Dream Meanings - Animal Classifications
and Dream Interpretation

dream meanings and animal meanings

Dream Meanings and Animals

Dreaming of animals. What does that mean? You wouldn't believe the amount of emails I get from folks wanting to know what it means when we dream of various critters. This article is an attempt to address this curiosity with a broad stroke.

In truth, this is the second of a two-part series I've written about what it means when we dream of animals. If you're interested, you can see the first part here: Dream Meanings About Animals.

When we dream of animals, it means something. Big something's. Overarching symbolism of animal dreams deals with important stuff like: Freedom, Instinct, Will, Focus, Purification.

I mean, think on it. Animals are pure. They don't have iPhones. They don't need cable TV. For these and a myriad of other reasons, animals are blissfully uncomplicated. They're simple. And when I say simple, I mean that in the most flattering way. Animals are grass roots. They remind us of how we could be if we weren't consumed by our nagging boss, or mortgage payments, or Facebook likes.

When we dream of animals, it's about core issues. It's about what is primal within us. Dream meaning of animals addresses our most basic, pure selves.

Okay, fine. So what's the big deal? Why is that worth interpreting? My answer to those questions is this: If our psyche is beckoning a connection with the animal world - it's worth paying attention to. Animals, birds, insects, reptiles...they are our most ancient advisors. These creatures were here long before we were. They certainly came to consciousness before humans did. That makes them vital in knowledge and wisdom. Sure - animals communicate differently than we do - but that doesn't make their message any less profound.

So how do we go about dream interpretation? How can we determine the messages and lessons animals hold for us in dreamland? I might be able to help with that...

For many years now, I've helped folks interpret dreams, and physical encounters with animals. As it turns out, we are incredibly curious about what it means when we run into hawks, squirrels, deer or whatever. We humans want to connect. We want to make an association between animal appearances with what's going on in our own lives. That's soooo cool. It's a worthwhile investment in investigation and attention too.

Observing this trend, and seeing the deep need for meaning - I devised a bit of a guide when it comes to animal meanings. It isn't original. Nope. It's as old as ancient Greece when Aristotle came up with the idea. You see, this very slick dude recognized that just about everything in the universe falls under a category. Those categories are: Fire, Earth, Air, Water. Aristotle called them elements.

If you think on it, it's a great system. What if you had a dream about a giraffe. And what if you were completely clueless about giraffe symbolism. Maybe that animal is so foreign to you it's just impossible for you to get a grasp of its meaning. It's a fair assumption. I've dreamt of squid, without the faintest idea what they might mean or imply.

But that's okay. It was okay those squid swam around in my dreams while I had no inkling as to their meaning. Why was it okay? Because I had a foundation. I had good ol' Aristotlian elements to fall back on. You do too. Check it:

dream meanings and animal meanings

Dream Meanings and Animal Classifications

I'm reluctant to start out with this element. It's a tricky one. Nevertheless, start with it I must, because it is the initiator of the procession of elements. Elements fall in an order, as such: Fire, Earth, Air, Water. So, let me move with this as best I can.

Ask yourself what creatures on this planet may fall in the element of fire. Keep in mind fire is symbolic of passion, intensity, ferocity, aggression, assertion. Odds are, if you dream about a bunny, the first element that comes to mind isn't going to be fire. Well, maybe Bunnicula might have fire-associations, but that's a stretch.

So you get my drift. We're talking about fiery animals. Tigers, Lions, Red-Tailed Hawks. These animals can be straight-up vicious about survival and making their way through the world. There's a message in that. These fire-animals ask us things like: What's my passion? What's my focus? What consumes me? What extent will I go to thrive and survive?

Color is another essence when it comes to fire animals. When contemplating dream meanings, pay attention to hues hanging out in your nighttime musings. If animals come to you in fire colors (red, orange, yellow, amber) - that's a fire element. Cardinals, lady bugs, salmon, gold finches..even some exotic tree frogs...think on that for awhile. Color embraces symbolism of fire. It's about expression, love, passion, assertion.

As mentioned, fire element is tricky. It's because there are many creatures who will share fire with another element. Like salmon, its color is fire (during their prime season), but its home-element is water. Another slippery concept is the idea of mythical creatures. In my studies, all mythical creatures fall in the element of fire. Dragons, Unicorns, Griffins...yep, you got it - these are fire creatures to the max. Apply dream meanings of intensity, boldness, creativity and expression when you dream of mythical beasts.

Earth animals are kind of a no-brainer when it comes to dream meanings. Pretty much any mammal falls in the category. So, we're talking about (usually) four-legged, milk-producing, hairy critters. There will be exceptions, like the bat, but you get what I mean.

Earth is an element that begs us to consider what's going on at the core of our lives. I'm talking about stuff that is rooted to our very foundation. What is in your life that you deem uncompromising? What is your foundation? Often, this means family. It could be a job. It could be finances. Whatever it is, earth animals should point your focus to things that are grounding.

Earth animal symbolism deals with issues that are solidifying. They deal with the realm of tangible. In the Tarot, earth is represented by a symbol called pentacles, or disks. All this means is that you can touch or feel anything that deals with this element of earth. Think on materialism. Not in a bad way, but just in general. Dreaming of earth animals like wolves, rabbits, bears will almost always lend meaning of stuff that makes you feel safe, secure, grounded. These animals also deal with stability. That often means money.

What is that raccoon telling you in your dream? Do you need to root around? Dig in deep? Get to the bottom of an issue? Get grounded about something that's been nagging you?

Earth animals are all about what centers us. What's touchy-feely about us right now? What does that mean in terms of the dream?

Perhaps more than any other element, air is at home in a dream. Who among us doesn't think about flying, or clouds in association with dreaming? It's because air is symbolic of free-floating concepts.

Air is also symbolic of communication. But unlike talking or writing, it's a special kind of communication. Air represents a kind of transference of information that happens through the ethers. And what is a dream? Exactly that. It's a message we receive from the ethers. You can call 'ethers' the subconscious. You could call it heaven, or spirit or the universal divine. Whatever you dub it, dreams come from an unconventional, mysterious, unknowable source. So too do air creatures.

Logically, most air creatures are birds. Since humanity was able to concoct myth and legend, birds have always held a position of messenger. These are beings that wing their way to our hearts and souls to give us vital information. The Greeks/Romans believed birds came from Olympus, carrying messages from the gods down to earth. Many other cultures believed this too. Consider the Native American Thunderbird. When thunder struck in the skies, it was a sign of conflict. In a broad sense, the thunderbird shaking the skies was a conflict of thought and belief. On a mundane level, thunderbird rumblings meant conflict of tribes, and signs of war were in the air.

Do you even just know something? That's intuition. And that's the air element in effect. By association, animals of the air in dream meanings deals with what you KNOW, but just can't put your finger on. Maybe it's a premonition. Maybe a hunch. If a being of the air that pays you a dream-time visit...pay close attention. It might be a message to act on that unknowable, untouchable instinct.

Just like air, water is also at home in the dream realms. Why? Because water is symbolic of dreams and emotion. It's also symbolic of stuff we don't quite understand. Consider the ocean. It is vast. Much more vast than most of us can conceive. Scientists are still discovering new creatures and insights about what lurks beneath water's surface.

When we dream of water animals, our conscious minds are trying to digest something that's big, unfathomable, consuming...an enigma. These are just big words to say: We're dealing with a giant question mark that's consuming us.

That's okay. The water creatures you dream of are there to guide you. Perhaps you may feel like you don't have a way out of a situation in your life. Maybe you feel overwhelmed. Or maybe your life is stuck in a state of mystery right now. Surrender to your dream sea creatures. They will navigate you to right answers.

When we dream of dolphins, whales, marlins, - whatever - we are dreaming of a special kind of intelligence. The dream meanings here talk about a knowing that is beyond our physical senses. Dreaming of water creatures is a clear call for us to drop conventional reasoning. It's time to dive deep into our perception. It's time to sink into a different kind of intelligence. Animal dreams of the water world want us to be reflective. These creatures want us to approach life with a kind of vision that does not use our eyes. Rather, we must see with our instinct, with our divinely given gifts. It's okay to move through murky waters - all you need to do is rely on your water animal guidance, and your inherent gift of perception.

dream meanings and animal meanings

I hope you enjoyed these thoughts on dream meanings about animals and their classifications. Just remember, if you're flummoxed about an animal encounter (in dreams or otherwise), try to classify that critter in one of the four categories: Fire, Earth, Air, Water. Then consider what each of these elements represent to you. It is my vastest intent that this article might help you make big meaning out of your animal encounters.

As always, thanks for reading.

May all your animal dreams be primal and enlightening,


Avia's Recommended Books on Dream Meanings

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


Animal Symbols
Astrology Signs
Celtic Symbols
Chinese Symbols
Dream Symbols
Lucky Symbols
Love Signs
Native American Symbols
Nature Symbols
Number Meanings
Tattoo Meanings

click links below for symbolic meanings.