Daily Dose

Asian Journals: the Allegory of American Mythologist Joseph Campbell

This Mindfunda Book review is written by Misa Tsuruta, Ph.D.

CampbellI have asked Misa, a Japanese psychologist,to write this review as she is very familiar with Western ways of thinking.Joseph Campbell, a Western man, was very familiar with the Eastern way of thinking. Usually we associate Campbell with the hero myth, but he was very aware of the differences in mythological world perspective between East and West. As a native Japanese inhabitant, Misa provides us with a unique perspective on Campbell's book.
Susanne van Doorn MSc, founder of Mindfunda.com

 

Campbell: Asian Journals, India and Japan

campbell
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Joseph Campbell, renowned for his mythological works, did not have a chance to visit any part of Asia until his 40s, despite his strong, continuing interests in and attraction to Asian religions and cultures. Culture is a hard substance to grasp, whether it is an attempt by the insider (native) or by the outsider (foreigner).

Asian Journals: India and Japan is an edited version of his travel logs.  It was in 1954 that he finally embarked on this journey around the world.  Before, between and after his main destinations India and Japan, he also spent short time in the Middle East, South East Asia, Hawaii and California.

campbell

 

Like any journey you are exposed to new cultures his was not entirely an easy one either; although he had previously idealized Indian culture through its religions and spirituality, he was so disillusioned with its anti-Americanism and “Baksheesh complex” as he called it that he sustained some sort of mental injuries for a while – until somehow they were cured in Japan.

Campbell’s Journey to Mythology

As a Japanese, I can be complimented by his implying that Japanese culture had such curative power – but to me it appears that one reason was that he finally finished working on Zimmer’s work that he grappled on for a good dozen of years.  Heinrich Zimmer was the scholar who influenced him most.  In short, he was freer in Japan.  His observation was that Japan was more open to westernization and that ancient Asian cultures were somehow better-preserved in this country.  He was rejoiced with both.

While in Japan he played with geisha, attended numerous theatrical performances (Noh, Kabuki, Bunraku, Takarazuka, among others), visited famous temples and shrines, met friends, scholars, and priests, and fiercely studied the Japanese language.

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Art: Shimura Tatsumi

 

Perhaps thanks to his wife Jean Erdman, dancer/choreographer/professor, he had a deep perception of theatrical works.  Jean shared parts of his travel.

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Joseph Campbell and Jean Erdman

In this volume you can encounter Campbell as a prolific writer/scholar and experience how he generated his ideas and organized them.  While reading you will discover many seeds for his later works.
In fact, it was through this indispensable journey that he was able to transform from a professor in comparative religion to a mythologist.

Campbell and Manto-e

One of the culminations of this journey was the visit to Todai-ji Temple in Nara, renowned for its Great Buddha of 54-foot height (Daibutsu).  Luckily he hit the very date of Manto-e, or Ten Thousand Lights Festival.

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Higashi Otani Manto-e Festival (Kyoto, Japan)
Photo copyright by https://imgur.com/user/zazuzazu001

Then a centennial event, according to Campbell, this festival takes place every year in our time, but not in April when he attended but in August.  I could imagine how otherworldly awe-inspiring the Great Buddha was among numerous quivering lights.

It is these unforgetable moments that make people long for coming back to the same place, or leaving for another travel… He also joined Aoi-matsuri (Aoi Festival) in Kyoto and even engaged in a fire-walking on the occasion of Shinran’s (the founder of Shinshu sect) birthday celebration.

Campbell: Asian Journals conclusion

Like many Japanese I like to hear what foreigners think of our culture and country.  In that sense I was very satisfied with his voice from some 60 years ago.

But the world he depicted was a bit foreign to me as well – the travel from Tokyo to Kyoto which takes less than 3 hours now took him some 7 hours and 20 minutes (before the advent of our bullet train Shinkansen), and he strolled in towns where streetcars were running (this method of transportation disappeared around the time I was born).

Magically cultures and traditions survive even though they somewhat change, and I am thankful that this great man of culture and spirituality had a chance or two to visit my country.

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Civil War and Dreams: The Home Voices Speak Louder Than the Drums

Civil War soldiers had two things that helped them to survive the battlefields: imagination and dreams.

Author Wanda Burch, found a journal with letters from soldiers in Georgia. One of these letters said:

“soldier mortals would not survive if they were not blessed with the gift of imagination and the pictures of hope. The second angel of mercy is the night dream”.

A Mindfunda Book Review of: The Home Voices Speak Louder Than the Drums. Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs.
by Wanda Easter Burch
McFarland & Company 2017 hardcopy $45.00 ISBN 9781476665580 ebook ISBN 8781476625256 $21.70

Civil War and Dreams

The American Civil War (1861-1865) was, in my European eyes, a war between the old way of agricultural living (in the South) and the new industrial way of living (in the North).

Due to the television show “North and South” (in the Netherlands pronounced as Norse and Sauce, because for us it is quite difficult to pronounce the th correctly), I always thought it was about the genuine wish to free America from slavery.

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Picture from North and South

But reading the book The Home Voices Speak Louder Than the Drums. Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs, has made me realize that it was not so much the desire to put an end to slavery that urged men to partake in the Civil War. Both sides were defending the life style they had grown accustomed to.

Of course, the heroine of many dreamers, Harriet Tubman, a woman who used her dreams abilities to guide people to freedom, is mentioned in this book.

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Harriet Tubman

“Harriet Tubman (born in slavery as Araminta Ross and later taking her mother’s name, Harriet) has been described as a “Moses” of her people, a “Conductor” on the Underground Railroad and “Moll Pitcher”, a reference to her energy and daring (page 220).

Harriet just decided, after her master had died, to take a chance and walk out of the gate.

“In a pivotal moment for both Harriet and all those whose freedom she implemented, Harriet walked out of the gate of the plantation singing and just kept on walking, looking back only once” (page 220).

Because her family was not free, she kept on freeing others, using her dreams as guidance. There are even stories about her faling into a dream state and waking up with the “right” path to travel.

 

Civil War and Precognition

I like that this book treats dreams and imagination as the same type of energy. The imagination of home, no matter what the reality of that home was, could give a soldier the hope to keep on going.

One of the questions that immediately entered my mind when I opened this book was: would the danger of being on the battle field cause an increase in precognitive dreams?

Wanda dedicates a whole chapter on Precognitive Dreaming. “These dreams stayed with the dreamers like a mist when they were walking and reminded them that dreams do pry into futures and that paying attention is the better side of caution when the morning comes and the dreams persist” (page 100).

This chapter is filled with wonderful, but also with tragic stories of hope and loss.

I must confess that I was a bit disappointed that there was not a conclusion about if something as threatening to your mental and physical health like a war would increase the number of precognitive dreams.

Civil War

But I also realize that this is an almost unanswerable question. Intuitively, one would say that it is almost inevitable that a dangerous situation triggers precognitive dreams.

Civil War and the Voices of Home

This book is composed out of 18 chapters. It starts out with the dreams of Abraham Lincoln, his famous dream in which he foresaw his own death. Wanda challenges us here to (re)think about the philosophical question of predetermination.

Art, children, sacred soil, mutual dreams (dreams shared by family members), dreams of people who are mortally wounded, this book covers every angle.

It is filled with amazing stories, written in a very readable language, and if you have a soft spot for dreaming, this book will be an asset to your book collection.

The Home Voices Speak Louder Than the Drums. Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs.

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The Fiction of Dreams, A Book Review

Fiction and dreams are closely related. “The dream’s essence lies in its storytelling capacity. Dreams are autobiographical fictions that tell the story of the dreamer’s life history, her insertion in transgenerational family themes, and her ethnic and cultural identity”. That is how Otto Rheinschmiedt hooks me in the first paragraph of this book.

Oh yes, I agree with him and in my mind several cool and cruel dream stories of mine resurface…

There is the nightmare story I once told you about, there have been a couple of mutual dreams I had, that turned into what could have been a novel, and several childhood dreams that still amaze me because they seem to have been the seed of what turned out to be my life.

A Mindfunda Book review of The Fiction Of Dreams, Dreams Literature and Writing
By Otto M. Rheinscmiedt
Karnac, 2017, Hardcover $39.30 Kindle $25.61 ISBN-10: 1782204202 ISBN-13: 978-1-78220-420-6
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

 

 

Fiction of Dreams
Buy the book using this link and support the good work of Mindfunda

Fiction of Dreams: Design of Creation

“Dreams are governed by the universal sign of creation. They follow the principles of creation inherent in the strategies of genius, quantum physics, and chaos theory. Dreams cannot be understood completely if one applies a singular model of the mind” (page XV).

I have written about it in The Multiverse, a Dream Come True?.

And even though most of us dream lovers are charmed with the new scientific break throughs in cosmology, we still are not able to create a new way of working with dreams out of it.

That is not the intention of this book. But Otto still proposes a theory to explain human dreams and behaviour. His model has seven pillars.

Fear
Destructiveness
Love
Knowledge
Beauty
Power
Spirituality

And even though it’s quite complicated, I like the fact that Otto offers a model. In his beautiful, thorough book, you need a structure to hang on to.

This book made me think back at another interesting book that explored the theme of fiction and dreams. Philosophy, Dreaming and the Literary Imagination by Michaela Schrage – Fruh.

This book embraces a more philosophical standpoint, while The Fiction of Dreams can be read as a creative case study that aims to make a quilt of at least 7 pieces to keep you warm at night.

 

Fiction of Dreams: Who is the Dream Creator?

In his book Otto promotes a dream facilitator that is bigger than the individual mind. I’d have to fully agree with him on that issue.

He describes how Charles Steward in his book Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece has shown how dreaming was liked to economical circumstances and group feeling.

He gently hints, no almost seduces you, to open up to the idea that each individual dream is part of a universal dream quilt. And that the intent of such a quilt is to keep us warm and safe.

Fiction of Dreams: Freud

Otto’s admiration for Freud is a red theme across the chapters of the book. He honestly describes several cases he has had as a psychotherapist were ladies were as offended by Freud’s assumption of penis envy as I always have been.

But I must confess, the more I found out about Freud, the more I began to admire his mythological thinking mind.

In this book, Freud is honoured because of his prize winning poetry (he got the 1930 Goethe prize for literature.

fiction of dreams

 

And the book focusses on how dreams are stories. The Fiction of dreams. And he book is filled with incredible examples of precognitive dreams.

There is a dream about a lady who found out because of her dreams that she had jewish ancestry.

There is a dream about a son who grew up without his biological father. When he tracked him down, he recognized how several dream had hinted on his father’s profession and his half brothers and sisters.

PRO

This book is written with care, well researched and easy to read;
The cases used are very interesting;
The mythological background and the chapter about deities and Asclepius increases the yummy factor of this book.

CON

The way the 7 human drives are abbreviated in F + H + L + B + P + S was a bit confusing to me;
There are many (mostly male) writers discussed, who have written from dreams or in a dream-like state. But I could not find a theme, or strain of thought that connected them.

 

Enthusiastic and want to buy this book? The Fiction Of Dreams, Dreams Literature and Writing

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Dreams that Guide You on Your Life Path

Finding your life path. It can be quite a journey… To my great enjoyment I saw that the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) has decided that the theme of the new online psiberconference is going to be: “Illuminating the Path: Psi Dreaming for a Brighter World“.

Life Path

We live in a strange society. You are supposed to have your parents make all your decisions. You are not to speak up, not to be too smart are too loud. And all of a sudden you are grown up. You need to get into the world and earn some money.

The amount of money you make is inherent with the respect you earn. At least, most of the time. And I don’t want to complain but I work extremely hard and don’t earn very much. I even -like almost every blogger- contemplate stopping a couple of days each week.

life path

So in my last crisis I asked for a dream. I asked “What is the path I should take?”.

Life Path and Dreams

The last big decision I had to make was when I was still living with my parents. My parents were moving to Spain. I wanted to be a psychologist. My parents did not like that very much. It did not have much job security.

I dreamed that me and Carl Gustav Jung were taking to each other while we were walking in a garden. The grass was green. I could not remember the conversation, but felt it guided me towards my inner longing.

life path

And truly, getting into University and meeting other psychology students was a sort of homecoming. Finally nobody wondered why i was asking so much. Or reading so much. Or wanted to know so much about my dreams. I felt at home.

But soon the first disappointment came. There was not the slightest intention to talk about either Freud or Carl Jung. They were considered to be “unscientific”.

Life Path and Action

When I graduated I could not find a job. I started working dull stupid jobs way beyond my intellectual capacity. I’d much rather have work than sit at home and collect welfare.

Little did I know that my work attitude was bad for my resume. Employers seemed to be looking for young people who had experience, but not wanting to be the company that provided that experience.

 

life path

 

 

 

It made me so incredibly sad that my parents had been right. So I started working on the chain gang. Being a slave that obeys orders, isn’t allowed to think and gets paid. I was miserable.

Life Path and Love

I had saved some money. So when I met the love of my life, he and me agreed that I should use my money to enable me to stay at home and guide our children. Enjoying them, guiding them., Giving them love, shelter warmth and security

 

Life Path

 

Meanwhile I kept on challenging my mind. I read more about different subjects: consciousness was and is one of my main topics of interest. The cosmos, and how it takes the tiniest parts to explain the big things has got me captured. When I leave Mindfunda behind, that is the thing I want to get into.

Life Path: the Dream

The dream I had the night I asked my dreaming mind for advice was this.

I am driving and all of a sudden the road is not paved. There are stones and rocks. I panic: did I miss a sign? Should I have gotten off the road? Is it safe to drive her or will I ruin my car if I go on? On my righthand side there is a freeway. But i can not see clearly enough if it is safe to take that turn. I don’t want to take the freeway if it means that I will be in a car crash. I am unable to see clearly who and what is driving on that freeway. Should I stay on the left hand side and take the broken up road? Is it my road?

Confused I wake up.

What do you think? And did you ever have dreams to guide you on the path of your life? Let me know in the comments.

 

This Blog is written by Dutch Psychologist and Blogger Susanne van Doorn

I write a Mindfunda every other day. I also give online courses and workshops. The newest one starts June 19 2017: a week-long dreaming around the Summer Solstice.

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Wonder Woman: A Female Perspective

 

Wonder Woman, the film entered the cinema’s and got a lot of positive feedback. Women said that they were crying when they saw the film.

I wanted to see the film to investigate if it isn’t an ultimate form of misogyny to admire a woman simply because she can fight like a man? Is Wonder Woman just a male soldier with big breasts and a vagina? Or is something else going on?

Wonder Woman: Amazos

The film starts with Wonder Woman as a child. She wants to learn how to fight but her mother does not want that to happen.

The noticeable thing for you and me – dream lovers and symbolism-freaks, is that the bed she sleeps in has a mandala-eye shape…

Wonder Woman-child is building her eye, her I in her dreams. You have got to love that. It soon became clear to me that my original hypothesis is wrong.

No, Wonder Women is not a male warrior dressed up as a hot chick. The film assumes that all human beings are warriors. Girls are just taught to stop fighting. Except for Amazon women.

Wonder woman
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

 

The Amazon warriors, according to Greek mythology, were called Amazon because the word “amazos” means without a breast…

You see that Hollywood has taken a free interpretation here, the breasts of Gal Gadot are waving their hallo’s in her cleavage.

Fighting girls are hot. Do you remember Sense8? Sun is the female warrior over there. In the last Sense8 very she was also fighting in her underwear. It’s got to be a Hollywood thing.

Wonder Woman: The Female Perspective

Not a lot of movies have a female hero. Usually females are the “price” a hero gets after he has won his battle.

I recently read a blog, written by a father to both of his sons about Wonder Woman. He adressed the feelings of unease he assumed his sons would have watching the opening scenes without a male character in it.

Did you know I did not even notice the fact that there was no man present in the opening scenes? Yes, shame on me.

Because usually I do get a bit sick and tired of the male perspective in books, newspapers and films.

So, being reasonably experienced in the female perspective after inhabiting a female body for over fifty years, let’s see what my female perspective has to say about Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman: the Initial Female Paradise

Like all stories, the film begins in paradise. A matriarchy, inhabited by women.
It’s almost like every girl experiences her childhood. Father is away, into the wild world, and mother and sisters are close.

All of a sudden, and attractive spy rinses onto the shores. He is telling stories about a destructive war that is going on. In her heart Wonder Woman knows that she, with her magical powers can stop the fighting.

This is such a good point of the picture. Almost every heterosexual woman has had that attractive spy that invaded her I-land. And almost every woman fell madly in love and wanted to set him free of his inner battles. Feeling it was her magic that could safe him.

But should we? Should we still safe those spies? Shouldn’t we have a new power hero that tells us that spies have a natural ability to get out of trouble? Or would that mean a significant decline in birth rates? No more spies to safe, women, be prepared for a boring and lonely life?

 

Wonder Woman
Chris Pine in Wonder Woman

 

And in order to kill het biggest enemy Ares, her animus Steven Trevor has to give his life as well. Talking about integrating your shadow!

Both men are opposite shades on the Shadow Palette in a women’s personality. It makes you wonder, after you have seen this film who in your life have been your Ares and your Steven. And dip your brush into the colour shade you want the world to see this day.

Wonder Woman Beauty

All throughout the film people notice that Diana aka Wonder Woman is exceptionally beautiful.

This is NOT a thing we-avarege women- experience. Most of us are quite ordinary. The beautiful girls are species of a different kind to us.

They act from a set of different rules. They know they can break them because of their looks. One smile and such a woman is forgiven for every rotten thing she has ever done.

If you truly want a female perspective, make your heroine an ordinary looking person. But wait! That will not sell. And you are right my dear reader, films with male protagonists usually also have an extraordinary handsome actor playing the leading role.

Wonder Woman Half God

Wonder woman is a half god. She is a descendent of Zeus himself and -even though she is a warrior a heart, she battles against war.

She is fighting fire with fire: using her fighting skills to end a world war. But fire is a good servant but a bad master.

We, women have always tried to battle. Often much more in a psychological way than physical.

wonder woman

How many mothers have fought the school system like I did when my son got molested at school, and lost?

We are mortals, not half gods. In that way, Wonder Woman is a blessing for the soul. Finally a woman who fights and gets justice done.

A blessing for all of us who got our asses kicked to the core by society.

Wonder Woman Conclusion

I am a bit double hearted about this film.  I truly like the fact that there is a female protagonist.

But there are too many butt’s. Literal and psychological. Of course I can understand the need to show tits and ass if you want to make money.

Of course I can understand why the protagonist is strikingly beautiful. Of course I can understand why the motive of the first world war is just a side line.

Of course i can understand why there has to be a love-interest in the movie.

But all of those things make the movie kind of average again. But, my dear reader, you are right, criticism is easy.

Would you go and watch Wonder Woman? Let me know in the comments.

This Mindfunda is written by Dutch Psychologist and blogger Susanne van Doorn

I write a Mindfunda every other day. I also give online courses and workshops. The newest one starts June 19 2017: a week long dreaming around the Summer Solstice.

Susanne van Doorn
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Midsummer Night Dreaming

The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet Are of Imagination all compact... 
Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream” 

Midsummer Night is around the corner. The shortest night of the year could be the most important one for dreaming.  Since day and Age, the Summer Solstice has been a Magical time for Dreamers.

Midsummer: the sun gains power in the Northern Hemisphere. Days get longer, nights get shorter.

Butterflies seem to be kissing the multitude of flowers in an almost endless array of colours…

And even though the nights are getting shorter, dreams seem to be packed with meaning. A special time to tune into your dreams…

 

midsummer night
Titania
Frederick Howard Michael

 

To honour this special time I have created a Midsummer Night’s Week of dreaming, incubation and dream sharing on Mindfunda.  Celebrate this special week with me. You will get 7 incubations to induce dreams loosely based on the tale of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A story in which dreams are magical and nothing is what it seems to be…

Midsummer Night Synopsis

I know that not everyone is familiar with the story of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. He wrote it at approximately the same time as when he wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Here is a synopsis of the story, copied from the site midsummernightfilm.com:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream” deals with the universal theme of love and its complications: lust, disappointment, confusion, marriage. 

The plot focuses on three parallel stories: the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers camping in a magical forest, the world of the Fairy King and Queen and their elves, and a group of rough craftsmen attempting to stage a production of “Pyramus and Thisby” for the wedding of the Duke of Athens.

Hermia is in love with Lysander, but her father wants her to marry Demetrius. To escape the arranged marriage, she and Lysander elope into the woods. 

 

midsummer night
Hermia and Lysander
John Simmons

 

Demetrius follows them, and he is pursued by Helena, who nurses an unrequited passion for him. A love quadrangle develops among the young lovers when mischievous Puck plays Cupid. “The course of true love never did run smooth” says Lysander. 

Meanwhile, a group of amateur actors rehearses a badly written play in the woods, and soon all find their lives changed by the doings of Oberon and Titania, the warring king and queen of the fairies. 

Magic, action, love and humour are the ingredients for this unforgettable spell.

This work is widely performed around the world, and no wonder – it’s about the world’s most popular pastime, falling in love. But as Puck knows, falling in love can make fools of us all. Love is crazy, love is mad. Will love win out in the end?”

Midsummer Night Online Event

The main theme of a Midsummer Night’s Dream is Love.

1. Love for your soul;
2. Love for your imagination;
3. Love for your archetypical animus energy;
4. Love for your connection with your female side as it is reflected by the radiance of the moon;
5. Love for your inner wickedness;
6. Love for the energies in your psyche;
7. and most of all love for Dreams as you are ready to receive a gift from the realm of fairies.

 

midsummer night
Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing
William Blake

 

Each day you will get a new incubation to help you concentrate on that theme. But it is not only passively consuming information…

You will have to use the information gathered through dreaming in composing your own incubation, using questions I’ll provide. And be ready to receive a dream gift (Receiving gifts is hard for most people).

You are able to share your dreams in an online forum and I will give you my perspective on them using the “If it was my dream” method”.

The dream belongs to you, I can only give my vision on it. And I will do so with the greatest respect.

This event is for you to help you find out more about your inner reality. About your perception. The fools in Shakespeare’s play are easily tricked. What do your perceive as real?

Midsummer Night by Night, the Program

In the first night we will concentrate on the love in our life. The love for our being, the love for our soul, the love that we share with our significant other. If you look back on your life, does your love-balance check out? How can you honour your soul in such a way that it will increase your love balance?

In a Midsummer Night’s Dream the love madness is symbolised by three couples. Two human couples: Lysander & Hermia and Demetrius and Helena. And a magic couple: Oberon and Titania.

The magic that stirs the alchemic transition between these 6 archetypes comes from he Love-in idleness flower. And it happens while you sleep…

midsummer night
The Magic Flower: Viola Tricolor

So this first night, you will contemplate on the love in the story of your life, and ask yourself what you want to harvest to feed your soul during the winter.

In the second night you will focus on the fairy world. When you fall asleep, you will imagine that you enter a magic forest. Puck, who is very fast will take you on a journey. He will show you mountains in his country (or are they clouds?).

 

midsummer night
Illustration: Alfred Fredericks

 

He will show you his Queen Titania. Is she a Queen or just a whirl of energy? You will witness the energy between her and her husband Oberon. And when they both acknowledge you, they will give you a present. A gift of magic for you to take home.

