The man was sexually aroused and started attempting to penetrate her. She only put up a token resistance, mewing a bit, but not fighting him off. I rushed towards them and kicked him off’ (Andrew P). In this dream Andrew’s fear of his wife’s desire for another man is being expressed, but the dream really depicts Andrew’s feelings of sexual inadequacy. Adultery dreams may also express release of sexual feelings; desire for another partner, desire for one’s partner to have sex with someone else. See sex in dreams; last example in dark.
African This may refer to one’s own feelings about coloured people or racial prejudices; Africa may have been the birthplace for the human race. In dreams we still use primitive Africans or Australian aborigines to represent our own natural inner life. See aboriginal; black people; native. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The life cycle of a bird has so many similarities with important human stages of maturity we frequently use it to represent oneself, as in the example. Pauline uses the bird to depict her own urge to be independent of her mother’s influence, opinions, likes, dislikes and decisions. Later in the dream her mother hands Pauline the ribbon to hold, suggesting an offer of independence. As soon as she lets go of the ribbon, a huge black bird attacks the ribboned one.
The ribbons are a reference to Pauline’s own girlhood. When she lets go of her girlhood, moving towards independent womanhood, she feels threatened by the internalised negative side of her mother, such as her possessiveness—the black bird. Internalised means all the standards, self controls she learned from her life with her mother, which she now carries within her even if absent from her mother.
General: Imagination; intuition, the mind; thoughts, our spiritual longings; expanded awareness—in this form, perhaps a large bird which can fly high. Because wider—or spiritual—awareness means looking beyond the usual boundaries of what we see, this may be painful. Hatching from the egg; our birth and infancy.
The nest: home; family environment; security, even the womb. Leaving the nest: gaining independence. Making a nest: home building; parental urges. Flying: rising above something; independence; freedom; self expression.
Freud said the bird represents the male phallus, and flying means the sexual act. Many languages use the word bird’ to mean woman. In Italy it alludes to penis.
The bird is also used to denote the sense of death and survival. Bluebird: especially represents the spint or soul after death. Baby bird: our own childhood, as in the following example.
The old lady is once more reference to the mother, to whom the bird is first connected before moving on to the difficulty of independence. Example: An old lady made room for me to sit at the end of one of the three seats of a bus. As we drove away a very large chicken-size baby bird flew in. It had short stubby wings and yellow down, but flew expenly. I believe it first landed on the lady and chirped squeakily. But in its squeaks it actually spoke, saying it had lost its mother. It sounded as if it were crying (Andrew). Idioms: charm the birds from the trees; a bird told me; bird has flown; bird in the hand, bird of ill omen; free as a bird, odd bird. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
What is unknown; not defined by the intellect or conscious self; unconscious; depression; confusing, terrifying; secrets we hide from self or others; things we do under cover of darkness’; age; the womb, death.
The following dream depicts particular aspects of darkness. Example: ‘It was a festival in this strange world, in which everything had a rather dark, dilapidated look’ (Tom). Dark here is ancient, things dating from times past. This may refer to our sense of our own childhood which feels like the ancient past, or to our unconscious knowledge of family and cultural attitudes and experience. In general the ‘strange’ world of the unconscious or sleep.
Example: ‘I was overwhelmed by terror, as if the very darkness of the tunnel was a living force of fear which entered and consumed me. I screamed and screamed, writhing in uncontrollable fit-like contractions. Nevertheless a part of me was observing what was happening and was amazed, realising I had found something of great importance’ (Andrew P). Because the dreamer explored this dream with me, I know the darkness was depicting fear Andrew experienced while a nine year old in hospital. He was given a rectal anaesthetic because he was about to have a nose operation. He fought and begged for the nurses to stop, but to no avail. This led to a very real feeling that humans were terrifyingly dangerous animals who would not respond even if you were on your knees begging. So trauma was the fear in the darkness. Darkness here is the unconscious area of experience.
Example: ‘I am back in time looking at an old cottage. I see the windows, walls and doors, everything about the place. It is dark and old and warm. I see the curtains and bedrooms, all the ornaments and I feel safe and comfortable’ (Mrs R). Here dark is comfortable, perhaps because it is undemanding, one is not in any glare of attention or activity. It is the relaxed quiet of evening. This woman has a relaxed relationship with her unconscious.
Example: ‘I met a woman I know in a long, dark underground tunnel. She was waiting for me. We had sexual intercourse. She had a very formed vagina mouth, and a very large clitoris, like a small penis. I masturbated this’ (Norman). Norman has no fear of the tunnel. It is his secret desire and pleasure which he admits to no one, often not even to himself. Dark here is one’s secret self.
Dark water: emotions which are felt and powerful but have not been defined or their source understood. Dark colours: feelings emanating from unconscious sources; depressed or unhappy feelings. Idioms: a dark horse; in the dark; keep it dark. See night under day and night. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
What lies beyond death is conjecture, but the archetype of death we are considering is not completely about physical death. It is about our observation of it in others; our conceptions of it gained from our culture and our impressions; the feelings which generate around our experiences and thoughts; our attempts to deal with our own aging and approach to death, plus what material the deeper strata of our unconscious release regarding it. It is about how our sense of conscious personal existence meets the prospect of its disintegration.
