Animals are particulary powerful dream symbols, and usually carry a universal meaning, although they can also appear as specific animals know to the dreamer, in which case their significance tends to be personal. As well as real animals (general or specific), dreams may also make use of animals encountered in films, myths or fairytales. Sometimes, too, there may be a reference to animal associations embedded in the similes and clichés of idiomatic language (linking foxes with cunning, elephants with long memories, pigs with gluttony, and so on).
Animals have always signified our natural, instinctive and sometimes baser energies and desires, and in dreams they often draw our attention to undervalued or repressed aspects of the self, and put us in touch with a source os transforming energy dep within the collective unconcious. Devouring an animal can represent the assimilation of natural wisdom, just as in Nordic myth Siegfried learned the language of animals after eating the heart of the dragon Fafnir.
Animals in dreams may be frightening os friendly, wild or tame, and their demeanour can be an important clue for interpretation. They may even speak or change their form. In the native American tradition the shaman (spiritual magus) seeks a power animal in dreams, who will then act as a wisdom guide during the shaman's journeys to other worlds.
A dog can represent devotion, as symbolized by Argos, the first creture to recognize the Grrek hero Odysseus when he returned from his wanderings, but it can also stand for the destructive force of misused or neglected instincts, just as the hounds of the Greek hunting goddess Artemis tore Actaeon to pieces when he invaded her privacy. Cats are among the most common dream animals, and often stand for intuitive feminine wisdom and the imaginative power of the unconscious.
Horse - The horse generally symbolizes mankind's harnessing of the wild forces of nature, while a winged or flying horse can represent the unleashing of energy for psychological or spiritual growth. In Freudian dream interpretation, a wild horse represents the dreaded, terrifying aspect of the father.
Lion - The lion almost invariably appears in dreams as a regal symbol of power and pride, and often represents the archetypal, powerful and admired aspect of the father.
Wild beasts - Freud considered that ferocious, untamed animals represent passionate impulses of which the dreamer is ashamed; the more numerous and diverse the animals concerned, the more varied and threatening these impulses may be.
Dreams are not bound by the rules of waking life, but operate in the normal way of perceiving reality is only one of many possible states of conciousuness. Reminiscent of the Zen Buddhist koan technique, which asks the initiate impossible questions, drams may deliberately distort waking reality, "shaking" the dreamer's mental kaleidoskope, and producing new juxtapositions of ideas and experiences, which give rise to new patterns of thought or behaviour.
When a dream presents material that appears impossible to waking mind, this very incongruity may be the crux of the meaning. One manifestation of this is the reversed relationship. A platform, for example, may move toward a train instead of vice versa, perhaps emphasizing to the dreamer that it is necessary to approach life from a completely new perspective. The dreamer may appear in the opposite sex, drawing attention to his or her neglect of the Anima or Animus, the female aspect of man and the male aspect of woman. Winter and summer may be combined or reversed, flowers may bloom in a snowfield. Such reversals may sometimes be aiming to teach the dreamer thet seeing everything in terms of opposites (including forces at war withing the dreamer's mind) is limiting: only by uniting our various energies can we realize our full potential.
The Secret Language of Dremas - A Visual Key to Dreams and Their Meanings (David Fontana)
Eu nem me lembrava desse livro, que eu ganhei de um amigo. Mas fui procurar, em virtude do sonho, e achei algumas coisas interessantes.