What Do Dreams Say About This Phase of Your Life?


I’m going through an uncomfortable phase. I’ve had the same dream almost every night for three weeks. It has no images. Just thoughts and words: I’m writing a blog post about the Mediatrix archetype.

Although the words vary, the same three elements appear in every dream. First, I’m determined to understand and describe this archetype. Second, I’m organizing my thoughts into three main themes. Third, my thoughts must be true and original.

Dreamwork has made me acutely aware of my inner climate. I’m curious about this recurring dream because of waking mood changes over the last month. I’ve examined it closely and see three common elements.

First, I’m determined to understand this mysterious and compelling archetype better. My Mediatrix connects my conscious ego with unconscious developments. I want to know what’s going on and guess I hope she can help.

The second common element is three-ness. Having the same dream — a dream about three-ness — three weeks in a row, means something. Three is the magic number of fairy tales: three princesses, three tasks, three wishes. Pythagoras believed it was the perfect number of harmony, wisdom, and understanding. It’s the number of time — past, present future; the phases of life — birth, life, death; the sequence of story — beginning, middle, end; and the dynamics of problem-solving — thesis, antithesis, and resolution. Three is the number of the Divine, and the Mediatrix who connects us with the Divine.

The third element is originality. I’ll be ever grateful to the philosophers, theologians, and psychologists I’ve studied. They’ve furnished the underlying frameworks of the universal wisdom shared by humanity. But within those frameworks, I want to know and be true to my soul, to manifest what is original in me.

Since my dreams are original and unique to me, I’ve revisited the remaining dreams from the same three weeks to see if they contain more clues. There are eight.

Dream #5378:  Sept. 18, two days before the last full moon of summer. The large head and thick neck of a huge, majestic horse arch over me protectively as I look down at my feet which are streaked with blood. An unknown woman behind me tells him to stop pushing into my space.

Dream #5379, Sept. 24, two days after the autumnal equinox. A pleasant young man has a delightful, innocent baby who’s playing with a toy made from a stick, a round metal disc with a hole in the middle, and a leather thong.  The top of the baby’s skull is missing, leaving the 7th, crown chakra, exposed, vulnerable.

Dream #5380, Oct. 3. My house is old, messy, rundown, and under repair. I want to refresh it: make it sturdy, clean, and beautiful.

Dream #5381, Oct. 4. I walk into a synagogue and find a seat. A woman pushing a baby stroller passes by. Another woman scolds me loudly, telling me to pay attention to the sweet little baby. 

Dream #5382, Oct. 4. I’m in the backyard of my childhood home. A Mexican boy rides a big brown horse at a full gallop toward me. He somersaults over the head of the horse and lands unharmed with his feet on the ground. The horse stops at once to keep from trampling him.

Dream #5383, Oct. 6: I’m wearing a brown dress and wearing a full, brownish pink rose over my heart to balance my animus. I imagine a large snake nearby wrapping itself around me.

Dream #5384, Oct. 8: I’ve cut my long, straight, gray hair to chin length. I look in a mirror and see that it’s light brown with tight curls. I can live with it.

Dear #5385, Oct.  8:  I’m creating the design for a beautiful vase. I imagine the stems of three long, slender, metal leafs with tapered ends. They will join at the base to make a container for water, then flair out to support three long-stemmed flowers. The director of a play interrupts me. He wants me to make a black and white chequered jacket with a hot pink lining for one of the actors. I don’t want to copy someone else’s clothing design. I want to create an original container for flowers.

Some associations:

Babies: New birth, innocence, youth, hopeful new life.

Horses: Jung said that horse always symbolizes a woman’s animus, but as a beast of burden it is also related to the Mother archetype. The horse animus in Dream #5378 is protective like a mother, but it also has a very big head! This suggests ego inflation, which makes sense in context. That dream arrived on the morning of my last Zoom presentation of the summer about The Soul’s Twins. I think the horse is my writer animus. Feeling a bit important and full of himself, he wants to share “his” book and protect my ego from potential criticism! The horse in Dream #5382 carries the young show-off animus and protects him from being trampled when he somersaults off.

