Dream Analysis Part I: Making Associations & Intro to Kali

This is Part I of a 4-5 part series on Dream Analysis based on  Inner Work: Using Dreams & Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson.

The purpose of a dream is to “wake us up to something” according to Johnson. 

The focus of this series is to share his method of dream interpretation that leads us to a greater understanding of ourselves; our own awakening.  Here, I will do my best to “boil down” his method without shaving the process too thin. There are four basic steps to dream interpretation they are: Making associations, Connecting dreams to inner dynamics, Interpreting & Making the Dream Concrete. This post will focus on the process of making associations.
To illustrate Johnson’t process, I will use a dream I had the night I wrote “From Judgment to Compassion,” that lead to writing “Kali Under Fire.”
I was outside of my maternal grandmother’s (Grandma B) home and the woods behind her home were being engulfed by a wildfire. There were concerns about evacuating, but my grandmother wanted to stay (confusion, indecision). Her face, set in determination, was seen in the flames that licked the sky. Smoke banks were surrounding the home, making visibility difficult. Yet the air around me was clear for at least 20 feet in all directions as if I were in a bubble. While there was a sense of urgency to the dream, there was also a calmness like “this is how it is to be.” My grandmother was a reflection of this as she was usually an anxious & “hyper” woman in real life, she seemed relatively calm and ready for whatever was to come within the dream. In a way all elements of the dream were exaggerated or “larger than life” and hyper-reality. 
Making Associations:
After writing down the dream itself, the next step is to list out the different elements of the dream (maternal grandmother, her home, wildfire, smoke, bubble, etc). Next you take each element separately and write out what you personally associate to that one element, individually. Johnson warns to be sure to stay with the original element and avoid stream of consciousness where one association leads to further associations. To avoid stream of consciousness, go back to the original element after each association. For example, after writing down the association “scapegoat” (see below) for my grandmother, if I had then written “patsy,” I would have then thought of Lee Harvey Oswald because of the many times he’s referred to as a patsy in one of the movies about JFK’s assassination. That could have then lead me to think of sniper and before I know it my Grandma’s being a scapegoat leads me to Chris Kyle in American Sniper. So be sure each association relates back to the original element. 

Johnson discourages the use of Dream symbol searches as the purpose of this process is to unlock our own meaning and association with each element within a dream. Yet, at the same time, cultural references such as colloquialisms and Archetypes can be helpful resources to use. 

Colloquialisms can also help to unlock the meaning of an element. For example, “courage under fire” may rise to the surface. Colloquialisms can offer a deeper meaning to the dream analysis as they are common threads of awareness, similar to archetypes. Speaking of archetypes, you know that your dream involves the presence of an archetype when there are exaggerated or “Epic” elements within in the dream. After seeing some of the associations of my dream I did a search for “creative and destructive” Goddess, which is when Kali rose to the forefront of my awareness.
Making associations to the dream’s elements can be both fun and frustrating. Sometimes we need to step back from the dream itself to be able to understand the association to the element. The deeper that we can travel within to understand what an element is showing us, the greater our potential gain in personal growth. Remember, the dream’s purpose is to “wake us up to something.” Is it not ironic that we dream to be woken up?

In the list of associations below, you will see that I’ve italicized associations that were repeated while I bolded others as they “clicked.” Basically, if the association “clicks” there is a deeper emotional response and you have found the association that is most meaningful to you for that particular element. The stronger the emotional response to the association, the more likely it is that you are on the right track.
  • Grandma B: maternal grandmother; crazy: bipolar; unpredictable, scapegoat; town’s shadow; grudges; judgment; shame; guilt, suicide; death; cover up; vulnerable; destructive; Goddess Kali; Family; Roots; Connections; stubborn; tenacious; Proud; Independent; Wise; Faith; Grace; protective; maternal; nurturing; contradictory edges
  • Grandmother’s home: Farm (fertility), Poor, Simple, Loving, Mixed emotions; Confusion; Betrayal; Loyalty; Humble; Cold; Hot; Red Clay; Grapes on the vine; Garden; Free Roaming Chickens; Outhouse; Hoarding; Gossip; Home of the Divine Mother*
  • Woods – Fuel; Trees; Oxygen; Wildlife; Darkness; Hidden; protective/safety; Secrets “What happens in the woods stays in the woods.”  Cycles
  • Wildfires – A force of Mother Nature; beautiful destruction; cycle; a force to be reckoned with; burning down of the old, get rid of obstructions, clearing, setting up for something new (rebirth), passion, heat, change, uncontrolled, part of natural process, old guard (trees) dying, fuel to fire, unpredictable, Fire of transformation, Playing with Fire, Courage under Fire; Judgment; Separation; Fire & brimstone, Discernment, Urgency “The Time is Now,” attention-getter, Burning Desires; Passion – out of control; Kali
  • Smoke like fog all around – unclear; confusion; suffocating; stifling; blind/ignorant: decreased visibility; blockage; Ego; Smoke & Mirrors: Illusion; when there’s smoke there’s fire 
  • Bubble – safety, clarity; protection; discernment; separation; invisible yet present protection; womb; clearly defined boundaries; not living in reality; living in my own reality

*According to Johnson, a dream involving your maternal grandmother’s home (mother’s mother) is a sign that you are in the “house of the Mother;” an archetypal mother. Additional clues that this dream involved an Archetype are the exaggerated or “Epic” proportions within the dream.

