Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
Gerald Gifford {at Forum #1}

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Since 2012

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Coloured Snakes

I was playing in the backyard of a friends house; there were a few visitors with children and the children were making the most of the backyard for playing. As I played amongst the children I realised that a brown snake bit me on the leg. (it did not really hurt - no more than mosquito bite but my fear grew because I was aware in that brown snakes were poisonous.) I yelled out to a man that was also present amongst the children - and to all the mothers that were also there - that I had been bitten by a brown snake. My concern was that I was about to die and that the children playing were not safe.

My concern grew when the man present - who seemed to think he knew something about wild-life - denied that it was a brown snake that could have bitten me. He pointed to a few other snakes that were not brown. I grew angry but also doubtful about my own perception of that matter. At that point a red snake bit me on the arm. And then I saw a blue snake slithering away. This added to my own doubt because I could not see any brown snakes. But I was sure that I had been bitten by a brown snake and so continued to have fears for myself and the well-being of the children.

I continued to try and find a brown snake...but then awoke.

With thanks for your comments.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 42 Australia

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Coloured Snakes

Anna,
I am going to use this dream to illustrate how I look at a dream and dream symbols and what they mean or suggest. Because you do have a number of other posted dreams we have a reference of possibilities to consider that may not be clear in this dream. I'll reference those if applicable in my response and summary.

Backyard at Friend's House
The opening of a dream usually points to a central emotional conflict in the dreamer's life. It will often spell out how the emotional experiences are being 'managed' by the psyche. The dream is a direct link to the unconscious and thus will often provide insights not only what the emotional conflicts are but if they are repressed contents, or if the dreamer has conscious knowledge of the experiences will not or has not confronted these important issues. If it in your dreams then it suggests the experiences are significant enough to merit your conscious attention.

The backyard of the friend's house would likely represent unconscious contents in the back of your mind. Often these are 'hidden' aspects, contents you either don't wish to confront or past experiences you have forgotten or have not realized their importance to your personality and/or life.

The friend is you, positive aspects that wish to reveal something about what is in the 'back of your mind'. This relates to the therapeutic aspect of dreams, their intent to reveal and promote a healing process for whatever the emotional conflicts there are in your life, and in the unconscious.

Few Visitors With Children
The few visitors may also be saying something about 'how often' your conscious mind is open to the unconscious contents. Few ''is not a lot so it may be there are aspects that are not given a lot of conscious attention.

Children in a dream can have several possibilities, or a combination of possibilities. A stated age or specific childhood place or experience will usually be a reference to actual childhood experiences to that time and/or place.

Children in general, as in your dream, may be addressing foundations of emotional conflicts, those that began in childhood. It could be addressing attitudes you possess, vulnerabilities or qualities about personality. The foundations or underlying reasons for these attitudes would have their roots in childhood. These are experiences, or influences that are in 'the back of your mind', something you may not be consciously aware of and/or aspects you have repressed or do not want to think about.

brown snake bit me on the leg
Let's look at the legs first. As a part of the body they are the foundations that hold you up, give you support. The bite may suggest something has penetrated your unconscious, an experience{s} that had strong influences so to be retain in your 'in the back of your mind'.

The brown snake has several possible meanings also. Snakes bit when they felt they are threatened. This may relate to those emotions that were 'threatened' as a child, the time frame when you were 'bitten'. These may be unconscious fears that are hidden due to the emotional trauma involved.
The snake itself represent a person that was responsible for these fears or emotional conflicts. Or it may symbolize the hidden fears.

{it needs to be mentioned in passing, with no direct reference in the dream but always a possibility, that a snake could represent the phallus, a Freudian take of sexual associations}

Because the bite 'did not really hurt' that may suggest it is not a conscious experience you do not remember or do not want to remember. But it was an experience that grows, growing within the unconscious wanting/needing to be realized and confronted.

It could also represent something that was not an actual experience but influences in your life that have helped formed your personality. The snake as an unconscious fear would shape your foundations and how you look at life. This would shape your personality to a great degree.

man that was also present amongst the children
Here we have a 'general' depiction of a male and not a specific person. This most often points to the animus, your masculine aspects.
This is the side of every woman's personality that includes attitudes generally associated in most cultures with the masculine.

This would be addressing your own masculine aspects. The 'children aspect could be saying something about certain masculine aspects that are yet developed or that are under developed.

But in the context it is within the dream it may 'also' be addressing the masculine influences in early life {going back to the children in your dream}. The mothers, your mother, and you as a mother, are present. The influences of early childhood have a direct association to you as a mother. It looks as if the mothers in your dream were 'just standing by' as the experiences occurred.

concern was that I was about to die
Death in a dream is most always symbolic. Death is a representation of something dying with you or in your life. The childhood aspects within the dream and a death could be saying something about something that was changed due to experiences/influences during childhood. The children not being safe may represent something about yourself that was harmed during childhood. And those influences as a part of your personality may be in some way a harm to your children.



