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The A-Z Dream Dictionary:
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Animals in a dream symbolise your instinctive nature and some of the needs and desires of your waking life. The qualities, traits and characteristics of the different animals represent your own instinctive nature and what your subconscious is trying to reveal about your needs.


More about Animal Dreams


see also Monkey and Shadow

Psychological Dream Meaning: The dream may simply be a pun i.e. ‘You’re making an ape of yourself’ or ‘You like to ape it over others’ You may be making an egotistical mistake of some kind. Apes are known to be gentle so the dream may also symbolise the part of you that wants to behave more naturally and return to the simpler ways of our archaic past. If the ape is sinister then it may symbolise the dark repressed side of your nature.

Mystical Interpretation: Bad news I’m afraid. To dream of apes means that people will deceive you and mischief is afoot. Be particularly careful of false promises connected with business. If the ape is seen in a tree then someone close to you will tell lies that cause widespread trouble. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The bull is a symbol of male sexuality. For a man it may represent your own sexuality and virility. For a woman it may refer to the opposite sex. If the bull in your dreams is wild and untamed, this may show that your passions are out of control. If you dream of bull fighting this may be symbolic of action to control lust and negative power.

Mystical Interpretation: In mythology, the bull is an ancient symbol of fertility dating back to the earliest times. In the great roar of the storm man believed he heard the roar of the bull. In the ancient world, the bull was associated with the creative power of spring as symbolised by Taurus in the zodiac. To dream of a bull has therefore been symbolic of fertility and sexual power since times immemorial. Top

Caged Animal

Psychological Dream Meaning: A cage may an expression of your feelings about being restricted in some way. Perhaps you feel confined by your emotional relationships or you feel that your workplace is like a prison. Part of you desperately wants to escape and feel free again. If you dream of seeing a caged animal, this can show how you hold the instinctive side of yourself in check. You may fear the wild primitive energies of your nature. Similarly, a caged bird may show your frustrated spiritual ambitions. 

Mystical Interpretation: If you dream of being put into a cage of wild animals it warns that you are in danger of an accident. Top


See also the in-depth interpretation example for Cats


(see also Mother)

Psychological Dream Meaning: Cows nurture and are used by dreams to symbolise the mother. Perhaps you are nurturing some new ideas or a part of yourself? For a man a cow can represent the feminine part of himself. It may also represent an easygoing attitude. Your dream may be telling you to stop rushing around and take your time. Cows also remind us of the qualities of dignity, strength and passive endurance.

Mystical Interpretation: Cows are sacred to the Hindus because they symbolise the protective, nurturing aspect of the godhead. Krishna taught the cow herders not to worship an unseen God but their own cows. “There is where your devotion is, and where God’s blessing to you resides. Worship your cows!” The lesson is clear to the point that “God is your highest concern.” In the East to dream of a cow is therefore a great blessing. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Perhaps the crocodile is you? Are you being snappy all the time? The crocodile can be a symbol of aggressiveness and the shadowy realm of the instincts. Alternatively, the dream may reveal that you, or someone close to you, have been displaying false emotions and shedding ‘crocodile tears’.

Mystical Interpretation: To dream of a crocodile was believed to mean that your best friends will deceive you. Top


See also our In-Depth interpretation for a Dog Dream


Psychological Dream Meaning: Dolphins that leap in and out of the sea may represent communication between the unconscious and the conscious mind.

Mystical Interpretation: There will be a change of Government! Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The dragon sometimes guards the entrance to a cave full of treasure. It symbolises the fears that we must overcome before we can realise the true self. Sometimes the dragon can represent a guardian to the spirit. A Freudian psychologist interprets the dragon symbol to represent the devouring aspect of the mother. It is the resistance that prevents a man from realising the feminine aspect of his nature. You dream could also be saying something about your sexual drive. Dragons have a strong association with fire and therefore passion.

Mystical Interpretation: In China, the symbol of the dragon is quite different to its Western counterpart. It has amazing power, is highly spiritual and symbolises the wisdom aspect of the mind. To dream about dragons is very auspicious. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Elephants can symbolise inner strength and wisdom. The may also represent the memory. Carl Jung believed that they represent the self. The defensive nature of an elephant may represent an introverted nature.

