The Dream: I'm with my husband Clark, and we are going to do some diving near an old-fashioned bridge in search of an answer to a naturalist's question. We are studying a butterfly. We are en route to the venue when Clark stops abruptly near a pond. He jumps out of the car with a butterfly net and catches a couple of very beautiful red and black butterflies, mating. These aren't the butterflies we were meant to study, and while I am thrilled to have an opportunity to see them close up I say, “You know we'll have to return them to the spot where we picked them up?” They will need a very specific habitat to survive. I'm concerned that those who see us will think we are harming the creatures; I want them to understand our higher, scientific purpose.
Interpretation: In this dream, I dive into the Unconscious (the water). The bridge tells me that the dream is dealing with a transitional state, I'm going to a new place. The naturalist and the butterfly are a tip off that this dream is about understanding my physical being (what the naturalist studies) and its relationship to my spiritual being (the butterfly, an ancient symbol of the soul). We have found two of these creatures, and they are mating. Finding two emphasizes the symbol's importance, and mating implies a rebirth or regeneration.
When I find my soul, it's not the one I expected, and it isn't where I expected it to be. The dream tells me I need to carefully handle this newly discovered part of myself. (It needs a very specific habitat to survive.) What about my fear of social sanction? I might want to see what's going on rationally (my scientific purpose), but I doubt that will yield an answer that others will find convincing. I understand that it's imperative for me to return what I've found to its natural habitat. Is that on this earth, I wonder?