Thanks to Susanne van Doorn for this evocative dream and the lovely photograph that illustrates it. You can read her thoughts on this dream at Susanne's Dream Blog. In this post I'll comment on her dream as if it were one of my own.
Susanne' s Dream: I am guarding a couple that wants to be married. We are on the road, on our bikes, me and some friends. I know L. from high school; he is my male-companion in making sure the couple can get to their ceremony on time. L. was a man when the rest in high school were boys. I know with him as a guardian-companion we can make this work; we will get the couple to the altar on time.
We stop at a crossing and hold up our hands to stop the other traffic to have a safe passage. I am looking at the carriage were the couple is in and the bride, a girl with brown churlish hair, is preparing her wedding bouquet. She arranges black and red tulips and is lacing a red band onto the bouquet, carefully lacing it. I look at her with a feeling of love and guidance in my heart and I wake up knowing we are going to make it happen.
Carla's thoughts: In my version of Susanne's dream the couple that wants to marry are previously divergent parts of me that are now ready to unite—this is what Jung would call a conjunctio, often symbolized by a marriage. What might these parts be? L, my companion and helper in the dream, stands for a mature and capable part of me. In the dream I need this part in order to be effective, and that acknowledgment is the first step in our unification. Because his strength gives me a feeling of security I can rely on my Psyche to deal with life's difficulties.
Who is the bride? She is described as having “churlish” brown hair. While churlish might be a typo for “curly”, I have to look at the word I wrote down (as the dreamer), not what I might have meant to write. Churlish means “rude in a mean-spirited and surly way.” If hair, because it's coming out of our heads, symbolizes thought, and brown is slang for anger (I was “browned off”), I might be dealing with some hostile feelings that I don't want to face. The other colors hint at the topic that has evoked this reaction. I'm lacing together a bouquet of red and black flowers. For me red is life and passion, black is death and nothingness. Flowers are important in both life and death rituals, weddings and funerals. As the bride I lace these two conflicting states of being together—life and death. The red band (life) that I put around my bouquet holds the opposites together and tells me that they are part of the same thing. This is another conjunctio! Seeing this unity in the dream gives me the insight to get past my anger about death, something that I previously responded to with the surly attitude of an adolescent. Once this immature part united with my mature and strong self, represented by L, my reaction to death was no longer churlish. Now I have the understanding of a strong woman, one who can love and guide others as well as help myself along the path; L and I have made it safe for my individuation to continue.