New Dreams About My Animus: Part II


Wonder-129-School-Bus-Static-ImageIn last week’s post I shared two animus dreams from four years ago featuring helpful men. One made me feel loved, protected and deeply secure. The other was my partner in a creative, spontaneous dance performance that was fun, but unfinished. Hooray, I thought then. My animus and I are finally getting our act together!  Surely it won’t be long before I feel some closure on our relationship.

Four years later this relationship is still far from predictable, let alone finished, as the following dreams from a week ago illustrate.

#4630.  “I Want to Stop Driving the Bus.” I’m driving a yellow school bus down the road near my house when the light turns red.  I struggle to stop before hitting the black car in front of me. The bus finally stops inches away from the car. Why am I driving this bus? Stopping it is hard. Where am I going? Why isn’t Fred here to help me? I decide to abandon it in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store and walk home.

#4631.  “My Beautiful Green Shoes Need Work. I’m trying on a pair of green beaded shoes I haven’t worn in years. They resemble the low-heeled Capezios professional dancers wear. They’re very comfortable but the heads of four nails are sticking out from the bottoms of the heels, moreso on the right [masculine] heel than the left [feminine]. They feel sturdy enough to walk on, but they need work before I can trust my footing to be secure. I hope Fred will help me hammer in the nails.

These dreams made me uncomfortable. How did they relate to my waking life?  What was I doing four years ago that had me feeling so good about my animus?  What’s different now? Why isn’t he, (this time in the form of my husband who always has my back in waking life), there for me when my dream ego needs him?

UnknownI had no satisfying answers until a synchronistic occurrence this morning. Having just read last week’s post, Katalina commented:  “What an interesting evolution! What else is shifting / changing that might require the re-consideration of the relationship? In what areas of life is there a faint mistrust?…Funny that there is an audience – I have been thinking of you so much in the context of audience lately. That IASD conference coming up…[and her desire to attend my Friday night keynote lecture]…the theme of presenting to an audience – U wonder if you don’t trust him to be there for you when on stage?”

BINGO!  That’s it! Last week I was convinced there was a link between my older animus dreams and the two most recent ones, and dear Katalina intuited what it was!  My Writer/Teacher animus helps me manifest my thoughts in clear, organized, logical thinking. Four years ago this month he and I were working closely together to finalize my newest book for publication. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have his help and I often took a few moments off to thank him. Likewise, for the past few months I’ve been driving hard, preparing to address an audience of dreamers who want to learn what I know, and he’s been invaluable in helping me write my speech and create my powerpoint presentation.

Now that we’re finished with this phase of the journey, my animus has stepped out of the picture and my old nemesis, Self-Doubt, is using his absence to undermine me. I’m ready to get off the bus. I don’t want to “drive” this project to completion without my animus. Will we take up our graceful dance on the stage at the conference? Will I be wearing my repaired dancing shoes? Will he help me voice my standpoint to this live audience as well as he does in my writing?

The journey to self-knowledge and self-empowerment takes a lifetime. At this particular juncture I think I’ve been taking the masculine half of my soul for granted and he might be feeling a bit neglected. Now that I realize how much I need his help, I plan to lure him back with some long overdue inner work: a few active imagination dialogues and maybe a ritual or two! Like most men, he turns into a real softie with some tender, loving attention!

Image Credits:  Google Images

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.

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0 Responses

  1. I really appreciate the part you played in helping me acquire a very valuable insight. I’ve been working so hard on other projects that I’ve been neglecting my inner life more than usual. Even my current dreams aren’t getting as much time as I/they need. These little wake-up calls can be so difficult to see and understand without outside help. Thank you for being here for me, my sister. Jeanie

  2. Jeanie, thank you so much for this, it has helped me in a way come a little closer (maybe) to an understanding of a fairly recent dream of a significant animus figure, THAT person being a huge surprise; the 2nd part of the same dream was my woman friend pointing out a gift from her to me that I had STILL not opened. I’m connecting the dots I hope. mmmmm…

    1. I’m chuckling. “in a way…”, “maybe”. Thus does our exploration of our dreams and inner characters progress!! Tentative guesses, very little certainty, lots of questions. But as you well know, the journey and our commitment to it is the thing, and our unanswered questions are inevitably accompanied by renewed hope and interest in ourselves and life. I think that’s a worthy replacement for certainty! Here’s to trying to connect the dots!

  3. Hi Jeanie, I might not see the forest for the trees but I have a question about the animus you have described. Did he cooperate with you in braking the bus and bringing something to a halt? Was your right foot pressing down a symbol of ‘him?’ This whole foot idea is really intriguing me. Because then the next night he puts you in shoes? You had to leave the bus to get the shoes? Does it matter what the bus symbolizes?

