Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

Dreams with animals in them are usually important. Animals in dreams symbolize the deeper instincts and vital forces - often repressed. The animals can be helpful or threatening, friends from an earthly utopia or enemies intent upon our demise. Animals in dreams are what we make of them, because they are images of ourselves; representing our passions, anxieties and fears. Animals in dreams can also be mystical or magical bringers of messages, even custodians of our secret inner sanctum. Animals in dreams can also represent powerful people in our lives such as our mother or father.

Bat Dreams

The bat is like a defective bird, with its furry, mouse-like body, its membranous wings attached to its fingers and toes, its awkward-looking flight and its extraordinary sonic radar with near sightless eyes; but this silent flying creature of the night can symbolize the dark forces within us. It can represent anxiety, and difficulty in freeing oneself from a disturbed unconscious. It can also represent the dark seething of a soul shackled by fear and incapable of spiritual escape.

Bear Dreams

The bear is an endless source of fascination to children, because it seems good-natured and has a calm, paternal air. It is an important symbol, although it occurs rarely in nocturnal dreams. Certain tribes refer to the bear as the "Master of the Forest", the old black man. Others attribute wisdom to the bear. Above all, the bear symbolizes elemental strength, the power of the unconscious, but also the unforeseeable, the capricious violence and wildness that often constitute our negative shadows. In children's dreams, the bear frequently stands for paternal or maternal authority depending on whether the bear is male or female.

Bird Dreams

Birds often represent spirituality and being above earthly matter, because they are always associated with the sky in waking life — especially larks, swallows, songbirds or brightly coloured birds. Although they can represent the higher levels of consciousness, they can also serve as sexual symbols, or as symbols of the anima.

Are your dream birds colourful, active, lifeless or solitary? Are they wounded? Obviously a crow and a humming-bird will have completely different symbolisms of their own. A bluebird is a symbol of hope, happiness and rebirth. A white bird represents simplification and internal harmony. The dove represents peace, and so on. Everything depends on the context of the dream, but in general the symbolism of birds is fairly simple.

Caged birds

The caged bird represents one’s spirit and intelligence being locked up inside, unable to be free, instincts that are held back by fear.

A flock of birds

A dream with flocks of beards represents a need to be set free amongst others, to share your spirit and intellect with those around you.

Bull Dreams

The bull is the focal point of many religions throughout the ages, it’s symbolism is therefore important. Bulls are bound to life and to death. In most dreams, they are seen maddened, pawing the ground, snorting, and insuperable. Then it is a devastating beast, and again one must discover whom or what it represents in this or that dream.

The bull also represents the animal nature in man - instinctive, bonded to the earth and the sun, virile, potent and with powerful senses. Jung says of the bull:

"The sacrifice of the bull represents a desire for a spiritual life; such a life would allow a man to triumph over his primitive animal passions and thus, after an initiation ceremony, to attain enlightenment and peace.”

A sentiment that is easily recognized in the Spanish bullfights to this day; love them or hate them, there is no doubting their fascination, with their matadors in embossed and sequinned suits shining with light, representing the triumph of mind over might, spirit over instinct. In dreams too, the killing of a bull can thus represent the need to eliminate "the beast" within us.

In other dreams, a bull can symbolize the angry father; a connection with the Oedipus complex. If, then, the bull is put to death, the son "kills" (eliminates) the father, and thus enjoys the exclusive love of his mother.

Sometimes, of course, the bull is the animal symbolizing instinct and strength, but also enjoyment of life and of nature but it can represent the shadow. In this case, it is highly likely that the bull serves not only as the shadow but also as the dreamer's "light", because her or his instinctive life has been repressed.

Cat Dreams

Human feeling towards the cat has a kind of duality, they are beautiful yet secretive, household pets that roam the night in places we’ll never know about. They are gentle , affectionate and loyal, yet have a reputation for treachery and secrecy and aloofness – while also being wise. There are those who cringe from the very touch of the cat; while others like to live surrounded by whole colonies of cats.

