Dream Theories: Animals. Instinct. Unconscious understanding. YOU!

Animals in dreams are our subconscious, our desires, our fears, our feelings, ourselves. “Uh, yeah.” You’re rolling your eyes, because everyone knows that. “But what does that mean for ME?”  Well, scoot over, hold onto your knickers and give me a minute.

My last Dream theories post introduced the animal theme that’ll take the rest of November to explore.


That was back at the end of August, then I took a blog sabbatical so I could explore my world and return, recharged and raring to entertain (alliteration is my new zen, BTW). So click back through it and catch up. I wouldn’t want to leave anyone behind, because I let my brain out on holiday…

Our instincts have an animal component to them. You already knew that, too. We possess animal traits and urges and desires. In our dreams, these otherwise unconscious ways of processing and dealing with life bubble a little closer to the surface, showing us facets of ourselves we don’t take time to see when we’re awake.

But can we understand what our minds are showing us through animal imagery? Can we meet these animals in a more literal way and learn from them/ourselves? If we do find a way to be more lucid and interactive about our dreams, starting with remembering them as much as we possibly can, what do our animal inspirations tell us?

Let’s see ;o)

animal kittens

So, you’re keeping a dream journal by now, right? Jotting down what you can remember as soon as you wake. Reviewing dream patterns before you go to sleep at night, to reinforce them and achieve a bit of synergy. Focusing on color and emotion and sound and symbol. And now, the animals that appear.

Because they’re not just random symbols. They’re us. They’re doing things and feeling things and wanting things and being affected by things, many of which are clues to how we’re handling those very things in life. Here’s a great article on this topic, before I launch into individual animal imagery. Educate yourself on one writer’s perspective, then come back and care more about what I think ;o)

Overreaching theme in your animal dreams is what you want to pay attention to. The instict behind the creatures we dream about. What animal keeps reaccuring in your dream journal? What’s happening in the dreams where that image comes to you? And, finally, what do those images mean within the context of your life. That’s the kind of dream work that will open up the world for you.

Guess what a central them is for me… Cats of course. Which, as it turns out, most often represents a feminine theme. But in cat dreams, whether you’re a man or a woman, you have to ask yoursek if the critters are domesticated or wild. Are they independent or tame? Are they fighting or struggling, or snuggling and nurturing? These are the details that would make your cat dreams different from mine. I tend to dream about kittens a lot. New beginnings. Seeing the world through new, inquisitive, playful eyes. Also, these dreams are about letting myself be open and dependent, rather than in control (NOT my happy place when I’m awake). Food for thought, every time the little dears show up.

Another common dream image for me: butterflies. It’s not a random design choice that they’re all over my blog and website and business cards and book promotions. They’re me. I’m doing a Psychic Realm post tomorrow on Animal Totems, because my parapsychology research has reaffirmed my belief that everyone attracts a particular type of animal energy that’s unique to their own reality. Butterflies have always been one of my “familiars.”

animal buttefly

Their symbolic meaning could be anything from joy and spirituality to creativity and romance. For me, once again they come in the midst of dream events where I’m exploring and beginning anew and searching for something I haven’t experienced before. Like my kittens, they’re playful and free and not worried about results, focusing instead on journey and discovery.

Next week (back to Mondays!), we’ll work with more animal-specific dream imagery. If you have a favorite or want to know more about anything in particular, shout out in the comments. Freud, of course, had some interesting ideas. I also have notes on the importance of gender in animal dreams. That could be fun to explore ;o)

Until then, keep your dream journals by your bed and record every scrap you can remember when you wake. I’m dying to hear what you come up with next!

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One Response to “Dream Theories: Animals. Instinct. Unconscious understanding. YOU!”

  1. Ashley F says:

    Hi, Anna Golden retrievers usually male & wolves especially Black she-wolves have always been favorites of mine. :)

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