My house:  Me. My psyche.

Synagogue: A holy place of worship. To pay attention to a sweet baby is a sacred calling.

To cut my hair: To manage my thoughts. From straight to curly suggests less linear thinking and more circuitous organic thinking and imagining.

Any thoughts about the pink rose and snake?

Thank you for bearing with this exercise in inner work. I hope you’ve found it interesting and maybe helpful in your search for self-knowledge.

What have I learned today? Well, I feel better than I did this morning. More hopeful. I see positive signs of new life, and movement toward more self-awareness and authenticity. Reward enough for one day.

What do your dreams say about this phase of your life?

Image credits:  Mimesis, by Remedios Varo.

Paper and E-book versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. The Wilbur Award-winning Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.com. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.

Join 5,847 other subscribers


16 Responses

  1. That’s so interesting about Three for thee Jeannie. It’s popped up a few times in a dream and in real life. Three women in a dream, all looking very alike, dressed in white, same hairstyles, two I know, although the tallest died some years ago, the other her sister who I barely know, and the youngest and shortest is someone I don’t know. The other evening IRL we were out a restaurant for my son’s birthday .. at the two tables on either side of us were unknown people, but it turns out that each other table had a son whose birthday it was. Three birthdays of 3 men at three tables .. There was another instance which I forget for the moment – something about 3, 9 and 12 … 9 being 3 squared, 9 plus 3 adding up to 12, 1 plus 2 adding up to 3 ..

    I love what you say about 3 …’ It’s the number of time — past, present future; the phases of life — birth, life, death; the sequence of story — beginning, middle, end; and the dynamics of problem-solving — thesis, antithesis, and resolution. Three is the number of the Divine, and the Mediatrix who connects us with the Divine.’

    The rose is a wonderful symbol … from what I remember – at the end of Dante’s Inferno, he rises up and there are ?pink? roses accompanying him. Pink is the blend of rubedo and albedo. It would be worthwhile your researching roses in the literature. The serpent? Well …. wonderful!

    I recently had a dream where I’m congratulating an academic friend of mine on her two recent publications. One is a treatise on The Red Book. The other equally profound. Her husband appeared in a dream this morning and although it was vague he was so kind and helpful – as he is in real life.

    I’m glad you feel better this morning. Thank you for sharing your dreams with us Jeannie. Yes, they are very helpful! Love, Susan

    1. Such interesting sychronicities regarding the number three for you, Susan. And happy birthday to your son! I hadn’t thought of pink being the color between albedo and rubedo. I love that association!!

      And the serpent can mean so many things that I didn’t even know know to go there with this theme and series of dreams. But I just looked it up for the umpteenth time and this time I realized that all the associations for snakes are related to the primordial life force and also, according to Taschen’s book of symbols, the snake is always “…mediator of hidden processes of transformation and return.” Of course, there are many other meanings, but these are the ones I relate most closely to this dream. This theme I’m wrestling with is all about connecting the unconscious life forces with the conscious ones in a new way that works better for me during this phase of life.

      Thank you for the dialogue, Susan. It helps so much to have outside eyes to compensate for one’s own limited vision! Love, Jeanie

  2. Dear Jeanie, Mistress of Mystery and Mediatrix,

    Well, it seems as though you’re following your recurring dream’s guidance by creating a space here on your blog, for the Mediatrix to reveal herself in. Although I do wonder if your first thought is the one that’s maybe setting you down on the wrong path because the Mediatrix cannot be known as form, she is amorphous. There is no shape to her, and your dreams seem to be very clear about this.

    Maybe, and forgive me if I’m barking up the wrong tree, this is why your dreams have been on repeat as your ego searches for a neatness, an order of the psyche, for which there is none. For the soul’s originality can never be liberated by even the best of logic. Auspiciously, we have dreams, psychic trapdoors for sure, where we glimpse or fall below once, twice, three times or more in one night.

