Dream Analysis Part II: Inner Dynamics

This is Part II of a 4-5 part series about dream analysis based on the book Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson.

In Part I, we made associations to the symbolic elements of our dreams. Here we will connect these associations with ourselves as each element represents an inner aspect of ourselves; whether we want to admit it or not. According to Johnson, the more we deny an attitude or belief, the greater that element will be portrayed or exaggerated in a dream. 
For this next step we will handle each dream element separately, and look closely at how that element represents an inner aspect of ourselves. To help spark the connections ask yourself and write down the deepest & most specific examples within your life to the following questions for each element:
  • What part of me is that?
  • Where have I seen it functioning in my life lately?
  • Where do I see that same trait in my personality?
  • Who is it, inside me, who feels like that or behaves like that?

Elements of the dream & their inner associations:

  • Grandma B – Moderation in life is a challenge for me. I can move erratically through life, swinging along with the highs and lows of the pendulum. I can be protective of myself and yet also flirt with danger. I can be stubborn and sometimes will spite myself just to prove a point. I fear being seen as crazy. I fear standing fully in my power as to do so means I will stand out and draw attention to myself. In the house of the mother, I hide. This is also the part of me that wants to prove my strength. “I can handle this. I don’t need help.” Yet she also represents where I’m stuck in the womb and don’t want to leave.
  • Kali – the part of me that wants to destroy myself, to break myself down so that I may be reborn. The inner goddess who desires to live to her fullest potential.
  • Grandma’s House – Where I am outside of the house of the Mother. I am hesitant to fully embrace myself as a person, as a woman, as a healer, as part of the Divine Feminine. There are also ways in which I do not take the best care of myself; my being was threatened by wildfires; my unbridled passions. Though in the dream the house remained untouched and was in pristine shape. The house also seems to represent The True Heart; the home of The Mother.
  • Woods – Where I hide my secrets, with the woods being on fire it denoted it was time to change.
  • Wildfire – The passion within my soul to burn down boundaries, to disintegrate and breakdown secrets. Also, there was a very strong sexual wildfire within me at this time, almost to the point of my being completely reckless and throwing any caution “to the wind.” My sexual energy threatened to consume me; I literally felt like it was a wildfire coursing through me.  I wanted to stay and I wanted to go. Deep down I knew it would be best for me to go. Yet the stubborn side of me insisted on staying (though soon after this, I left). Several weeks after this dream, when my sexual fires died down, and as I reclaimed my personal power, I saw that this wildfire represented the anger that I was suppressing within. It was consuming me and I could not see it.
  • Smoke – Where I am wanting to hide within confusion/illusion which is suffocating and blinding me. The things around me that I don’t want to see, nor to be seen by others. Represents my indecision, where I wanted to stay and where I wanted to go. Yet, staying put me at risk of suffocation and loss of sight/life.
  • Bubble – Where I do feel protected and clear, able to see around me and able to breathe in my own space. I am calm and protected when I allow myself to be. In some ways I do live within my own reality, separate from others. Living in a bubble.

The more deeply we can use the dreams to reflect our unconscious dynamics, the more we will get out of the dream. “It is at the inner level that you can change life-patterns more profoundly,” which is where our dreams are usually aimed.

“…the transcendent function [of self] combines the opposites, [and] draws the fragments of our totality into unity.” Dreams show us the aspects of ourselves we have not seen. As they are symbolic, spoken in the language of our unconscious selves, each dream element has a unique message for us. With the path of growth, it is up to us to understand it.
Happy dreaming! 
Namaste 
 

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