In Cambodia the cat is credited with the ability to produce rain; in ancient Egypt the cat was venerated for its speed, agility and muscular strength. Popular superstition has its own contribution to make to the cat's mystique. A black cat usually symbolizes good luck, but if a black cat crosses your path it is an omen of bad luck. In many traditions, black cats symbolize death. Dreams in which cats feature can also have widely different meanings, depending on the emotions which the dreamer projects on to the animal. The feline and the feminine are often synonymous. The cat's mysteriousness, sinuosity, watchful eyes, savage and capricious release of tension are all attributes commonly ascribed to women, or femininity, usually pejoratively, in dreams.

Crocodile and Alligator Dreams

Crocodiles and alligators are fairly regular visitor to people’s dreams. They are archaic symbol of the lower depths of our unconscious minds. The crocodile and the alligator look antediluvian (before the biblical flood), something from the mists of time. It is therefore not surprising that they can also represent ancestral wisdom. That is why, in certain cultures, they are credited with qualities of light or illumination.

Above all, however, the crocodile and the alligator are monsters of silence and immobility, of brutal, lightning-fast attacks.

It is the crocodile that drags its prey to the bottom of the water, beyond help. It can represent the evil eye and destiny.

The crocodile lurks, invisible, in its watery world. It resembles the dragon and other beasts that come to us from the depths of time. Capable of submerging and destroying - for it is a killer - it can symbolize the grand master of life and death.

Among Western people, dreams featuring crocodiles or alligators almost never evoke agreeable sensations. One must always look into the great depths of the unconscious, and seek out those people whom the dreamer feels to be malign destroyers of his or her personality.

If you do have a pleasant dream involving a crocodile or alligator, it can be a sign that you feel comfortable in your own skin, just as the crocodile is perfectly adapted to its environment.

Because crocodiles and alligators lie hidden under the surface, waiting to attack, a dream of a crocodile can be a warning of a hidden problem. Your unconscious is telling you look at things more closely and to pay attention to your instincts – if something feels wrong, it probably is.

Your unconscious could also be letting you know that now is the time to be patient and wait; when the right moment comes, you will seize it.

Because crocodiles disguise themselves so well, your dream may mean that you are hiding something about yourself.

Crow Dreams

Crows, ravens and rooks are popularly considered to be birds of all augury, presaging death and disaster. The crow's cry and colour can easily be associated with frustrated or anguished souls.

The crow is a social creature, noted for its social structures. It can, in fact, be a bearer of excellent tidings. In Japan, the crow is the divine ambassador. In the biblical book of Genesis, the crow was sent out of the Ark by Noah to discover whether the earth had reappeared after the flood.

The crow is a perspicacious bird. Symbolically, it knows the secrets of life and death. It is the bird of witches and sorcerers. Among certain tribes the crow is itself the magician who organizes the world.

The crow is blessed with a vast catalogue of symbolic associations. In dreams, it can stand for voluntary solitude, spiritual retreat and hope; or, on the contrary, it can possess sinister qualities — as the announcer of impending inner troubles.

Cuckoo Dreams

To dream of a cuckoo is very rare. It can of course symbolize a sense that one is a parasite, unwelcome, getting under someone’s feet, or that one has taken someone else's place. In such cases, the cuckoo signals guilt and feelings of inferiority. It can also serve as a symbol of possessiveness, with the agonizing jealousy that accompanies it.

Deer Dreams

When one thinks of deer you can’t help but think of innocence and big doe-eyes. The deer (the hind or doe) is above all a feminine symbol that often appears in women's dreams. The deer represents a feminine part of the dreamer that is yet to develop into the mother. The deer represents a femininity that is too "pleasing", too "fearful". The feminine aspect that this symbol represents does not come with the authority and power, which only comes from leaving the mother and striking out alone.

Dog Dreams

The dog is a best friend and a loyal companion, Fido (Latin. I trust/I am faithful); the dog represents fidelity at all costs. The dog is instinct, but there is significance too in its capacity to track and trail, to experience things that are beyond our limited senses.

The dog's symbolism extends much further than these elementary characteristics suggest. The dog, of course, is a guardian — a guard-dog or the guardian at the gates of hell. It leads us through the darkness of death, as it leads the blind. Many mythologies associate the dog with the underworld, and with companionship beyond the grave. It is the guardian of sacred places. Among certain peoples, a dead man is always buried with his dog, which will lead its master to heaven. The dog can be a solar — or even a maternal symbol.

