Union, Dream #11, 1989
In my dream two unknown figures come together in a seemingly sexual way. The room I am in has a door which will not open. There is tension. I am one of the figures and I am very afraid the door will open. I want it locked. I am afraid of something but cannot identify what. The door opens and “the dream” enters the room! The dream is hazy and at a distance. As the door opens, the room is filled with peace and a deeply pervasive sense of security.
Sexuality as symbolism
In our hypersexualized literal world, symbolism is difficult. This dream indicates to me both a deep desire for integration and a fear of that same integration. Who will I be if I change? What does it mean to integrate masculine and feminine aspects of self? Jung writes a good deal about the masculine and the feminine. I soon come to realize he is not writing about gender. Nor is he writing about the societal beliefs surrounding the role of men and women in our world. Dreams are the language of the soul. This dream indicates a desire of soul, or psyche to integrate in creative, that is to create, new life, new ideas, new birth. The birth of harmony within me. Hieros gamus. The sacred inner marriage. I learn later that the sacred marriage was first mentioned in Sumerian writings some 5000 years ago. The coming together of human and divine, masculine and feminine. There is a great deal to be learned — and possibly even more to be unlearned.
The locked door
In what ways am I locked? The door is unlocked in the dream but only after an expression of fear. I begin to take note of the changes within me since January, 1989 and the major inner healing both January 2 and January 21. My menstrual cycle, always a source of of pain, tension, diagnosis of dysmenorrhea and one surgery, has become 100% free flowing, 28 day cycle instead of anywhere from 10 to 45. The nagging aches, cramps, headaches and PMS symptoms have disappeared. Exaggerated fears of pregnancy have receded.
The dream tells me I need balance and shows me the creation of balance within me. I began to understand that in order to survive, I had unconsciously chosen to emulate my father who represents calm, controlled and invulnerable to hurt. Or so it seemed to me. I held sternly to a Puritan work ethic, rigidly withhold my emotions. I am considered ‘tough’ and have sadly overheard male colleagues say “She has balls.” Today, I would correct that to, “That takes ovaries.”
I was also inflexible with myself while I tried hard to be supportive and understanding of others. I was determined to meet all of life’s issues in a full on, “Head first” frontal attack. I have worked and studied and developed my intellect to the best of my abilities.
Other details are too personal to write in this blog. However, I will say that prior to learning of the symbolism of sexuality in dreams, I was terrified when ever I experienced nightmares with a sexual connotation. I notice now in dream workshops that the participants are reluctant to speak of “sex” dreams and yet sexuality is both the height and depth, the joy and horror of living. I recall clearly during a time of extreme stress and hearing voices, I experienced a very sensual series of dreams involving a wise, gentle, kind and loving co-worker. He was the one professional friend I was able to share my distress and anger, my terrifyingly overwhelming fears with. The series of dreams, or rather my interpretation of them, caused me to withdraw and distance myself from the one source of professional support I had.
I have been mired in our cultures pathetic outdated, fundamentalist, Old Testament Consciousness emphasis on the body and sex as evil, dirty and sinful, the separation of body from soul and spirit, focus on sex in consumerism and corporate advertising, and the objectification of the female body has robbed me of the creativity ad healing of dreams, the direction of the soul life. I find deep satisfaction in the freedom to become whole. I also find a source of deep inner friction and tension in trying to overcome my early life learnings. For example, the story of Saint Marie Goretti played a great role in my childhood and teenage life. If you do not know the story of Maria Goretti, you might research it. And think about the fact that in the 1950s I was much enamoured of her story. I had a coloring book of her life. No, don’t indulge in historical presentism. That WAS the 1950s. The 60s change much. It didn’t change the beliefs that had dropped into the Collective Unconscious. I was however, recovering!
My balance problems disappeared. I was unable to walk trails anywhere without holding onto my husband. On a trip to Ontario in 1981, I was often panic stricken that I might fall over the edge of a bridge, a trail, or going up stairs in the Minneapolis Baseball Stadium, I became so panicked, I stood rock still until he came to rescue me. I covered these fears as best I could since the kids and my husband found it vastly irritating. “You can’t fall off nothing!” My heart pounded out through my chest. Reading metaphysics I find that such irrational fears indicate possible fear of bondage, being trapped with no escape route. Now, after healing depression rooted in pre-verbal childhood molestation, I am free of motion sickness and fear of falling. There is much written about these issues. Unfortunately, it took me 43 years to find the root of my problems and I know not how long it will take to heal the vestigial remnants of fear locked down into my very soul.
Last, the dream supports my thoughts about non rational being. On my 40th birthday, a poem came to me. The Warning by Jenny Joseph speaks of unconventionality. When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat that doesn’t go, spit in the street and do all manner of unconventional things. Now, at 44 I am trying hard and practicing. And when I speak of dreams some people wonder. Doing a dream workshop at Grant McEwan College Wellness Conference, a participant asks “Do you really work for the Ministry?” as if that makes a difference. A colleague at Red Deer Teacher’s Convention asks “Does the Deputy Minister know what you are up to?” Really? Is dream work that unconventional? Turns out, in our society it is too personal, too emotional, to irrational, and just plain not scientific. And yet, by 2008, I will complete a dissertation using dreams as symbolism in the analysis of a novel.
Dream imagery of sexual union is a powerful energy. I have much yet to learn.