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Funeral and Red Shoes

I have been asked to conduct military honors at the funeral of a veteran who has just passed. I imagine the deceased to be a middle-aged man. My sister Kallen is the other person who will perform the honors ceremony with me. I imagine we are to perform the ceremony (in uniform – and) dressy, red, high-heeled shoes. I feel a constraint of time and pressure – that we may not make it to the cemetery on time. We have to drive some distance to get there. At home - a space which in my dream feels reminiscent of my childhood - I am trying to make preparations for the trip. There is the sense of a very young child being about – and my mother – and an underlying frustration. Kallen and I do not own red, high-heeled shoes. My mother has a pair that I think will fit me just right. I ask Kallen to bring these to me. My mother intercepts her doing so. My mother questions my want for them, does not want me to use them. I end up telling Kallen to ‘let’s forget the red, high-heeled shoes,’ as we are running short on time and cannot afford to go to the store to buy some. I go to the closet and pull out an old pair of my military oxfords that will need some shining on the way. Kallen can do this in the car while we drive. I have the sense that Kallen is the one caught in the middle of all of this. She is not being her own person. As we go, I continue to be greatly concerned that we will not make it there on time. I imagine I may have to write a letter of apology and begin planning/considering how best to express my sentiment in writing the letter I may have to send.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Embrace,
I will address this dream later today. My morning session has timed out {Mondays-we can do without them}. I will tackle your dream after I have satisfied the dragon {social requirements called 'work'}.
Thanks,
Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 57 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Embrace,
I am going to offer some possibilities and let you put whatever fits together. A bit of a difficult dream {the military part in the beginning throws a curve}.

Could this dream be associated with your spiritual journey and past experiences from childhood? The first part of the dream {took me awhile to get a grip on this part} seems to be dealing with the burying of discipline and regimentation perhaps to do with basic beliefs and principles. I began to sense these had to do with the past when the dream turned to your mother and 'underlying expectations'. The red shoes, your mother owns a pair and you and your sister need a pair. Shoes often symbolize principles, what your life is built upon. Red is the color of blood or life's force.

Going to the closet. This may represent delving into the unconscious. Perhaps the military oxfords offer discipline and organization {which were in the first part of the dream-earlier life}. Most likely your sister would have shared in these experiences.

Running short of time. That is a worry we begin to face as we age. The letter of apology, perhaps reflections on past experiences where there is feelings of guilt. Or it could be built up guilt that doesn't fit your current sentiments. This all could be associated with spiritual experiences, past and present.

Let me know your thoughts. It may be the time of day but clarity alludes me on this particular dream.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 57 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Gerard,

This has been a somewhat difficult one for me to grasp, too. I've felt rather unintuitive regarding it - may be a reflection of years worth of left- brained predominance as a result of so many years spent in the military. I continue to work to bring this in balance.

I retired from the Army and did lead an Honor Guard/Drill Team in my last couple of years. Ref. the feeling of apology/guilt: I am aware of a degree of regret for having taken on such a masculine role in life. Regret is not helpful. Honoring (all of) who I am is.

I think I am nearer to understanding its meaning, all together.

Your comments helped to catalyze some greater understanding. I'll respond more as it comes clearer to me.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Hi Embrace,

I know this character your dream ego is being portrayed as. She is the warrior goddess, strategist, emotionally distant, crafty, lacks empathy. She thinks well, to solve practical problems and forms strong alliances with men. She also has a crafts bent, but only in peacetime. She is the virgin goddess Athena.

It may well be if you do not go through life like this, that your ego is identifying with this energy, rather than you consciously assimilating the traits ie, choosing to be strategist in a particular situation.

Then the amplification hit - "The Wizard of Oz". The red shoes. Dorothy reminds me of the characteristics of Athena especially forming strong alliances with men (the tin man, the lion, scarecrow and the Wizard). It was a time of conflict with the wicked witch, who's sister was the original owner of the red shows if I am not mistaken. Your mother is the original owner of the shoes in your dream. This may well be a negative aspect of the inner mother. Athena is anything but a nurturer.

The dream is very abscent of males. It's about the funeral of one and that is about it. So it may be a reflection on your real life situation depending on whether you surround yourself with males or not. Although you may be doing it unconsciously, through the ego identification.

That's all I've got. You may want to reflect on it a little.

Stephen

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 49 Sydney Australia

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Yes, Stephen.

It is what 'more' I was intending to respond with.

