The Wisdom of Predatory Dreams
If you’ve had dreams of being chased, evading someone trying to hurt you, hiding in the woods or feeling fear for your wellbeing, you’ve experienced a predatory dream. Likely we’ve all experienced these kinds of dreams and woken up in a state of panic as we realize it was all indeed just a dream.
But is it?
Is there something more to predatory dreams? What does it mean when our subconscious weaves together a dream with so much fear?
Perhaps the most life changing book in the world, Women Who Run With the Wolves, talks about the wisdom of predatory dreams and why we should be paying attention to them. Our dreams are windows into the subconscious and especially when they are as dramatic as a predator dream, there’s something more to it.
In the story of Bluebeard, the author Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes,
“The natural predator of the psyche is not only found in fairy tales but also in dreams. There is a universal initiatory dream among women, one so common that it is remarkable if a woman has reached age twenty-five without having had such a dream.”
“Dreams are portals, entrances, preparations and practices for the next step in consciousness, the “next day” in the individuation process. So, a woman might have a dream of the predator when her psychic circumstances are too quiescent or complacent. We could say that this occurs in order to raise a storm in the psyche so that some energetic work can be done. But a dream like this affirms that the woman’s life needs to change, that the woman dreamer has gotten caught in some hiatus or ennui as regards a difficult choice, that she is reluctant to take the next step, go the next distance, that she is shying away from wrestling her own power away from the predator, that she is not used to being/acting/striving at full bore, in all-out capacity.”
Dr. Estes gives us the powerful reminder that the predatory dreams are not just bad dreams, but reflections of our world and those we are surrounded by. From the story of Bluebeard it could be said that having predatory dreams may indicate that there is a predator in your life. Someone in your life may not be as kind and safe as we may have been led to think.
As women, many of us have dreams about the predatory man; the man that seeks to harm us or find us.
Whether it’s the boss, the new person you’re dating or a friend, these dreams remind us that we must be awake and aware and that we must be willing to be strong, have boundaries and rise to the occasion as the hero of our story.
Dr. Estes continues,
“Additionally, dark man dreams are also wake-up calls. They say: Pay attention! Something has gone radically amiss in the outer world, in personal life, or in the outer collective culture.”
If you have been having predatory-like dreams, listen to them. Take a look at your life and see if you can pinpoint where this energy is coming from.
On a personal note, I recently had multiple predatory dreams in a row over the course of about 3 days. The dreams were terrifying, and I would jolt awake in fear as I scanned my room for this man trying to harm me.
I reflected on this passage in Women Who Run With the Wolves and felt very clearly that there was indeed a predator in my life. I didn’t have to sit with it for long to be able to identify this person, and this gave me the strength I needed to remove this person from my life. While it was challenging, there was a huge amount of power in honoring my dream as a warning rather than a random occurrence.
If you are having predatory dreams, here are 3 ways to bring more awareness to your subconscious and the hidden message ~
1) Journal about your dreams and see if you can draw parallels. What little symbols were weaved throughout the dream? Where were you? What was this man or person doing? This will help you find patterns and meaning.
2) Reflect on your life and who may be the predator. Keep in mind that for many of us, this predator isn’t necessarily really going to chase us through the woods. Likely, this predator is someone that is stealing energy from us, doing minor forms of sabotage or simply having negative thoughts about us. As you identify the predator, set a hard and clear boundary with this person. This may mean removing contact, working with your boss to change scheduling or where your desk is located, involving others to help you, etc. Remember that you are strong enough.
3) Have some crystals on hand to help protect you. I was so grateful for my sister Meadow when I had all of these dreams recently. As a crystal healer, she had many suggestions that I closely followed. I specifically had a piece of amethyst, black tourmaline and quartz with me at all times, and I even slept with them in my bed. These helped to shield me from any negative energy and allow me to have restful, enjoyable sleep.
I highly recommend reading Women Who Run With the Wolves as the entire book is filled with powerful wisdom. Have you had predatory dreams before? What wisdom did you learn from them? Comment below if you’d like to share!