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Sometimes, dreaming about a certain animal may simply mean that we have recently been in contact with that animal. However, animals symbolize the untamed and uncivilized aspects of people. A dream which involves an animal usually represents a human character trait on an instinctual level, symbolised by a particular animal.
The animal world has always been a rich source of metaphor and symbolism. In mythology and folklore animals are archetypal images, which arose from the characteristics our ancestors attributed to them. The fox is seen as sly, the dog protective and guiding, and a bird a free spirit. These images persist today and are reflected in phrases such as ‘wise as an owl’, or ‘cunning as a fox.
The characteristics we attribute to animals in dreams depends on the way a culture perceives them. Dreaming of a bat might seem like a sinister omen to a person from the West, but to someone from
Asia where bats are considered a symbol of good fortune and happiness, this dream would have an altogether different meaning.
These are our friends offering unconditional love and dreams about them usually centre on the home and family, your innermost desires, needs and anxieties. To dream of taking care of pets symbolizes nurturing an aspect of yourself. Injured pets in dreams may point to some aspect of yourself that feels wounded, and neglecting pets may mean you feel that you are not living up to your responsibilities.
The instinctual and intuitive parts of your nature are usually expressed in dreams that feature wild animals; primal instincts, such as a lioness's ferocity when protecting her young. These animals in our dreams also sometimes reveal talents or traits that we attribute to ourselves or would like to develop, for example the grace of a dolphin or the speed of a cheetah.
Working and Farmyard Animals
Animals that perform some type of function usually appear in our dreams when there is a need to recognise our own abilities and strengths. We often dream about horses which symbolises stamina, and a camel may imply the need to conserve energy for a long journey ahead. A bull can be a strong and formidable opponent, and a herd of healthy cattle can indicate prosperity, as in real life.
Insects also carry certain meanings to their presence in our dreams. Ants often symbolise social conformity, indicating that you may feel your life is too structured. Bees symbolise hard work while wasps indicate angry thoughts and feelings. The spider can indicate financial gain if pictured weaving a web. Butterflies herald change and transformation.