Animal Situations

Below are descriptions of animal situations – like baby animal and fear of animal. But please search for single animals by name – for instance Lion and Dog.

As a baby you were a small vulnerable animal, with all the natural instincts to feed, to survive, and to bond with your mother. This natural and spontaneous part of your nature is the foundation of what you have become now as an adult. Not only were you born with an enormous natural instinctive wisdom gained through millions of years of evolution, but your newborn self also carried protective responses such as fear, anger, and sexual longing. These are all built into your nature without any recourse to a self-aware personality. But our animal self has the inherited wisdom about survival and relationships, parenting and finding a mate. There is a lot to learn from it, and it is a wonderful resource. See Animal in your Brain.

But what many people find is that they are frightened of their dream animal, or have never learned to help it evolve into the human world. This means that many people have a great lack in themselves and in their dreams they have to meet and work with the animal in them. As a child we are often told not to do things that would allow to mature with our animal self intact. Dream images are our fears, angers, love and thoughts clothed in pictures and drama. If you are frightened of a dream animal it is your fear clothes in the image of an animal. See What do You bring to Your Dreams?

These inbuilt traits are represented or depicted in your dreams by various animals and the situations your dream process places them in. Without feelings of fear for instance, you would, especially during childhood, enter into situations that could be life threatening. These dream animals illustrate the many natural responses you have to events and people you confront. Because we see them in so many ways, such as the cunning of the fox, the strength and mystery of the elephant, the loving fierceness of a lioness with her cubs, and the almost unconditional love dogs give us, the animal in your dream can express a very wide spectrum of meaning.

Useful questions:

What feelings are connected with my dream animal – fear, anger, love, wisdom – and in what way is that entering my life?

Is this an animal I know in life – if so what are my feelings or experience of it?

What is the dream animal doing, and metaphorically, wha is that suggesting?

Perhaps try the suggestion here Talking As

Animal with its young: Parental feelings; your basic childhood needs; your childhood experience of being parented.

Animal you love killed or died: This can often suggest great emotions being faced, Sometimes the shock is almost as if you have lost a child.

The difficulty might be trying to balance the mass of experiences of sharing you had the the loved animal. Suddenly you are faced by a complete contradiction, the living and the dead animal you are no faced with. It might be helpful to sit quietly an remember what feelings you had inside you as you hel or were near to each other, and then dwell in them.

Love can change the way dead pets experience their life after death, as this example illustrates.

Example: It involves my dad and his English bulldog, Chauncey. They were big buddies. Chauncey even went to work with Dad. Several years after Chauncey’s death, I dreamed of a female English bulldog who was very pregnant! A few weeks later, she appeared to me again, smiling proudly at two adorable puppies. One was brindle and the other was brindle and white. She showed me her house and street sign. The name of the street was Rosebud Lane. Then Chauncey appeared in the dream and told me he was returning and he would be the puppy that walked to me first! The next day I got the classifieds and started calling. It didn’t take long, the second call was located on Rosebud Lane. When I arrived, the mother dog looked just as she had in the dreams. She even acted like she knew me. I stood back and waited. Shortly, the little brindle and white puppy waddled to me. Dad cried when I handed the pup to him. Reincarnated bulldog…why not? By the way, Chauncey had a nickname…it was Rosebud!

Attacked by an animal: See: Wild animal(s) attacking.

Attacked sexually by an animal: This might be showing you feelings about sexual assault. If it does the animal side of the person who attacked you is probably indicated in some way. If you can meet it with your own anger it might have a healing effect.

Baby animal: A baby – sometimes connected with pregnancy; yourself when young; feelings or memories concerning your experience of babyhood; desire for babies; vulnerability; fundamental survival behaviours such as dependence, crying and bonding.

Domestic animal: Urges in yourself that you have learned to meet and direct with reasonable success. They still have to be cared for though, or they may react against what you ask of yourself. A horse for instance is broken in, or socialised, when it is young, as we are. But if we are keeping a horse, we must still make sure it has proper food, exercise and rest, as well as an expression for its herd instinct and sexual needs.

Eating the animal: Integrating your natural wisdom and energy; absorbing strength from sources other than your conscious personality; sensual pleasure and nutrition.

Fear of animal: This shows a fear of your natural impulses, or that you have been trained in childhood to repress your anger or curiosity. But some people have phobias about animals in waking life, perhaps through never relating to an animal when young, or from being attacked.

