Dreams About the Creative Instinct: Part II


In my previous post I shared a dream from 22 years ago that dramatized a conflict between my career ambitions and the Self, the central archetype of my psyche that was “encouraging” me to trust my creative instinct. I didn’t understand the meaning of the dream because of my ego’s resistance to change. Like all children, I had been conditioned to conform to my tribe’s standards and God-image, and challenging these supreme authorities was terrifying to my immature ego.
Of course, I was still so psychologically ignorant that I didn’t know this either! About the only thing I did know from my Jungian studies was that if I continued to tolerate the tension of this conflict and if I persisted in working with my dreams, an answer would eventually come when the conditions were right.
So I accepted another teaching position at a nearby university.  That year I dreamed of moving to flimsy, unsuitable houses I hated. Two featured kitchens—rooms of nurturance and transformation—that had rigid rows of old-fashioned school desks nailed to the floors! Gradually I realized I was unhappy with the way I was living and at the end of the academic year I resigned from teaching to write the book that was simmering in my soul.
Three days after the term ended I dreamed another woman and I were escaping from a prison owned by her father. Her father! Patriarchy! That was when I finally understood how captive I had been to a rigid belief system so dominated by the masculine principle that it left little room for satisfying my creativity or feminine side. After a lovely summer in which I gave myself permission to rest, I began my book. Eighteen months later I signed a contract with a wonderful publisher. Never had I felt so fulfilled and happy with myself. The following dream came during the final editing.
Dream #1215: “The Beautiful Black Stallion.” I’m in the backseat of a moving car.  A dark-haired woman I know sits next to me. My wonderful, beautiful black stallion sits next to her and stretches his neck over her lap so his head is on my lap. He looks up at me adoringly and makes little kisses with his lips. I kiss him repeatedly and stroke his massive head, his ears, his nose.  It feels blissful to have him love me so much.
The black stallion, of course, was the same dark horse I had been so afraid of almost 3 years earlier. My dream showed that my ego had released control of my life and taken a backseat to the Self, trusting it to do the driving. As a result, I was enjoying a conscious relationship with my creative instinct (black stallion), who loved me because I had allowed him to manifest my soul’s creativity in ways that were exactly right for me/us. This had happened because I had befriended my ambitious, intense shadow, the dark-haired woman beside me. Accepting her was the key that provided access to my unconscious self. She was the same daughter of patriarchy with whom I had escaped from prison!  Neither of us felt compelled to drive, and we were both enjoying the ride.
When our creativity is free to make its natural contribution to our lives, it becomes a loving inner companion who travels with us wherever we go. Then we know the sacred Mystery is not separate from us, but dwells within. In the words of Brother Paul Quenon, “Creativity, as life iself, is grounded in and shares in the sacred.”
Order Jean’s newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide, at www.larsonpublications.com

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0 Responses

  1. I am so looking forward to your new book!!
    I find synchronous this mention of horses in dreams; the last few weeks horses have beeen popping up in my dreams a great deal. I’ve been writing up my dreams a lot lately; it helps bring insight I’d not otherwise see.
    This is the dream from the other night:
    Stabling horses and helping frogs ~ dreaming, 23/24 May 2012
    I have in this dream four horses that need to be brought into their stable and fed. They’re all in need of food, so I am searching for hay. I also find a lot of long grass growing at the side of flower beds, which I pull up. I carry the grass into the stable. The horses are coming, someone else is supposed to be bringing them. They’ve said the horses will find their own way, but I look and I wonder if the stable is big enough for four. One is smaller than the others though, a pony perhaps. I leave bags of hay as well as the handfuls of long luscious grasses for each horse. I am pleased I have these four horses but am unsure I am caring for them the right way.
    Dream moves to a seashore. It’s a pebbled beach and the water is calm and clear and I want to paddle my feet. But it’s winter and the water will be cold. More than that, the shore shelves so steeply there is no way of getting into the water only a little. It’s a question of jumping in and I am scared to do that. I walk along the shore, feeling the call of the water. Even in the dream I can smell that powerful smell of the sea. I see a thing lying on the shingle amid the sea weed; it’s a dried up crab. I’m not sure at first if it is dead but it is. I consider whether returning it to the sea will bring it back and realise it won’t. Then I see a tiny frog crawling through the seaweed towards the sea. I am puzzled as frogs don’t live in salt water. There are lots of them. I carry a few to the very edge, but let them choose whether to go in. I can now see there is an area of beach a short distance away that the shore does not slope so steeply and the waves run onto the beach. I walk down there and take off my sandals and walk in the waves. They don’t feel cold at all and I see that it’s not winter here but summer.

