If dreamer driving: being independent; self confidence; being responsible for one’s own life direction. With one other person: relationship with that person. Alone in vehicle: independence; making decisions alone; feeling alone. Crashing vehicle: self-desired failure, perhaps to avoid stress of responsibility and change; fear of failure; failure in relationship; argument—you may be on collision course with boss or panner, occasionally psychological breakdown threatened. Another driver: being passive; being influenced by the opinions or emotions of someone else, or one’s own secondary characteristics, i.e. anxiety or emotional pain may lead us to make many decisions and so may be the dnving force in our life, rather than what might be more satisfying. Driving carelessly: lack of responsibility, socially or sexually, need for more awareness. Reversing: sense of not getting anywhere; feeling that one is slipping backward; reversing a decision; change of direction. Overtaking: getting ahead. Overtaken: feeling of being left behind or not competing. Car body: dreamer’s body. Car torn apart, dismantled: stress; failure to care for one’s body; self destructive attitudes. Fuel: feeling drives, motivation; whatever has ‘fuelled one’s drive’. Old car, scrapped car: sense of old age, feelings about death. Car engine: energy; heart; central drive. Running over someone: killing’ some part of self through misplaced drive or ambition; aggression. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The example shows the general meaning of dancing, feeling at one with someone or aspects of yourself. It shows unity, as seen in the cells working as a harmonious whole. It can also mean happiness; sexual mating dance; getting closer or more intimate.
If the dance is awkward: lack of harmony connected with what is depicted. Animals dancing: harmony with unconscious drives and sexuality. Skeletons or dark ‘things’ dancing: developing a relationship with what we fear—meeting it; dancing with death. In life we always dance with death, meaning we have an intimate relationship with it, but might not be ready to recognise who our panner is. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A dead body, death of someone we know: very often, as in the example, the death of some aspect of our outer or inner life. Our drive to achieve something might die, and be shown as a death in our dreams. Lost opportunities or unexpressed potentials in ourselves are frequently shown as dead bodies. All of us unconsciously leam attitudes or survival skills from parents and others. Often these are unrecognised and may be shown as dead.
Example: ‘During my teens I was engaged to be married, when I found a more attractive panner and was in considerable conflict. Consistently I dreamt I was at my fiance’s funeral until it dawned on me the dream was telling me I wanted to be free of him. When I gave him up the dreams ceased1 (Mrs D).
If the death is of someone we know: frequently, as in the example, desire to be free of the person, or unexpressed aggression; perhaps one’s love for that person has ‘died’. We often ‘kill’ our partners in dreams as we move towards independence. Or we may want someone ‘out of the way so we do not have to compete for attention and love.
Death of oneself: exploration of feelings about death; retreat from the challenge of life; split between mind and body.
The experience of leaving the body is frequently an expression of this schism between the ego and life processes. Also death of old patterns of living—one’s ‘old self.
The walking dead, rigor mortis: aspects of the dreamer which are denied, perhaps through fear. Dancing with, meeting death or dark figure: facing up to death.
Example: ‘I dream I have a weak heart which will be fatal.
It is the practice of doctors in such cases to administer a tablet causing one painlessly to go to sleep—die. I am completely calm and accepting of my fate. I suddenly realise I must leave notes for my parents and children. I must let them know how much I love them, must do this quickly before my time runs out’ (Mrs M). This is a frequent type of ‘death* dream.
It is a way of reminding ourselves to do now what we want to, especially regarding love. Although the unconscious has a very real sense of its eternal nature and continuance after physical death, the ego seldom shares this. We have an unconscious realisation that collective humanity carries the living experience from the life of the dead.
The farmer roday unconsciously uses the collective experience of humanity in farming. What innovation he does today his children or others will learn and carry into the future. Idioms: dead and buried, dead from the neck up/down; dead to the world, play dead. See death and rebirth under archetypes. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If our mother is unable to develop a feeling contact with us, we may lack the confidence to meet our emotions.
Our maturation as a man or woman calls us in some way to meet and integrate our childhood desire, which includes sexual desire for our parent of the opposite sex, and rivalry with, mingled with dependence on, the parent of the same sex. Even a missing parent, the mother or father who died or left, is a potent figure internally.
