2- Psychologically man often needs to project human qualities onto objects outside himself, and because birds’ conduct is entirely instinctive, they can be used in dreams to understand man’s behaviour.
3- Birds have come to represent the Soul both its dark and its enlightened side.
A caged bird can indicate restraint or entrapment.
A bird flying freely represents aspirations and desires and possibly the spirit soaring towards the Divine.
A display of plumage indicates the dreamer’s facade the way the individual sees him- or herself.
A flock of birds containing both winged and plucked birds indicates confusion over bodilv or material considerations as opposed to Spiritual aspirations. Birds can sometimes denote the feminine, free side of the being.
The golden-winged bird has the same significance as fire and therefore indicates spiritual aspirations.
A high-flying bird Spiritual awareness or that part in us which seeks knowledge. In a man’s dream, a bird can represent the Anima (see Introduction). In a woman’s dream, it suggests the Self, in the sense of the Spiritual Self (see Introduction).
White/Black birds The two aspects of the Anima or Self (see Introduction) may be represented as two opposites.
The black bird signifies the dark, neglected or shadowy side, the white the open, clear, free side.
A pet bird Personal circumstances and emotions can have a profound effect on our self- management, and remembered happiness can be experienced in dreams about pet birds. Chicken The imagination is being used to serve a practical function. There is potential for growth, though this may also come about through belonging to a group.
The chicken can also represent stupidity and cowardice. Cock The cock is the symbol of a new day and of vigilance or watchfulness. It represents the masculine principle and thus the need to be more upfront and courageous.
Crow Dreaming of a crow can have two meanings. Traditionally the crow warns of death but may also represent wisdom and deviousness.
Cuckoo The meaning of the cuckoo is ambivalent, since it can represent deviousness or unrequited love. As the herald of spring it indicates a change from old, stale energy to newness and freshness.
Dove The Anima (see Introduction).
The bringer of calm after the storm, the Soul, the peaceful side of man’s nature appears in dreams as the dove.
Duck In a dream this can often denote some kind of superficiality or childishness.
Eagle Because the eagle is known to be a bird of prey; in dreams it signifies domination and supremacy. It can equally also mean perccptiveness and awareness as well as farsightedness and objectivity.
If the dreamer identifies with the eagle, his own wish to dominate is becoming apparent though there may be some difficulty in reconciling other parts of the dreamer’s nature.
If the dreamer feels threatened, somebody else may be threatening the status quo.
Falcon The falcon shares the symbolism of the eagle. As a bird of prey, it typifies freedom and hope for those who are being restricted in any way. It can represent victory over lust. Goose/Geese The goose is said to represent watchfulness and love. Like the swan it can represent the dawn or new life.
A flock of geese is often taken to represent the powers of intuition and to give warning of disaster. Wild goose The wild goose can represent the soul and often dcpicts the Pagan side of our nature. Geese, in common with cats, are considered to be witches’ familiars. Hen The hen denotes providence, maternal care and procreation. When a hen crows in a dream it is taken to represent feminine domination.
Ibis The ibis, sometimes taken to be the stork, is the symbol of perseverance and of aspiration. Jackdaw - see Magpie. Kingfisher To dream of a king- lishcr is to dream of dignity and calmness.
Lark A lark is traditionally supposed to represent the transcendence of the mundane. Magpie/Jackdaw Because of the belief that magpies and jackdaws are thieves, to dream of one may indicate that an associate is attempting to take away something that the dreamer values. Also the magpie can signify good news. Ostrich The ostrich denotes that one is attempting to run away from responsibility. Owl The owl is sacrcd to Athena, goddess of strategy and wisdom, therefore in a dream the owl can describe those qualities. Because it is also associated with the night-time, it can sometimes represent death.
Peacock To see a peacock in a dream indicates a growth of understanding from the plain and unadorned to the beauty of the fully plumed bird. Like the phoenix, it represents rebirth and resurrection.
Pelican There are two meanings to the symbolism of the pelican. One is sacrifice and devotion and the other is careful and maternal love.
Penguin The penguin is thought to represent adaptability but also possibly stupidity. Pheasant To dream of pheasants generally foretells prosperity and good fortune to come. Phoenix The phoenix is a universal symbol of rebirth, resurrection and immortality (dying in order to live). Quail The quail represents amorousness, sometimes courage and often good luck. In its negative form it can also represent witchcraft and sorcery.
Raven The raven can be a symbol of sin, but if it is seen to be talking it often represents prophecy. Its meaning can be ambivalent since it can represent evil, but also wisdom. Seagull flic seagull is a symbol of freedom and power. Sparrow “flic sparrow represents business and industrv.
The stork is a symbol of new life and new beginnings.
The swallow seen in a dream represents hope and the coming of Spring. Swan The swan is the soul of man and is often taken to be the divine bird. It can sometimes denote a peaceful death. Turkey The turkey is traditionally a food for celebrations and festivals.
To dream of it can therefore denote that there may be good times ahead. Vulture/Buzzard The vulture is a scavenger and therefore has an association with the feminine aspect in its destructive persona. Woodpecker The woodpcckcr is a guardian of both kings and trees in mythology. It is also reputed to have magical powers.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
A cotton gin in a dream also represents two partners, one of them is a hypocrite and the other is a hard minded person. (Also see Cotton ginner)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The sheer amount of energy they invest in their goals can turn into ruthlessness and combativeness.
In general, behind the number Eight might be elements of death and rebirth, the moving downward of the lower part so that the upper part can move upward. But the Eight may also be a symbol of the highest point of development from which something new can be created—because after reaching the summit, the old can’t develop any furdier.
The number Eight often stands for decay and procreation. See Saturn.
Eight-people have birthdays on the 8th, 17th, and 26th of the month.... Dreamers Dictionary
The area of our being we refer to when we say T, ‘me’ or ‘myself’ is our conscious self awareness, our sense of self, which Jung calls the ego.
The autobiography of Helen Keller has helped in understanding what may be the difference between an animal and a human being with self awareness. Helen, made blind and deaf through illness before learning to speak, lived in a dark unconscious world lacking any self awareness until the age of seven, when she was taught the deaf and dumb language. At first her teacher’s fingers touching hers were simply a tactile but meaningless experience. Then, perhaps because she had leamt one word prior to her illness, meaning flooded her darkness. She tells us that ‘nothingness was blotted out’. Through language she became a person and developed a sense of self, whereas before there had been nothing.
The journey of individuation is not only that of becoming a person, but also expanding the boundaries of what we can allow ourselves to experience as an ego. As we can see from an observation of our dreams, but mostly from an extensive exploration of their feeling content, our ego is conscious of only a small area of experience.
The fundamental life processes in one’s being may be barely felt. In many contemporary women the reproductive drive is talked about as something which has few connections with their personality. Few people have a living, feeling contact with their early childhood, in fact many people doubt that such can exist. Because of these factors the ego can be said to exist as an encapsulated small area of consciousness, surrounded by huge areas of experience it is unaware of.
In a different degree, there exists in each of us a drive towards the growth of our personal awareness, towards greater power, greater inclusion of the areas of our being which remain unconscious.
A paradox exists here, because the urge is towards integration, yet individuation is also the process of a greater self differentiation. This is a spontaneous process, just as is the growth of a tree from a seed (the tree in dreams often represents this process of self becoming), but our personal responsibility for our process of growth is necessary at a certain point, to make conscious what is unconscious.
Because dreams are constantly expressing aspects of individuation it is wonh knowing the main areas of the process. Without sticking rigidly to Jungian concepts—which see individuation as occurring from mid-life onwards in a few individuals—aspects of some of the main stages are as follows. Early babyhood—the emergence of self consciousness through the deeply biological, sensual and gestural levels of experience, all deeply felt; the felt responses to emerging from a non-changing world in the womb to the need to reach out for food and make other needs known. Learning how to deal with a changing environment, and otherness in terms of relationship.
Childhood—learning the basics of motor, verbal and social skills, the very basics of physical and emotional independence. One faces here the finding of strength to escape the domination of mother—difficult, because one is dependent upon the parent in a very real way—and develop in the psyche a satisfying sexual connection. In dream imagery this means, for the male, an easy sexual relationship with female dream figures, and a means of dealing with male figures in competition (father); see sex in dreams.
The dream of the mystic beautiful woman precedes this, a female figure one blends with in an idealistic sense, but who is never sexual.
The conflict with father—really the internal struggle with one’s image of father as more potent than self—when resolved becomes an acceptance of the power of one’s own manhood. Women face a slightly different situation.
The woman’s first deeply sensual and sexual love object—in a bonded parent-child relationship—was her mother. So beneath any love she may develop for a man lies the love for a woman. Whereas a man, in sexual love which takes him deeply into his psyche, may realise he is making love to his mother, a woman in the same situation may find her father or her mother as the love object. In the unconscious motivations which lead one to choose a mate, a man is influenced by the relationship he developed with his mother, a woman is influenced by both mother and father in her choice. Example: ‘I went across the road to where my mother’s sister lived. I wanted to cuddle her and touch her bare breasts, but we never seemed to manage this. There were always interruptions or blocks.’ (Sid L).
At these deep levels of fantasy and desire, one has to recognise that the first sexual experience is—hopefully—at the mother’s breast. This can be transformed into later fantasies/ dreams/desires of penis in the mouth, or penis in the vagina, or penis as breast, mouth as vagina.
For most of us, however, growth towards maturity does not present itself in such primitively sexual ways, simply because we are largely unconscious of such factors. In general we face the task of building a self image out of the influences, rich or traumatic, of our experience. We leam to stand, as well as we may, amidst the welter of impressions, ideas, influences and urges, which constitute our life and body. What we inherit, what we experience, and what we do with these creates who we are.
One of the major themes of individuation is the journey from attachment and dependence towards independence and involved detachment. This is an overall theme we mature in all our life. In its widest sense, it pertains to the fact that the origins of our consciousness lie in a non-differentiated state of being in which no sense of T exists. Out of this womb condition we gradually develop an ego and personal choice. In fact we may swing to an extreme of egotism and materialistic feelings of independence from others and nature.
The observable beginnings of this move to independence are seen as our attempt to become independent of mother and father. But dependence has many faces: we may have a dependent relationship with husband or wife; we may depend upon our work or social status for our self confidence; our youth and good looks may be the things we depend upon for our sense of who we are, our self image. With the approach of middle and old age we will then face a crisis in which an independence from these factors is necessary for our psychological equilibnum.
The Hindu practice of becoming a sanyassin, leaving behind family, name, social standing, possessions, is one way of meeting the need for inner independence from these in order to meet old age and death in a positive manner. Most people face it in a quieter, less demonstrative way. Indeed, death might be thought of as the greatest challenge to our identification with body, family, worldly status and the external world as a means to identity. We leave this world naked except for the quality of our own being.
Meeting oneself, and self responsibility, are further themes of individuation.
The fact that our waking self is a small spotlight of awareness amidst a huge ocean of unconscious life processes creates a situation of tension, certainly a threshold or ‘iron curtain’, between the known and unknown.
If one imagines the spotlighted area of self as a place one is standing in, then individuation is the process of extending the boundary of awareness, or even turning the spotlight occasionally into the surrounding gloom. In this way one places together impressions of what the light had revealed of the landscape in which we stand, clues to how we got to be where we are, and how we relate to these. But one may remain, or choose to remain, largely unconscious of self.
The iron curtain may be defended with our desire not to know what really motivates us, what past hurts and angers we hide. It may be easier for us to live with an exterior God or authority than to recognise the ultimate need for self responsibility and self cultivation.
To hide from this, humanity has developed innumerable escape routes—extenonsed religious practice, making scapegoats of other minority groups or individuals, rigid belief in a political system or philosophy, search for samadhi or God as a final solution, suicide. This aspect of our matunng process shows itself as a paradox (common to maturity) of becoming more sceptical, and yet finding a deeper sense of self in its connections with the cosmos. We lose God and the beliefs of humanity’s childhood, yet realise we are the God we searched for. This meeting with self, in all its deep feeling of connection, its uncertainty, its vulnerable power, is not without pain and joy. Example: ‘On the railway platform milled hundreds of people, all men I think. They were all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I knew I was among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there was a guard watching us. He was cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap was a red star. He carried a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realised they were all me. Each one had my face. I was looking at myself. Then I felt fear and terror’ (Anon).
The last of the great themes of individuation is summed up in William Blake’s words ‘1 must Create a System, or be en- slav’d by another Man’s; I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create.’ A function observable in dreams is that of scanning our massive life experience (even a child’s life experience has millions of bits of information) to see what it says of life and survival. Out of this we unconsciously create a working philosophy of what life means to us. It is made up not only of what we have experienced and learnt in the general sense, but also from the hidden information in the cultural riches we have inherited from literature, music, art, theatre and architecture.
The word hidden” is used because the unconscious ‘reads’ the symbolised information in these sources. It is, after all, the master of imagery in dreams. But unless we expand the boundaries of our awareness we may not know this inner philosopher.
If we do get to know it through dreams, we will be amazed by the beauty of its insight into everyday human life.
In connection with this there is an urge to be, and perhaps to procreate oneself in the world. Sometimes this is experienced as a sense of frustration—that there is more of us than we have been able to express, or to make real. While physical procreation can be seen as a physical survival urge, this drive to create in other spheres may be an urge to survive death as an identity. Dreams frequently present the idea that our survival of death only comes about from what we have given of ourself to others. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The dream will indicate what one is doing with this side of one’s nature. Feelings of being like a pet, only being able to do what the person you are dependent upon wishes; receiving or giving affection. Baby pets: if in a woman’s dream, may signify her maternal drive, her desire for children; one’s own dependent self and feelings. See animals. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If one sees himself trying to plant something which is not a plant, or to place a seed in an unsuitable ground in a dream, it means that he is wasting his money and squandering his property.
To plant seeds in a dream also could mean knowledge, wealth or recognizing a noble trade. Sprouted seeds in a dream represent honor and status. However planting seeds in a dream also represent mixing with evil people. (Also see Earth; Extracting oils from seeds)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The ability to procreate; the glandular bias which connects with what the conscious personality faces in emotional, mental and physical disposition; the caring, nurturing feelings which emerge out of sexual mating when healthy; the desire for a mate; the sense of connection and identity with other women, other female creatures and female aspects of nature. In its positive aspect it may represent the sure confidence with which a woman may demand from her man that he treat her womanhood with the respect it deserves. This means meeting the full flood of her sexual need with its desire for a child, a caring and supportive nest to rear that child in, and her female creativity which may rise from ihat basic reproductive drive into other social creativity and personal demand for respect.
Example: He was very brown, could have been a native but he didn’t feel strange to me. We were making love, I was very aware of the pleasure in my lower body. It was very slippy slidy and wet, there was enjoyment for both of us. Very intense body feelings with a childlike quality, not passion— but pleasure and joy in my vagina’ (Susy I). Susy is feeling happy and joyful about her ‘native’ or natural sexual feelings —particularly the sensual side of sex. Sensual pleasure, as with emotional pleasure, is as much a food for our physical and emotional self as bread is for our physical body.
In a woman’s dream, generally how one feels about one’s own sexual needs, but this includes procreation as well; the health or feeling state of the sexual self and physical vagina; her central femininity; sexual urge; ability to have a child; concept of her physical attraction; temple or church of life, one’s experience of motherhood or experience of the procrea- tive relationship with one’s mother. Example: ‘I had very little pubic hair and thought it must be because I had just had a shower, but, no, on looking again I had very little hair. I was hugging Mary (a friend), my arms around her back and one hand holding her vagina. It was then I noticed she was the shape of a man there. I drew away for a second at the discovery then felt OK as it meant I was hugging a male/female person. We were very warm together. (Two days before this dream my husband had said his mother called a vagina a Mary.)’ (Lucy R). Lucy is ‘touching’ or becoming aware of what could be seen as her own wholeness, which includes her male nature.
In male dreams: the vagina represents one’s feelings or fears about meeting a woman’s full sexuality, the deep experience of the relationship with one’s mother, binh and how mother met one’s emerging male sexuality; one’s desire for sexual expression. Bleeding vagina: his trauma, fears about a woman and sex. Example: ‘She was now quite naked, dead and stiff, but still bleeding from the vagina. I walked along, the dead body walked like a clockwork soldier. It was quite hornble to see its semblance to life’ (Derek A). Derek’s relationship with a woman, and with his own emotions and sexuality, is dead’ and deeply hun—the blood. He can mechanically have sex—the clockwork soldier—but not with deep feeling bonds or satisfaction. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences