Dreaming about lions and tigers can be interpreted in several ways, depending on what you personally associate with them, and universal symbolism.
Sometimes you may have dreams which you suspect have a hidden message. Dreams about lions or tigers can be particularly perplexing if you don't understand what they mean. Your subconscious could be attempting to tell you something that's trapped in the deep recesses of your mind.
According to the psychoanalyst Freud, things which are painful for us to access consciously can become trapped in our unconscious life. A follower of Freud's, Jung, believed that thoughts from our subconscious, and the collective unconscious, can rise into our dreams, and that these dreams can be interpreted if we examine dream imagery and symbols.
According to Jung, the collective unconscious is a universal pool of knowledge we can tap into while dreaming. Animals such as lions or tigers in a dream, would represent common factors we all know about them, and relate to something happening in our personal life.
If you dream about lions or tigers, the first place to begin if you want to practice the art of dream interpretation, is to list facts you know already about the animals, along with any sayings, thoughts, feelings and traits you believe them to have. For example lions are known for:
There are stories pertaining to lions you may have heard of also which could influence your dreams meaning, such as Born Free, and the tale of the lion who had a thorn removed from his paw by St Jerome.
If the two examples pertain to your brain store of information regarding lions, you could add to your list:
If you dreamed about tigers you would build a list about what you associate with tigers, in the same way you compiled the lion list. For example, you may think of tigers as being:
Tigers are associated in films, books and sayings with being both fearsome, and friendly. The way you interpret your dream with them in, will depend upon the circumstances in which the tiger presented itself, and the type of character form the tiger projected. A cartoon tiger, such as Tigger from Winnie the Pooh in a dream may have something to do with childhood, or your inner child. However, a tiger which comes across as vicious and wild, bearing teeth and flashing his claws, is more likely to have something to do with primitive feelings, such as aggression or shock.
The next step to interpreting the meaning of dreams about lions or tigers is to think closely about what happened to you the day before your dream. Perhaps you had a shocking or frightening encounter with someone? In which case the wild animal could represent the person who upset you, and your deepest feelings about the experience.
If you were angry or aggressive the day before your dream, the lion or tiger may represent you. In which case your subconscious may be showing you how aggressive you were, or how angry you felt about something, or towards someone.
Jung also believed that each individual has a shadow side, which goes along with the theory that where there is good there is bad, and where there's dark there's also light. In order to fit in with society and behave properly, we may repress our shadow side. This happens when a person is excessively nice all the time, but secretly feels angry now and then while hiding their true feelings from the outside world.
Feelings which are suppressed, as in willfully withheld, can become repressed, as in pushed into our subconscious out of sight, even from ourselves. Wild, or scary creatures in dreams, such as lions, tigers, sharks, wolves and snakes, sometimes represent our shadow side, which is desperate to resurface because we haven't paid it any attention.
If you have nightmares about lions or tigers, according to the teaching of Freud and Jung, you probably need to become better balanced for your own good. If you hide your true feelings a lot, and never let off steam they can surface as nightmares or result in angry outbursts. Dealing with them as they occur can prevent them building up.
Remember that dreams of lions or tigers can be positive, particularly if you associate them with positive traits on your list. If, for example, you dream that a lion sits beside you looking strong and beautiful, perhaps you've just done something in your waking life to be proud of, and shown great strength of character and courage.
Likewise, dreaming of a tiger playing, and rolling with you as you laugh and enjoy each others company, could show you've successfully integrated your shadow side into your personality, and that the tiger side of you is now capable of standing up for you, and making you brave. This leaves you free to relax and be playful, safe in the knowledge that you are capable of taking care of yourself.
Lions and tigers are special creatures. Tigers particularly, are becoming rare due to mankind's bad behavior and lack of respect. You are fortunate if you see them in a dream, as they are powerful symbols which can be bought to your aid when you need them, or help you understand deep emotions you may not always want to deal with.
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