Terrestrial Life in Dream

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Terrestrial Life in Dream

The biblical account of Noah's taking pairs of all the animals aboard the Ark to preserve them is emblematic of the preservation of our animal instincts within. The significance of his taking pairs—one of each sex—is that these animalistic qualities are to be transcended, not destroyed. In line with this approach, animals stand for transformation in that we can learn to transform these animal instincts, so carefully preserved within, to our Divine potential.

Generally, animals represent the physical, lower nature of human life. Wild animals usually symbolize emotions or desires which are out of control, the undisciplined qualities. The wilder the animal, the more meaningful the dream in terms of primitive emotions. These symbols can be very helpful because they may give clues to hidden animosities, anger, aggression, or vengeance. Tamed, domesticated animals may represent the disciplined qualities that can be helpful in developing the Higher Self. They may also indicate that the dream involves the "domestic" life. Because they have no footing (feet), crawling animals could show spiritual progress, implying the "death" of animal instinct within.

In deciphering the meaning of an animal symbol, take into consideration the characteristics of the animal species itself. Again, any personal experience or association involving the kind of animal always takes precedence.


Someone who imitates. "Go ape." (See gorilla, monkey)


Overprotectiveness, because bears protect their offspring for two years; playfulness which can be dangerous; negative emotions or desires that crush and stifle efforts. Three bears (mother, father, child)—three stages of growth (feminine, masculine, immature qualities). Look for play on word "bare," such as "bare facts." "Overbearing"; "grumpy as a bear"; "hungry as a bear"; "bear-hug"; "bear market" (falling in price); "a bear for punishment" (rugged, tough).


To fool one's self or others.


(See Archetypes chapter)


Emotions or desires in a barren, non-productive (desert) state; stubbornness; beast of burden. "Ships of the desert."


Independence (but if carried to extremes may turn into uncooperativeness or isolation); someone who is a gossip ("cattiness"); often associated with feminine characteristics. Petting a cat—pleasure in the negative emotion of "pettiness"; concern over the health of a cat—spiritual progress, because of effort to raise the emotions from a lower to a higher force; black cat—superstitious emblem of bad luck. "Cool cat"; "nine lives"; "purr like a kitten"; to "let the cat out of the bag." (See lion; also see Lion in Archetypes chapter)


Indolence; physical indulgence; principle of natural nutrients, because of her milk. "To cow" (intimidate); "contented as a cow"; "till the cows come home."


The soul, the gentle, harmless self that is often hurt or wounded by our aggressiveness or cynicism or by other people's criticism; aesthetic abandon, because of their speed and grace. To "fawn" over.


Primitive state; extinction.


Domesticated instincts; obedience; can represent both friendliness ("man's best friend") and unfriendliness (they can be ferocious) in man—the positive and negative, the faithful and the unfaithful; negative qualities—growling, snarling, snapping; positive qualities—faithfulness, loyalty, fun-loving, Dalmatian—black and white, accentuates right and wrong; firehouse mascot; St. Bernard—the rescuer; German Shepherd—the protector, guide for the sightless. "The dog returns to his vomit" (see vomit in Common Symbols chapter); "bird dog" (to follow something); "can't teach an old dog new tricks"; "let sleeping dogs lie"; "every dog has his day"; "putting on the dog"; "going to the dogs"; a "dog" (unattractive person); "dogs" (feet).


The great dictator; old serpent (Satan); a strict person, evil forces; adversary; opposition to the Truth; powers of darkness. The famous painting of St. George with his foot on the dragon and the cliché "slay the dragon" both mean to get in control of all the animal forces within. Red dragon—the rebellious spirit; the blood stream.


Power and might (God-almighty power); wisdom, sagacity, a sex symbol, because of the characteristics of the trunk; hard-worker; entertainer; insensitive (thick-skinned); traditional symbol for a long memory, but in a negative context may show an unforgiving, vengeful nature.


Shrewd, subtle and cunning. Vixen—ill-tempered, shrewish woman. "Sly as a fox"; "foxy" (knowing what is going on).


A distortion in self, too much emotion and not enough reason (head and heart widely separated).


Tenth sign of the Zodiac (Capricorn); aspiration, because of its sure-footedness and ability to scale the loftiest peaks; aspirations carried to extremes may show material, selfish ambitions; "bad guys" as opposed to sheep, the "good guys." To "get someone's goat" (to anger, frustrate or annoy); "old goat" (lecherous man).