In the next part I will discuss how to connect the bolded and repeated associations to inner dynamics. I will continue to use this wildfire dream as an example. In the meantime, I hope that you find a dream that you can begin to go through this process with. If you can, I highly encourage you to read Johnson’s book and particularly the chapters on dream interpretation, as he gives many examples and clues that I found helpful. After all, what have you to lose when you have a better understanding of yourself to gain.

Namaste & Happy Dreaming!

image: latimes

He loves her

His smile warms her face,

She blushes in return,

Basking in the light of His glow.


He brushes away the wispy hairs

From her face, tucks them behind her ears.

He strokes her smooth skin,

Blowing His heat onto her neck.

To all her hurt parts, 

He brings attention.


She loves being loved by Him.

Learning to love the skin she is in.

Learning to be free from within.

Oh, look, another Great Blue Heron?!

An ode to the sun and the wind, who both graced me with their presence this week as I took a topless Jeep road trip across state lines.

Most of the trip was breathtaking and a much needed reprieve from …most everything. 

Realizing during this trip how much I still worry about my persona and being accepted by others. And an unexpected Great Blue Heron sighting 20 miles from Raleigh…seems to be my “squirrel!” in this poem.

Much love to you on your journey! 


Photo © Onion | Dreamstime.com

Sorrow Management: Damage Incorporated

Hello, Anger
Hello, Anger. My, where have you been hiding?
Under rocks that were my broken apart heart?
There you found solace from the evil biding,
The seething heat of being thrice torn apart.
Two children fighting, both screaming and needing
more than a mother making a fresh, new start.
hard to be both parents at once, what to do?
anger, needing a way to bid you adieu.

easier to keep busy reading, writing,
than to feel your searing sadness grip my heart.
now i find myself needing of conceding
spending too much time from the others apart.
wanting, needing, feeling the heat releasing.
begging, pleading, please not another false start.
reading, writing, there were worse things i could do.
still it’s time, Goodbye, Anger, I release you

double octava rima format

Damage Inc is the song by Metalicca that popped into my mind as I typed the words “Sorrow Management.” The song is about seeking and destroying without submitting, seeing surrendering as weak. I feel that this song exemplifies the path of personal self-destruction we take when we fight our feelings instead of surrendering into them; even when we trick ourselves and do “positive” things.

Sorrow Management is what some in the spiritual community call the string of activities we do to avoid being and feeling. This could be things that we do in excess or compulsively such as: eating, cleaning, having sex, helping others (and letting ourselves fall to the wayside), fantasizing about sex, watching TV, dating sites, gaming, facebooking, drinking, writing, watching pornography, running, and working out. The activities do not necessarily need to be deemed negative for them to have a negative impact on our self-development when we use the activities to avoid feeling.

Sia from “Breathe Me”

Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame

So all of my writing erotica, about the body and muscles, plus my WP reading time lately has been me avoiding my seething, gnawing, searing, i want to fuck-shit-up anger with a side of bitterness.

Realizing how much time I was spending on WP, I turned off the notifications, and started storing my phone somewhere away from my body. Over the weekend, I cut my WP time in half (this includes writing). And yes, there are so many worse things that I could have done to “hurt myself again today” to avoid feeling my feelings. Still, I was blocking myself from myself, wrecking myself.

In decreasing one avoidant behavior, another tried to take over. Cravings for chewy foods like licorice and pizza were rampant. Something was gnawing at me. My heart was pounding and I wanted to yell, pound my fists into walls and rip my hair out. The Hello, Anger poem above was my attempt to understand this, as was the bitter heart poem.

Also interesting to note is that this last week my libido went missing. Much like watching the water recede quickly just before a tsunami hits, I knew it was time to run for the motherfucking hills. This weekend, it all came to a head  (and no, not in a good, i just got laid way). So even by doing positive things to keep myself distracted from my own pain, there’s no escaping the cycle of destruction that precedes construction, gratitude to Lord Shiva. Once again, I am humbled.

__/|\__ Metta

to my etheric Lover Part II (Erotica): unification

Part I

2015.10.15 for the best effect, listen to the song while reading… enjoy!