An absence of a father’s or mother’s love or presence can be as traumatic as any powerfully injuring event. Our parents in our dreams are the image (full of power and feeling) of the formative forces and experiences of our identity. They are the ground, the soil, the bloody carnage, out of which our sense of self emerged. But our identity cannot gain any real independence while still dominated by these internal forces of our creation. Heraclitus said we cannot swim in the same river twice; attempting to repeat or compete with the vinues of a parent is a misapprehension of the true nature of our own personality. Sec individuation.
Family group: The whole background of experience which makes up our values and views. This background is made up of thousands of different obvious and subtle things such as social status; amount of books in the home; how parents feel about themselves; how they relate to life outside the family; whether dominant roles are encouraged; what nationality parents are; what unconscious social attitudes surround the family (i.e. the master and servant, or dominating employer and subservient employee, roles which typified England at the turn of the century still colour many attitudes in the UK). Simply put, it is our internal ‘family’ of urges and values; the overall feeling tone of our family life—security, domination, whatever it was, the unconscious coping patterns of the family.
Parents together in dream: our general wisdom, background of information and experience from which we make important decisions or gain intuitive insights. Parents also depict the rules and often irrational disciplinary codes we learnt as a child which still speak to us from within, and perhaps pass on to our own children without reassessment. These include everything from ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full’ to the unspoken Masturbation is unholy/
Dead parent in dream: the beginning of independence from parent; repression of the emotions they engendered in us, our emotions regarding our parent’s death; feelings about death. See dead people dreams.
Example: ‘My father was giving me and another woman some medicine. Something was being forced on us. I started to hit and punch him in the genitals and, when he was facing the other way, in the backside. I seemed to be just the right height to do this and I had a very angry feeling that I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me’ (Audrey V). Hurting, burying , killing parent: in the example Audrey’s height shows her as a child. She is releasing anger about the attitudes and situations her father forced down her throat’.
To be free of the introverted restraints and ready made values gathered from our parents, at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them. Although some people arc shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. Old myths of killing the chief so the tribe can have a new leader depict this process. When father or mother are dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship. Seeing parent drunk, incapable, foolish: another means of gaining independence from internalised values or stultifying drives to ‘honour’ or admire father or mother.
Generally positive: authority; ability in the external world; family or social conventions, how we relate to the ‘doer’ in us; physical strength and protectiveness; the will to be. Generally negative: introvened aggression; dominance by fear of other people’s authority, uncaring sexual drive; feelings of not being loved. See father under archetypes; man.
Generally positive: feelings; ability in relationships; uniting spirit of family; how we relate to feelings in a relationship; strength to give of self and nunure; intuition. Generally negative: will based on irrational likes and dislikes; opinion generated by anxiety or jealousy; domination by emotions; lack of bonding. See Great Mother under archetypes; woman.
siblings and children
Whether brother, sister, daughter or son (see below in this entry), the most general use in our dreams is to depict an aspect of ourself. However it is almost universal to believe with great conviction that our dream is about the person in our dream.
A mother seeing a son die in her dream often goes through great anxiety because there lurks in her a sense of it being a precognitive dream. Vinually everyone at some time dreams about members of their close family dying or being killed—lots of mothers dream this, and their children live till 80. But occasionally children do die. Is the dream then precognitive, or is it coincidental?
Example: ‘I was walking along a rather dusty track carrying my younger son who would be around 10 months old and I was feeling rather tired. Suddenly I met a man who stopped to talk to me and commented I looked rather weary carrying the baby. He said, come with me and look over this wall and you will see such a sight that will gladden your hean. By standing on tiptoe I could just see over the wall and the sight I beheld took my breath away, it was so beautiful’ (Johan E). Here Johan’s son depicts the weight of responsibility she feels.
The beauty is her own resources of strength in motherhood.
Example: ‘I have just given binh to twins and they lay on the floor. We started to care for them. My mother took them to the doctor for his advice while I went to see my married sister who has two children. I met them there with the twins so that my sister could give her opinion on the babies. She had recent experience of childbirth and could tell us if the babies were good specimens’ (Miss E). Miss E has no children of her own, so she is uncertain of her own capacity to have and raise them.
