How to Analyse a dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps

This dream is part of a series of four blogs. 
How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development; How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps; Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming and Mythology;
Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

How do you analyse a dream that clearly features an Archetype ? This blog gives you four easy steps. This is part two of a series of HOW TO blogs about dreams on Mindfunda. Each one features a case study in which I carefully, step by step attribute meaning to dream symbols. Number one is How to Use A Dream as a Tool for Self Development. Number one features a small dream. A few days later Bonnie Connelly posted this dream on her Facebook group Painting the Dream.

While I read it and admired the beautiful artwork she made, it became clear to me that this was an archetypical dream. In this blog I explain you how to analyse a dream that features an archetype. Four easy steps, four questions to ask yourself/the dreamer whenever you encounter an archetype in a dream.

Four Bears, the Tree of Life and the Pregnant Water Bearer
archetypical
Drawing by Bonnie Connelly

 

In the first part of this dream which I vague recall, I am in a boat on a large lake – as if I arrived on a boat… I have arrived with Catherine who is in early pregnancy. I am bringing her to a woman who is refusing to see her because Catherine intends to terminate the pregnancy. I look out at the lake, its distant coastline, and the small boat that I will be returning in. The lake is calm and peaceful and smooth like a mirror. I think to myself, “I can do that.”
Now from a position of standing in the water [although I don’t feel the water] observing Catherine on the shore. I see a black bear above her in a tree. I call out to her, “Catherine, there’s a bear!” She doesn’t seem to hear me. Then I see four bears in the tree shaking it wildly. “Catherine! Catherine!” She moves to the other side of the tree I think she sees the bears and is ok. End Of Dream
Feeling: it felt powerful – like something shifted
Reality check: Catherine in the dream was in a dream group with me a few years ago, a fellow Aquarian, Water Bearer – lives in southern California now, like I did. I was 20 years older than her – we had a lot in common – and felt very motherly towards her. She was not able to get pregnant from what I understand so this speak in the dream!  She has been posting a lot of political posts on FB so I am seeing her a lot these days on FB

 

How to analyse a dream with an archetype Step 1:

The beginning of a dream often tells you something about the main theme the dream is addressing. This dream begins at a lake. There is an undeniable relationship between water and life. Without water, human life is not possible. What defines a lake is that a lake is surrounded by land. It does not have any outlet that serves to feed or drain the living principle. It is a depression in the earth that serves to collect water and in that way keeps the dreamer alive emotionally. So you might assume that this dream addresses something about the emotional life of the dreamer.

Early on, the second dream carter is introduced: a lady named Catherine. I usually find out what names mean to see if this gives any symbolic value to the dream. On the site Behind the Name Catherine is attributed to the Goddess of Dreams Hecate, a Goddess associated with witchcraft, magic and dreams.

HOW TO ANALYSE A DREAM WITH AN ARCHETYPE STEP 2:

The first conflict introduced in the dream is the moment when the dreamer begins to dissociate herself from the dream scene. There is a shift in perspective the moment the third lady who disagrees with terminating the pregnancy is introduced.  

I look out at the lake, its distant coastline, and the small boat that I will be returning in. The lake is calm and peaceful and smooth like a mirror. I think to myself, “I can do that”.

The dreamer now has returned to the earth. She looks back at the lake and the lake is like a mirror. In mythology the magic mirror lets you see things that are not apparent to the “normal viewer”. In this part of the dream you see that the lake has much significant value in it to tell the dreamer about the Self. The dreamer looks back and sees her opportunities: “I can do that”.

archetype

The transition is clear: the boat of life will take her to the next phase. Bonnie’s reference to the political messages of Catherine on Facebook suggest that the anti abortion rule President Trump signed a few days after his legislation might play a role in this dream. Copy – pasted from the site buzzfeed.com:

“Here’s how it works: Foreign organizations that take US family planning money can’t use any money, from any other donor, on abortion-related services. It’s a restriction on how they use their other, non-US government money, and it applies to providing abortions or giving any information about abortion, including medical advice or referrals — even in countries where abortion is legal”.

In that sense, the wish for dream Catherine to end her pregnancy is a sign of independency. An archetypical dream as a political statement? I would not be surprised!

HOW TO ANALYSE A DREAM WITH AN ARCHETYPE STEP 3:

Look at the progression the dream makes. The dreams suggest to embrace the Goddess archetype even further. Four bears are introduced, all hugging the Tree of Life. The three Goddesses of the first stage of the dream: Bonnie, Catherine and the lady who refuses to see Catherine, the Triple Goddess has now revealed a fourth manifestation: the bear. From an archetypical perspective the bear is associated with Artemis. Artemis is the bear goddess. In ancient Europe, there used to be a bear cult. In Athens girls were sent to Brauron to serve Artemis for one year at the temple.

archetype

 

The progression the dream makes here is that it takes the dreamer, who has just explored her Self image in the mirror of the lake, into a path of initiation. The bear is the dreaming animal. In the winter it sleeps for months. If you look at the drawing you see that three bears look at the left, female side. One bear looks at the right (male) side. If it was my dream, this would suggest an initiation into the depths of femininity.

HOW TO ANALYSE A DREAM WITH AN ARCHETYPE STEP 4:

See how this integrates in the life of the dreamer right now. Bonnie points out that for her, bears are connected to Chiron, the wounded healer. Quoted from the site ncbi.nlm.gov. from the author Serge Daneault MD. Ph.D:
“The Greek gods Apollo and Artemis taught medicine to Chiron. Chiron was wounded by an arrow from Heracles’ bow. He did not die (because gods are immortal); instead, he suffered excruciating pain for the rest of his eternal days. It was because of his grievous wound that Chiron became known as a legendary healer in ancient Greece”.

This brings Artemis back to her alchemical qualities of ancient Mother Goddess: she unites present and past, she ties archetypical dream – strings together and stews one of the finest tasting dream stories for the thankful receiver.

Bonnie’s final comments on this step by step dream analyses:

“Your seeing the triple goddess [the maiden, the mother and the crone [wise grandmother?]- that was a good catch! And as this was the last dream of the month of January – the first one to start the month was Titled ‘Witch Troubles’ – I just see this book cover flash in front of my eyes. So that Catherine is attributed to the Goddess of Dreams – a goddess associated with witchcraft, magic and dreams – this resonates!  I like your take on Catherine’s wanting to end her pregnancy is a sign of independence – she is extremely independent – not married

Anyway thanks again for this pleasure of seeing how you work with dreams – excellent!”

Bonnie
What are your thoughts?

How would you interpret a dream filled with so many archetypical symbols? I would love to hear from you.

My next blog will be a Q&A: the questions that are usually asked when people want to know what their dreams mean, and the answers to those questions. The last blog is about the questions you should be asking when you want to know what a dream means.

Do You want to Remember more Dreams? Here are 10 easy steps:

 

 


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 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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How To Use A Dream as a Tool for Self Development: A Case study

 

This dream is part of a series of four blogs. 
How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development
How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps
Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming and Mythology
Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

 

Self development is on top of the Maslow pyramid, and I always wondered why.

self development
Image: Simply Psychology

Because I have always had that innate need to understand myself better. I had no clue about this world and why people did the things they did. But I knew intuitively that if I was able to understand myself, my life would become so much easier. Because as Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how“.

Psychologist Maslow created a hierarchy of needs in 1942. I was right, his theory was never empirically confirmed. But it is a very useful tool to give someone insight into his own life. Today I will show you how a dream can give insight into the path of your own life. Six easy to follow steps. Let me know in the comments what you think about this case study. Do you have suggestions? I would love to hear them.

Self Development Through a Dream Step 1

The first thing you are going to need is a dream. If you have trouble remembering dreams here are ten useful tips.

self development

Can it be any dream? Well, I prefer dreams that evoke emotion. Because when emotions come into play in a dream, you are certain that it contains an important message. That is why nightmares and negative dreams are relevant clues for self-development.

Let’s analyse a dream of one of my clients. It is a short dream about a murder. A dream with an assassination is a clue that the Self is changing.

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“.