    1. Thanks for your interest in my book, Viv. I hope you like it. I’m assuming that since you shared your dream you wouldn’t be averse to me giving you my associations, so I’d like to do that.
      Over the years I’ve come to see that certain dreams lend themselves to certain approaches. The approach this one, which feels like a little 3 act play, brings to mind is to say, “Since this and this happened, this happened.” In other words, the actions in the first two acts lead up to an inevitable conclusion. I’ll write my associations as if it were my dream, since these are my projections.
      Four horses (four is the number of wholeness, horses often represent our own bodies and selves, our psycho-physical libido/energy) are returning to me. In other words, I’m experiencing a return of libido. And it very much needs nurturing from me, (my ego, or conscious self, represented by me in the dream). In other words, I need to take steps myself to nurture this return of libido. And, in fact, I am doing this; I’m gathering food for the horses (I’m taking steps to nurture this return; possibly a reference to dreamwork).
      Because I’m feeding the horses, (my instinctual energy) I find myself very close to the unconscious (ocean.) I want to go in, but it looks uncomfortably cold and the entry seems steep and I’m afraid to jump in (a natural response to going deeper into the unconscious; it always feels very daunting at first). But although my ego is afraid it is willing to help other creatures (parts of me) go there, like the dried up crab (can’t help but wonder if my crabby self has dried up :-), and these little frogs. Frogs, as amphibians, are equally happy in the water or out, i.e. there are small parts of me that are as naturally suited to the water, even salty water (the ocean of the unconscious) as they are to the conscious world. Again, I help them get close enough to choose to go in if they want to.
      Because I help the frogs, a new, much easier way of getting into the water appears, and I happily and freely take off my shoes and step in. Because I’ve done all this work to nurture myself, the water is not icily uncomfortable at all, but, in fact, feels comfortably warm. A transformation has occurred. It’s no longer winter; it’s summer.
      If this were my dream I’d think it meant that the steps I’ve been taking to try to nurture my true inner self are paying off. Because of these conscious, deliberate efforts on my part, I’m “getting my feet wet” in the ocean of the unconscious. I’m on my way to greater self-understanding.
      I hope you’ll let me know if any of this resonates, dear Viv.

      1. Woo, you are good at this.Bang on, I think. I’d been doing some thinking about the shamanic implications of FOUR, too, the four directions, that completeness. Also the shamanic concept of horses as totems.
        The only thing that didn’t quite work was the crab. That has a significance very much my own. The Latin for crab is cancer; I’d been suffering very deeply with what I call soul-cancer, depression. There is also the memory of the lost friendship, that I now see to have been parasitic and harmful to my soul; it’s dead and dried up now.
        I am deeply grateful for your answer as it VERY much resonates with my own feelings and thoughts.
        Thank you!

        1. Very cool! I love your crab associations! It’s a perfect example of how nobody but you can ever completely understand you or your dreams. Dreams are utterly personal. They are written, directed and acted by your own personal playright and inner cast just for you! And while they have universal themes—the soul’s themes—the details, symbols, and associations vary from soul to soul.
          On the inward journey, we all need help from others to direct us to a path that’s right for us and teach us some helpful techniques. In other words, there’s a requisite period of education and study for every soul traveler. The point is to persist, to keep learning and practicing how to listen well and closely to your own soul, without interference from the filters your frightened and resistant ego throws out, until you develop and trust your own inner guru/guide. I believe you’re on your way. Congratulations and blessings. Jeanie

  2. Dear Jeanie,
    Your blogs are an obvious labor of love. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, your inner process, and your dreams. I am deeply moved by “Dreams about the Creative Instinct, I and II.” It’s challenging to write about our dreams and make the messages pertinent to others, but you pull if off. Having worked with Robert Bosnak on a yearly basis, I focus on detailed sensory images when I explore each dream, but find in writing that it’s best to limit the details to only a few of the most powerful dream images. You have done this and brought your dreams alive.
    I picked up your book Healing the Sacred Divide from Larson Publications a few days ago and look forward to digging in. Congratulations.
    Thanks again for inspiration and encouragement,

    1. Hi Elaine,
      I love the idea of focusing on detailed sensory images. There are so many ways to approach dreamwork, and mine has always tended to be more cerebral than sensory, simply because approaching things mentally is my natural tendency whereas my sensory skills are less well-developed.
      These differences are wonderful and natural and necessary: we each need to find and practice the techniques that fit our personalities and work best for us. Recognizing this is a very important aspect of dreamwork, and I appreciate you highlighting it here. This is a great topic for another blog post!
      Thanks for the kind words, inspiration, congratulations and encouragement. I can’t wait to hear what parts of Healing the Sacred Divide you find most meaningful!

      1. You described your horses with compelling sensory details but kept the images simple enough to take in. When I first wrote about dreams, I included every detail that I had discovered when working with the dream on my own–and my readers grew bored and snoozed. I’m learning to simplify, so I take notice when writers use their dreams effectively. I applaud you for lively and compelling dream images that make me want to know more. Sorry that my first comment was unclear.

  3. Hi Elaine,
    I did misunderstand but I see what you mean now. You’ve made a good point. It’s one thing to be fascinated by every detail when your work on your dreams for yourself, but quite another to write about a dream in a way that makes it interesting to others!! Thanks for the clarification!

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