The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends. Dreams are the facts from which we must proceed.Carl Jung, The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man
Dreams are wild things and don’t always lend themselves to easy interpretation. I’ve embarked on a journey to explore the mythic imagination. I’m excited to see what treasures I might find and what new magic I can learn.
Dreams offer a passageway to the mythic imagination. The challenge is remembering our dreams. They are often fleeting. The demands of the waking world quickly fill our minds with the day’s mundane but necessary thoughts. Practical stuff has no room for dreams. The dream world swiftly retreats back into the subconscious mind. There are times when we are aware that we have had a dream, but the details are vague, if they are there at all.
Enter the dream journal
A dream journal is a journal where you write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Keeping a dream journal can help you better understand yourself and your emotions by considering the meaning of your dreams. They offer clues as to what is going on with your inner life and personal growth. They are also a way to create new ideas and solve problems in our lives—and sometimes help us make decisions about things we would otherwise be too afraid or stressed out to decide on our own.
I keep a dream journal from time to time. I seem to do this when I’m actively working on my mental or spiritual growth. The metaphors and symbols that appear in our dreams are potent guides.
Here is an example from one of my dream journal entries:
In this dream, I was walking down the high street in Southam on my way back to see someone. I was walking and thinking about starting another podcast. I didn’t want to start a “live” show because people don’t listen live, they prefer podcasts. I was thinking maybe I could start a Marc Maron style podcast. In the middle of my thoughts while walking, I noticed there were a lot of slugs on the pavement. Big brown slugs. I took a closer look and realised that they were actually slugs morphing into snakes. I thought I was imaging the slug/snakes were following me. It wasn’t until one of the slugs became a full on snake that I realised they were actually after me. This one snake in particular drew a bead on me and started coming directly for me. I walked faster, but it was gaining on me. I had a sudden flash of inspiration. If I walked onto the busy main road and the snake followed me, it would get turnover by a car. Just as I stepped backwards off of the curb, the snake struck. I jumped awake.Date of entry: Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Considering the timeframe, it’s easy to see that this would have been my subconscious processing covid and the pandemic.
As a confirmation, here’s what the dream dictionary has to say about dreams that involve snakes:
Snakes commonly symbolize fear or transformation. Dreaming of a snake is a sign that you are afraid of something in your waking life, or it could be a forewarning of changes to come… or
A snake in your dream may represent something in your life that is unpredictable and out of your control. You are afraid of the unknown. Snake refers to hidden threats: Because snakes are sometimes hard to see and are slithering in bushes, they are also symbolic of a hidden threat and/or a betrayal.
I think this is a fairly easy dream to interpret. I have other more complex dreams in my journal, but I’ll refrain from sharing those just now. But I will let you know how my dream journaling goes over the course of the next several weeks.
Do you keep a dream journal?0