Abreaction is a re-experiencing of painful or traumatic events or situations. In many dreams it is obvious that the process underlying dreams is attempting to trigger an abreaction. This suggests the dream process, as Jung and Hadfield say, is a self-regulatory one in our psyche. In many cases where a person explores the feeling content of their dreams in a confident way, abreaction occurs. Although it has been given different names in recent years, such as primal therapy, rolfing, discharge, catharsis, abreaction is still a basic psychological healing process. Pans of our experience become repressed because there is an automatic reaction in us to avoid pain. Therefore painful experience may never be fully felt or understood at the time. Reliving them allows us to review and integrate vital information about ourselves. Frequently all the analysis in the world cannot relieve a neurotic pattern until the repressed emotion holding it in place is released and understood.
The strength with which we hold out against allowing our being to abreact spontaneously is seen in the above example. Mr KT is brought to the brink of reliving his very stressful childhood again and again. Yet he manages to avoid actual memory and, in particular, the experiencing of any childhood emotions and fears.
The opposite is shown in this account by Clive, who explored with me a dream about being shot in the arm in his father s shop. ‘For several hours I could find nothing about the dream. My mind simply wandered. But with help I persisted. Suddenly I seemed to break through, first to seeing how the shop was a place in which I have unconsciously experienced great emotional pain. My father was always criticising. Never a word of encouragement. Then I burst into powerful sobbing as I felt the pain of wanting my father to love me, instead of cnticising all the time, and help me grow into somebody capable of meeting life. And then, something I just had not wanted to see, the 30 years of my life I had wasted by avoiding any contact with authority. My father was the original authority in my life. I had cut off from him because of the lack of support, and I had done the same with school and other authority situations. But what a relief to understand myself, and to meet that young vulnerable boy I used to be. How I loved him and understood him/myself.’ abroad General: your feelings about that country.
If you have lived in that country: overall experience of that place. Were you happy there, lonely? What characteristics of the people did you take in?... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A psychiatrist once told me that many men in a tramp s home were diagnosed CWB; it meant ‘congenitally without backbone’. Example. ‘I was looking across a hedge at a bull. I seemed to be just looking at its back’ (Andy). Andy was a teenager, uncertain of himself. In this dream he was looking at his strength.
Someone on one’s back: feeling dominated by someone else; carrying one’s parents’ wants and decisions instead of one’s own. Idioms: backbreaking; back to the wall, behind one’s back; get off my back; put somebody’s back up; rod for one’s back, pat on the back; stab in the back; turn one’s back on; scratch my back. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The strange thing is I haven’t a clue who this person is. Various people visit my home and I am terrified the body will be discovered. In one of these recurring dreams the police actually investigate the disappearance of “the person’’ and go into the cellar. When I wake from these dreams I always have the most terrible guilty feeling’ (Mrs P L). Usually the things we have hidden from awareness in our unconscious.
The example shows how Mrs L has killed or repressed a pan of herself. We might kill’ ambition, love, sexual drive, and push them into our unconscious. But the basement or cellar is also the entrance to general memones, our biological unconscious’ functions, archetypal patterns of behaviour, subliminal or psychic impressions, the collective unconscious. Frequently the place we keep memories of traumatic events in our life. So a dark shape or intruder might emerge from downstairs*. Our dark deeds or guilty memories are also in the basement.
A snake in the cellar, cave: our psychobiological drive; the energy behind our growth and motivation which includes sex drive. This connects us with awareness of our evolution. Bad smell: emotions which could cause depression or illness. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The cell often depicts how we imprison ourself within our own anger, resentment or depressed feelings; or we may be trapped by childhood trauma. Something or somebody else caged: desire to restrain whatever is represented by the thing, person, that is caged. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The same number of dreams were collected from people similar in age and social background, but not suffering depression.
The dreams were given code numbers, mixed and given to an independent judge. He was asked to look for any evident themes of self punishment, such as ‘I was waiting for my friends all night but they never turned up’, ‘my fiance married somebody else’. Such self punishing themes were found to occur with greater frequency in the depressives’ dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For instance one may feel trapped by one’s own feelings of dependence upon family.
Example: ‘1 am trapped in a bricked room with no way out and I shout for somebody to help me. Then either a big bird or a creature with long arms tries to catch me, and I scream’ (Karen S). Karen had previously lost a baby, been divorced, had an unsatisfying relationship with a man. She feels trapped by the defences she has herself built ‘brick by brick’, but is frightened of the opportunity of change represented by the bird. What encloses or traps us in our dream gives a clue to what constrains us in waking.
