Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kim Kardashian's Mushroom:Dreaming of Celebrity Fungi

photo by dendroica cerulea

Well, it's official. Now that the Kardashian's have conquered the "real world" they are moving into our Collective Unconscious! Here is a dream I had that contained some very random images.

I was in a forest and in a clearing there was a table set up with crafts to do. My daughter was with me and so was Kim Kardashian. We were making huge (people sized) mushrooms out of black felt cloth. When the craft was finished you could throw the mushroom up in the air and it would billow out as it fell like a jellyfish parachute. Kim Kardashian turned to me and said, "I just want people to leave me alone, you know? I'm so misunderstood."

So, what does it mean? Even though the dream contains lots of images worth investigating, I am going to focus on Kim Kardashian and the mushroom.

Kim Kardashian: Carl Jung believes that we often have archetypal images in our dreams. These consist of myths and legends that have been passed down through time and now have a place in our collective unconscious. In Greek and Roman times, a pantheon of gods and goddesses provided archetypal symbols representing greed, love, pride etc. Today we worship at the cult of celebrity so it isn't surprising that celebrities might figure in our dreams as symbols. If you google Kim Kardashian you will find that she is famous, not for any obvious talents besides her beauty, but for expertly marketing herself. She could definitely be a symbol representing the preoccupation of outer appearances.

Mushroom: Looking through various dream dictionaries online, it seems there are lots of interpretations for the mushroom image. It could symbolize relationship difficulties, unhealthy desires, foolishness in amassing wealth...does any of this remind you of Kim Kardashian? Other interpretations include the mushroom as a symbol of male fertility, a symbol of the human soul, knowledge or enlightenment, or a symbol of magic. My article Dreaming of Mushrooms talks more about the mushroom symbol.

At this point, I'm not exactly sure what the mushroom symbol meant in my dream so I'm going to look at other images presented.For example, the mushroom was made out of cloth which also has to do with appearances and the way people perceive us. In my dream I liked the billowing mushroom, I thought it was cool and it gave me a good feeling so I don't feel like it was a negative image. The image of parachuting symbolizes protection. The dream took place in a forest which is a place of testing or initiation.

So the images of Kim Kardashian and the cloth represent a preoccupation with how the outer self is represented to the world. I think because of the forest setting and the way I felt about the mushroom, I'm going to say it was an image of self-knowledge. The phrase that Kim said about wanting to be left alone and feeling misunderstood seems to represent my own feelings of insecurity about how I'm perceived in the world. So thank you Kim Kardashian for dropping by my dream! Maybe next time though, you could send David Beckham?:)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dreaming of a House

I love my dreams that feature a house. One reason is that a house is a symbol for your Self (ego and unconscious). Both the inside and the outside features represent the things you are dealing with. (The outside showing what you are projecting to the "outside" world and the interior reflecting on more unconscious issues). So, if the outside of your house is big and grand that's how you are, or feel you are, reflecting yourself to the outside world. If it's small and run down you are feeling insecure and bad about yourself.

In your dreams try to pay attention to what room you are in, its different features and how it makes you feel. For example a bathroom represents private matters and issues of cleanliness, whereas a kitchen may represent nurturing,health issues or family issues. If you want more specifics about what different rooms mean feel free to check out an article I wrote on the topic Dreaming of a House.

The second reason that I like house dreams so much is I love the houses that I dream about. They are so unique, detailed and quirky that they would make great movie sets. In one dream I was in a small, stone cottage. We (my family) were standing in the sitting room that had a huge stone fireplace. Suddenly, we realized that behind the fireplace was a small playroom that had been hidden all this time. It was set up like a preschool, with little tables and toys. My interpretation of that dream is that as a family, we should make the time for play together - something we probably hadn't been doing.

In another dream, we (my spouse and I) were in a older Shaughnessy type mansion that had obviously once been opulent, full of antiques, but had been let go, everything looked worn out, faded, cobwebbed. My grandma and grandpa lived there (not in real life) and they were letting us stay there. As we walked from room to room they told us that we could go anywhere except the basement. When we peaked down the stairs we saw that the basement was enormous and it was full of ghosts, darkness and other scary things so it made sense to us not to go down there. We were fine staying upstairs.
I interpreted this dream to be representative of our relationship, something that had once seemed rich had now become old and faded. A basement usually symbolizes the subconscious, things that have happened in our past or issues we want to repress. My dream was telling me (warning me) not to confront these things right now.