Unless we can come to terms with what is behind the haunting images of death we meet in our dreams, we fail to live fully and daringly, we are too haunted by death lurking in the shadows of injury and the unknown. Images of death and the associated emotions, carried within for years, can have a negative influence on our health. Coming to terms means the courage to feel the emotions of fear or chill and discover them for what they are—emotions. They are certainly not death, only our feelings about it.
The differences shown in the two following examples illustrate the avoiding and the meeting. Example: 4So to get to the bedroom I had to jump across this gap. I tried to jump but missed and I fell and hit the bottom.
The next thing I remember was I was floating up. I looked down and saw myself lying face down with arms spread out and I suddenly realised I was dead. I was so frightened that I woke up. I had the feelings of fear of dying, but I felt no pain’ (Cath). Example: “Suddenly I was in a huge underground cavern. It was hundreds of feet high and as wide. It had two great statues in it, both to do with death.
The whole place overpowered me with a sense of decay and skeletal death, darkness, underground, earth, the end. I cried out in the dismal cave, “Death, where is your sting! Grave, where is your victory!” I immediately had the sense of being a bodiless awareness. I knew this was what occurred at death. Fear and the sense of decay left me’ (Andrew).
Summarising these and many other dreams, it is not only the accumulated images of death, but also bodilessness and loss of power and identity which bring so much fear. There are two antipodes of human experience. At the tip of one is focused self-determining self consciousness. At the tip of the other is unfocused void without identity. Strangely enough we experience both each day in some degree—the first while awake, the second when we sleep. Yet to face the second with consciousness feels like all the horrors of death and loss. Yet facing it is important, especially to the second half of life.
The symbols of rebirth are: the cave; an egg; spring; the tree; the cross; dawn; emerging out of the sea; the snake; the bird; a seed; arising from the earth or faeces; green shoot from a dead branch; phoenix; flame; a pearl; the womb. Rebirth is as difficult to face as death. It holds within it not just the memones of the struggles and difficulties of our own physical birth and growth, but also the challenge of becoming the unknown future, the dark possibility, the new.
The dream of Andrew in the underground cavern is an example of positive rebirth. After realising himself as bodiless awareness he emerges from the cave and finds himself near a tree. Example: ‘A tremendous jolt of power poured into me from the tree. I saw that we had arrived at a place where a line of trees, about a 100 yards in length, stood very close together in a slight semicircle on the top of a bank.
The trees had great spiritual power and the place was a holy temple. Two spiritual beings were there—an ancient Earth Being, and Christ’ (Andrew).
The next example is of a dream typical of meeting memories of physical birth. As can be seen, the experience is powerful enough to cause physical shaking. Example: All I can see of what I enter is a very narrow space with a light showing through. But immediately I enter I realise I have made a mistake for I am being forced swiftly through a dark, very narrow tunnel. I feel pain as I am dragged along and I hear loud banging noises which frighten me, but although they are loud they seem to come from inside my head. I feel terrified and breathless and very relieved when I wake before reaching the end of the tunnel. In fact as I write this account I am shivering” (female, anon). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A woman in a woman’s dream: an aspect of herself, but often a facet of herself she is not immediately identifying with.
The above example helps make this plain. Mo explored her feelings about the dream characters. It all fell into place when she asked herself what she had ‘lost’ recently. She had left a lover of some years’ standing. This gave her a lot more freedom and new opportunity, depicted by the baby, but also muddled feelings of loss. Her Australian friend represents her feelings of grieving for the death’ of her relationship. Her muddled feelings arise because she both loves the new life which opens up, but grieves for the death of her romance.
A woman’s sister, female children: particularly used to represent herself.
The character of the dream woman, loving, angry, businesslike, lazy, sexual, gives a clue to what pan of the dreamer it is referring to.
If the dream woman is a person known well, the above can still be the case, but the woman may represent what the dreamer feels about that person.
A woman younger than the dreamer oneself at that age.
An older woman: could be the dreamer’s mother, her feelings about aging, her sense of inherited wisdom. Two women and the dreamer, conflicting feelings or drives. One woman, one man: behaviour patterns arising from parental relationship.
A goddess or holy woman, the dreamer’s highest potential; what she is capable of but may not yet have lived.
Man dreaming of a woman
Example: ‘On a raised mobile platform a goddess stood. I loved her and (lew to her, skimming above the heads of the people. I calked to her. She told me the only love I could receive from her was that which I gave to a human woman. Inasmuch as I gave love to a human female, she would love me. She was all women’ (Andrew P).
The example shows Andrew meeting his archetypal conception of a woman, his ideal. But he understands that you cannot love an ideal. His love must find a real woman. Through a real love he would call love from out of himself, out of his unconscious reserve.
In a man’s dream: his present relationship with his own feelings and intuitive self; his sensitivity and contact with his unconscious through receptivity; or how he is relating to his female partner.
The latter is especially so if the woman in the dream is his partner, how capable he is of loving a woman.
An old woman, usually the dreamer’s mother.
The woman, because she is his feelings, is obviously also his sexual desires and how he meets them.
A younger woman: can depict his desires for a woman of that age, or his more vulnerable emotions. Two women and the dreamer: an ‘eternal triangle’; conflicting feelings.
If one woman and one man: pattern of behaviour developed in relationship with parents.
The conditions or situations of the woman, see under appropriate entries, such as illness; murder, swimming; etc. See anima and the Great Mother under archetypes. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences