave was the symbol of Demeter, Greek goddess of earth or fertility (corn, fruits). Her symbolic animal was the pig. Demeter was one form of the Great Mother, and the mother of Persephone, condemned to live part of the year in the underworld. Persephone’s cyclic emergence is a rebirth symbol.
Metaphysically, the cave refers to a created location within the head that serves as access to the higher self or universal creative energies; the doorway to the soul.
See also catacomb, pigs, tunnel.Related dream symbols