The dream is short, but had a big emotional impact on the dreamer. That is why she contacted me.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 2

Now you want to get more information about the emotional background of the dreamer. This step is not always easy when you analyse your own dreams. Having an independent, knowledgable vision can add so much value to your dreams. But here is how I do it. I ask the dreamer to tell me the story of his (or her) life. So if you want to analyse your own dreams, sit down and tell the story of yourself, to yourself. You might be surprised about what you hear yourself say.

self-development

Here are the questions I use:

  • Who are your parents? Many times in dreams patterns from childhood re-occur. This question will enable you to search for these patterns.
  • What were the challenges of your parents? While growing up, children become more aware that their parents are not almighty. Some people have the tendency to “inherit” their parents’ challenges, sometimes as an unconscious way to remain loyal to them.
  • Do you have brothers and sisters? 
  • If yes: how do you relate to them? Sibling rivalry is a core element of self-identification. This question let’s you determine if that is the case with your client.
  • What is the word that describes you best? Usefully people have great difficulty answering this question. Motivate them not to give a perfect answer, but the first one that pops into their mind. This first answer usually gives a vital direction for possible meanings of a dream.

This step can be very healing for clients. For most people it is a blessed relief that they are finally able to tell the story of their life to someone who actually listens. As an objective observant, you can add value by putting the story of their life in a bigger, mythological perspective.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 3

Once you have the background information, it is time to focus on the dream.

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“.

This is dream narrated in the third perspective. The dreamer is an observer. the man comes out of nowhere and acts violently. Because the dreamer is of the female gender, the animus immediately comes to mind. How has the dreamer integrated the innate male principle, represented by the animus, in her daily life and actions? I decided to ask the dreamer to re-tell the dream story from the perspective of the murderer. In this way, she would be able to become more aware of this energy.

“I see four people standing in the street, and I want to show them my power. I need to be acknowledged. If I hurt the most vulnerable member, I will be acknowledged”.

Now your first question is going to be: why is your brother vulnerable? (That is why you always ask about siblings in the intake). The dreamer had told me that her brother needed extra care. The dreamer felt it was her responsibility to protect her brother, but in doing so, her own strength was diminished. That is why she was the outsider in the dream story. The next step is to let the dreamer re-tell the story from the perspective of the brother.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 4

“I am standing in the street, protected on one side by my father, on the other side by my mother. My sister is standing on the side, she usually is a bit further away emotionally in our family. Even though I am protected I am being stabbed down by a mad man”.

You can see how the dream, told by the perspective of the brother, already reveals a great dependency upon the parents. For a woman, setting the power of the anima free, usually means stepping away from her parent (and that is why you ask about the relationship of the parents in step 1). The urge for self-development in this dream is apparent. Finding your own path. What does this dream advice the dreamer? The answer to these kind of questions are found in mythology.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 5

At first sight, there does not seem to be any mythology in this dream. But there is one symbol is charged with mythology: the knife. Knives have a place in religion and magical ceremonies so this is an invitation for you as a dream consultant, to explore mythological options.

self-development

In my eyes, (a dream belongs to the dreamer, always make sure that the dreamer knows this is your suggestion), the sword resembles the magical sword of Joan of Arc. Joan listened to her inner voices, and followed her own path. She embraced the strength of her animus. There are even suggestions that Joan actually was a man.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 6

The last step is to take action. Self development requires action. Formulate an action point together with the dreamer. It is vital that the dreamer suggests an action point. You want the motivation to act on a dream to come from within. My client decided to sit down and write a conversation with her animus. Writing is good for the brain.

self-development

 

A week after the consultation, I mailed my client to ask her about her action. The dreamer had gained insights into her relationship with her boyfriend and with her parents. She told me she had become more independent and felt more powerful.

I would like to know what your ways of working with dreams are. Do you agree with my steps? Or do you follow another process? I would love to hear from you.

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 How To

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.

– 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.

– 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 Self and Dreams: Case study

This is Mindfunda's presentation for the Dream Weekend organized by the Dutch society for dreamers: Vereninging voor de Studie van Dromen (VSD) . Unfortunately influenza payed me an uninvited visit. I was not able to attend the weekend. Aad van Ouwerkerk, author and dream worker read my presentation to the visitors. I thank him for doing that.

