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Dream Symbol Alligator and Crocodile
These large aquatic reptiles surprisingly appear quite often in dreams. As with other dream symbols, they represent different things depending on the other contextual dream clues. Due to the universal human experience with these large aquatic reptiles as predators, they most often—but not always—represent hidden danger.
Nearly everyone harbors, at one time or another, a fear or suspicion about the hidden dangers in our lives. Danger and threats come in various forms and can appear in all sectors of our world, including the physical (health and body), financial, professional/job (competitors, enemies, bad economy), family (divorce, abuse, children), emotional (love, relationships, crisis), spiritual (life direction, religious).
Alligators versus Crocodiles
There are differences between alligators and crocodiles, but because the average layperson is unaware of them, dreamers typically report these reptiles interchangeably in dreams. It is important to note that gators and crocs don’t always symbolize danger; alligators, especially, can remind us to develop a thicker skin and not become overly sensitive.
Alligators are less aggressive than crocodiles. While they can kill large prey, including humans, their nature is to be timid and they avoid humans. In fact, zookeepers often report being able to step upon their backs to cross the water without any of the gators reacting while crocs attack quickly and ferociously every time. For this reason, a gator means danger in your life that is not an immediate threat or it is one that you can more easily skirt once you recognize its presence. They can represent enemies who appear to be more of a threat than they really are.
And because man turns alligator into numerous products—from alligator meat to alligator skin boots—this means that you have the potential to turn a threat or danger into something that benefits you. Alligators are commercially farmed. They also provide service to man by keeping rodent populations down and creating a tourist industry.
Crocodiles on the other hand are hidden dangers that pose more serious threats to you. While they are consumed in some countries, they kill hundreds of people around the world with their quick and unexpected strikes. A croc in your dream can be a real threat.
Alligator or croc skin. Develop a thicker skin. Don’t let insults bother you. Or, conversely, you could have developed too thick a skin and are insensitive in your dealings with others. To tell the difference when interpreting your dream, take note of the feelings you are feeling in your dream and waking life and study the other dream symbols for clues.
Seeing an alligator or croc. Perceiving or being aware of possible threats in your walking life.
Walking an alligator/croc. Being in control of those who can be a threat.
Feeding an alligator/croc. Doing something to appease those in your life who are threatening.
Wrestling with an alligator/croc. Sparring with, defending against those minor enemies or annoyances in your life.
Being the alligator/croc. Some people have felt that they, themselves, were the alligator/croc. Of course, that perspective changes everything. Check your waking life for predatory or indifferent behaviors or attitudes.
Remember that threats or dangers aren’t always people in your life. They can be health issues, financial stresses or anything else that threatens your well-being. And, always consider the feelings in your dreams.
Idioms and saying to consider
Crocodile tears. False stories meant to elicit one’s sympathy and trust. Deceit.
“If you’re going to live by the river, make friends with the crocodile.” ~ Indian proverb. You’d better be on good terms with those who can hurt you if you dwell in their territory. Befriending the top dog that can bite you.
“An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” ~ Winston Churchill. Alas, trying to appease the threats in your life only postpones the inevitable because the croc will eat you sooner or later unless you flee or conquer him.
Note: I would like to express my thanks to legendary crocodile hunter and Australian conservationist Steve Irwin who single-handedly changed our understanding of these magnificent animals. Sadly, their predatory behaviors have earned them negative reputations but Mr. Irwin attempted to show us that they are simply being true to their wild nature. They, like every living being, eat to survive. They don’t kill for the sake of killing unlike man. When given a wide berth by humans, they won’t hunt us down.
Perhaps dreamers can take a hint from that. If you should dream about a croc, be aware of possible waking life threats and keep your distance!
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