Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Medieval Poisoners

Two women in a woman’s dream can allude to two conflicting parts of herself, as in this dream, where it’s a fight to the death.

The Dream: Two women have a rivalry. One is young, attractive, and dark-haired. I pretend to be her friend. The other has dark blonde hair and looks about 50; she is slightly stout. I don’t know her very well. I know about their plots and machinations but saying nothing, letting events take their course. Both the women wear medieval costume:  the younger one in dusty mauves and pinks, the older in autumnal rich ochres. The beautiful dark-haired woman has been poisoned and dies in my arms while I watch without much reaction. The other woman has also been poisoned, and I know she too will die soon. I look at her face and see a kindly older person. It’s like a small revelation. So I suggest that, if she is capable of it, she try to vomit. Once I have given her this heads-up I realize that she was the one responsible for poisoning the other woman. So how kind could she be?

Interpretation: I see a conflict from the past, as symbolized by the medieval costume. On the one hand I have the part of myself that cleaves to the roles inculcated in my youth: the beautiful young woman refers to the beautiful aspect of woman in my girlhood. How lovely she was, in her elegant Vogue splendor: hats, gloves, chic costume—and what fun it was to be completely preoccupied with fashion and elegance.
The older woman symbolizes the “older and wiser” part of me, the part that rejects being limited to a superficial and decorative role. (Not to mention the part that, being older, would have a hard time pulling it off.) So, inevitably perhaps, the older self kills the younger. But she must face the possibility that in killing off her younger self she also poisons herself. The dream ego steps in just in time to save her, but not without some reservation.

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