The mother depicts her own mothering abilities, which seek confidence from an authority figure. Her sister is her own nearest experience of childbirth. So out of what she has leamt from observing her sister, she is assessing her own qualities.
Most often the family member depicts the qualities in ourself which we feel are part of the character of the person dreamt of. So the passionate one in the family would depict our passions; the intellectual one our own mind, the anxious one our hesitations. Use the questions in dream processing to define this. Having done this, can you observe what the dream depicts? For Miss E it would be questions regarding motherhood.
Example: ‘My daughter told me the only positive part of my work in a helping profession was with a woman who had turned from it to religion. There followed a long and powerful interchange in which I said she had as yet no mind of her own. She was dominated by her mother’s anxiety, and the medical rationalism of her training. When she had dared to step beyond her own anxieties to integrate the lessons of her own life, then I would listen again’ (Desmond S). Desmond was divorced and struggling with his own pain and guilt about leaving his daughter while still a teenager. His daughter depicts this conflict between his feelings and his rational self.
Oneself, or the denied pan of self, meeting whatever is met in the dream; feelings of kinship; sense of rivalry, feelings about a brother. Woman’s dream, younger brother: outgoing but vulnerable self; rivalry. Woman’s dream, older brother, authority, one’s capable outgoing self. Man’s dream, younger brother: vulnerable feelings; oneself at that age. Man’s dream, older brother: experience; authority, feelings of persecution. See boy; man. Idioms: big brother, brothers in arms; blood brother.
Feeling self, or the lesser expressed pan of self; rival; feelings about a sister. Man s dream, younger sister: vulnerable emotions; rival for love of parents. Man’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self; feelings of persecution. Woman’s dream , younger sister: one’s experiences at that age; vulnerable feelings, rival for parents’ love. Woman’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self. See girl; woman. Idioms: sisters under the skin.
One’s relationship with the daughter, the daughter, or son, can represent what happens in a marnage between husband and wife.
The child is what has arisen from the bonding, however momentary, of two people. In dreams the child therefore is sometimes used to depict how the relationship is faring. So a sick daughter might show the feelings in the relationship being ‘ill’.
In a mother’s dream: often feelings of suppon or companionship; feelings of not being alone in the area of emotional bonds; or one’s feeling area; responsibility; the ties of parenthood; oneself at that age; one’s own urges, difficulties, hurts, which may still be operative. Also a comparison; the mother might see the daughter’s youth, opportunity, and have feelings about that. So the daughter may represent her sense of lost opportunity and youth—even envy, competition in getting the desire of a man.
In a father’s dream: one’s feeling self, the feelings or difficulties about the relationship with daughter; the struggles one’s own feeling self goes through to mature, how the sexual feelings are dealt with in a family—occurs especially when she starts courting; sister, parental responsibility; one’s wife when younger. Someone else’s daughter: feelings about one’s own daughter, feelings about younger women.
Example: 1 am standing outside a supermarket with heavy bags wearing my mac, though the sun is warm. My daughter and two friends are playing music and everyone stops to listen. I start to wnte a song for them, but they pack up and go on a bus whilst I am still writing. I am left alone at the bus stop with my heavy burden of shopping, feeling incredibly unwanted’ (Mrs F). Such dreams of the daughter becoming independent can occur as soon as the child starts school, persisting until the mother finds a new attitude. See child; woman.
Extroverted self; desires connected with self expression; feelings connected with son; parental responsibility. Mother’s dream: one’s ambitions; potential, hopes; your marriage—see example.
Example: ‘My wife and I were walking out in the countryside. I looked around suddenly and saw my four-year-old son near a hole. He fell in and I raced back.
The hole was narrow but very deep. I could see water at the bottom but no sign of my son. I didn’t know whether I could leap down and save him or whether it was too narrow. Then somehow he was out. His heart was just beating’ (Richard H). Richard had argued with his wife in such a way he feared the stability of their marriage.
The son represents what they had created together —a child, a marriage.
