DREAM STUDIES

Dream interpretation - rats as dream symbols

Dreams about rats will loosely associate with issues and feelings which we link to rats. A rat for instance can symbolise dirt and filth. Take for instance the following dream.

THE DREAM I dreamt of a rat infested home

The previous day (many dreams link to new feelings from the day before) the dreamer had a visit from a friend. He was embarrassed at the state of his own home which was very untidy.

In this case the dream is using rats as metaphors in a slightly wrong way. Rats associate with filth and dirt but not untidiness. But often we think of untidy people as being dirty as well. The dream simply taps into similar emotions. The dream is basically capturing this exact thought process that the dreamer felt the day before - "I felt embarrassed at when my friend visited yesterday. My home was untidy - she will think I am dirty and disgusting (like rats)."

Now take this dream which uses rats in an entirely different sense.

THE DREAM I had a dream which continued throughout the night. I was in an elementary school - at times it seemed like it was some kind of open day as they were having a school fair. There were all kinds of wild animals there - nothing dangerous like lions but they were all wild and strange and exotic. The children were enthusiastically taking part in tasks. At one point I saw this pool type thing were some of these wild creatures had died - there were rats which had drowned. There were also creatures which were in the process of drowning. At some point there seemed to be something to do with survival.

If something big happens the day before then you can be sure that you will dream about it. In this case the dreamer was struck by the terrible state that a friend had got into. His friend was in constant pain and was talking about suicide. He had absolutely no quality of life.

We can guess that this dream will be about this issue which really imprinted on the dreamers mind the day before. He was struck by how ill this friend was. The drowning rat then seemed a symbol of his friends appalling state.

So by studying dreams like this we can see how dreams capture feelings and thoughts. We know that a dream will capture a feeling that we are totally aware of. So in this case we know that the dream will link to terrible pain and circumstances. The rat then symbolises the terrible circumstances that the dreamers friend was in and the complete absence of any quality of life.

The following dreams uses rats in a third way. Its a very simple metaphor - "men are rats".

THE DREAM - There was a weasel or rat type thing which was tearing me apart. Later I was in a car crash. I phoned my boyfriend up but he just ignored me.

The dreamer was having a turbulent time with her boyfriend at the time. The rat then simply captures the feeling "men are rats". The phone probably captures her boyfriends lack of communication. The dream ends up with the dreamer being ignored. So we can develop the dreams meaning and produce a quote which seems to capture the dreams meaning. It probably captures this exact type of thought - "My boyfriend is a rat. I tried to discuss something that was really annoying me but he just ignored me." So we try to extrapolate the dreams exact meaning. A dream will tap into feelings that we are all to aware of – conscious feelings. Its a fallacy that dreams link to unconscious thoughts.

In the case of rats we have seen three dreams which all use rats in slightly different ways. The first dream simply captured the dreamers embarrassment as he had an unexpected visit from a friend who obviously was shocked by the untidy nature of his flat. So rats here were associated with untidiness and filth. The second dream used rats to express the dreamers thoughts about his friend who was very ill and in constant pain. The rat was symbolic of his very poor quality of life. The rat then associated with filth and poverty and this in turn was symbolic of a very poor lifestyle - a complete absence of quality in his life. The dream just uses rats in the sense that many women use to describe men who cannot be trusted or behave badly - men are rats (he behaves like a rat!).

Now with that in mind try reading the following dream.

THE DREAM - There was a rat biting me. It was a very deep bite. It simply would not let go.

The night before the dreamer had been thinking about his a relationship with a woman. He had behaved in a bad way. His reputation was now tarnished perhaps permanently. So we have ample evidence to suggest that the dream is using the rat as a symbol of a male who is nasty and cannot be trusted. This uses the symbol in a different sense from the earlier dream. In the earlier dream the rat was a symbol for the dreamers boyfriend who was ignoring her and treating her badly. It represented the thought "My boyfriend is a rat". This last dream uses the rat as a symbol of the dreamers fear that he is seen as a rat because of his poor treatment of a female friend.

So really try to think of rats in dreams as linking to certain themes in real life. Many people use dream dictionaries which give simple meanings like "a dream of a rat means that you have been the victim of a male who cannot be trusted". That meaning does in fact apply for rats in dreams. But think of the general theme of a badly behaved man who cannot be trusted. It may represent a woman's fear of a male who cannot be trusted. It may symbolise a man's worry that others see him as untrustworthy and nasty. It may actually be about him being falsely accused of being mean and untrustworthy with women.

Think of dreams being like words. A symbol simply refers to a theme - a rat represents men who cannot be trusted. But such a theme appears in many different contexts. Try this dream.

THE DREAM The ground was saturated with rat poison. I had this feeling that the pest control was getting out of control. It was poisoning the very earth.

In real life the dreamer had been getting funny looks off a woman and her friends. He had told a few dirty jokes and they disliked it. They thought he was sexist and disrespectful towards women. Now they were ignoring him and treating him like an outcast.

Obviously the rats could be seen as possible symbols for a man who was being nasty towards women. But the essence of the dream is that this is a complete overreaction. This was the key feeling of this dreamer. These women were going over the top. He realised that they did not like dirty jokes and would not tell any more. Now it was time to drop the subject and get on with life. Instead he was being permanently isolated and treated like an out of control animal.

Its best to think of the general theme. The next dream again uses rats as symbols of a man who is behaving badly.

THE DREAM A large brown rat bites my pet ginger cat. The cat has quite a loving nature and I adore him. The rat draws blood and I am distraught.

Just try to think of which symbolic meaning of rats applies best and then look for evidence of that theme appearing in the dreamers intuitions. In this case the dreamer was sick of a guy treating her disrespectfully. She was hoping that a romance would blossom between them. So this background information is probably linked to the dreams meaning. Dreams capture our thoughts so look out for a new perspective forming in your mind. This dreamer was hoping to teach her rat like friend to treat her more respectfully and for romance to blossom. That's probably the meaning. In fact the dream is quite consistent with this thought. The rat draws blood and probably hints at her deciding that this is a forlorn hope and to accept that he is a nasty piece of work.

DREAM STUDIES