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Animal Symbolism and Meanings - A to C

Updated on July 10, 2016
Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom Disney World (Courtesy of awesomeflorida.com)
Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom Disney World (Courtesy of awesomeflorida.com)

Symbolic and dream meanings of animals (beginning with the letter A through C). Stay tuned for more Hubs on animal symbols.

Volume A-C [Ant - Crow]

Ant

The ant is a symbol of hard work and an organised community. In Tibetan Buddhism, an anthill represents industrious life and in parts of Africa the ant represents fertility and creativity.

To see an anthill in a dream can mean that you are avoiding hard work or being/feeling lazy.

by Declan McCullagh
by Declan McCullagh

Antelope

In Africa, the antelope is associated with the moon and fruitfulness.

The Bamara people (a large ethnic group in Mali) believe that the antelope was sent by the creator god to teach humans about agriculture. The tji wara society members use a headdress in the form of an antelope. The title tji wara means 'working animal.'

Seeing an antelope in a dream can mean that high ambitions will only be achieved by using a lot of energy and will be the result of your dedication. On the other hand, dreaming of an antelope may mean that you need to back away from a situation.

If an antelope collapses in your dream, your are to be blamed for a broken-up love affair.

Ape

In the Christian tradition, the ape is a symbol of vice and lust. However, in Egypt, Africa, India and China, the ape is respected.

To dream of an ape represents deception, mischief, distrust and falsehood. It can also mean that you or someone have become violently emotional ('gone ape'). Dreaming of an ape can also indicate a wild sexual inner nature or passionate nature.

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Badger

In China, the badger is linked with playfulness. In Celtic tradition, the badger is linked with slyness and deceit.

If you see a badger in your dream, it is symbolic of your persistence and final victory over your opponents. It can also mean that you're being 'badgered' or 'badgering' others.

Bear

Male bears represent masculine courage while female bears represent care and warmth. Psychologist Jung linked the bear with dangerous aspects of the conscious and in the Christian and Islamic religions, bears represent cruelty and lustfulness.

Dreaming of a bear symbolized independence, the cycle of life, death, renewal and resurrection.

If your are attacked by a bear in your dream or you are being chased by a bear, it suggests aggression and overwhelming obstacles and can possibly be a prediction of a threatening situation in your future.

A polar bear indicates cold emotions.

Courtesy of ineedfile.com
Courtesy of ineedfile.com

Birds

Birds symbolize the human soul and represents goodness and joy. The bird can also represent wisdom and intelligence. According to Australian Aboriginal tales, birds bear information and in the west, birds depicted in art represented air and touch.

In dreams, girds symbolize hopes and aspirations. Chirping or flying birds represent joy, harmony, balance and love - an optimistic outlook on life.

Dying birds in dreams indicate disappointments in life or problems that are constantly on your mind.

Bird eggs represent money.

Deformed or strange looking birds mean a unique outlook on love and romance or the inability to understand the affairs of the heart.

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Bison/Buffalo

The bison or the buffalo is a high-status animal in South-east Asia and India. In China, the domestic buffalo is linked to the contemplative life and in Indigenous North America (Native Americans) the buffalo/bison is a symbol of strength, prosperity, abundance and supernatural power.

Seeing a buffalo or bison in a dream can symbolize survival, strength and power. It can also mean that you are straying from the goals in your life. A buffalo/bison can also symbolize your origin, this is especially true for white coloured buffaloes/bison - which represents the fulfillment of your desires.

In dreams, a buffalo/bison that is killed is a warning to thoroughly think through new ventures. A herd of bison/buffalo represents tranquility and plenitude.

Bull

A bul is linked with thunder and earthquakes in Crete, due to it's ferocious energy. The bull also represents the moon, sun, earth, sky, rain, heat, female procreation, male ardour, matriarch and patriach, death and regeneration.

The bull was used a lot in cave art and represents vital energy.

A bull in dreams symbolizes obstinacy, strength and power - not surprisingly. The dream may be trying to tell you to be more assertive. The bull can also be an indicator of a prosperous life. Bulls represent repressed sexual energies and fertility. A raging bull symbolizes out of control passions.

Bulls in dreams can be a representation of someone who is a Taurus (birth sign).

To dream that you are bathing in the blood of a bull represents immortality.

Courtesy of whenwegetthere.com
Courtesy of whenwegetthere.com

Butterfly

In Congo, Mexico and Polynesia, the butterfly is a symbol of the soul. The butterful is also a symbol of the life cycle. In western art, Christ is often holding a butterfly.

If you dream about a butterfly, then you need to settle down (interpret that as you may). Butterflies are also symbolic of creativity, romance, joy and spirituality - a new way of thinking, a transformation. It can also signify that you're going through a transitional phase.

