Lions, Tigers & Bears, Oh My! Interpreting the Animals In Your Dreams

Ever wonder why you dream of things you have never seen or animals you’ve never met? It’s not that you’re just traveling around the world and seeing things when you’re sleeping. The laws of gravity aren’t there holding you in your body when you’re sleeping and your soul is having an out of body experience.

However, the place you’re visiting is not in the dimension you observe with your five senses when you’re awake. It is the land of your intuition, which is colored with your subconscious. You may see familiar things in your dreams but the land you are in is offering you healing symbols and stories that will help you see helpful solutions in your waking life.

Let’s take some time to unlock the healing that we can find when animals show up in our dreams. It’s not a bad thing to see a scary animal in your dream. Your dreams are always there to help you and awaken you to a deeper truth to free you from negativity in your mind. When you see the larger and more ferocious wild animals, your soul is showing you your own strength.

Let’s see what these animals likely mean when they show up as well as how to interpret what they are doing in ways that will help you unlock your personal power.

Animals in Dreams: The Symbolism


The lion symbolizes leadership qualities, inner strength, wisdom, and an innate sense of protection. If you see a lion in your dreams, it is helping you see that you may be giving away your power by thinking less of yourself than of others. Think about how you may feel inferior or how someone may be influencing you to think that you’re not capable of doing something you want when the lion shows up in your dreams.

The lion is about stepping into your power by trusting your inner guidance and bringing it forward. Cats are very intuitive and they can sense emotions. A lion may show up in your dreams to help you see that it’s time to awaken your intuition and use it so that you make an important decision. The lion is your subconscious protecting you from repeating patterns of behavior that give your power away or make you think that you’re unable to take decisive actions.


The tiger is a master at getting what they want. A tiger shows up to show you that you can track down what you want. When you sense the power of a tiger, it’s visceral. That same power lies within your mind to focus on what you desire. The eye of the tiger represents your own inner vision which can help you manifest. If the tiger shows up in your dream, it’s likely to help you see that you can manifest when you focus your energy.

The tiger is also mothering which is about the fertility of ideas. Tigers are solitary animals and the symbol can help you find your own independence. A tiger likes to provide for itself in the wild and the males and females hunt. A tiger in your dream may be helping you see that you need to think for yourself or find a way to be more independent in how you live your life. We often get this dream when our family is influencing our decision making.

However, a tiger can also show you that you are being aggressive and killing your own happiness. If you feel the tiger is creating havoc in your dream, look at ways to deal with your own anger, and take responsibility for how your reactions are making you blame other people for your emotions.

Or, perhaps, the tiger in your dream represents an individual whose Chinese zodiac animal is the Tiger. Click here to read more about the Tiger of the Chinese zodiac.


The bear symbol is really interesting. Bears are more about gathering what you need for the future and using your time to prepare. They are often in our dream to help us see the need to hibernate as well. If you see a bear in your dream, pay attention to what they are doing because that will clue you into the aspect of the bear’s personality that is within you and ready to come forward. Bears have a home or a cave and often they are in our dreams to help us see the need to create stability or a healthier environment for us. Look at how the energy around you may be affecting you and if this resonates with the feeling you had in your dream.

Bears are nurturing so often we are getting a message to reconnect with what our body needs because we may be pushing too hard. Bears are not concerned with becoming famous because they are in harmony with nature, the cycles of the seasons, the migration of the fish, etc. The bear often shows up to help us see that we are not paying attention to our true nature and what our soul really wants.

Animals Chasing You

Regardless of which animal shows up, what they are doing in your dream also helps you see how your mind is affecting you. If the animal is chasing you, it represents a thought that you are allowing to rule your mind. More than likely this is a fear, a way of thinking that is limiting you, or that you’re allowing yourself to be intimidated by past experiences that may be shaping your identity.

Perhaps there is a fear of the opinions of others, a fear of failing, or a fear of being judged that is chasing you in your mind and keeping you from letting your light shine brighter. Whatever that thought is, it’s coming forward to help you let it go, and see that you can be much happier. Being chased is the subconscious telling you that you don’t have to allow those thoughts in your mind anymore.

Animals in Water

It’s common to see animals in water and water represents emotions. We often have water in our dreams when we are pushing our emotions away and not dealing with them.

If you see an animal in the water, think about the characteristics of this animal and how their strengths are being masked in your life by negative emotions. Sometimes the animal will show up because we are exhibiting a negative expression of the animal and if we allow ourselves to look at the emotions, we can harness the energy into something more positive and productive.

Animals Looking Into Your Eyes

This type of dream will often stand out because it’s a bit startling to look into the eyes of another creature.

Think of it as looking into a mirror or seeing into your soul. We can harness the strength, playfulness, resourcefulness, agility, curiosity, and other characteristics by asking our intuition which characteristic is lying dormant within us. This will almost always relate to some situations in your life you feel frustrated with. It will help you solve an energetic issue that is making you feel as if you have limited options.

Animals Sleeping

The symbol of an animal sleeping helps you see a hidden talent. If you see an obscure animal, look up the strengths or traits of that animal, and see what resonates with what you feel in your heart. This can help unlock your own success because we excel when we recognize our hidden talents, focus on them, and allow ourselves to share them.

Additionally, a sleeping animal may just mean we need rest and there is a healing that needs to happen. We may be overthinking, overworking, or stressing ourselves to the point of burnout if we see a sleeping animal in our dream.


The reason we connect to a good story is that we are all a part of the story of society, we all experience certain highs and lows, and we all have similar emotional growth through our experiences. These stories play out in our dreams as well just like a movie. The writer is our soul who is using our own experiences, fears, and associations to reveal helpful messages to us while our body recovers during sleep.

The more you read about dream interpretation the easier it will be to unlock the hidden meanings in your dreams. You can use our dream dictionary to look up things you see in your dreams and remember one key piece of information which is that everything in your dream represents a part of you.

Related Article: How To Use Your Dreams To Be Successful

About The Author

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry has taught metaphysical subjects since 2013 including the deeply esoteric lineage of kundalini yoga. She has worked as a healer, clairvoyant and card reader and been featured as a dream interpreter on Viceland’s Nuts + Bolts show as well as for Mercedes Benz and Refinery29. She has read Tarot for The Zoe Report, done readings for stars and aims to bring the empowering wisdom of astrology mainstream.With a bold voice, she wants to uplift consciousness to help us evolve to a healthier more spiritual society. Her classes can be found online at www.HOI.TV/authors/shannon and you can follow her daily inspirations on Instagram @shannonyrizarry. She also teaches kundalini yoga in Portland, Oregon. What gets her out of bed is helping people align with their soul purpose.Shannon is the author of two books published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Psychic Yoga and Modern Guide to Meditation Beads.
Did You Enjoy This Article?
Please Share It With Your Friends!

You Might Also Be Interested In

Scroll to Top
Thank You and Welcome!

Be sure to check your email as we’ve sent you important information regarding your Daily Horoscope. Read below to learn more about your zodiac.