Summary Thus Far
My sense is the dream is addressing 'general' influences, your foundations, from early life that have formed who you are as well as your personality. In previous dreams your responses included descriptions of rage on your part. Although this 'rage' in your responses is directed primarily at your ex-partner, the fact there is rage at all suggests something more than how you feel toward him. Your dream may be addressing the two issues related to children and rage. One being your own foundations from childhood and the second conflicts with your ex concerning your son.
And there are those waking influences, your ex-partner the dream would be addressing. It could be similar influences from childhood and also in current experiences.



concern grew when the man present
There is denial involved in this aspect of the dream. The concern would be about your masculine self, as would be the denial. But it could also be saying something about childhood experiences with your father {a 'man' in general terms in a dream could also represent the father}. Because dreams always address more than one aspect of the dreamer's life this would be applicable in your dream.

The denial may be repression. It could represent a desire not to confront early life influences simply because you are not aware of them { function of the dream is make you aware of the influences}. But also there may be denial of personality traits that cause the rage in your life. The father of your son is the subject of much of that rage but the underlying causes that let you exhibit rage may also be an aspect the dream is looking at. Do these exhibits of rage become powerful, full fledged bouts of rage?

The other snakes either than the brown snake may be saying something about other influences in your early life as well as other influences in your present life. They may all tend to cause the rage you feel. Anger is the rage, the doubt may be something within you you are not sure of {influences you are not aware of}. Perception may be the key word in association with the color brown, brown symbolizing instinctive aspects. Instinctive aspects could be a result of early life influences.
Bitten by a red snake on the arm may represent the anger you do not have an ability {arm} to control. Seeing the different color snakes may be seeing what you want to see as the reasons for your anger but the instinctive aspects are not seen {no longer seeing the brown snake}. You may not be consciously aware of the influences but they are within the unconscious because of the deeper influences, and perhaps as well as denial for the reasons for your anger/rage.

Summary
I believe my first summary covers the rest of the dream. The last part would place you in the present time, the concern you feel with the ex and your son, as well as the deeper aspects of early life experiences as they influence who you are in the present. The question may be how to control the anger you feel, especially if it is a 'rage' that tends to get out of control. Your response should shed light on that. Consider what i have provided and see where they may fit with your life and your personality.

I appreciate your patience with my detailed interpretation. Your response will help provide insights to this dream and its meaning as well provide insights to others to how I look at dreams and interpret them.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

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Re: Coloured Snakes

With thanks for your detailed response. There are so many components - and differing emotional responses I had to them - I am not sure where to begin.

I guess I am mostly intrigued by the tension between what aspects of the dream pertain to current circumstances versus (or in combination with) past (or childhood) experiences. I am interested in that tension for the following reason.

On the surface the dream seemed to me to parallel precisely my current circumstances. (Without going into too much detail - publicly) the dream seemed to yell at me my unexpressed hostility with regard to current laws in my country being able to protect either me or my son. (Parents have rights irrespective of their behaviour and, ironically, the this fact is often justified in terms of a "child's right" to have a relationship with both parents. As one social worker explained to a friend "a bad father is better than no father at all".) In the dream I perceived the male figure as the law - and my attempts to warn him of the danger to myself and the children as an expression of my current frustration and political anger - for which there seems to be no avenue of assistance.

My question then is, to what extent does the (repressed) emotions that stem from my childhood, for instance my father's death when I was seven, "latch onto" my current circumstances in order to be expressed. Does the dream simultaneously express both past and current repressions?

I also ask this because I have done a lot of personal work related to my childhood and am often surprised at the ongoing themes in my dreams pertaining to these issues. Or is this inevitable?

Cheers

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 42 Australia

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Coloured Snakes

Anna,
I'll provide a response later today or in the morning. Unfortunately I have to slay the dragons this morning {a thing called work} and my time is limited. Thankfully the weather has finally broken {we have had a hard winter for a southern state} and it will be a pretty day outside. My cold is better so hopefully with a good workout later today or tomorrow I will be back to my normal self.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Coloured Snakes

Anna,
It is not be co-incidence the dream seems to parallel your life. Your dreams reflect your life, past and present except it uses symbols and metaphor to explain your life. And it is the true life and not just the perceived ego life your waking conscious views. But dreams can be literal also, especially if the emotional stimulus is a conscious one. Thus this statement would be a truth,a conscious truth if actually a true experience, an unconscious truth if not yet expressed:
'In the dream I perceived the male figure as the law - and my attempts to warn him of the danger to myself and the children as an expression of my current frustration and political anger - for which there seems to be no avenue of assistance'.

You ask a great question, something I try to illustrate in most dreams because all dreams do address the two aspects.
"Does the dream simultaneously express both past and current repressions?"