I think that (part of) my reason for entering into the military was my way to attempt to integrate the masculine - as I did not have any form of a good "Father" in my young life. At the same time, it was also a kind of rebellion and a kind of safety factor, for me. When I was a child, being "female" meant to be hurt. And so, I identified with various masculine strengths seen in my brothers - and my father. But beneath did lay a rage for the suppression of my feminine nature. Nor was my mother strong, loving or nurturing. When I started healing, the suit of bravado I wore fell off and I was faced with all that lay beneath... To include a tremendous amount of rage, some of which I must consider may still be smoking a bit.

My young life was marked with the characteristics of an Amazon Warrior - how they cut a breast off so that they could be great archers. I sacrificed my feminine nature, when young, to survive.

I have been pouring over the various myths concerning the Red Shoes. I knew I had to turn to myth and story with them, as there simply were no red shoe associations anywhere else in my life, let along high-heeled shoes. My family could not afford shoes as "classy" as these red shoes.

The story of Oz, as well as Snow White, takes them from Andersen's tale of 'The Red Shoes.' I've had Clarissa Pinkola Estes' audio cassette of 'The Red Shoes' (On Torment and the Recovery of Soul Life) sittnig on my bookshelf for some few months now. I listened to it yesterday, too.

Though I have been plussed by all that I have read in these past days, this analysis of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves "rings" closest to home for me regarding the meaning of the dream message.

http://www.cgjungpage.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=677&Itemid=40

I used to do just as you said, unconsciously identifying with Athena.

My own mother had huge negative animus/negative mother issues (hence, I too, have had to - and continue to - work my way through them). She withheld "love" (because being very wounded herself, she did not know how to love), hence, she withheld "life."

In the dream, 'I think my mother's shoes will fit me just right...' If the shoe fits, wear it!

Kallen would be the part of me that is unconscious of this, as that has been my hugest projection with this sister of mine - that she is and lives life very unconscious of her self, does not make her own choices, etc. She reflects a part of me. I say, 'caught in the middle,' so, perhaps also reflecting the middle place where I can hold the tension of the opposites.

The funeral ceremony for the middle-aged verteran (like me) is a reflection of what is passing from my life - the too much regimentation, staunch discipline, etc. But, as I said earlier, I should not hold regret for any aspect of my life. There's another recent dream, from about a week ago wherein I am saying goodbye to some military men and in that dream, I feel only appreciation and good relatedness and the sense that they will always be a part of me, only now I am moving on in new ways. All of this healing movement is being demonstrated/reflected in my outer life, too.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Gerard,

I wanted to address the feeling of running short on time. I do feel it is exactly as you suggest - feeling the inner need to get one's life in order, realizing and aligning with what is important in life - with my heart and my soul.

In Clarissa's 'The Red Shoes' she spoke of the 'hand-made' life... I was especially, deeply moved in her talk on the matter.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Thank you Embrace for being so generous with your reply. It's not easy.

You sound like you are very conversant with this form of analysis and you know what you are doing.

If I can, I'd like to discuss Snow White as you said this clicked most with the dream. Based on your reply I would say it shows you situation pretty clearly. In the fairy tale it is the Queen that shows the Athena traits (plotter, strategist, warrior). It's not that she's negative - just different. That would make Snow white the nurturing side (she takes on the responsibility of looking after the dwarves). I would hazzard a guess that as you have been associated with Athena for some time that is why you relate to this fairy tale and the goings on by the Queen. Your nurturing side is trying so hard just to do what it is intended. She is surrounded by half-men (they just don't measure up), that is until your positive Animus arrives. This si similar to the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is surrounded by half men. The thing is that Snow White doesn't go looking for the positive Animus. The positive Animus finds her. The whole sotry is like "Why is this happening to me?", because that is how your psyche is set up. based on the environmental situations that you encountered as a young child. You couldn't do anything about it then, just as you can't do anything about it now, other than to just let the patterns play themselves out. At least by understanding what is going on you are not unconsciously projecting it, like you do with your sister (not being the person she is meant to be). And that is where the red shoes come in. They denote power. Dorothy had the power to go back home all the time. She just didn't realize she had it. One could say that the power is the positive Animus.

I wish you well on your journey, Embrace.

Stephen

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Hi, Stephen:

Thank you.

I wanted to give some thought to this before I responded.

Your words helped me to see the Queen in a different light. After having studied the article, again, I was able to see the Queen more as me, and connect with her sense of grief and loss that lay beneath the frenzied dance of her death.

As I child, I surely did brood over they "why" of my life and experiences and yet was helpless to but accept it the way it was - though there was not then a voluntary acceptance. I questioned and questioned and questioned it until I could see another way and became determined to heal what I saw, even at an early age, was a generational pattern in my family. It was when I stopped running away from it (so to speak) and did begin to accept it, that I was able to begin watching the patterns play out (though sometimes difficult) instead of being always unconsciously identified with them.