This is a series of blogs about my proces of dreaming my way through the Red Book. I have divided it into five steps:
Carl Jung
Psychic Power and dreams
Animus/anima dreams
God
the Self.

 

The Self in dreams, that is the subject of this blog. In Jungian Psychology Defining “The Self” is the Grail, the ultimate goal of the journey of life…

Red Book - Readers Edition (sponsored link to support this blog)
Red Book – Readers Edition (sponsored link to support this blog)

 

 

The Self in Dreams: an example

You kind of know who you are by now. But in ancient times Know Thyself  was an ultimate wisdom. How can you use dreams to get to know yourself better?

As a Jungian you have to be aware that you are creating and co creating your Self. Your persona, your shadow it is all part of your authentic self. Everything I talked about in the other four steps leads to the acknowledgment of the Self. So I am going to end this blog by sharing a wonderful dream of Jodine. In my eyes it represents the Self. The dream theater of the soul, the loss of the familiar family and the acceptance of the relative unknown as aid to find your way back home. To her surprise she finds a baby in a red cradle. A child of joy The red book is like the passionate eros, baby and grown man. I hope you have fun reading it!

 

self
picture: innovationinpractice.com

 

Dream location is a small theater space. There is a director working with actors who are practicing and producing a play. He is an older man and seems familiar to me, reminds me of ? Can’t quite place him though I see him with grayish short curly hair, intelligent, very perceptive and also aware of me as well as the actors and everything going on. The creative authority.

The scene develops into a very grand theater, like one in London where there are massive balconies all around as well as the main floor stage and seating. The play is now proceeding in full costume and action and the cast is enlarged.

I am with others, a group of us, on an upper level watching the performance. Our group is maybe a dozen people and Terry and David (my son) and other familiar people are with me. We are very excited that the “house” is full, every seat taken. A big success.

Before this scene or perhaps after, the time is Dream time, not chrono time, and so proceeds in a circular or all at once kind of time: there is this action-

I am with my gang though a smaller number than in the theater. We are in a large bookstore which is also a meeting place, like Shakespeare & Company( the real store in London & also the original one in Paris which appeared in the book I was just reading in waking reality).

I receive a message, a physical slip similar to a telegram on blue or purplish paper. It indicates the name of the theater director/playwright who I am to look up & make a connection with. The note was sent from Joy Fatooh. Even as I receive it I discover to my surprise and pleasure that Joy is right there in the store! We are thrilled to see each other. Her son is with her and he is a small boy or infant who has been placed in a red cradle, a very quaint old-fashioned one, by the cash register. There are many layers of cool little shirts for him in the cradle. Seems he or Joy can choose which ones to take and wear. Her son is both a baby and also grown- there is a timelessness about him. I am very happy to see Joy and also Joy’s son.

Final scene of dream which seems to come after the theater performance:

As the play ends and amid great celebration of the success & huge turnout for it, we rise and start to leave our seats. I want to talk to the director and commend him so I’m a little behind the others who are leaving.

My group is moving fast exiting the theater & I hurry to keep up but lose sight of them outside the hall. We are in a university like area, perhaps Cal Berkeley. I try to follow where I think they’ve gone but lose track of them. I see a formal sculptural medallion or shield made of porcelain which appears to be the insignia of the university or institution &’I see it as a potential landmark to find my way. I had noted a similar one inside the building as well as now seeing it on the outside.

There is a long ramped walkway and as I proceed on it remembering we’ve come this way I realize it has changed or isn’t the same ramp- walkway & so won’t help me get to where I need to go to reunite with my group.

I then decide I need to call someone to locate them. I call Dave Emerson who was with my friends/ family! (This is a surprise, it would have been more expected for me to call Terry or David.)

So I hope to have helped you soul searching. I certainly enjoyed dreaming my way through the Red Book. if you have any questions, be sure to post them. Just remember: It is all about love. Like  “We fall in love not just with a person wholly external to us but with a fantasy of how that person can fill what is missing from our interior lives”.


< Jumped in from elsewhere? Start at part 1 

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