The marriage survived, as his dream self-assessed it would. Death of son: a mother often kills off her son in her dreams as she sees him make moves towards independence. This can happen from the first day of school on. Example: T am on a very high bridge over an extremely wide and deep river with steep banks. My son does a double somersault over the railing, falls into the water. I think he is showing off. I am unable to save him. My son is 18 and has staned a structural engineering course at university’ (Joyce H).
The showing-off suggests Joyce feels her son is doing daring things with his life, and the relationship in its old form dies.
Father’s dream: yourself at that age; what qualities you see in your son; your own possibilities, envy of youth and opportunities; nvalry. Someone else’s son: feelings about one’s own son; feelings about younger men. Dead son: see dead people dreams. Sec boy. See also man; first example in falling.
Depicts how you see the relationship with your wife; your relationship with your sexuality; sexual and emotional desire and pleasure; how you relate to intimacy in body, mind and spirit; your feeling, intuitive nature; habits of relationship developed with one’s mother. Example: ‘My wife was trying to get me out of her life, and out of the house. It was as if she were attempting to push me into a feeling of tension and rejection which would make me leave’ (David P). Out of childhood experience, in which his mother repeatedly threatened to give him away, David was finding it difficult to commit himself emotionally to his wife. In the dream his wife represents these feelings, so he sees her—his anxiety and pain —pushing him to break up the marriage.
Example: I was standing with my wife at the end of the garden of the house I lived in as a child. We were looking over the fence to the rising meadow beyond. She said, “Look at that bird in the tree there.” On our right, in a small ash tree, an enormous owl perched. It was at least 4 feet high, the biggest bird I have ever seen. I recognised it in the dream as a greater hooded owl, which was not native to our country. I was so excited I ran into the house to telephone someone— zoo, police, newspapers?—to tell them about the bird. I cannot remember contacting anyone, but felt the bird was there in some way to meet me. Also it was hungry and looking at next door’s bantams. So I wondered what I could give it to eat’ (David P). This shows the positive side of David’s relationship with his wife.
The garden is the boundanes which arose from his childhood. But he is growing—the garden— and looking beyond them in connection with his marnage.
The amazing bird is the deep feelings he touches because he has a mate, like any other natural creature. Out of his mating he becomes aware of drives to build a home—nest—and give himself to his mate. These are natural and are a pan of his unconscious or spiritual nature.
The bird is a hooded owl which can see in the dark—the unconscious—because David is realising things he had never seen’ before.
The bird is masked, meaning putting the ego aside, which is a necessity for touching the wider dimension of life or the unconscious.
The hunger of the bird shows an intimate detail of what David has learnt from his wife. She had been working as a waitress and bringing home pieces of chicken for him, saved from her own meal.
The spiritual side of David wants to develop this quality of selfgiving, which his wife’s love had helped him see.
Example: ‘1 have been a widower since January 1979, having married in October 1941. I continually dream I am in London where my business was. I am walking the streets with my wife and suddenly I see her ahead of me in a yellow raincoat and hat. I call her and try to catch up, but suddenly she vanishes. In spite of calling and searching I cannot find her’ (Douglas G). This is a common theme dreamt by widowers or widows, disappearance of spouse. Douglas has ‘lost’ his wife. His dream shows the paradox of love after death of panner. His love is still there, years after her death. He is possibly still trying to love his wife as an externally real person. so his feelings can make no connection.
To meet what actually remains of his wife, within himself, he would need to face his own internal grieving, emotions, and all the feelings, memories, angers and beauty which make up the living remains of his wife within him. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘My recurring dream—some disaster is happening. I try to contact the police or my husband. Can never contact either. I try ringing 999 again and again and can feel terror, and sometimes dreadful anger or complete panic. I cry, I scream and shout and never get through! Recently I have stopped trying to contact my husband. I managed once to reach him but he said he was too busy and I would have to deal with it myself. I woke in a furious temper with him and kicked him while he was still asleep’ (Mrs GS).
The husband here depicts Mrs S’s feelings of not being able to get through’ to her man. This is a common female dream theme, possibly arising from the husband not daring to express emotion or meet his panner with his own feelings.
For Mrs S this is an emergency. Although the dream dramatises it, there is still real frustration, anger, and a break in marital communications.
