Example: ‘I know I have killed somebody and their body is walled up in the cellar.
The strange thing is I haven’t a clue who this person is. Various people visit my home and I am terrified the body will be discovered. In one of these recurring dreams the police actually investigate the disappearance of “the person’’ and go into the cellar. When I wake from these dreams I always have the most terrible guilty feeling’ (Mrs P L). Usually the things we have hidden from awareness in our unconscious.
The example shows how Mrs L has killed or repressed a pan of herself. We might kill’ ambition, love, sexual drive, and push them into our unconscious. But the basement or cellar is also the entrance to general memones, our biological unconscious’ functions, archetypal patterns of behaviour, subliminal or psychic impressions, the collective unconscious. Frequently the place we keep memories of traumatic events in our life. So a dark shape or intruder might emerge from downstairs*. Our dark deeds or guilty memories are also in the basement.
A snake in the cellar, cave: our psychobiological drive; the energy behind our growth and motivation which includes sex drive. This connects us with awareness of our evolution. Bad smell: emotions which could cause depression or illness.
The cellar most often represents the subconscious and those things we may have suppressed through an inability to handle them.
A basement can also highlight the power that is available to us provided we are willing to make use of it. Often associated with self-image and self-confidence, we may not have come to terms with our own charisma and personal power and prefer to keep it hidden.