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Animal Encounters in the Dream Realm

Gradually I am becoming curator of my own contentment, learning to embrace the subtle yearnings of my heart ~ unknown

Kathy Mansfield, photographer

Not long ago I had a dream encounter with a bird. It wasn’t the whole bird, but just a large wing. Although the dream was brief, it was vivid. I could “feel” the wind stirred by the wing near my face and I wanted more time with it.

My dream journal, April 2, 2021:

“Celebratory, bright white light; A winged bird flies close to my face. I only see the large, plumed feather – mostly white except pink tips on the feathers. I felt weightless and awoke with a feeling of anticipation, protection.”

Arising from our inner world, animal encounters in the dream realm often connect with a theme from our waking life. In this case, birds have been catching my eye since January when I searched magazines for images to describe my inner longings. While I was searching for activities, settings, colors, and gardens for the visual journal I was embarking on, an image of a bird held my attention longer than any other image.

I kept the bird image in my journal, hoping his meaning would surface.

In the following days, my spiritual director asked me to look at the bird image in my journal (see below) and state the first words or phrases that came to mind, no editing.

The first words that came to me were: “spread wings, take flight, freedom, spiritual eyes, bird’s eye view, non-attachment, let go.” Hmmm. Not exactly what I would have come up with if I were carefully thinking about it. But the point of this association exercise was to let my inner non-edited thoughts surface. These inner messages now join a growing collection of memorable bird images that line my journal. And my bird quest will continue as long as curiosity and longings keep it alive.

Birds, at the moment, are living in my inner landscape to promote freedom of spiritual exploration. And, I have discerned, the bird wing dream felt very much like a glimpse of a sacred visitor.

Have you noticed any particular animals catching your eye lately? Which animals have shown up in your dreams lately? I invite you to be curious about how they have come in service to you. Is there an inner longing that has found expression through the animal?

A spiritual director can help you deepen your questioning in search of inner meaning when you are ready. Dream groups are fantastic places to explore symbols and images, and to consider where they show up in your waking life as well. If you are interested in experiencing a dream group process, reach out to me or check out the offerings on my website

I encourage you to have fun relating to images in magazines, if not live animals in your environment!

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