    1. Hi Steven, no, the forest isn’t that obvious at all. In fact, the animus doesn’t show up physically in that dream, but only in my thoughts: i.e. when I’m wondering why Fred (who often appears as my animus) isn’t there to help me drive and stop the bus, and in the second dream, when I’m hoping he’ll help me fix my shoes. In other words, it was the absence of my animus in these dreams in which I wished he were there, that was so striking.
      Yes, the right side of the body, including the right foot, is associated with the masculine (as is the left hemisphere of the brain which controls it), and that’s a further clue to the importance of the animus to these dreams. However I hadn’t thought of my right foot pressing on the brake as having his help because everyone always brakes with their right foot. But now you’ve got me thinking. Does this mean that he’s not yet quite strong enough to stop a strong ego with a lot of drive or does it mean that he is? After all, I did stop the bus, although it wasn’t easy. I imagine there are lots of other ways the dream could have suggested the absence of my animus without featuring my dream ego driving a school bus and struggling to use my right foot to stop it! So yes, there’s something about my actually having his help to stop after all, something about that foot.
      And then the shoes in the next dream, and the right (masculine) shoe for the right foot being more problematic. Again, I want help from my animus. But in the dream I also know I’ll get it if I ask. I think this has something to do with my masculine standpoint: having the courage to stand up and fight for my convictions, and using logic and reason to strengthen my standpoint. Does the shoe needing repair mean he doesn’t doesn’t quite have a firm enough foothold in my conscious personality yet, but that I can fix this if I stay present with this need I feel for his help? I do sometimes shrink from standing up for certain of my convictions in certain situations, and it feels like that could be an important issue I need to address more consciously. What a maze. So many questions. So many possible answers.
      And finally, yes, it does matter what the bus symbolizes. (Bless you for caring about these details; I also find them fascinating, though often very confusing.) I had some associations with it but didn’t go into it in the post for brevity’s sake.
      Essentially I see it as a symbol of collective, conforming, conventional thinking since it is a vehicle for taking a lot of like-minded people to the same places. The fact that it was a school bus made me think it was about my powerful drive to educate people about the energy drain that comes from conforming and the power and vitality of individuating, as I try to do with my books and blog. But does the fact that I’m driving this empty bus which is normally used for a group of like-minded people mean that I, myself, am more conventional and conforming than I’d like to think? Or is the more important element of the dream the fact that I’m only using it to get myself from one place to another (although I have no idea where or why) and have the power to choose to get off when I want? I do, in fact, make that choice.
      And here’s a disturbing thought: does wanting to get off the bus mean I want to stop trying to educate people with my writing? I don’t think so; feels like I’d be aware of such feelings. So far I love what I’m doing, although there are aspects of it that are hard… speaking out more openly and strongly about certain controversial issues for fear of offending, and wishing I were braver about this……. So as I think more about this in my rambling way, these dreams also seem to be saying that I want to get off the bus of catering a bit too much to conventional thinking and go my own way, even if I am alone and don’t know where I’ll end up, even if I’ll offend. In truth, I do wish I found it less difficult to speak my piece honestly and openly and had a little more help voicing my truths from my braver animus……
      Well, I hope somebody other than you and me reads this answer to your comments because it’s a whole other blog post in itself that says so much about the difficulty of understanding our dreams. These particular ones obviously need a lot more simmering before I can extract their essence. I’ll probably understand them better in a year or so. Meanwhile, if you, or anyone else, wants to throw your associations into the pot, please have at it! I could use some help here!
      And thanks so much for those incisive questions!

      1. Thank you for this incredibly detailed and intricate reply Jeanie. You have answered my questions and much more. I’ll give it a few more go-rounds’ to understand more fully. Thank you very much.

      2. One thought I did have concerning the yellow (or yellowish-orange) of the school bus relates to the sun-colour with all those windows letting in…light. And then the green beaded shoes…reflecting light…like dew in the grass glistening with reflected sunlight. Very much a ‘nature’ continuity over the two dreams. Another 2 cents worth! :- )

        1. Thank you for these helpful associations, Steven. I don’t know if you knew this, but the orange-yellow sun is a symbol for fiery masculine solar energy: i.e. the bright light of clarity and discrimination and consciousness that comes with left-brained logic and reason. And I totally missed all those windows. Windows are always such great symbols for our outlook; and like “light”, for our ability to “see” things clearly, to gain an added insight or perspective. I didn’t think about the reflective quality of the beaded shoes, or the associations with nature either! Thank you for adding your 2 cents; they have a lot more value to me than you might have thought!

  4. I also thought of the bus as a collective symbol when reading this Jeanie.. and your almost ramming someone – (another driver) in front of you. Quite a few colours there .. yellow, black, red stop light … driving, walking, grocery store (leaving it there at food shop); using your feet for different purposes. I so enjoyed your detailed response to Steven – such meandering and wondering. So much to consider. Your future dreams (or past ones) may shed some light.

    1. Thanks so much for adding your thoughts to this discussion, Susan. Hmm, almost ramming another driver. Perhaps there’s also a suggestion about being more mindful of what I’m doing and why, in other words, about taking more care not to be so unconsciously “driven” that I push myself too far in ways that can be potentially damaging, either to me or others? I should tell you that trying to put the brakes on a car that’s going too fast (usually down a dark and curving road) was a recurring dream image in my dreams for years, especially when I was teaching. It shows up rarely nowadays, but the fact that it did here needs to be addressed. Could that be a suggestion of my animus too? The ambitious, goal- and work-oriented part of me that provides me with the energy to study and write and teach and share what I know? He really is a powerful force in my psyche!
      Maybe the fact that I want to park the bus at the grocery store means I’m realizing I want to avail myself of more feminine nurturing and “being” Lunar energy and less masculine “doing” and manifesting Solar energy. That thought has certainly occurred to me in recent years! And the colors? Lots of vibrant energy associated with this issue!
      Thanks again to you and Steven for taking the time to share your associations. They are most definitely helping me put the pieces of this puzzle together. As you know, any one dream can have many levels of meaning. These two, especially coming together, seem to apply to many situations in my life!

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