Disembodiment Dreams

Translating dreams of disembodiment….

Lately, I have been hearing more and more dreams of dreamers detailing their experience of being torn to shreds or having a particular body part being ripped out of them. The majority of dreamers all said that it was an animal they loved that was tearing them apart, chewing up pieces of them, or eating away at their body while still alive. These types of dreams can feel very scary, dreamers feel powerless and sometimes may go into shock within their dream. Disembodiment dreams are more common than most people realize, and most dreamers are amazed to hear these types of dreams are also very powerful healing dreams.

I have experienced several disembodiment dreams over my lifetime so far. I realized what the general meaning behind them was back in 2000 when I was introduced to Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She is an incredible dreamweaver, myth teller, and explorer of the deepest darkest parts of our souls. It was listening to Dr. Estes tapes (House of the Riddled Mother, Warming the Stone Child, The Creative Fire) that awoken me into the truth about disembodiment dreams. These are dreams of healing, of getting rid of the old and inviting the new to live within you. Sometimes they take place unexpectedly when you are ignoring an aspect of your deepest Self that needs healing. They will appear when you need these dreams most, when you have buried your pain and when the pain is feeding off of other parts of you. It is an awakening for something positive and wonderful to emerge into your life.

Dreaming these type of dreams as a child was very terrifying to me. I would awaken in tears thinking I must be a horrible soul. I had no one to confide in abut these dreams, and in waking life I became inattentive and afraid. I did not have them often as a child but when I did I was lost. As I became older, the more I transformed through different traumatic events the more I did not fight the lion or tiger that attached me in my dreams, rather I learned to greet the animal with openness. Once I understood what disembodiment in dreams meant the more I began to look forward to these taking places, for a new part of me was about to emerge.

I was walking down a road in a gray atmosphere. I knew I was on a journey to somewhere, so I accepted that only gray matter existed in this particular dream. It seemed like hours, days, weeks of walking and I began to feel tired. I though to myself, “Will I arrive anytime soon? Ohh I am exhausted I would like to lay down and sleep.”

Not too long after a tiger jumped out of the gray atmosphere and stooped me on my path. She greeted me with a roaring hello and I jumped back startled. Hello. I replied back. I was feeling some fear bubble within me and was thinking about how I was so unprepared to encounter this tiger. Why today? I thought to myself. I am so exhausted from my travels. And without a second more to think about what next the tiger jumped on top of me pushed me down and began tearing off my face. Then she went for my arms and last my throat. Well at least she left my body and legs, I thought to myself.  She stepped off me and sat next to me. I felt no pain, I was weightless.

“This will help you continue on your journey.” The tiger circled around me.

“What happens next?” I asked.

“Your stomach, your stomach happens next. Close your eyes and you will be surprised.”

I closed my eyes. And then I woke up.

I sat up on my bed in the darkness of the room. I was sweating from the fear and I felt around my face and neck to make sure everything was there. I went back to sleep.

I woke up the next morning and I had a horrible stomach ache. That whole day I laid in bed and within 24 hours I felt better again. Over the next few weeks I felt different, lighter, more at ease.

About two weeks after the dream I had the following dream:

I was eating in another country, the food was spicy and my stomach began to hurt. A lion appeared in the café. I nodded at him and he swiped his paw at me so I would fall over. He climbed on top of my stomach and ate at it. I began crying I watched my guts and uterus being ripped to shreds. When he finished he regurgitated what he had eaten and sown me back up. He smiled and walked away with his tongue wiping his mouth. I felt scared and alone I could not move my body and suddenly woke up out of the dream.

I had been waiting for results from the doctor to see if their fears that I had Ovarian Cancer were true. That afternoon, after this last dream, I went into the doctor’s office. They told me it was a false alarm and I would be fine. I knew the dreams I had had over the past couple of weeks had some sort of healing powers that I could not quite comprehend.  I accepted it as a way of my own personal healing — whatever was going on within me— and I have felt freer in my stomach, uterus, and intestinal area ever since.

The dream above is one of many disembodiment dreams I have experienced.

Last year, I learned that Native American shaman’s journey to their animal guides and experience being ripped to shreds by their power animal only to be pieced back together in a new and transformational way. I also experienced a shamanic journey where my power animal Lion decided unexpectedly to tear my limbs piece by piece and held them all in his mouth. He stood there staring at me as my soul laid limp on the floor of the earth.

“Why? Why? Why are you doing this to me?” I cried out to him.

“Because it is time for the new you to emerge. How else would I get you to see that? The old parts of you are unable to work properly in the style in which you exist today. Hang on. Be still. Be present. No fear. I will piece you back together before you go.”

Disembodiment dreams appear for healing parts of you.

  • Learn not to be afraid when you experience these types of dreams.
  • Learn to embrace them in a way that resonates with you the most.
  • I suggest interacting with the animal that is ripping parts of you to shreds. They have information and will share it with you if you just ask them.
  • Do not run from these types of dreams but rather let them unfold naturally.
  • Keep track of how you are feeling before, during, and after you experience this type of dream.
  • Ask the animal to piece you back together when they are done. Let them know the new you is ready to emerge.

I finally left the parts of my childhood behind that bothered me the most when I experienced a disembodied dream. I was in deep pain from my family over an issue and I had to let go of them all in order to move on with my life. I was having nightmares of their words that hurt me the most, and they appeared in haunting ways. One night I had the following dream:

I was sitting on the side of a road crying when a lion walked right up to me. Excuse me, the lion roared. I need to rip your heart out of you. Tears flooded my eyes and I did not move. Darkness overtook me and I felt as if I was blind for a moment. The lion reached over to me and ripped through my chest. It grabbed my beating heart with it’s paw and tossed it behind him. I was in such shock. I could not feel any longer. And then he just started ripping me to shreds.

Suddenly I was floating through the air in pieces. My hands were trying to grab parts of my body. One by one I pieced myself back together .. except for my heart. I looked everywhere for it but could not locate it. I screamed out to the lion to give it back. But he shook his head no. I began crying. “If you don’t have a heart why do you feel the need to cry?” The lion said. “Look again.”


I looked down at my chest and I saw something beating. A feeling of happiness now flooded me. I looked at the lion and said “Thank you, I like the way this heart feels much better.”