We humans have been trying to figure out the meaning of dreams since the beginning of time. Literally! Most of us are familiar with Sigmund Freud’s psychological approach to dream analysis described in his iconic book, Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1913. But ancient Egyptians also had a Dream Book. Ancient Greeks and even the Bible also have their ways of discovering the meaning of dreams. However, Freud is the father of modern dream interpretation and as he put it, “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”
There are certain themes or subjects that almost everyone dreams about: showing up to a big meeting naked; losing all of your teeth; being chased by a terrifying predator, and animals. The usual stress dreams are pretty easy to figure out but animal dreams tend to be a little more complex and, depending on your beliefs, more spiritual.
It’s very common for animals to show up in a variety of contexts while we’re sleeping. Now, dream analysis isn’t an exact science but most experts, spiritual and psychological, believe that animals represent our basic instincts, primitive desires or our connection to nature. This is why we often dream of animals during scary or difficult times in our lives. There is a universal meaning of dreams for most animals but everyone has their own unique relationship with different creatures. To understand your own dreams, in addition to looking up general significance, try to figure out what that specific animal means to you and what instincts you may be repressing in real life.
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Like everything else, a few animals seem to appear on a fairly regular basis. For instance, because dogs and cats are so important in our daily lives, they’re also important in our nightly lives. As a rule, cats represent independence, female sexuality and a secretive nature. And like their real-life counterparts, dogs represent sociability, loyalty, fidelity and male sexuality. However, if they’re growling, it’s your aggressive nature trying to come out. So try not to bite anyone in real life!
Many people hate or fear snakes and running into one in real life would be a nightmare. When it comes to dream analysis, it’s a totally different story. They are a well-known phallic symbol but, perhaps more importantly, they symbolize energy, transformation and rebirth so look forward to dreaming of them! Maybe you’ll even start to find the live ones less frightening.
Tween girls love horses and most of us can agree that they’re magnificent, romantic animals. Historically, humans have had a special relationship with horses because of their intelligence and because we depended on them for transportation for centuries. In dreams, horses depict virility, enthusiasm and forward momentum.
Spiders round out the top five dream animals. Like snakes, they’re a common phobia and we’re a lot more likely to be confronted by one or two on a daily basis. Remember, spiders are good — they eat other, much peskier insects! You should also welcome them in your dreams. Though they can represent feeling trapped or overwhelmed. However the positive side of being able to spin an amazing web is that it takes creativity and shows you how beautifully hard work can pay off.