Your eyes call to me from across the way. I feel undressed by your gaze, vulnerable and trusting I can feel the thoughts you have, they need not pass as words across your lips. I can feel myself being drawn into you. Somehow, magically perhaps, the space between us is now gone. Before I know it, our lips meet softly parting, to allow the kiss of lovers to each. Your strong arms wrap around me, pulling me closer into you, closing out any distance that may have remained between us. I can feel your firm chest pressing into the soft flesh of my breasts. I release a sigh as I surrender headlong into the passion that has been building inside of me, nearing now a crescendo, since we first met.

More deeply, your tongue penetrates into my openness, searching and investigating all of the spaces within, as if searching my soul for all that you seek to understand about this existence. I reveal to you the mysteries that I hold within as our tongues meet, dancing joyfully together.

As we passionately kiss in our loving, and wanton embrace, you continue to remove the layers of your armor; a process you started before our first introduction. In so doing, you invite me to move closer and closer into your inner sanctum. In gratitude I receive your trust, a gift I cherish within each moment of its tender unfolding.

Undressing me now, physically, you slowly follow the unbuttoning of my blouse with a kiss, tasting all of the parts of me that are revealed as each button is released. Following this pattern, you kiss each part of me that is revealed as each article of clothing is removed. Naked now, I stand before you as you take me in with your eyes. I can see myself in your reflection, imagining how you are experiencing me at this moment based on the soft wonder of your eyes.

There’s only one problem now, while your armor is removed, you are still fully clothed! Moving into action, I slowly remove your clothes, kissing the exposed flesh with soft kisses, mixed with nibbles; my desire to devour you. Then I step back for just a moment to admire you in the golden campfire light. It reflects off of your exposed chest and face, creating a golden aura around your being. I step back into your embrace, tracing the fine lines of your masculinity with my delicate fingers. While our tongues meet in a lovely dance, we ever so slowly explore the contours of the other’s body.

What started as a small fire within each of us now joins together and courses wildly through our veins as you gently lower me to the soft moss-covered ground. The heat of our embrace keeps any chills away. I welcome the weight of your body pressing into me, another way in which I surrender to you on this starlit night.

Your large hands explore my body, playfully pulling and squeezing my nipples, causing me to arch my back into you as you kiss me more deeply. Then a soft smile plays across your lips as you lower your mouth to one and then the other, pulling gently on the nipple with your teeth while I squirm in pleasure beneath you.

When ready to explore further, you begin to kiss my belly, gently scratching the skin with your facial hair, tickling me and making me laugh. Still drunk from the sweet nectar of ecstasy, you begin parting the flesh of my womanhood with your fingers, exposing me further to your exploration, as you taste the sweet essence of my being. While you kiss and explore my velvety folds with your lips and your fingertips, I begin swirling and twirling as the waves of ecstasy pass through my body, climbing closer and closer to climax.

Gathering up all of the will I can, I gently push you away from me. I rise to my knees and ask you to stand before me. I kiss your strong, long thighs as I grasp your throbbing cock, moving it back and forth in my hand. Parting my lips, I begin to lick the tip, teasing you as I taste you with my tongue. Opening further, I move into you inch by inch, pressing you further into my open mouth. I hear you whisper my name in approval, while I continue to kneel before you, my King. The ecstasy is shared between us, as I feel pleasure in bringing you further into me; further into you.

This plays on until the point where we both can no longer deny our desire for a deeper union. I lie back down as you kneel now between my long, strong legs. You press your hard, firm manhood into me, parting my soft flesh and opening the gate into the silky smoothness of my warm, moist inner valley as you kiss me deeply.

Penetrating me inch by inch, you slowly press further and further into my being, pulling out nearly all the way each time to experience again and again the feeling of my softness surrendering to your hardness. I do my best to hold you in, but silk is not easy to grasp with. Feeling my desire for you to fill me completely, you begin to tease me further, not moving more than halfway in each time.

I cry out, begging for more. After several teasing ins and outs (and what seems like an eternity to me), in one smooth motion you give me all that you have got. A deep moan escapes my throat as I open further to accept all that you have offer. Together we move in the sweet dance of passion, the silence only broken by occasional moans of sweet ecstasy, or the sweet sounds of the night including the gentle popping of the firewood nearby.

Our eyes lock as we gain momentum, traveling towards the height of our ecstasy. It is here that we slow our pace, to allow us to savor this embrace, even if just a few moments more. You continue to thrust deeply into me, while I surrender more and more as each wave after building wave courses through us. Reaching for a higher limit, we press forward together, continuing to build the tension with each thrust in and out. I am the first to surrender, sending out a shock wave that ripples through my being, and tightening my muscles around you, setting off the unleashing of your seed within me. Our mouths open in soft moans as we kiss to seal the act of love between us.

