People all over the world dream about apes and gorillas in a variety of different contexts, but most people aren’t sure how to interpret what they might mean symbolically and how the ape or gorilla might relate to the other elements in their dream. There are many different kinds of dreams that are common to most people, which we will guide you through how to interpret below. We’ll talk about apes and gorillas collectively here as ‘apes’ and help you make sense of why they keep showing up in your dreams.
Ape Dream Summary
Apes symbolize various things in the subconscious mind that the conscious mind doesn’t automatically realize. When we think of apes, we often associate them with the most obvious metaphors from our conscious minds. Therefore, we think of them as crude versions of ourselves due to our evolutionary kinship with them, or we see them merely as brutes and monsters. However, our subconscious minds deal with many different aspects of the ape’s personality, not just the dangerous ones. Focusing on these more generally is more likely to help you understand your dream, especially if the dangerous connotations don’t seem to apply.
Common Ape Dreams
Many people dream about apes in a physical matchup, whether with each other or the dreamer themselves. That’s most likely because we’re wrestling with something we perceive as being bigger and more powerful that we are. However, there are many other types of ape dreams that delve much more deeply into the subconscious mind and bear more subtly flavored fruits.
- Dreams about apes eating
- Dreams about apes sleeping
- Dreams about apes foraging
- Dreams about apes fighting
- Dreams about apes attacking you
- Dreams about apes threatening you
- Dreams about apes grooming one another
What Do Apes Symbolize?
Physical Prowess, Power, Strength
It’s no surprise that one of the most enduring aspects of apes as symbols is their sheer power and might because, when compared with humans, there’s just no contest. Their size and brute strength is a constant reminder that we evolved quite a bit differently along our shared family tree, and that we should probably stick with brains as our greatest strength if we’re ever pitted against one of these beasts. However, when they show up in our dreams, apes often represent something that is similarly strong, powerful, or formidable as an opponent. Ape symbols in the psyche, like their real world brethren, are nothing to be trifled with.
Nobility, Quiet Dignity
Another aspect of ape energy is the quiet nobility of the way they live. Most of the time, apes go about their business in dignity, honoring nature’s ways and living in harmony with life on earth. There are times of disruption, of course. Still, the spirit of the animal is seen as something of a noble one because of its commanding presence. The ape also has an innate ability to hold court, so to speak, above the fray which entangles most of the lower creatures of the forest. Because it is known to be capable of exerting its will on lesser creatures, this makes any level of restraint seem somewhat noble by contrast.
Forcefulness, Determination, Strength of Will
When you stare into the eyes of a gorilla, you immediately understand its ability to exert its own will. It can intimidate without even trying, in part because of its determined stare. This is the iconic force of will we associate with the ape archetype. It is a determination that will not yield under any circumstances save death. There is a raw power in that strength of will, a power that may show up in our dreams as being either within our control our outside of it. When we find meaning in this aspect of the creature’s nature, it is because something big is indeed underway. Our subconscious may be trying to warn us away from danger or raise a rallying cry, depending on the context.
Gentle Giants, Conflict Mediation
There is a gentle side to gorillas and other apes, as well. This usually shows up in the gentle giant archetype and gives rise to a meaning that involves conflict management or mediation. Most people don’t give much consideration to this aspect of animal life. However, apes (and gorillas in particular) are known to use bonding rituals as a way to mediate conflicts and avoid outright physical aggression. This is probably because physical conflict is expensive not just for the individual but also for the group, which can only endure so many such contests before suffering losses too great to survive. That’s why conflict mediation comes into play in successful social groups, and apes are no exception. Later, we’ll discuss specific behaviors that correlate to the gentle giant image.
On the flip side, apes are some of nature’s only creatures known to commit actual murder against its own kind. Some such acts are committed by groups of apes against members of rival gangs or individuals who may have caused harm. Other times, the cause is less clear. However, we do sometimes observe the self-centered leadership of some groups of apes to be on par with the tyrannical leanings of certain primitive human civilizations, although it’s rarer in nature than one might think. The reputation apes have as being aggressive is perhaps well-earned in some circumstances, and our subconscious minds may be more familiar with the details than our conscious minds on this point.
Ape Dream Interpretations
Dreams about apes eating
Dreams about apes eating are mainly peaceful dreams. That’s because, as omnivores, apes spend a lot of time eating nuts, berries, and bugs. Their dining habits are therefore no cause for alarm in the human subconscious but may evoke a sense of curiosity or even an awareness of the quiet dignity of the ape sustaining itself through foraging. None of this applies, however, if your dream has you overly focused on the mouth, teeth, jaws, etc. of the ape or if the ape is eating human flesh, just to offer one example. You should always be aware of the emotional overtones and other cues you experience in a dream when trying to interpret its meaning.
Dreams about apes sleeping
Sleeping apes could represent the gentle giant aspect of the animal’s nature and may therefore fill you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. However, it’s just as likely that sleeping apes or gorillas are similar in symbolism to sleeping bears or any other large, sleeping beast with the ability to seriously hurt or kill you. In that case, it’s a matter of letting the sleeping bears (or apes) lie. You don’t want to be the one to wake them up, at least. In addition to representing a situation in which you should avoid waking up the sleeping animal, your dream may also be warning you about a situation that’s about to wake up and cause you a big problem. You may be able to get out in front of it if you act quickly now – without waking the beast.
Dreams about apes foraging
If you’re dreaming about a foraging ape, your dream is speaking to the determination aspect of the ape’s character. These enormous animals surprisingly sustain their size by feasting on some of nature’s smallest offerings. How do they do that, you ask. The answer is, mainly by eating all day long and not moving around much. By remaining largely sedentary or, for example, finding a good spot and then sitting down to pick a bush clean, apes are able to conserve a lot of energy each day. They also dine on high protein food sources like nuts and bugs, making the most of the environment around them by being omnivorous eaters.
Dreams about apes fighting
If you witness a fight between apes in your dream, then the fight represents a battle in which raw power plays a significant part and the apes represent the two sides. Therefore, a conflict with someone who has greater organizational power than you or maybe someone who has special kind of power, such as an earned designation (order, office, title) or certificate, could be taking shape. Either way, this is about raw power and a contest for dominance. Your subconscious is trying to warn you, so pay close attention to the behavior of the fighting animals in your dream to better understand what it’s trying to tell you.
Dreams about apes attacking you
If you’re being attacked by an ape in your dream, you may be dealing with the physical prowess aspect of the archetypal ape’s nature. Perhaps you’re feeling physically inadequate or have some concerns, legitimate or otherwise, about your physical safety. In any case, your subconscious is trying to alert you to a situation of physical danger. There may also be a David and Goliath aspect to the conflict, because apes are so much larger than humans as to make the comparison apt. Therefore, you could be dreaming about an ape attack when you’re being sued by a large corporation, for example. Then it’s no longer about the ape’s physical dominance over you as a human being but the feeling of inadequacy that represents being outmatched by one’s competition.
Dreams about apes threatening you
If you’re being threatened or menaced by an ape or apes in your dream, this is again a very dangerous situation that your subconscious mind is trying to alert you about. Pay close attention to the context and details surrounding the apes in your dream to understand who or what they represent. They could be people or other entities that pose an existential threat to your life, lifestyle, or livelihood. What you do in response and how the scene unfolds may not so much predict success or failure in a real life corollary as it does simply provide you a clue to understanding your own subconscious perceptions about the situation.
Dreams about apes grooming one another
If you knew how good it feels to be groomed by an ape family member, you’d understand why humans evolved to keep pets. We simply couldn’t do without the simple act of affirming contact. So, if you understand that feeling of petting your best-loved pets, imagine if you shared that kind of bond with your romantic partner or your children. Apes engage in grooming behavior as a form of community bonding and successful approach hygiene all in one. If you are dreaming about this behavior, the symbol is one of the gentle giant and conflict mediator building strong social bonds.
Apes are not humankind’s ancestors. Each ape species represents merely another branch on the family tree. However, due to specific aspects of ape behavior, we see them as being fierce but noble “gentle giants” who are skilled mediators and committed parents living in strong, healthy communities. When you are dreaming about apes and gorillas, these strong, powerful images are being engaged by your subconscious to convey a similarly substantial meaning.