Last weekend was special. I was born two days before Easter on Good Friday; but since Easter’s date is always changing, this year my birthday was the day before. April is glorious in Florida, so part of the specialness was getting to spend both holidays with my family in one long weekend at the beach. Another thing making it special was the dreams I had there. Of the two I recall, both featured my masculine side, or animus. Since one of my goals for this blog is to make Jungian psychology as relevant and helpful to others as it has been to me, I’d like to share these dreams in the hope of raising your awareness of your own inner resources.
Dream #4319: Passing Through a Threshold With My Animus. I’m entering an open doorway. A dear male friend (no one I know in waking life) is immediately behind me. His arms are wrapped around me, holding me gently. Our movements are so synchronized and easy that I can’t tell if he’s guiding or following me. Either way, it feels wonderful to be so close.
I awoke from this dream on my birthday. It was my first gift of the day. It said I am not alone as I move forward in my journey. Yes, I know I’m profoundly blessed to have a loving family, but the truth is, not one of them will ever feel my passions and emotions, understand my conflicts and yearnings, or experience my awakenings. It is my job to know and grow myself, not theirs. They have their own souls to make.
That’s okay, says this dream. Because my animus has always been with me he knows me completely; and because I have honored and empowered him, he will support me at the crossing of every threshold, even the one that opens to death. The comforting feeling of knowing my back is covered by this loving inner reality lingered all day.
Dream #4320: Dancing With My Animus. I’m on a small stage in an intimate room that feels like a chapel. I’m the female lead in a play; an attractive man is the male lead. We’re both feeling unsure of ourselves as we demonstrate a phase of a developing relationship in which neither partner completely trusts each other or their own feelings. We dance around the stage then he bends me over backwards and leans over me. We hold this pose and wait for the audience’s response so we’ll know what to do next. This play is an improvisation requiring spontaneous interaction and cooperation between the players as well as between the players and audience.
My birthday dream depicts one reward of accepting my masculine side. My Easter dream says this work is not over. The presence of an audience suggests that my other inner characters are interested in my soul-making drama. It could also refer to an outer audience which is watching and helping. Both interpretations feel right to me.
My ego’s passion is to know and relate to my whole Self; my animus’s passion is to help me manifest what I know in writing. The dream says we’re both still feeling our way in this partnership. The religious setting means our work together is sacred and archetypal. And the presence of an audience tells me the purpose of the dance between everyone’s masculine and feminine sides is twofold: to unite the opposites in our own souls, and to help all humanity birth this Sacred Marriage in the world.
Mandorla Consciousness: Part II
There is a time for everything. The dualism that gave rise to our evolving ego and developing Christ potential has become our worst enemy: the anti- Christ. And as long as we repress unwanted parts of ourselves and project them onto others—whether these be our compulsive instincts, dangerous emotions, or frightening aspects of our masculine and feminine sides—we will struggle through the darkness of confusion and the world will be a dangerous place.
This piece is incredibly thought provoking, Jeanie, not to mention evocative, insightful and dare I say, erotic.
I wish I had such vivid dreams–perhaps I do and haven’t been able to access them as well as you–but it seems my most profound inner journeys are associated with music. For instance, yesterday I had an idea for a romantic story, which I determined I’d work on today. What I’ll do this afternoon is search out a piece of music that will allow me to journey into the deepest recesses of my mind and soul where it seems I can access my “softer” side. (Might you call that my feminine side, I don’t know?) I’m amazed at what I find there, the thoughts, the emotions, the words. When I access that point I am able to express myself in ways I normally don’t. It’s a very pleasant journey.
A friend of mine is a retired professor and psychologist who is very interested in dream work. I plan on passing this post/your blog along to him.
Great work, Jeanie. You have always provide wonderful insights.
Yes, you may say these dreams were erotic. I didn’t mention that as I tend to be less comfortable about sharing this aspect of myself so openly, but it is, of course, part of what I felt.
I’ve been working hard to remember and learn from my dreams for over 20 years now, so yes, I probably access them a bit more easily than some. The secret is to be very intentional about it when you go to bed and then write everything you remember down as soon as possible after you wake up. With practice, it gets easier.
I would agree that our deeper recesses are feminine, simply because the “feminine principle” is less honored and therefore less conscious and well-developed in patriarchal cultures. Jung thought of the conscious self as masculine and the unconsciou as feminine. Another way to think of it is that the masculine, conscious self lives primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain, and the feminine, unconscious self in the right hemisphere, which also specializes in music. The fact that I’m exploring the unconscious explains the name of my blog: matri as in mater, maternal, mother, etc., and gnosis as inner knowing. It is a very, very positive thing when anyone gets in touch with their inner opposite, but especially crucial for men for whom the anima (unconscious feminine) is their inner guide to wholeness (a la Dante’s Beatrice, etc.) Integrating our inner opposites, for example softness with hardness, imagination with logic, image with word, etc. is how we individuate and grow into our wholeness.
I really appreciate your comment. Thank you for the kind words, and for the referral to your friend. I do hope he’ll stop by too.
Hi, Jeanie. Thanks for laying out that distinction between the animus and the anima. I feel as if I am getting a wonderful education, and free no less. While I suppose I intuit some of these matters, it is very helpful to have them explained as clearly as you have. Thank you.
You’re very welcome! It’s not only my pleasure, but my passion!