Two butterflies represent a long and happy marriage while catching and killing a butterfly signifies your shallowness. Mounting a butterfly on a frame represents sexual oppression.

Calf

A calf is linked to feasts, hospitality and celebration. In Judaism it represents sacrifice. A calf in dreams represent immaturity and inexperience.

Camel

A camel represents wealth and status in the Middle East. In medieval Europe, it represented temperance and in Christianity it is associated with humility and obedience.

Dreaming about a camel represents the need to be more conservative or signifies that you are carrying too many burdens on your shoulders. It can mean that there are emotions that need to be expressed and released, that you need to learn to forgive and forget. On the other hand, the camel can represent stamina.

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Carp

In China, the carp is a symbol of longevity, virility and academic success. Images depicting carps were used on ship masts or roofs - used to ward off fires.

To see a carp in a dream means that pride and ego needs to be put aside. It can also represent patience, perseverance, determination, tenacity, courage and success.

Courtesy of petside.com
Courtesy of petside.com

Cat

A cat is a representation of clairvoyance, agility, watchfulness, sensual beauty and mystery. It also symbolizes female malice. In Rome, the cat is a symbol of freedom.

A black cat is associated with evil and harm. Many know of the superstitions that dictates the bad fortune of black cats crossing your path. In the western world, the black cat was associated with witchcraft and the devil.

Dreaming of a cat is symbolic of an independent spirit and female sexuality. It also represents bad luck. A cat can indicate many, many things depending on its context in the dream.

Chicken

The chicken is a cult animal of the Makumba cult of South america, the Voodoo of the Caribbean and of Africa. It guides souls in initiation rites and is a sacrificial animal. The chicken is also the 10th sign of the Chinese zodiac.

Not surprising, seeing a chicken in a dream indicates cowardliness. It can also represent gossip and be a warning to listen to what people may be saying to you (or what you may be saying to others).

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Cobra

In India, the cobra divinities were guardian symbols and were usually kind and giving. In Hinduism, the cobra is a spiritual treasure. A cobra with an erect hood is the protective snake used for royal power - used by the Pharaohs of Egypt to strike down enemies. Cobras are associated with wisdom and prophecy.

Dreaming of a cobra can mean that a situation or dream has you hypnotized - in a trance. It can also symbolize creative energies.

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Cock

A cock (rooster) is associated with the dawn and the sun. It was a funerary sign in China, used to ward off evil. In Japan the cock is a sacred animal and in the Islam faith it is seen by Mohammed in the First Heaven. Cocks also represent lust.

Seeing a cock in a dream can be a representation of masculinity, pride, valour and cockiness or arrogance. It can mean that you are being a show-off and that you are inconsiderate when it comes to others. The cock can also represent something phallic.

To hear the crow of a cock in a dream can mean that you brag and glorify yourself exceedingly. Dreaming of a cock fight suggests rivalry or disagreement.

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Condor

In South America, the condor is a symbol of the sun.

If you see a condor in your dream, it could mean that you are connected closely with your spirituality or to the supernatural. It means that you are very insightful. 

Cow

The cow is an ancient symbol of maternal nourishment. The cow often personifies mother earth and the moon. In the Hindu religion, the cow is viewed as sacred and symbolizes happiness.

To see a cow in your dream indicates maternal instincts or a desire to be looked after. It can also represent a passive and docile nature - it means that you obey others without question. 

A cow skeleton can signify your maternal figure is void of emotions or doesn't respond to your needs. A herd of cows symbolize a desire to fit in or belong. 

Coyote

A coyote is a spiritual symbol and culture hero of North America and Africa. Seeing a coyote in a dream suggests deception and weakness.

Courtesy of knollscountryinn.com
Courtesy of knollscountryinn.com

Crane

In China, a crane symbolizes immortality. In Africa, the crane represents speech and the ability to communicate with the gods. Christians sometimes associate the crane with resurrection. 

A crane seen in dreams can denote happiness and maternal love - also, looking out for your loved ones. A crane can also be a sign of immortality.

Cricket

In China, a cricket is a good luck symbol but also associated with death and resurrection. 

In dreams, crickets symbolize introspection and seeking guidance. Hearing the chirp of crickets means that you allow the tiniest things to bother you.

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Crocodile

Crocodiles represent destruction, voracity and divine punishment. It also represents occult power over water, earth and the underworld. In Ancient Egypt, the crocodile fecundity god was Sebeck. In Asia, the crocodile is said to be the inventor of the drum and of song.

In dreams, a crocodile can symbolize freedom or hidden power. It's a warning of danger - someone can be giving you bad advice.

Crocodiles represent the conscious and unconscious / emotional and rational. The crocodile can represent your aggressive nature or your insincerity - shedding 'crocodile tears.'

Being bitten or chased by a crocodile signifies disappointments in love and business.

Crow

A crow is a representation of war, death and evil. In Europe and India it is bad luck but in the Americas and Australia it represents the sun and creativity and civilization.

To dream of a crow means that there are dark aspects of your character and annoying habits. It is also a representation of death.

Comments

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    • profile image

      cool brownie 

      19 months ago

      yo wassup famdog

    • profile image

      hater 

      2 years ago

      i need to find dogs!!!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Real interesting to know animal symbolism in your dreams. Real useful and voted up!

    • profile image

      Jada Symone 

      4 years ago

      This is exactly what I have been looking for, if you could do more animals in the near future, it would be well appreciated!! : )

    • profile image

      Mr.Ridgway 

      5 years ago

      I Hate this website, it so not use ful and stupid.

    • profile image

      Fionades 

      5 years ago

      Good Evening, in the last 3 months 2 crows have died near me. Does this mean anything or am I just being paranoid ??

    • profile image

      martellawintek 

      5 years ago

      hello again granty if your still in need of them i think this is there link

      filling address , they have a wealth of knowledge ,say marta put you on

    • profile image

      miss and mom 

      6 years ago

      we need to know what seeing lots of deer means. thankyou

    • profile image

      Riley 

      6 years ago

      Bro i need to know what a pollar bear means

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello Sam,

      I was planning to continue this as a series but I never did. I'm sorry. I have D to F in the making...

      -K. Alto

    • profile image

      sam mccullagh 

      7 years ago

      I there reference re remaining alphabet Animals D-Z

      Thank you

      Sam

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I know a lot of people who love butterflies - if not the actually insect, they love the shape/image. Then I know someone who's phobic towards butterflies. :/ Anyway, I'm glad you liked the Hub. Thanks!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Cool hub, Kim. I liked reading about the various meanings. One of my longtime animal totems is the butterfly. :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Cool. Thanks again, Maita. You're a hub-reading rampage today! :)

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      7 years ago from US

      In the Phils, where I grew up butterflies are a symbol of soul as well, Nice and beautiful hub, Maita

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Ms. Audrey, the cranes are a nice meaning. Glad you like the idea.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Great idea and think I love the cranes!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi finatics. I can relate to you. I don't think my dreams - when I DO have them - have any symbolic meaning. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my Hub.

      Hello again, Tina. I'm glad I can catch your interest and that you'll be back to read more. I appreciate it.

    • profile image

      tinamarie9884 

      7 years ago

      You caught my interest, I will continue to read more as you put it out there.

    • finatics profile image

      finatics 

      7 years ago

      Now, why haven't I seen any anthills in my dreams lately? Too bad I wouldn't be able to remember my dreams long enough to refer to this article. Thanks for the interesting hub, I enjoyed reading it.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks LeanMan. I'm happy to entertain with my Hubs.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 

      7 years ago from At the Gemba

      Great hub, enjoyed reading through all the different meanings.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks Sam! I'm glad you like this Hub. The meaning of cats is pretty cool.

    • sammyfiction profile image

      Sammy 

      7 years ago from Australia

      I really like this hub >.< i love the meaning of cats :P

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Very true (about the impact on society). Thanks for commenting!

    • humagaia profile image

      Charles Fox 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Fascinating! and even more fascinating when you consider the impact on society when they become worshipped animals. Great hub.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks, John!

      Hello apebadgerbear. Can I call you Abb? :-) I don't know what possessed me to write about animal symbolism. I find symbolism interesting. I was initially going to just write a hub on a few other signs and symbols and then I realized that I had written 4 animal symbols so I changed direction.

      So I'm glad it can be interesting. Thanks!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      7 years ago from St. Louis

      Hmmmm...I seem to be an apebadgerbear on an anthill. Very interesting, K, to read about animal symbolism. This is the type of thing people just don't think about, so it's great to see the history and culture of the beliefs as well!

    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 

      7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Great hub Kaltopsyd.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I'm glad you found it interesting, Lady E. Thanks!

      Lol at Mentalist. That would certainly be an interesting dream. I've never had a dream about animals either... well, I did dream about my puppy the other day. I guess I'll have to cover dogs in my follow-up Hub.

      Thank you both for commenting!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      I don't remember any dreams of annimals,but if I did it'd be of Nutriea Rats and Armadillos that are native to La.,haha;)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Interesting read - Particularly on the Bird and Butterfly. Thanks. :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi swapna. I'm glad you found my Hub interesting and enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

    • swapna123 profile image

      swapna123 

      7 years ago from India

      Interesting hub. I enjoyed reading it :)

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