    Yet down below there’s no orderliness or tidiness, it doesn’t exist. Maybe your determination is the very thing that keeps you away from that which you seek and is seeking you. Lastly, if three is a divine number then it’s definitely the mediatrix’s number, and your own, because by creating this post you’ve done all that your dream has asked of you. The invitations are sent, let the Mediatrix enter.

    Love and light, Deborah.

    1. Yes. Yes. And yes!

      Thank you, Deborah. Your insight is spot on and exactly what I was hoping for! I simply couldn’t see that my determination to find orderliness, tidiness, and definitive answers in this phase of my life was the exact problem I’ve been struggling with. I’ve been wrestling with an angel that can never be pinned down, never be made to fit neatly into comforting categories, for “there is no shape to her.” She is, indeed, like Mercurious — as amorphous as quicksilver: a horse, a synagogue, a baby, a snake, a pink rose, curly hair, a boy somersaulting over a horse, blood on my feet.

      This is the reality I need to accept. To live with the questions without expecting answers. Indeed, to love the questions and be suspicious of the answers!!! Silly animus. He thought if he worked long and hard enough he would find answers. And there simply are none. Nor is there any right way to go through life. All roads lead to the same destination.

      Thank you, Deborah. I’ve been so busy seeking the logic in life that I’ve missed the poetry! And thank you for affirming that in this post I’ve done all that my dream has asked of me. I resisted writing it. Now I realize it was exactly what I needed to do. For I believe that acting in full knowledge of my ignorance and exposing it to all who might read this post, my animus has been humbled. I have received all that I needed and more from you, dear Mediatrix and Mistress of the Mythopoetic Realm.

      Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul.

      Love and light, Jeanie

      1. Oh, what joy to know that angels cannot be pinned down! In dark times we all need the rose pink light of the heart, for a dream without images is still a dream to be noted and explored and a very important one at that. Your appreciation is warmly received my lovely friend! And there you have it, the Mediatrix enters stage left as you make rich and insightful connections with your other dream images. And please don’t think for one moment that I don’t have times when I seek out solutions myself, I do, often, but fortunately was born into a family of madmen, poets and wandering minstrels. Ha-Ha! In my next life I’ll probably return as a crazy scientist!

        1. Hahaha. I doubt that! On my part, I received the legacy of a family of hapless, serious-minded seekers whose only hope for safety and security in a dangerous world ruled by a punishing God came from studying, learning, and knowing answers. It’s not easy to shake off the burden of one’s DNA-infused mantle! 🙂

          1. Amen to that sister! Hmm, I wonder if this is where the mercurial Mediatrix steps in and works with the ancestors to change our DNA? Just a thought.

    1. To follow up with all who are interested in the symbolism of the serpent/snake, I refer you to this post I published in March of 2011. I thought I’d return to it after the above discussion to remind myself of what I know! I’m particularly taken by the references to transformation, feminine power, and the union of the feminine and masculine opposites, topics that have long fascinated me. Jeanie

      Enjoy: https://jeanbenedictraffa.com/2011/03/01/snake-symbolism/

  3. It seems this is a day for me to learn a very important life lesson. Thanks to Eva Rider for posting this quote by C.S. Lewis on Facebook today:

    “Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them.
    Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

    Why did I take off my shoes to see the blood on my feet in dream #5378, one of the above cited dreams? Perhaps to stand barefooted on the dark holy ground of the earth. I know that’s a reach, but not everything has to make sense.

    “It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get…” in dark holy places. My recurring dream was telling me that I’m determined to find knowledge and words, but that’s not going to take me to the holy place I seek. Perhaps it’s enough just to explore the dark underground of the unconscious and find restorative life and strength there.

    1. How wonderful to connect to dark and holy places within! I’m so impressed with Eva’s quotes from “Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis that I’ve added it to my wish list.