In the third night, we will concentrate on the animus or male energy in our psyche. The animus has represented by the “sun” god Oberon is a symbol of the ego. Oberon just wants to get his way. He wants Titania to obey him. Just like your own ego can act like a spoiled little child. But it is also Oberon who resolves the confusion between the lovers and make sure that everyone ends up with a suitable partner.

midsummer night
Art by Vesner on DevianArt

 

How has your animus helped your soul? Tonight you will meet him and ask him a question.

The fourth night we will concentrate on the anima energy in our psyche. Tonight you will concentrate on your relationship with the moon. The moon is important in Midsummer Night’s Dream. Three of planet Uranus’s moons are used as names for characters in the play: Titania, Oberon and Puck.

midsummer night
“The Lunatic, the Lover and the Poet / Are of imagination all compact”

 

The moon makes lovers go crazy. This night you will concentrate on how the moon affects your dreams.

On the fifth night, we will concentrate on our Puck energy. How, when and where have we been antagonists? Has it served our soul?

 

midsummer night
Puck
Illustration: Arthur Rackham

 

What in our lives need transformation right now? Are we willing to transform? This night you will open up to the trickster inside yourself and hear his or her message.

On the sixth night you need to draw a sketch of the energies you have encountered in the dreams you have experienced this far. You are able to scan and sent the drawing to get feedback on it if you would like so. Most of all, this sketch will make your inner energies more sustainable to you.

Play around with the energies for a day. Add energy where your intuition would like so. Do you need more animus power in your life? How is your connection with the moon as energiser for your dreams? How do you relate to the fairy world? These and more questions will help you to rewrite/adjust the incubation of this night to your specific needs.

On the last night, you will compose a specific question. If you have posted your dreams into the forum that this online workshop provides you with, you can ask me for help to formulate a question about every dream you posted on the forum.

This night you will visit the magic kingdom again and ask what we can harvest right now to nourish our souls. What is it that our should long for right now?

I hope you will join me on this adventure. Click here to register.

This blog is written by Dutch psychologist and dream expert Susanne van Doorn.
I write on Mindfunda every other day. If you like this post, feel free to share or comment.

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Multiverse: a Dream come True?

I have this lovely theory that in my dreams, I visit a multiverse. In my dreams I step into this multiverse, live life and solve problems according to the laws that are applicable there.

More and more research is done to determine if we are part of a multiverse. A cosmos where there are several universes, that may or may not interconnect.

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Origin of  the term Multiverse

Erwin Schrödinger was the first person to use the term ‘multiverse’.

multiverse
Erwin Schrödinger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixty-five years ago, in 1952, he said that his Nobel equations seemed to describe several different histories, these were “not alternatives, but all really happen simultaneously”.

In sixty five years, what has science found out about the possibility of the multiverse?

Multiverse and Scientific Proof

Whenever you turned on the radio in the ‘old days” you could here a noise. A part of this noise is cosmic background wave of the Big Bang.

In 2004, when scientists examined the waves of the cosmos, the Cold Spot was discovered. This is a spot in the universe that is too cold to be explained by the Big Bang.

 

multiverse
Cosmic Microwave Background Cold Spot
Photo: Nasa

 

This “Cold Spot” seems little in this picture, but is approximately 1.8 billion light years across. There is a void in this cold spot, and the temperature should be higher. So what could explain this cold spot?

 

multiverse
Laura Mersini-Houghton

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Mersini-Houghton suggests that this cold spot can be explained “as the gravitational tug exerted by other universes” (source Wikipedia).

Other universes would ‘pull’ onto our universe, and in doing so they decrease temperature.

And even though I hope that science will find evidence of a multiverse, I am not really sure if gravity is able to decrease temperature.

Multiverse as an Intellectual Concept

Howard Wiseman of the Griffith University, suggests that the concept of the multiverse is a theoretical one.

A sort of glue that sticks pieces of information that have been unexplainable by the Big Bang Theory, nicely together.

 

multiverse
Cartoon: Calvin and Hobbes

 

Treating the cosmos as an intellectual jiggle saw puzzle that needs to be solved. That sounds a lot like what we do when we try to attach some meaning to a dream, doesn’t it?

If you take into account that we live in a universe that is just one of many universes (an intuitively appealing assumption) you’d have to assume that each universe responds to different laws.

Wiseman also argues that quantum phenomena are the result of the interaction between the forces of those universes.

 

multiverse

 

I have got to admit: the last point was a huge disappointment to me. It is like Wiseman tries to explain Santa Clause by pointing at the presents your child finds at his shoe each morning.

 

Multiverse and Dreams

 

I bet you are as disappointed as I was when I was composing this Mindfunda. When I got the idea for this blog, I felt positive that I would find some evidence for the existence of the multiverse. I failed to find any. I do have this gut feeling though…

I remember a time that I sent an email to a lady who did scientific research in quantum mechanics. I wanted to invite her to give a lecture for the Dutch Dream organisation of which I, at that time was part of.

 

multiverse

 

Her answer was deadly. She responded with a barley hidden contempt that i had no clue what I was talking about. There was no connection between dreams and visiting paralel universes.

I dare to invoke all dreamers for a revolte against the current scientific society we get crushed into. Let’s explore all of our possible universes in (lucid) dreams!

Have you ever visited another reality in your dreams? Let me know in the comments!

 

This blog is written by Dutch psychologist and blogger Susanne van Doorn

I write a Mindfunda blog every other day. I also have an online course page. My newest online course is the Midsummer Night event that will start June 19. It will give you a week filled with incubations and possibilities to share dreams. Read more about it in Midsummer Night Dreaming or Sign up for it right away.

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3 Facts about Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute defines it like this on their website:

“Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

 

 

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep.

As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.”

This Mindfunda helps you to determine if you might be suffering from sleep apnea. Always visit the doctor if you think it is likely that you suffer from it.

1: Chronic Fatigue and Sleep Apnea

You can imagine how sleep apnea interferes with your regular sleep cycle. Nature has provided five sleep stadia for our brain. Each stadia is typified by a specific amplitude of brain waves.

 

sleep apnea
art: Psychologytoday.com

 

When sleep apnea causes a lack of oxygen, you wake up. When you wake up, you are not able to finish your sleep cycle.

If this happens at a regular basis,  your health will be affected.

2: Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Snoring is an underestimated problem. It can cause a lot of trouble in a relationship. Not everyone who snores has apnea.

There is an app called Snorelab.You download it on your mobile phone. You put it on and lie it besides you on the bedside table.

sleep apnea

It records the sound you make during your sleep and you can listen and analyse the moments that you snore.

3. Sleep Apnea and a Partner

Many people who suffer from apnea, are not aware of it. Because it has such bad health implications: an increased risk of vascular diseases, obesity and depression it is sometimes with the help of a partner that we can determine cheater we should seek medical help.

sleep apnea

Many times it is a partner that tells you that you seem to stop breathing at night.

4. Sleep Apnea and morning headaches

When you wake often witha dry mouth (because your mouth was open) and a headache, it cold be a sign that you are suffering from sleep apnea.

sleep apnea

Do you recognise one or more symptoms? Please visit your doctor. If sleep apnea is diagnosed you have several options to improve your situation. You will feel better.

Mindfunda is a blog from Dutch psychologist Susanne van Doorn.
Mindfunda publishes a blog every other day.

I have a new Mindfunda online event: The Mindfunda Midsummer Night Event. A week long reading, dreaming and contemplating around the theme of the summer solstice.

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June Solstice Online Dream Event

The June Solstice is a special, magic time. The perfect time to tune into the wisdom of your dreams.

You can do so on June 19th 2017 when you participate in the Mindfunda Midsummer Night Dreaming Event. This Mindfunda tells you more about this online dreaming Event.

June Solstice
Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

A week-long we are going to incubate dreams about what wants to grow, how we are going to balance our energy and how to prepare for the winter. Because this event lasts a week, there is plenty of time to remember and a dream. Whenever you remember a dream you can share it on our online forum and I will provide objective feedback on it.

Click to subscribe to Summer Solstice.

Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

June Solstice: A Special Time for Dreaming

Cultures all over the world have celebrated the summer solstice as a special time.

I believe that there are times in each year that dreams have a tendency to have a special meaning. All you have to do is “tune” into it. And that is exactly what this online course will provide.

June is the month that the sun in the Northern hemisphere rises to its highest point. The fertility god(dess) has reached its highest point. Now it is time to sort out your inner balancing sheet.

Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

Participating in this an online dream adventure will enhance your dream capability in ways that you could not have imagined.

 

June Solstice: Power of Group Dreams

There is something about the power of dreaming in a group, that seems to enhance its power. If you focus on a problem and (try) to solve it by asking for a special dream, it is going to work. But if you dream with a group of other people, who devote their attention to a similar concept, it seems to have an effect that is called synergy. (I have written a nice book about this, you can download it here).

 

 

 

Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

Because it is a group dreaming process, you will experience that you start to ‘tune in’ with other people’s dreams. People seem to ‘pick up’ stuff much easier in dreams.

But you won’t only meet other dreamers. You will also tune in with the fairy world. The world you were so familiar with when you were a child.

 

Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

You will get information about the plants that have magical properties on the night of the summer solstice.

You will tune into the realm of dreamers, into the realm of plants, into the realm of fairies and you will explore your inner archetypical energies.

June Solstice: Prepare for Harvest

 

This shortest night of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) is the temporary descend of the god(dess) of fertility. The power of the sun is going to decrease. Now it is a prefect time to contemplate about what you have sown this year and to prepare for the things you need to harvest.

 

Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

Not only a harvest of material things. What do you want to harvest in a psychological way, to get you through the times of darkness and deprivation that slowly start to arrive now.

 

Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

June Solstice online Dreaming

This online event will give you:

  • A Daily Dream Incubation, for 7 days;
  • Each night has a special focus:
  • The first night the focus will be on love and how you have manifested it in your life;
  • The second night we will focus on the magic fairy world and leave with a gift
  • The third night we will focus on the animus or male side in our personality;
  • The fourth night we will focus on the anima or female side in our personality;
  • The fifth night we will focus on the transformation our soul needs right now;
  • The sixth night we will focus on how to achieve/keep in balance with all the energies of different realms around us;
  • The last night we are going to ask for a gift;
  • Each day you will get new information about the psychological concepts hidden within the incubations. You will learn about the magic fairy world, you will learn about the five special plants, you be challenged to remember how you connected with this world with ease in the past;
  • Each day you have the ability to post your dreams in an online safe forum that is closed off from the internet to share your dreams;
  • You will get a respectful objective response on dreams you posted, this can be either questions that I think the dream is asking you, an If It Was My Dream interpretation, and usually a suggestion on how to undertake action to honour the dream;
  • Valuable information about yourself.

 

June Solstice
Art: Cicely Mary Barker
Flower Fairy Illustraties

 

Sign up now and enjoy your dreams during the  Summer Solstice.

Initiator of this online course is Dutch Psychologist Susanne van Doorn.
Regular presenter on the subject of dreams, Blogger on Mindfunda, Board Member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

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Writing in the House of Dreams by Jenny Alexander

 

 

Writing has been important to me since I was a little child. I used to get moments of ‘possessed inspiration’. Moments that I needed a pen and some paper. When I put the pen down, words flowed out. Where a story just seems to present itself. As if it comes from another realm, just like a dream.

Those moments have gone, unfortunately. Possession has transformed into structure. Reading Writing in the House of Dreams, written by Jenny Alexander, brought back those memories.

This is a Mindfunda Book Review of: Writing in the House of Dreams
by Jenny Alexander
Five Lanes Press 2014
Kindle $ 4.17 Paperback $ 13.99

 

writing
Support the Good work of Mindfunda and buy the book using this link

Writing in the House of Dreams Introduction

“If you are a writer interested in dreams, you will find here a guide to the dream world and a toolkit of techniques that you will need to explore it, such as how to recall and record your dreams, how to incubate a dream and how to tackle nightmares” Jenny promises the reader on page 9.

What a clever way of targeting your audience, I thought when I read that. I know that I am one among many dream-lovers who fantasizes of having her own book published.

writing

Writing in the House of Dreams is divided into three parts. It’s build up according to the hero’s journey. Jenny encourages you to cross the threshold in part one. She enthusiastically shows you around in your house of dreams in part two. Than she lures you outside in part three when she tells you that there is a landscape beyond. And finally in part four you need to take the jump into the Dream-space.

Writing as a Means to Cross the Threshold

“Babies in the womb display all the physical signs of dreaming, and so it seems that the dream is the first, before mother, father, family, culture. We are born out of the dream and emerge, still cocooned, into the magical world of childhood, where teddies can talk, fairies grant wishes and monsters hide in the shadows” (page 11).

Jenny is very clear about it. Dreaming is our natural state of being. Before we take our first breath, we are already dreaming.

writing
Art: Joseph Israels

“The call to dreams is a call to the soul. Writing fiction is similar to dreaming, but less intense. We enter the ‘writer’s trance’ and become, to some extent, our characters” (page 43).

The back ground story, that Jenny tells in an italic letter type, is how she has struggled with dreams. Having an exquisite dream memory and a traumatic past,  she talks about a recurring nightmare. We find out that where her talented older sister she has looked up to all of her life, suddenly commits suicide. Jenny feels lost now that her role-model apparently had been lost herself. What to do now? She visits several therapists and non of them can really help her deal with a recurrent nightmare.

The tide changes for her when her therapist advises her to read Patricia Garfield’s Creative Dreaming.

Each chapter has some very interesting exercises to improve your writing skills. For example, in the introduction Jenny suggests that each person three “seed stories”.

“Three random incidents you remember from your childhood can contain the seeds of all the stories in later life”. And she shares exercises that will reveal those stories to you.

 

Writing the House of Dreams

Once you have crossed the threshold and have re-acquainted yourself with the world of dreams, it is time to explore your house of dreams. To not only make yourself at home, listen to the voice of the dream however soft it whispers but also to hear to the cries of the beast in the basement…

writing

“Your dream is like a person sitting next to you on the bus journey through life. If you choose to ignore them and look straight ahead, you probably won’t even know what they look like, let alone what they have to say” (page 116).

Even though it is pretty basic stuff about the technique of dream incubation, Jenny is onto bigger realities. At the end of part two, she invites us to “The Landscape Beyond”.

Writing the Mythic Dimension

“We don’t dream in isolation. The dream is bigger than our personal unconscious” (page 142).

I think this was the moment that I fell deeply in love with this book. In my own mutual dreaming experiment (The Mutual Dreaming Model) and in the (online) dream groups I have facilitated, I have experienced that ether is something like a shared dream consciousness.

I dared to speak about it one time, at a Dutch Dream Convention, where immediately a concerned dreamer raised his hand and said: “but a dream tells you things only about yourself”. I felt lonely at that moment and agreed with him just to get rid of the “yes/no” discussion I knew that was going to follow.
So I was excited to read about someone who is gutsy enough to accept this asa given fact.

Myths and stories resonate with a particular area of your life. Jenny invites you to write about the Persephone situations in your life. Persephone, daughter of fertility Goddess Demeter was captured by the God of the Underworld, Hades.

writing
Persephone
Artist unknown

There she became Queen. She learned the art of communication beyond the real of the living. Her mother wanted her back. But Persephone had already decided that she was going to eat 6 pomegranate seeds. She had children, she became queen instead of daughter and she had very important position being the Queen of the real of death.

At one point in life we all have been in hell. And we have come back from it. Somewhat more bitter, somewhat less trusting. But all who have been there know exactly to just listen to our own inner voice. Even when it tells us things we don’t like.

I especially like the writing exercise in this part that concerns six of your favourite stories.

Writing into the Dream Space

A dream offers a gateway to realms beyond all human experience.

“For dreamers and writers, this feeling that the ordinary world is not as ‘real’ as it seems means that the world of imagination feels even more ‘real’. Rather than leaving the ‘real’ world and going off into flights of fancy, we move easily between realities, which are all products of the psyche” (page 207).

Jenny invites you to explore the idea that Anne Baring (Dream of the Cosmos) has also written about in such an inspiring manner. Is there a dream that is dreaming you?

writing

She shares some interesting ideas about her concept of the elasticity of time:

“Letting go of the idea of time as a line which travels in one direction has an interesting knock-on effect in terms of identity and the human journey”.

And my old friend synchronicity also appears in this book.

“As soon as you stop looking for cause-and-effect links on a line of time, you notice other links, things that are meaningfully connected, yet in a non causal way. Jung called this ‘synchronicity’.

Conclusion

PRO

I enjoy the exercise(s) at the end of each chapter very much. I will go back to all the exercises and see if I am able to rekindle that inspirational writing flow of my childhood.

I like the mythological approach very much. You can read the book as a personal record of Campbell’s Journey of the Hero.

I know that there are a lot of dreamers that long to write their own book, and this  book offers so many practical exercises to get the writing juices flowing again.

I admire the vulnerability with which Jenny writes down her story. It is honest. Nothing is brushed away or sweetened up.

CON

The information about dreams that Jenny shares, tips to remember dreams is for beginners. More trained and advanced dreamers do not need those tips.

Sometimes the personal stories in italic letters are a bit too long. I found my eyes sometimes scanning a story instead of reading it.

A very practical downside: it has no index. This makes it very hard to look up a certain concept you are interested in.

Enthusiastic? Click here to buy Writing in the House of Dreams

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Summer Solstice Online Dreaming

I want to invite you to celebrate the Summer Solstice with me. I have created a new online course that offers 7 incubations, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The summer solstice has always been a magical time, surrounded by mythology. And who has captured this better than Shakespeare?

 

Summer Solstice: 7 Night Plan

The first nigh, June 19 2017,  we will focus on love. How does love manifest itself in your life right now? I will take the confusion between lovers in Midsummer Nights Dream as an example so you can connect with love experiences in the past. In this way you can see how the past has shaped your thoughts about love and how it should manifest. This night you will ask your dream to advice you on how to best manifest your love in your life.

The second night, June 20 2017, we will focus on the magic Fairy world. Love is magic. Awake your inner child and connect again with the fairy creatures you used to see, talk and play with. In this night’s incubation you will ask for the gift that you need right now.

The third night, June 21 2017, we are going to focus on the animus side of our personality. each person, male or female, has an animus side. An accumulation of qualities that our culture call “male”. Tonight we are going to connect with our male side and how this manifests in your life right now.

On the fourth night, June 22 2017, we will incubate a dream about the female, anima side of our personality. How does this side manifests in our life right now?

On the fifth night, June 23, we will concentrate on transformation. Summer is the time of the ripening of our spiritual crops. We can see what has grown and determine what does not agree with our energy.

On the sixth night, June 24, after we have visited the living and the fairy world, it is time to ask our dream to advice us on how to balance this energy in a way that will support us in the best way possible.

The last night of this spiritual journey is on June 25th when we ask for a symbolic gift. This gift will have a clear symbolic meaning to us.

There will be a forum available were you can enter and share dreams.

Click to subscribe to Summer Solstice.

 

Brought to you by Susanne van Doorn, dutch Blogger, Psychologist, dream Expert.

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The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise.

This blog is a part of a 4-blog series about the body.
The first blog is about Body Image and Self Esteem
This blog is about the spiritual body;
The third blog will be about the dreaming body;
This last blog is about the body of poetry.

The Body of Poetry

I know many sculptures of words. They cut away meanings, they design sentences and leave you, the reader behind with a mental image that entices your brain.

 

On Diverse Deviations

When Love is a Shimmering Curtain
Before a Door of Chance
That leads to a world in question
Wherein the macabrous dance
Of bones that rattle in silence
Of blinded eyes and rolls
Of thick lips, thin, denying
A thousand powdered moles,
Where touch to touch is feel
And life a weary whore
I could be carried off, not gently
To a shore,
Where love is the scream of anguish
And no curtain drapes the door.

Maya Angelou

poetry

Oh don’t you love that? We have all been there. Those situations were love was a shimmering curtain. the magic, the wondering, the fantasies not disproved by reality yet. The air filled with promises and desire…

Poetry as a song

Poetry is something you have to get used to. When I watched a documentary about Maya Angelou, I heard her poetry style described as being the result of someone who began to read poetry when she was too old.

It was archaic, with difficult words folded in over complex sentences. Be that as it may, I like the poetry I shared with you above. I have the sense that I understand it.

poetry

The way you can fall in love with a favourite song. Because one of the lines describes a feeling that your soul intuitively recognises.

And your heart cheers because all of a sudden you know that you are not the only fool who feels that way.

The first time I heard BAD from U2 I froze. The lyrics they poured into my soul. I later found out that Bono wrote it for a friend who was struggling with addiction. But the darkness of it attracted me. Often, when I would go out into town in weekends this was the final song of the evening. And everyone would yell along with the song.

poetry

If you should ask then maybe they’d
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in bloodshot eyes

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
If I could, you know I would, if I could, I would
Let it go

This desperation
Dislocation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go

U2 Bad

When you are singing this with about hundred other people, the words take on another meaning. Singing the words makes them resonate in your body. When the whole dance floor would yell: desolaaaationnnn, dislocaaaaaation, and so on (and I always used to sing new temptation instead of “revelation in temptation”) the darkness that you felt in your soul became a shared experience in the darkness of night. And to add to the dramatic atmosphere, the disc jokey used to take care that the lights went down so we were all resonating with this cries of the soul in the darkness.

You did not have to be addicted to fully understand what Bono was shouting about.

Poetry and the Body

Of course poetry resonates with the body. The poetry in music makes us dance. Poetry is emotion. And most of the time when you feel emotion it is because the poetry resonates through the body.

Anais Nin once said: “It’s all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.” (from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. I, 1966)

poetry

 

Mindfunda

 

This post was written by Susanne van Doorn MSc, Dutch psychologist and Blogger. I also created a nice number of online courses on Mindfunda Courses. Soon there will be a Midsummer Solstice Dream Event, a week of joint dreaming between June 19 – June 25.

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Best Books on Dreams 2017

What are the best books on dreams in 2017? And my question to you: what are the most inspiring books about dreams you have never read? Let me know in the comments because I love to get inspired by new books.

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You know I read a lot (I actually mean a LOT). I consider it to be a part of my self-development. I set aside at least one hour each day to immerse myself in the think-pattern of another human being. I taste it, feel it, play with it, sometimes get annoyed about it, sometimes it leaves me hungry for more…

Recently I sent out a mail to several people who I consider to be thought-leaders in their area of expertise, asking them to name me books that had inspired them.

“Let me think about that”, was the response I got from most of them. And a few actually mailed back some good books. And I will share them with you today.

Best books on dreams 2017

Robert Waggoner,  Past president of Th International Association for the study of Dreams, co-editor of the online magazine The Lucid Dreaming Experience

best books on dreams
Robert Waggoner

 

 

 

 

 

Robert says:  “When a distinguished researcher and Professor emeritus of psychology writes a book on dreams that seem clairvoyant, telepathic or precognitive, and research studies that support this, I pay attention.  This is a fascinating, thoughtful and well-written look at what science often refuses to look at, the paranormal dream”.

Robert is talking about the writer Carlyle T Smith. He is Professor Emiritus at Trent University Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and Director of Trent University Sleep Research Laboratories.

“Have you ever had a dream about someone you have not seen or heard from in months or years – and then later the same day you actually run into this person, or they telephone or write? You have had a Heads-Up dream” (from the website Heads Up Dreaming).

 

 

Deirdre Barrett , Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard, past president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams mentions an article instead of best books on dreams.

Deirdre Barrett

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article describes the discovery of the “dream spot“.

In a research of 46 persons the difference in brain activity was measured while dreamers were experiencing dreams in Rem and Non Rem sleep. The article, published in Nature Neuroscience, shows that there is a change in activity in a certain part of the brain called ‘posterior cortical hot zone’.

 

best books on dreams 2017

When waking people up while they had activity in that specific hot zone, no matter if the were in REM or in Non Rem sleep, they were experiencing dreams!

And what could even be more exciting: during wakefulness you also have similar activity in this dream spot. There is thin line between a blurry kind of wakefulness and dreams.

Now there is even more chance for scientists to resolve issues with insomnia or PTSD.

Stanley Krippner, Professor of Psychology on Saybrook University, known for his extensive knowledge of shamanism and mythology

best books on dreams 2017
Stanley Krippner

 

 

 

 

 

told me that he is impressed and inspired by Kelly Bulkely’s book Big Dreams. In his eyes it is one of the best books on dreams.

best books on dreams 2017
Click here to buy the book and support the good work of Mindfunda

Kelly Bulkeley pleads in this book to search for the so called Big Dreams. Those dreams that make a lasting impression and that chance your life.

Dream databases are filled with what I call “HTK’s”: House, Town and Kitchen Dreams. Ordinary dreams. And he wants us, but most of all other researchers to collect and research those big, life changing dreams and analyse them so we can draw conclusions about us, human beings a dreaming species.

Elaine Mansfield, Jungian author and inspirational blogger, who often gets inspired by dreams mentions a dream classic we all know as being the best book on dreams. This book has been on my bedside table for quite a while.

best books on dreams 2017
Elaine Mansfield

 

 

 

 

 

“I’ve done lots of dreamwork with Jungian analyst Robert Bosnak. I’ve also done trauma and healing work with him. His technique of connecting the dreamer deeply with the sensory dream images and embodying the images (rather than interpreting) transforms me every time.

best books on dreams 2017
Buy the book using this link to support the good work of Mindfunda

My favorite book of his is not new, but I listed it below. I love his technique of Embodied Imagination because you don’t have to be an expert to help a friend or partner with a dream—although it helps to be skilled. It’s about asking questions, slowing down the waking mind, and illuminating the images. Being with the dream. Bosnak’s technique was important in my marriage because it allowed us to do deep work together without stepping on each other’s dream toes”.

Bosnak has been an inspiration for me as well. If I had not been married, I would have sold all my stuff, and gone to America, to start working in his Santa Barbara Healing centre.  Even if he had not paid me (don’t tell him about this, because I like earning enough money to pay my bills), I would have helped and stayed around just as long for him to say: “Hey, that girl needs a job her, let’s sign her up, she’s doing good stuff”.

Another one of his books, the one that changed my way of working with dreams is Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming. What this book did for me was to make me aware that there are themes in dreams. Themes that evolve. And that you can  use dreams to carefully monitor how, and if you are changing. Now I have been never cutting up my dreams in words like he suggests but I always like creative suggestions. If you like dreams you’re going to love Tracks in the Wilderness and all the new ideas it has to offer (yes I know the book isn’t exactly new, but the creative ideas within it are timeless).

The Dutch Dreaming Society VSD has a president called John van Rouwendaal. (Did you know we might get another dream conference in the Netherlands in 2019? As we speak (or read) John is making calls, sending emails and coming up with new and creative ideas to make this one of the best conferences ever).

best books on dreams 2017
John van Rouwendaal

 

 

 

 

 

John mentions this as being one of his best books on dreams: Avision the Way of the Dream. “This book was suggested to me on the last Dutch Dream Conference in Rolduc. I have read it and it was very inspiring” he tells me in his mail.

 

best books on dreams 2017
Buy the Book using this link and Support the good work of Mindfunda

 

The author, Anthony Lunt was an advanced student of the psychiatrist R.D.Laing. Laing viewed mental illness as a shamanic process. Quoted from Wikipedia: “For Laing, mental illness could be a transformative episode whereby the process of undergoing mental distress was compared to a shamanic journey”. Anthony’s wife Anna received dreams that she interpreted as an ongoing educational process.

Another inspiring book that John mentions is Dreamtime, an aboriginal Odyssey by Nigel Clayton.

best books on dreams 2017
Buy the book using this link and support the good work of Mindfunda

It’s a story about myths and legends  about Aboriginal society. It’s only 61 pages and it sounds really like something I would enjoy very much. I might be tempted to buy it and write something about it for Mindfunda.

Susanne van Doorn, Dutch psychologist, blogger & author

best books on dreams
Susanne van Doorn, MSc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I doubted a long time if I would put myself on this list. I know I read a lot, but I am not famous. I do have you, my dear reader who follows me on my path to wisdom and self discovery. So I decided to add myself to the list, in the humble position of being the last one.

One of my definitions of an inspiring book is that you pick it up to read (parts of) it again.  For Mindfunda, I usually review semi-scientific dream books. One of my new favourite best books on dreams is Joseph Campbell’s The Mythic Dimension

Buy the book using this link and support the good work of Mindfunda


On page 207 (but the rest of the book is also fascinating) Campbell describes the process of kundalini in its ascending phases. I shave read Campbell’s analysis of the energy between Freud and Jung with the enthusiasm of a trembling virgin…

I had always heard that Campbell and Jung did not really get along, but this book sketches another vision.

Besides Jung and Freud, (there are Dream enthusiasts who get real tired about the Freud-Jung thing, even though in my eyes the Jung Freud paradigm represents the science – mythology paradox par excellence. Freud being the “scientific” one who was always out for reason. Jung, the spiritual one, who battled against the role of scientist), this book is filled with stories and mythologies that will make your hungry heart sing.

Mythology, the Goddess, symbolism, mythological themes in art and as a cherry on the pie a whole chapter on erotic irony and mythic forms in the art of Thomas Man. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it.

I am currently reading Mutants & Mystics, Science Fiction, Superhero Comics and the Paranormal written by Jeffrey J. Kripal.

I have been reading it, bit by bit, for quite some time now.  It’s pleasant and remarkable. Let me give a quote, about Palmer, an artist/publicist of strip science fiction books:

“Palmer’s first published story, “The Time Ray of Sandra’ in Science Wonder Stories was a classic example of the mytheme of Orientation, that is, it was a time travel story that involved a lost civilisation. He based the details of the landscape he wrote about on one of his many dreams (he claimed he dreamed every night and could remember his dreams in great detail), only to get a letter from a field guide in Africa who had just published a story and was certain the writer was one of the few people whom he had personally guided up the mouth of a river on the Atlantic coast of southwest Africa: the details were all precise. The guide simply did not believe Palmer when the teenager wrote back and confessed he had never been to Africa… If I the dreaming was true, why not the imaging? (page 97)

I promise that I will write a Mindfunda blog about it. I hope you enjoyed my blog, feel free to share and comment: tell me about your favorite books.

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Healing the Nightmare Freeing the Soul

I had my last nightmare  in December 2008. I stand outside a hospital room looking in. there is a young guy waiting to get an operation. A black strap is around his chest.

 

Nightmare

The door opens, and in walks a surgeon with black curly hair. From the moment he walks in I know he is going to kill this nice young guy. I am standing outside, feeling completely helpless.

Than I see that the young guy has escaped: the bed is empty. I feel so glad! But where did he escape to? I scan the operation room with my eyes. Nothing. I look up to the ceiling and I see his eyes. He has managed to hide behind the ceiling.

nightmare

But the surgeon has followed my gaze and while I wake up I realize that he is going to kill the guy.

 

When I woke up I knew because of the emotional content of the dream that this was an important message. So i started to discuss the dream with a lot of people. But all I got was an interpretation that did not ring true to me.

Five months later I am in a hospital, at my father’s death-bed. Like anyone dying, his consciousness was fading. He was admitted to the hospital because of a lack of oxygen: just like the guy in my dream had a strap around his chest. I was whispering his name because i had read somewhere that people who are dying still can hear. He did not respond. I looked up at the ceiling while I asked myself: are you still here? And than it clicked. I had picked up on my father’s death five months in advance.

This dream has been a very powerful healing dream for me. Because of this dream I have found out that December is a powerful time to dream. Ever since that time I organize the online Holy Nights Dream Event. And I got more open to the ideal that there might be life after death: the boy escaped and his eyes, symbols of the soul where still visible.

This is a long introduction to a new Mindfunda book review.
Healing the Nightmare Freeing the Soul A Practical Guide to Dreamwork.
by Margaret M. Bowater M.A.
Calico Publishing, 2016, 40 New Zealand Dollar, that is about 25.00 euro or 28 $ with the current exchange rates of May 2017;
paperback ISBN-13: 978-1877429170
reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

Healing the Nightmare Freeing the Soul

Margaret Bowater M.A., a lady with 30 years of experience in leading hundreds of dream workshops, has written a comprehensive guide for working with nightmares.

After reading it, I was impressed, because each chapter could have been a book in itself. Margaret has selected the most characteristic examples of each type of nightmare she has defined.

“Over three decades I have developed a step-by-step process that incorporates telling the dream, drawing it in its setting, identifying what the dream ego is doing and feeling, exploring associations, giving dream roles a voice to speak, creating new endings when the story is unfinished, and discerning how the dream connects with real life” (page 13).

The book is composed of three parts. Part one discusses the groundwork of dreams. Part two is about trauma dreaming and part three about spiritual nightmares.

Nightmare: The Basics

Part one of the book contains five interesting chapters about the groundwork of dreams and dreaming. You will come to know the six types of nightmares, the sleep cycle and suggestions for dream interpretation.

I especially liked and appreciated Margaret her insights on the dream setting. She gives eleven examples and I learned a lot from reading them. I’ll give you one example.

“A non-specific setting focused simply on the dream ego’s encounter with another being or object may indicate a close relationship issue, or a subjective aspect of the dreamer’s personality” (page 61).

nightmare
Art: James Zapata

I like the fact that she only ever so gently suggests exploring possible meanings in a certain direction. But this is not a dream dictionary. It’s is so much more than that.

Throughout the book Margaret displays a profound understanding of archetypes and how their energy manifests in dreams. I wish she will write a book about that some day.

Nightmare: Trauma Dreaming

Part two of the book is devoted to trauma dreams. Post trauma dreams of adults as well as of children. A chapter devoted to sexual abuse, and the final chapter is about physical and mental illness.

In this part Margaret uses vivid examples:
“I would dream that I was lying in my own bed at home, when two shadowy black figures would appear in the doorway… (page 97). Don’t we all recognise that? I do vividly recall how I dreaded going upstairs alone in the dark when I was a kid..

nightmare
Cartoon: Liz Climo

She uses archetypical symbolism: “The archetype of the serpent or snake has many mythological meanings, from sacred to satanic, but in all of them it is recognised as a primordial creature, linked with the origins of life” (page 113).

Healing the Nightmare Freeing the Soul will help you recognise how repetitive dreams and progression of trauma dreams all are factors to take into account when you work with nightmares.

Carefully unpacking the symbolism of nightmares in traumas can reveal the hidden treasures beneath each dark event.

Nightmare: Spiritual Gifts

The last part of the book is the most esoteric one. A nightmare can leave you feeling powerless, like my dream did. Such a strong emotion makes you want to look for a satisfying answer.

“Sometimes, however, there is another dimension to the nightmare, a sense of archetypical evil, belonging only partly to the dreamer’s memory but more to the mythological or religious level of the collective unconscious”.

It are quotes like this that make my hungry mind sing “tell me more, tell me more”. Not that I am particularly charmed by evil, don’t get me wrong. But there is but little attention for these kinds of archetypical energies.

In a very nice chapter about psychic dreams you can read about how psychologist David Ryback has composed criteria to analyse precognitive dreams (dreams that foretell the future).

One of the most charming stories was about a woman who was traveling and kept having dreams about her cat Coco crying in a very pitiful way. She had rented her house to other people and when the dreams consisted, she called them. They conformed that they had not seen the cat for several days but did not seem to worry about that.
The dreamer flew home and found her cat dehydrated, locked by accident i the ceiling space… Just in time to safe her life.

Conclusion

“I have a  dream of my own that sometime soon all health professionals, pastors, chaplains, teachers, social workers, caregivers and parents – really everyone who cares for other people – will learn how to use nightmares for healing, and value dreams in general for their insight and inspiration” (page 192).

I could not agree more.

PRO

A lot of the big names in the dream world are mentioned. For example: Deirdre BarrettErnest Hartmann, Gayle Delaney, Ann Faraday,  and Robert Hoss. In this way the book is a very good introduction to modern dream work;

Each chapter ends with a list of  self-help or how to’s;

Each chapter is written in an easy readable way, using lots of examples;

CON

Each chapter might have been a book of its own. I know this is a pro too, i really wish and hope that Margaret will put her wisdom on the writers’ table again to educate us further in her wealth of archetypical and mythological knowledge.

Mindfunda verdict:

8/10

 

 

Click to Read more about Nightmare on Mindfunda

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The Ideal World: Is Science Going to Create it?

In an ideal world we would learn from the past and create a future that is based on the progress of science. Adolfo Plasencia talks with some of the biggest names in scientific research to shed more light on big questions like Is there a planet besides Earth where we could live on? What if robots became intelligent? and Are we able to touch the soul of Michelangelo?

A Mindfunda Book review of Is the Universe a Hologram? And Other Questions. Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions.
By Adolfo Plasencia
MIT, 2017, Hardcover $26.87 ebook $22.21 ISBN-10: 0262036010 ISBN-13: 978-0262036016
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

 

 

ideal world
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Ideal World: Will Science save Humanity?

It is no surprise among lovers of mythology that one of the most modern mythological concepts is that science will safe humanity. In a lot of series you see a hacker that hacks into government and police data and gets the real villains arrested and the true heroes out of prison.

I think that the film the Matrix was the most explicit about it. In this film you saw both sides. The danger of a fully computerised world and how a hacker could turn this world aside so humanity could “wake up” to reality.

Morpheus and Neo Fighting
Matrix

In Is the Universe a Hologram? And Other Questions. Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions revolves around three themes:

  • The Physical World;
  • Information;
  • Intelligence.

And almost all of the scientists interviewed have connections to MIT: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its mission (I have copy pasted it from their website): “The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century”.

Adolfo Plasencia, Spanish presenter of Tecnópolis and blogger on science interviewed 33 people about these subjects. By transcribing those interviews in book – form, you get an easy digestible book that covers very interesting topics.

Ideal World and Physical Reality

The first chapter of the book starts with an interesting discussion about the possibility of free will. The Western Culture assumes we act out of free will and therefore are accountable for our actions. This created a whole profitable range of Self help books ass well. But we like that idea. The comfortable thought that we determine our future.

ideal world
Cartoon found on Buzzfeed.com

Determinism is the believe that things follow laws, and are therefore predefined. Quantum mechanics challenges that idea:

“Usually when you observe something, we see that it exists and is well defined. Whenever we see a yellow object, we think that this is on ‘objective’ property the object has, which doesn’t depend on me. That is, when I am not watching it, the object still remains yellow. Now quantum physics, according to you, says, no: it says that some properties of the microscopic objects in the movement are not defined when they aren’t being observed and ably become defined when we watch it” (page 9).

ideal world
Cartoon Tom Swanson

Now that is a cliffhanger isn’t it? The book triggers your curiosity like that. You just want to know what people who understand much more of quantum mechanics as you and me do, say about the possibility of free will.

And what does the book say? That science does not know yet: “The fact that physiologically we still have not found and perhaps never will be able to see, evidence of free will and voluntary decision-making doesn’t mean that those things don’t exist” (page 277).

Of course there are many issues that are discussed in this first part of the book. How Moore’s law has come to an end. Moore’s law says that the number of transistors in a circuit doubles every two years.

How there is energy in a vacuum: the Casimir forces, how satellites help us to locate where we are and where we are headed, if there are other planets that facilitate human life.

Ideal World and Information

Part two of Is the Universe a Hologram revolves around information. The world is filled with data. In 1987, when I went to University, my professors carefully explained that information is data that you attribute meaning to. And back than, there was already a worry that we as human beings were flooded with data.

ideal world
Cartoon: Jef Stahler

In an ideal world you would only get the information you want to and be protected from data. Reading this book I found out that the brain works this way. A large part of the energy that the brain requires is used for inhibition. It means that the brain does not receive all data.

This part of the book focusses on the digital world we have created. Some use this world to escape the planet earth and create alter ego’s on social media. Other people come alive when using social media to connect with friends. Did you know for example that there are more smartphones that there are people on the planet?

ideal world
Cartoon: Mark Parisi

Tim O’Reilly (yes, the guy of the open source software) describes the alchemy needed in the present between the knowledge  of the past and the expectations of the future.

“As I said earlier, i think chance is natural and good. And I think there is a stress in modern life from the pace of change, and certainly there are people throughout history who have looked back to times when in theory, at least, the world was more stable and peaceful. If you want to be stable and peaceful, you can opt out of a technology society. There is nothing stopping you from doing so. However, I actually think that the excitement of having come to grips with the future is a good thing. For me, it’s a fabulous intellectual challenge” (page 215).

So in the ideal world we embrace the new challenges technology produces. Are we as human beings up for that challenge? The next part of the book tries to answer that question.

Ideal World and Intelligence

I have to tell you dear reader that this part was my favourite part of the book. With my training as psychologist I drool when a chapter is searching for the I in the brain.

I always have the notion ether is a little I in my brain that guides me whenever my blood sugar is low (diabetic type 1). I can do crazy things but at certain point in time a voice in my head says: “You need to test your blood sugar level, because you are acting strange”.

Did you know that science can perform magic? In the chapter where Adolfo Plasencia talks with Alvaro Pascual-Leone he talks about Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS technique where the brain (an electricity device in our body) can be charged with electricity without opening the skull.

 

ideal world

 

William James, the father of psychology is mentioned several times in the book as a source of inspiration. And dreams! Yes dreams are also mentioned. the Spanish researcher Javier Echeverria uses the analogy of Plato’s Cave to introduce the way that internet has changed reality.

He tells us that the binary number system is based on the I Ching. Leibniz, its creator was fascinated by how the I Ching was a binary system and he got motivated to create a binary system.

“He discovered the binary number system some years previously during his correspondence with Joachim Bouvet, french Jesuit missionary who worked in China. They had sent him the I Ching, a system of symbols with various functions but which Leibniz realized had a strong formal relationship with his binary system” (page 317).

Javier Echeverria explains how not everything can be digitalized. He has tried working with dreams and even wrote a book about it:

“So digitilization is a mathematicization of everything intelligible?
On that, I have to say no. I’ll give you a very clear example of how digitisation does not mathematizice everything: so far it can not mathematize dreams. I tried to do it, many years ago in another book. Trying to mathemitize dreams was one of the things I’ve done in my life, but there are enormous difficulties. We all dream practically every day, but not all thought processes are digitizable, at least not yet” (page 318).

In the ideal world we could hook ourselves up to a dream-machine, record our dreams and look back in the morning. It will remain a utopia.

 

Conclusion

PRO

Pouring the content of this book in an interview format makes the content digestible and relatively easy to read.

It is a very informative and intelligent book about intelligence, consciousness, global warming, technology, matter an other things you and I are worried about.

You will learn a lot about a variety of interesting subjects, never a dull moment.

I like the mixture of technology, philosophy and psychology. This book has all the ingredients to become a classic, an encyclopaedia of the twenties of the twenty-first century,

CON

Only three women are in this book. I am not certain why this decision was made. I think the female vision on problems facing the world today might make the world a better place. Female researchers deserve more than a contribution of merely 10 percent in this book.

The promotion of the MIT Institute becomes a little dreary from time to time.

The subjects of the book are not for everyone. A reader has to have an explicit hunger for knowledge about the alchemy between technology, its limits and how it can affect the world around us.

I felt that the title was a bit misleading: I had expected to learn much more about the Universe as a hologram: the idea that while the world seems to have three dimensions in reality there are only two.

Mindfunda verdict:

7/10

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Cailleach: Dreaming about Archetypical Energy

 

The Cailleach is an ancient mother Goddess associated with winter and rejuvenation. Cailleach means “the Veiled one”. She is the giant blue faced goddess of winter, associated with death as well as with rebirth. The resemblance between her and the subject of my holy nights dreaming event 2016-17: Frau Holle are remarkable…

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cailleach
Frau Holle
Art: Otto Ubbelohde

For those who are interested: it’s still a long time but each winter I organize an online dreaming event to tune in to that special time of dreaming, using incubations.  The dream we will look at today is from Sage Abella, one of the participants of that event.

Both Frau Holle and the Cailleach are connected to the realm of death and birth as goddesses of fertility. Both reign the time between Samhain (November 1) and Beltane (May 1). And both goddesses guide people through inner realities and dreams…

Calleach Queen of Winter

In her book The Calleach, Rachel Patterson tells us this about the origin of this Goddess: “She is probably most well-known for her landscaping, with many mountains, caves and landmarks named after her. She is therefore strongly associated with the elements of both land and water.”.

Cailleach
Art: Thalia Took

In this Mindfunda I want to tell you more about this rejuvenating blue old witch (and you know by now that I don’t use that word in a bad way).

The Cailleach is thought to drink of the water of a sacred well each year that rejuvenates her.

This dream was shared with me by Sage Abella, who also created the image on the top of this blog. She had incubated this dream. Incubation is a technique were you concentrate at a certain question during the day and especially before you fall asleep.

Sage says in her mail to me: “I actually went to sleep incubating a dream for an answer about if now is the right time for me to enter a specific spiritual learning path with a teacher”.

I have put my own remarks between quotation marks and in cursive, between the text of the dream.

Giving Offering To The CAILLEACH

I’m on the shore in Scotland. I’ve been taken down a steep cliff to a narrow band of rocky shoreline below.
The opening scene places the dreamer “between firm land and fluid sea, which might symbolise the encounter between conscious and unconscious; the known world and the unknown; or thought and emotion” Margaret M. Bowater in Heeling the Nightmare Freeing the soul (a book soon to be reviewed on Mindfunda). 
There are two elements that meet here: water and earth (the rock from the shoreline), it must be a holy place, a place of transformation of the personal (the water) and the universal (the rock). Given that in our culture gods and goddesses usually live high upon a mountain, stone or rock in this dream has a spiritual meaning for me. If it was my dream, the opening scene would introduce me as dreamer to an existential spiritual question.
The woman who brings me here is named Jewels. She’s all dressed in white and has long red hair.
Cailleach
Triple Goddess
Artist unknown to me
In this part of the dream the first dream character is introduced: a red haired lady named Jewels. This is an introduction to the manifestation of the triple Goddess: the dreamer, Jewels and the Cailleach.
Hair in a dream is often associated with thoughts that originate from the head. The colour red can mean that the dreamer is really passionate about this new course she wants to get involved in. And the colour red is associated with the mother goddess, while white is associated with the daughter and black is associated with the Crone Goddess”.

Cailleach and Corn

She fills a cloth bag between my hands with something fine and white (like sand – no, salt-no, cornmeal – nourishing like cornmeal, but not cornmeal). She says, “Take this and put it at the feet of the Mother.”
“In the book  The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance Elizabeth Wayland Barber writes:
“The reapers stood back and 
each in turn cast his reaping hook at the standing sheaf of corn  in an effort to cut it. When finally one go the reapers succeeded in cutting the last sheaf-the Cailleach or the old woman representing the corn (grain) just harvested-the sheaf was taken home and placed around the neck of the farmers’ wife during the harvest supper. The grain was ribbed off and mixed with the grain being sown in the springtime. In this way the continuous cycle of death and resurrection of the corn was shown”.
So, in this part of the dream the cycle of death and resurrection are introduced. What has to die here? Old knowledge? A clue might be found on the place were the corn has to be offered.

Cailleach and Feet

Where? She points to the edge where the ocean meets the shore. There are huge, giant feet down there and a woman so tall I can’t begin to see anything but her feet and lower calves.
In his excellent book The Dream Interpretation Dictionary J.M.DeBord writes:
“Feet in a dream can refer to where you “stand” meaning convictions, values, issues, beliefs, opinions and principles. we may say that a person “stands” for one thing or another…. What you stand on is your character, your personality, your personal foundation.”
If it was my dream, to me the dream seems to suggest to the dreamer to re-evaluate her inner knowledge, the basis of her assumptions about life and the cycle of life and death. 
cailleach
Cartoon: Scott Hilburn
I sprinkle the white offering in a circle around her feet. Then the tide goes out, the ocean pulls way back, the waves going out beyond where I can see. It’s like the moment between an in breath and out breath but the rhythm of a Great breath.
What a beautiful ending of the dream. The mandala, the symbol of the Self sprinkled around the base of the Goddess of death and creation, while the line between conscious and unconscious begins to fade because the dreamer starts to wake up.

Cailleach: Vision of the Dreamer

In any dream, the interpretation of the dreamer herself is the most important. This is what Sage mailed me about her insights in the dream.
I called an Irish friend of mine to see if she could tell me more (I have some strong Scottish ancestry that I don’t know much about). She started telling me stories of the Cailleach, the Great Mother, Great Hag who forms the landscape. She said the way I described the feet was like stone which reminded her immediately of descriptions of the Cailleach, some legends of her entering the sea for cycles of rejuvenation. And the most striking thing to me is she said that the offering I was giving, the way I could describe it so specifically but couldn’t exactly tell what it was sounds exactly like bone meal and Cailleach gathers the forgotten bones of animals, people and beings to grind and bake into bread to feed the people. I got chills when she described all that and shared the stories she knows.
The dreaming landscape is so magnificent! I was gifted such a beautiful dream from a part of the world the blood in my veins flows from but have never gotten the opportunity to visit. How does that happen? So cool! And offerings to the Great Mother from your side of the ocean. I’m blessed by this dream for sure.
Sage I hope that my blog has helped you explore more layers of meaning in this remarkable dream.
Reader, let me know what yo think, I would love to hear your remarks

 

THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.

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Body in Dreams: Gender, Animals and Out of Body Experiences

This blog is a part of a 4-blog series about the body.
The first blog is about Body Image and Self Esteem
This blog is about the spiritual body;
The third blog will be about the dreaming body;
The last blog will be about the body of poetry.

In one of my dreams I am a little boy who is playing hide and seek. I am crawling under a blanket to hide and I have so much fun because I know the person looking for me will see me but if he does I will scare him and than we will both laugh. I am very joyful and full of anticipation about the game that is about to begin.

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The Body in Dreams

In this blog I want to explore how your own body can be a different gender in your dreams, your body in dreams in animal form, and dreams and out of body experiences.

Have you ever been a different gender in your dreams? What was your interpretation?

body in dreams
Cartoon: Whyatt

When I woke up from my dream I was not worried at al. Not for one moment did I think that I was not at ease being a woman. in fact, I loved the playfulness of the young guy I was and it reminded me of the games my youngest son was playing at that time. He loved to play hide and seek and usually he was hiding in full sight, giving himself away with his soft laughter.

Most websites I researched while writing this blog, suggested that being a different gender in your dreams might indicate a subconscious struggle with your identity. I am not quite sure, given my own experiences with those dreams that I agree with that presumption.

But the fact is that we live in a patriarchal society. On some forums that were discussing this topic, there was the suggestion that females would be more comfortable dreaming that they were male because, as Simone de Beauvoir already stated in her book The Second Sex, the world perceives humanity to be male.

Unfortunately, I have experienced that when a man shares a dream in which he had the female gender the response on a forum is that he must be gay. I don’t think dreams in which you have a different gender represent secret wishes to change gender.

In my vision, these dreams are usually a sign of inner balance. You are as much at ease in a female as in a male role. Here is a dream that Patricia Garfield Shares in her book Pathway to Ecstasy The way of the Dream Mandala:

“At the end of an ordinary dream, I am in a bedroom looking into a mirror in the early morning. I am surprised to observe how large and dark the pupil of my left eye looks. As I examine it closely, I realize with a start that I have three eyes. They are straight across, with the third one directly between the others. I laugh softly to see this, realizing it means that I am dreaming.

 

body in dreams

 

I look into the mirror again and the reflection shows a man with two eyes, a broad face and curly hair. I say to myself with amusement: “And now I am a man!” Then the image shifts, and now instead of a middle eye, in its place between my brows is a round spot. at first uncoloured, the dot grows white and begins to pulsate, At that, my whole body starts to throb. I feel the familiar surge of passion and hurry downstairs, search for Zal… (page 209)”.

Of course each dream about being a different gender has its own unique meaning. At a Dream Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) the ex partner of a transgender female shared her dreams about her partner wearing pink coloured pants long before that partner ever acknowledged the longing to be a different gender.

So, like in any dream you remember and wish to interpret, take note of the emotions you wake up with, the associations you have with the dream symbols and the meaning you attach to it. Because the dream belongs to you.

If your body in dreams has become a different gender than the one you walk around with in the waking world, you might interpret it as a sign of inner balance.

You can also interpret it as a misbalance between anima (female) and animus (male) energies that we all possess.

Body in Dreams: Animals

What if your body in dreams has taken the shape of a specific animal? Shamanism has got a wealth of associations you can borrow to help you interpret those dreams.

Usually animals in dreams symbolize a specific kind of power, a psychological strength.

There is only one excellent book about animals I know about: Ted Andrews Animal Speak the Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small. I wanted to buy it when I was in America years ago, and I still regret that I did not. If you know of any good animal dream books, use let me know about them in the comments and I’ll check them out.

Once upon a time, long ago, I wanted to do a series of blogs and interviews about dreams and animals. That is when I found out that Ted Andrews had passed away.

“Every animal is a gateway to the phenomenal world of the human spirit” says Ted Andrews and I agree with him.

“In my I am taking a bath. I look at my stomach and to my great surprise two antlers are growing out of it. I wake up because of my amazement”

body in dreams

“Antlers are the symbols of antennae, connections to higher forms of attunement.  Deer with antlers thus can be a signal to pay attention to your inner thoughts and perceptions, as they are probably more accurate than you think” says Ted Andrews about this.

This dream also connected me with the ancient wisdom about antlers and the moon. The crescent moon is often symbolized by the antlered Goddess.

There are multiple interpretations possible if your body in dreams takes on the shape of an animal, but for me personally, the shamanistic approach is the best one.

Body in Dreams: Out Of Body Experiences

Sometimes in Lucid dreams you can watch your own body. I experienced such an out-of-body experience in the early morning It was a very amusing one.

“In my dream I fly over my bed and check who lies in it. There is a lady that looks like me: a small body with dark hair and a guy lying next to her that could be my husband: that lovely mixture of black and grey hair and a similar nose like he has. I decide to “enter” the body and glide in. I feel the “click” that my spiritual body is attached to my physical body and i start to wake up.

When I was young, there was a lot of attention for Robert Monroe, who became a guru on the subject of OBE.

And there are a lot of practices you can do to consciously leave your body (or imagine that you do). It can be a lot of fun. When you are lucid it can be very educational.

I remember dreams in which i visited the land of the deceased. I remember trips I took while being lucid flying around in my body checking the health of my veins (a special worry for me since I am Type 1 diabetic.

If you have left your body in dreams , either by accident or purposefully by using designated techniques, there is a huge range of creative possibilities you are able to undertake.

 

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

Mindfunda Free Give Away’s

If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you get a book filled with 10 tips to better remember your dreams and a book about a mutual dream experiment for free. I hate spam as much as you do and I will guard your email with my life. Once a month you will get the latest news on the subject of dreams, mythology an spirituality and about my latest courses (because i have to pay the bills to, just like you do).

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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Dream Song: 5 Mental Notes that Might Help You Attribute Meaning

There are days I wake up humming a certain kind of dream song, playing in my dream. This blog explores the possible meaning of dreams and music.

In one of my dreams I am sitting behind a mix panel, trying to create a song. There are multiple people present, all of them unknown to me, but we are working on this music product together.

It is important to know which buttons to adjust, to get the result you want to.

dream song
A music mixer

I have to push green buttons up and down, without really knowing what effect I was going to get. The other people in my dream are new at this too. We talk about the results we want to achieve. There is one archetypical old wise man, known as ‘mana’. A Melanesian word that means ‘full of power’.

*Mental Note: is music in dreams inviting you to create a new tune?

A Dream Song and (e)Motion

Most people who value dreams, agree that dreams carry a symbolic meaning. And most of the well-known methods (if you want to know more read my blog about dream analysis) argue that the emotional content of the dream is THE ultimate key to decipher its meaning.

Songs are perfect carriers of emotions. Hearing one single note, you can be transported back mentally several decades ago. The healing power of music becomes evident in mental diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson.

Music triggers the motor area of the brain. that is why, if you hear music that appeals to you, you start moving. Jessica Grahn explained in her Ted Talk that people, unlike other animals, seem to have an innate rhythm she calls ‘entrainment’.

dream song

That made me wonder if the evolutionary cause of emotion is based on a necessity to get into motion? In other words: if you are so emotional about something you need to get out and do something about it, physically? I would love that.

It became clear to me while doing the research for this blog that there is no necessity to ‘motion’ in the word e’motion’. An emotion is not necessarily an evolutionary trigger to get off your bud and do something to change a situation.

*Mental note: a dream song usually (but not always) is about emotion.
In my dream, I mix up the ingredients of the emotions I want to evoke, together with archetypical forces wandering around in my personality.

Dream Song and it’s Language

Music is a universal language. Scientists have traced the origin of music back as far as 50.000-10.000 BC.

The oldest instruments where flutes and they were probably used by hunters in a ritual way, performing magic.

dream song

*Mental note: do your dreams with music in them invite you to perform magic? Or some ritual? I have one example of it, it has to do with love, or with breaking off a relationship.

Dream Song and Love: an Example

I wish I had a more positive example, but this dream with a dream song in it had to do with heart break.

Years ago, I was involved with someone, I knew was not good for me. He was in no way abusive, it was just that our characters did not match.

We would go on vacation and I really did not want to go. But I lacked the guts to say it, especially now that we booked a holiday together. That is an official step in a relationship that takes things to a more official level.

The night before I broke up with him, I was singing the Daryl Hall and John Oates song: Out of Touch

Dream songs
Daryl Hall & John Oates

“We’re soul alone and soul really matters to me”

I am quite sure that you look up the lyrics of a dream song to search for a deeper meaning.

But it was this song that gave me the power to start up the ritual to break off the relationship. This relationship did not nourish my soul, it was crystal clear to me, I had song it to myself that night as a gentle reminder.

*Mental note: Does the full written text of a song trigger any emotional memories that can help me associate further on this dream?
Does this song invite me to take certain steps I was not willing to take before?

Dream Song and Time (Traveling)

Like Mark Joseph Stern says in his excellent blog about Neural Nostalgia: “And no matter how sophisticated our tastes might otherwise grow to be, our brains may stay jammed on those songs we obsessed over during the high drama of adolescence”.

In “This is your Brain on Music” Daniel Levitin analysis how the music we loved as teenagers gets a special place in our brain. It’s that music that gets a Parkinson person dancing again. It’s that music that gets a smile of recognition on the face of an Alzheimer patient.

dream song
Bob Marley

I was never a reggae lover when I was a teenager. The Police, it was ok, but Bob Marley, I considered him “old age”. He was from the generation before me, and like (almost) all teenagers I thought that that generation was utterly stupid.

But in a dream, I saw my husband dancing on a Bob Marley song with a gorgeous black woman. I was very jealous but I knew I had no right to tell him we were going to marry each other, because I was traveling in time… We had not met in waking life yet and telling him bout the future would disturb the things that would unfold.

“Reggae music (most clearly exemplified by Bob Marley) can be felt happening half as fast as rock must because its kick and snare occur half as often for a given musical phrase” Levetin p. 113).

So this dream advices me to look for the offbeat in my relationship, because things are going to happen in the future.

*Mental note: (How) is the music in your dream related to your teenage years? what kind of genre was the music and what typifies this genre? Doe this give you further clue son how to interpret possible meanings of your dream?

Dream Song: Conclusion

If you hear music in your dreams, I hope this blog is the one that will encourage  you to look beyond the common symbolism of the music.

I write my blogs on Mindfunda to always trigger your mind to search and find the offbeat.

I hope my Three Mental notes will have given you new ideas on how to attach a possible meaning to dreams that feature music.

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

 

Literature:

Bernstein, L (1976). The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard. England, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, Havard University Press.

Levetin, D.J (2007). This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. United States, New York, Plume, Penguin.

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Catcher in the Rye: One Dream, Two Layers

I have never read The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger. When I had to prepare a reading list for my English class, I felt that the yearning and depression of a young teenage male was far beyond my scope of interest.

catcher rye
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So why would this book all of a sudden appear in a dream of mine?

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Catcher in the Rye: The Dream

On May 15 2017, moon in Capricorn, I see A., a photographer. He walks over to me, gives me a kiss and says: I am going away on a long journey. I will read “The Catcher in the Rye” along the way.
I step back, feeling sad about his departure and confused 
because I did not care at all at one time of my life about reading The Catcher in the Rye.

catcher in the rye

When I wake up, I immediately decide to google a resumé to get a better understanding from the theme(s) in this book.

Catcher in the Rye: Day Residue

About a week before this dream I had watched a documentary on the Dutch Netflix about photographer Harry Benson: Shoot First. He has become famous because of his spontaneous photo’s of the Beatles. He was a personal fan of John Lennon.

When I was in high school, I was a big fan of the Beatles too. This was the early 1980’s so I was bit out of date, I confess. I wrote out the lines that I could understand and translated them.

 

catcher in the rye
Mark Chapman
Photo: Harry Benson

 

Harry Benson was also asked to photograph the murderer of Lennon: Mark David Chapman.

And… When Lennon was shot by Chapman, he had just returned from… a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz.

catcher in the rye
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Photo: Annie Leibovitz

 

And.. the person who was going away to travel is also a passionate photographer. So the first thing to investigate further is the concept of photography and what it means to me.

Catcher in the Rye: Step 1

When I was relatively young, a go a photo camera from my parents. A simple one, but I took lots of pictures.  I experimented with subjects, light, angles. I loved it.

I grew up with parents that were born in the twenties of last century. It’s a long sentence to explain that I hardly ever got a compliment. But my parents did compliment me on my photography.

catcher in the rye
Cartoon: Buzz gasm

Do you see how John Lennon is completely naked on his last photo? Vulnerable like a baby?

When was the last time I dared to be vulnerable? I usually go to great lengths to prevent any kind of vulnerability.

And did you se the first picture I used in this blog? It says: “People Don’t Notice Anything”. That is something the main character, Holden Caulfield says about people. People are phony.  Photography can help you notice things.

Catcher in the Rye: Step 2

Another theme in the book is the male – female energy. Clearly, in the book, Holden Caulfield is not a person who handles the balance between his male and female energies well. Does this dream give me some advice to re-adjust my own balance?

In my waking life, my husband is a proud and good photographer. But it has let me to neglected my own photography skills and hobby.

If you look at John Lennon’s final statement to the world, the way he is clinging onto Yoko Ono for warmth and protection, it is almost like he felt safe to be nurtured by her. So in my eyes this dream also asks me to research the balance in my own relationship.

How did you like this post? Do you see any other possible meanings I have missed? Please let me know in the comments, I always love to hear from you.

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

 

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The Spiritual Body: Our Connection to Food

This blog is a part of a 4-blog series about the body.
The first blog is about Body Image and Self Esteem
This blog is about the spiritual body;
The third blog will be about the dreaming body;
The last blog will be about the body of poetry.

For me, the spiritual body is the way we relate to mother Earth. The way we feed our bodies. The way we understand plants and trees. The way we relate to the cycles of nature.

So this blog is not about chakra’s or about the soma psuchikon (the animal body which is sown in corruption and dishonour) as Paul describes it in the bible. It is about our relationship with mother Earth. Honouring our bodies as representatives of Mother earth.

 

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If you are like me, you will not ever have perceived your body as representing mother Earth. We know all too well, the humiliation we have felt about our bodies since we have been young. Too big, too small, too fat, to tiny, when we look in the mirror we immediately see what is wrong. When we see a picture taken of us we think: OMGH, is THAT the way I look? I almost always feel so much prettier than I look on pictures…

With this blog I hope to show you how a simple girl like me, not very pretty with weird eyes that are too far apart, a funny turned up nose and freckles started to accept her body. But let’s first explore the origin of the repulsion of our own body: the Mother Wound.

Spiritual Body and the Mother Wound

Food and the spiritual body are interrelated. We learn at a very young age that we can ease pain, cold and loneliness with food.

My own struggle with food began when I was undiagnosed with type one diabetic disorder. I had no insulin, so my body could not process food. I began to become very skinny.

My parents did not notice that. When you see someone everyday that is getting bigger or smaller, at first you don’t notice that.

spiritual body
Cartoon: Dumpaday.com

But I ate chocolate like a mad-woman. I stole chocolate from my parents and ate it all. They were mad as hell with me. From that moment on,in my parent’s eyes I had a complete lack of character. That was very painful for me.

Eating chocolate gave me into a feeling of bliss. The world was kind and good when I had eaten a bar of chocolate.

What has this got to do with the mother wound you ask? Mothers sooth their child with food. You get a desert when you finish up the meal on your plate.

spiritual body

From the days that we are a child, food is associated with comfort. So you can imagine how I have an unhealthy relationship with food (especially chocolate).

And who is responsible for your meals? Yes your mother. She gives you food, she decides if you get that desert, or the candy.

And I dare to bet with you that about 55-60 percent of our mothers struggled with their own weight.

Spiritual Body and Food

In 2010 I started to educate myself again. I had been a stay at home mother for five years and I wanted to begin my own practice. Advising people about healthy food and supplements.

spiritual body
Cartoon Creator Unknown

I graduated with honours. But I could not get any customers. Well, i had to become a member of an official institute for my potential customers to get their consults repaid by insurance. And that official institute charged a lot of money.

And after a client was gone I had to get into the whole process of finding new ones. The same thing that has happened to me in this company Mindfunda. The chase, the hunt for customers is not something I am good at.

Let’s get back to the subject of this blog: mother Earth and Food. In my education I found out that you are the stuff that you eat.

Garbage in – Garbage Out. It is not only psychological, it is also physical.

I have written a good blog about how Tryptophan regulates sleep. But bottom line: if you eat natural things your body becomes more healthy.

So I tried, honestly, to get my daily magnesium so I could skip the chocolate.
NOWAY! My body would not let that happen.

When I was approaching my fifties, I began to gain weight. I always had eaten a lot of cheese and chocolate, but now I could clearly see how that was affecting my belly.

spiritual body
Cartoon: Growingbolder.com

I got all depressed because when sitting down my belly was hanging on my legs. I did not feel attractive at all.

I had to adjust to a whole new body image. My clothing style changed too. I used to wear cute dresses. Now I wore the uniform of ladies all over the world. The Jeans-Shirt uniform.

Spiritual Body and Clothes

I was so happy when I got money from my parents to buy my own clothes. Up till than, being the younger one in a big family of 7, my clothes had been wear me downs from older sisters.

It was the time when Madonna was emerging as an artist. She was showing off her boobs, shaking her ass and everybody, even the feminist movement thought she was strong.

spiritual body
Madonna

I tied a ribbon in my hair, curled it, and I bought a long skirt with buttons and unbuttoned the last ones so my legs would elegantly be shown at each step. I felt reborn.

At my school they felt differently. Someone anonymous wrote some very offensive remarks in my school agenda.

My parents were offended too. “You should not wear make up” my father said. But I loved (and still love) to put on make up. It’s my creation time. I can understand why there are so many transvestites.

Anyway, the story about how I became aware of how male sexuality is tied to womanhood you can read in my first blog.

spiritual body

 

Spiritual Body and Friends

When I was writing this blog in my mind (Mindfunda is the blog by walking around: as soon as I think of a subject I take a walk and start to compose sentences and subjects) I could only think of times I got really hurt and disappointed in friendships.

How has friendship influenced the relationship with your body?

I always had very attractive ladies as best friends. Because I refuse to compete about men. (why on earth would I be even slightly interested in a man who has the hots for one of my friends?)

But it was inevitable that I would compare my body with theirs. And all spiritual schools say that comparison makes you sad.

spiritual body

But let me give you a tip. there is nothing more rewarding than spoiling your weight by drinking and eating and laughing with your friends.

I am glad you made it all the way down this blog! Share it if you have liked it and I hope you will leave a comment.

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

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Environment: 3 Ways a Place can Have an Impact on your Well Being

Grounding Religion. A field Guide to the Study of religion and Ecology.
Edited by Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon and Kevin J. O’Brien.
Routledge, 2017, $32.70 paperback ISBN-10: 1138194018 ISBN-13: 978-1138194014
reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

environment
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#1: Environment the Power of Place

When I visited Stonehenge last summer, I felt the power of place. The stones, grey and giant, were statements of Mother Earth. How I longed to enter this sacred circle. You are only allowed to do that when you pay big money.

environment
Stonehenge
Photo: Jurgen van Nijnanten

Why was I so overwhelmed? First of all the stones where huge (sometimes size does matter). Second of all, the energy of the place felt like a sanctuary.

“The mapping of the sacred is always a mapping of social power… Sacred places mark “hierarchical power relations of domination and subordination, inclusion and exclusion, appropriation and dispossession” (page 104).

It was only after reading this book that I could get a grip on how many aspects are involved in the intertwining of Ecology and Environment.

environment
Cartoon: McHumour.com

I selected this book for a Mindfunda review because I was intrigued by the fact that religion is grounded in a specific place. Sacred Geography by Paul Devereux was the first book I read about it. The book Paul has written takes a shamanic perspective.

Grounding Religion is a book, aimed at students. I had not realized that when I requested the review copy. But I enjoyed this book and learned a lot.

It is written in an easy accessible language and has some interesting questions in each chapter that will enrich your way of thinking even if you have left college decades ago just like me.

 

Or as Thomas J. Watson said: “The Ability to ask the right Question is more than half the battle of finding the answer

 

 

#2: Ecology

Did you know that Ernst Haeckel, A German biologist, coined the term Ecology? He is also the first one who envisioned the evolution of species as “a Tree of Life“.

 

environment
Tree of Life
Haeckel

This book offers sixteen chapters divided over three parts. Part one is concerned about giving definitions. And as in many cases finding the one right definition for a concept is not possible. But the discussion in the book informs you of all the aspects involved in religion and ecology.

Part two makes things a little more personal. This part does not focus on the general definitions but on gender, on race and on the power of place.

Part three explores the Key Features like globalization and its devastating effects, animals technology and so on.

After reading this book, I felt like it opened a whole new concept of inter-relations for me. You as reader get a clear view on the multitude of variables that play a role in concepts regarding the environment.

