Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Dream Image: Circles, containing different worlds. I must pick one. Each world is represented by a different image or symbol.

Interpretation: A dream realization of the different roles I play and of the conflict that can result from having to choose where to put my time and energy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Don’t Forget the Dogs

The Dream: I am about to go somewhere in a car when I remember the dogs, ranging in age from young adult to small puppy. I work to put them all in the trunk so they won’t be left behind. The larger dogs jump in, and I gently round up the smallest puppy, speaking soothingly as one cajoles a child.

Interpretation: In mythology, Cerberus is a multi-headed dog tasked with guarding the underworld. On my life journey (I’m going somewhere in a car) I would like to forget about the omnipresent reality of death, so I put this realization in the trunk (where I store my baggage). I sweet talk these creatures (the dogs of death), hoping to control them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sisterhood is Powerful

The Dream:
I’m in a very nice, upscale restaurant with Clark and my two daughters, who are adults, but are wearing clothes they might have worn as children. The dresses are pretty, old-fashioned, summery. I say something about the fights they had as children over clothes. “Are you going to embarrass us in this restaurant?” I ask. They pretend they are going to have an argument, just to tease me.

Interpretation: My waking- life daughters didn’t fight over clothes or embarrass us in restaurants, and they don’t currently dress as children: the children in this dream represent my own inner children and tell me that I’m integrating psychic material from the past. (Their clothes are old fashioned.) Their squabbles stand for old internal conflicts that still make me uneasy. (“Are you going to embarrass us. . ?”) On the other hand, their differences have apparently been worked out to the point that they can get together and tease me. And I know they’re teasing, a good sign.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two Faces

Today’s guest dreamer, Symbolfinder, has worked to understand her dream, and she sent me her insightful analysis along with it. Before I read her interpretation I wrote my own reactions, so you’ll have the benefit of two slightly different slants on the dream’s meaning. The dreamer always gets the last word since she is the only one who knows what the dream's associations mean for her.

The Dream: A co-worker crosses through a doorway. He is carrying a baby that looks like him. The baby has a normal formed face, but on the back of its head is a second face. This second face is not perfectly formed yet - it is crude and incomplete. I note that the child's head is actually two heads, though meshed together. I want to speak up, but I hold my tongue. I might put my co-worker in an uncomfortable situation, where he would need to explain the child's deformity.

Carla: The mythic image of the Roman god Janus comes to mind here. With his two faces, one looking forward and the other back, he is a threshold deity; he oversees the transition from one state to another and is often placed above doors. Janus oversees the beginning and end of things; the month January is named for him.

In my version of Symbolfinder’s dream, I feel a major transition about to take place in my life.  Something is ending, and a new phase is about to begin. Since all the characters in my dream represent some part of me, the coworker is a possibly neglected aspect of my psyche that wants to play a greater role in my life. He is in a doorway (a place of transition). The baby he is carrying looks like him, but has two faces, one that can be shown to the world and another that’s not quite right. The second face is not yet fully formed; its incompleteness suggests that this emergent part of me is not ready for prime time. This is emphasized when I stop myself from speaking. Since I want to speak; why don’t I? I am concerned for my coworker, the part of me that carries the burden of this newly emergent part. I feel the world is not ready to accept me as I am, therefore I see my two-headed baby as a deformity. When I get to the point that I can accept this not-so-perfect part of myself, I predict I will be able to embrace both the baby and the coworker, and the two heads will become one.

Symbolfinder’s Analysis:
Shadow / Co-worker:  In real life the co-worker is impulsive, unreflective, and inappropriately crosses corporate boundaries. While he holds good technical knowledge, his social intelligence is sometimes weak.He represents a shadow of mine - the unreflective, impulsive part of my personality (it is there!). I am very aware of this side of myself, and that it is a shadow. I have been correcting this side of my personality. Infant/Unconscious:  The infant is symbolic of all my potential, but also my current immature state or stage of true awareness. The two faces, I believe, represent my conscious and unconscious. The front complete face is my rationality, which is strong and well developed. The backward-looking underdeveloped face is my unconscious, which is weaker.

Me in the dream: In the dream I hold my tongue, thinking if I ask about the two-faced infant, I will embarrass my co-worker. This is the practical part of the dream and its key message: I sometimes speak unconsciously, and would benefit from more conscious, regulated and filtered speaking. You see, my profession forces me to be objective about people and their actions, and sometimes the truth can hurt, especially if impulsively spoken. Additionally I must ask myself - in my well intentioned corporate maneuvering have I been two-faced? Does my dream simply show my shadow is an immature being with two faces? Thus part of my shadow is that I am two-faced! Materializing the unconscious can give you unpleasant but necessary lessons for life.

Wonder and awe:  Some browsing of the images on an  alchemy web site demonstrate the symbol of a two-headed person (often with each sex represented).  While my dream did not exhibit the hermaphrodite symbolism, nonetheless my unconscious chose to use this symbol. I am in awe that I am dreaming or projecting the same unconscious properties as my alchemical ancestors of hundreds of years ago.
My Jungian lesson: Jung wrote in 'The Psychic Nature of the Alchemical Work' :
"...he (the alchemist) experienced his projection as a property of matter; but what he was in reality experiencing was his own unconscious... as we all know, science began with the stars, and mankind discovered in them the dominants of the unconscious, the 'gods'..."

The unconscious projects its' material onto my dreams, my dreams usually focus on my day's emotions. It uses its' own language of symbols to digest my emotions; the symbols are bizarre to the laymen, but they are interpretable. The symbols are ancient and deep and have utility to the unconscious. If there was no utility, they would not have been stored in our DNA.

