Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
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Female Guide

After a meeting we are on the way home and I get lost. I have no idea where I am but it looks like I can see Washington DC from the car. I am with a woman friend of mine who has recently broken off a year-long affair with me. We stop on the side of the road to see where we are on the iPhone. It helps but we need to stop by a Popeye’s to get some food first before getting back on the road. I eat a spicy chicken wing and really enjoy eating the cartilage in the joint. On the way back home we pass under an underpass where there is a football game going on. People complain how hot it can get on that field when there is traffic on the road.

We are getting close to my childhood home. My woman friend blindfolds me and leads me by the hand the rest of the way. She takes me on a bit circuitous route, around in circles and over things, and I get a bit dizzy, but we eventually make it to just outside my house. Two unknown male mechanics then fix my car and she and I can drive the rest of the way into the garage. Apparently I have left the garage door open the entire time I was away. The door to the house from inside the garage is locked, however. I am looking for the key to open the door and am fumbling with a lot of them and cannot find it. She takes the key ring and finds the key immediately and opens the top part of a two-part door. A dog is waiting inside (mine?) and leaps up on the closed lower half door. It is an enormous dog with a huge head, but very skinny legs. It is very happy to see us and comes out into the garage. It is having difficulty standing it is so excited and the floor of the garage also seems to be too slippery for it. It gives her a very wet kiss on the face and mouth.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41 Chicago

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Re: Female Guide

Stephen,
The first part of the dream seems to be addressing some aspect of your life where you are 'lost', a metaphor for having lost direction in your life. Washington D.C. would be the capitol, or the center of your psyche, that place where balance is provided {a place we all seek and need to be to live a harmonious life}. This could have to do with the recently ended relationship. You seek solace in other ways but there is this aspect that is 'eating' away at the fabric of who you are. You may have found there is a lot of competing emotions.

The second part of the dream may be describing your emotional state of being in reference to the above. You are being led by the your emotions over the past relationship. But there are unconscious aspects that need to be repaired, something locked away that your masculine tendencies {seeking solace in other ways} can not open. Something within you is locked emotionally but you have yet to discover the 'keys' to open this emotional aspect. It may require opening up to past emotional experiences. There may have been experiences in early life that affect how you react to this most recent problem, experiences that have left you without proper skills to deal with the situation. An example may be your parents being divorced or having a conflicted relationship. Such an experience early in life may have an effect on your emotional reaction to the recent breakup.

My sense is your breakup in your relationship has left you unable to fully cope with the emotional aspects. There may have been early life experiences {getting close to my childhood home} that add to this lack of emotional response. From my experience such dream language that depicts the 'childhood' past is pointing to influences from childhood. The first part of the dream defines the current emotional conflict and the second part provides clues to your emotional makeup that has its beginnings from influences in early life. We become who we are as adults mostly due to the influences from early childhood.

In addressing the title of your post 'Female Guide'. This guide would be your emotions. Showing or experience of emotions would be a feminine aspect. I always look at the title of a dream to gain insights to the possible dream message. Often the title is an unconscious realization by the dreamer of what the dream is wishing to convey.
Such is the way of dreams.

Jerry

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Re: Female Guide

Thank you Jerry! Your interpretation is immensely helpful in getting me to understand some of the clues in that dream. I have been having a difficult time when my ex shows up in my dreams in not conflating her with the dream figure. I feel like that is where I have been working the hardest recently - trying to disengage my Anima projection from the waking life woman so I can better follow my inner guide. That the key to this is following my emotions and looking to some childhood trauma that needs to be repaired is helpful too. I am not sure yet what the childhood trauma is (none of your suggestions hit the mark with me), but I am looking more closely now.

It is interesting that you say I have not yet discovered the "key" to unlocking this emotional aspect. The following night, I had this dream:

It is an epic night in Washington DC. Everything seems so numinous. There has been a temporary law passed that I have helped to create that has allowed gay couples and straight couples, and even couples with dead birds(?) to parade around the downtown area openly expressing their affection for one another. I see lots of celebration going on. There are lots of gay couples, but also lots of straight couples. I see man dancing with his partner in a very gay, show-tune way. I am surprised to see an old school friend with his new girlfriend (who is an Asian with short hair and not particularly attractive) dancing and sharing a kiss. There are also some people that are going before Congress to testify. In order to identify them, they must have a key that opens a particular bag. I have one such key. It is a rusty old piece of straight cylindrical iron with a single loop at the end (it does not look much like a key). I put into a hole and it turns and opens the bag. I have no idea why I have such a key, and I cannot remember when I wake up what the reason is that I am going before Congress. There is a young, strong, corporate gentleman who quickly finds me and says that he too got a key from his gay lover, but he could only have it once he spilled his semen on the key for his lover. I am whisked away toward the Congress to testify. I wake up frustrated that I cannot remember more of the dream since it seemed so important.

While the previous night's dream was so frustrating opening the door and I felt so lost, this night there is energy in the air and I have the key to open things, but I do not know how I got it. Should I post this dream on a separate thread, or is it OK to post in this one? Thanks!

-Steve

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Re: Female Guide

Steve,
I will comment on your second dream later today {my intentions}. About the childhood trauma. Look at the possible childhood issues as 'experiences of learning' more so than trauma experiences. My intent in pointing to this aspect of the dream was to suggest the probability of childhood learning experiences as underlying stimuli for how you act and react to certain experiences in adult life. In particular associations and experiences with members of the opposite sex. Your childhood environment is the primary building blocks to who you become in adult life, those experiences often reputating themselves as an adult. Have you thoroughly examined those early years?

Something I did intend to mention after further thought {while working out later in the morning} was the anima possibilities in the dream. The dream often addresses both the outer waking life experiences {in reference to your ex} as well as the inner feminine aspects. If we take the whole dream and use the symbols as references to your feminine aspects we will undoubtedly discover important information about your anima. If you are aware of projecting your anima onto others you probably have already done some searching of this possibility. That may make it more important to understand the grounds for these tendencies. Such traits most often have its beginnings in childhood.

Jerry

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Re: Female Guide

Thanks, Jerry. I have been talking with my therapist (Jungian) about early childhood issues and have come to some realizations recently about the relationship my Mother and Father had as well as my relationship with each of them individually. One thing I have started to realize is how I accept the the shadow projection of my parents - I am an INFP and my mother is ESTJ while my father is ENFJ. The dominance of my mother in the family dynamic has made adult relationships with women problematic to say the least. One of the main dynamics that has evolved has been my tendency to submit to the women in my life and take on a more passive role with them. Over the years I have developed a better relationship with my inner feminine and they have become quite helpful in my dreams. Here the feminine figure is assisting me, but unfortunately in the first dream I am unable to open the door to my own masculine traits without her help. Those masculine traits are also still subservient to the feminine and a bit shaky at that.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the second dream.

-Steve

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Re: Female Guide

Stephen,
I will address the second dream in the morning {Sunday}. I have had to put a lot of time and mental energy into work the past two days {that ever enduring social dragon} and it often causes a diminished intuitive self. I heavily rely on those vital 'feminine' aspects when working with dreams, especially when interpreting a dream. It is vital for me when I want to 'interpret' the symbols, metaphors and 'emotional patterns' that dreams use to convey a message about the dreamer. Mornings are my best time to work with dreams having just awakened from the that unconscious world.

The dream is a lot like a puzzle, but with hidden pieces that become recognizable only after realizing the best possibilities of what the final product {picture in the puzzle} may be, yet not quite sure. Dream symbols can address several possibilities in a person's life but hitting on just the right one is where the dreamer most benefits from a proper interpretation. An AH! HA! moment isn't uncommon when presented with something that has been there all along and you just now realize it and its implications. I have many responses with such moments. That is when I know for certainty Jung 'got it right' with his philosophy on dreams.

You state you are working with a Jungian analyst. Does he/she use dreams therapy? Have you shared these dreams with your analyst? If the dream is a part of your therapy it would be interesting to know his/her thoughts about the beginning of the second paragraph of the dream '"We are getting close to my childhood home'. I saw that statement as a direct comment to look to your childhood to understand the underlying causation of possible psyche disturbances in your life. Those hidden emotional aspects I spoke of are vary likely about the realizations of the relationship between your parents. The psyche of a child takes everything in and interprets them in emotional ways and many of those emotions remain for a life time, underneath, needing discovery. Only then can the healing process really make progress. Discovering the previously unknown/unrecognized emotional patterns to your behavior as an adult and making changes to those behaviors is what cures what needs healing. Go to the source and you discover all the ingredients that make up who you are in life.

I won't get into your therapy, I'm not trained to do that nor is that my true interest. But in dream interpretation I believe I do have had some valuable realizations and have come to believe the dream has a lot discernible patterns, even for a ordinary mind as I possess. A symbol or a motif such as the direction of your dream in saying "We are getting close to my childhood home", to me is saying to look to that childhood home to find the answers. Of course it is in the context that appears that matters also. Most often it is in childhood where the answers are to be found but for the dream to make a direct statement where to look, I see it is part of the mechanics of the dream. Remembering what Jung said about the dream, "the dream means exactly what it is says", I believe that to be absolutely true. Only the language of dreams is in symbol, metaphor, motifs and patterns of emotional traits and behaviors. And that all begins in childhood. Those influences of even the earliest life filter into the unconscious and remain there. They influence who we become. Look yo childhood to better understand the adult.

The personal info you provided about your mother fits with the dream. If you take the woman in the affair in the dream and look at her as being a part of you, as focusing on your anima qualities, the 'broken off affair' will reveal itself as an inner experience. The dream is addressing both aspects, using the same symbols in doing so.

As you navigate the mid life years your dreams will be more about these inner experiences, your anima qualities, more so than the outer waking life {the 'real' broken off affair in your waking life}. The metaphors are equivalent in both the dream and the waking life. Every dream has at least two meanings, one addressing the inner life and another the outer. The deeper aspects of your emotional self as well as the most recent emotional experiences that retain the 'numinosity of energies' to survive into the dream world. I normally see the inner qualities clearer than the outer. The motifs are the most important, providing clues to what the dream is wishing to convey to the dreamer. I've tend to read dreams more so than interpret them. A slow evolution but one that I see as real as the actual evolution of life itself. Beside being a Jungian I am a "Darwinist' also.

At 41 you are right at that age where looking forward ends and looking back begins. It is a death and resurrection {for me the symbolic metaphor of Jesus on the cross, his death and resurrection}. What is better known as the mid-life stage. Eventually it will be a lot more 'looking back' and a lot harder to focus on looking forward. Especially since most people have so many physical ailments that produce so many emotional conflicts, and the fact that at mid-life the reality of death is ever looming.

Jung's 'Individuation Process' is the path I took in self discovery. I was my own analyst and I must say either I did an admirable job in the process or the Individual Process itself is a sacred remedy. Not only do I see myself balanced and working positively toward that balanced life, I have discovered that 'void' that lay beneath conscious recognition much of my life. Once it is discovered the process of change can begin. It has worked for me in so many positive ways. I am not a man of faith but I must say I do have faith in the hero journey. It is a journey of discovery and discipline, the later being the greatest requirement to attain the former.

Jerry

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Re: Female Guide






Because I had to spend my morning drawing up several contracts related to work {the dragon pursuing me on a Sunday morning} I am going to present suggestions as much as an interpretation to your dream. I will take a look at the dream again in the morning and see if my well rested intuitive sense has anything better to offer.

I am sensing waking life experiences in both dreams and when that occurs a good interpretation is much harder to provide. Maturity has a lot to do with dreams and where one is in life, which I believe to be important to understand when looking at dreams. Younger people tend to dream more about current waking life experiences, older people more about past life experiences. What do you believe your maturity level to be?
Let's look at the 'key' symbol in your dream {left column}, and the possible metaphors. Notice the resemblance to the female icon symbol. A good bet the dream is addressing feminine aspects. But to what extent is the question. We know there are issues with your mother, perhaps this is a roundabout way of addressing those issues.
Often keys in a dream are addressing 'keys' that unlock unconscious aspects. Not knowing you have such a key may represent repressing something.

But the oft inclusion of 'gay' men and couples {which would be two males}, and the couples with dead birds may suggest a need to look to the inner self to discover your true self {birds often represent freedom and are a part of nature}. The freedom to discover and be that natural and true self. Couples are something joined by two equal and opposite forces that act along parallel lines but perhaps represent two items of the same kind. Do you recognize what such language may signify in your personal life? Are there issues about your sexuality? The dream language 'rusty old piece of straight cylindrical iron' could be a reference to something that is rusty and/or old, not of recent use. Cylinders or circles are symbols of wholeness. The key in the picture, along with the straight cylinder shape, this is addressing something about yourself.

Congress could symbolize the 'governing' aspects in your psyche/life. But it can also represent carnal knowledge, or sexual aspects. The key that opens the bag may be something that opens certain 'baggage' in your life.

The corporate gentleman, young and strong may be a reference about yourself, what you need to be unlock repressed aspects. The lover may symbolize acceptance of your true self.

If there are not issues about sexuality then the dream is probably addressing issues to do with anima aspects, the mother issues. An acceptance of bringing together opposites, conflicts, having to do with the anima. A union of opposites.

And we must not dismiss recent waking experiences that may have influenced the dream. Do you know many gay men/couples? The use of gay men may have to do with such experiences but of course their inclusion representing metaphors to aspects about yourself.

Your response will probably go a long way in determining the dream and what issues are at play in your life.


Jerry

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Re: Female Guide

Stephen,
I have looked over the dream again and have some additional thoughts to the possibilities. But I will wait for your response to my other posts before presenting them.

Jerry

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Re: Female Guide

Hi Jerry-

The main life experience that has been going on has been the ending of an affair and my desire to be back in relationship with that ex-girlfriend of mine. I feel trapped in other parts of my life and the freedom with which I expressed myself with her makes another relationship with her desirable.

At the same time I have experienced significant psychic energy through dreams and active imagination. I have been working for the past two months with my therapist to start understanding my anima figure and through that my early relationships with my parents - particularly my mother. I feel that I have made some significant progress over the last few weeks in that regard. We use my dreams regularly in therapy, although these two (which occurred back in August) were not ones we discussed. I have been interested in them more recently because of the intensity of them.

The gay lover thing in my dream has puzzled me. I am not homophobic and have lots of friends who are gay (male and female). I am not confused about my sexuality. While I have many homosexual friends, none of them have been involved in any of my recent waking life experience and the closest friends I have are female gay couples. I took the freedom of expression to be what you hinted at - a desire to have freedom of expression of the natural and true self.

I would suspect that the corporate gentleman is indeed a deeper part of myself that is repressed since I long ago rejected corporate culture in favor of other types of work. Struggles with work are not particularly on my mind currently, but because my choice of work did not fulfill my mother's dreams of what I should do in life, that may be an underlying theme.

-Steve

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Re: Female Guide

I have had not a few dreams with gay themes in them. From my own limited experience, it seems to me that the situation expresses a biased masculine identification with itself, yet has intimate qualities that can lead one to a more proper (feminine) relationship with that intimacy:

11-14-09

Driving with a friend, we turn up hill and have to balance and concentrate, we are practically going straight uphill and I think how much like a dream this is. Now at the top w/ a bunch of people driving on an empty desolate highway, I tell us to stop at a solitary building, I know we have done this before and this is what we are supposed to do. Inside gay men are speaking up and kind of rallying in support of gay health insurance or gay rights. A tv camera zooms on a man's mouth, blonde man, effeminate, dressed in white somewhat bawdy, his mouth moves fast and without hesitation as he expresses the sentiment of all those in attendance. I see Debbie (old school friend, pretty) coming towards me smiling. Sheila (spiritual) tells me happily she's pregnant.

In my own particular psychology, beyond which I don't know much, I really believe that there is a masculine bias that is very deeply rooted, and even in the realm of dreams works very agressively to repress the manifestations of feminine oriented instincts. To me the gay theme is a like men's club that has superficial elements of intimacy in order to preserve some sense of emotion without having to deal with all the alleged problems associated with the real feminine source of feeling and intimacy. I have come to associate the image of the baby or infant as something that I try to repress, and all these repressions and shadows seem to be all mixed up with the feminine. That seems to be a reason why Jung said that integrating the shadow is "the work" and integrating the anima is "the masterpiece"

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 33

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Re: Female Guide

Sam,
From the dream statement, "In my own particular psychology I really believe that there is a masculine bias that is very deeply rooted, and even in the realm of dreams works very aggressively to repress the manifestations of feminine oriented instincts."

Are you saying you believe in your psychology there is a biased masculine? That could very well be true. But your dreams do not repress such a bias, they attempt to reveal the bias. The difference between Freud and Jung was Freud believed the dream worked as a 'censor' and tried to hide such aspects whereas Jung believed they wanted to reveal the bias, if real. My experience in working with dreams is Jung was right. Dreams are therapeutic, something I sincerely believe to be true. To hide a bias would not fit with the therapeutic philosophy. I can not remember in my experiences with dreams an instant where hiding a particular trait was a part of the dream. It would alter the entire approach to my interpretations and if that were true the responses would not be positive as they have been. Most of the time I get a positive response to my interpretations {as anyone can determine by examining the posted dreams, the interpretations and the responses}. Using Jung's theories, and what I believe to be an evolving and developing intuitive psyche, I have had great results. There are always parts of a dream, especially with a younger person's psyche, that need clarification before they can be understood but the patterns I discern from the dream scenario usually fit with dreamer's life. And as Jung stated, if the interpretation fits it is most often a proper one.

But beyond that. Your dream has this language "Driving with a friend, we turn up hill and have to balance and concentrate, we are practically going straight uphill and I think how much like a dream this is. Now at the top w/ a bunch of people driving on an empty desolate highway, I tell us to stop at a solitary building, I know we have done this before and this is what we are supposed to do."
What is in need of balancing is your psyche and what you are concentrating is on that task, seeking to balance you emotional life, which is your whole life. The friend is a positive part of you, that part that is seeking balance and harmony, resolving the emotional issues to get there. Many hills and mountains, obstacles of one kind or another that you have to overcome. By reaching the top you have reached a plateau of realization of some kind in your life {that is what occurs when you go inward and seek answers from your dreams}. But the highway is still a desolate road to travel {perhaps that is a part of the realization}. That solitary building is some part of you, some aspect in your life. Whether it is something that exists as a negative or if it is pointing to what you need to do in your search for balance and harmony {I know we have done this before and this is what we are supposed to do.}"

As Jung states, the dream means exactly what it says. That is when the interpretation of the symbols, metaphors, motifs, images are proper. I take the statement on its face, it is saying this is what you are supposed to do. In relation to what is the question. And in the world of dreams that would be the positive resolution of emotional issues.

As for the gay men. The term men, plural, would indicate masculine qualities. But it is qualified with the word gay. I see the term as a description, some aspect of your life that has emotional energy, and not a bias. The dream is never biased, it is all about truth.
So we have to look in another direction to discover what 'gay' represents. I qualified my response to Stephen's inclusion of 'gay men and couples', asking if there are unresolved issues related to sexual preference {something i don't often do ***}. The language includes couples and that leaves open other, perhaps better possibilities, to what the gay part means. But there is the word gay and the question has to be asked about sexual aspects, if nothing else to eliminate the possibilities. Assuming the dreamer knows what is true and does speak truthfully, which I believe Stephen is doing and I believe is reinforced by the whole language of the dream, and other posted dreams.
There are many possibilities that can be associated with the word gay. Of course the context which it is used in the dream makes a big difference. I have seen many dreams where there is an inclusion of 'gay' themes and it turns out the dreamer is either gay or has questions about their sexuality. Not always straightforward but symbols that point to the true sexual identity.

It is important to look at age when interpreting any dream. At 33 you are at that boundary of the beginning of mid-life. You are still building a life, trying to put yourself in a place where you feel you fit {whether it be the proper place is usually a great part of the emotional conflicts involved}. So this statement must be looked at within a frame as to take your age as important in the interpretation.
"A tv camera zooms on a man's mouth, blonde man, effeminate, dressed in white somewhat bawdy, his mouth moves fast and without hesitation as he expresses the sentiment of all those in attendance."

What is the sentiment you are wishing to express? The dream is you, the characters are in some way associated to you. Often they are you. What is being expressed in this statement my not be as symbolic as it would if you were older. That is the biggest difference between the dreams of an older person compared to a younger person. A younger person's dreams often express a truth if not in 'generalized' literal terms, in terminology that is 'literally' truthful.

The dream ending is always important. In your dream {Sam} there are two different females. Debbie is pregnant. Not a literal pregnancy, this feminine aspect. Something about the feminine self is bearing 'new fruit', yet to be born but ready for realization.

What we have to guard is our own biases. If the dreamer does not realize the truth, he/she will never know the truth until it presents itself in some negative way. That makes it an emotional conflict. Most of our emotional conflicts begin earlier in life, before mid-life. It is in the mid-life stage we begin to try sort through the 'baggage'. We stop looking forward and begin to look back. One of the biggest questions is 'what is the meaning of my life?' When we take that 'inner journey' we begin to realize that we must 'find' meaning in life. That can not be properly done until we begin to resolve the emotional conflicts that have accumulated throughout life. And that deed, the task of sorting through the psychology of one's own life is called the 'hero's journey'. Learning more of those stages is a first step in realizing what 'meaning' there is in ones life.

***Most often I comment on and don't ask a lot of questions about a particular symbols or motif. I see a lot of interpretations by others who do ask a lot of questions about the dream. To me that is not an interpretation based on what is in the dream but one that is based on the responses of the dreamer. Whereas the dream knows nothing but truth and reveals nothing but truth, the dreamer may not have that true realization and for some reason does not respond truthfully {sometimes due to repressed aspects by the dreamer of emotional conflicts-the ego-conscious influence is so strong it prevents truthful responses}. The dreamer may repress emotional issues but not the dream. Th dreamer may know truth, may not speak the truth but the dream always does.

Don't take this as a criticism of your response. Take it as a critique. You know more about yourself than anyone. It is what you don't know about yourself we what to get to. That is what the dream is trying to reveal. It is the therapeutic aspect of the psyche, the dream being that mechanism to help heal the emotional conflicts. The body has its immune system, the psyche has the dream.

Jerry

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Re: Female Guide

Hi Jerry-

Just curious if you will share more of your thoughts about my dream. Thanks!

-Steve

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Re: Female Guide

Stephen,
I apologize for not commenting more about your dream as I promised. The problem with having to put so much energies into the social being/work is it distracts from those mental energies I wish I could put into my dream work. That is why Joseph Campbell called it slaying dragons {leaving the social dictates and focusing on the 'bliss' in life}. They are psychological dragons.

The inclusion of gay couples in your dream is a puzzle. But most dreams are titillating puzzles. Putting the pieces into the proper places is the task. Perhaps the desire to restart the relationship with your ex is so strong, and many of your friends are gay female couples, there may be a connection between the two. The two parts of a female gay relationship are both feminine. It could be your feminine psyche, something that has been greatly enhanced with the exploration of your deeper psyche, is playing one part of the feminine relationship to the second part which would be your ex. The 'gay' would be a focus on feminine gay relationships, something that is real in your waking life.

But the above possibility may be but 'half' of the puzzle of the inclusion of gays in your dream. Your 'mother issues' and the natural desire to resolve them may be the second aspect the dream is wishing to address with the gay inclusion. In your dream these are 'couples' so there may be a couple of aspects the dream is addressing. The influences of the waking life experiences with the gay couples {feminine} may be a twist I your dream. Dreams can do that. Let me know your thoughts on this possibility.

Also, if you do not mind providing a dream you have been working on with your therapist so I can give my thoughts would be of great interest for me. Comparing my experience with dreams to that of a trained Jungian psychologist.

One last thought on the subject of 'gay' in a dream. Your 'gays' are not addressing a sexual identification. Looking back at other dreams that focus on the subject, the inclusion of similar language is often about the dreamer's sexuality. But looking at those dreams I can see a big difference. Age. There have been several dreams posted with the same subject and they were about sexuality. But these dreams were from young people, in their teens or early twenties. The confusion about sexuality was the focus of the dream. Again I point to age as a factor in how one must approach a dream. A young person is still in that process of building ego whereas someone at mid-life is in that stage of deconstructing and re-accessing ego. An older person may have probelms with sexual identifcation but not to the extent as a younger person.
Dreams of a young person are often harder to understand because they put so much focus on current waking experiences, the actual construction of the ego life in process. An older person is beyond that stage, has already created an ego life with a set personality. That shows up in dreams, reflecting the experiences of the dreamer and the stage of life they are in.
At least these are my experiences.

Jerry

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stats from 7-14-10 to the present