A dreamer dreamed about finding her dog, Sebastian, dying of thirst. (In “real life” Sebastian died long ago.) Her efforts to bring him water were unsuccessful. She awoke from her dream crying.
We needed to help the dreamer divorce herself from the literal urgency of the dream’s plot; this was not a dream about a dangerously dehydrated puppy. Also, the dreamer would be helped by understanding the role animals play in our lives—both in and out of dreams. You can scroll down to my last post to follow that discussion.
Now it was time to begin dissecting the dream in order to discover its metaphoric underpinnings. Metaphors represented the language that Sebastian was communicating in. What follows are the metaphoric associations the dreamer made when given the “Tell me about it” prompt in regard to her dream’s symbols:
Tell me about…
* Hiking: Moving along rough, challenging terrain.
* Desert outcropping: Hostile and lacking in life-sustaining resources.
* Boulders and stones: They are mostly obstacles, although they can be useful at times, too.
* Male friend: I don’t know the identity, but it was reassuring to have company and help if it is needed.
* A rise: It’s a place that is more work to get to, but once there, you have a more expanded view of the horizon.
* Sebastian: He was my dog, a companion for many years. He was unconditional in his loving, and he was totally faithful. He was fun-loving and caring. And I could tell that he also hurt when I hurt.
* Dogs: They are the guardians of our physical space. In addition to providing companionship, their job is to protect. They have a strong sense of the perimeter of the physical plant, and they watch out for intruders.
* All black: Dark, lifeless, a bit foreboding.
* Telepathic communication: It’s a higher form of making your wishes known. You don’t have to rely on words or speech.
* Thirsty: In need of one of the primary life sustaining elements.
* Water bowl: A vessel that holds indispensable nourishment.
* Our house: Really, it’s an old house because I haven’t lived there in years. But a house is where you live, where you keep all your stuff. It’s your home base.
* Carry him like when he was dying: Reliving a memory of pain and loss. I’m cradling him with my love. But I feel unable to help him. I’m so sad.
* Katherine: She was my childhood friend. She was unselfish, almost naively trusting, and she was caring of others.
* Sleazy club: It’s unsavory and unpleasant. There is an element of people there who are uncomfortable to be around. Maybe a bit threatening.
In working with the symbol “Sebastian,” the dreamer’s first reply was, “He was my dog.” While that was a totally appropriate response, it also brought up an implied symbol. While telling her dream the dreamer didn’t use the word “dog.” But clearly, that was part of the implied vocabulary. So I asked the dreamer to “Tell me about dogs.”
More on Friday…
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