Eagle Dreams

Ruler of the sky, the eagle is supposed to look at the sun face to face. It is a symbol of power and invincibility. A solar bird, it is often compared to lightning. The eagle swoops down on its prey, strikes, pierces and carries it away. Eagles and other birds of prey appear in many of our dreams; symbolizing inner spirituality or self-attainment, though from a passive viewpoint, they can also represent anxiety at being "pierced" or torn apart - anxiety at castration and a crushing of the personality. To be watched or spied on by an eagle often means that feelings of guilt give us a sense of being "seen through" by others, being unmasked, being watched by people we regard as superior to us. There are dreams about an eagle being killed. This death symbolizes the destruction of an ideal or an illusion, or even the sense of having missed out on life.

Fish Dreams

Fish belong to the realms of water and often represent the unconscious, the inner, deeper life. They can also stand for that which we must "fish for" in ourselves, in order to bring the light of the conscious into the depths of the unconscious and dredge up all which has silted up there. Fish sometimes reflect the coloured light of rivers, but they also glide in the silent shadows of the ocean.

Horse Dreams

Horses and humans have been together far longer than records tell, they appear in many people’s dreams and have done almost as long as people have dreamed; there are so many symbols associated with horses in dreams it can be difficult to know where to begin, but it helps to look at all the things we think of when considering horses:

The horse jumps, gallops, paws the ground, charges, crushes and tramples. For many people, the horse is "the son of night". It brings life and death. It is also, however, a solar animal, and pulls Hyperion's chariot (the sun). The horse is ridden by warriors and gods. It is at the centre of the Apocalypse, destructive, but linked to the purifying fire. The horse carries on its back warrior-knights bringing justice as well as the ravaging hordes who bring death and destruction.

In dreams the horse is often a messenger of death, or the crushing of the personality - and, of course, its possible rebirth.

It is the dream image of instinct, wild or tamed. The horse is easily frightened, capricious, unpredictable, wild; we try to break and tame them.

In certain dreams, man and horse act as one — an image of accord between the conscious and the unconscious, an image of harmony in the personality. Here, colour can be of particular importance. The black horse can be a messenger from Hell and anguish; the white horse can allow us to ride towards our own rebirth. As for the pony, it can represent the growing vital force, the potential for extroversion and the zest for life.

Lion Dreams

A lion in a dream often represents strength and success. Hearing a lion roar can mean that you need to more assertive in your waking life. An injured lion can mean that you find yourself in a dangerous situation, but you know that you have the strength and courage to get through it.

If you dream that you are being chased by a lion, you could be having trouble coping with feelings of anger.

Dreaming about different animals


Mouse Dreams

A mouse can represent the part of you that is shy and timid, as well as little things that gnaw at your self-esteem.

If you dream that you have turned into a mouse, you might need to develop more confidence.

If you dream about a mousetrap, or about a mouse that has been caught in a trap, your unconscious could be warning you that someone might be trying to take advantage to you.

A dream in which a mouse goes in or out of a hole can have sexual connotations.

Owl Dreams

As a bird of the night, the owl has taken on symbolic overtones of solitude and melancholy. Superstition has intervened to make the owl a bearer of bad news. However, the owl can also be a symbol of higher knowledge: in certain dreams, the owl announces important changes in the dreamer's personality because it is thought to know the dark regions of the unconscious.

In other dreams, we find the owl acting as protector and guide in the night of the unconscious.

The owl also symbolizes wisdom. This may explain the popularity of owls as ornaments in so many modern houses.


Rat Dreams

The meaning of a rat in your dreams depends upon how you feel about rats in waking life. If your opinion of rats is negative, a rat can symbolize something that you fear or something that repulses you. It can also stand for something in yourself or in your situation that you feel is diseased or unhealthy. A rat may also represent something that is gnawing away at you.

On the other hand, if you feel affectionate toward rats or perhaps even have a pet rat, a rat can stand for vulnerability or the need to care for someone else.

Snake Dreams

Snakes are linked with many opposite symbols, snakes in dreams represent whatever is dark and obscure in us. The snake or serpent belongs to the underground, invisible world. It dwells in crevices, in dark holes in the ground, but it darts out with lightning speed to strike. The snake can suffocate or poison its prey, swallow and digest it. Thus the snake is one of the most important archetypes in the human soul. Worshipped or hated, it has been represented thousands of times in art, and is the guardian of secrets and temples. The serpent is the great tempter, but it also represents knowledge and wisdom. The snake Caduceus is the symbol of Western medicine and healers. It is a universal sexual symbol, an erect and phallic image. Snakes will probably always retain their contradictory symbolism, exerting their fascination and provoking cries of fear and revulsion.