Herd of domesticated animals: The domestic animal depicts the urges in yourself and society, such as the sexual drive, aggression and self interest that have been directed socially for thousands of years, and is usually amenable to finding some level of social integration.

Herd of wild animals: The wild animal depicts your own urges or feelings that you are uncertain about controlling or directing. A herd of them therefore suggests you are meeting aspects of yourself you have not yet learned to direct or usefully integrate, and the herd might refer to your relationship with your own ‘herd’ or people around you.

Hiding from or trapped by an animal: Feeling controlled or threatened by your urges or emotions. See the wolf entry.

Killing an animal: This shows you killing urges or needs you have that are natural. Mostly this is injurious to your wholeness, but occasionally has to be done to deal with special life situations. The killing might also point to feelings of pain and conflict, as when we kill out something in us that is natural or even beautiful.

Licking: If an animal is licking you in some way it is an indication of love and even healing or a blessing. But if it is an aggressive type of animal it might suggest anger is being transformed into love, or strength being expressed as love or care.

Making love with an animal: This is usually about a meeting with your most primal and natural feelings, outside of social programming.

Neglect, mutilation or killing our ‘animal’: A common theme. In the example below, Lynda’s feelings show how she senses what she is doing to her inner nature, but she dismisses this by convincing herself such feelings are not ‘true’. But we have a responsibility to care for our animal drives, to see our sexual, nutritional and body needs are met, and the neglected animal shows us failing in this.

Example: ‘I am given an animal to look after, usually somebody’s pet while they are away on holiday. I then completely forget the animal, go away and when I return the animal is either dead or very dried up or has been got at by another animal and is in the throws of dying. When I wake from the dream I feel most dreadful and it is only when I am fully awake and realise it is not true do I feel better.’ Lynda E.

There are often dreams of mutilation or burned, starved, frozen, or beaten small amimals. They may not be things you have done to yourself but are things done to you by others, even parents. If you explore these dreams it gradually makes clear who perpeptrated the damage. You may need help in facing this.

Running away from or chased by an animal: If you are chased or running from an animal you are almost certainly feeling or exhibiting anxiety. If you take time to consider what an anxiety is, it is part of your own natural responses. Every animal feels anxious or afraid; it is its instinct to survive.

So the dream dog or animal is an image that clothes your feelings of anxiety. This may be difficult to grasp because the dream is an explanation of what you are facing in your self or life.  It is chasing you because it is part of you and you are running away from your own feelings.

To make this plain, the animal IS your feelings of anxiety. You see yourself running away from the animal because you are scared of your own feelings. Most of us don’t like feeling scared, so we run away from such feelings.

What can you do about this? Well you can imagine making friends with the animal, getting it some food, and direct its aggression or energy to be on your side. Or you can face your anxiety instead of running away from it. This, if you can do it, can radically change you.

Talking, white, shining, holy or wise animals: This shows important intuitive information; a meeting with the gathered wisdom we have unconsciously. This is one of the sources of religious inspiration, and many older cultures represent their origin of great learning or holiness as animals or animal headed beings. This is most likely because a great deal of innate information is held unconsciously. Our animal or instinctive self holds much of this, so communication with it can lead to enlightenment.

Taming or loved by a wild animal: Learning to relate to urges and energies in yourself that were previously unavailable to your will or needs. For instance some people face difficulties and their mind and body does not appear to support them. Instead emotions of anxiety rage within and they become ill. Other people have such a good relationship with their emotions they manage good health even when meeting stressful events.

Sacrificing animal: For long ages in human history animal sacrifice was practised. In a dream it might suggest the offering of ones sexuality or instinctive urges and needs to the influence of the life process within. It can also indicate, depending on the feelings in the dream, that you are killing a natural and innocent part of yourself. In a wider sense, life sacrifices itself to life. To exist, living forms devour each other. So the sacrifice is toward, and part of, the flow of life.

The traits, power or wisdom of the animal concerned; the instincts – for example yogis are often depicted sitting on an animal skin. This means they have mastered their instincts and gained the wisdom and power latent in them.

 Skinned animal: The maltreatment of your supportive instincts and the life processes that give life to your body and supports your personality. Feeling vulnerable at the basic levels of your being, and having no protection against the things touching or impinging on your life.

Wild animal: Urges and spontaneous feelings that may not respond in the way you, or your social training, may wish. Wild animals in dreams are not something ultimately different to your personality. They are an expression of energies and needs that you have not previously related to in a co-operative or mutually helpful way.

Wild animal(s) attacking: The wild animal represents your unrepressed instinctive reactions such as sex and anger. In the attacking mode however it shows unleashed aggression. In some dreams being attacked depicts what we feel in relationship with other people. The attack, the criticism and malign emotions directed at us by others are frequently shown as an animal attacking or biting us. Sometimes we may be aware of this, but often remarks are made which we miss, yet are sensed as an attack by our unconscious.

Wounded animal: A hurt that has caused instinctive reaction, such as unreasoning reactive anger or fawning submission.

Animals – dealing with dream animals To understand your dream animals, it is helpful to imagine that you are the keeper of a prehistoric type of human animal. As such you would need to be aware what the correct diet is for this big creature; what type of dwelling it needs; what are its sexual and emotional needs; what frightens it or causes it stress; what amount of exercise keeps it healthy, what its stages of growth are and how it can best develop through those stages; and what satisfies it in relationships with others of its kind? Your animal dreams are showing you exactly those issues. They are giving you insight into how to care for the instinctive, the spontaneous and natural in you.

Therefore ask yourself the following questions about your animal dreams, and write down any responses. If the answer is no to a question, move on the next one:


  • Is my dream animal struggling to survive?
  • Is the animal domesticated or wild?
  • Is there any concern about the animal’s health?
  • Is there an indication the animal has been injured?
  • Does love, caring or affection enter into the dream?
  • Are sexual feelings involved?
  • Does the animal show unusual intelligence or ability to speak?
  • Is the animal giving advice or showing you something?
  • Are baby animals involved?
  • Is the animal attacking or being attacked?
  • Is there a herd or group of these animals?
  • Has the animal been neglected or mutilated?
  • Are you trapped by or running away from an animal?
  • Try Using Dream Yoga.

Depending upon how the animal in your dream is presented, and what it is doing, dream animals represent your fundamental drives such as the fear reaction, anger, need for food, urge to breathe, sex or procreative drive, parental urges, drive for recognition or dominance in groups; survival drive; love of offspring; spontaneity; home building. They depict these drives perhaps stripped of their social forms of expression.

As such the animal can portray your relationship with the fundamental life processes in you. Dreams depict these processes as intelligent and responsive, not just as chemical actions and reactions as modern medicine so often does. Therefore your conscious attitudes influence these fundamental living processes in you – processes that maintain health, digest, beat your heart, rebuild damage and fight infection. Negative feelings or attitudes can cause these ‘animals’ is you to despair or lose motivation, and thus lead to depression or illness. Remember that in looking at the animal in your dreams you are yourself an animal. You as a person are a tiny spark of consciousness, a little bit of self awareness riding an incredibly ancient animal you call your body. Remember that your body has formed from cells and genetic information that has gradually developed over millions of years. It holds that information in it unconsciously. The animal in your dreams depicts this ancient wisdom and how you relate to it. It shows you how you are dealing with the urges in you that are natural, but might need to be helped into modern life or transformed in some way, not killed out, maimed or tortured. See: The Rock Beast.

Animals are one of the most frequent of symbols that appear in dreams. Because we see them in so many ways, such as the cunning of the fox, the strength and mystery of the elephant, the loving fierceness of a lioness with her cubs, and the almost unconditional love dogs give us, the animal in our dream can express a very wide spectrum of meaning.

As we project these characteristics onto animals, we may dream of an animal to represent the feelings we have about a person. An attacking dog for instance may be used to depict how we see someone who is being aggressive toward us.

Thus dream animals are complex symbols, and they portray many shades of meaning. Some animal dreams for instance display personal need for affection, desire to be touched, or the need to care for another creature and thus feel needed. Sometimes they depict pregnancy and parental caring. Because of these huge variations, the long commentary at the end of the individual description of animals has been added to help awareness in looking at such dreams. Each animal is also given an entry, as the character of the various animals suggests different things to us. Pets, for instance, have given to each of us very different experiences. We therefore have personal associations and feeling responses to pets we might dream about. See excellent example of this in the example under ferret. See: ape; birds; creatures; pet; reptiles and snakes; the unconscious.



-Adil 2018-05-19 13:05:28

Peace be upon you.

I had a dream that a wild boar licked the side of my right hand, my pinky up to the side of my wrist. It felt so real! So real that I woke up from it and felt the boars thick slimy tongue still lingering on my hand whereas to I got up and washed my hands.

I’ve searched many places for an interpretation but so far I haven’t came up with anything.

