Your present personality and body has arisen from processes and experiences that are millions of years old. The dinosaur or a prehistoric animal often represents your sense of this primordial past out of which your present self has grown. The dinosaur can also depict deeply instinctive urges, or your feelings about being a devouring monster.
Life on the planet is also only an extension of processes active in the cosmos. So in dreams we often sense this primordial past out of which our present self has grown, and frequently depict this meeting as a prehistoric animal.
The dinosaur might also suggest something you are dealing with that is no longer alive or functioning in your life. Perhaps it is outmoded, clumsy or instinctive.
Exploring dreams is like uncovering different strata of human psychological history – history we all share. The dinosaur often depicts one of these deeply buried strata, linking with our very basic urges of survival such as fear, reproduction, and survival reactions to situations. This does not make these brutal. They are fundamental and necessary in today’s life. Because these aspects of ourselves are so old, and have survived so long, there is often great wisdom in them if we can bring it to consciousness. Such urges as fighting over our territory or mate – grabbing what is available for ourselves – striving aggressively to provide for family, also need to be integrated in a way that socialises them, otherwise they exist in a primitive form still, perhaps in conflict with our present needs. This is similar to most animal symbols, but the difference is that the dinosaur portrays them at their most basic or unsocialised. They can also depict something that has not survived or the will to survive; something, or some element of your attitudes or feelings that is outdated or has no survival value.
Example: I was walking past a large building site which had been excavated for foundations. Rain had filled the excavated pits and a large lake had formed. As I walked past I could see ancient primitive creatures rising out of the water. One of them, a large dinosaur, came toward me. I was scared and ran away. The dinosaur followed and started speaking to me. I couldn’t understand what it said. Don.
Don explored his dream and says – I realised that through my internal digging into myself I had uncovered some feelings I had never met consciously before. This was about anxiety, which I had suffered from a lot, and about the anger I felt toward my step children for not appreciating the work I was putting into building them a home and working to provide. Seeing these things helped me understand what was behind my difficult feelings and fears. For instance I saw that fear is fundamental to all human experience, and I needed to meet it and help it to enter into the modern world instead of be repressed and remain primitive.
Example: It was darkening and the street was very appealing to me. I could just discern a house at the end of the street, facing me, and I walked toward it. I was not far advanced along the street when I saw, coming from the direction of the house at the end, in my direction, a very large dinosaur – as high as the house itself. It was walking upright on its large hind feet and the front feet were quite small and held in front. I was very nervous and frightened, but thought, If I walked very slowly, it might not notice me and pass by me But as I was just past it passing me on my right I quickened my steps in fear. It turned and caught up with me, and I thought, If I talk to it in a gentle voice, it might know I was a friend. I talked to it in a soothing voice, saying Good evening, and what are you doing with your little feet in the air? It turned its head down to me and said something in a very sweet voice, and I knew at once it was a friend, but I couldn’t understand what it said. I asked again what it did with its small feet, and it repeated what it had said before, softly, while we were walking toward the house at the end of the street. But I could not understand, though I knew it was something nice. Mrs. G.A.
Here there is an obvious meeting with fear, but this is transformed through communication. As with the previous dream, fear is part of this primeval level of us, along with flight or fight, reproduction and ritualistic behaviour. This means behaviour that is deeply instinctive and not learned. Like the dancing mating rituals of birds, it is behaviour that arises through an external stimulus. For instance some lizards will nod their head and expand their size if something red is flashed in front of them. They cannot help but respond in this way as it is hardwired behaviour.
Example: I meet a beautiful female from Jupiter, she is wearing a white cheesecloth dress and is almost divine in nature, and I am very attracted to her. We walk towards an entrance to her world (Jupiter), through the entrance I can see strange other worldly creatures, some look like dinosaurs, I am in awe of what I am seeing, as we step into her world, she tells me to look up, which I do, the reason for this was, she was telling me not to be distracted by what I am seeing around me, as a great raptor/eagle was coming out of the sky to pick me up.
From what you say of your dream it seems to me you are moving into a new awareness of yourself and what you life is – and its possibilities.
Example: My sister gets through the gate and we are being chased by dinosaurs, they are everywhere. We are running through an office building where I work but we cant find a way out. I distinctly remember reaching back to hold my sisters hand to keep her with me. Eventually we hide in an office and hope the dinosaurs don’t find us. My boss appears and we start to calm down but we are still in danger. As though the responsibility to keep us alive has switched from me to my boss.
Perhaps you have been digging into yourself to let them loose. If not that, then you are meeting a very primal level of anxiety. But remember the images of the dinosaur are an aspect of yourself, as is the boss. I will try to explain.
When you were conceived you were at the very beginning of life forms. In fact we have to go to the very primal to reproduce. That may not mean much to most people, but in the dream world it means an enormous amount. Because from there we go through the whole process of evolution as we are in our mother’s womb. Again, most people say, “So what. I don’t remember!” You remember not in ordinary memories, but in ancient feelings of fear, or religious wonder or even intuitions of life’s meaning. But of course we do remember and such memories are seen in our dreams. So when you learned language you forgot all the past. A new program was running that aided you to have the waking, self conscious awareness you have today. And that awareness is often at odds with what are the foundations of consciousness your present self is built upon. That is what is happening in the dream. You need to meet and be at ease with what is actually a part of your experience.
Useful Questions and Hints:
How am I relating to the dinosaur – am I at ease or scared of it – and what does that show me about myself?
Is the dinosaur communicating anything to me, and if so what?
Am I caring for or injuring the dinosaur?