Dream Symbols: Houses


Note: You’ve shown a lot of interest in my recent posts about my”house” dream so I thought I’d share this post from a few years ago. It shares a bit more information about the house dreams I used to have. I hope you enjoy it!

Throughout the 80’s I had recurring dreams about preparing to move into new houses I didn’t like. Here’s one I had in 1988, three months after I began recording my dreams.

#54 The Unsuitable New House.  We’ve sold the house I love and I’m walking through a rickety plywood house we’ll soon move into. I’m appalled by everything I see. The tiny kitchen has huge, old-fashioned appliances and a turquoise and pink wringer washing machine. The window air conditioner unit rattles noisily. The dining room floor isn’t level, the flimsy table has a rotting corner, and the ceiling fixture is made of the shoulders, head, and antlers of a deer! Worst of all, there’s no room for my beloved books: no library, no shelves, no desk. I hate everything about this incredibly tacky house. Why did I design it this way? How could I have ordered these hideous things? I am filled with remorse. I think I should try to like this house but cannot convince myself I ever will.

I went back to school for my doctorate in the late 70’s and spent the 80’s teaching university students. The unsuitable new houses in my dreams depicted my unhappiness with myself and my life. It took another year of dreamwork before I trusted my dreams enough to leave a profession that wasn’t right for me. Two days after I left for good I dreamed I was escaping from a prison!  That fall I began to write my first book about the inner life. That was when I had a dream about touring an exquisite house that was perfect for me. At the end of the dream the woman writer who owned it hinted that it would someday belong to me!

When I was five we moved to Florida and lived in a trailer until Daddy bought the dear crumbling old wooden cottage where I grew up. After he died my mother struggled to support us on a nurse’s meager income. I would not have attended college had I not miraculously earned a scholarship. By mid-life I knew I had not developed my true interests and talents and entered a long and difficult struggle to discover my true self. At the age of 45 I found Jungian psychology and began studying my dreams. Since then my house dreams have depicted my progress. Here’s the one I had last weekend.

#4253 Revisiting My Childhood Home.  I’m in my childhood home standing in a spacious kitchen that used to be tiny, dark, and dingy. Filled with light, it has gorgeous new hand-made cabinets and polished stone counters. A young woman is kneeling on the floor painting the cabinets a creamy white. A man in the adjoining dining room is painting trim around the open doorway. I stand back to look at the remodeled kitchen and am so astonished at its beauty and suitability that I begin to weep in gratitude.

This emotional dream depicts exactly how I was feeling the evening before. My husband and I were driving along a beautiful mountain road to join dear friends for dinner when I was suddenly overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. I love the way I’m traveling through life! I love my family. I love my work, my friends, my lifestyle. I feel loved and am learning to love myself. I am so grateful, feel so incredibly fortunate. The houses are my psyche. Their kitchens and dining rooms are places of transformation and nourishment. The remodeling work I’ve been doing for 22 years is making them more suitable for me. I’m becoming the woman I always wanted to be, and it feels so good!

How do Dream Mother’s houses depict your feelings about yourself and the way you’re living your life?

Art Credit:  I found this picture in Google Images but cannot locate the original source.  The artist appears to be “Rubal.”  If anyone knows where I can find his/her website, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know.
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0 Responses

  1. Such a touching and personal post – it really had me choked up. Wow, how far you have gone, Jean. I am 39 years old now and undergoing my own Jungian analysis in Zurich with the view to start studying at the Institute. You give me hope it is all possible.
    Love and gratitude

    1. Thank you, Monika. How lucky you are to be able to undergo your analysis in Zurich. And if you do study at the Jung Institute, I know it will be a life-changing experience for you. It is all possible, and I promise you, you’ll never be sorry for taking this path! It’s a choice to heal and be healed! I send you my heartfelt blessing on your new adventure. .

  2. This posting is fascinating and encouraging and personal. I am thinking now about my journey, the ragged edges that eat at the centre, and the parts that seem like a beautiful dream. The artwork you chose is fascinating also. Thanks for this sharing of images and hope full of hope.

  3. I am so grateful to have found you, your books and this blog of yours. Thank you, especially, for sharing the second, recent dream; its emotional quality is vibrant and obviously personal. I often find it difficult to share dreams and writings of such personal emotion that is in-the-moment rather than of-the-past, though I keep trying because I feel it is vitally important for us to do so … Thank you.
    Upon reading this post, I pulled out my dream journal and skimmed 2014. Not surprisingly, since I feel very much to be in a transitional landscape of life right now (emotionally and psychologically as well as physically), the predominant themes *are* houses or apartments that don’t suit me, or being in travel vehicles (autos, planes, mysterious transports) and carrying the “wrong” things. Very few of these dreams carry a sense of gloom & doom (thank goodness! I’ve had plenty of those in my life!) but rather the overall feeling is one of awareness that I need to keep “moving” but it’s rarely frantic energy, more a nudging.
    Your writing and presence on this blog carries a great calming energy, which helps. Bountiful Blessings, m’dear!

    1. Thank you, Steven. It pleases me more than you can know to know that this post has inspired you to reflect deeply on your own journey. I love your art and will be interested to see how its changes reflect yours. There is good reason to hope. Discovering new insights about yourself is inherently self-affirming and self-validating. Jeanie

    2. Sorry, Steven and Darla, for the trickster that is putting my responses after the wrong posts. He’s having a good time today!
      Darla, thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging words. It’s wonderful to know this post has had the desired effect. And I’m delighted to see what a reasonable and balanced response you’re having to your “nudging” dreams, for that is surely what they are. Dream Mother doesn’t have to push and shout when she knows we’re listening.
      Bountiful blessings back to you!

  4. Hi Jeanie,
    Thank you for sharing this dream and your personal thoughts. Your generosity of time and reflection is a source of encouragement and hope. Take care.

  5. Hi Jeanie,
    recent dream houses have been big, airy and furnitureless, and during the dream my concerns have been in going towards windows or live action scenes presented as pictures on the wall with an intention to enter them (but not quite, in the dream, yet). I’m guessing it’s me heading towards the life of retrial and full time writing coming next year.
    The unfurnished houses do not feel unnaturally empty, more like galleries.

    1. Hi Brian,
      Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been in Greece for the last two weeks and am just now back in the states. “Big, airy, and furnitureless” sounds wonderful: open, full of space and potential, no clutter, going towards windows, (to check out the view? Examine my perspective?) It sounds like a time of hope, promise, and new life. I look forward to hearing what your house dreams are telling you next year when you’re writing full time!! Yaaay!

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