Dream 429: Keeping My Shadow on a Leash
A woman had the following dream:
“I don’t remember all of the dream but it was a tiger in my dream. The tiger was already like a pet in the dream, the tiger was already a part of the house. I think I was cooking fish or salmon. When I went downstairs with the food, the tiger was following me and looking strange with his mouth. It scared me so I ran upstairs to my family.
I was telling them, “okay, we got to get rid of this tiger because I don’t feel safe anymore.” So the Tiger followed me up the steps and went into my closet and fell on my brother that is deceased and my oldest brother’s talking. They went into the next room, and when my deceased brother came out, he said it won’t happen again. He said, “I promise this won’t happen ever again about the tiger” as if he were the one who brought the tiger there, but then tiger was gone. Then I was outside, I was like near a road. A truck went by and, lo and behold, it was a tiger laying on the back of the truck….
Animals usually represent our instincts in dreams. A tiger is a very powerful symbol. It usually is good to have powerful animals in your dreams because it means you have a lot of instinctive energy in your subconscious.
This tiger may represent the shadow side of your instincts to some degree, but it is a very well-controlled Shadow. You have it on a leash. I believe part of the concern is you don’t want to feed the energy of the Shadow for fear it might get out of hand and harm you.
A house can represent the dreamer to some extent because it is a framework out of which you live. When you move from upstairs to downstairs you’re basically moving from your brain to the kitchen which is basically a place of nurture and creativity. You expressly do not want to feed the Tiger. You don’t want to give more energy to your Shadow side even though it’s well-controlled.
I am guessing that at least one of the brothers represents the heroic masculine. This is good news because it’s used to represent a spiritual dimension since one of them is deceased. Your heroic masculine archetype, the part of you the does helpful and positive things for yourself and others, apologizes for bringing the spirit of the tiger to your consciousness to the point where it scares you. One might say it scares you to death almost.
The dream ends with the deceased brother promising you that it won’t happen again. But you know the way Shadows are, they just don’t go easy. You see the tiger pass by on the truck after you think you’ve gotten rid of it.
The dream is reassuring you that you can’t just get rid of your shadow. You need your shadow, particularly in situations like work which I think is represented by the truck because trucks usually do work-related things. Your Shadow is also your get-up-and-go, it just needs contact with other parts your personality so it doesn’t get out of control.
Get more in touch with your Shadow through my book which is at http://www.drstevenfox.com