The meaning of Scapegoat in dream | Dream interpretation
The word scapegoat actually comes from the sacrificing of a goat to appease the gods, and in dreams this symbol can be highly relevant.
If in our dream we are the scapegoat for someone else’s action then we are being turned into a victim. Other people maybe trying to make us pay for their misdcmcanours.
If we are making another person a scapegoat then this indicates a blame shift, and that we are not taking responsibility for our own actions.
Often in families and teams one member takes the brunt of all the projections from the rest of the family or group. He (or she) is continually belittled or laughed at. and can be blamed for all sorts of things which are not their fault. They become the scapegoat. In dreams, however, there is recognition that there is an aspect of cooperation and collaboration in the dreamer. We need to do something to redress the balance, and often the solution can only come from us.
3- This represents the sacrificial victim, dying that others might live.
A scapegoat... Dream Dictionary Unlimited
The area of our being we refer to when we say T, ‘me’ or ‘myself’ is our conscious self awareness, our sense of self, which Jung calls the ego.
The autobiography of Helen Keller has helped in understanding what may be the difference between an animal and a human being with self awareness. Helen, made blind and deaf through illness before learning to speak, lived in a dark unconscious world lacking any self awareness until the age of seven, when she was taught the deaf and dumb language. At first her teacher’s fingers touching hers were simply a tactile but meaningless experience. Then, perhaps because she had leamt one word prior to her illness, meaning flooded her darkness. She tells us that ‘nothingness was blotted out’. Through language she became a person and developed a sense of self, whereas before there had been nothing.
The journey of individuation is not only that of becoming a person, but also expanding the boundaries of what we can allow ourselves to experience as an ego. As we can see from an observation of our dreams, but mostly from an extensive exploration of their feeling content, our ego is conscious of only a small area of experience.
The fundamental life processes in one’s being may be barely felt. In many contemporary women the reproductive drive is talked about as something which has few connections with their personality. Few people have a living, feeling contact with their early childhood, in fact many people doubt that such can exist. Because of these factors the ego can be said to exist as an encapsulated small area of consciousness, surrounded by huge areas of experience it is unaware of.
In a different degree, there exists in each of us a drive towards the growth of our personal awareness, towards greater power, greater inclusion of the areas of our being which remain unconscious.
A paradox exists here, because the urge is towards integration, yet individuation is also the process of a greater self differentiation. This is a spontaneous process, just as is the growth of a tree from a seed (the tree in dreams often represents this process of self becoming), but our personal responsibility for our process of growth is necessary at a certain point, to make conscious what is unconscious.
Because dreams are constantly expressing aspects of individuation it is wonh knowing the main areas of the process. Without sticking rigidly to Jungian concepts—which see individuation as occurring from mid-life onwards in a few individuals—aspects of some of the main stages are as follows. Early babyhood—the emergence of self consciousness through the deeply biological, sensual and gestural levels of experience, all deeply felt; the felt responses to emerging from a non-changing world in the womb to the need to reach out for food and make other needs known. Learning how to deal with a changing environment, and otherness in terms of relationship.
Childhood—learning the basics of motor, verbal and social skills, the very basics of physical and emotional independence. One faces here the finding of strength to escape the domination of mother—difficult, because one is dependent upon the parent in a very real way—and develop in the psyche a satisfying sexual connection. In dream imagery this means, for the male, an easy sexual relationship with female dream figures, and a means of dealing with male figures in competition (father); see sex in dreams.
The dream of the mystic beautiful woman precedes this, a female figure one blends with in an idealistic sense, but who is never sexual.
The conflict with father—really the internal struggle with one’s image of father as more potent than self—when resolved becomes an acceptance of the power of one’s own manhood. Women face a slightly different situation.
The woman’s first deeply sensual and sexual love object—in a bonded parent-child relationship—was her mother. So beneath any love she may develop for a man lies the love for a woman. Whereas a man, in sexual love which takes him deeply into his psyche, may realise he is making love to his mother, a woman in the same situation may find her father or her mother as the love object. In the unconscious motivations which lead one to choose a mate, a man is influenced by the relationship he developed with his mother, a woman is influenced by both mother and father in her choice. Example: ‘I went across the road to where my mother’s sister lived. I wanted to cuddle her and touch her bare breasts, but we never seemed to manage this. There were always interruptions or blocks.’ (Sid L).
At these deep levels of fantasy and desire, one has to recognise that the first sexual experience is—hopefully—at the mother’s breast. This can be transformed into later fantasies/ dreams/desires of penis in the mouth, or penis in the vagina, or penis as breast, mouth as vagina.
For most of us, however, growth towards maturity does not present itself in such primitively sexual ways, simply because we are largely unconscious of such factors. In general we face the task of building a self image out of the influences, rich or traumatic, of our experience. We leam to stand, as well as we may, amidst the welter of impressions, ideas, influences and urges, which constitute our life and body. What we inherit, what we experience, and what we do with these creates who we are.
One of the major themes of individuation is the journey from attachment and dependence towards independence and involved detachment. This is an overall theme we mature in all our life. In its widest sense, it pertains to the fact that the origins of our consciousness lie in a non-differentiated state of being in which no sense of T exists. Out of this womb condition we gradually develop an ego and personal choice. In fact we may swing to an extreme of egotism and materialistic feelings of independence from others and nature.
The observable beginnings of this move to independence are seen as our attempt to become independent of mother and father. But dependence has many faces: we may have a dependent relationship with husband or wife; we may depend upon our work or social status for our self confidence; our youth and good looks may be the things we depend upon for our sense of who we are, our self image. With the approach of middle and old age we will then face a crisis in which an independence from these factors is necessary for our psychological equilibnum.
The Hindu practice of becoming a sanyassin, leaving behind family, name, social standing, possessions, is one way of meeting the need for inner independence from these in order to meet old age and death in a positive manner. Most people face it in a quieter, less demonstrative way. Indeed, death might be thought of as the greatest challenge to our identification with body, family, worldly status and the external world as a means to identity. We leave this world naked except for the quality of our own being.
Meeting oneself, and self responsibility, are further themes of individuation.
The fact that our waking self is a small spotlight of awareness amidst a huge ocean of unconscious life processes creates a situation of tension, certainly a threshold or ‘iron curtain’, between the known and unknown.
If one imagines the spotlighted area of self as a place one is standing in, then individuation is the process of extending the boundary of awareness, or even turning the spotlight occasionally into the surrounding gloom. In this way one places together impressions of what the light had revealed of the landscape in which we stand, clues to how we got to be where we are, and how we relate to these. But one may remain, or choose to remain, largely unconscious of self.
The iron curtain may be defended with our desire not to know what really motivates us, what past hurts and angers we hide. It may be easier for us to live with an exterior God or authority than to recognise the ultimate need for self responsibility and self cultivation.
To hide from this, humanity has developed innumerable escape routes—extenonsed religious practice, making scapegoats of other minority groups or individuals, rigid belief in a political system or philosophy, search for samadhi or God as a final solution, suicide. This aspect of our matunng process shows itself as a paradox (common to maturity) of becoming more sceptical, and yet finding a deeper sense of self in its connections with the cosmos. We lose God and the beliefs of humanity’s childhood, yet realise we are the God we searched for. This meeting with self, in all its deep feeling of connection, its uncertainty, its vulnerable power, is not without pain and joy. Example: ‘On the railway platform milled hundreds of people, all men I think. They were all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I knew I was among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there was a guard watching us. He was cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap was a red star. He carried a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realised they were all me. Each one had my face. I was looking at myself. Then I felt fear and terror’ (Anon).
The last of the great themes of individuation is summed up in William Blake’s words ‘1 must Create a System, or be en- slav’d by another Man’s; I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create.’ A function observable in dreams is that of scanning our massive life experience (even a child’s life experience has millions of bits of information) to see what it says of life and survival. Out of this we unconsciously create a working philosophy of what life means to us.
It is made up not only of what we have experienced and learnt in the general sense, but also from the hidden information in the cultural riches we have inherited from literature, music, art, theatre and architecture.
The word hidden” is used because the unconscious ‘reads’ the symbolised information in these sources. It is, after all, the master of imagery in dreams. But unless we expand the boundaries of our awareness we may not know this inner philosopher.
If we do get to know it through dreams, we will be amazed by the beauty of its insight into everyday human life.
In connection with this there is an urge to be, and perhaps to procreate oneself in the world. Sometimes this is experienced as a sense of frustration—that there is more of us than we have been able to express, or to make real. While physical procreation can be seen as a physical survival urge, this drive to create in other spheres may be an urge to survive death as an identity. Dreams frequently present the idea that our survival of death only comes about from what we have given of ourself to others. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The term “Gypsy” discriminates against the Siniti and Roma tribes, branding them as outsiders and “second-class citizens.” This image in a dream often points to an immature masculinity.
Folklore: Luck, if the Gypsy is offering you something.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Depth Psychology: The male goat is a symbol of aggressive, stubborn behavior. Are you looking for a scapegoat? Are others trying to make you the scapegoat? See Goat, Ram.... Dreamers Dictionary
If the former is the case, it may be obvious to you: recent encounters with your brother or sister, or some piece of news about him or her may be recognized as prompting the dream. Always be on the look-out, though, for those dreams where a brother or sister plavs a symbolic role. The dream source may choose its materials - its images - from your recent external experiences, but what those dream images represent is nearly always some part of yourself. So please read on.
(2) In early childhood a brother or sister is a natural object of jealousy and hatred. In the eyes of a small child the mother may seem to be favouring his or her sibling. When a second child is bom, the firstborn is especially likely to develop hostile feelings towards the new’ rival for mother’s attention and affection. Sometimes w’e carrv such jealous grievances (at an unconscious level) into adult life, w’here they continue to affect our behaviour and attitudes.
It is then imperative that w’e sort them out, face up to them, acknowledge them for w’hat they are, and so liberate ourselves from their damaging influence (see (3) below, second paragraph, on projections).
(3) An elder brother or sister (brother for a male dreamer, sister for a female dreamer) may represent your ‘other self (‘alter ego’), that side of your personality that has so far been neglected and undeveloped. Jung called it ‘the Shadow’’. We start adult life w’ith a self-image that is usually some sort of compromise between what w’e w’ant to be or do and w’hat parents or society at large seems to require of us.
If this self-image corresponds to our actual abilities, all may be well for a while; but a time mav come w hen wre need to give attention to other facets of our (potential) self. These other facets - our Shadow- - will show- themselves to us in dreams; and one form they take in dreams is that of an elder brother or sister.
People often project their shadow- on to a sibling of the same sex as themselves; and if it is not projected, it may express itself in all kinds of aw kward and embarrassing ways - astonishing rudeness, for example, or other antisocial behaviour. The contrast between your conscious ego and your alter ego mav be as startling as that between Jekvll and Hyde. Don’t be alarmed, though: remember alw-ays that your unconscious is vour ally - vour best friend - and even the most frightening or appalling things that reveal themselves in dreams as parts of vour unconscious are frightening or appalling, first, because of their unfamiliaritv and / or secondly, because, having been neglected and locked away in the dark, they tend to behave like a neglected child and mav become mutinous (on this phenomenon, see Demon). Pay proper attention and proper respect to them, and their threatening features will disappear; they will prove themselves valuable supplements to vour personal equipment for coping with life and achieving full satisfaction and wholeness. Introduce them into your consciousness, identify them and their needs, and give them a controlled and appropriate part to play in your waking life.
Incidentally, one test you can apply to check whether you have a neglected shadow-self is to ask yourself if there is some characteristic that you particularly dislike in other people (particularly your partner): a domineering tendency’, perhaps, or an over-liberal attitude, or whatever.
If there is (and of course you need a lot of honesty’ to admit this), then that characteristic is likely to belong to your shadow-self. We tend to project on to other people the dark, ‘nasty5 things that live in our own unconscious.
If something is going wrong in our life, we tend to put the blame on to other people, the government, or our parents; we look for some scapegoat to carry the blame. The blame, how ever, is ours, because we have not put our own house in order: we have not paid due attention to the demands of our unconscious and have not allowed our ‘other self proper scope for expression in our life.
(4) When a female dreams of a brother, or a male dreams of a sister, the brother / sister may represent w’hat Jung called the ‘soul-image’, w’hich is the masculine side of a woman’s personality (her animus) or the feminine side of a man’s personality (his anima). There would seem to be very basic differences between man and woman arising out of different biological functions (as well as less basic differences that owe their existence to social conditioning). There are w’hat have traditionally been called feminine qualities and capacities (such as gentleness, a caring disposition, creativeness, cooperativencss and relatedness, intuition) and, similarly, what have been called masculine qualities (such as aggressiveness and competitiveness, rationality’, and a tendency to analyse and look for differences). However, it is widclv accepted nowadays among psychotherapists that the male psyche also contains feminine qualities and the female psyche also contains masculine qualities, albeit often dormant and neglected, or repressed.
