After years of near-obsessive inner work I’ve given myself permission to relax a bit. Sometimes weeks go by before I record and work on a new dream. But when I do I’m always rewarded with a cornucopia of insights and meaning. Following is the first dream I’ve analyzed since the one about individuation I posted nearly two months ago.
Dream #4338: Venus Rising. I’m holding half of a large clamshell, maybe 5 inches from end-to-end, behind my back. It’s covered with a small square of cloth. I know there’s a baby beneath it. Someone says I should take the baby out. I bring the shell around to the front, lift off the cloth, and see a placenta. The cord is attached and hanging out and down to the left. I start to pull up the baby and “someone” warns me to be careful. Ashamed at forgetting how vulnerable babies are, I pull more gently and there, dangling from the bottom of the cord, is the baby. I cradle it in the palm of my left hand. Tiny, but with adult proportions, it’s softly glowing with a pale, pearl-white aura. I’m grateful it’s okay.
Associations: My immediate association is to the classical images I’ve seen of the birth of Venus. This one is from a fresco in Pompeii. Click here to see Botticelli’s more famous painting. To me they suggest the emergence of the feminine archetype of beauty and love from the maternal depths of the collective unconscious. In waking life I’ve been trying to honor and empower all four basic feminine archetypes (Queen, Earth Mother, Wisewoman and Beloved) for many years. This dream says that so far my ego has been shielding this one, the Beloved, from the public eye. In other words, I haven’t integrated the qualities she represents into my persona so that others can see and acknowledge her beauty and worth. But something within me — i.e. my intuition, the voice of the feminine side of the Self — knows the time is right to bring her out into the light.
According to the dream I haven’t fully appreciated just how vulnerable this archetype of love, relatedness, delicate beauty and tender feeling is in a world which still glorifies masculine toughness and treats feminine softness so carelessly. That she is still attached to the placenta by the cord suggests her dependence on my physical health. I need to treat my body with more love and care. I need enough rest and exercise, healthier food, less stress.
The warning tells me to be more mindful of my thoughts and behavior. I need to bring more gentleness to every word and action. I need to be kinder to myself. I need to stop striving for perfection, stop judging myself and putting myself down, stop trying to please others while holding the real me back. Like Venus, I need to celebrate the beauty and miracle that is me.
I’ve shared this very personal dream with you for two reasons. First, because it’s a perfect follow-up for my last post about dream symbols of transition and transformation. Second, because the dream itself seems to be urging me to do so. Didn’t the mysterious “someone” tell my dream ego to bring the baby forward and be careful in doing so? I hope I’ve been sufficiently careful in bringing forth the message of this dream, and I hope that regardless of your gender you are inspired to revisit the integration of your own Beloved into your waking life.
As with my previous dream about individuation, I invite your associations and look forward to reading them.
I too have suffered from despair since childhood. It began at the age of 11 when my father died. To this day there are many occasions in my daily life when I cannot get excited about something because I know it will not last and my pleasure will not last and I will die and nobody will care and nothing I have done will make any difference, and so what?