Mystical Interpretation: To a Hindu the elephant headed god Ganesha represents God’s power to remove obstacles. Similarly, western dream interpretation has always considered dreams of elephants to bring great good luck. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Fish can represent insights into the unconscious. (The unconscious is represented by the sea). Jung said that fish are often symbols used by the dream to describe psychic happenings or experiences that suddenly dart out of the unconscious and have a frightening or redeeming effect.  Fish caught in a net and brought to the surface may represent insights emerging into the light of consciousness. Fish are also a common symbol of fertility. Your dream may be indicating that you are experiencing a period of personal growth. Fish are a product of the emotions and intuition as opposed to the materialistic earthbound approach to life.

Mystical Interpretation: A fish is a symbol for Christ and they have also been used as a symbol by many other religions to represent divinity. They are the spiritual abundance that feeds everyone. Your dream may be a mystical insight into your divine potential. Top


More about Dreams of Hares


Psychological Dream Meaning: Wild forces that have been tamed are symbolised by the horse. Horses are also a symbol of sexuality and were considered by Freud to represent the terrifying aspect of the father. To dream of ridding an out-of-control horse, may indicate that you are being ‘carried away’ by your passions, whereas a tightly tethered horse may show that you inhibit these natural feelings. If you fear the horses in your dream, then you may fear your own instinctive nature (Literally a ‘night mare’). In short, horses represent the wild energies of the psyche that need to be both bridled and respected.

Mystical Interpretation: In some myths and fairytales horses speak. In dreams, this represents the voice of your unconscious- a message from your innermost self. In Greek myth, horses were associated with Hades, the underworld and death. However, dream prophecy says that to dream of horses indicates that you will receive news from a distance. And it is extremely lucky to dream of a horse being shod. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Lambs may represent the part of you that is pure and innocent. It is the real you, unsullied by the troubles of this world.

Mystical Interpretation: The sacrificial Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. In a psychological sense, this represents our desire to find forgiveness. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Lions are usually a regal dream symbol of power and pride. In a woman’s dream, it may represent the male aspect of her psyche. A Freudian interpretation may consider lions to represent the powerful and admired aspect of the father. It may also symbolise your ‘animal’ nature or your aggressiveness and will to power.

Mystical Interpretation: In the Tarot cards, the Lion is a symbol of strength that can be controlled by gentleness (symbolised by a woman dressed in white). Astrology tells us that Leos, the sign of the Lion, are gregarious and like to be the centre of attention. Perhaps your dream is saying that you are displaying these egocentric qualities? Top


(see also Rat(s))

Psychological Dream Meaning: Mice can represent your instincts. It may also be a symbol of timidity. They can also represent the small issues that nibble away at your psychological resources.

Mystical Interpretation: The plague of mice and rats in the fair story The Pied Piper of Hamlin can be interpreted as an allegory for the instincts overcoming rational thought. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Monkeys represent your playful, mischievous side. You may feel that your dream expresses a need to be fun loving and to stop taking life so seriously. Monkeys can also represent an immature attitude or repressed sexuality.

Mystical Interpretation: My Indian guru, Sathya Sai Baba, teases his followers by calling them ‘monkey mind’ every time they give in to untamed worries, doubts and fears. However, the constantly chattering monkey mind can be stilled by meditation. Your dream may be showing you the way to find this perfect inner peace. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: An owl may symbolise the wisdom that is gained from the nocturnal world of the unconscious.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstition says that this is a melancholy dream predicting sadness, poverty and sometimes disgrace. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A pig may symbolise ignorance, stubbornness, greed or just plain bad manners. It can even be a sexual symbol of bestiality and brutish lust. Perhaps you or someone close to you has been behaving like a chauvinistic pig? Of course, this dream has nothing to do with kind police officers or sensitive journalists.

Mystical Interpretation: Pigs have long been the subject of superstition. For example, fishermen believe that if you say the word ‘pig’ before fishing you will have a poor catch. However in dreams pigs denote exceptionally good news or a stroke of luck. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Because of their reputation for breeding, a rabbit may represent your sexual activity. It could also represent innocence and timidity. If you dream of it going down a hole, this could show that you are trying to escape from a problem.

Mystical Interpretation: It is a good omen if you dream of seeing rabbits running in green grass. If you see them in hutches, the good fortune will be lessened. Dead bunnies bode disaster. Top

Rat (s)

(see also Mice)

Psychological Dream Meaning: Rats may represent unworthy thoughts and feelings that hide from the light of day and gnaw away at you inside. These may be feelings of guilt, envy avarice and so on or they may be of a sexual nature. They could represent the feelings you reject. In addition, you may have thoughts about wanting to harm others or perhaps you feel that somebody in your life is, in the words of James Cagney, a ‘dirty rat’.

Mystical Interpretation: An enemy will try to harm you if you dream of rats. Some superstitions believe that rats contain the souls of men so their actions should be observed and acted upon. Top


(see also Lamb)

Psychological Dream Meaning: Are you being a conformist? To dream of sheep may indicate that you are following a conventional way and falling in with what everyone expects of you. Perhaps you should try a less orthodox approach to your situation. Why keep following the flock? The opposite meaning is symbolised by the ram, which is an individualist. Similarly, to dream of a shepherd may represent the power of love that can unify divergent tendencies. This may apply to your world or the conflicts within yourself.

Mystical Meaning: Consider this quote from the Vedas: ‘Come up Lions and shake off the delusion that you are sheep. You are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal. Ye are not matter; ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.’ Also associated with the Christian ‘Lamb of God’ sheep are considered to be a lucky dream omen. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The snake is one of the world’s oldest symbols found in some of the most ancient sculptures. They are often used as phallic symbols and have long been linked with pagan fertility gods. Because it lives close to the ground, the snake is an emblem of the nurturing earth and also the unknown perils of the underworld. Christian imagery emphasises the dark side of this symbol. It is considered evil, yet it is the snake, created by God, that tempts man to gain knowledge. In dreams, a snake can represent hidden fears. Falling into a pit of snakes may represent the many worries that are threatening you. Sometimes snakes can symbolise the poisonous words and innuendo of the people around you.

Mystical Meaning: Entwined snakes appear on the god Mercury’s caduceus, which is a symbol of the medical profession to this day. The Greeks attributed healing powers to the snake and similar symbolism may be found in Indian Kundalini yoga where it represents the life force that rises up the spinal chord. In particular, the cobra is a symbol of divine enlightenment and associated with the god Shiva. Top

See also fear of snake dreams


Psychological Dream Meaning: A tiger may symbolise something that frightens you. It may represent repressed feelings and emotions or a situation in waking life that terrifies you. Courage will see you through this period of adversity.

Mystical Interpretation: In the children’s’ poem Tyger Tyger by the mystical poet William Blake the tiger represents material existence. His ‘fearful symmetry’ is the suffering that we experience in the world of opposites as opposed to innocent oneness with God. Humanity’s destiny is to regain innocence by passing through the world of experience. Your dream may be dealing with these perplexing cosmic issues. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: In mythology, unicorns are either white or multi-coloured. They unite the spectrum showing that the one is the essence of the many. They are the mythical embodiment of the inner realm of the imagination. They may also represent power, gentility and purity. Your dream may be an expression of inspiration and wonder at the marvels of the inner world.

Mystical Interpretation: Dream oracles tell us that this dream means you will have some correspondence in connection with official affairs. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Wolves are usually seen as something threatening that attacks during the night when we are most vulnerable. In dreams they can represent everything you are afraid of in yourself. This may include self-destructive tendencies, aggression or uncontrolled sexual desire.  It could also represent a worldly trouble such as a financial problem i.e. ‘keeping the wolf from the door’. Celtic revivalists give the wolf a better press: it is your instinctive nature, your familiar that guides you through the forests of the night

Mystical Interpretation: The wolf in the story of Little Red Ridding Hood represents the frightening aspect of the male and the fear of sexual contact. Told at bedtime, the fairy story warned girls of the dangers of sex before marriage. Top

See also in-depth dream interpretation for Wolves


Psychological Dream Meaning: A zoo is the place where animals are caged and bred. Has your heart become like a zoo? Do you breed animal like qualities such as anger, jealousy and hatred?  Alternatively, your dream may represent your good psychological qualities that need to be released. You must decide.

Mystical Interpretation: Zoos predict lots of travel and an enjoyable sojourn stay in a foreign country. If you dream that a child is with you, there will be great good fortune. Top

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