Dream Theories: Animals show us the way!

It’s going to take a few Mondays to cover animal themes in dreams. It’s one of the most frequent symbols I’m asked about. There’s so much to study when you try to analyze animal dreams: your age, gender, current life circumstances, as well as the animal content itself. Ready to dive in?

dream dog

Monday Sept 12th (after we break for Labor Day in between), we’ll do specific animals, so come back in two weeks for fun imagery tips and trade secrets. But before we get into categories of animal symbols, let’s talk about you.The dreamer. Who are you, what in your life is calling these animal images out of your subconscious and into your dream states, and how might even your age be shaping what you see when you sleep?

Did you know that research shows children’s dreams are more likely to reference animals than adult’s? Those who follow my Psychic Realm posts have heard me say that in metaphysics many believe animals are the closest beings on this earth to pure spirits, and that children have a closer connection to spiritual realms/dimensions than adults. Could this be playing out in our young one’s dream cycles? Also, we haven’t gotten to “familiars” in my Psychic series (where I’m researching parapsychology, etc. for a future fantasy series), but in general the theory goes that we all have a totem/animal spirit that’s most attached to us. We tend to gravitate toward these creatures as pets. Is it significant, then, that the majority of animal dreams amongst children (dreams being where our spirits often feel most free) tend to be about their pets? Hmmmm…

A less spiritual way to look at animals dreams is to consider that we’ve grown up associating certain traits, behaviors and emotions to the animals we see and read about. You’ve heard the cliches: stubborn as a mule; sly as a fox; sneaky as a snake.We also tend to treat our pets as human beings. Is it too much of a stretch, then, to dig deeper into animal dreams for clues to how we’re feeling about ourselves and others? Our human relationships? It’s a fun exercise I highly recommend. Again, more on basic animal symbolism in two weeks!

Another general note: in children’s dreams, the animal tends to take on the starring roll. They’re the point of view from which the dream world is seen. Adults? Our animals are more often dangerous creatures with which we interact aggressively. My take on this–as children, we’re still exploring our world, an innocense every adult should be striving to reclaim. Adults are perhaps more often trying to conquer and control, than we are relinquishing ourselves to purest discovery, even in our dreams. Pity.

dream kitten

And finally, how we treat the animals in our dreams is telling. This dynamic can say a lot about the physical and psychological state of the dreamer. If we dream of neglecting an animal, for instance, this can symbolize that we’re neglecting  parts of our own life that the creature represents. If we’re afraid for/of the symbol, what in our waking world corresponds to the image? What’s needing our attention that we’re hesitant to face? What’s calling from our subconscious to be brought into our waking world and dealt with?

Having fun yet? Come back to Dream Theories Monday the 12th for the nitty gritty of animal dream images… I’ll be here, fresh from hanging with the beasts and other-worldly creatures at DragonCon ;o)

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