Stairs and steps are similar, but not identical, and the symbology of each is slightly different.
Stairs are generally symbolic of ascension or transcendence. Movement to a higher spiritual level or a higher dimension. A spiral staircase represents the movement of the sun and so relates spiritual growth to the solar orb. Winding or twisting stairs represent mystery so , in a spiritual content, would represent the mystery or mystical schools and their teachings.
Steps are said to represent grades or levels in a hierarchy. In a spiritual content, they represent the various levels of spiritual development. They can also represent the authority of a priest, shaman or guru to help one climb the steps to heaven. In Buddhism, the seven steps of Buddha represent the seven stages of growth to to transcend the mundane worlds and reach the seventh heaven. Many ancient pyramids were probably build with steps because they were temples dedicated to spiritual growth.
Dreaming about stairs generally means that you will soon be concluding some quest or goal, especially if you were near the top of the stairs in the dream. If you are descending the stairs, however, it might mean a loss of status in a business or social setting.
An interesting legend exists about the staircase in the Loretto Chapel in New Mexico( pictured above). According to the legend, when the chapel was finished, sometime in the eighteenth century, the nuns discovered to their chagrin that there were no stairs to get to the upper level. The nuns prayed to St. Joseph, who was a carpenter, to come to their aid. On the ninth day of their prayers, a stranger arrived who said he was a carpenter and could build the staircase for them. The stranger quickly constructed the spiral staircase by himself, and left. No one ever discovered who he was. The staircase is build from a type of wood not found in the area and no one knows where he got it. No nails were used in the construction which is clearly the work of a master craftsman and architects and engineers who have studied it don’t know how the staircase remains standing with no central support.