I experienced the following dream:
Walking through wilderness, I came upon a female tiger. She considered me, and I considered her—I calculated my next move through my fear, she simply calculated. Rapidly concluded that if I ran she’d chase me down and eat me.
So I held my head up and approached her gently. Reached out my hand and scratched between her ears. Petted her. This continued for hours despite my terror. She rolled over and cuddled with me.
She then protected me from the other tigers occupying the distance.
This relationship stood way out of my league; as I shared affection with a beautiful animal that could kill me in an instant. Yet I knew the correct path forward was to deliver genuine care to my new friend, rather than back away in fear.
The tiger then transformed into a powerful, beautiful, and wealthy woman. Beyond out of my league. But we became friends. We became lovers. She simply liked me for the courage I demonstrated when I approached and gave affection to her tiger.
When I woke up, I realized that the Hindu goddess Durga associates with tigers. Durga rides a tiger into battle to destroy demons associated with ignorance and discord. She’s badass: When she takes the form of Kali she drinks the blood of demons to prevent that blood from springing forth new demons as it splatters the ground.
Anyway, a goddess who rides a tiger into battle carrying six weapons and who drinks the blood of evil spirits is one to be feared, just like the tiger evokes fear.
Yet my constant bravery in life earned her respect and affection, and she therefore visited me in this dream.