Animal Dream Symbols

Animal dream symbols usually depict aspects of ourselves, in particular, our instinctive nature. In most instances, creatures that appear in our dreams may be understood as projections of human qualities, but they can also bring messages coming from the unconscious.

Dangerous animals may represent issues you find challenging to face in waking life. Birds may represent an opportunity to transcend problematic situations and gain spiritual freedom.

Birds are generally a sign of good luck unless they are dead, which predict challenging times. The Egyptians believed that catching a bird foretold the loss of something precious, while the Assyrians believed that meeting a bird signified the return of lost property.

Certain animal dreams may also signify death, in particular a dog and a wolf. When Jung's mother died, he dreamed of a giant wolfhound, crashing in the undergrowth. He wrote, 'It tore past me, and I suddenly knew: the Wild Huntsmand had commanded it to carry away a human soul... The next morning I received the news of my mother's passing.' A dove may depict the flight of the soul after death and in ancient Egypt, the Ka (soul) was represented by a bird or winged figure.

To interpret animal dreams, first look for the symbolic meaning of dream animals to show the way. Also ask yourself if you have any associations with a specific animal to reveal what the dream is saying about you. For example, a monkey may depict a mischievous nature, while a tiger might represent aggression or anger. Note the use of symbolism in everyday language, for example calling someone as sly as a fox, slippery as a fish, strong as an ox, or cunning as a snake.

Of interest is a prophetic dream Napoleon Bonaparte had the night before his defeat at Waterloo. The dream depicted two cats scurrying between two armies and his cat was killed. If he had heeded the dream and prevented the battle, it's possible that Europe might have a different political landscape today.

Did you know...?

Artemidorus, a Greek living in 200 A.D., wrote a book about how to interpret dreams after interviewing people about their dreams on his extensive travels. Centuries later, when Gutenberg finished printing the first Bible, the next book to be published was the Oneirocritica of Artemidorus. Some of the traditional meanings for animals and other creatures appearing in dreams have been greatly influenced by this book.

You can find more examples in our Animals section of our dream dictionary: A.

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