exploring the unconscious world of Dreams through Myth, Symbols & Metaphor
the psychology of dreams....a Jungian perspective

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Dream Theatres of the Soul:
Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dream Work
& Their Interpretation(s)
Dreams About The Self

Dream 1 - Dream 2 - Dream 3 - Dream 4 - Dream 5 - Dream 6
These are personal dreams and interpretations from Jean's book Dream Theatres of the Soul

Dreams & Their Interpretation(s)
Dreams About The Self

Life and Love in the Midst of Death

The Dream
A man and a woman are sitting in a round, spinning, wheel -like contraption, like a ride at a fair with seats all the way around facing the center. It is light within the spinning wheel, but there is darkness all around it. Sean Connery and I are watching from a distance, as if standing somewhere in outer space. The woman has long, thick, redis-brown hair. She throws her head back and laughs. She is having a wonderful. Sean Connery says that the man is courting her but she should be careful. The dead are buried outside of the spinning-wheel, their skulls stacked in neat, veritacl rows right next to it. The wheel spins out of sight where I can no longer see it, but I can hear the head of the red-haired woman bumping against the skulls from time to time. It is not hurting her; it is just an innoyance.


Wheel: The Self; a mandala, or sacred circle connoting unity and infinity. In early Christianity (another mythological reference of importance), the wheel represented God and eternity.

Spinning Wheel: The Self, suggesting movement, becoming and passing away (becoming whole in with the passing away of the ego-centric conrolling aspect). In the Ravaged Bridegroom , Jungian analyst Marion Woodman says that a spinning wheel represents the fulfillment of destiny.

Sean Connery: An actor who represents the positive animus.

Woman: A positive shadow who loves and enjoys life.

Skulls: Transience, or passing quickly into and out of existence. The skull has been long considered the container of the spirit.

Personal Meaning

All six of the meanings associated with the Self - i.e., pattern, wholeness, union, love, centrality, and the life-giving force - appeared in the dream. Pattern was suggested by the pattern of seats inside the wheel and the orderly stacks of skulls around the outside. Wholeness and union were suggested by the number four (four people in the dream: two men and two women) and by the circle; love, by the man and the woman in the circle who were engaged in love play. Centrality was suggested by the seats facing the center, and the life-giving force was implied in the continuous movement of the wheel and the presence of the skulls.

What did this dream that was so infused with sacred symbolism mean for me? The wheel (Self) contained many seats. The fact that it was spinning suggested becoming and passing away, or Birth/Death/Rebirth, the cycle of human life. As such, perhaps the spinning wheel represented my soul, which was moving toward my unique destiny. Within this container were aspects of my personality: a joyful, fun-loving woman and an animus figure (see anima/animus under Jungian termnology on main page). As the wheel spun through space, these inner characters were engaged in delightful love play. My dream ego and my positive animus (Sean Connery) were outside, observing my soul and contemplating it from a distance, from an objective perspective. Although the woman did not seem to notice or care, we could see she was bumping her head against skulls. There was no suggestion of imminent death here, just an admonition to be aware of the spiritual world (skulls).

I think the Self (the collective unconscious) was giving me an important message: "Be mindful. Life is transitory. As you spin toward your destiny, enjoy your life fully, but do not be distracted from the life of the spirit that surrounds your soul." I continue to work on applying this message in my everyday life.

Cultural Meaning

Mindfulness is the quality of being conscious, aware, alert, and heedful of all that is around and within us at the same time. It is giving our full attention to each person or event that comes our way in the present moment instead of wishing to be somewhere else doing something different. It is the ability to fully in our bodies and in the moment, yet able to observe ourselves from afar.

Mindfulness is knowing that death is right behind us, yet being able to appreciate that we are vitally alive. It is wanting to spend our earth time in full enjoyment of our bodies and this precious gift of life, instead of allowing our lives to be squandered on soul-sapping fear of the unknown, regret about the past, or anxiety about the future.

Mindfulness is seeing our fear and knowing that we have choices. It is recognizing our pain and choosing to do something about it. It is responding to situations with our authentic self so as to alleviate the pain, instead of unconsciously reacting with our false, conditioned self, which only causes our suffering to continue.

Mindfulness is being alert to the little miracles and messages from the Self (collective unconscious) that are constantly occurring inside and outside us. It is recognizing the voice of the Self in the ladybug that crawls across our morning newspaper and reminds us of last night's dream, the spilled coffee that causes us to question our rushing, and the lost luggage that tempers our perfectionistic tendencies and enables us to make do with a pared-down persona. Mindfulness is the mark of a maturing, more fuly empowered soul, a holy container suspended between the physical and spiritual worlds that willingly receives the Self (accepting the shadow, the rejected parts within the unconscious), allowing it to permeate our actions and bless our lives with scared meaning.

This dream is from Jean Benedict Raffa's book 'Dream Theatres of the Soul'.
About Jean Benedict Raffa <GO>

Dream 1 - Dream 2 - Dream 3 - Dream 4 - Dream 6


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