Making use of this dream: Dream analysis has a practical end for me - it is not idle fantasizing. This dream represents (once again) that:
  1. My impulsive, unreflective shadow still lives
  2. At work in the corporate environment, sometimes my shadowy unconscious is at work, and it/I can be two faced
  3. My knowledge of the unconscious and all its' working is still immature, and I must continue learning and leveraging its language, symbols and messages.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I’m a 10

The Dream: My daughter is looking for a job, in spite of the fact that she has one. Scores are given to applicants based on GPA and work experience so that prospective employers can get a quick idea of potential employees’ capabilities. My daughter’s score is 325, and we try to figure out what that means. We discover that she got credit for having an “A” average and, in addition, so much work experience that her score is over the top. We are relieved by this good news.

Interpretation: Over the years my dreams often pointed out that I wasn’t getting (or giving myself) any credit, symbolized by my not being awarded things like credit cards or loans. In this dream, my inner child (my daughter) triumphs with an out of the ballpark score, based on “credits” she has earned. The numbers of her score, added together, make 10, another symbol of perfection. Am I getting over-inflated here?

Why is she looking for a new job?  The dream tells me to keep an eye open for new opportunities; perhaps there are some that would make better use of my abilities.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest Dreamer: Pulling Roots out of my Feet

I can think of no spiritual leader who has not warned of suffering along the path to enlightenment. Emily, who frequently contributes insightful comments to this blog, has given us a poignant dream about the difficulties that must be faced and overcome on a spiritual journey.

The Dream: I walk out of a building (I can't see it behind me, but I know I've left it) onto a wide, cement sidewalk. The tall wall of a building is on my left. I am barefoot. Suddenly I am aware of pain on the bottoms of my feet. I realize I am walking on shards of glass: small, colorful pieces are embedding themselves in the bottom of my feet! I can barely walk it hurts so much. Then, I am inside a room, sitting on a chair. I look at the bottom of my feet, and I see that I have roots, like slender tree roots, growing out from the bottom of my feet. I try to pull one out, and I realize it's deep in my leg, up the calf.  I don't pull it out.  A blonde woman watches me, I think somewhat approving of my actions.

Shift: It rains. Pours. In 2 separate incidents, a man and a woman have left their notebooks/binders in the rain. I rush out into the rain and pick them up and bring them inside as I don't want the rain to ruin them. The man is 30-40ish, tall, and thin. He doesn't appear to be grateful that I rescued his notebook from the rain. His notebook is stuffed with papers and notes. The thought crosses my mind that maybe the rain wouldn't have hurt the notebook after all....end

Carla’s interpretation: I’m leaving my structured way of being (the building) behind. The way ahead is opening up before me (it's wide), but also hard (cement). There’s some sort of unconscious block (the wall to my left). I am vulnerable (barefoot). My foray into this new world outside is risky; I feel pain. There’s something in my path that makes progress difficult and painful; small shards of colorful glass. Apparently I can’t get around my difficulty; I keep walking through this excruciating mess even though my progress is very slow because I am in so much pain. But my persistence is rewarded. I find myself sitting in a room, able to examine my vulnerability (the bare, painful feet).  I have roots. I have the potential to be grounded, to find my ground of being. At first I attempt to reject this possibility, but I realize it is too deeply a part of me to be pulled out. The part of me that is enlightened (woman with blonde hair) approves.

Now the rain can come, like an ancient blessing, over the notebooks of a man and a woman. For Jung, male and female together represent a coniunctio, opposites coming together into wholeness. I have, for many years, created notebooks of my dreams. I fear that all this water (so much unconscious material) pouring into my notebooks could ruin them. My stronger male side lets me know that rescue is not necessary. My unconscious material and the spiritual grounding I’ve accomplished by so carefully recording my dreams, and being brave enough to learn from them, are safe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Taking In Something Valuable

The Dream: I’m at a large gathering, which goes on for days. I am looking at some beautiful old architectural drawings that someone threw out and someone else has retrieved. In the mix are lovely old pamphlets. I think these might be valuable and wonder how they would be priced by The Antiques Road Show. I am glad these things were rescued and surprised anyone would want to throw them away. The architectural drawings are of a beautiful old brick house, two stories.

The party goes on and on and I find I’m very tired. People take this as an indication that I don’t like them, and I try to explain. “No. I’m only tired. I’m an introvert and all this activity wears me out. I just want to go read a book.”

Interpretation: The old things that have been rescued tell me that I’ve made peace with my past, discovering things of value there that deserve appreciation. The old architecture (the person I was) has been retrieved. Once I’ve rediscovered these valuable but once rejected parts of myself I take them in (introvert) and look for some solitude in which I can study (read a book) the new things I’ve learned.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Goosed Girl

Is my inner trickster telling me to open my eyes? Wake up?

The Dream: A man and I are at a party. A tall woman in a champagne-colored, draped-front shift stands next to us. The man pinches her bottom, then stands there looking angelic so she won’t think he did it. After he does this a couple of times I go sit by myself on some stairs, afraid the woman might think I’m the one pinching her.

A little later the woman comes over to me. The man has convinced her that I am the one who pinched her, and she's angry. I sputter my surprise and innocence.

Interpretation: This is what’s called a trickster dream, dreams in which a badly-behaved person gets the better of the dream ego. There’s an interesting pun here, since pinching is said to be a test of whether or not we’re dreaming. (For example, “When I heard I won the Lottery I pinched myself.”)  Since we are the entire cast of our dreams, in this dream I’m literally dreaming, I’m getting pinched, and I’m pinching myself. I think my inner trickster was feeling playful. The dream made me laugh, and if it has a deeper meaning I don’t know what it is.