Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stealing Fire


The Dream:
In a large open city square a woman is selling firewood; I need some for the poor. I know it's wrong to steal, but I see no other way of getting what is so desperately required. I have a small drawstring bag with me, and I surreptitiously fill it, then disappear. I've hidden my stolen property so I can blend in on city streets. I have a nagging guilty feeling that I will be pursued.

In time I come to a very beautiful and elaborate wrought-iron gate, the outer entry to a church. I would like to pray, so I go to a door in the gate and, finding it ajar, go in. The church interior is of warm sienna/golden ochre toned wood. Under high vaulted ceilings many priests and altar boys are everywhere, in constant motion. I look for a spot for quiet contemplation but don't see one. Two young acolytes rough house. Does their play have sexual overtones? I think this is not what I'm looking for and I leave.

I am lost. I need to get back to mid-town but have no sense of direction. I see a street sign that tells me I'm at 217th Street and wonder how I got here. I don't know whether I should ask someone for directions or use the street signs to figure out which way I'm going.

Interpretation: This dream reminds me of the myth of stealing fire from the gods. As in that story, I want to bring the fire to others. I go too far (217th Street!), get lost, and along the way become disillusioned with what I see of the traditional path to god (the church). In this dream the church is so relentlessly masculine that even its sexuality is directed toward men. Is there anything for a woman here? The dream tells me to acknowledge, rather than steal from, the source of the firewood: my enlightenment will come from the feminine (the woman who sells the wood), not the masculine (the traditional, male-oriental church). There is a price to be paid for it (the wood is not free), but avoiding payment will not further my spiritual development.

5 comments:

rachel said...

In my dream I want this wood to build something of my own. 217 adds up to 10, a number of completion. I am meant to be lost, temporarily, away from the ingrown staleness of the established church.

Carla Young said...

Rachel, I'm glad you commented on the number. I felt it must mean something, but nothing was coming to mind. Thank you!

Emily said...


I've looked up the myth of Prometheus, the stealer of fire to give to humans to use. Prometheus (according to Wikipedia) means:
"pro" (before) + "manthano " (learn) + "eus" (forethinker). It's a rather long myth, but essentially, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus to give back to mankind. For punishment, (for this and other things), he was chained to a rock. An eagle came down every morning and tore out his liver, which then re-generated every night. This went on for centuries until Hercules set him free.
So, with that in mind, I realize at once that my dream occurs in a city square, the square a symbol of wholeness. There are unknown reasons why I have this incredible need to steal firewood for the poor. To me, I am stealing this so that I can give the poor what Prometheus gave to man - the use of fire, both physically and metaphorically. Prometheus had to hide the fire as well. He stole it from Zeus, I stole it from a woman (the Feminine). It was something I was meant to do.
My dream is processing the guilt I have in doing something "illegal" or "wrong" in light of doing something essential to benefit others and myself. But I haven't processed my way through the guilt yet. I end up in a church, where one goes not only to pray, but to confess sins. Perhaps had it been quiet, I could have processed my thoughts and reasons for stealing the fire. But I'm not able to do that yet. I have to leave under the conditions here, as are stated in the dreamer's interpretation.
I have a "draw" string bag in which I put this fuel. This could be my potential for future artistic endeavors. Is there a part of me that wants to refuel, add to, use my fire energy in other endeavors not yet made conscious? For I am still lost, but I have my fuel. The church shows me it's not the way that I want, but I want to "contemplate", which has its roots in "com + templum" meaning "space for observing auguries". There's a connection between Prometheus being a "forethinker" and my need to "contemplate". Perhaps I need to give myself time to "regenerate". It reminds me of the chaos that seems to come before clarity. At times, it's necessary to be lost, so that I can later "find myself".
The number 210 is interesting. 3 x 7 + 21. 2 + 1 = 3, which leaves 3 and 7 again - a repetition….so this could be something to do with maturation, being that we "come of age" at age 21 (or is it age 18 now?). It could be a date of some sort, like Feb. 17th, or the age of someone you know 2 + 1+ 7 = 13. One time I had a string of numbers in my dream, and the first part was the age my brother was when he died, and the later the date on which he died….19277 - he was 19 years old and died Feb. 1977. Dreams don't forget!

Here are some things I found on the web:

The "21, the highest possible number of 3 in the corporal, is in relation with the spiritual and shows the quality of the renewal", according to Eckartshausen.

Number of the perfection by excellence, 3 x 7, according to the Bible.


There's much more on ridingthebeast.com.

Thanks for sharing this dream! Emily

Carla Young said...

Thanks, Emily, for elaborating on the legend of Prometheus. After thinking more about the legend, thanks to you, I see another shade of meaning in my dream. Prometheus, the thinker, is chained to a rock. The dream nudges me to ask myself if there is something about the way I think that constricts me, chains me down. In medieval times a person governed primarily by the liver was considered to be: amorous, happy, generous, optimistic, and irresponsible. My intellect, perhaps, has pecked away at my enjoyment these qualities. Perhaps I need to steal the firewood to warm up my own impoverished ability to enjoy life, and that explains why I feel guilty about it.
I also appreciate your work on the numbers—but I can't quite unravel that one, except that 7 appears fairly often in my dreams and seems to be the age at which I realized I had to sit down and shut up: in other words, become socialized.

Emily said...


Hi Carla, I think this why sharing dreams is so advantageous for both dreamer and others who are told the dream. Different perspectives allows more room for personal growth, if we are open to it. Which most dream workers are. Hmmmm, so at around age seven the irresponsible and spontaneous and happy part of me was literally told to sit down and shut up! I certainly received an "aha" from that one :) Emily

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