I wrote a post in 2009 about dreaming of running on all-fours like a wolf. (I say like a wolf and not like any other type of animal because that is how I imagine myself when I run.)
Here is a link talking about my dream, if you're interested.
It amazes me how many hits this article continues to get. Since there is such an obvious interest, I thought I might do a little more research on why people might have this dream.
As I've said before, I keep a dream journal. I've done this for at least 12 years, maybe more. I don't keep up with my dreams as much as I used to simply because I don't often have the chance to dream. Dreaming, for me at least, requires a deep state of sleep which I am not often afforded these days.
I am a very light sleeper and every small noise wakes me. My husband (and my dog) snores. Plus we have an idiot who is fond of riding by at 3 AM with loud music, at least 3 nights a week.
Having said that, I should clarify something. I do still dream. I used to recall my dreams every single night. Now it's more like I remember one dream a week, sometimes two.
I'm also still experiencing the "running on all-fours" dream. I don't call this dream reoccurring because only one element remains the same, the running on all-fours part.
The last time I had this dream I was running down a road near where I live. I was jogging normally, but then I started to pick up the pace. As I moved faster the road changed. It turned to dirt instead of pavement. The next thing I knew I could feel the dirt as it brushed across the palms of my hands, the light yet rough pressure of it as my weight shifted to run. Without any noticeable transition at all, I was suddenly running on all-fours as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
In my opinion, it is the most natural thing in the world. I've studied dream interpretation for years, for a number of reasons. For one thing, I get lots of ideas for books from my dreams. I'm a writer and new ideas are always a good thing. Dreams are a great source of inspiration, especially if you can figure out their meaning.
But aside from that, I enjoy trying to figure out how the subconscious mind works. There are many things that we know when we are asleep and somehow forget when we are awake. Instincts that have been long forgotten in our waking life remain dormant, waiting for the chance to reemerge when our mind isn't "working" so hard at being normal.
I've come across lots of theories about these running on all-fours dreams. I've also discovered that thousands of people have experienced this.
Some people speculate that a dream of this kind means you are about to overcome some huge obstacle in your life. You are literally racing toward your goal.
Others see it as you you feel powerless in your waking life, so you seek the feeling of power that such dreams can give.
And then there is another explanation. Perhaps werewolves are real? You heard me right. There are people who believe that we who experience dreams of running on all-fours are merely reliving what happens when we transform into a wolf. No, I'm not joking.
These are the three most prominent theories I've come across in my research. I'm not saying I believe or disbelieve any of them, but here is MY interpretation.
As for myself, I am always racing toward one goal or another, so this interpretation is only the tip of the iceberg. It doesn't have any real meaning for me. Saying that I am racing toward a goal is like saying I'm going to breathe today.
The second theory doesn't really resonate with me either. Although running this way in my dreams is a wonderful feeling, I don't necessarily crave the power of it. Who doesn't want to feel that kind of freedom? It's a rush each and every time it happens and I can't help but feel that the rest of the world is missing something. This theory has some merit (in my opinion) but it is also only the tip of the iceberg.
When I stumbled upon the third theory I was both excited and amused. I write erotic paranormal romance. MANY of my characters are werewolves. There is something so virile to me, so powerful about a man who is part beast. Especially, if he is in control of his inner monster.
Do I believe that there are people who actually transform into wolves? Unfortunately, no. Why is it unfortunate? Because it would be awesome if it were true. The macabre has always fascinated me so theories about werewolves being real are nothing new in my book. For those who believe that lycanthropy is a mental condition in which someone believes themselves to be a werewolf, this dream theory might have some weight.
I think my own dreams are a combination of many things. As for this particular dream, where the road turned to dirt, maybe I am feeling a need to get back to basics? To release stress and "run free." That is certainly true for me. Maybe it is for a lot of other people also.
In this dream I never actually saw myself as a wolf, it was more of a feeling I had. Although, in other dreams, I have seen myself as a running wolf.
Do I believe I'm a werewolf? Of course not. Just because I write about werewolves or speculate on theories doesn't mean I'm a nut job. Ha. Ha. Ha. The subconscious mind is like the ocean, we may never fully explore it and this fascinates me. I was almost a psychologist after all. I was an undergrad in criminal psychology and considered specializing in sex therapy as a graduate. But, I'm getting off subject.
The wolf has many desirable qualities that lots of people may find themselves drawn to. Power, freedom, confidence. The list could go on.
Maybe those qualities are why I see myself as a wolf. Or maybe it's just because I write about them.