Now that I’ve related my dream from the night we arrived at the Jungian conference in Ireland, I’d like to use it to demonstrate how I work on my dreams.
Every year I start a new file on my computer and write out dreams in the order of their arrival, giving each one a number, date, and title. I try to include every detail, image, event, color, plot change, behavior, thought and emotion I can remember.
Next, I go through the actions and symbols and record my personal, cultural, and archetypal associations to them. I also note my dream ego’s emotions throughout the dream.
Finally, I look for connections between the dream and what’s happening in waking life. When I don’t understand something, I jot down questions. Sometimes this is enough to give me a sense of closure. Other times I’m left wanting more. When this happens I might think about the dream for days or even weeks, watching for more insights and adding them to my journal so I won’t forget them.
Following are my associations. Next time I’ll share what I think the dream was saying about my inner and outer life at the time I had it.
- Fred: My husband. He often appears in my dreams. Sometimes as himself, sometimes as my animus, sometimes both. I associate my positive animus with qualities like self-discipline, ambitious goal-oriented activity, clear logical thinking, and persistence in heroic striving for psycho-spiritual growth. I’m annoyed at him for creating this mess.
- Interior designer: An aspect of my animus that’s helping my ego re-design the interior of my psyche.
- House: Me, my psyche, my personality: the place where I’m living now.
- Golden urn: An alchemical vessel, container for my inner work.
- Dining Room: A place to take in nourishing food so it can be transformed into useful energy.
- Filling in holes on the pin board: The pinboard was like a household bulletin board that holds notes, schedules, lists and reminders. Smoothing out my persona, my outer social personality.
- X doesn’t want me to see what lies beneath the list: X is an intense person I know whose extreme attitudes and behaviors sometimes make me uncomfortable. A shadow aspect of my animus.
- The other designer arranges antiques into a still life on the right side of the mantel: An aspect of my animus which sees some older parts of me as valuable qualities that should be displayed in a prominent place. He arranges them above the hearth/heart, the center of my body and its chakras, the source of compassion and inner fire. I like many of my older qualities too, and think this is the right place for them. I assume that once they’re arranged they’ll be still and I won’t have to make any more changes. Hah! Joke’s on me!
- Possum: A primitive, instinctual, and very alive aspect of me that’s been hidden from my ego’s awareness. My ego doesn’t want it messing up my psyche and I don’t want to clean up after it.
- Excrement: Alchemy’s prima materia: raw, disowned, instincts and emotions.
- Electric blue zig-zagged lines: Spiritually transforming energy like lightning bolts and electricity.
- Beautiful patterned carpet: The underlying pattern of life; archetype of the Self; my god-image. I want my spirituality to be clean and pure, not marred with possum excrement (my flawed, human, physical, instinctual self.)
- I know it’s my job to clean this mess up: Like it or not, I’ve accepted the responsibility to deal with this situation.
Any more thoughts?