Wild animals in dreams can often represent a “wilder” part of our own nature, those aspects our personality that we like to keep caged, or tame, or domesticated. Our wild natures can often scare us because they can seem unpredictable, or not conforming to the rules we put around us to keep us safe. Wildness breaks the rules, wildness takes risks, wildness can be dangerous, but wildness is also free, brave and creative.
If you have a wild animal dream that scares or confronts you, look for where in your life you afraid of taking a risk, or where you are not allowing yourself to feel or experience something fully because you might be afraid of what will be released if you do.
If you have an exciting or exhilarating wild animal dream, think of what parts of yourself you are now getting in touch with that you might have previously ignored or resisted. Maybe you have started to be more creative, freed yourself from a restrictive job or relationship, or maybe something more subtle, like just learning to express yourself more authentically.
When you dream of wild animals, look for where changes are happening in your life, and whether you are resisting them or embracing them. Wild animal dreams invite you to trust your instincts, to discover your own independent source of power, and to understand the challenges and rewards of freedom.
To understand the message of a particular animal in a dream, try and understand its characteristics and what it may mean to you in your culture. Does it symbolise freedom, strength, industriousness etc?
But also look for what you may be missing. Remember, dreams are often trying to reveal things about ourselves we don’t like or don’t want to see, but they also offer us a solution, a way to transform these things into more desirable attributes.
Creatures in your dream may not always be what they seem. Take the vulture, which you might describe as a harbinger of death, as unattractive and feeding off the fallen. But Cherokee Indians call the vulture “peace eagle” because it does not kill, and to see the magnificence of one in flight is really a peaceful and uplifting experience. So do not be too quick to judge the animals in your dreams. They are a part of yourself, and can have good and bad qualities. How you choose to interpret and relate to the good or the bad is of course entirely up to you.
For interesting information on “Peace Eagles” and animals as totems, check out this:
For more information on animals as cultural symbols, check out this link:
(For anyone interested in reading more about our inner wild nature, I recommend “Women who Run with the Wolves”, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian analyst. Available here in Amazon: Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
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