If you arc a man, do you admire the ‘masculine’ tv pc of woman? If vou do, vou may be in need of redressing the balance in vour psyche: vour feminine side
has possibly swamped your masculinity, and you now need to promote the latter. In your case, the anima will be rather masculine. This is just one instance of a general rule: the animus / anima will have the opposite characteristics to the conscious self-image.
Either male or female dreamers may find themselves in a dream in an heroic relationship to an anima / animus figure. A man may, in a dream, rescue a damsel in distress; a woman may waken a dead prince with a kiss. These should be seen as invitations to incorporate your anima / animus into vour conscious functioning, to rescue it from oblivion and neglect: to make Cinderella or the Frog-Prince your partner in life. Personal wholeness cannot be achieved without this. See also Cinderella, Frog, section (3), Marriage.
(5) A sister in a man’s dream or a brother in a woman’s dream may take the dreamer into some frightening abyss, to the bottom of the sea, or into a dark forest. This may represent the man’s anima or the woman’s animus leading the ego into the unconscious, to discover, for example, the deep emotional causes of a psychosomatic illness; the repressed rage that lies at the bottom of a chronic boredom; or the fount of energy or wisdom that can furnish a more fully satisfying existence. Literary and mythological representations of this can be found in the examples of Beatrice, who led Dante safely into hell and out again, and Ariadne, whose thread enabled Theseus to find his way out of the Cretan labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur. Both hell and labyrinths are symbols of the unconscious. See also Labyrinth, Monster, Underworld.
(6) Sometimes the anima / animus figure in a dream may appear in some way hostile or threatening. For example, in a man’s dream the anima may take the form of an enchantress, a femme fatale, seducing men into a lake or ocean. The watery depths may be seen as symbolizing the depths of the unconscious. The meaning of such a dream may be that the dreamer needs to explore his other - unconscious - self, despite (or, more accurately, because of) its frightening and threatening aspect. Water, however, is a symbol of the feminine, too. The meaning of the dream, therefore, might be that die dreamer is too heavily fixated on his mother and needs to liberate himself by asserting his masculinity and independence; in extreme cases the man might be in danger of being “possessed’ or ‘swallowed up’ by the feminine within his psyche. Such a dream may be, however, not a warning, but an invitation: the unconscious may be urging the man to get on better terms - equal terms - with the feminine side of his psyche. Give your anima / animus equality, and it will cease from its mutinous attempts to take over the whole of your psyche.
In the case of a woman, a dream may contain a male seducer: some Pied Piper animus figure. Again, the dreamer will have to decide whether such a dream is a warning or an invitation: a warning against being carried away by her masculinity (perhaps she has not resolved her early father fixation), or an invitation to discover and utilize her neglected masculinity. Commonsense and, above all, honesty should guide her to the correct understanding of the dream; and in any case, bear in mind what was said above about giving equality to the anima / animus.
(7) The unconscious compensates the conscious mind. It contains those qualities and capacities which the conscious mind lacks. In this sense it is the opposite of the conscious mind; hence its otherness, its alien appearance.
It follows, therefore, that the image that represents anima or animus in a dream may be the opposite of the psychological type to which the dreamer belongs. For example, if you are a woman of the intellectual type (i.e. if thinking is your strong point at the conscious level), your animus may be represented in dreams as a sentimental type (a romantic Don Juan, for instance).
If you are a sentimental woman (moved at the conscious level mainly by feelings - including moral feelings), your animus may show itself as a bearded professor or other intellectual figure.
If you are an intuitive woman (an artist, for instance), your animus mav take a muscular he-man form in dreams (the sensational type, functioning most strongly at the sensory level).
(8) If brother and sister appear together in a dream, this may symbolize either the tension of opposites, or the union of opposites. The opposites are the conscious and the unconscious contents of the psyche. Their union and interfusion are the means by which the self- the true self that is already within you but waits to be unfolded - is realized.
The appearance of this symbol will usually be an auspicious sign, meaning that, despite all appearances to the contrary, there is within you a latent and attainable order and harmony. But of course you - the conscious ego - must make that latent order real by paying loving attention to the needs of your unconscious opposite (like the prince who wakes the sleeping beauty with an embrace).... A Dictionary of Dream Symbols
This symbol is also associated with sexual vitality (“lecherous old goat”), especially when depicted as a satyr, such as the god Pan in pagan mythology.... Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia