The symbolism of the Jackal pertains to petty and unscrupulous behavior. As such, in our dream landscape, we may be expressing guilt over devious actions perpetrated. On the other hand, since the jackal is primarily a forager, we may be illustrating an aimless search for something useful, or challenging, in our life. Consequently, we may be masking anxiety over a lackluster existence without practical goals. We must determine whether or not our clever nature interferes with our real needs.
Do we procrastinate and even falter, simply because we have no real understanding of social order and social institutions? Does our hunger for life seem strange, even to ourselves? This figure questions the merits of a strong sense of self. However, a jackel is no fool. He has a method to the madness of his search. Can we say the same?
Becuse of its death-howl, its haunting of graveyards and its feeding on corpses, the jackal is a beast of ill omen, in the same category as the wolf. In Hindu iconography it is the steed of Devi in her sinister aspect.
Some Hindu writers make the jackal the symbol of lust, greed, cruelty and sensuality, in short, of all violent feelings and emotions.
The jackal has been regarded as the symbol of the Ancient Egyptian god Anubis, who was believed to be incarnate in the wild dog and was customarily depicted with a jackal’s head. In fact, there were no jackals in Ancient Egypt and what we have are ‘ “roving dogs”, animals resembling the wolf, with large pointed ears and long muzzles, lithe bodies and long, bushy tails’. They were feared for their fleet-footed aggressiveness and roamed the mountains and graveyards. Anubis was the god whose duty it was to care for the dead, watching over their funeral rites and their voyage to the Otherworld. He was called ‘Lord of the Necropolis’ and his most famous shrine was at ‘Cynopolis, city of dogs’. This Doctor jackal-like conductor of souls symbolizes death and the wanderings of the dead person until he or she reaches the Valley of Immortality. Although there are some superficial similarities, it would be wrong to identify him with cerberus of the Greek Underworld.