My sister Kallen became a significant and greatly helpful figure in my dreams. She was the one that carried my black bag for me. Ofcourse, I was not conscious of doing it when young, but I did project much of my dislike for myself onto her, because I could not hate myself. When she appears in my dreams she is always showing me some of my deepest wounds.

In the dream I felt she (I) was not being her (my) own person. She is also the young child element present in the dream, in me, who's opportunity for a "handmade life" was stifled by the various complexes I inherited in my family of origin. That original essenece, potential, 360 degree personality which slowly closed down in the face of the enviromental factors within which I grew. So, having found "this" part of me, I may again sew my own red shoes anew.

There was more I wanted to say, but I am short of time, so will post this much, for now.

Thanks, again, Stephen.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Just to throw some more ideas into the mix, the colour red resonates at a certain vibration that brings a sense of being here on the earth and in our bodys it reflects our grounding in life, It is through the body that we experience all of our sensate perceptions, and feelings, it is the grounding energy that relates to the base chakra, without this connection to the earth, we tend to be unable to ground certain experiences and process them or integrate them, in a healthy way.

Shoes also reflect this sense of how we ground ourselves, or not as the case may be, fear is a big contributing factor to what prevents us from grounding our energy, its as if our bodys do not feel a safe place to be through which we can experience our fears and release them, which incidently is a major factor as why people are are unable to move on.

Understanding fear at an intellectual level, weather through self analaysis or reflection is one thing but relaeasing our fears comes through actually embodying the experience itself.

Fears often come about through not feeling safe in our younger years and play out time and time again until we learn how to connect with them, if our parents dont relate to their fears in a positive way it is likely we will learn the same ways of dealing with our fears which usually means disassociating in some form or another. This is generalising but what caught my eye in reading your dream was in making 'preparation' on an inner level to bring about releasing the veteran energy, is that your realisation to do so would require you to be grounded in the feelings of what your sister reflects, to come fully into this feeling state is what your dream is attempting to impart to you, by doing so the masculine veteran energy ie attitude, behavioural pattern will be released as well as this is connected, an attitude or expression of behaviour is always attached to a feeling, for example fear will motivate a particular behavioural trait.

The frustration seems to arise out of the need to release certain ways but an inability to do so, and your dream hints at your disconnection is due to your internalised mother, which is destructive to your grounding, For example it is likely that how your mother related to you and your fears is how you now relate to them by instead taking the 'military oxford' pattern of disassociating from your fears? What is this pattern? that stops you from being your own person? your response to planning on writing a letter of apology expressing your sentiments again seems to imply how when your not being your own person, not grounded in who you are you are disconnected from what is true for you how you really feel, in which you then move into this pattern of 'military oxford' behaviour at the mercy of others approval of who you are which is really a projection of your acceptance of your feminine self/ vulnerability.

Just some more avenues for reflection
Best to you Marce

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Re: Funeral and Red Shoes

Hello, Marce:

Though there are many frustrations born in childhood, I think this particular dream is addressing the fact that I developed a persona (military) that was not my "heart's" choosing. As a child I was what you could call gifted - I was inspired, extremely bright (intelligent), artistic, creative - I saw a bigger picture, had aspirations - wanted to play a part other than what was the role life led me into. Another (BIG) part of the reason I joined the military is because there was no other way out into the world and a life of my own. I ended up "settling" for it, while all along it felt so contrary to who I was inside.

Yes, the dream is reflecting what neccessarily has to be released as I continue to come more fully into what is my authenthic self/Self expression. Many patterns must be released in the going - and you are correct, we can only do this "through the body" - by more fully embodying all of our life's experiences. Anything, any part of ourselves, any experience we dissociate from, must be re-experienced (imo) and the fear released through love, in order that we may claim the creative use/purpose of our life. I feel it must all be compassionately accepted. This compassion includes "understanding" the complexes or catalyzing energies. And it (compassionate "understanding") does require a pyschological experience that is married with the body/heart. We heal with the whole self, not just the intellect.

The internalized mother, as has already been indicated in this sharing, is a big part of it. For it is greatly the Mother who either gives or does not give the child their sense of connection and belonging in the world. To deeply root ourselves, here on now, in the earth and our life experience does require knowing that our bodies are "safe" places - and much of this work does come through the process of healing the internal mother image.

I'm a work in progress, as are we all.

Though they are things I am already aware of, I do thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Best,
Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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