The Meaning of Dream Lion … Or Any Other Dream Symbol for That Matter

You’ve probably come to this article because you recently had a dream about a lion and want to find out the meaning of dream lion to help you understand the dream. And in all likelihood, you’re expecting the kind of definition that you’d typically find in a dream dictionary.

Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news first. I am not going to tell you what the lion in your dream means. Why? That’s the good news. The meanings of the symbols in your dreams are totally unique to you. No dream dictionary can tell you exactly what a particular dream symbol means or help you apply it to your unique life situation.

meaning of dream lion

Fortunately, there’s a method you can use to discover the meaning of the symbols in your dreams, a method that will, in the end, allow you to create your very own dream dictionary so that you’ll no longer need to depend on the store-bought or online kind that, more often than not, give you meanings that are very general or have little to do with the symbols in your dreams.

Metaphor, the Language of Dreams

We all know how confusing dreams can be. This is because dreams communicate to us in the language of “metaphor.” Dictionary.com defines a metaphor as:

“[A] figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in ‘A mighty fortress is our God.’”

So, when you say, “He’s a lion,” you don’t mean that the person is literally a big, golden-colored jungle cat. You’re saying instead that the person has attributes or characteristics that remind you of a lion.

How does this relate to dreams? Every person, place, object, animal, action, and feeling in a dream is a metaphor that refers to someone or something that is occurring in your waking life, or to a part of yourself.

So, if you dream of a lion, the lion is a symbol or metaphor that “suggests a resemblance” to something or someone in your waking life. And that resemblance is unique to the individual having the dream. A dream dictionary simply can’t provide the attributes or characteristics of dream symbols that are unique to the people who consult them. However, there is an extremely reliable way of discovering the meaning of dream lion or any other symbol in your dreams.

Gayle Delaney’s Dream Interview Method

The method I am about to describe is the brainchild of Dr. Gayle Delaney, a respected clinical psychologist, dream analyst, and educator who lectures and writes about tapping unconscious resources in sleep, dreams, and romance. Dr. Delaney describers her “dream interview” method as follows:

“My ‘Dream Interview’ method of interpretation sets up a dialogue between the dreamer and the interviewer in which the interviewer pretends to come from another planet and asks an organized set of questions from a naive perspective, thus encouraging the dreamer to discover his or her own meanings and discouraging the interpreter from imposing his or her projections and guesses garnered from psychological theories or past experience.” (Source:

While the ideal situation would be to have a trained interviewer ask you questions about the symbols in your dream, I’ve successfully used the interview method to interpret my dreams by interviewing myself. I begin by asking myself questions about the dream symbol and then writing down my answers.

The Dream Interview Method Applied to the Meaning of Dream Lion

Delaney’s dream interview method has two major phases (comprising a total of six steps) that involve (1) eliciting a description of the symbol and (2) bridging from the resulting description to waking life. Let’s apply it to two people who have had a dream about a lion.

In the description phase, the interviewer, who is pretending to come from Mars and knows nothing about life on earth, would ask a series of questions about the dream lion such as:

  • What is a lion?
  • What is a lion like?
  • How would you describe a lion’s personality?

These questions result in a series of descriptive phrases about the lion.

In the bridging phase, the interviewer would restate these attributes and characteristics of a lion and then ask the dreamer if they remind him or her of anyone or anything in the dreamer’s life, or any part of the dreamer’s self. If they do, then the interviewer would ask the dreamer to elaborate with a question like, “How so?”

The first dreamer says that the lion is majestic and regal and that this reminds her of her father. The second dreamer describes the lion as menacing and dangerous and is reminded of a person in his life he’s trying to avoid.

Each meaning of dream lion is accurate for the individual who supplied it. On the other hand, if the dreamer who viewed the lion as menacing and dangerous consulted a dream dictionary that said lions in a dream refer to someone who is regal and majestic, that dreamer would be basing the interpretation of his dream lion on completely inaccurate information.

Accurate Dream Interpretation Requires Some Work

Looking up the meaning of a dream symbol in a dream dictionary is a lot easier than learning and applying Dr. Delaney’s dream interview method. But the latter leads to a much more accurate dream interpretation, making the extra work well worth the effort.

A complete description of the dream interview method and how to apply it to the meaning of dream lion or any other dream symbol can be found in the books, All About Dreams and Breakthrough Dreaming, both by Dr. Delaney.