Today's guest dreamer's emotions evolve as she processes her life experiences.Thanks, Firequeen, for this very rich dream.
The Dream: I dreamed I was walking in the woods in weather like today, cold, snow on the ground, bare branches. I was walking my dog, but not the dog I have now, nor was it Benji, my last dog. A largish dog. At the same time as I was dreaming the dream, I was also watching from the other side of the canal, and narrating what was going on. The dog kept disappearing for long periods of time, as Lola does when she goes off hunting, but now I had another explanation of where the dog was. He was walking with another person, but this was not someone living on the earth today, she was from the other side. Although she looked exactly as she would in life, I knew she was not living now. I saw her at a great distance, in the other part of the wood, but she was able to communicate her thoughts to me. She said that she returned here to walk with this dog, which had been her dog in another life. She came to these woods because it was a place that made her feel happy, and it did not mean that she was returning to where she walked her dog in life, she chose this place because it was special, and that other people came here to do the same. Sometimes I saw that she brought another dog with her, which had also been her dog, and she walked the two of them together. I seemed to wake two or three times during the dream, then continue dreaming it, but I think this was also part of the dream. Telling it, there does not seem much to it, but waking with the full memory of it, I felt very happy. It had such a happy atmosphere. Perhaps it is the feeling of life continuing, with dogs (!) that is so nice!
Carla, just remembered that the ghost woman in the dream also told me that other souls also returned to walk their dogs in this place.
Interpretation: The first image I'm going to look at is that of the woods. In my version of Firequeen's dream it evokes a magical place, something like the enchanted forest of legend and fairy tale. This is a place where we expect to see a transformation. In the beginning of the dream the spot I'm in is cold and barren; this tells me I'm feeling alienated. The large dog I am walking represents my feelings. The dog disappears: this is the central problem I'm facing in this dream—my disconnect from my emotions. In order to look at them, I split into a narrator, the one who watches, and another person, my shadow, who acts. The canal is the watery divide between what I'm conscious of and the unconscious. Being man made, it is an artificial divide; this tells me I'm capable of changing it. As I watch, in the guise of the narrator, I learn: the canal symbolically changes from a dividing line into a conduit that flows toward healing and integration.
Who is the person I observe? As someone no longer living I could call her a ghost. In dreams ghosts sometimes represent things that haunt us—for example, things from the past that have left residues of guilt or regret. Another word for a ghost is a shadow, and, in my dream, she is the shadow of the self I used to be. This earlier self was in touch with her instincts and feelings (the dog, her inner animal). She was happy in the woods, a place of nature. As I visit this earlier version of myself I also visit the people she interacted with, people who are no longer with me (the other souls who come here). They can return to this place in my heart where we can be together. Communing with those I've lost--and, more important, with parts of myself I feared were lost-- in this place of magic and enchantment nourishes my soul. My unhappy feelings are transformed into feelings of the continuity of life. The forest that had seemed barren and desolate, I now realize, was only waiting for the right moment to spring to life. As it does I, too, am renewed.