The answer is an unqualified yes. Jung states that all dreams have at least two meanings. I repeat, "at least two meanings", or applications that fit the dreamer. One would be a statement about current emotional experiences. A second would be a statement about the past, one directed at causes, experiences, influences about personality, attitudes that have to do with current emotional experiences. They are tied together in some form. But one, or sometimes even both, have a greater emotional energy and would be the primary focus of the dream. The second aspect would be a lesser focus on the surface but related to the first.

Example from my own life experiences:
I had a attitude in my twenties of the need for constant relationships, even though I was happily married and did not wish to change that. Although I can not remember a dream as an example {my awareness of the dream and dream work did not begin until my early 40s} a dream would have been in line as follows:

I dreamt I was constantly in need of taking in stray cats {something I have actually done over the past several years}, feeding them and then putting them out to live on their own no matter their physical condition. My father said that was the proper thing to do, not keep the cats but only give them enough attention/nourishment to make them happy. That would make me happy also.

This scenario would have reflected my true affection for cats {then and now} but would also reflect the influence of early life from my father. He, being a truck driver and seldom home, was a womanizer to the extreme. Although in my earliest years I would have not known what a womanizer was, the psyche picks up on such subtleties {we now know that the psych of infants learn far more than we could ever imagine} and the unconscious influences through those early years have a bearing on later life as an adult. Thus the need for constant relationships in my twenties {which I know now were strictly sexual, a fact that bore on my desire not to want to leave my wife}.

These are the two aspects of the dream. A current experience {affection for cats} and the early life experiences that influenced my adulthood actions.
But my statement was "at least meanings" to every dream. A third aspect would be my strong feminine psyche. That could or could not {up for debate} have been influenced by teh fact that I grew up with 3 sister and my mother. That strong feminine psyche is one reason I believe I have the ability to interpret dreams, have an intuitive feel for Jungian psych {not having known or studied Jung before the age of 42}.

Of course the above is just an example dream but does reflect the true experiences in my life. There was that current waking life experience, the affection for and caring for cats {the need for the feminine, which may have had something to do from living with so many females early in life} and the experiences from early life, the influence of my father's actions that I too possessed as an adult. The actual need for female relationships was a substitute for not having the proper love and attention from my father, played out in my adult life due to the influences of my fathers actions.
This is a common mythological motif, the son looking for the father for reconciliation {in recent lore Luke Skywalker seeking his father and finding him, Darth Vader}.
There are so many aspects of the experiences that can be related to the dream. Jung said we may not understand or realize a meaning until much later. As with me, and not til my 40s, did I realize the influences or would have understood the meaning{s} of the dream.
Fascinating isn't it?

Your statement "I also ask this because I have done a lot of personal work related to my childhood and am often surprised at the ongoing themes in my dreams pertaining to these issues." fits with the above realizations/understanding of the different meanings with your dreams. It is inevitable, it is your life, your true self trying to come through, up from the storage within the unconscious to conscious knowledge.

I truly believe from my working with dreams that nature has provided a mechanism for healing. Just as with the immune system for the body, the dream provides the same function for the psyche/mind. Jung saw this is some aspects of the dream but I have seen such a statement of fact as I have presented it. Our dreams want to inform the waking conscious self of the unresolved emotional conflicts, the objective view and not just the subjective ego perception, so to help resolve those internal conflicts. We know stress can be deadly, makes an unhealthy body and psyche. If not for this mechanism {we need not interpret our dreams for them to be beneficial} our bodies would suffer much worse from stressful emotional events. Nature has a way to remedy what is not balanced.

In ending let me say my work with dreams and the experiences learned have solidified my belief in evolution. It all fits together when thoroughly examined. Jung discovered the spiritual aspect within the human psyche. Not a religious statement but one associated with nature. Nature, Mother Nature, giveth and takes away. Not a divine event but one that has evolved through millions of years of trial and error. The evolution of the psyche, of mankind, is recorded and as time progresses so has the psyche. The knowledge, at least most knowledge, we possess today was not possessed 10 years ago let alone 100-1000 years ago. It all evolves and by exploring the unanswered questions we find answers. I like to think that is what we are doing when we interpret our dreams. Learning more about the human psyche, advancing the knowledge that leads to new discoveries. That is the true fascination I have when decoding the dream.

I apologize for getting off subject but I felt it was the right time to explain my thinking so others would understand how I approach the dream world. So much involved in the process.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Coloured Snakes

Lets add to the posibilities of at least two meanings to every dream a literal and symbolic application to the symbols. The dream images could be addressing both, something not uncommon. An example can be found in my posted dream response Colored Snakes. The new babies could represent literal experiences as well as a symbolic representation.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Coloured Snakes

Just a quick thankyou; I always learn so much from posting.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 42 Australia

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

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