Animals In Dreams - They Remind Us Of Instincts And Powers We Already Have
I've been doing alot of dream work lately, and had a very strong dream with alot of whales the other night. Here's an article from Ariadne Green that helped me a bit:
Indigenous cultures, such as Native Americans, teach us that the animals that roam the earth have a great deal wisdom to teach us. The Lakota Indians, for instance, refer to the animals of their region as their "relations". For them, the animal's relationship is familial, sacred and spiritually important. The Hawaiians refer to their animal allies as "aumakua" and their power is protective. They believe the animal possesses the spirit of a deceased family member and may visit in a dream and become a guiding force in the person's life. Australian aborigines consider animals "kin" and some families take as a surname the name of the animal that lives in their region. As with the ancient Egyptians, animals for these cultures are imbued with god-like qualities and supernatural powers. They influence every aspect of life and guide the individual who accepts the animals as their totems.
For the shamans of these indigenous cultures, the animals are spirit helpers guiding their journeys while in trance states. An animal may first appear to the shaman in a dream calling him to his spiritual power and purpose as a healer. The animal gives the shaman otherworldly visions and healing power.
Just about everyone has had an animal power dream. From a shamanistic perspective, when animals emerge from within a dream the dreamer is initiated and meant to accept the attributes and spiritual power of the animal. If not fought off or chased away, the animal will lend its wisdom as "medicine" for the soul, supernatural power for healing, and instinctive characteristics to strengthen the dreamer's personality. Whether it is the healing energy of a snake or the pride and confidence of a lion, each possesses an extraordinary power that connects the dreamer to hidden potentials held within.
Whales, such as the Humpbacks navigate with sound, calling out to each other from the depths of the ocean. They make beautiful music. As your totem, whale reminds you of your own musical talents, asking you to bring your musicality out into the world. As medicine, whale points you to the healing power of sound, attunes your heart and balances your chakras. Whales are considered the ancient record keepers of a legacy from the stars. Therefore, whale can point you to astrology to map out your destiny. In a dream, a pod of whales may summon you to swim with them and dive into the depths of your subconscious to discover what hidden treasures or gifts you possess that lie beneath the surface.
The Jung Page talks about how animal dreams can help women connect to the archteypal feminine:
Animal dreams can refund our sense of participation in embodied life. They can show us where we have gone astray--as when we seem to fall into disharmony with a particular animal. They can also remind us of instincts and powers we already possess or could bring into being if only we would trust our animal-like nature. Animal dreams seem to communicate something from the ancient vestiges of our functioning on earth--all the head knowledge in the world can't match the sheer vibrancy and power of our own animal. Or, as Jung once said: "The instincts are a far better protection than all the intellectual wisdom in the world."
There are many images through which the archetypal feminine can emerge in women's dreams. It may reveal itself as a priestess or female lover, as plants blooming or a strong tree bursting through the family home. Hurricanes may come, shattering the old assumptions of the father/husband world. Or the dreamer may receive a gift--perhaps a precious ruby ring presented by a wrinkled crone.
Whatever the particular image, when women are called into a relationship with the feminine ground of their being, they are simultaneously called into a deeper relationship with our own instincts and emotions. Dreams of animals can assist women in their process to retrieve that connection consciously. Animals are canny and alert; many can see in the dark. Perhaps most importantly, they are pure, in the sense that they are unable to be other than who they truly are. Unlike women, who may attempt to be "more like a man," animals cannot be anything other than themselves.
Just as animals seem to "sense" when something is amiss--dangerous weather on the horizon, dangerous humans in the vicinity--so, too, do dream animals have an unerring sense of danger when it comes to the choices we make in our own lives.
Image from James Marvin Phelps on flickr