To Dream a Dream

Anxiety dreams-
one of the most common types of dreams The source of anxiety in the dream can vary--from being late for a significant appointment, test-taking, missing a plane, driving without full control of the car (the Toyota dream?!), being lost, being pursued by a predator, having trouble making a phone call, forgetting your speech or lines in a play; and so forth. Thoughts about anxiety dreams: l. Anxiety plays a large role in the lives of most people. 2. Three separate emotion-regulation systems (for anger, anxiety and elation) are all activated in REM sleep (ref. A. Hobson, The Dream Drugstore).3.The persistence of anxiety dreams detracts from part of Freud's dream theory, where these negative issues were thought to be sublimated in dreams.

Other thoughts: A fear that a particular aspect of your life is metaphorically out of control, a feeling that you might really be missing an aspect of your life? Can you reshape the dream so that you can catch that plane or train or, when lost, connect with something familiar?


Being attacked,
 perhaps by a frightening figure. Is there an area of your life which you do feel attacked? Ideas undervalued? Issues with ageing and loss of physical prowess? Something that threatens your way of life? A realistic fear of being a victim of crime?

journey by water- (an archetype) .A boat is a safe passage. The boat might be your salvation from your current situation, (rescued in a flood or a battle?) A passage from one part of your life to another? There is a constriction in being in the boat, and one must not fall out. Are you the "captain" or are you being conveyed? Where is the boat conveying you? Can you ever return?

fire- dreams of fire are often dreams of excitement and passion. Perhaps you desire or foresee a major change in life, which could involve "burning away" that will make room for the change. Fire could mean the destruction of the very foundations --of your situation, of your values. Flames burning through a basement, e.g., from house to house could mean tremendous stirring of unconscious desires and emotions. Burning feelings, which could be sexual or feelings of anger or resentment.


People in dreams.
Sometimes the person is not well-formed, or a composite of perhaps several female or several male acquaintances. Holographic images. The dream people might be mere functions to move along the action. They could be social "types" - the too-proper type, someone you view as "beneath you" in some way, a person always good for a new adventure, someone you associate with a "put down", an "old person," a teacher, a child, etc. Usually a study of the "types" might tell you something about yourself and whether you feel on solid social or relational grounds with the types. If a face from high school floats across a dream, it could mean that something about that phase of your life needs further examination. (An incredible thing about dreams is that you might dream of a person from so long ago that, in your non-dreaming mind, you might never again have generated a thought of this person. For better or worse, a dream can open up "lost" memories. Dreams work in long term memory but hinder short term memory in a way that sometimes makes it impossible to recall the dream).


House (room, hotel, mansion)

A house- your own place or space and hopefully a safe base! (Hopefully!) Dreams of your house - or A house- are sometimes taken to be your Self, your personality, your life. In "the house of your dreams" do you feel safe? Remember, in dreams, feeling is everything! Does the house you are dreaming of feel secure and safe? Or--are there odd energies or odd people living it it? Are there people living in some back room that should not be there?! Do you have the privacy you want? Is there an undiscovered room or wing in the house? (some area of your life that warrants exploring? some facet of your life that might be expanded?)

If you find yourself wandering through some dream mansion, do you feel in place or out of place or neither? If this house or apartment is a place that you had lived in the past, do you have any feeling about that period of your life? (This dreamer sometimes returns to the apartment where I lived about 30 years ago, a time of much energy and more creativity and potential) .Are things still "good" there, or is there a deterioration?) Opening a door and seeing a filthy room---is there anything in your present life that you find (emotionally) repulsive? If your childhood home, what feelings does that generate? Return to it or run away? Are there any relatives there--living or dead, welcome or unwelcome? Is there anything or anyone that you mourn for in this home? (Your lost innocence? A cherished but long dead grandparent?)


-these are tricky. They can take you to unknown heights or the deepest part of your subconscious. In dreams they can even go sideways. In life, elevators can be sources of anxiety: waiting for the elevator, strangers on the elevator? Could your dream elevator deposit you in some remote older wing of a building, a place where the other elevators do not go to?(A worried friend in New York warned me always to send the elevator to the basement and let it come back before getting on!)


 Carl Jung saw archetypes as tendencies in the human unconscious to express certain motifs or themes. Some tend to be universal to a culture. Jung also believed that some of these types arise from a collective unconscious and are universal, existing innately and recurring throughout history in literature, religion, culture. For instance: death and rebirth. Jung's prime archetypes were the anima and animus.

Anima--the female within the male.

Animus- the male within the female.

Other archetypal characters

The ascetic. This is the character--monk or hermit--who might stand outside of society, and brings us experience outside our personal societal norms, or someone who has turned his back on the day by day. This character shows up in the tarot card The Hermit. Writers, poets and other creative people have to be ascetics somewhat. They stand at the threshold and observe the goings on of others, or try to express in poetry what lies outside of ordinary speech.

Death (and perhaps rebirth) and fear of same. A withering tree, a setting sun, a stopped clock, a chilling wind, a dead animal in the gutter. etc.

The devil--as a force of negation, yielding to material things overmuch, something that pulls us away from the possibility of personal transformation. Sex, anger, self-centeredness.

Father Figure and Mother figure (idealized) Father as a figure of authority and strength. Mother as a figure of constant nourishment; the Great Mother, the earth itself.

The hero, the lover (idealized).

The martyr--giving too much to others or to a cause, little reciprocation. "Martha" in the bible story

The magician or trickster. Magician as a person who could supervene cause and effect to give us what we hope for. But sometimes the magician is just a "trickster."

Old wise man or woman--who has the wisdom to transmit to us, the wisdom we need to achieve full actuality and potential!