Low mental state, possibly dangerous, though some types are shy and docile. (See ape, monkey)


Selfishness, gluttonous or filthy person; overindulgence; greed. "Hoggish"; "hog-wild"; "hogging the show"; "making a hog of yourself"; "living high on the hog" (time of prosperity).


Tempestuous emotions; sexual energy; the intellect or intelligence; hard-worker. Ancient Germans and Scandinavians believed that horses were able to speak and to predict the future; therefore, horses were sometimes used as oracles. Horse and rider—a message from the higher realms of consciousness; horse without a saddle—not in control, may be suggesting to "put on the saddle, get in control"; in a funeral procession—symbolizes that the person will never ride again; riding a horse well—in control; falling off a horse—rejection of message. Prince Charming on a white horse symbolizes raising the spiritual energies within to the highest level (See "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"). "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"; "horsing around"; to "eat like a horse"; "don't look a gift horse in the mouth"; to "back the wrong horse"; to "ride, or beat, a dead horse"; "from the horse's mouth"; "hold your horses"; "horse of a different color"; "on your high horse."


Purity, innocence, guilelessness; world-symbol of sacrifice. In the Old Testament, the lamb is commonly used at the Passover Feast as a sacrificial victim. In the New Testament, the lamb is a symbol of Christ (Lamb of God), sometimes called the Paschal Lamb. If a dream presents a lamb, it may be saying "feed my sheep"—in other words, encourage others to grow spiritually. "Lead the lamb to slaughter"; a "lamb" (term of affection).


Fifth sign of the Zodiac (Leo); archetypal symbol for the third spiritual center (adrenals). Although any of the great cats (cougar, panther, leopard, tiger, etc.) can represent the adrenals, the lion is especially suitable. The supreme predator; courageous; bad-tempered, or boastful, because of his roar. In ancient Christian symbolism the lion represented Jesus. It is sometimes used as an emblem of the devil, or the danger of being "swallowed" by the unconscious. "Lion of Judah" (Christ); to "roar like a lion"; "fight like a tiger"; "lion-hearted"; "lion's share." (See Lion in Archetypes chapter)


The irrational, undeveloped nature; frivolous or mischievous. "Monkeying around"; "making a monkey of yourself"; "monkey see, monkey do"; "monkey business"; "a monkey on your back."


Irritations; timidity ("mousey"). "Quiet as a mouse"; "mouse-colored hair"; "build a better mouse trap."


The sharp quills could represent the dreamer's defensive state.


Fertility; sexual desire; Easter, or an awakening. White rabbit—may show the dreamer the gateway to an inner world, as in Alice in Wonderland. "Breeding like a rabbit"; "rabbit food"; "quick as a bunny."


First sign of the Zodiac (Aries); battering, crushing, forcing something. "Ramming around" (no direction).


Carrier of disease; something repulsive or obscene; disloyalty ("rat fink"); the first to leave a sinking ship. "Dirty rat."


Spiritual virtues; the followers of Jesus; conformity; easily led. To "make sheep's eyes at"; "sheepish" (foolishly bashful). (See goat, lamb.)


(See Archetypes chapter)


The word squirrel derives from the Greek word meaning shadow (low self). "Squirrely" (an odd, peculiar, or senseless person); "squirrel away" (to hide or store something).


The instinctual side of the unconscious, because it lives within its shell; strength and longevity, because of its long lifespan and resistance to disease; introverted; a suggestion to slow down. (See turtle under "Aquatic Life")


A fabulous creature of mythology, mentioned in the Bible, Deut. 33:17, a pure white animal with the face and feet of a goat, the body of a horse, and the tail of a lion; symbolic of goodwill, gentleness, benevolence; singleness of purpose, because of the horn protruding from the "third eye" area; chastity, purity (it was believed that only those who were pure of spirit could see them).


Sly, cunning, misleading. To "weasel out of" (evade commitment or responsibility).


Fierce, cruel, greedy; a "wolf" (sexually aggressive man); "the wolf's at the door" (could be spiritual as well as physical starvation). "Cry wolf"; "a wolf in sheep's clothing."


A modern cliché for integrated marriages.

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