image courtsey of DogLoverStore.com
I’ve begun examining a strange dream in two parts. The first part is about globs of menacing stuff falling from the sky. The second part is about the head of a cocker spaniel that, according to a dream veterinarian, needs to eat more salmon.
Converting the symbols into metaphors
I find that trying to describe this part of the dream interpretation process is difficult. That is because it really needs more space and attention than is typically available in a short blog. But let me try.
The language of dreams is the language of metaphor. We use metaphors constantly in our daily language: “Don’t be chicken.” “My boss was boiling over at the mistake.” “She was floating on air.”
None of these statements is intended literally; they are all visual images that help describe an abstract quality: cowardice, anger and ecstasy.
The problem with dreams is that, unlike the above examples that nearly everyone recognizes, dreams often make up their own metaphors. The exception below would be the fifth one down: “falling from the sky.” That’s a common metaphor which the dreamer picks up right away.
But for the rest of the dream images, the dreamer needs to try and decipher the metaphoric meaning that her own dream presents. She needs to make an association, often the first thing that comes to mind. Take a look at the first symbol: outside. Her comments describe the feeling that the word “outside” evokes in her. The word actually conjures up multiple and contradictory feelings for her: unencumbered, but also unprotected.
My job is to try and help her come up with these kinds of associations. While the phrase doesn’t work with every dreamer, I usually start with the neutral prompt “Tell me about it.”
Tell me about…
* Outside: Not in an enclosure. Unencumbered, but also unprotected.
* Night sky: Dark, with limited visibility.
* Not alone: A sense of unity with so many others.
* Strange and frightening substance: No one knows if it is toxic or how it will affect us. Will it make us sick? Will it kill us?
* Falling from the sky: Like Henny-Penny. It’s out of control and ominous.
* Foot long, elongated and oily: Disgusting and menacing.
* Ominous and threatening: Scary.
* Veterinarian’s office: A place where sick pets get better.
* Cocker spaniel: He left me a long time ago. But while he was here, he was my joy. He was so busy, so loving, so enthusiastic. He was always running around acting as my protector, mostly against harmless creatures—like squirrels and cats—but he took his job seriously.
* Not the whole dog, just the head: He can’t run around any more, he can only make noise and express himself.
* Don’t know where the body is: The part that provides mobility is missing.
* The vet: The doctor who is trained to understand these kinds of things.
* Eat: Consume for nourishment and energy.
* Salmon: It’s a really healthy food—one of the best with tons of nutrition and essential oils.
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