The earthquake is a powerful dream symbol because of how it is treated outside of the dream world. The way that most dream interpretation works, is taking the attributes of the thing that happened in the dream, or a thing that was witnessed in a dream, and then applying these physical attributes in a metaphorical way to the life of the dreamer in order to find out the meaning of dream. This may sound complicated on paper, but it is actually in fact quite simple, and this is the method employed by just about every modern psychologically based dream dictionary. There is no symbol easier to understand than that of the earthquake.
Experiencing an earthquake, according to multiple dream interpretations, means that a change is going to happen, and it is going to be a very abrupt and startling one. There are many different symbols which may signify change, such as a forked road, or a different hairstyle, or a divorce. However, what makes an earthquake so different as far as dream meanings are concerned is the abruptness with which it is associated.
Consider what happens when an earthquake occurs in real life. The initial quake is usually sudden, and unless it is associated with some other natural disaster that is already being reported on, then it is also without warning. There is a short period in which everything is thrown into complete chaos around you and a slightly shorter period where you are left to determine what is happening on your own, while dealing with this chaos. Then, after a few seconds, and after throwing many of your belongings across the room, or throwing you off balance, the earthquake is over and you will be left to clean up after it.
This is the essence of its dream meaning as well. When an earthquake occurs in the dream world, it means that a similar thing may happen to you soon in relation to your life. Perhaps someone that you love will leave you, or break up with you, throwing your life into complete disorder. It is also possible that you will end up taking on a business venture that will be financially unstable for you and lose you a lot of money.
Of course, even though an earthquake is usually associated with destruction in waking life, this does not mean necessarily that the change that the dream is predicting will be a negative one. This could mean that you will fall into a whirlwind love affair with the girl of your dreams, and suddenly be thrown into disarray. This is not negative disarray, but it is certainly an abrupt change from where you started in the beginning. Positive or negative, the definition that should be most closely associated with dreams about earthquakes is the sign of abruptness. An earthquake comes without warning, so whatever it is predicting about your future will be something that happens without warning. It will be a life changing and unpredictable occurrence, and one that you should definitely watch out for in the future.