What you sense as sick or negative, so can depict your fears or anxieties, frightening instincts or urges, physical sickness or anxieties about health. Perhaps also feelings of sexual repulsion, or using sex to gain material aims. But this was caused by the fallacy that rats carried the plague and are unclean, but rats are very clean.
It was found out by historical research that it wasn’t the rat that brought the plague to Europe but the gerbil was the culprit. Sometimes a rat in your dream can remind you of love that was betrayed, or intuitions about a person being a ‘rat’ or ‘ratting on you’ – doing things behind your back or underhandedly – or deserting a relationship when difficulties arise.
The rats can point to threatening things going on that you are not clear about, or a view of the underhanded side of yourself or others – the evil side of human nature, its dirt and squalor, or time gnawing away at your life. The unacceptable parts or oneself. In some dreams the rat has the character of most rodents, the gnawing inquisitive searching out of things. It can therefore relate to one’s anxieties, self questioning and worrying mind that disturbs or eats away at things like peace of mind or confidence.
Because we may have associations with rats used in laboratories they may suggest healing and sacrifice.
Pet rat: Quite different to general rat associations; vulnerability, instinctive intelligence, the caring feelings or drive to care; responsibility for caring. The rat is an intelligent creature, is a great survivor and explorative.
In China where various types of rat are cooked and eaten, the astrological symbols are replaces by animal symbols. The rat (sometimes referred to as a mouse) is the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. People born in this year are expected to possess qualities associated with rats, including creativity, intelligence, honesty, generosity, ambition, a quick temper and wastefulness. People born in a year of the rat are said to get along well with “monkeys” and “dragons”, and to get along poorly with “horses”.
Idioms: Rat on someone; rat race; smell a rat; feeling ratty; cornered rat; rats leave a sinking ship.
Useful Questions and Hints:
Am I confronting or remembering something that I feel is repulsive or evil?
Am I in a relationship that I intuitively feel difficulties about?
Am I being a rat in a relationship or situation? Is a worry or irritation eating away at me?