Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Dreamer: No Longer Caving In

How are we affected by the images of womanhood that are prevalent at the time we approach it?

Sunee's Dream: I had a very vivid, but strange dream last night. Seems I was going to a place for information about something. There was a beautiful old gambrel-roofed (sometimes called hipped-roof) barn which was kept up so nice--with freshly stained brown cedar siding (I remember thinking it would really have looked good if it had been painted the traditional barn red color), and the house had the same color siding, too. The place was a lovely old farmstead, with large shade trees and a beautiful well-kept yard--a place where mature adults would live (no sign of kids here). It was in the middle of summertime, and the air felt cool and slightly damp, but the sun was shining. The entire place set quite close to the gravel road, which is not unusual here for old farms. I went to the door and hanging on the door was a picture of my father and me, when I was little--taken years ago, but it did not look like a familiar picture to me. A man came to the door, his name was Mr. Huntley. I asked him about the barn, commented on my attraction to it, and could I go in it. He seemed a bit reserved, but did take me in the barn. Inside, was the entrance to 3 caves. They did not look very big. Each had mud paths going down, and each looked well used. Then, darned it, I woke up!
I do not know anyone by the name Huntley, and this place is unknown to me; also, there are no caves around here! This is probably just a goofy dream, but I remember it so well, and was wondering if it might mean something.

Carla's thoughts: In case Sunee is not familiar with the techniques of dream work I'd like to reiterate what I've said before about my commenting on another person's dream. I am working with a technique called projection, and that means that I treat Sunee's dream as if it were my own. Dreams speak to us in images and symbols, and these can have very specific meanings for a dreamer—so don't believe anyone who tells you that they can tell you what your dream means. Dreams come from our lives, and each dream has a meaning specific to the life and person who created it. What others can do is to give you ideas about what the dream might possibly mean. My hope is that this will get you started on your own exploration.

So—if this were my dream, I would think it had to do with my being at a stage in my life where I am ready to understand an event in my past in a new way. I would look back to the two or three days before I had the dream to see if there were something that brought to mind a person or situation from the past. In the dream, I am looking for information. The beautiful old barn gives me some hints about the topic. A barn is a place that houses animals, so the information I'm looking for might have to do with my physical self (my animal). This is a place of productivity; all is well cared for. The atmosphere is one of fertility, and several images in the dream make me think of myself coming into the fertility announced by my first menstrual period. First there is the hipped-roof building (my hips), and then there is the freshly stained brown siding (the red-brown of first menstrual blood). This is emphasized by my thinking it would be even better if it were red (blood). That this is a place for mature adults tells me that I might be on the right track here, because as of my first period I became mature, an adult.

Something about this time was difficult for me; the road was rough (the gravel). The picture of my father and me appears at this point. Fathers in dreams can stand for the traditional values of a culture, and, when I was a girl, periods were highly embarrassing things. I felt self-conscious about this natural and healthy occurrence, and this added to my adolescent angst. Mr Huntley appears just at this time; he's the person who will help me hunt for my own truth about how I feel about my body. Many things in the dream tell me that that truth is far more positive than the negative images of my youth: the loveliness of the well-kept farm and its garden, for example.

What's stopping me? Mr Huntley's reserve is my reserve. (All characters in a dream are the dreamer.) The caves are the entrance to my unconscious, and that's where the true information resides. But it's a slippery (muddy) slope getting down there, and there might be something that is muddying the issue. Nevertheless, I think the dream is telling me to go with my own feelings; I don't have to cave in to the opinions of others.

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