Everything that I have read about seeing a wild boar in a dream seems to contradict one another.

I did not feel unsafe or afraid or anything like that from this wild boar. It simply came to me in a couple of steps, licked the side of my hand then I woke up.

What do you think this may possibly mean?

Peace be upon you.

-Annie 2018-04-04 14:04:12


I would really appreciate it if you could help me understand my dream last night. It was fairly disturbing. I was in my bedroom and looked out my window and saw a little fox. Further on in the next window I saw a second fox. I called my kids over to see them. They started to quarrel. All of the sudden things quickly escalated and out came coyotes or wolves and they started attacking and killing the little foxes in front of us. They were ripping them apart and blood was everywhere. Then, I noticed part of the pack was eating a golden retriever. They were ripping off its’ fur, skinning it and eating it. It was covered in blood. I was in shock, it started to move as they were eating it. It was still alive, being tortured. What is this dream about? I have cancer, it is progressing and I am very hurt by friends and family who have not been there to support me at all. I assume it is related?

Thank you for your time and insight.


    -Tony Crisp 2018-04-06 12:58:35

    Annie – In dreams we are not simply looking at a series of images and drama, but are witnessing the most powerful activities of our being – our being meaning our body and consciousness and its struggle to survive and grow.

    The animals are your own natural energies that are not working according to their integrating properties, but are tearing themselves apart. In the healthy body the enormous number of different processes all work in a common direction, but in cancer the integrative forces are out of harmony. As you dream suggests you are eating yourself alive.

    As you wrote, you were in shock witnessing this.

    I have only been involved with four people with cancer, three of them survived. I don’t believe it was anything I did, but I do see way you might do some good in your illness.

    When my father died suddenly – not from cancer – I had a wonderful experience that showed me that at every moment we are meeting death and life. In fact we are taking place in an enormous drama of creation and destruction, but most people are not aware of it, and so feel safe. But you are facing it and so are in the middle of the drama. And in your dream the drama is depicted as nature itself attacking and tearing itself apart.

    What might help is to imagine yourself in the middle of that drama in your dream. The aim is to slowly bring change to the situation. That may sound a strange thing to do, but if you can actually fee; the enormous struggle and begin to deal with it you are changing the forces active in you.

    Dear Annie, in trying to understand your situation, I imagined myself in the middle of those crazed animals – it caused me to weep. I didn’t have the power to change what was going on. But I stayed with it and a change happened. I saw that cancer is a very ancient beast, and is primitive and to change it one has to get down beyond the mammal level of our being to the prehistoric.

    To help you understand this please read and also

    The change was that I became the prehistoric powerful predator which simple ate the mad dogs and digestive them bringing peace. I then had to bring that primitive level of my being slowly to the mammals and then to human life. It takes time but can be done. See

    I didn’t do it with cancer, but at birth when I wanted to die, being born eight weeks prematurely in a world that at the time didn’t deal with a baby such as me and let them die. But here I am 80 years later.


-Christie A 2018-04-01 3:10:27

Hi I have a weird dream. For the first time it’s a little difficult for me to interpret. Can you help ?

I dream of pigs , small pigs , there is more than 4 of them I believe . All of them were in a metal cage , I don’t remember seeing any door. They were left there to die. I saw their dying state to some being dead . Looking like they couldn’t breathe. I was in the room with someone , a girl, I can’t remember who and how she looks like . But I remember I told her how sad that makes me feel and she laugh and said something ( which I can’t rmemever ).

-Gifty 2017-12-04 15:22:28

Since i was 9, i have been having dreams about snakes. My first dream of a snake, i was walking on the street in a white clothes and i saw a green snake and a tree. I got scared of it and stayed as far as i could, woke up the night panting and sweat all over me. Couple of days later i had another dream of snakes, with this i was sleeping on my bed, woke up in the dream surrounded by snakes and covered by snakes, i got scared tried screaming but i couldn’t, woke up with sweat all over and shivering and it has been consistent for about 14years i have been having these dreams n i woke up scared with sweat all over. The recent one i had was i was in a nice apartment with lovely neighbours in the dream a neighbour died from a snake bite, my curiosity led me to my neighbours room with some stranger i don’t know how i met the stranger or how he got to the room with me. I wanted to see the snake but this snake was huge and attacked me. I wasn’t bitten but the stranger i was with was bitten, the stranger saved me. I woke up again with sweat, shiver and tears.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved