Episode 27 – Dream Animals

Oct 4, 2018

In this podcast, we focus on animals as symbols of instincts that have often been repressed in order to conform to cultural norms. When some aspect of our instinctual nature returns to us as a dream animal we can find ourselves fleeing, fighting, denying, or befriending an aspect of ourselves represented by that animal. Because animals have objectively known characteristics, dream creatures can provide specific clues about lost aspects of ourselves that we may need to reclaim. Finding the right relationship to our inner animals can contribute to our wholeness.

 Here’s the dream we discuss:

“I am in the kitchen in our house (the house is huge with very big kitchen and back door leading from the kitchen to what it seems like a farmyard) and trying to prepare some food. My father (who is not living with us in my dream and is separated from my mother) bursts in the kitchen. He is drunk and looking for food to eat. His dog is following him. The dog is very beautiful German Shepherd like the long hair type variety and completely beige/blond in color. I love the dog very, very much. My father isn’t in a good mood. He starts digging in the fridge for food and complaining that there isn’t anything to eat. He starts pushing things and shouting that there isn’t even any fruit to eat. I am trying to calm him down and give him some of my fruit I bought for breakfast. He is getting more demanding and greedy insisting I give him more and more. I am getting upset, as I am not going to have any fruit left for my breakfast. On the following day, the whole scene in the kitchen repeats again. I am giving my father cherries and he keeps asking for more until he gets all my cherries. When I run out of cherries (which I really love and wanted to enjoy eating, so I am very upset he took them all from me) he starts demanding I give him all my blueberries too. I give him some, but he keeps insisting for more and he is getting very greedy. His hands are full and he can’t hold any more blueberries, but he keeps asking for more. The blueberries are starting to roll off his hand and fall on the floor. I am growing more upset and angry at him. I am trying to get him to stop demanding more and go away. The feeling that I hate him and my anger and feeling of disgust towards him are growing inside of me and I am about to burst out shouting and who knows what else. I am already half shouting at him to stop being so greedy. At this moment the dog starts to half bark, half cry very loudly and I know this means my mum is coming back home. My father’s dog adores my mother and always reacts like that when she is around. In the next moment, my mum enters the kitchen through the back door and the dog runs to her for a big hug and pet. My mum adores the dog too. We all do. He is such a beautiful and cuddly thing and I couldn’t understand why it is with my dad. I always wished the dog stayed with us when they split. We all felt like we lost a sibling…I almost felt like I don’t want to see my drunk, horrible and greedy father, but I don’t want to lose his dog and in order to see the dog I have to put up with my father’s greed and bad behavior (Strange)…. I wake up.”

 We referenced The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal ImagesARAS (Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism), Taschen publishers, 2010 and Dream Animals
by James Hillman et al.


  1. Elzbieta

    If the dog represents a lost aspect of the dreamer, it seems to represent the dreamer’s lost sense of wholeness and harmony in life. The dog may represent a part of the dreamer, a value he is strongly attached to, and which he wishes to preserve. In order to preserve this part of himself, the dreamer has to agree to a difficult compromise. He needs to endure an upsetting situation in order to prevent personal, significant loss. It is interesting to notice, that the dog in the dream is an important and positive link between all family members, the last meaningful connection between them all.

    • Joseph23455

      Hi Elzbieta,
      Your amplifications are spot on! Thanks for enhancing the conversation.

    • Lisa Marchiano

      Yes, those are astute points! Thanks for commenting!


  2. Johnny

    Hi To Jungian Life gang,
    Just finished listening to your podcast on Dream Animals. Great podcast! Gain lots of insights from you all working with my own dreams. I have been reading Jung’s works for many years. Recently, taking re-reading his alchemy works again.
    Like to comment that the “kitchen” in the dreamer feel like a furnace where the alchemist inner work , high temperature area (probably related to stomach). Could explain the “hungry father” ( hungry ghost/ addiction personality). Lower chakras have been activated some would say…
    I feel the woman have drawn a boundary with the negative father, immediately the dog bark , and mother come back…may suggest she have readmitted and integrated her instinct back into her life?

    • Joseph23455

      Your amplifications on the dream extend our discussion in a lovely way. Thanks for your insights!


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