 

#3: Environment Dreams Merapi Volcano

Each chapter discusses a case study. One of the most appealing case studies in my eyes is that of the Merapi Volcano.

Merapi volcano
Art: Raden Saleh

 

The Merapi Volcano is situated on the pacific “ring of fire”. Three of the major plates: the Eurasian, the Australian and the Pacific ocean plate. It is the so called “supermarket of disasters”.

“The interesting case is how science, religion and culture interpret these natural events differently, creating different and frequently conflicting approaches to deal with them” (page 51).

Mbah Maridjan was the spiritual gatekeeper who talked to the spirit of the volcano. In 2010 he was found death, killed by the hot ashes of the erupting volcano.

The BBC wrote about it on its website: “To us, Maridjan is as important as Merapi. Now that he’s no longer around, who’s going to look after Merapi?” Wanto, 56, a farmer, told AFP news agency.

The case study of this chapter contains an interview with Sumarno, a man who has the ability to hear the messages from the mountain. He describes a typical dream he gets before the volcano erupts.

“Me: Can you tell me why you have never moved away from your village during the eruption? Don’t you fear death?
Sumarno: I believe that anybody can die at anywhere, anytime…. I am always told in a dream what to do before the Merapi erupts.
Me: Who told you? The spirit of Merapi?
Sumarno: Usually an old man in a pious Muslim outfit (baja koko)… They come to me mostly after prayer (shalt).
Me: Merapi volcano is different from other volcanoes because it is extremely active, The dead people’s souls are taken by Merapi; they are working for Merapi*.

*I only quoted a only selected fragment of the text. Me refers to the writer of this chapter “Religion and Disaster: The Merapi volcano eruption” Najiyah Martiam

Your Environment: Conclusions

PRO

  • The book offers some nice questions that makes you re-evalute your surroundings. For instance: Does nature teach morality? and as writer Lomborg has suggested in The Skeptical Environmentalist: might the solution(s) to environmental problems we experienced today be embedded within technology? And isn’t it about time that theology reconsiders their view on animals?
  • I can only conclude that this book will trigger your mind. The assignments for students are appealing and all the books mentioned will make your book-loving heart sing.

The Death of Nature, by Carolyn Merchant shows how the dichotomy inherent in our culture has been an inheritance of the 16th century vision of the brute environment with the civilized culture on top of it.

On Animals by David Clough reconsiders the place of animals in Christian Theology.

Landscapes of the Sacred written by Belden Lane invites us to use our personal experiences to highlight “sensory exchanges” between places and people.

And these are just some examples. Each chapter is filled with numerous good references to interesting books.

  • The book is very easy to read. No difficult, dry definitions you’d have to plough through and re-read before you can understand what it is that the withers want to say;
  • The case studies are very interesting.

CON

  • It’s a book aimed at students. Even though it means that you get value for money: a lot of information about all the aspects concerning the inter-connectiveness of earth and religion.

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

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If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you get a book filled with 10 tips to better remember your dreams and a book about a mutual dream experiment for free. I hate spam as much as you do and I will guard your email with my life. Once a month you will get the latest news on the subject of dreams, mythology an spirituality and about my latest courses (because i have to pay the bills to, just like you do).

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

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Body Image and Self Esteem

This is the start of a four-part blogs about the body. this one is about the psychological body image of women.

A few days ago I saw the documentary Embrace on Netflix. It is about how photographer Taryn Brumfitt put two photo’s of herself online that would mimic the “before” and “after” picture that feature weight loss sites. She set out to portray how the photo of her trained self showed how she was much less happy than in her after photo.

body
Photo: Taryn Brumfitt

She posted the photo’s on social media and it went viral. She got a lot of (nasty) response, that was not always easy to cope with.

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Body and Curves

The documentary made an impact on me. For several reasons. One is my mother.

I used to love my mother (I still do, but she is deceased now). I felt she was the most beautiful woman on earth.

My mother did not like her own body very much. She was obese. While I perceived my mother’s body to be soft curvy and inviting my mother was doing exercises and wearing corsets.

So I can understand why Taryn Brumfitt felt she could give her own daughter an important message if she posted those two pictures. The documentary shows how embracing our self-image leads to an easier acceptance of the bodies of ourselves and other women.

I grew up really skinny. And being diabetic, when I was 11, most of my fat was gone. I was skinny as a skeleton.

body

When I went to high school I craved to have some breasts. Girls with breasts were popular. I wanted to be popular too.

I remember looking into the mirror at that age, looking at my tiny flat chest with the ribs sticking out and mumbling to my non existing breasts: “please come out”.

A girl needs to have enough body fat to feed a baby, before her curves and her period starts to emerge.

So while my mother was fighting her curves I longed to have them. And finally, at the age of 16, there they where. And yes, I was happy. For a while.

The Female Body and Male sexuality

There is an odd thing going on in our society, when it comes to the female body and male sexuality. They are tied together. I found that out in a very humiliating way. But the humiliation was so devastating that I took notes and changed.

The perception, and maybe the appreciation of my own body changed. Now being a girl was not a thing to be joyful for. My curves made me an object. Society depersonalized me.

When I was a very young girl, I started to buy my own clothes. I enjoyed my new body with all its curviness. One day I bought an off the shoulder shirt. A black one.

When a wore it a couple of days later a guy made a very rude and explicit sexual remark to me. I was very young and deeply shocked about it.

But when I told it to my older sister and her friend, they said to me: “yes of course you are going to get remarks like that if you show half of your shoulder”.

I was in shock. No kidding. I was.

That was the first day I understood that the cultural perception of men is that they are nothing more than a walking around bags of testosterone, waiting to be ignited by a woman.

And that I, as a woman, should adjust the way I dress myself. Because if a man was sexually rude to me, it was my responsibility, not his.

I should stay indoors at night. Because if I am out, and I am being violated, it is my responsibility.

I felt and feel extremely uncomfortable with this. And I can honestly not imagine why we, males and females, have not joined forces to stop this.

But up to this day it is still a fact. I had a meeting a couple of days ago that was late at night, so I was required to be at a station in a big town. I felt so uncomfortable. Even now, in the twenties of this new century, I am not comfortable on the streets alone in the dark. I could not avoid it (even though I asked if it was possible to join the meeting online).

Aranja Yohar  has worded it in this film so much more eloquent than I ever could. What she describes, all women, everywhere have experienced.

body
Aranya Johar

 

Brown, black, orange, white, even purple women. We all know what she is talking about.

I cried when I saw this. She is at her age, so much smarter than I was. I had to be molested, insulted, nearly raped before I understood that male sexuality is considered to be my responsibility. But now I know. I am constantly aware of it.

Body and Acceptance

In Embrace Taryn Brumfitt assumes that the pictures of perfect girls have a great inpact on how we perceive our own bodies.

Because on the one hand we want to look nice but on the other hand we don’t want to look like the girls on the frontpage of Cosmopolitan. We know for a fact that if we would walk out in the street like that, we would get molested quite soon.

body

I am not sure if models and magazines really had that much of an impact on the perception of my body. I always perceived the lives of models to be completely out of my reach. It took place in another universe, not in mine.

Have the pictures in magazines had an influence on your body image?
What has affected your body image in a positive way?

Body: Tips?

I am aware that I have written this blog from a female perspective. Being mother of two teenage boys, I know a lot of them have body-issues too.

There are the “hunks” who sport a lot and look mature and attractive. I know some teenage kids are tempted to use testosterone to improve their muscles and become more impressive.

body

I know that when you are a guy, you’d better be tall. That is a cultural requirement if you want to be seen as a potential leader who can handle responsibility.

I would like to hear your perspective. (How) Has you struggled with your body? Has getting older helped you accept your body? Do you watch what you eat?

My next blog in this series will be about the spiritual body;
The third blog will be about the dreaming body;
The last blog will be about the body of poetry.

 

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise. This blog is a part ...
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Woman Most Wild, 3 Keys to Liberating the Witch Within

Woman Most Wild, three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within by Danielle Dusky New World Library, 2017, $10.84 paperback ISBN-13: 9781608684663; kindle $13.51 ISBN-10: 1608684660 reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn "We are ...
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International Woman’s Day: Be Bold for Change

Each year on March 8, it's International Woman's Day. The theme of 2017 is: Be BOLD for change. And unfortunately, even after so many decades of action, the female principle ...
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The Dream Interpretation Dictionary

The Dream Interpretation Dictionary. Symbols, Signs and Meanings.
by J.M. DeBord
Visible Ink, 2017, $16.50 paperback ISBN-13: 978-1578596379; kindle $16.09 ISBN-10: 1578596378
reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

 

 

dream interpretation dictionary
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Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Reddit

When you remember a dream and it was emotional, you want to know what it means. It is a natural thing.

Jason DeBord is a dream expert who is also known as RadOwl on Reddit Dreams. Reddit is an online platform where people wo are a member can post their dreams and ask questions about them.

dream interpretation dictionary
Logo of Reddit Dreams

Another cool thing to know about Reddit Dreams is that it organizes “AMA” or Ask Me Anything” hours where a dream expert is invited and members are allowed to.. yes you have guessed right, to ask that expert anything.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Yes or NO?

In the field of “professional dream workers”, using a dream dictionary is a no-go. You need to dive into your own associations, and build up your own dream dictionary.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: awsome-tattoo-pics-edward.blogspot.com

It has to do with the way psychiatrists operated in the past. They where the “all knowing entities” and their interpretation of a dream was the only right one.

In the seventies of the last century, psychiatrists where pushed from their throne when it comes to dreaming.

Jason DeBord writes about this in his book: “Back than (in the mid-1990s), all I had to refer to were books written by psychiatrists such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. I’d wake up with a head full of dream memories and hunt around for anything to help me understand them.”

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Singer

 

“My approach is that dreams are stories told through symbolism and can by analyzed the same basic way you would analyse a novel or a movie. And your feelings can tell you more than anything else about your dreams… You are the best interpreter of your dreams; you just need to know how” (page xi).

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Bizarro.com

 

I always see dream as a sort of Rorsach test: whatever you see in it, tells you something about your own psyche. And a dictionary can give you a completely different vision on your original interpretation. I love that. I celebrate that. Or as my colleagues in the dream world say: a dream is multi-layered. And a good dream dictionary offers suggestions you can explore.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: 2 Criteria

When I was preparing this blog I thought about how I could best show you, my reader, if and how this book could be useful for you.

There are already many dream dictionaries. Good ones like Ariadne’s Clue by Anthony Stevens but there are many, many more available.

What makes a dream dictionary stand out? For me there are two things. Let me know in the comments if you have other selection criteria, because I would love to hear them.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Scott Hibuen

The first one is: does this dream dictionary tell me something I did not know already. You need to forgive my arrogance, but after interpreting dreams so long, most of the meanings of symbols are quite clear to me.

The second one is: does the dream dictionary invite me to explore my own emotions and associations? And unfortunately, most dream dictionaries lack in that department.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Example

I decided to use one of my own dreams to see if The Dream Interpretation Dictionary could live up to my standards. I choose a dream that falls into the category of often dreamed symbolism. It is a very simple dream. It features one of the most common dream symbols: back to school.

I am back at school and I need to put my bike away. Because the lesson is starting soon I don’t have time to put it away in the proper place, so I put it on the school square that in the middle of the building. This square is not used often, it can only be opened by teachers, who only do so on special occasions. But in my dream this square was accessible. I parked my bike and walked away with the intention of meeting the people I had an appointment with and I worried that my bike would be safe at this place.

The most important thing, as J.M. DeBord emphasizes, is my own interpretation. For me, school is about learning how to adjust to life. I get there on my own strength, using my bike. But somehow, now is the time to put my own way of moving forward aside and learn from other people. Another interesting feature in my dream is the square form where I park my bike with two wheels like round mandala shapes. Like there are two aspects of my psychology that help me adjust to the square, man-made world.

This interpretation is very general. Let’s get out the Dream Interpretation Dictionary and explore how this book can deepen my understanding of this dream. Does it offer me a new perspective?

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: School

Here is the list of symbols I have looked up in the book: School, Bicycle, Square.

School: “A school setting in a dream has a wide variety of possibilities for symbolism. The most obvious are related to learning and knowledge, but school symbolism extends much further to include topics such as authority, success and failure, social life, and preparation for adult life and career”* (page 347).

Bingo! That is why I sometimes use dream dictionaries: to get that different angel you had not thought off yourself. The last time I was at this square was at a high school reunion in the beginning of the century. I was at that square, standing next to the principle (a different principle as the one who was in charge when I studied there) and we were talking like equals.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Bizarro.com

“A familiar school is more likely to represent something about that time of your life or what you experienced there*”.

There is no easy way to put into words what I learned in that period of my life (aged 12-18)… But if I have to relate it to this dream, I would say that, just like my bike has two wheels, my personality manifested in tow different ways.

As a junior I was self conscious about not being smart, and not beautiful enough to feel comfortable. I tried to adjust to girls in my class, who were only interested in boys, while I was interested in the nature of human consciousness. So I always was the odd one out.

In the second period of high school I found my own clan and dressed in a particular way, listened to “dark” music like the Cure, U2 and dressed in black. I still feels comfortable in black.

So what a wonderful way that this dream tells me that life is about balancing between those energies!

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Bicycle

On page 50 J.M. DeBord writes about the symbol bicycle: “Since balance is required to ride a bike,, dreaming about riding a bike can relate to personal balance, such as balancing the psyche, balancing logic and feeling, and balancing work and play*”.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon found on bike2power.com

“Bikes have strong associations with independence and free spirit. They are one-passenger vehicles powered by individual effort” (page 51).

Ai, yes that is true. I am a very complicated person to work together with. I usually have my own vision. My heart rejuvenated when I watched Steve Jobs tell a story about how he and his neighbour collected stones, put them in a machine and how the next morning they need up being perfectly polished.

Great work and great things are accomplished like that. You work together with other talented persons and ether is friction. But the end result is a much stronger product.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Square

“As a shape with balanced sides, the square is a symbol of strength and solidarity. Square shapes are closely associated with our material world, and in dreams they can connect with being grounded or materially secure” (page 365).

I had not thought about how a (material) bicycle is different from a car or any other form of transportation but this fragment triggered me to do that.

Cartoon Wand found on Gocomics
The Ultimate Square

 

I need to put away my bike, my way of moving forward in life on my own force. And I have no other option than to put it in a square, in a symbol of strength and solidarity. So in my eyes this dream tells me to unite with people. Search for, and connect with my tribe.

And I did so! Last year I became board member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary Conclusion

I can definitely say that this book meets the two criteria I defined in an earlier paragraph. The dream I used as an example has given me another vision, while I thought the dream was a walk in the park when it comes to interpretation. So yes, this dream dictionary tells me things I did not know before.

Now for the second criteria: does this book invite me to explore my own emotions and associations? Yes it does. And I think that is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of this book.

For example, this is what J.M. DeBord writes describing the concept of School: “Think expansively about what you learn. You can learn about yourself, another person, your limits, lessons in life and new skills. Life is a continual process of taking in new information and experiences and learning” (page 347).

PRO

  • This book offers a lot of suggestions to explore with each symbol that is mentioned;
  • You get invited to explore a particular symbol using your own experiences;
  • Some symbols are described at length. For example Shadow is described on three pages;
  • You can’t help but feel a lot of admiration for Jason who has so much knowledge about dreams and its symbolism.

CON

  • A dream dictionary is a dream dictionary. Nothing compares to hiring the expertise of a dream expert, like Jason or Susanne van Doorn. A dream expert can provide depth to the meaning of your dream you have not experienced before because he/she can tune into certain memories with the view of an objective observant.

* the definition in the book is more elaborate, these are just fragments I selected from the descriptions of the symbols

Mindfunda verdict:

8/10

Click here to buy The Dream Interpretation Dictionary and support Mindfunda.

 

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

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Woman Most Wild, 3 Keys to Liberating the Witch Within

Woman Most Wild, three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within
by Danielle Dusky
New World Library, 2017, $10.84 paperback ISBN-13: 9781608684663; kindle $13.51 ISBN-10: 1608684660
reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

witch
Click here to buy the book and support Mindfunda


We are the living feminine, Sister, and we have a cosmically sanctioned right to check in and check out in accordance with our inner resources” (page 12).

Years ago I wanted to be part of a witches coven. I called the number, and an antagonised woman whispered to me: “Please don’t call me at work”. I knew at that moment that this was not the group for me. How can you be a witch and want to keep it secret? So you can imagine that my hopes grew into an internal flame when I got the review copy of this book. And indeed, I love it.

Witch Within

Twenty-five years  after the publication of Women Who run with the Wolves this book promises to help you unleash your inner Witch. Woman Most Wild is clearly inspired by this classic. The inner Wolf-Woman is celebrated as an ideal role model. This book does not use (mythological) stories as often as Women Who Run with the Wolves did. In this book you, as a (female) reader are spoken to in a very direct way by the writer, as if she is sitting next to you.

Danielle explains that there are not one, not two, but three keys to unlock the broom closet and fly away to kiss the moon.

witch
Cartoon: S media cache

 

Danielle says on page 4: “I call you out as a Witch but offer you no religion. Instead, what I offer you in these pages are glimpses of how your soft and perfect being may be infused with the marrow of ritual, magick, and circle-craft”.

In the book magic is spelled with -ck, it is the archaic spelling, not a typo.

“By magick, I mean both the mysterious interconnectivity of the cosmic web that permits alchemical changes in the human community and the outcome of your own agency in creating shifts in your world” (page 85).

This is a wonderful promise. You don’t only get to know yourself better, you also get the promise to learn some magic.

witch
Susanne dressed up as the World Wide Witch 
Photo: Bhaskar Banerji

 I like that. An affordable book, with 242 pages of practical advice and guided meditations.

Witch and the Inner Cycles

The three keys that Danielle Dusky describes, all have to do with (re)connecting with the cycles of nature. The cycle of the moon, the cycle of the sun, the cycle of the seasons, and the cycle of life.

I truly discovered the power of the moon after reading A woman’s Book of Dreams written by Connie Kaplan. It made me appreciate the connection between the moon and dreams.

witch
Illusion of the Square
Leonardo da Vinci drawing sketch

(Re)Connecting with the cycles inside your body and outside in nature, you will be confronted with inner pain. “A true healer promises nothing. She digs deep, calls forth, and busts open” (page 114).

 

The 3 keys to unlock your broom closet are:

  • your wild rhythm;
  • your wild ritual;
  • and your wild cycle.

 

Key #1: Witch and the Wild Rhythm

 

The wild rhythm is to be found in the moon, the sun and in the blood. I really like the thorough knowledge of cycles. This knowledge will help you hear the music to dance to while living your life.

witch
Photo found on Flickr

Danielle talks with ease about the cycles of the moon and how they affect each woman.

“Living in alignment with lunar changes will serve you so much more than living in accordance with any calendar. Your soul will be nourished every time you invoke the essence of a lunar phase, harnessing the warrior-woman energy of a new moon, the sheer, electric force of a full moon, the release and acceptance that comes with the waning phase, and the oh-so-potent thick void of a dark moon” (page 17).

witch
Cartoon: Calvin & Hobbs

With the same ease she talks about how the sun, the seasons affect each woman.

“While the moon calls you to surrender to your soul’s purpose on Earth, the sun begs you to remember your role in the cosmic dance” (page 35).

Finally  the chakra’s are discussed as another manifestation of the cycle of the body.

“The bones of our social structures are hard and masculine, but the marrow, my love, the juicy marrow is feminine. The bones have forgotten what lives and breathes inside them — the Maiden’s sensuality, the Mother’s generative creativity, and the Wise Woman’s intuitive knowing — but harvest the marrow, Sister, for you truly are a Woman Most Wild” (page 82).

Key #2: Witch and the Wild Ritual

Rituals are important for the human psyche. One of the best books I have read about rituals is The Power of Ritual, written by Robbie Davis Floyd and Charles Laughlin.

But this key describes a specific kind of ritual, one that constitutes magick. First of all, Danielle Dusky acknowledges how almost all contemporary women are too  busy (we have to take care of our homes, our jobs and our children).

witch

The rituals Danielle describes are filled with a wisdom that resonates with me as reader. If you are interested in creating magic, in healing (and honestly, who isn’t?) this book will be very useful.

Another very important point that is addressed is the mother wound. I know I have one. Even though I honour my mother for all the work she has done during her life, I always missed the feeling of being loved accepted and honoured by her. I have made a conscious effort to make my children feel blessed and loved.

“We women have suffered the loss of the powerful feminine divine. With deity presented to us solely in its male form, we stand as orphaned sis- ters who share the same wound. Very often this wound manifests in the unconscious placement of lofty expectations on our own human mothers; we are looking to them to ll a great void, a void they too feel as women, and a void that can only be lled with a thorough embrace of the divine feminine on a social level” (page 112).

Key #3: Witch and the Wild Cycle

The last key is the Wild Cycle. “I am calling you out now as a Wolf-Woman who can and will find her pack” Danielle promises on page 149.

witch
Art found on martinekenblog.tumbler.com

“The Witches’ Circle is unique in structure as well as function, with feminine energy bolstered through both deep communication and magick work” (page 154)

We can only dream about such a circle of supporting women and Danielle urges us to visualize such a circle into existence.

CONCLUSION

PRO

  • This is a book about healing: reconnecting with the cycles of nature;
  • The cycles of life are discussed in-depth with very practical exercises;
  • I am convinced that this book can help you hear the soft whisper of the tune of your own song;
  • If you are interested in discovering your personal myth, this book has some good exercises for it, like writing the story of your life as an epic myth titled “The Woman Most Wild”;
  • The book makes a promise with every key, which is not only clever marketing, it is also a very clear statement of what to expect before reading a segment;
  • If you are, or want to become a priestess you will appreciate the practices in this book.

 

CON

  • This is not a book for everyone. It is aimed at a specific target group of women. This can easily also be a Pro, I am aware of that;
  • Danielle Dusky assumes there is a predestined path for everybody to wake up to. This will not ring true for everyone, even though it is a charming and appealing assumption;

 

Mindfunda verdict:

9/10

 

Click here to buy Woman Most Wild, three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within and support Mindfunda.

 

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

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Heinrich Zimmer: Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization

Heinrich Zimmer was the father of contemporary mythology. He had a great impact on Joseph Campbell. If you want to know more about mythology as a manifestation of energy, this is the book for you to read.

This Mindfunda is a book review of:
Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilazation written by Heinrich Zimmer. Edited by Joseph Campbell, a republication by Princeton University Press.

 

Heinrich Zimmer
Click here to buy the book and support Mindfunda

Heinrich Zimmer, German had a great impact on Joseph Campbell. Campbell was a student of Zimmer. In 1940, long before Bill Moyers made his last name into something more than a can of convenient tomato soup.

heinrich Zimmer

 

Heinrich Zimmer in America

Heinrich Zimmer was German by birth and moved to America in 1940. Because he had written a critical article about American Indologists, he was not welcome. In the classes he taught at the Columbia university he only had a few students. The notes from those classes have been edited by Campbell in this book, originally published in 1946.

 

heinrich zimmer
Heinrich Zimmer

 

Joseph Campbell had the good taste to appreciate Heinrich Zimmer’s new visions on mythology. Interpreting gods as energies was ground breaking at that time.

The difference between mythology of the East and mythology of the West, one of the key points of Campbell’s mythological insights, originated from the thoughts of Zimmer.

On the darker side: it led to an endless devaluation of Western thought as being “material”, almost “diabolical” while the Eastern thought was idealized. Every person in the East was thought of as a philosopher, while the Western civilization was seen as greedy and ignorant.

In the seventies it led to a hippy culture of meditating people. Unfortunately, even though their intentions were good, the world is still an uncomfortable place from time to time.

Heinrich Zimmer: Indian Mythology

Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization tells the story about how energy transforms and shapes everything, but is never lost. The Wheel of Rebirth spins round and round in a never-ending cycle…

heinrich zimmer
Wheel of Rebirth

This thought is still inherent to the Western way dreams are interpreted. Usually every dream symbol is interpreted as a manifestation of the Self. A symbol is the energy of the dreamer that manifests in multiple forms.

“The maya of the gods is their power to assume different shapes by displaying at will various aspects of their subtle essence”But the gods are themselves the productions of the greater maya: the spontaneous self-transformation of an originally undifferentiated, all generating divine Substance” (page 25).

 

Heinrich Zimmer
Vishnu

It was exactly this interpretation of myth as a manifestation of energy that attracted Campbell’s attention.

Heinrich Zimmer: Symbols

Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization contains a wealth of information about symbols, just as the title would suggest to the potential buyer. You will not be disappointed.

The book is filled with information about animals like snakes, serpents, elephants (did you know that according to Indian lore, the first elephants had wings?) and birds. The Garuda, born at the beginning of time, flaps its mythological wings.

Heinrich Zimmer
The Garuda

The book will tell you about Shakti and Shiva as symbols for the inner duality. It will explain the three-fold manifestation of Indra: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Maintainer and Shiva the Destroyer all constitute the wheel of life.

I just loved the fact that there even is a God(dess) dreaming up the Universe in Indian mythology, just like in Norse Mythology. I remember how much fun I had meeting this Goddess in the Lucid dream of my online Norse Mythology course (I might write a blog about that dream soon).

If you are into dreams and mythology, you are going to appreciate this book, there is no doubt about it.

A definite Go if you are looking for a good book that will add even more depth to your knowledge of mythology and symbols.

Literature

M. H. Case (editor) July 14, 2014: Heinrich Zimmer: Coming into His Own   Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise. This blog is a part ...
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Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
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Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

This is a Mindfunda book review about "The Mythic Dimension", a compilation of essays written by Joseph Campbell, dusted off and reprinted in a paperback. It will help you unleash ...
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Alhambra: a whisper of desire, filled with promises.

Alhambra, the palace in Granada, is a book you can live in. There are poems everywhere… Alhambra is as magic as its name. Alhambra sounds like  a whisper of desire, filled with promises. But not all its promises were sweet.

Alhambra: A Faustian Motive

The name Alhambra means the red castle. Legend has it that the Moorish King Al-hamar who build it, sold his soul to the devil.

In European Romanticism: Literary Cross-currents, Modes, and Models, Gerhart Hoffmeister tells: “Al-hamar could have only had his marvellous structure build through a Faustian pact with the fallen angel Azrael, also known as Azael. 

alhambra
Evelyn De Morgan
The Angel of Death

A fantastic ride to the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada prepares Al-hamar’s soul for its conversion, because up there Azreal receives him in his castle in the air, a celestial residence in God’s kingdom. During his reception in heaven the terrestrial Alhambra, which he had built, is resurrected as a second, more beautiful and transparent work of mystical architecture.

We know this motif from the Faust folktale. In this story Faust sold his soul to the devil to gain knowledge. If you want something so bad that you want to do things that insult your own moral, you sell your soul.

It was also a warning of (the) God(s) that men could not control everything. Or as Rumpelstiltskin says in Once Upon a Time: “All Magic comes at a price, dearie”

alhambra

I have another tale to tell about Alhambra in the next paragraph. A tale that involves a crime of passion…

Alhambra: the Basin of Lions

On the wall of the Alhambra you can see many poems. There are there poets mentioned who allegedly created the poetry: Ibn al-Yayyab (1274-1349), Ibn al-Jatib (1313-1375) and Ibn Zamrak (1333-1393), who were secretaries of the royal chancellery and prime ministers.

alhambra
image found on Flickr

 

“Melted silver flows through the pearls,
to which it resembles in its pure dawn beauty.
Apparently, water and marble seem to be one,
without letting us know which of them is flowing. 
Don’t you see how the water spills on the basin,
but its spouts hide it immediately?”

This is part of the poem that can be found at the basin of the Lions. You can see those lions on the picture that illustrates this blog.

It is marvellous how the marble, as a symbol of the philosopher’s stone, is paired with water.

Standing there, I can tell you that being there was impressive. But there was also a sad energy there. Once upon a time there was a brutal murder of a whole family here…

Alhambra: Crime of Passion

Spanish historian Gilles Perez writes in his book “The Civil Wars of Granada: And the History of the Factions of the Zegries and Abencerrages, Two Noble Families of That City, to the Final Conquest by Ferdinand and Isabella” about the reign of Abou Abdoulah.

Under the reign of Abou Abdoulah, there was an influential family called Abencerrages. One of the rivals of this family had insinuated that the head of this family, Abin Hamet, was the lover of the queen. Outraged, Abou Abdoulah invited the family only to murder everyone who entered the Basin of the Lions.

alhambra
Photo: Jurgen van Nijnanten

You can imagine that the queen, who was falsely accused was not amused. Her husband managed to escape the wrath of the Abencerrages, but she was sentenced to be burned alive within thirty days unless she could produce four knights who would defend her.

And she, smart girl, managed to produce four knights who defended her honour. Abou Abdoulah escaped and never returned.

Alhambra: A Dream-Like Environment

Walking around Alhambra gives you a chance to do many reality checks if you are a lucid dreamer. The building itself, all the work, the craftsmanship that is put into this, the art, it is a very inspiring visit. If you want to go there, make sure you book your ticket on time. It is only possible from the Spanish website of the Alhambra. They use a site called Ticketmaster, it is their system of online selling.

I bought a daytime ticket. We arrived at 11:00 am, and had entrance on 14:00 pm. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful gardens. There is no need to buy an audio guide, you can download an app with the same information. And be aware that, as in any other very touristic environment, food and drinks are extremely expensive.

Do you have trouble remembering your dreams? Here is my ebook that can help you out:

Do you like this post? Please share!


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise. This blog is a part ...
Read More

Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
Read More

Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

This is a Mindfunda book review about "The Mythic Dimension", a compilation of essays written by Joseph Campbell, dusted off and reprinted in a paperback. It will help you unleash ...
Read More

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Byung Chul Han: Agony of Eros, a Book Review

Byung Chul Han, South Korean professor at the University of Basil, knows about love. It is threatened. Eros is dead.
It is always good to start a book with a cliff hanger…

It was in A.D. 14–37 that the great god Pan was declared death by a sailor called Thamus. He had heard of his death in a divine whisper.

Byung Chul Han
Eros and Pan

With the death of the horned god Pan came the birth of theology.

And now Byung Chul Han, even though he is not sailing on a ship, has heard a similar divine whisper. The great god Eros is dead… And in this book he analysis love in every manifestation possible.

The Agony of Eros” from The MIT Press, published in 2017, originally published as “Agonie des Eros” in the series Fröhliche Wissenschaft by Matthes & Seitz Berlin.

.

 

Byung Chul Han
Buy the Book using this link and support Mindfunda

In seven chapters love is taken into the box ring. Dragged from depression to powerlessness, to pornography and emptiness, to nowadays superficial consumerism.

But it also triggers your mind. What is love for you? What are your feelings about porn? Is there love in politics?

Byung Chul Han: a Man’s Vision on Eros

 

Byung Chul Han
Portrait of Byung Chul Han
copyright S Fischer Verlag

Byung Chul Han is a man. (I know you start to laugh right now because it is so obvious). And it shows in his analysis and his texts. I can not help but wonder how a female philosopher would have taken on the challenge of the death of Eros.

Do you remember the film Pan’s Labyrinth? It is also a man’s vision on female initiation in a patriarchal society. Nothing would please me more as a woman’s vision on this subject.

Don’t get me wrong. i like this book. A lot. let me explain why in the next paragraph.

Byung Chul Han: The Other

Being a Jungian, I am always pre-occupied with the Self. Byung Chul Han is preoccupied with the Other (written with a capital O just like the Jungian Self is always written with a capital S).

Eros is a relationship to the Other situated beyond achievement, performance, and ability” (page 11).

Byung Chul Han
Cartoon: Rebel Circus

The Other is defined in Lao’s von Trier’s Melancholia how the Other brings you in a state of disbalance…

The Other-ness is also the fuel for erotic attraction between partners. And to fully conceive and appreciate the Otherness a death of the Self is in order. That does remind you of the words of Joseph Campbell, doesn’t it? How he spoke of marriage as death.

The agony of Eros, the depreciation of the value of Otherness, lies in the unification of contemporary society. Or what Byung Chul Han calls:  “the inferno of the same” at every turn .  

Conclusion

This book is not for everybody. It assumes a vast knowledge of philosophers and films that not everybody will have.

But it is an excellent work out for your mental muscles. How does Byung Chul Han differ from Joseph Campbell for example? Joseph Campbell, seems to contradict Byung Chul Han because Jospeh assumed that society in the middle ages had discovered eros. In his interviews with Bill Moyers he talks about how in the 12th century love was re-invented by the troubadours. They spread the word about this new standard for eros and marriage very rapidly.

Byung Chul Han suggests that we now have buried love/eros. In a time with multiple divorces it seems like we have gotten back to pre-medieval times. I certainly hope we have not but what do you think? Let me know in the comments.


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise. This blog is a part ...
Read More

Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
Read More

Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

This is a Mindfunda book review about "The Mythic Dimension", a compilation of essays written by Joseph Campbell, dusted off and reprinted in a paperback. It will help you unleash ...
Read More

Comments or suggestions? Share your thoughts:

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Yoga Practice for Enhanced Dream Recall

Do You know about a Yoga Practice to Enhance Dream Recall? Maybe you practice yoga on a regular basis. I know one of my many sisters (I have 5) has practiced yoga for several decades. It has improved her knowledge of her own body. She monitors her energy, and during the course of the years she has even learned to manage it consciously. Let me know what your experience is (even though I am not a yoga teacher).

Yoga Dream Recall: Patience

When I was a kid in the seventies of this century, transcendental meditation was hot. I remember taking the pillow from my bed and trying to stand on my head because it was supposed to be healthy.

Yoga
Cartoon: Leigh Rubin for Creators.com

 

But I never have had the patience to dive into the world of yoga. It is very hard for me to sit for more than 5 minutes. You know that song People Got to Move? That’s me.

It’s not only bad that I can not sit still. I get a lot of things done! I read while I make mental notes about the next Mindfunda, I take my daily walk while I contemplate my next blog, I mumble to practice my next presentation while I pack my bag to go and see a client.

But when I was invited to give a presentation about dreams at the chapel of the Dutch town of Vorstenbosch, I had a chance to talk to a lady called Gerry Rooijakkers.

Yoga: 4 Days

There are quite a few people with a lack of dream recall (I got a free e-book for you to download 10 tips to improve it). And a lot of my customers have an excessive dream recall but I will write a blog about that in the near future).

But when I was talking to Gerry Rooijakkers after I had given my presentation, she told me about a simple yoga practice you can start doing today.

 

Yoga
Cartoon: Piraro for Bizarracomic.blogspot.com

 

I promised her I would do this exercise for 4 days, because she told me that is the number of days it would take to have an effect.

And I keep my promises. I practiced every day and I experienced and improvement in dream recall. So I decided to share this experience with you.

Yoga Practice Dream Recall: The Exercise

Here is what you do.

You lie down your back. You bend your knees and start kicking your buttock with the heels of your foot.

Each time you try to kick yourself, you push away your leg in any direction.

Mind you: If you do it before you go to sleep like I did: your heart starts racing and it is more difficult to fall asleep. So you’d better practice this during the day…

It’s that simple.

Now here are the results from the jury.

I started doing this the night Gerry told me about this. The first night I had a vague memory of images from my dreams.

The second night, I had a hint of a memory that faded once I was awake (you need to write down dreams as soon as possible).

yoga

The third and the fourth night I had a very good dream recall. I hope I have given you some valid dream information. Let me know if you had success practicing it.

 

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

Mindfunda Free Give Away’s

If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you get a book filled with 10 tips to better remember your dreams and a book about a mutual dream experiment for free. I hate spam as much as you do and I will guard your email with my life. Once a month you will get the latest news on the subject of dreams, mythology an spirituality and about my latest courses (because i have to pay the bills to, just like you do).

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#DREAMS‘?

The Fiction of Dreams, A Book Review

Fiction and dreams are closely related. "The dream's essence lies in its storytelling capacity. Dreams are autobiographical fictions that tell ...
Read More

Dreams that Guide You on Your Life Path

Finding your life path. It can be quite a journey... To my great enjoyment I saw that the International Association ...
Read More

Midsummer Night Dreaming

The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet Are of Imagination all compact...  Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream”  Midsummer Night is ...
Read More

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We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

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Dream Journal: The Best Book You’ll Ever Read

This Mindfunda is about how you can set up a dream journal for your daily dream entries in a way that will enable you to get the most out of it.

Hellen Keller: “I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me

Dream Journal: A Roman About You

The best books have sex, betrayal, jealousy and a (heartbreaking) romance. Do you want such a book written about you? Start creating your own dream diary!

Your dreams are filled with emotions, emotions that are the clue to attaching meaning to your own dreams.

First, you are going to need a notebook. Preferably one with a hardcover.

Dream Journal
A Moleskine Notebook

Writing your dreams out by hand is a very good exercise that will keep your brain in shape.

dream journal
Cartoon: The Metapicture

Dream Journal: How to Draft Your Dream

Once you have your dream journal, you know divide it into a left page and a right one.

On the left pages of your dream journal you are going to write:

What your core emotion of that day has been (for example: Aggravated, or Relaxed, or Loveable, or Argumentative);

What you ate that day;

What sign the moon is in (here is more information about what Connie Kaplan has to say about the importance of the moon on dream content).

What (if any) incubation you used.

On the right page you write your dream. Write it in the present tense, like you experience it writing it down.

After writing it down, give the dream a title (always feel welcome to change the title if after analysis, a more appropriate one comes to mind.

Dream Journal: Room for Analysis

Make a list of all the dream symbols under your dream. Sit down, make sure you have some undisturbed time and write every first association with each dream symbol in your dream journal.

Re-write your dream using the associations and see what happens with the story.

This is one of the easiest ways to set up a dream journal. Using both pages for a different purpose: one intended for the dream and one intended to analyse background variables that influence your dream content.

And if you have any questions about a dream, you can always hire me to help you with a dream.

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#DREAMS‘?

The Fiction of Dreams, A Book Review

Fiction and dreams are closely related. "The dream's essence lies in its storytelling capacity. Dreams are autobiographical fictions that tell ...
Read More

Dreams that Guide You on Your Life Path

Finding your life path. It can be quite a journey... To my great enjoyment I saw that the International Association ...
Read More

Midsummer Night Dreaming

The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet Are of Imagination all compact...  Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream”  Midsummer Night is ...
Read More

Comments or suggestions? Share your thoughts:

We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

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Egg: Symbolism

Let’s celebrate Easter with a Mindfunda Blogpost about the symbolism of the egg. Don’t you find it is strange that eggs and easter have become so close?

Egg: Origin of the World

We will have to go back to East Asia, between 1700 en 1100 BCE. In the Rig Veda, a book that contains 1017 rhymes it is said that:

 

egg
Jacob Bryant’s Orphic Egg (1774

 

“The Creator, as Hiranyagarbha, arose from the great waters and by his power and energy germinated the egg containing the world matter, thus setting in motion the process of Creation. From this standpoint, Creation was not a new beginning but a rearrangement, setting things in a proper order.”

But that was a long time ago. Why are we still fooling around with eggs around easter?

Egg: Changing Perception of the Universe

Einstein, the guy we all love, because he was not only a genius, but also a very good marketeer (he invented personal branding), changed the perceptions of the universe.

egg
Cartoon: Tom Richmond at tomrichmond.com

 

And like any major change this one: that we, the species living on earth, are just a tiny part of a much bigger system.

And we are really the center… nothing really…

BUT: by discovering so much more about the creation of the universe those old mythologies became populair again.

It wasn’t really coincidence that Carl Jung wrote about the cosmic egg in his red book.

Egg: The Red Book

In the Red Book Jung has a scene that involves the cosmic egg.  This cosmic egg has a seed in it: the promise of fertilization and growth.

Doesn’t that remind you of the Seed Of Yggdrasil? Maria Kvilhaugg describes in her book how the Tree of Life clearly has a seed that brings fertility on earth.

egg
Carl Jung, The Red Book
Izdubar

 

“On the evening of the third day, I kneel down and carefully open the egg. Something resembling smoke rises up from it and suddenly Izdubar is standing before me, enormous, transformed, and complete. His limbs are whole and I find no trace of damage on them. It’s as if he had awoken from a deep sleep”.

Izdubar represents the inner voice, the silent inner knowing that does not need evidence. Jung even sees science as the thing that wounded Izdubar.

Izdubar crawls out of the egg and gives light like the sun. The egg, birth and the sun they are always connected. But haven’t you, like me, ever wondereed why on earth we celebrate the death of our god Jesus when nature starts to emerge, and we celebrate his birth in the darkest days?

Egg: Symbolic Meanings

As I have already mentioned in an earlier Easter blog about the goddess Eostre, on a very literal level people used to eat a lot of eggs during Easter because they were not allowed to eat them during lent, so they saved up tons of them.

But does an egg have more symbolic meanings than fertility?

The color yellow in the egg is the brightest colour to the human eye. The colour is  associated with youth and happiness.

In general eggs are considered to represent new possibilities. Unlike my attempt to associate sex dreams (see #2) in a different way as the usual “you want to unite with the thing your sex partner represents” theme, I have not been able to use my creativity here.

But I do have, as an Easter Bonus a nice blog I wrote about chocolate. Have fun this Easter and eat a lot of (chocolate) eggs.


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise. This blog is a part ...
Read More

Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
Read More

Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

This is a Mindfunda book review about "The Mythic Dimension", a compilation of essays written by Joseph Campbell, dusted off and reprinted in a paperback. It will help you unleash ...
Read More

Comments or suggestions? Share your thoughts:

We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

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What you need to know about Greek Gods

The Greek Gods, we know about them. We read stories, we secretly laughed about Zeus who was always fooling around with girls.

greek gods

But do the Greek Gods still play a role in our life? Let’s explore.

Greek Gods: Archetypes

In the ’80s Jean Shinolda Bolen wrote a book called: Goddesses in Everywoman. It became a huge hit.

greek gods
Use this link to buy the book and support Mindfunda

(Do you ever wonder like me why nobody wrote the same book for men?)

The book had the appealing assumption that Greek Mythology was based an archetypes. Jean Shinolda Bolen had carefully selected 7 (my favourite number) archetypes that characterized typical behaviour in women.

7 Greek Goddesses:

Artemis

The queen of the hunt, an old mother goddess archetype. Jean associated her with the “workaholic” lady.

Athena

My personal favourite. I always loved the story that she was born from her father’s head. The science nerd lady.

Hestia

The nun. Queen of hearth and solitude.

Hera

The Queen of marriage.

Demeter

The Mother archetype: always pregnant.

Persephone

The Queen of the underworld, the Gothic Lady.

Aphrodite

Always on a date, the Queen of Love

Do you want to know who you are? Here is a quiz.

Greek Gods: The Cradle of Civilization

 

Greece, Athens is seen as the cradle of modern civilization. The place where democracy started. But I will let you in on a little secret. The Greek Gods were assholes.

In mythology, we have gotten so addicted to the Hero story of Campbell, that we really would like those 12 Greek guys and girls up the Olympus to be really cool dudes who want the best for mankind.

They didn’t.

They stole, raped, murdered and tortured…

Let’s start with the “Big Brothers”.

greek gods
Olympus

Zeus, King of the sky, was a typical wind god. These are the gods of fertility. He fooled around, changed shape and multiplied himself whenever he could.

Prometheus was punished severely for giving humanity fire. You might be aware of the fact that fire, cooking our food, gave us humans, time to do something else with our day than just to sit around and digest.

greek gods
Prometheus Carrying Fire’ by Jan Cossiers

Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock, where an eagle came and ate his liver away each day..

Doesn’t that remind you of God’s anger towards man when Adam and Eve ate the Tree of Knowledge? Somehow Gods don’t like humans to empower themselves…

Poseidon, his brother and god of the sea. Having a blue beard and a trident, he was considered the god of the earth quakes. Like his brother he was always out to have some fun with women.

In a contest about who will win the control of the city of Athens, Athene touches the ground witha  spear and an olive tree emerges. Poseidon, on the other hand, struck his trident on a rock and produced a horse.

And.. the olive tree not only symbolises economical growth, but also peace. Remember the biblical dove with the olive tree in its mouth?

Hades, the third brother was king of the Underworld. It was his job to make sure that the deceased did not escape his kingdom.

greek gods
Bingley: The Abduction of Persephone

Hades decided to abduct the daughter of Demeter, Persephone. Demeter decided to mourn her daughter in winter when she was at Hades.

On the other side: it is a mythological script for every girl. Going away from mother, becoming queen of your own kingdom.

The rest of the Gods had their problems and neuroses too. But I wanted you to be aware that the magical number 3 and 12 are important in Greek Mythology. We will explore that in next paragraph.

Greek Gods: Mythology and Magic Numbers

In almost every mythology, the number three (three brothers: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) and the number 12 are important. Why?

In Norse Mythology the number three is mentioned again and again. There are three wise women, three Norns at the well of Urd who determine the fate of humans.



In the bible, Jesus died for three days and came back from the death. There is the holy trinity: father son and holy spirit.

It is the first number with ‘something in the middle’ like a new birth. And it has a connection to the moon, that is gone for three days (or nights) to be reborn.

The number 12: 12 gods live on mount Olympus. Jesus had 12 disciples, Odin had 12 followers…

The number 12 is associated with completeness. If you interpret the Gods as psychological energies within your own psyche, you will see that you have got a whole range of conduct to choose from. It is up to you to make a conscious choice. It can be the challenge of a life time!


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

The Body of Poetry: Sculpting Curves into Words

This is the last Mindfunda blog in my series about the body and it features the body of poetry. Female poetry to be more precise. This blog is a part ...
Read More

Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
Read More

Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

This is a Mindfunda book review about "The Mythic Dimension", a compilation of essays written by Joseph Campbell, dusted off and reprinted in a paperback. It will help you unleash ...
Read More

Comments or suggestions? Share your thoughts:

We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

Please check the appropriate boxes below.

keep me posted on newsno mail please

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7 Common Dreams: Exercise the Dream Muscles


This blog is about common dreams. Did you know a hand has 34 muscles and only 17 of them are located at the palm of the hand?

common dreams

Just like a hand is necessary in life, your dream muscles need exercise at a regular basis. And just like the hand, most of your dream muscles are not located in you dreams but in your daily life.

Reading this article is an excellent first step. Sign up to follow Mindfunda (on the left side) will keep you informed about dreams and all its creative perks.

In this blog I will mention the most common dreams. But don’t take my word for it! You need to keep those dream muscles exercised.

Common Dreams: #1: Back to School

We have all had these dreams where we are back at school, usually to do an exam we have not prepared for.

The common interpretation you read for those types of dreams is that you “have to learn something”. Life is all about learning.

But let’s now exercise those dream muscles!

common dreams
Cartoon: Calvin & Hobbes

Ask yourself: “Is my life getting boring?” (remember how bored you were at school?).

“Am I too perfectionist?” Because you keep asking yourself to perform tests, even when you dream. Yes people dream about the things that they do every day!

Sit down, envision the dream and the mark you will get on that exam. What does that say about you?

Common Dreams: #2: Being Naked

We all had these dreams were you walk around and discover that you are inappropriately dressed. Body parts peeping out of clothes, no clothes at all. You discover it all of a sudden and most of the time wake up.

The most common interpretation is that you feel exposed. You have been too open.

common dreams
Cartoon: Ged Backland

But let’s now exercise those dream muscles!

Ask yourself: “Is there something that wants/need to get born?”. You are naked at vital moments in your life. When you are born. When you sleep. When you have sex.

Ask yourself: “Am I warm enough?” Emotionally as well as physically?

Ask yourself: “How do I feel about my body?” Is there something you should or could change about the perception of your own body?

Common Dreams: #3: Sex

You have a wild sexy dream. And when it is about an ex, you can be very confused about it. Does this dream mean you made a mistake and want him/her back?

Usually, sex dreams are interpreted as wanting to be closer to the thing your sex partner represents to you.

But let’s now exercise those dream muscles!

common dreams

Ask yourself: when I dream about an ex: is there something new being born in my life right now? Each relationship is the beginning of a new adventure. And when you dream about an old adventure, there is a big change a new adventure (not necessarily a relationship) might be waiting for you just around the corner.

Did you know that people who are confronted with upcoming death on a regular basis like soldier are more likely to conduct in an inappropriate sexual manner? Ask yourself: Is there reason to increase the life-juice in me right now? Does the dream give you any clues in how you should do that?

Common Dreams: #5: Teeth Falling Out

One of the most common dreams is about your teeth falling out. You can dream that it is lose in your mouth and you try to put it back in vain. the most common interpretation is that you need to get your tooth into something.

common dreams

But let’s now exercise those dream muscles!

Are you grinding your teeth at night? It can be the case of teeth dreams. And you should get it checked. Tooth grinding is the way your body uses to give you some air. If your partner tells you that you are grinding your teeth, you probably have a (mild) form of sleep apnea you should have checked out.

When you lie down, your tongue falls back and can block your breathing. If this happens once, there is no danger in it, but when it happens on a regular basis you might want to have it checked out before you explore if you need something to put your teeth into.

Common Dreams: #6: Flying

Often, as soon as you drift off in a hypnagogic sleep stage, right before you fall asleep, you feel your body falling or flying.

Because the tension in your muscles decreases once you fall asleep, you experience the sense of falling or flying.

The common dream interpretation is that you want to let go of something. You are not “grounded”.

common dreams
Cartoon: Via 9gag.co

But let’s now exercise those dream muscles!

Ask yourself: Is this my invitation to a lucid dream?  Lots of lucid dreamers have told me that they have developed the ability to stay conscious during a dream by flying conscious into a desired dream situation.

When awake, sit down and let your imaginative mind take you places. Be surprised at your own creative images.

Common Dreams: #7: Toilet

You have to use the bathroom, urgently and it is either already possessed or you can not find it.

Usually, the common interpretation is that you need to let go of something, you need to release.

common dreams
Cartoon: Piraro

But let’s now exercise those dream muscles!

Did you know that in alchemy poop was a sign of transformation? That is right. The old alchemical wizards tried to turn feces into gold (recently a guy tried to do the same).

Ask yourself: is there something in my life right now that needs to be transformed?

 

THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#DREAMS‘?

The Fiction of Dreams, A Book Review

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Dreams that Guide You on Your Life Path

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Midsummer Night Dreaming

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Learning Difficulties Can Be a Chance to Excel: The Power Of Different

If you have, a child with learning difficulties, like I do, you have experienced the same heart ache. You know the feeling of disappointment and anger against the system. Why do schools always stay the same, while everyone has agreed that we have lost the connection between education and the real world?

This Mindfunda is a book review of The Power of Different, The link between Disorder and Genius written by Gail Saltz M.D. April 2017, Flat Iron Books, ISBN 10987654321

 

learning difficulties
Buy the book using this link and support Mindfunda

 

Learning Difficulties: 80 % Dyslexia

It took years before I pushed the school my oldest son was in, to admit that all their remedial teaching had been in vain. I arranged an official test, and my son was dyslexic, just as I had suggested for years. My little man cried his eyes out. He was different and being different is bad.

Gail, in The Power of Different, admits that labels are not good for anybody. But DSM V, even though it is under heavy scrutiny, demands a label to be put on a “patient”.  Labels are by definition limiting.

learning difficulties

 

 

We all know someone with dyslexia: Richard Branson. He had a wonderful April first prank, as he declared he wanted to start the first dyslexia sperm bank. But starting May second 2017, the website he promotes in his film in the blog Made by Dyslexia will be dedicated to positive sides of this learning challenge.

Learning Difficulties: ADD + ADHD

Did you know that nearly 8 % of all children between 3 and 17 get the disgnosis ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? We all knew someone special that had it: Robbin Williams.

learning difficulties

ADD is like your mind is a racecare using bicycle breaks. The brain is not inhibited, nothing stops the flow of thought.

It is such a relief when you read a quote like “neither therapy nor drugs will render the brain permanently “normal”. And given the remarkable linkage between attentional deficits and extremes of originality, we shouldn’t desire to flatten out those differences”. I hope more experts sin the field think about it this way.

Learning Difficulties and the Power of Different

There are seven types of labels described in this book: dyslexia, distractibility, anxiety, melancholy, bipolar disease, schizoid personalities and autism.

Usually, in our current educational system, the rules are too strict to make those children shine. Often they end up with big holes blown into their self esteem.

 

 

When you read the book, you can’t help but recognizing some of the behaviour described. But what makes the book an asset to your book closet is that it makes you wish your brain was wired in this ways as well.

Being so creative, so artistic and so unique that you can make your mark on this world.

Conclusion

PRO

  • You will read the book effortlessly, it is well written without the use of difficult scientific terms;
  • Each chapter is build up out of the same paragraph structures: the diagnoses, what it mean, the experience, challenges, developing work arounds, the gifts of and how to flourish… It makes the book consistent and it guides your expectations while reading it;
  • I especially liked the “How people with … can flourish” section of each chapter. It gave me a lot of confirmation about things I already do, “like only listen when people tell about their problems, don’t solve it for them”  but also gave me good insights to the strong points of -for example dyslexia: recognizing how my oldest son is indeed so very good at seeing the whole picture, while I get lost in details.
  • It is a practical book but it is based on neurological insights into the brain. If you love neurology as much as I do, you will like this book;
  • Almost every parent realizes how ancient the school system we use has become. This book is filled with stories of parents bold enough to speak up and make chances. This can be the reinforcement you need to try to make things in the life of your child better.

CON

  • There is a content page that only gives the title of the chapter, not the different paragraphs in them. It is a shame, because the book is set up in such a clever and structural way;
  • On a personal level: I get a bit bored when Einstein its dragged out of his grave again to serve as an example of someone with a brain disorder. Even though I know that he did not have a usual brain (see the fourth dot in this blog The Human Brain by Rita Carter), he was never diagnosed in an official way;
  • One thing I missed in this book: there is no mention at all of the book by Richard Soul: ADHD Does Not Exist The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder;
    I would have loved to hear Dr. Gail her ideas about that;
  • This book is especially interesting when you are dealing with a child/friend/spouse who has one of the ‘disorders’, so it is for a specific target group. This can be a pro as well.

Mindfunda verdict:

8/10

Do you like this post? Feel Free to Share

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

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THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Brainfunda:
articles and relevant information about the brain about how you can use this in your everyday life. Neurology, the brain all the fascinating things we find out in current research.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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Ramon y Cajal: Father of Neurology and his Vision on Dreams

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Easter Origin: A Pagan Eastern Fertility Goddess?

Easter Origin. Every time at Easter, Facebook postings and blogs are (re)published that talk about Eostre or Ostara. Let me tell you the real story.

Easter Origin: Eostre – Ostara

Eostre and the German variation of that name Ostara all mean East. There is no evidence of them being goddesses of fertility. So where does this story come from? We will have to go centuries back, to an old monk.

Easter Origin

In 520, Dionysius Exiguus used the old data of Alexandria to create a new table to calculate Easter. Those Alexandria tables were created in the year 300 and Dionysius Exiguus recalculated them so they could be used in the Julian time frame.

In 616 monk Beda Venerabilis recalculated these dates into the Eastern cycle that is used to this date. This calculation uses the cycles of the moon (19 years) and the cycles of the sun (28 years). I know that sounds complicated. What it means is that it takes 19 years before there is a new moon again on January the first. It takes 28 years for January 1 to be the first Sunday of the year. He wrote the book Temporem Ratione; The Reckoning of Time about it.

In this book he mentions the Goddess Eostre as a goddess that is worshiped in England. The month of April would be names after her. But… there is no further evidence that there was any worship of her in England.

Easter Origin: Grimm

More than thousand years later, Jacob Grimm, one of the famous Grimm brothers, suggested that there had been a Goddess of spring and fertility called Ostara.

Grimm based his knowledge on the book Vita Carola Magni, or the Life of Charlemagne. written by historian Einhard, somewhere between 817 and 836.

Origin of Easter

Einhard indicates that the month of april is to be called ostarmanoth. Yet he fails to mention a goddess Ostara… But this was enough for Grimm to assume that there had been a Goddess named Ostara. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of historical claims to back that up.

Easter Origin: Fertility

Before you go away depressed, I would have to mention that Easter origin related to fertility. Spring, the victory of light that made crops grow was celebrated in almost every society.

Easter origin

The Romans celebrated Cerelia, a feast dedicated to Ceres, Goddess of agriculture.  the Celts celebrated Beltane, a counterpart of Samhein. Beltane is a feast dedicated to fertility and light. In Hinduism Holi-Phagwa is celebrated.

But where do the bunny and the eggs com from?

Easter Origin: Bunny and Eggs

Because of lent, people were not allowed to eat the eggs that their chickens laid. So at easter, when lent was over, all those eggs were boiled and eaten.

Of course there is the symbolism of an egg and the new life it represents. It is a very ancient practice to decorate eggs to celebrate spring. It goes back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

In early Christianity, red stained eggs where remainders of the blood of Christ, who died and was resurrected.

 

But what is the easter origin of the bunny? The idea that a hare could reproduce without the loss of virginity made the association with of the hare with the Virgin Mary easy.

Easter Origin

In the protestant religion, the Easter Bunny gave good children eggs and bad children received nothing. This tradition went with the German emigrants to America.

Do you like this story? Feel free to share. I hope you will have a wonderful Easter and a year filled with new fertility.


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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Who Has Been Your Best Teacher?

Remember when you were a child? You either hated to go to school or you loved it. But everybody has got one teacher that was special. It does not need to be a school teacher. Life is full of teachers. It can be your mother in law, your husband, your child.

Teacher at School

At schools, you have borne teachers and you have people who are assigned the job and are in it just to pay the rent. You know the difference intuitively.

Most of the inspiring teachers live and thrive by rules. I was always arguing with my Dutch teacher. But I learned so much from her. She taught me how to analyse literature. I still profit from her lessons. And secretly I hope she enjoyed our arguments as much as I did.

 

 

teacher

 

One of my inspiring teachers was a relatively young guy who taught economics. He gave us the assignment to go home, check the cupboards and write down the manufacturers of the brands you bought. It was the first time I discovered mega manufacturers like Procter and Gamble. He extended my perception.

Who was your most inspiring teacher at school?

Teacher in Class

There were also peers that were excellent teachers. I soon learned that the popular handsome kids usually set the rules.

teacher

There was a girl who resembled a “duck” because her chin was so big. Once I got to know her I found out that she was very kind and had a great sense of humour. She taught me that looks are not that important. it is the way you make someone feel about themselves.

Who was your most inspiring friend?

Children as Teacher

I had a vision of becoming an inspiring, beautiful and friendly mother. But soon I realized that being a mother resembles being a policeman without wearing the uniform.

teacher

One day my youngest son was my biggest teacher. He said to me: “Mom, I wish it rained money. That way people would stop fighting”.  He taught me the importance of equality.

How have children taught you important lessons?

Dreams as Teacher

Some dreams have a spiritual quality that enlightens you. When I had to chose what to do after high school, I had a dream in which I was walking in a green garden, next to Carl Gustav Jung, who was teaching me.

I remember how deeply disappointed i was that no one could help me interpret my dream. As soon as I had some money for me-time, I followed a Jungian education in dreams.

Now i have my own online teaching school: Mindfunda Courses. I am currently involved in the Norse Mythology dreaming Course, but exploring more topics.

What would you like to learn about dreams and spirituality? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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Meaning of Dreams: 8 Ways to Start Interpreting Dreams

The meaning of dreams. If you remember a dream and it was intriguing, or emotional, the first thing you want to do is attach meaning to it. It is debatable if a dream ever has a definite meaning.

Meaning of Dreams: Literal

The first step I always take when someone shares a dream with me, is to find out if the dream has a literal quality. Health dreams, for instance, have a tendency to be very literal.

meaning of dreams

For instance, a business man kept having dreams of his secretary taking money out of the cash register. He interpreted it as a sign that he needed to give his female side more energy. He started to embrace and honour his anima (which isn’t a bad thing). But one day, he walked in on his secretary actually grabbing money out of the cash register. the dreams had been a literal warning.

Downside: of course not every dream is literal.

Meaning of Dreams: Symbolic

Usually a dream is interpreted symbolic. Either through the use of dream dictionaries or through personal association.

meaning-dreams

You write down your dream, make a list of every symbol in it and write down the first thing that does to mindful that symbol.

Downside: this method can block some people some times. When you ask them for their first association they look at you in despair and shrug their shoulders.

Meaning of Dreams: 5 Ways

When you are seriously interested in dreams you might have read some good books about them (here is a list of 10 books about dreams I recommended, let me know if i missed a good book).

But in reality, most people jump around intuitively from one method to another. Here is an interesting blog I have written about 5 popular techniques that can help you interpret dreams.

meaning of dreams

Shamanism is one of the oldest religions and the use of the shamanic drum can put you in a trance, with or without help from plants.

Gestalt is an intuitive technique that can help you find the gestalt in a dream. In that way, it resembles the use of Jungian archetypes rather close.

Jungian dream interpretation has been around for decades. It has become very popular, because this method is also very intuitive.

Dream Tending is -in my eyes- a very soft and gentle method, where you give a dream the chance to gently unfold.

Content analysis: there are several dream sites where you can insert your dream into a database that will be used by dream researchers. DreamsCloud is one of them.

Meaning of Dreams: Personal Consultation

This is of course my personal favourite. Getting professional advice on your dream can give your dream so much more depths and meaning.

A professional dream worker can use a variety of techniques. Read this blog that I wrote about questions that can help you determine if a dream worker will add value to your dream.

meaning of dreams

Of course you can always sent me an email if you want a dream consultation. You can also visit my online course page to se if there are courses that might enhance your general knowledge about dreams and mythology.

Because getting involved with your dreams is an investment in yourself.

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#DREAMS‘?

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We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

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Spirit: Sensual Guide or Senseless Spirituality?

This Mindfunda is about Spirit. It is not about how to perform a séance. It is about connecting with the inner vibe that let’s you know you are alive.

Spirit: a Synonym for Vagueness?

Whenever I mention that my expertise are dreams and dreaming, people get a bit scared. “That is way to gibberish for me” they say while they slowly back away.

At parties, usually my husband talks a lot about his work, while mine is hardly ever mentioned. “You are busy with all that complicated stuff, research and online courses”.

spiritAnd what I want to talk about is that vague (?) feeling you get when you feel life floating: spirt.

  • When, after a long walk, you reach the top of a mountain and enjoy, no admire the view;
  • When you have survived a near death experience and you start celebrating each moment in the sun;
  • When you explore things in lucid dreams that increase you r knowledge of life and your ability to solve problems;
  • When you reach that age that allows you to fall in love with yourself.

Spirit in Dreams

In Norse Mythology Baldr, son of Odin and Frigg, foresaw his own death in dreams. There was no need to use any dream dictionary. Baldr woke up frightened, told his dream to the other gods and everyone knew something bad was going to happen.

spirit

On the other side of the equation: dreams can be seen as mere chatter of the brain. In the book about neuroscientist Ramon Y Cajal, it became clear that even if he wanted to describe dreams as random, one could clearly distinguish patterns of meaning in his dreams.

Have you ever experienced a predictive dream? I have noticed that most of the time, when this happens, a very emotional event will take place. What is your experience?

Spirit in Death

You don’t know what you got till you lose it.  When I read On Dreams and Death written by Marie-Louise von Franz (actually I studied it carefully, scanning my dream journal for signs about a possible upcoming death) I started to realize that when people face death, they feel alive.

The hero’s who safe other people’s lives and thereby risking their own, usually say they acted without thinking about it. But they all admit that they felt more alive than ever while doing their good work.

Can you imagine doing something like that? Risking your own life for a stranger?

Spirit in Life

We usually go through life in random motions. Wake up about the same time each day, go to sleep at about the same time each night.

Dedicate ourselves to our dreams, or go to sleep and never remember one of them.

We go to work and back home and one day you wake up to experience that life has passed you by.

Time to call the spirit…

Promise yourself that you will devote time everyday to yourself. Five minutes spirit time. Devote it to your dreams. To poetry, to books you want to read. Let me know how your life has improved by doing so.

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘SPIRITUALITY‘?

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Comments or suggestions? Share your thoughts:

We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

Please check the appropriate boxes below.

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Mind Your Motivation

 

Motivation is a funny thing. It comes and goes like the waves of a tide. I have not published as many Mindfunda’s as I set out to do at the beginning of the year. I wanted to write a Mindfunda every other day. And in numerous textbooks that I had to learn at University, I know that the ultimate form of motivation comes from within. Intrinsic motivation. I agree with you that it is an incredible vague concept. Let’s try to define it in more tangible form. No promises, just an exploration with personal examples.

Motivation Pitfalls

I always get a little edgy when I hear “it is not about the destination, it is about the journey”. I agree with you that I should meditate more soften so I can attain more inner peace. But I want to achieve certain goals, and for me that is fun.

So how can you change your A-type personality into a relaxed B-type that enjoys the journey? Maybe the essential first step is to NOT try to become that B-type personality…

motivated

 

For example, when I stopped smoking, I succeeded by changing one habit for another. So every time I craved nicotine, I drank a glass of water with lemon juice.

So I decided today that I would write about my own inner journey, my struggle every now and then, to come up with interesting blogs. That is a good subject for a blog isn’t it?

Motivation Juice

Like any blogger, about once a week I seriously contemplate stopping. Because in my rhythm of writing every other day, on days that i am not writing, i am working behind the scenes. Trying to make my blogs more goo-gable to increase visitors.

Watching YouTube films with tips on how to increase comments (being heartbroken whenever nobody comments anything). Applying tips to induce comments -> asking questions: How do you solve motivation problems my dear reader? Let me know in the comments

But when nothing helps, my motivation drops dangerously. Now it is not for you my dear readers to come to the rescue. You are my readers, not my therapists.

I usually get motivated when I move. When i get away from that computer screen and go to walking. Even if it is just a strawl to the supermarket, to buy some groceries.

Motivation in Creation

One of the things that motivates me more than anything else is to provide people with the information they need to make their life better.

I cherish the moments that I have experienced in my work when I could give someone information that triggered an inner connection.

Sometimes that happens in my work as psychologist. One time I was working with a girl who suddenly made an important connection between her thoughts about death and the loss of her grandfather at a young age.

Sometimes it happens in my work as mythologist. When you discover who played the role of trickster  in your life it can bring a new meaning to the story of your life.

Motivation: a Tangible Definition

At the beginning of this blog, I made a promise. I would redefine intrinsic motivation in a measurable way. I agree that up till now, I failed miserably.

How do you measure motivation? Motivation is defined as the measurable force that enables action. Or as the Americans say: Just (f) do it!

But there is also process focussed motivation. The reading of new books I do to write reviews on Mindfunda. it costs a lot of time, does not bring in any money but it keeps me informed of the latest theoretical changes in my line of business.

This type of motivation is hard to measure. Furthermore, if you do many tasks that require process focused motivation, you have the danger of getting trapped in a negative circle.

No measurable outcomes can make you wonder if you are capable of doing the tasks you have set out to do.

 

And that is most of the time the reason behind my weekly de-motivation. I hope you liked my brutally honest Mindfunda. let me know in the comments how you motivate yourself.


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

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What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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Girl Interrupted:

This Mindfunda is about the film Girl Interrupted, directed by James Mangold in 1999. The film is based on the life of author Susanna Kaysen, who was not happy at all with the film. She felt that the scene in which Susanna and Lisa escape, a scene that never happened in real life, violated the story.

Girl Interrupted Opening Scene

The film opens showing a cleaned, multi-paned window. The window is divided in squares, the way society labels mental abilities. The Title: Girl Interrupted is inspired by a painting of the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer. It is called “Girl Interrupted at her Music”. On this painting you can see a window, that is considered typical for Vermeer. The design of the window is a complex pattern of interlocking squares.

Vermeer expert Arthur Wheelock  says:“Most Dutch genre painters included scenes with specific actions. However, Vermeer’s attempts at depicting movement or activities such as laughing and drinking resulted in artificial poses. In this painting, Vermeer arrived at the solution for this problem: the momentary interruption. This device allowed him to suggest movement without the need for specific gestures or facial expressions. She, rather than concentrating on the music they hold, looks out at the viewer”. (quoted from the site vermeer0708.wordpress.com).

And that is exactly the perspective of this film. The main character Susanna (played by Winona Rider) tells her story from the third person’s perspective. She is an objective outsider looking back at her time in a mental hospital. This gives us, the viewers the challenge to determine if this story is a representation of what happened in the mental hospital, or if it is a representation about the mental battle between her inner sub-personalities.

In the opening scene we are introduced to a holy trinity. Susanna and Lisa are holding each other. crying and Polly is standing against a wall crying. Susanna plays the supporting role of the mother goddess, Lisa plays the role of the dark psychotic goddess and Polly is the inner child, who mutilated herself while she was young so she never needs to grow up and face the coldness of this world.

The Holy Trinity mage four on Flickr: Kali the destroyer

 

The female perspective is the subject of this film, or more precise the range of female archetypical conduct to survive society.

Two broken lamps are on the floor. The film is about our view, our vision on reality. Why are there two broken lamps and not one? Because two visions will be compared throughout the film. The “sane” vision and the “mad” vision. They will merge, they will encircle, they will hopefully inspire you to research your own definitions of mental sanity.

Now that we have had a flash of the things to come in the opening scene, we are taken back into the story. The storyline flashes between the first perspective of Susanna and the third perspective of us as viewers.  The camera zooms in at Susanna, it become clear that she is the main character of the film. She says:

Have you ever confused a dream with life? May be I am crazy, maybe I am just a girl interrupted

 

girl interrupted

 

This is an introduction to the main theme of this movie. The movie contrasts the square way of labeling in society to the gliding scales of mental and sexual reality. Square models can’t contain circular, gliding shaped reality, so either the perception of reality has to break, or the personality has to be broken. Which is it going to be?

Girl interrupted: The Mental Institution

We see in a flashback that Susanna has had an affair with her father’s friend/business partner. We see how she has been in hospital after taking an overdose of aspirin with vodka. She tells the psychiatrist that she has no bones. This remark will get relevance later in the film.

The retired psychiatrist , a friend of her father. He has agreed with her parents that she will be admitted to a mental institution “To get some rest. You hurt everyone around you”. He puts her into a cab, were her suitcase is already in, packed and waiting. She has been betrayed by her parents.

There is a car waiting at the corner, with a woman inside. Two roads to choose from.

girl interrupted

 

In the cab the radio plays the song “Downtown” from Petula Clark. A song about feeling stuck and looking for a way out to cheer you up and celebrate life.

Girl interrupted: The Animus

Valerie (played by Whoopie Goldberg) , the nurse is standing outside to welcome her. Susanna has to sign a consent form to be taken into the mental institution. “I don’t want to end up like my mother!” She says. She is told that she can talk about that with her therapist.

Valerie gives her a tour of the place, and again we get a look at the same Vermeer windows. Polly, the girl who was crying in the opening scene, is introduced now. She is in the art room on her own and she is not allowed there. Valerie warns another nurse. This informs us that Polly is not to be trusted to take care of herself. She should be watched at all times, like a kid.

Valerie introduces Susanna to her room mate Georgina (land worker). She has a bed fool of books, and Susanna wants to be a writer. Georgina hold up an important clue for understanding this story. A book called written by Frank Baum.

 

Girl Interrupted
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Valerie introduces Susanna to her room mate Georgina (land worker). She has a bed fool of books, and Susanna wants to be a writer. Georgina hold up an important clue for understanding this story. A book called written by Frank Baum.

 

Remember how Susanna told her therapist that she had no bones in her hand? The Crooked Magician in the story of this book (that is not about Dorothy, says Georgina), a man who indulges in magical arts contrary to law, has broken every bone in his body.

Susanna’s suicide attempt might have been related to the fact that her inner animus, as represented by her father, is not able to perform its magical anymore. She has tried to replace him by having sex with his friend, but this relationship had no bones.

This book has the boy Ojo as main character. Much like Susanna’s animus, Ojo is starving. He needs food. He needs to learn ways to manifests his talents in this world. He goes to his neighbors, the Crooked Magician and his wife Margolotte.

So here we symbolically see that Susanna rejects her mother and tries to identify with her father, which leaves her feeling like she has no bones and in a mental hospital.

Girl Interrupted: the Powder of Life

Her mother, as Margalotte, tries to make her a “patchwork girl” a servant that does tasks in order for Margalotte to sit back, relax and enjoy life.

“The Patchwork Girl of Oz” is about the search for the Powder of Life.  As Margolotte brings the Patchwork Girl alive she begins to dance and kicks the powder of life across the room. The patchwork girl is the Girl interrupted in her Music. Because of the wild dancing the Liquid of Petrification is spilled on the Crooked Magician and on Margolotte. They are turned into marble statues. Playing by the rules, betraying your authentic self, becoming a boring predictable marble statue like your mother. It are all the fears and troubles that the obstinate Susanna faces when she explores the parallel universe of madness.

Growing up is always a time when you feel your parents are nagging about rules you need to follow. Sometime you wonder if they like you. Your mother is not an appealing role model. A sexless woman who obliges the rules and wants you to do the same. What other options are there to let the world hear your inner music without spilling your elixir of life?

Girl Interrupted shows how Susanna chooses to live embracing her “sane” sub-personalities because that is better than being death. She has to face her own sexual affection for her father, her own subversion of her mother and she has to crown three new goddesses that will guide her future behavior.

Girl Interrupted: Lisa the Tempting One

Lisa, diagnosed as a sociopath, practically runs the mental hospital “South Bell”. This name reminds us of the film “Gone With the Wind” were Scarlett O’Hara played her own song, but lost the man she loved. The film here predicts an ending that incorporates a loss of a loved one. It will turn out to be the loss of a love part of the personality of Susanna.

Girl Interrupted
Angelina Joli

Lisa is vibrant, daring, beautiful but has a cold heart. Lisa has got the keys to the tunnels downstairs, a clear symbol of the subconscious. “Don’t take your medicines” says Lisa to Susanna. Lisa and the other girls go down secretly in the tunnels in the night to bowl. They go into the office of Dr. Wick and search her office for their files. The first step to healing is taken: you must acknowledge the image you portray in the world. It hurts when you hear or read what others think of you. But it is a necessary step to become aware of your own personality. The difference between what you feel in the inside and what you portray on the outside. The first one of the two broken lights in the opening scene has been restored here.

In the next scene, the girls have to pretend to be a tree. The tree of life.

Girl Interrupted

 

While they are doing that, Vermeer’s windows show Daisy, who is moving out. Daisy has an affair with her father. That is what Lisa strongly suggests. Her father has bought her an apartment and there she can live, while her father can visit her whenever he wants to. For most young girls this is an early fantasy, even if it is not a conscious one. It is a thing each girl growing up has to deal with. Susanna tried to deal with it while she seduced the friend of her father. That was not the way, but the situation will be resolved in a rather harsh way later on.

Girl Interrupted: Stay Where You Are?

Susanna her boyfriend comes to visit her and she wants to sexually please him in her room but the nurses constantly check in. They both go outside and he asks her to escape with him. He tells her he loves her and wants to go away with her. She refuses. She tells him she has got friends in South Bell.

This is a second step in building a healthy relationship with your animus. Embracing your inner sub personalities. This important step towards maturity and independence is rewarded by male nurse John who replaces one of the broken lights at night when she is sleeping. Because this way, she is able to draw in the morning. That morning he will not be there and he really likes her so he wants to help her express herself within the rules of the institution.

Girl Interrupted
Winona and Angelina on the set

 

Polly has an anxiety attack and gets transported into isolation. Now there is a third step towards releasing the authentic self. Lisa and Susanna secretly go to isolation to make music for Polly. they dare to break the rules and express their tunes. But it is too soon… There is another thing Susanna needs to do. That is to discover her goddesses within. She is now going to replace the old trinity, the one we met in the opening scene with new ones…

Girl Interrupted: The Mother

Nurse Valerie steps in and says she is going to report Lisa and Susanna. She is taken to Dr. Wick. First Susanna discusses the ambiguity of sexual behavior that is appropriate for girls and how that is different for boys. Susanna still follows the strict square pattern of the Vermeer window and clashes up against it. Dr. Wick shows her the necessity to research her inner boundaries because they are the boundaries of her Kingdom:

Dr. Wick: “Quis hic locus?, quae regio?, quae mundi plaga? What world is this?… What kingdom?… What shores of what worlds? It’s a very big question you’re faced with, Susanna. The *choice* of your *life*. How much will you indulge in your flaws? What are your flaws? Are they flaws?… If you embrace them, will you commit yourself to hospital?… for life? Big questions, big decisions! Not surprising you profess carelessness about them”. (quoted from lmbd.com)

In the next scene Susanna is in front of Vermeer’s window again. Looking outside. She now takes the pills that the hospital provides. She is battling her inner psychopath Lisa. In the next scene she is ready for the second goddess: Valerie. Valerie comes inside her room, takes her out of bed and shows her into an ice-cold bath. Valerie says (quoted from lmbd.com):

Valerie: You know, I can take a lot of crazy shit from a lot of crazy people. But you – you are not crazy.

Susanna: Oh yeah? Then what’s wrong with me? What the fuck is going on inside my head? Tell me, Dr. Val, what’s your diag-nonsense?

Valerie: [hovering over Susanna] You are a lazy, self-indulgent, little girl, who is making herself crazy.

Susanna: Is that your… *professional* opinion? Is that what you’ve learned in your advanced studies at night school for Negro welfare mothers? I mean, Melvin doesn’t have a clue, Wick is a *psycho* and you… you *pretend* to be a doctor. You review the charts and dole out meds. But “you’s ain’t no doctor, Miss Valerie. You’s just a little black nursemaid”.

Valerie: And you’re just throwing it away.

Girl Interrupted

Now you have two mother figures who are much more powerful than the biological mother. It is time to talk about the Patchwork Girl of Oz theme that reoccurs in the movie several times. But there are still two other loose ends that need to be resolved…

Girl Interrupted Solution?

 

The first one is the father issue. Susanna needs to detach from her father. She does so by escaping South Bell with her psychotic counterpart Lisa. They are going to Daisy who has consummated the sexual tension between father and daughter and who has profited from it. This escape from the world is too dangerous for a promiscuous girl like Susanna. So she has to visit her inner Daisy. Lisa tells Daisy that she likes the intercourse with her father. Lisa is very brutal and confronting. Lisa and Susanna wake up to an inner song. “The end of the world” by Skeeter Davis, a big hit in the 60s. It is about how the world goes on even if your heart is broken. Daisy has put this song on repeat, while committing suicide. It is the end of the world when a girl detaches from her father and goes into the world to discover her own sexual identity.

The second one is sexuality. Just like sanity, sexuality is portrayed as a gliding scale in this film. There are moments of sexual tension between Susanna and Lisa. Two opposites, both wild, both attractive and both in need for one another. Lisa, the strong one, needs the feeling of compassion that Susanna displays when Daisy kills herself. Susanna needs the guts of Lisa because like her mother Susanna is more attuned to comply. In the final confrontation between Lisa and Susanna, the last girl will proof to be the stronger one.

Daisy has left a cat, Ruby and Susanna takes it with her to South Bell. It is the same cat we saw in the opening scene. Ruby is a clear reference to the cat of Patchwork girl. The cat in Patchwork girl had a ruby heart. The cat is made of glass, so you can see though it as if it were a Vermeer window… The cat is an ultimate symbol of female sexuality. It is free, it is majestic and it has a mind of its own. In South Bell, we see Georgina watch “The Wizard of Oz. We see Lisa striped to a bed. Susanna approaches the bed and puts some pink nail polish on her nails: the brand is called sunspin. Even though Susanna has constraint the power of Lisa she still gets to shine and enjoy her beauty.

Susanna is free to go home now and leaves Ruby with her friends.

Girl Interrupted: Personal Note

In my opinion the film has shown us how reality, the world will always be (the son “the end of the world clearly indicates this). We have to shape up our personalities. get to know them. Take away power from destructiveness within us, no matter how attractive that destructiveness might be. When Susanna tells Lisa that her eyes are death, Lisa shivers because for the first time she has met her match. Someone who relentlessly tells the truth. The film has two break trough moments were people speak the truth: the one between Lisa and Susanna and the one between Valerie and Susanna. Both of these moments, symbolized by the two broken lamps in the opening scene are very powerful.

The Patchwork Girl of Oz

Susanna got hospitalized because she was trying to kill herself. The Patchwork girl of Oz is a book from 1914, and it features Dorothy and the Wizard even though they do not play a leading role. Here is a summery of the book from the site goodreads:

“Forced to venture out of the dark forest, Unc Nunkie and Ojo the Unlucky call on the Crooked Magician, who introduces them to his latest creation: a living girl made out of patchwork quilts and cotton stuffing. But when an accident leaves beloved Unc Nunkie a motionless statue, it is up to Ojo to save him. In his search for the magic ingredients that will restore his uncle to life, Ojo is joined by the Patchwork Girl and by the conceited Glass Cat, who boasts of her hard ruby heart, the resourceful Shaggy Man, and the lovable block-headed Woozy, whose tail hairs are just one of the things Ojo needs to rescue Une Nunkie.

As they travel to the Emerald City, home of the wise and powerful Ozma, they meet Dorothy, the kind and sensible girl from Kansas; the gallant Scarecrow; and, of course, Toto. But no one proves more loyal than the spirited Patchwork Girl, who, although she was brought to life as a servant, is determined to see the wide world for herself.”

With this hidden theme it is clear that Vermeer’s window represents a personal view on the world. Girl Interrupted tunes into these windows in the opening scene, when Susanna gets a tour of South Bell, when Daisy leaves South Bell, and when Susanna is in isolation after escaping with Lisa.

Is Susanna the Patchwork Girl from Oz? The Patchwork Girl was made to be only a servant that brings release to the mother figure, the wife of the Crooked Magician.
It seems like her biological mother wants her to perform the tricks that society demants: be present at parties, be nice, polite, well educated and married. For Susanna this means giving up freedom, giving up her authentic self.

What do we get to know about the mother of Susanna?

There is not much affection between Susanna and her mother (or her father) because when she needs to be hospitalized both of them are invisible. Turned into marble.

When Susanna checks into the mental hospital she clearly states that she does not want to be like her mother. In a conversation with therapist Melvin who talked to Susanna, her mother and her father about his diagnosis of Susanna as having a borderline personality, the mother is scared and asks if this is genetic. This implicates that the mother and the daughter both suffer from borderline personality disorder. Has the mother stitched patches of behavior together to keep herself warm in her pleasant but boring relationship? Has she fabricated a quilt for Susanna to live under and be warm, safe and bored to death?

Like the Glass Cat, she has got a brain and she is not afraid to use it. When she is diagnosed by her father’s friend the therapist  Crumble he tells us that her father is a colleague. So she is the daughter of a therapist. She picks up the book that he wrote: “The Inner Workings of the Mind”.
This resonates deeply with Bungle, the Glass Cat in The Patchwork Girl who had pink brains. “It was quickly reasoned that it was Bungle’s pink brains that had made her so conceited, and the Wizard of Oz eventually replaced them with clear ones to make her more agreeable” (Wikepedia).

Is Susanna more like the Glass Cat? She leaves the cat, Ruby, a present from Daisy’s father to her daughter, behind. So she also sheds off her heartless behavior when it comes to sex. She is called promiscuous because she offered sex as a way of thanking men. Like she put a stamp on a letter, to make sure it would be sent.

So were in the film does Susanna find the antidote that brings her back to Iife again? In the book “The Patchwork Girl of Oz there are five components of the antidote:

  1. A six leaved clover found in the Emerald City.
    According to the book it was forbidden in the Emerald City to pluck the clovers. But when the ladies follow Lisa downstairs to bowl, make fun and read their own files, I think that is the moment they pluck the forbidden clover and start healing. Everybody hurts when they read an interpretation about their own character. But it can be helming to acknowledge what your behavior invokes in other people. We hate the fact that we are labeled, but we label other people too. It is convenient. You have to acknowledge it and digest it. And when you feel the inner need, adjust the way you act. And you can only get that healing when you break some rules.
  2. Three hairs from the tip of Woozy’s tail.
    Woozy is a dog with square legs. Square like the windows of the film. Three is a holy number and dog in reverse is god. Susanna restores her belief in herself when she tells her boyfriend she does not want to run away with him. It is the first time in her life that she does not let a man safe her. It is the first time in her life that she chooses the company of women over men. When she flees the mental hospital with Lisa, she prefers the company of a woman friend over that of a man again. And she rejects the seduction attempts of a man in the bar when she has ran away with Lisa, even though he offers her acceptance and understanding. He asks her if she sees purple men. She denies and he tells her that his friend saw purple man. She asks him how his friend is doing now. He tells her that he still sees purple men but tells nobody about it anymore.
  3. A gill of water from a dark well.
    “The well must be naturally dark, and the water must never have seen the light of day, for otherwise the magic charm might not work at all.” (the Patchwork Girl of Oz) I think that Susanna reaches deep into a dark inner well of emotions by writing in her diary. It is a perfect exercise to become a writer (one of her biggest dreams) and it helps her to structure her emotions and get a clearer view of who she is. She has looked up to Lisa, who is in every inch of her body the opposite of her mother. Lisa has become a new mother for her, one of the triple goddesses. The second goddess being Polly, the goddess that symbolizes the inner child of Susanna. The child that never grows up, so people will eternity love her and take care of her. Lisa betrays Susanna by steeling her diary, her structure, an dreading it aloud. Crossing the line of confidentiality in such a destructive manner enables Susanne to break the inner spell between her and her shadow side.
    “Lisa: You know, there’s too many buttons in the world. There’s too many buttons and they’re just – There’s way too many just begging to be pressed, they’re just begging to be pressed, you know? They’re just – they’re just begging to be pressed, and it makes me wonder, it really makes me fucking wonder, why doesn’t anyone ever press mine? Why am I so neglected? Why doesn’t anyone reach in and rip out the truth and tell me that I’m a fucking whore, or that my parents wish I were dead?

Susanna: Because you’re dead already, Lisa! No one cares if you die, Lisa, because your dead already. Your heart is cold. That’s why you keep coming back here. You’re not free. You need this place, you need it to feel alive. It’s pathetic.

[Lisa falls down to her knees and screams]

Susanna: I’ve wasted a year of my life. Maybe everybody out there is a liar. And maybe the whole world is “stupid” and “ignorant”. But I’d rather be in it. I’d rather be fucking in it, then down here with you”.

Here you can see how she faces her inner wild side and chooses to make herself fit into the squares of the Vermeer window.

4. A drop of oil from a live man’s body.
In the film John, a male nurse, replaces the light in the room of Susanna. That way she is able to draw in the morning. He also is involved in a nightly encounter were both Lisa and Susanna play music for Polly who is in isolation. John tells Susanna and Lisa to stop, because he is going to get fired. But Susanna starts kissing him. A kiss of life that instigates the formulation of a new animus figure. A supportive animus figure.

5. The left wing of a yellow butterfly.
When Lisa and Susanna escape the mental institution they visit Daisy. Daisy lives in an apartment and is addicted to valium. Lisa is so hard, cold and confronting to Daisy. Daisy kills herself in her bathroom. By giving her left wing, she enables Susanna to recapture her sexuality.
Susanna looks into the bathroom and takes out a bottle of aspirins. This connects her first suicide attempt to her feelings for her father. The aspiring box is empty, just like there is no valium. No aspirin for Susanna, no valium for Daisy Susanna has got to face the world without drugs or help.
Susanna takes Ruby back to the institution. After the final goodbye of her sexual oriented affection for her father, she leaves the cat in the mental institution were the cat will be nurtured and cared for in a proper way.

It is no surprise that when Susanna says goodbye to everyone, Georgina, the girl who introduced the Patchwork Girl of Oz theme into the film is watching the Wizard of Oz. You can here Dorothy say: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”


Questions

Here are open ended questions for you to think about. The questions are for your own pleasure, to help you unravel the mythology of the film more easy.

  1. In my interpretation I presume that all the characters in the film are a part of Susanna her personality. Another interpretation might be that Susanna is wrongly diagnosed. If you interpret the film in that way, how does it change your understanding of the story?
  2. There are two songs in the film: The End of The World and Downtown. Only one of them returns several times: “Downtown”. It is about how boring live can be and how you can always go downtown to find entertainment. Lisa has got the keys to the downtown section of the mental institution. Do you think it is a good thing that Lisa is left strapped to a bed in the institution? Do you think Susanna will survive without her wild side?
  3. Why is the father only a flat character in the film? (a flat character is a character that is not really shown in detail).
  4. What has happened between Susanna and her mother that makes Susanna resent her so much? Is it just the Electra Complex she is suffering from?
  5. Would you consider the male therapist Melvin a substitute for the father figure?
  6. In one of the flashback scenes you see Susanna sleeping during her graduation. The viewer does not know if this is an actual dream or a memory. The blurry line between dream and reality is introduced immediately in the opening line: “Have yo ever confused a dream with live? Has this ever happened to you? Write those memories down and try to deduce which sub personalities played their role in them.
  7. I have suggested that the parents of Susanna are turned into marble statues like in the Patchwork Girl of Oz, and that she has to find an antidote to bring them back to live. How do your thoughts about this film change if you interpret the film as being about Susanna looking for an antidote to bring herself back to live?
  8. When Susanna is about to be released from the mental hospital she tells the committee that has to judge if she is ready to face the world that her father arranged for her to work part time in a bookstore. What are your thoughts about that?
  9. There is a difference between the book and the film. Writer Susanna Kayser was not pleased with the film. In the book Susanna marries her boyfriend, in the film she turns him down and tries to find her own way (even though she needs her father to get her a job). What would be the reason for the scriptwriter James Mangold to make such an important change?
  10. Has this film changed your understanding of yourself or your life?


I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me. ~Simone de Beauvoir

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Tarot Card Hanged Man

In my online course Norse Mythology (there is still time to sign up, we just started yesterday) we will focus on the energy of Odin from March 27 – April 3 2017.

Now this is not a tarot course. But there is a strong connection between Odin and the tarot card of the Hanged Man. This is something that my dear friend Deborah Gregory  said in one of her comments on Mindfunda (I love all the people who take the effort to write a comment, I learn a lot from you).

One of the meanings of Odin’s name is Poetry, and Deborah happens to write poetry about the meaning of tarot cards. That is synchronicity waving hello and kissing you on the cheek isn’t it? So I decided to dedicate this post to the Hanged man in the tarot.

Tarot Card Hanged Man

 

hanged man tarot card

You might know that the tarot represents the journey of life. And sometimes you are trapped in this situation. As Jung once said: “the unconscious always tries to produce an impossible situation in order to force the individual to bring out his very best”.

But why did Odin, Father God of the Norse mythology, feel the need to hang himself upside down on the tree of life for nine days, stabbing himself with his own spear?

“The Speech of the High One”

I know I hung on that windy tree,
Swung there for nine long nights, Wounded by my own blade,
Bloodied for Odin,
Myself an offering to Myself:
Bound to the tree
That no man knows
Wither the root of it run.

None gave me bread,
None gave me drink.
Down to the deepest depths I peered
Until I speid the Runes.
With a Roaring cry I seized them up,
Then dizzt and fainting, I fell.

Well-being I won
And wisdom too.
I grew and took joy in my growth:
From a word to a word
I was lead to a word,
From a deed to another deed.

From the Old Norse
The Poetic Edda (ca.A.D.1200)”

Tarot Card the Hanged Man and the Tree

There the man is, hanging upside down. In order to satisfy an urgent inner need for knowledge. Did you ever notice how we are trees walking upside down? Our roots are our brains. Odin had his brain near the root of the Life tree.

Trees take carbon dioxide out of the air and distribute oxygen, human beings do exactly the opposite. So being upside down on a tree makes a lot more sense than you would have imagined at first glance.

tarot card hanged man

So it was knowledge beyond this world that Odin was looking for. How is that represented in the tarot card of the Hanged Man?

Tarot Card the Hanged Man

It is a card of surrender. When there is no way out, the only way is in. Most of the decks of tarot display the hanged man in the same position. His arms are shaped like a triangle, and his legs are shaped like a cross.

The spirit, represented by the triangle is dominated by mater, represented by the cross-shaped legs. It is matter over mind in this card.

The only thing to do is to surrender. Struggling will only wrap you up more tight. We are always defined by the things we believe in. Consciously or subconscious.

And like Odin, we all need to investigate if our basic assumptions really represent the things our soul longs for.

And dreams are a way to uncover that meaning. The Norse Mythology course gives you an incubation dedicated to a Norse God each week.

Freya the Vanir Goddess, Odin the Aesir Got, Loki the half god half Gaint and the spiritual realm that we are going to visit using lucid dream techniques.

Mindfunda

Site of Dutch psychologist Susanne van Doorn. I try to write a Mindfunda every other day.

twitter: @susannevandoorn

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