The hyena is typically symbolized as a creature of resourcefulness and adaptability due to its scavenging nature and ability to thrive in harsh environments. It represents resilience, tenacity, and survival. Often misunderstood and underestimated due to its unconventional appearance and behavior, the hyena also stands for breaking societal norms and expectations. Its robust social structure emphasizes cooperation and communication, underscoring the importance of community and collective strength.

Hyena in Dreams

Dreaming of a hyena could symbolize a situation in your waking life where you might feel misrepresented or underestimated. The hyena’s laughter is often interpreted as a sign of nervousness or discomfort, suggesting a scenario that feels mocking or unsettling. Psychologically, it might also represent feelings of adaptability, resilience, and survival, encouraging you to persist in the face of adversity or to make the most of what you have in a challenging situation.

Hyena in Myths and Folklore

In mythology and folklore, the hyena’s symbolism is diverse. In African mythology, it’s often viewed as a clever trickster, embodying cunning and wit. The ancient Egyptians associated the hyena with the afterlife and transformation, often invoking its image in funeral rites. In certain East African cultures, hyenas are believed to have mystic powers and are associated with witchcraft. In modern media, hyenas are often portrayed as villainous or comic figures, as seen in stories like “The Lion King.”

Reviewed by Olex Lys, enthusiastic in the field of symbolism research, and in the psychological interpretation of dreams.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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