The Language of Dreams
Dreams of the Children
Dreams of the World
About the Dreamweavers
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. . . recurring lessons in dream analysis . . .
Animals In DreamsThe animals in our dreams represent the instincts in the most basic parts of our psyche. The more domesticated the animal, the closer it is to our ego-consciousness. The wilder the animal, the more likely it is to be identified with the more primitive instincts.
1. What are my personal associations with this animal? Do I have memories or experiences with this animal that color how I see the animal?
The personal answers to this "associations" question are the most important in determining the private meaning of the dream. Any feelings or meanings brought out from your reflections on the first question color the next steps:
2. What does this animal represent in my culture? Are there generally accepted views of this animal in my culture?
3. What are the archetypal associations of this animal (the legends and stories that seem to transcend peoples and culture and appear to be common to all humanity)?
Substitute the meaningful association\s for the animal in the dream story. Look closely at the dream story. What is the animal (instinct) doing? How is it related to the other elements of the dream? When you review the answers to all of these questions, is there an "ah-ha!" or an answer that feels right for you in relation to the feeling or meaning of this animal?
Elizabeth Strahan, Jungian analyst, discusses the steps of this analysis in more detail and with numerous examples on Tapes One and Two of the videotape series, The Language of Dreams. Archetypal and cultural associations of specific animals are discussed on Tapes Seven, Eight, and Nine of the series.