Recurring dreams about mice
Have you ever had dreams about mice? Dreams about those small voracious and disgusting beings swarming in our room? Or a mocking and arrogant mouse who looks at you defiantly as he sneaks into his little shelter as you try to flush him out?
Dreams about mice have a symbology very similar to dreaming about insects. In both categories we are dealing with small creatures that provoke us nausea, repulsion, disgust. And in both cases we are confronting creatures that typically inhabit the earth, or underground (they are “chthonic” creatures). Nevertheless, dreaming mice has its own specific symbolism, which we will deal with later in this article.
The symbolism linked to dreaming about snakes is very different: for those who want to deepen the meaning of dreams with snakes, please refer to this article.
How many mice do we dream of?
First af all, let’s focus on the number of dreamed mice. The number of objects dreamed of, be it apples, insects or mice, is in fact symptomatic of the level of integration, or rather of disintegration, of our Persona (in jungian terms). A large number of objects in dreams is a sign of disintegration, of undifferentiation, of the lack of a unitary point of view.
I remember as a child, when I had a high temperature, I dreamed of a large number of insects. Jung warns that this phenomenon can also signal a disturbance on a physiological level. It is a symbol of the matter that disintegrates, that loses of integrity. But in more general terms the psychological aspect of the question is that a part of us is precisely “undifferentiated”, that is, it has not reached a sufficient level of differentiation. Like there is no personal and differentiated point of view in us.
Another example to better understand this phenomenon is when we dream of an indistinct mass of people. Dreaming of a large number of people expresses the idea of our inability to bring out our identity point of view. Our judgment, or our thinking, merges with common feeling or thinking, with no differentiation from the mass.
Dreams about mice and the multiplicity of objects in the Tarot
In the OniroTarology methods the elements of the dream are brought back to the symbolism of the Tarot. In the Tarot we find several Major Arcana where numerous small objects are depicted. For example, the instruments arranged in a chaotic manner on the Magician table. Or the numerous round disks that seem to come out of the Tower of the Maison Dieu. In symbolic terms they may represent a part of us that lives without control, in a state of chaos and disintegration.
It is a part of us that slips out from the control of consciousness and enjoys its own autonomy, returning to manifest itself in dreams in the form of an indistinct plurality of objects. We find numerous objects also in the Stars, in the Moon, in the Sun and in the Judgment (as “drops” or “flames”). But unlike the “disks” of the Tower, in these cases the multiplicity of objects seems to be arranged around a central organizing nucleus: the Star above the head of the woman of Arcanum XVII, the moon, the sun and the angel of Judgment Tarot card. These monadic entities represent the Self, as the center of our psychic totality that reconciles opposites.
But what does this preamble have to do with dreams about mice? The idea is that if the mice in dreams are many we are in the presence of a part of our psyche that is broken up. Here another question arises: which part of us is broken up? The answer is: a part of us that the dream represents in the form of mice. And here we finally begin to approach the mouse symbol.
Dreams about lots of mice meaning
Animals in dreams correspond to that part of us that lives in the unconscious, endowed with animal characteristics. A part of us not adapted, that lives in “undifferentiated” and primitive form. It is one of many aspects of the Shadow, to quote Jung.
In principle we should ask ourselves (or ask the dreamer): what are the elementary characteristics of mice? How would you describe them to an alien, or to a child? If you, or the dreamer, are able to provide some form of sketching of mice, we already have some possible interpretative cues, trying to recognize in us those same characteristics that our unconscious, the “director” of the dream, made the mice interpret.
Mouse symbolism in dreams
Let’s see some examples.
Some might describe the mouse as a voracious animal. Let us ask ourselves then: which part of us has these unconscious features of voracity?
What if we described the mouse as an animal capable of surviving the greatest catastrophes on earth? The teaching could be that in our unconscious lives an unsuspected vital energy that will lift us up and make us stand up, finding nourishment even among the ruins of a devastated city. Even more so if, for example, we had this dream in a period of drastic changes in our lives.
If instead the descriptive aspect of the mouse focus on something unwelcome that sneaks into our house to steal food from us, we could investigate which unconscious energies take energy from us. Or how we behave like “rats” in stealing food, metaphorically speaking, in other people’s apartments.
The mouse as a metaphor
Another effective technique is to try to change perspective. That is to relive the dream from the point of view of one of the dreamed mice. That mouse is in fact a part of you, or in another way, as unpleasant as it may be, you must recognize that a part of you lives and behaves like a mouse!
How do you feel about that mouse? Are you forced to live on hardships and remedies, driven out and segregated in the cellar by some implacable enemy?
A bit like in the cartoon “Maus” by Art Spiegelman, where the Jews were depicted as mice. The same idea is expressed by the ferocious Nazi “mouse hunter” Hans Landa in Tarantino’s film “Inglourious Basterds“. Who is your executioner? What part of you is segregating and forcing you into such a miserable life?
As you can see, the answer on the mouse symbol, as well as on everything we dream of, is therefore never unique. We must always consider the context of the dreamer, his personal associations with the object dreamed of, the period he is going through and so on.
Mouse symbolism in real life
It could also happen that the meaning of the dream and its metaphor should be sought outside the dreamer. For example pointing the finger at people known in real life with “mouse-esque” characteristics. In other words, the dream could mean: pay attention, your co-worker takes advantage of you, is taking your wealth away from you, has slipped into your space and is stealing something from you!
Remember: the greater the number of mice dreamed of, the greater is our inability to keep our particular psychic component under control and therefore the alarm launched by the unconscious is more binding. And also remember that mice have also positive characteristics. In addition to the ability to survive in hostile situations, mice are fast, very cautious and meticulous.
Mouse symbol in the Tarot cards
Where do we find the symbolism of the mouse in the Tarot? There are in particular two Major Arcana that resonate with the symbolism of dreams about mice.
The underground aspect, “chthonic” of the mice appears in the Devil. It’s the mouse as a demonic entity, the enemy, the opponent, the most unwelcome part of us and “hostile” to our onesided conscious attitude. So hostile that it works in the depths of our being and absorbs unnoticed that part of psychic energy that we refuse to voluntarily give as a nourishment for the roots of our being.
The Devil – as an underground divinity associated with matter – claims his part! Those creatures chained to the pedestal of the Devil also recalls the motif of the mouse as a recluse and segregated creature in the cellar, forced to feed furtively on the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.
In the Arcanum without a Name we can imagine in that blackish earth a mass teeming with mice that breaks down and crumbles our Persona, the basis of our building., so to cripple our Tower / Maison Dieu incessantly. But the aim is to make it resurrect more solid and rooted in mother earth!
We need to regain that vital energy that currently lives in a mouse state, to redirect and rearrange that confused and devouring mass towards a new life project more integrated and aligned to our Self.