Example: ‘As I go through a tunnel it either gets smaller so I can’t get through, or it goes on so far there is no end to it. I am trapped and terrified’ (Don M). This son of enclosed dream is typical of trauma relating to a difficult binh. In fact Don’s mother was in labour for four days, and never had another child because of the pain. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Particular games suggest different ‘stances’. Cards, chess: use of strategies and observation. Ball games, athletics: competitiveness, conflict within the dreamer—the two sides; sense of win or lose, success or failure, the game of love. Opponents): what you are meeting or in conflict with. This may be a pan of your nature, such as self awareness, sexuality, even your body. You might be in conflict with life itself or ‘God’. Gambling: taking risks with your life, health, family—whatever is indicated in dream. Idioms: beat somebody at their own game, deep game; dirty game; fair game; game of chance; game to the end; give the game away; know what someone’s game is; mug’s game; name of the game, on the game; waiting game; game is up. See also ball under shapes and symbols; doll; toy. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The idioms show the many ways this action can be used: don’t give me that, give and take; give as good as one gets; give away or give-away; give oneself away, give somebody away; don’t give a brass farthing; give place; give a piece of one’s mind, give them enough rope; give someone the evil or glad eye; give someone the elbow; give one’s notice. See gift. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The animal looked up at my face as I wanted to kiss it.
The lips had pink lipstick on. I kissed it. Its paw came up around my arm, I could see the black claws. We were rolling around on the floor, it felt very sexual’ (Pat A). Acceptance of what is being kissed—Pat accepts or allows her sexuality, depicted by the cat; sexual agreement; tenderness; movement towards unity. Idioms: kiss of life, kiss of death; kiss something/somebody goodbye. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
if we are right handed, the left represents the less dominant or expressed side of oneself, or the parts of our nature we try to hide or suppress.
If we write or knock in a nail using our right hand, we will hold the paper or nail with our left. So left leg or arm frequently has this sense of representing the supponive but less dominant functions in us. Our confidence may suppon our activity as a salesperson, so may be depicted as being on the left.
the dominant, confident, conscious, exterior or expressed side of self; lightness; correct social behaviour, moral.
Dreams can also use a play on what is right and left to illustrate a polarity or opposites. Our internal world of feelings, memories and values—the left; our external world of activity and environment—the right.
A secondary choice— left; the right’ choice at the time—right. Pans of self unconscious or shadowy—left; our conscious known self—right.
The immoral, selfish, wrong action—left; the moral, right action—right.
Example: ‘On my right are three monks, on my left sits a beautiful, shapely blonde. I am in the centre and I see a road, which leads to the right and a beautiful sunlit valley in the distance’ (from Dreams Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist). Here right and left represent not only choice between sexual pleasure and religious discipline, but also the polar opposites of spiritual and material. Although in the dream there is a movement to the right, to find equilibrium we often have to take a way between the opposites.
Idioms: two left feet; keep on the right side of somebody; in one’s right mind, in the right; mister right; set somebody right; right hand man; right in the head, stan on the right foot; give one’s right arm. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If name is altered: suggests a sense of change in the way we see ourself. Other people’s names: our feelings for that person; the quality we feel in regard to someone else with the same name, or wordplay or associations with the name.
A woman dreamt a friend asks her ‘Do you know where Chris is?*; she replied he was on the back seat. On waking she realises she is being asked ‘Where’s the crisis?’ Two weeks later she had a kidney infection—in the back seat. Names also suggest qualities, as in Peter, the rock; or one’s friend Pat may be pleasure loving, so we use the name or person to represent that quality. See wordplay, puns.
Place names: these can represent our feelings about the place, or be similar to personal names in their suggestion of something. Example: ‘On the other side of the road was a window with my wife’s ring and watch and other trinkets. I went to pick them up but a stranger put his hand over them. I then crossed the road to get a bus to Andover’ (Arthur P). Arthur’s dream wants to make sure he gets the message by saying hand-over and Andover.
