Feelings or fears of being attacked or overwhelmed, possibly from within oneself, or by a powerful mother – i.e. ones internal dependence upon mother.
The alligator and crocodile often represent a hidden form of treachery, apparently harmless until it opens its mouth to eat us, such as that of a person spreading malicious rumours or trying to undermine us in some way. Another attack from deep within can be from repressed emotions.
But the alligator as a dream creature is not the same as an external alligator. It is an enormous creature from your own depths, your inner self or core self – the part of you that you are not aware of and are frightened of. See core
The alligator or crocodile is similar to the serpent and depicts the power of the emotions, influences and experiences emerging from the unconscious. If you do not relate to your unconscious urges constructively, conflict can occur. Then you may feel fear of these forces within you – fear of being swallowed, or dragged into dark feelings. That is, of being carried away, or possessed, by fears, urges, ideas, arising from within, or fear of the irrational.
The Egyptians worshipped a crocodile as a guide to the dead in the underworld. It represents not only a threat, but also a wealth of wisdom about unconscious things. It possibly represented the forces of the unconscious because of the observation of the crocodile emerging from hidden depths to lay its eggs on the river bank. In this sense the crocodile or alligator in some dreams represents a personal confrontation with eternity. Depending upon the dream, the crocodile may well depict your fears about your inner hugeness. When we meet this it shows a personal awareness of merging with the many lives held in the collective unconscious. It is illustrated by the Christian idea of being cells in the body of Christ. We retain individual life, but know ourselves as part of an eternal life. This is possibly a natural stage in ageing, as our physical prowess and motivations fall away, this immense inner life begins to open to us. See The Life Will
As some people keep pet alligators, there might be a very personal meaning if one has actually kept an alligator.
Example: Now I looked at the large pool where the river surfaced. A woman swam in it, and was going to enter the tunnels. As I watched I saw some huge crocodiles swim toward her. With great speed and confidence she swam away, obviously being able to match the threat. A group of people in the pond, through their group strength, also dealt with the crocodiles.
Example: I can remember that in the dream another person and I, a male but very indistinct and shadowy, were facing mythical creatures in some sort of odyssey. A strange sort of crocodile or alligator type creature was supposedly attacking me. I had mixed feelings about this. Partly I felt there was nothing to fear about the creature, but another feeling was that it might be able to do some damage. In fact it was biting me across my chest, but all I felt was a very strong tickling feeling that made me laugh.
Example: Now a huge unknown creature began to enter into my awareness. I felt the presence of an enormous creature rising to the surface of something like a swamp or a body of water. At first I thought it might be a whale, but as I paid attention to what was happening it defined into a huge crocodile.
This huge creature looked at me and said, “Mathew, join me.”
I laughed at this because it was so huge, and with so many associations of swallowing things, that I said something like, “What do you mean join you? Don’t you mean that you want to eat me?”
The creature replied to me, “No. No, it’s not like that, I’m just like a submarine. I have all these lives in me. I have many, many lives in me. I am life. I contain the many. You can swim this ocean alone Mathew, if you wish. Or you can join me, you can join the many. You can always, if you choose to live your independent life again and leave us.”
I laughed here because I had the image of me being independent, stripping off, diving over the side of the boat into the ocean and swimming off. It is something I have often done in the sea, swimming long distances alone, or off to an island out to sea, by myself.
I began to give myself to that great creature which I now understood as the collective unconscious, the unity of lives. It felt as if it was absolving me, much as I had experienced earlier on. (One of those strange and beautiful, and also moving coincidences just happened. I am reading this in using voice recognition, and it is proving to be very accurate. But in the sentence where I said that I felt it was – and the word was supposed to be absorbing me – the software used the word absolving. And here I am again, back in the ocean, weeping as I know there is no judgment on the life I have led so alone and cut off.)
Useful questions and hints:
What does the alligator represent to me?
What do I know about them?
Am I feeling threatened or carried away by any fears?
In what way is my intuition or awareness reaching beyond myself ?
Do I feel myself part of a larger whole?