Example: There were three of us. My husband, a male friend and 1, all nding small white enamel bikes. My husband proceeded slowly, first, with his back to us. Then my friend followed. Suddenly my friend ahead of me turned and gazed fully at me. He gave a glonous smile which lit up the whole of his face. I felt a great sense of well-being surge through me’ (Joan B).
The triangle: the example shows typical flow of feeling towards another male.
The other male here depicts
Joan’s desire to be attractive to other men. This is a danger signal unless one fully acknowledges ihe impulse.
Example: ‘I was with my husband and our three children. About 2 or 3 yards to our right stood my husband’s first wife —she died about a year before I first met him. I remember feeling she no longer minded me being with him, so I put my arms around him from the back, and felt more secure and comfortable with him’ (Mrs NS).
The first wife: the dreamer is now feeling easier about her husband’s first relationship.
The first wife represents her sense of competing for her husband’s affections, even though his ‘first woman’ was dead.
Example: ‘My dead husband came into my bedroom and got into bed with me to make love to me. I was not afraid. But owing to his sexual appetites during my married life with him I was horrified, and resisted him with all my might. On waking I felt weak and exhausted.
The last time he came to me I responded to him and he never came back again. This happened three times.
The last time I don’t think it was a dream. I was not asleep. I think it was his ghost’ (GL). Dead husband: in any experience of an apparently psychic nature, we must always remember the unconscious is a great dramatist. It can create the drama of a dream in moments. In doing so it makes our inner feelings into apparently real people and objects outside us. While asleep we lightly dismiss this amazing process as a dream’. When it happens while our eyes are open or we are near waking, for some reason we call it a ghost or psychic event. Yet the dream process is obviously capable of creating total body sensations, emotions, full visual impressions, vocalisation—what else is a dream? On the other hand, the dream process is not dealing in pointless imaginations. Many women tend to believe they have little sexual drive, so it is easier for GL to see her drive in the form of her husband. But of course, her husband may also depict how she felt about sex in connection with his ‘sexual appetites’.
It is a general rule, however, that our dream process will dramatise into a past life, or a psychic’ experience, emotions linked with trauma or sexual drive which we find difficult to meet in the present.
Example: ‘I dreamt many times I lost my husband, such as not being able to find the car park where he was waiting, and seeing him go off in the distance. I wake in a panic to find him next to me in bed. These dreams persisted, and then he died quite suddenly. He was perfectly healthy at the time of the dreams and I wonder if it was a premonition of me really losing him’ (Mrs AD). Cannot find husband: many middle aged women dream of ‘losing’ their husband while out with him, perhaps shopping, or walking in a town somewhere. Sometimes the dream ponrays him actually killed. Mrs AD wonders if her dream was a premonition.
It is more likely a form of practising the loss, so it does not come as such a shock.
The greatest shocks occur when we have never even considered the event—such as a young child losing its mother, an event it has never practised, not even in fantasy, so has no inbuilt shock absorbers. As most of us know, men tend to die before women, and this information is in the mind of middle-aged married women. Mrs AD may have unconsciously observed slight changes in her husband’s body and behaviour, and therefore readied herself.
Other woman’s husband: one’s own husband, feelings about that man, desire for a non-committed relationship with less responsibility. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘1 am at the wedding of my best friend.
The groom doesn’t turn up and she decides to marry the first person who comes along. I wonder whether this is a good thing to do’ (Mary T).
Dreaming of wedding if single: Mary could equally as well have dreamt she was the bride, but being in her 30s and unmarned it is easier for her to consider or experiment with the idea of marriage using the image of her friend. Should she marry whoever offers? When single one often dreams of marnage as a way of clarifying. What would it be like? Could one succeed in it? Is the present panner OK? How will one achieve it?
Example: ‘When I was engaged to my present husband I dreamt we were married and I looked down at my wedding ring. It was twisted and bent. In fact I now see it as a warning because we have not made a good marriage’ (SW). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The positive aspect of the penis/masculinity is for him to demand his woman meets his maleness, his canng aggression, his sexual desire, with her own fiery energy and strength. In general, direct reference to sexual feelings, fears, or problems. As these can be quite complex several examples are given below.
Example: ‘So for the third time I held the woman and made love.