Savoring the moment of our deepest surrender, you lower your body onto mine while staying inside as long as possible. You gaze into my eyes with a soft lovingness I have not seen before, while a smile of sweet satisfaction graces your lips.  Firelight dances across our faces as we smile from our hearts and souls, floating in the golden afterglow of our love-making. Yes, my lover, we are finally home.



The effects of the Stars

Over the past few years, I have found that the stars & planets do predict, to some degree, different patterns in life. Often, the energy precedes the predictions for me, in that I’ll move through things a few days before the energy is said to peak.


Well, this past week has been an emotionally turbulent one for me with many swings in between. Now I see that the full moon Monday is in Virgo, my sun sign. While the sun is in Pisces, my moon sign. A complete reversal, explaining the topsy turvy…

Moon Energies
Full moons are a time of reflection; shining light on the shadows and things that need clearing; weeding.
New moons are time for planting and manifesting.

So now it all comes together more clearly, Pisces the watery emotional sign of the fish explains my emotional sensitivity and heavy clearing. Meanwhile the moon in Virgo is one of rationality, organizing and reflecting. No wonder I keep writing (not always posting) about death…I’m lovingly being forced to look at all of my shit.

Please see this blog for more information and helpful activities for balancing these opposing energies:
Full Moon in Virgo 22nd February – Michelle McClunan

I’ll humbly accept any prayers, love and positive energy in any form during this time of transition. And I’ll happily return the favor anytime you ask of it!


__/|\__ Metta


Image: Hubble EAS


The Dancer

This is a song I plan to feature in an upcoming post. It may say more than even my work…though I don’t believe I need love to save me as Harvey seems to indicate here, the majority of her lyrical poetry is still fitting. (I am becoming more and more of my own superhero, after all.)

So from one poet to another, the beauty of PJ Harvey. Too bad her climax isn’t real…


The Dancer by PJ Harvey

He came riding fast like a phoenix out of fire flames

He came dressed in black with a cross bearing my name

He came bathed in light and the splendor and glory

I can’t believe what the lord has finally sent me
He said dance for me, fanciulla gentile

He said laugh awhile, I can make your heart feel

He said fly with me, touch the face of the true God

And then cry with joy at the depth of my love
‘Cause I’ve prayed days, I’ve prayed nights

For the lord just to send me home some sign

I’ve looked long, I’ve looked far

To bring peace to my black and empty heart
Ah, ah, ah

Ah, ah, ah, aaaaaah !
My love will stay ’till the river bed run dry

And my love lasts long as the sunshine blue sky

I love him longer as each damn day goes

The man is gone and heaven only knows

‘Cause I’ve cried days, I’ve cried nights

For the lord just to send me home some sign

Is he near ? is he far ?

Bring peace to my black and empty heart

So long day, so long night

Oh Lord, be near me tonight

Is he near ? is he far ?

Bring peace to my black and empty heart.



__/|\__ Metta


Woman iii/v by Ax: The Melding

Woman iii/v
By Ax

Heat would rise blistering,
as it chars the grain that travels,
from ground to heights,
that meet your eyes.

Arching back as your curves dance,
leaving trails to hike up between your thighs,
tight to my sight that pulls,
me into your heaving breasts.

The length of your neck exposed,
eye teeth grow from my mouth,
wanting to bite, nay, compelled,
to sink into your flesh with a vampires hunger.

The taste of blood trickles down my chin,
mingling with my saliva dripping on your skin,
fluids from inside pour hot with desire,
burning, burning, burning in your fire.


Here the strong stanza structure of i & ii gets lost as the poet gets lost in his lover’s curves; lost energetically in her amorphous matrix. Loss of self is part of the dance of sexual union between partners. Here the tempo shifts to a more erotic and heat-filled sequence; less of him claiming & conquering (ii) while here we also see a melding of heat and bodily fluids.

One of the main reasons the poet is seeking his lover, his anima, is for healing himself. Healing is a process of transformation. Great energy is required to transform, much like the process of smelting metal to create a sword. In ii we see heat as a common theme throughout the poem. The lovers meld together producing heat for their transformation.

The poet bonds further with his lover when he falls into her breasts, her heart and takes of her life force. In taking of her blood, he tastes her; a completion of the five senses begun in ii. This is also an energy exchange from his blood loss in i. In sucking her blood he tastes her, unites with her, consumes her and further claims her.

Additionally notable is that the energy of emotions is water with both saliva and blood being predominately water. So here we also see the emotional connection developing between the two lovers. Perhaps this is also why the tone and structure are softened here: the two are uniting, melding into one another and connecting emotionally.

In iii the Divine Union between lovers intensifies as they begin to become one, while also connecting on an emotional level, thus deepening their connection.

Woman v Series by A with commentary

Related Essays and Poems:

The Fountain

Vampire Skin (antithesis: fear of love)

The Spiritual Foundry

__/|\__ Metta