Spider Dreams

Spiders are usually thought of as creatures to fear in the Western world, where others see spiders as very positive creatures. In India the spider is an important symbol in cosmology. The shape of a spider's web recalls the sun that it reflects, and the spider spins its web in secrecy as the sun hides away its rays. In some African cultures it is thought that spiders created the material that people are made of and the stars, the Sun and the Moon. To the Ashanti, the spider is a primordial god that created man. The spider creates its web from material within itself, making it an important dream symbol; making it privy to the secrets of life, the past and the future.

For people in the West though the spider is generally thought of as negative in dreams, because there has been a dislike for spiders indoctrinated into the culture.

The negative spider

Dreams in which the spider is a negative image see the creature with two aspects, the spider itself and the web that it weaves… The spider makes a trap, it waits for its victim, it tangles its quarry in its web, sits perfectly still in the middle of its snare but is always ready to attack with lightning speed.

The spider can be a symbol of a bad mother when considered in a negative way; smoothing the child and keeping it trapped for her self; in this case the spider represents the death of the personality. People that have suffered life with a bad mother will often dream of spiders in this way, especially if the unfortunate person is a woman herself; making the spider a representation of the evil wicked witch.

This creature in dreams can also represent the spider woman, the femme fatale that lures men to their doom with cunning and trickery; often appearing in the dreams of men for whom the negative anima has remained a disruptive force. The spider can also be a symbol of oneself; when this is the case it represents being overly obsessed with the self, with ones own appearance, putting oneself at the centre of everything like the spider in its web.

The positive spider

Sometimes spiders can appear beautiful in dreams, be different colours or pure white; the beauty being astonishing because of the fear usually attached to the creature, with pretty morning dew drops or frost making its web sparkle like rainbows or stars.

The main symbols in a dream like this are that the spider was white and that there were drops of dew or water; the white of the spider counteracts the normal negative impact of the blackness usually associated with spiders, whiteness can represent purity and the opposite of menace. Dewdrops can glow like pearls and reflect rainbow hues representing the ascending spirit.


Wolf Dreams

The wolf has a somewhat poor reputation in Western mythology, ‘Little red Riding Cap/Hood’, the proverbial ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ et cetera. It only needs one wolf to be on the prowl for shutters to be put up and people to tremble. It is not the supposed murderous tendencies of the wolf that provoke one’s fears; it is an almost sacred terror, an old dream deep in the collective unconscious. It seems that this dream has to do with a supposed understanding between wolves and men in a long-lost paradise. The wolf is charged with a vast range of symbolic values, and the dreams in which it appears are always felt to be powerful and consequently important.

The wolf is perhaps purely "the beast", which appears from nowhere, wreaks devastation, and vanishes without trace, leaving carnage in its wake. In mythology, its role is sometimes benevolent, sometimes satanic. The wolf sees in the dark, so is symbolic of light and the sun. The wolf can be the solitary hero who defies the hunters. It is a symbol of intelligence and courage, but it is also the devourer of children, the werewolf, a demon from Hell.

In dreams, the wolf acquires the importance that we attribute to it. It is often a part of the self, positive or negative. It can represent solitude and self-absorption, and retreat from relations with others, but it can symbolize instinct too; the instinct that certain people can only keep locked inside. The wolf can also represent a "devouring" character that we carry within us, a father or mother for instance. It often represents a social character of this nature, for a man may be "a wolf towards other men or women, but a wolf seldom behaves badly towards other wolves.

Worm Dreams

Worms in dreams can symbolize death and rebirth, since we associate bodies decaying, being eaten by worms and then transformed into fertilizer with the cycle of life.

A worm may represent negativity or weakness. Dreaming of a worm can mean that you have a low opinion of yourself or of someone else in your life. A dream about a worm that is larger than you are can be a sign of extremely low self-esteem.

If you dream that a worm is crawling on you, your unconscious may be warning you that someone could be trying to take advantage of you.

A worm can also be a phallic symbol.