Working With Dream Themes: Wounded Animals

Reminder to Protect Animals
Image via Petfinder

Dreams of wounded animals are often hard to bear, and perhaps this is good because these kinds of dreams should capture our attention and elicit a response – just as when we see a wounded animal in the street or in the woods. Like all dreams, wounded animal dreams can have different levels of meaning and should be handled accordingly. Here are some suggested questions to ask, if you such a dream.

  1. Is it my animal that I am dreaming about? If the wounded animal is one I own or am responsible for in waking life, I need to ask what am I doing that may cause this animal to be wounded as in the dream. For example, if I dream my dog is lying by the road with a broken leg, I need to ask if I am giving it too much freedom to roam freely on the streets or be endangered by on-coming vehicles. Such a dream may be a warning me that this could happen to my dog if I don’t take better care of it.
  2. If the animal is not one for which I am responsible for in waking life, I need to ask what part of me does this animal represent—going on the dreamwork premise that everything in a dream represents part of me. If it is a bird, I would ask what part of me is like a bird. Let’s say the bird represents my sense of freedom because when I see birds I think of having freedom to fly and soar.
    Then I then need to look at the injury itself and ask how I am or could be wounded like this animal. Am I doing anything that could contribute to such an injury now or in the future? For example, let’s say I dreamed that a bird has a broken wing and is lying on the ground. It has flown into a glass door. I could associate this injury with my sense of freedom being wounded when my progress in a creative endeavor was stopped by some kind of obstacle I couldn’t see. Perhaps this dream is telling me to go slowly, be more cautious or is warning me I could hit an obstacle. It may be referring to this as already happening and is asking me to take care of the wounded part of myself.
  3. Lastly, the dream could be referring to both an animal I own and a part of me. This happened to me when I dreamed of my cat lying on the ground with a leg injury. Sure enough, not too long after having this dream, my cat suffered a leg injury which required surgery. In my own life, soon after the dream, I experienced several setbacks related to trusting my own natural cat-like instincts which greatly impacted my sense of being able to “get around” with my usual ease and grace, forcing me to seek help from others and do more meditation to get back on track. Therefore, the suggestions I give here are based on hindsight wisdom I wish I had practiced better when I had the dream of my injured cat. My dream was clearly warning and trying to help me.

To learn more about dreams, visit my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

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2 thoughts on “Working With Dream Themes: Wounded Animals

  1. Hi Fran,
    Powerful post. A dream I had with a wounded animal was one of the most shocking dreams I ever had and I worked with it for a long time. Quite a wake up call for sure. Thank you for alerting readers to this powerful symbolism. Aloha!
    Peace,
    Amanda

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