Idioms: call someone names; clear someone’s name; have a bad name; not a thing to one’s name; in name alone; in the name of; make a name for oneself; name dropper, one’s middle name, name is mud; somebody who shall be nameless; or my name’s not . . .; worthy of the name; name in vain; lend one’s name to; name the day. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The idioms define some of these ‘games’. Idioms: come into play; foul play; make a play for, make play of; play a pan in; play along with, play at; play cat and mouse; play dead/possum; play down; played out; play fair; play false, play for time; play hard to get; play it cool; play no pan in it; play on words; play safe; play people off against each other, play something down, play the field; play up; play upon a weakness/fear; play up to someone; the state of play; play somebody at their own game; child’s play; play ball with; play it by ear, play fast and loose; play gooseberry, play havoc with, play merry hell; play into their hands; play one’s ace; play one’s cards right, play second fiddle; play the fool; play the game; play the white man; play to the gallery; play with fire; two can play at that game. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If thrown from saddle: out of control. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: My lover was standing behind me, and John, my husband, was standing in front of me. I was asking John to have sex with me and at the same time thinking, “Oh, hell, if he does he will think we have something going between us.” I felt no flow towards John but felt somehow I was trying to tell my lover that I was desirable’ (Sally A). Sally’s dream needs no interpretation. Such clear dreams show that Sally is ready to be directly aware of what she is doing in her relationships.
If the sex in the dream is deeply symbolised, it suggests the dreamer is less willing to be aware of their motivations or connected painful feelings. Even though Sally’s dream was clear, it was still dealing with an area of her sexuality she was not clearly conscious of.
If she had been aware, it is doubtful whether she would have dreamt it.
Example: ‘I was in a farmyard.
A small boy climbed all over the bull. It became terribly angry. It had been chained without attention too long. Now it tore away and sought the cows.
The gates were closed, but the bull smashed through the enclosing fence. I rushed to the fence and sat astride it, but on seeing that the bull smashed it like match wood, I looked around for some safe place.
The bull charged the first cow to mount it, but so terrible was its energy and emotion that it could not express as sex. It smashed the cow aside as it had done the fence. Then it rushed the next and tossed it over its head, charging and smashing the next. I climbed into somebody’s garden, trying to get out of the district’ (Arthur J). Although this dream depicts Arthur’s chained’ sexual drive using the bull, it is still fairly obvious.
If we consider the setting and plot of the dream, as suggested above, we see that Arthur is desperately trying to avoid responsibility for, or trying to escape, his own sexual drive—figuratively ‘sitting on the fence’.
Example: ‘My husband and I were walking down a road. We were going in the same direction together. I started to sing with a very happy feeling but then felt I should stop because he would say the happiness was because I had had sex. I sensed he knew what I was thinking as I walked along. He then quietly began to sing and the dream ended with me smiling to myself. We had sexual cut off for four weeks but had made love that afternoon’ (Joan W). In talking about this dream Joan said she felt it slightly embarrassing to admit that sex gave her feelings of happiness. She liked to believe she was perfectly happy without it.
It is probably out of the slight conflict between her conscious attitude and her feeling of well-being after sex that the dream was produced. See animals; adolescent; affair; devil, Christ, Shadow under archetypes; bag; banana; bed; example in bite; black person; breasts and penis under body; bud; candle; cane; castration; ceremony, ritual; clothes; compensatory theory; cuckoo; cup; dam; dance; third example in danger; defence mechanisms; dragon; drum; emotions, mood; ejaculation; second example under evil; founh example under husband in family; feelings; homosexuality; horns; hostility; example in door under house, buildings; hypnosis and dreams; insects; jungle; kiss, left, right; lift; second example under light; man; masturbation; mirror; murder; nest; oval; pole; prostitute; purse; rape; refrigerate; religion and dreams; first example under reptiles; sadism; sex while asleep; wordplay, puns. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The stage: a situation you are meeting or in the midst of, perhaps demanding you play a panicular role. Looking at stage: what is claiming one’s attention at present; looking within oneself; experimenting with or exploring an idea; role or situation. Idioms: set the stage for, stage fright; stage- manage; act a pan; act of God, act on; catch somebody in the act; get in on the act; get one’s act together, act one’s age; play the fool.
See cinema. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘I went to the top of the turret and saw all the men getting ready to defend the castle if attacked. They had arrows and a lot of men were standing on little ledges on the outside of the wall, with no protection and I knew they were very brave to face an attack as sooner or later they would have been hit’ (Anna R). Here the wall is obviously to do with defending the dreamer against attack. Such a wall might be made out of our aggressive feelings, with religious dogma which might defend us against fears and uncertainty, or from tightly controlled behaviour and emotions.
Walls of favourite house: might be our feelings of security in our marriage or family which give us defence against the ‘storms’ of life. Wall of prison, trap: fear, pain; ignorance, prejudice; anger, sense of being an outsider. Idioms: drive somebody up the wall, go to the wall; writing on the wall; back to the wall; head against a brick wall; fly on the wall. See wall under house; fence. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A “good” address means social advancement, a “bad” address social demotion.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
If you are in the center of the arena, it is necessary to be active, self-promoting, and bold.
If you see somebody else in the center, you are too passive.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
A person who is creating his / her own life.
The smart man or smart woman is not necessarily the wise man or wise woman! Here is the need to be productive and produce something of intellectual value. Everybody has something worthwhile to say. Communicate it and express yourself. Maybe you have to speak up more often, and more clearly? Do you want to give somebody a piece of your mind, openly and honestly?... Little Giant Encyclopedia
For our ancestors, the bear represented a real danger and threat. Those who wore a bearskin became attackers and experienced a tremendous increase in energy and vitality.
Can also be a person who is a little stupid but good- natured.
The symbol often indicates disappointment or that one is about to disappoint somebody. Often a symbol of the neglected inner animal (extinction).
According to Jung, symbol of the negative side of masculine strength.
In Nordic mythology the bear usually symbolizes female attributes. Also, the followers of Artemis called themselves arktoi (bears). Since ancient times, the bear has been depicted as a motherly, earthbound animal that represents the female drive.
ASTROLOGY: The bear corresponds to Taurus.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
The birthday is a magical time when wishes are fulfilled, but where somebody could also cast a spell over you (“Sleeping Beauty”). Important are the gifts, the kind of celebration, and how old you became. Gifts usually represent characteristics of the dreamer or the person whom the dreamer is meeting and are an indication of how rich your life is because of them. In addition, a birthday is a celebration of your personal existence and your individual characteristics are the gifts. They are worthy of being honored. Pay attention to the overall flavor of the birthday party. How did you feel?... Little Giant Encyclopedia
The desire to establish an intimate relationship with somebody. You feel you are eaten up by something, usually a relationship. See Incest.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Are you driving yourself or is somebody else driving you? What kind of an auto is it? For example, a sports car relates to virility, a utility vehicle to control. What color is the car? Are you fixing it up or Driving it?
According to Freud, in psychoanalysis a car is often the symbol for treatment. As Freud sees it, a slow car is making an ironic statement about the slowness of the analytical process.
According to Jung, it is a symbol for moving away. See Wagon.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
A dream about carnival points either to the need to stop pretense, to take off your mask (the persona, and show the true Self). Or it could be a message to be more outgoing and have more fun.
The image of the carnival often appears when you feel rigid and cut off from life. Particularly, when, in the dream, you are rejecting the carnival, you are denying your own wild and carefree side. Furthermore, carnival is also always connected to the Fool, a symbol that combines the absurd and the wise, and represents freedom. On the other hand, the fool is also somebody who, in a conventional sense, is unable to organize his everyday activities.
Folklore: Advancement.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Folklore: A good omen for family, not so good for business.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Folklore: Good sign.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
It is also possible that somebody is hiding something from you. Or are you hiding something?
Folklore: The devil hides in the corners. Today we might think of the devil as representing unknown danger or unknown chances.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Basically, there are eight different levels of this symbol:
1. An indication that a necessary end has come to a certain phase.
It is a transition to something new.
2. The desire to shed something (attitudes, behavior, situation, etc.).
3. A suggestion to come to terms with death and the fear of death, meaning a search for fulfillment and productivity.
4. A limit has been reached and there is an inability to know how to go beyond that limit.
5. A suggestion to take better care of one’s health.
6. Something is dying inside.
7. A close connection with somebody deceased.
8. A desire for peace, solitude, and harmony (“the death of fear”).
According to Jung, dreaming about death means letting go of something that has died; it is a symbol of transformation and a new beginning.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
If you are the one who is being executed, this symbol indicates strong negative emotions, self-doubts, and guilt feelings.
If somebody else is being executed, it symbolizes the Other—usually characteristics or behavior that you must urgently discard. See also Death.
Psychological and mental re-orientation. Changes need to be made.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
To reach for something way down deep (Water). Quiet and contemplation.
Folklore: Disappointment or reaching for success.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
A symbol for heaven.
The kind of music that is being played is important. Are you playing the harp yourself or is somebody else? Are you harping on something? Or is someone else?... Little Giant Encyclopedia