The meaning of the dream symbol: Centaur

A centaur, or any other creature having a human head and an animal body, may represent a (needed) union of head and body, ‘spiritual’ and ‘animal' or sensuous, conscious and unconscious. The dream is probably telling you to set about integrating contents of your unconscious psyche into your conscious life.

Alternatively it may represent a (needed) union of the masculine and feminine sides of your psyche.


In dreams, the mythological Centaur represents music, powerful magic and lustful abandon. As is the case in most archetypical examples of Zoomorphism, (half-man/half-animal figures,) man is responding to his primal and ‘animalistic’ nature. He deems to project this nature onto a third party in the fully realized synthesis of his own animal characteristics. Unlike the minotaur (which is half bull,) the centaur (being half horse,) portrays graceful, nearly musical powers of persuasion. In another sense, the centaur dream may reveal a resistance to ones own personal and powerful feelings of love or passionate desires. In other words, we do not want to be ‘broken’, or ‘tamed’. Conversely, if we ride the centaur, our Unconscious may be signifying that we are being ‘carried away’ by our own sexual needs and galloping desires.


A monstrous creature of Greek mythology, with a human head, arms and torso and the body and legs of a horse. Centaurs, male and female, lived on mountains and in forests, fed on raw flesh, could not drink wine without getting drunk, went about in herds and were very prone, if male, to rape mortal women. They represent man’s animal nature.

According to legend they were divided into two families. The descendants of Ixion’s encounter with a cloud represented blind, ignorant, brute force: on the other hand the children of Philyra and Cronos, of whom Chiron was the most famous, represent strength and nobility in the service of right. A highly skilled physician and friend of Herakles (Hercules), Chiron fought at the hero’s side in the battle which set them against the other centaurs. Wounded in error by one of Herakles’ poisoned arrows and longing for death, he offered his own immortality to Prometheus so as to find rest. There are undoubtedly few myths which teach so clearly the battle between instinct and reason.

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