In What Can We Trust?


trust-dreamsLast night I had two dreams, my first since the presidential election. They were helpful, and I hope they might be to some of you.

Dream #4800.  Monday, Nov. 14. Releasing Two Snakes. 

The end of the tail of a long slender black snake is somehow attached to me. I pull it away to free it and set it on the ground. It writhes, as if in pain. I hope it’s not hurt. I back away from it cautiously.

Now there’s a large, greenish, alligator-sized snake with an unusually large head in front of me. A man I can’t see, but whose presence I sense, faces me from the other side of the snake. We need to remove it from this place of humans and return it to its natural habitat.

Pressing his left hand on the snake’s head so he can hold it down to prevent it from turning around and biting us, the man uses his right arm to lift it up. I’m pleased to have his help, impressed that he knows what he’s doing, and aware that though we are cautious, we’re not overly fearful. I trust him to know how to handle this.

Dream #4801. Monday, Nov. 14. Dancing with my Anima

I’m dancing with a woman who’s smaller than me. We’re wearing white robes and holding each other loosely and lightly. I realize with embarrassment that I’m trying to lead and not doing a very good job of it. I don’t hear music and can’t find an appropriate rhythm. I make a self-deprecating joke about how our problem is that I’m trying to lead and ask if she’ll lead instead.

We stand there for a brief moment, then she gently dips me over backwards. I smile, enjoying this unexpected move. I’d forgotten about dipping. Relaxed, I give my body to this movement, trusting her not to drop me. As I raise one leg to do the ‘dip pose’ I wonder if I’m flexible enough to do this gracefully.

330a7260e2e98f35ebfed55532c4e3b7Associations and Conclusions: Since the election I’ve been vacillating between trust and fear for myself and our country. Taken together, these dreams affirm that what I’ve been thinking and feeling is okay. I can trust the Self (integration of my animus and anima energies) and allow it to be in charge.

My dream ego’s interaction with the black snake says my ego is actively involved in ridding myself of some dark, unconscious, primitive and potentially problematic instinctual energy. I think this energy may be related to unconscious prejudices I’ve had about patriarchy and masculinity.

The size and color change from the black snake to the larger green one in the second dream suggests that some ‘greening’ (healthy new life) is developing in my soul. Perhaps this represents my growing trust in my animus whose help—for example, in the form of more courage to speak my mind and address fears I once ignored—I’m beginning to accept.

The dancing dream shows my habit of trying to control the dance of my life and my realization this isn’t working. When ego’s in charge I lack balance and harmony; I can’t hear the music (of my soul) and don’t know what steps to take. But I’ve reached a point of vulnerability where I trust my anima (body, instincts, physical energy, intuition, honest emotions and feelings) to lead the way in the hope of acquiring more flexibility, balance and grace in everything I do.

I don’t have any wise and learned theories about my future or the future of our country as a result of this election. I don’t know how I’ll feel this afternoon or what steps I’ll take tomorrow. I don’t know my topic for next week’s post. Until this morning I thought this one would be about synchronicities surrounding the election and Leonard Cohen’s passing.

But what I do know is that my dreams have proven to be so helpful that I trust them to guide me safely through whatever comes.

Sweet dreams, dear friends. R.I.P. Leonard Cohen. Halleleujah.


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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10 Responses

  1. Thanks Jeanie, powerful dreams, re-assuring also. May y/our dreams continue to provide their ever replenishing wisdom, guidance and courage in steering through choppy waters.
    RIP Leonard – I’m listening to Hallelujah as I write. Thank you …

    1. Yes, for me, the best thing about dreams is their power to change the way I think, feel and live. A single dream can transform me in a way a thousand sermons never could. I guess that’s why I see dreamwork as a spiritual practice. Thank you for writing, Susan.

  2. I envy your dreams, Jeannie. I need such reassurance, but apparently I am still stuck in fear and concern. Especially fear, I think, though it often disguises itself as something else that seems a bit more powerful.

    1. I think fear is at the bottom of most, if not all our problems and suffering, Diane, because it’s directly linked to our instinct for survival. Any threat to that immediately evokes fear. That’s why we humans acquired egos and created religions: to disguise and assuage our fear of death. Unfortunately, for many people today religion no longer serves that function. Hence, our global epidemics of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, war, and addictions to drugs and other escape mechanisms.
      Facing our fear as you are sets us on a path of healing. Fear was at the bottom of my mid-life crisis and resultant search for self-knowledge and spiritual meaning. It continues to motivate my ongoing dreamwork and writing.
      We all need comfort and reassurance in these dark times, Diane. May you find the path in your own way.

  3. I truly love this post as somehow it is giving me some assurance that things will be OK. Trumps election terrifies me as I worry he will destroy the decent values in this country and put us backwards in time. I can only trust that somehow goodness and reason will keep life reasonable. I truly hope Trump does not bankrupt this country of its ideals. Thanks for giving me hope.

    1. I’m glad this was helpful, Gwynn. Unfortunately, many of us may be in for a bad time when life feels less reasonable than ever. But history shows that bad times always precede better times (‘better’ in terms of more balance, compassion, justice, prosperity, respect for individual differences and human rights for all, etc.) in the evolution of human consciousness. We seem to need crises to show us our personal and cultural shadows and motivate us to bring more light into the darkness. But I believe that healthy change will be the end result. And I believe each of us can help by persevering, step by step, in shedding more light on our own situations and lives. Wishing you continuing trust and hope.

  4. I like your dreams and their analysis too, Jeanie. I take comfort in knowing that America is self-correcting. As a nation, we are far more complex than any other nation, so the ability to do heinous things for a very long time is quite attenuated. DT will take care of himself, it seems to me. Many of us will not like what we are seeing, but those will be the necessary sacrifices so that a better America may emerge. I am taking comfort in reading Dr. Jung’s works, since he faced much more terrible times than we are currently facing. The more we can help others to understand their own psychology, the better off we will be as a species, so it is essential that we keep to our work. DT and his henchmen will have no one to blame but themselves after January 20th.

    1. Thank you, Skip. Wow. I love and treasure your observation that because our nation is so complex, its ability to do terrible damage over a long period of time is weakened. This is a new insight for me and I find it extremely hopeful. It’s true that we are not a small and ancient culture of people with long-standing characteristics and prejudices. As you’ve said many times, the ‘melting pot’ philosophy we’ve had since our founding is perhaps our greatest strength and protection against the evils of one-sided obsessiveness. Thank you for being such a strong voice of reason for the cause of self-knowledge! Yes, we will keep to our work. Again, thank you.

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