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.
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”.
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.
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!”
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:
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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.
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