There are many more houses - the white, farmhouse with the front porch that frequently appears in my dreams and the very cool, mid century Erickson bungalow that sat on a mountain. I encourage you to try to remember the houses that feature in your dreams. What they reveal may give you a lot of insight into yourself and your current situations.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dreaming of Loosing Your Teeth

Dreaming about loosing your teeth is usually associated with an anxiety about aging or making a transition in your life. This makes sense because as we mature, our teeth change i.e. we lose our baby teeth as we become an adolescent and we get our wisdom teeth when we become adults. Up until recent times, the elderly would often have lost their teeth which may be why this image continues to serve as a symbol in our dreams representing a fear of aging.

Personally, I have always associated the image of teeth falling out as one of feeling guilty. Maybe this is because the first time I had this dream, I was eighteen and it was after a night of um, doing things that my christian university would not have approved of! But actually, maybe I was just aware of making the transition into adulthood, maybe it was a fear of growing up, being able to do "adult" things.

In his book 10,000 Dreams Interpreted, which has stood the test of time (it was written at the turn of the century), Gustavus Hindman Miller devotes two pages to the interpretation of teeth as a symbol in dreams. As common with most of his interpretations, there is an abundance of folksy superstition about what dreaming about this symbol means. Here is one of my favourites. As you will see, his explanations are quite detailed.

"To dream that you pull one of your teeth and lose it, and feel within your mouth with your tongue for the cavity, and failing to find any, have a doctor look for the same, but to no effect, leaving the whole affair enveloped in mystery, denotes that you are about to enter into some engagement which does not exactly please you, and which you decide to ignore, but will later take it up and secretly prosecute it to your own disquieting satisfaction and under the suspicion of friends."

Seriously, this specific dream would be so common that it should be included in his book???
Traditional Chinese dream interpretation is a little more straightforward:
1) Dreaming of brushing your teeth means you are in good health.
2) Dreaming of growing new teeth means that your children's future looks promising.
3) Dreaming of loosing a tooth means that your parents may be greeted by a misfortune.

Much less wordy than Gustavus, but I still don't really subscribe to the idea that dream symbols foretell future events. Rather, I think that the symbol is a reflection of where we are at in our lives. Our unconscious mind has conveniently summed up our situation for us in the form of an image. Very aesthetic of it! That's my view at least. So when you dream of losing your teeth, think of it as an image reflecting your anxiety of the transitions going on in your life rather than a sign that you, or your parents, will soon be greeted by misfortune.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Flying, Falling and Jumping Dreams

(photo by Gilberto Filho)

I lumped these three dream phenomena together because they produce a similar physiological response when you are dreaming.

Falling is that sensation you feel just as you are drifting off to sleep. You feel like you are falling and you jerk yourself awake. (I do that all the time and my spouse is like "Stop that!")But you can also have a dream where you see, or feel, yourself falling, maybe off a cliff or something. I have never had this dream but apparently it means there is a feeling of not having any control of the situation in your dreams and maybe waking life.

Flying dreams are the best. If you have ever had one, you know what I am talking about because it is an incredible sensation. I once had a dream that I was flying over a lake and forest (Lake Whatcom to be specific). It was like the ride "Soaring Over California" in Disneyland. Flying is very big in Lucid Dreaming. If you can make yourself intentionally fly in your dream, you have great mind control and can then travel to wherever you want (in your dreams). Flying in your dream means you can, or feel like you can, overcome anything.You feel successful and are craving freedom or thrills (could be of the sexual kind).In flying we become the archetypal super-hero, but as Jung suggests, we should heed the warning of the myth of Icarus, who thought to make himself godlike with his fragile wings,leading to his (literal) downfall.

I included the image of jumping because that is what I tend to do in my dreams rather than fall or fly. I once had a dream where I was at the top of my stairs looking down at this purple sleeping bag scuttling across the floor below me. I was scared but knew I needed to confront this thing. So I did a swan-dive off the top stair and fell through the purple bag. Instead of splattering on the floor though, as you would think I would, I went through the bag in layers (or the bag went through me?). It felt incredible. I think the sensation might be going through the layers or levels of consciousness. At that moment, in real life, the phone rang, I answered it but had a really hard time coming "back up". (Normally I am a very light sleeper).I don't think I've had that same sensation of "going through" in real life but it would be similar to going on one of those elevator drop rides at a fair.

Maybe the reason we like amusement park rides so much is because they stimulate this same response in our brain?