      1. I just looked it up and remembered that I read it years ago when I was teaching a class on the Psyche and Eros myth, my favorite.

  4. Hi Jean,

    I always enjoy reading your blog and dream analyses, even though I don’t comment often. Your book Dream Theatres has helped me make a lot more sense of my wild and crazy dreams.

    My recent dreams have been helping me process the loss of our dog (at a ripe old age, but nonetheless, still deeply sad).

    I had two dreams recently of tidal waves, which I had never dreamt of before in my life. In the first one, I was walking away from the wave quickly towards a host family who assured me that it was okay. I was an exchange student in a foreign, tropical country The wave receded just as I arrived at their house.

    In the second dream, I was at the bottom of a cliff, and I protected my children from the wave. There was an old man who was rejuvenated by the wave. We then had to climb a big cliff back to our hotel, through some destruction caused by the wave.

    It was pretty clear to me that the dreams were saying I was afraid of being overwhelmed by the big feelings of grief that I was studiously avoiding. But dreams don’t let you get away with that, do they? 🙂

    Finally, two days ago, I had to face the big feelings, so I allowed myself to go deep into the grief for both days.

    Last night I had a beautiful dream, in which I was heading down a road (the road was black, with white on both sides). I decided to skate down the road, and took off joyfully, skating with abandon. It was exhilarating, and thrilling. I was a tiny bit scared, but that good kind of scared you get on an amusement park ride.

    I took this to mean that my recent grieving work was helpful, and that I am more comfortable with those big feelings that I thought were going to overwhelm me.

    That’s what my dreams have been saying about this phase of my life!

    Thank you for sharing your work, and your dreams!

    1. Hi Pamela,

      I think you’ve done an amazing job of working with your dreams of tidal waves and associating them with your grief. At a time when I was processing a lot of repressed grief and anger I dreamed of tidal waves, earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes spewing lava!! Unsettling at the very least, but they sure got my attention.

      I’ve also experienced the exhilaration of skating with abandon and associate that with the feeling of lightness and freedom that comes after ridding myself of the heavy weight of unexpressed emotion. How wise you were to allow yourself to grieve. It’s the best kind of medicine!

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience here. It helps so much to hear each others’ stories.

      Love and blessings,


  5. Such powerful dreams, Jeanie–and what great comments to help you clarify. I feel helpless in the face of dream interpretation since my approach is more like Robert Bosnak’s. I ask for slow sensory detail and let the embodied experience do the work. Three weeks ago, I told my dream therapist that I feel lost and disconnected from Marion Woodman, my personal connection to Mediatrix and Feminine Sage. In that session, I decided to re-read the letters she and I exchanged. There are 4 or 5 powerful ones before our correspondence shifted from dreams to Vic’s illness and grief. I’ll look again. I wonder if there are three I need to examine more closely. We spent our time together exploring the first which I told Marion in person in 2003. We laughed and laughed at my dream image of her as a wise clown crone.

    It’s wonderful the way you put your “raw” dream material out into the world and received so many wise responses. I admire and honor. The horse image made me remember your horse Shadow and that strong relationship with the instinctual body. I love Deborah’s comments about wanting precision from the Mediatrix when detailed precision is not her realm. And thanks to Susan for her many threes and comments about the rose. And Pamela’s beautiful dreams and her contribution. My role in this feels like a holding one–holding your images, holding the threes, holding the comments and the wonder of our interconnected psyches, holding gratitude for wise women friends and teachers. I’ll also hold gratitude for C.S. Lewis. I’m sure your dreams will keep giving and giving and giving.

    I honor your courage and your trust.

    1. Thank you for your loving thoughts, Elaine. Thank you for the holding. I think just staying conscious of the mystery and beauty of another soul for a space in your day is a way of connecting, perhaps even influencing in some subtle way… It’s like a prayer…the caring is enough. The comments here feel like that too. There are many ways of supporting another soul. I’ll do the same for you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts