A Dream Memoire
I can hear tigers and lions, roaring and huffing and I can see them circling the house. They are charging the windows and doors and the whole house shakes and shudders under each charge. I am terrified I know that they will kill me if they reach me.
I have a deep-seated fear of the big cats. I admire their beauty and their strength and at the same time understand and respect their power. I live near Australia Zoo. Am I frightened about what might happen if there is a breakout? I don’t think so because this dream is one I have had off and on for as long as I can remember. When we lived in Melbourne I can remember having this dream.
I used to work at Melbourne Zoo in a voluntary capacity as a Zoo Guide and provided guided tours. Often we would do behind the scenes tours that involved going to the rear of the big cat enclosures and I would always stand right at the back as far away from the lions as I could get. I do not have quite the same fear with the tigers, although still very wary and respectful. On the flip side of the coin, I love Lynxes and Cheetahs and have had close encounters with both. I am not frightened of them.
When the children were very young, we had come to Melbourne on holiday and had driven down from Canberra. This was in the 1970’s. In those days, we had a Yellow Volkswagon with black GT stripes. It was affectionately called the pregnant pastie on wheels. My partner insisted on going to the Bacchus Marsh Lion Park. It was a drive through, a pseudo game reserve. We had two very small children in car seats in the rear. I was terrified beyond belief. Once the car was surrounded by lions, all of which appeared bigger than the car itself. I was totally freaked out especially when one of the lions got up on the bonnet of the car. I felt like we were the first course at the banquet. They must have liked the colour yellow as they were around the car like flies to a honey-pot.
We had to stop the car because of the press of animals around it. The park ‘rangers’ had to come out in their land rover and move the animals away. I don’t remember much more about it except that I have never been so frightened in all my life and my partner and I ended up having a huge row over the incident.
Some years later the park was shut down by the authorities. There were stories of neglect and mismanagement and from memory I believe many of the animals were euthanized.
Maybe that has something to do with my dream. It is extremely unpleasant and I wake each time drenched in sweat and my heart beating so loud I am sure it can be heard beating.
Out of curiosity, I looked up a dream symbolism book to see if it could provide me with insight into the dream.
‘This lion dream scenario is classic. Dreaming of being chased by a lion is one of the most common themes featuring this creature in the dream world. The lion chasing you is generally connecting to the struggle the dreamer is experiencing regarding feelings of anger or aggression in waking life.
The dream about your lion spirit animal could point to anger you may feel towards someone or aggression that is directed at you. Being chased by a lion in a dream could be a warning from your animal totem that you’re struggling with these feelings and how to express them. The lion totem could mean that you’re having difficulties dealing with a situation where someone is mean or aggressive with you.’
That does not make it much clearer. Perhaps I was or am struggling with a sense of anger or disempowerment. All I know is that after half a lifetime when it occurs, it still scares me witless even though I know at the time that I am dreaming.