The woman’s vagina was like a flower, I don’t mean to look at, but in physical sensation. My penis felt like it was penetrating petals of flesh and touching with great pleasure a central receptive area I was left with the feeling of being able to make love again and again without any negative effects. It was a very positive and healthy feeling’ (John T). John is feeling confident about his sexual drive. Although a powerful drive, subtle feelings and fears have an intense influence not only on the pleasure of sex, but also the response of the physical organs.
The relationship with the penis and sex act in one s dream shows what fears, hurts or attitudes are influencing the sexual flow. See castration.
In a woman’s dream, one’s relationship with, desire for, a mate; relationship with one’s own male self—ambition, work capability, aggression, intellect; depicts the relationship with, genital sexuality with, one’s panner. As with Sally in the next example, the events in the dream define the problem or relationship. Example: ‘My lover Terry, myself and another woman are all on our bed.
The other woman seemed very sure of herself and kissed Terry in a very intimate way, he doing the same to her as I lay very near to both of them. Then Terry stuck his bottom in the air and staned to lick my chest and breast. I found myself licking around the penis, felt I was under some kind of pressure from both the other two to do so but didn’t feel too shattered as I did it with love for Terry, but I had a bitter taste in my mouth’ (Sally P). In talking about this dream Sally said she often struggled with what she wanted and what her panner wanted in sex. She might go along with his needs, but not find it palatable. Even if she did do it with some love, it might have a bad taste in her mouth*.
Example: T felt as if I were as one with Terry and I realised he was trying to make a journey into his mother s vagina, as his penis. Her vagina looked like a long dark tunnel and was threatening to him. I said, “You haven’t given your mother satisfaction and you say you will not.” Then he was really smashed up in body. Withdrawing into a garden with a high green hedge. I took a leaf from the hedge and began to pull it apan with my hands. Terry said, “Look what you are doing, teasing me.” I felt withdrawal wasn’t the way and staned to follow him, walking alongside the hedge. I said, “It feels like you are strangling me, so why don’t you do it and kill me?” (We have been going through a lot of sexual withdrawal, Terry saying his sexuality was his to do with as he wanted.)’ (Sally P). This second dream of Sally’s is a shrewd summing up of Terry’s sexual fears. In fact Terry suffered a great deal of anxiety about sex, and later uncovered the son of fear and desire to avoid giving his mother satisfaction in becoming a full blooded man shown in the dream. Our unconscious is a very capable psychologist, and while Terry in Sally’s dream represents her insights regarding him—and must not be seen as a statement of fact about Terry—such insights are often enormously useful in dealing with relationship difficulties.
Example: ‘Was in a house with my wife. Outside the door was something which wanted to come into her—an invisible being. We were frightened and it said “Do not be afraid, I want you to put your penis in your wife and wait for me to activate you. In that way you will form a body for me.” I woke and realised the dream was moving me to parenthood. Already having three children I realised this would mean another 20 years of responsibility. Nevertheless my wife and I made love. Two weeks later I dreamt my wife was pregnant with a son. In fact nine months later she bore a son’ (Nigel I). In this interesting dream sequence the penis is Nigel’s drive to be a father. See castrate; bed; knob; pole; reptiles; sausage; examples in flower and tunnel. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: T am working in a hospital in outpatients. Nobody is there. My two children appear. I know I have to find them somewhere to sleep. I lay them on seats, tell the only nurse I can find that I am going to find them a bed. I know where the children’s ward is but I can’t find it. When I eventually find it all the side rooms are filled. I know I have been a long time so I stan to panic, worried my children are missing me, and worried night sister will have found them. I pass a military meeting. As I continue the men come out and I get caught in the cross fire and am shot in the leg. I am now terrified. I have to get back to the children. Night sister must have found them by now and if not what will they be doing. When I got back they are there with night sister’ (Laramie F). Laramie works as a nurse, was divorced just prior to the dream, and was obviously concerned how her work affected her children. This internal conflict (the crossfire) injures her confidence (the shot leg). Idioms: have one’s work cut out; set to work; worked up; work like a horse; work off; work out; dirty work; donkey work; spanner in the works.
clothes Working at something; attitudes concerning work.... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences