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Meeting a new Animus

Dear Jerry,

I'm very excited to have found your website, here's my dream:

I move to a new city, it is an old city, a cross between Quebec city and New Orleans. I am couch surfing till I find a place to stay, and I am staying with an incredibly handsome black man. He reveals to me that he is my neighbour Charles, and I'm excited to have met up with him after all these years.

I go out searching for an apartment on my bicycle on the cobbled streets, and I pass a shop called "cults and rituals" outside it, milling about, are people in robes and costumes.

I find an apartment, and it is perfect for me (though it has no kitchen or bathroom. It is simply one long hardwood rectangle, with wonderful windows and sunlight.) I bike to Charles' house, and ask him to help me move in. But first I have to go search for my cousin with my family.

My family and I all gather at the base of a densely wooded mountain on the outskirts of town. My cousin has gone missing, and we worry that she is also pregnant. We begin walking through the forest. I get separated from the group. I have a vision of a valley, with a thick tree in the centre - the tree is actually 4 trees stacked on top of each other. At the bottom is the shadow of a person curled in the fetal position. The shadow grows larger until it dominates the valley and blots out the trees.

I walk very far up the mountain, and reach a temple. Surrounding the temple are very pale people who I recognize as vampires, and I know I am in incredible danger. Suddenly Charles steps out from between them, and I feel immediately safe, held, my heart beats, I am unbeleiveably happy to see him. He is a vampire too, but he protects me from the others. I explain to him that I am looking for my cousin. He says that he has flown all over this mountain, he hasn't seen her, and he would have sensed her presence. I ask him to please fly with me so that I can search with him. We go searching, and we spot a girl curled in the fetal position under a tree. It turns out to be a friend of mine from college. She is simply camping on her bike trip. She has a charm to protect herself from Vampires. Charles is wearing an anti-charm, negating her charm. He does her no harm regardless. She is happy to see us both, and is on her way to Montreal.

Connections to real life:

I recently visited new orleans and spent a good deal of time biking around. I went to seek out a man who I had been dreaming about for a year. He was my animus in real life, a white travelling gypsy boy. I love him, but he is in love with another. Since my return, I have not dreamed of him. This is my first dream with my animus in a different appearance in over a year.

Charles, in my real life, is a tall red-head, he was a bit of a bully when I was a kid, and when I was a teenager he was very cool and in a band.

In my dream my cousin (not pregnant) is missing in a forest, in real life, her brother did go missing in a forest and died near a lake. It is one of the most painful things to have happened in my family.

The friend from college is also real, and is also going on a bike trip this summer, and will most certainly be sleeping under the stars. We are both pagans, what we share together is our beleif in magic, yoga, and unfortunately, our experiences with eating disorders and body image.

I would really appreciate your insight into this powerful and overwhelming dream. Thank you very much.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 22 Canada

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

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? No

Re: Meeting a new Animus

Claire,
I will provide a detailed interpretation later today. At the moment I have 'social duty' obligations to 'think' about and when that occurs my 'intuitive' mind has difficulty getting focused on the dream world. Without those intuitive senses being fully functional I am merely providing an 'educated guess' at what the dream is trying to communicate {I often refer to such social duty obligations as the 'social dragon', something we are constantly doing battle with}. And although an educated 'Jungian' guess is often better than most interpretations, it is less than I expect from myself. And much less than what I wish to provide.

I am delighted you have found the Dream Forum. Hopefully the discovery will be beneficial in many aspects of your life. I'll do what I can to interpret your dreams so you understand what the inner self is wishing to communicate and determine what outer aspects need reconciling to fit with that true inner self. From a cursory examination of your dream I sense a search is in progress. I sense a maturity on your part that will be of great benefit when discussing your dreams.
To understand my approach perhaps the phrase' life is a psychological journey' will provide insights to what to expect. If you haven't done so already I suggest you explore the pages at Myths-Dreams-Symbols so to be prepared for what Jungian psyche has to offer in the exploration of the dream world and the deeper psyche. Many 'secrets' to be realized, I promise you that.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 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: Meeting a new Animus

Jerry,

Thank you for responding to my post so quickly. I am very excited to have found this forum. I have read Clarissa Pinkola Estes book Running With Wolves, and more recently, Marian Woodman's The Still Unravished Bride. The jungian analyst dream analysis included in Marian's books, and the hero journey/Fairy tale/folk tale and learning that all the characters are aspects of the individual psyche, are ideas and concepts resonate so strongly with me, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss this dream with an actual jungian analyst. I look forward to your insight.

Claire

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 22 Canada

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

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Meeting a new Animus

Claire,
I will take a good look at your dream right after I post this reply and tackle Cynthia's dream. I thought I sensed something about you that indicated a maturity level beyond the normal 22 year old. Marion Woodman is one of my favorite authors and has helped beyond description in my understanding of Jungian psyche. Her Dreams: Language of the Soul is a must for anyone who wishes to correctly understand the depths of dream psyche. And her work with women's issues is ground breaking, the breadth of her understanding unmatched in modern reading that I have come across. Although I am a male the knowledge she instill with her insights to the soul has helped me recognize the power of my own feminine psyche. Without these qualities my abilities to understand dreams and provide at the least a viable interpretation would not be possible. And the value of her influence in my own Individuation is beyond measure. I possess the knowledge of the power to the Feminine Psyche and Marion Woodman is as much responsible for that than Jung or Campbell.

And this comes from a heterosexual male, a father, a grandfather, a veteran and all those goes with a masculine oriented psyche.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 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: Meeting a new Animus

Claire,

At 22 the psyche is too set in its evolution to drift far from its norm. If you were older I would definitely see this 0f a strong inner search quality, to do with higher aspects of being. At 22 that may be taking place but is also intertwined with actual waking experiences. the recent waking experiences tend to be more prevalent in a younger person's dreams while the deeper aspects more likely to be a part of an older person's dreams. The younger person is very much looking forward in life whereas an older person is 'looking back'. In line with my sense of your higher maturity I believe you are experiencing both, waking experiences being of recent emotional experience and the deepest emotional experience we can realize, the spiritual {that normally comes with wisdom and maturity}.

I sense your dream is about a search, an inner search, possibility to do with the spiritual identity. There are newly discovered animus qualities that need to be reconciled with an even more emerging feminine identity {in Jungian psyche a balanced, the number 4, identity is centered in the spiritual/creative aspects}. Along with the developing masculine aspects there is also that greater feminine aspect being sought out {cousin}. You have reached a new plateau of self discovery, usual with the inner search since it is through our psychology we discover those true aspects. Your whole life may have recently been transformed by new discoveries about the inner life.

Your realizations are on many levels {the four trees stacked on top of each other}. Being in a valley could be a representation of searching those deepest aspects of your psyche. A total search of identity is taking place?

Cults and rituals may be a reference to recent places/areas of spiritual exploration, organizations beyond the normal/accepted practices expected. You may having a hard time deciding whether they fit with your new level of being.

The fetal position of the known and related feminine. Still developing, emerging to conscious identity. Balancing the opposites {Charles, anti-charm, the feminine negating/ balancing the opposites}. These are symbolic of seeking wholeness, bringing about a new balance. The masculine has always been the highest quality in the outer life and as a natural aspect of the human psyche must be integrated with a balance of use. The new emerging aspect, the new higher identity will be of the feminine. The result, when properly integrated and balance is true wholeness, the number 4 in Jungian dream psyche.

Have there been recent experiences with Eastern philosophy, especially Buddhism? I am sensing wisdom beyond the norm of Western culture.

One possible association that may or may not hold relevance is the three cities cited in your dream. Quebec, New Orleans {orleans means gold, metaphorical reference to the highest quality, immortal, God} and Montreal. All are related by 'French' associations.

I'll let you sift through what I have provided. You probably have a good idea of the concepts of Jungian that goes with Jung's philosophies. That will help with identifying those things that have relevance to your life. Only you know for sure what your dreams are about. I try to peek through the periphery to gain insights to what your dreams are focused. And although you are very young I do sense a maturity that lends itself to a higher level of understanding.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 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: Meeting a new Animus

First, before anything, thank you so much for doing this interpretation. It’s incredibly in depth and insightful. Thank you for taking the time to give my dream such an analysis. This is really such a gift.

It is fascinating to know that as a young person my dreams reflect more of my waking experiences, and that the deeper aspects are present – but with time will become more clear. I have spent a lot of time writing down dreams and getting frustrated at being unable to see the connections. Knowing that there IS information, but having to sift through a lot of parts that seem like simple reflections of my waking life. It is good to know that this changes with age!

A total search of identity IS taking place. I have just finished my undergraduate degree, I am embarking on exploring new definitions of self, trying to find ME. My last course, was a two month intensive on inner creative process, I learned there that my calling is to work with archetypal energy. I don’t know what that means yet but I know it when I find it in the work (I am a theatre major).

I think it is very interesting that you say that there are animus qualities to be reconciled, AND an even more emerging feminine identity. The animus qualities I have begun to recognize, but the feminine? I feel exactly like in my dream – where is she? I do not know what that means. I believe I have not done the work to connect to my feminine identity, perhaps taking it for granted, thinking “well I’m female so there that’s done.” This is very enlightening.

When I went to New Orleans chasing my projected animus I discovered that he was human and that I had neglected my inner life – seeking outside myself what must be found inside. This was an incredibly recent realization. It has caused a huge shift. I am not sure how it will manifest yet. As for Eastern Philosophy influences, while in New Orleans I started attending kundalini yoga practices, and recognizing states of ecstatic/meditation (paradox!) in others around me. As well, experiencing a much slower pace of life than further up north where I live (a happiness vs productivity mindset). In my own spiritual practice I have explored various paths… raised Catholic, with ritual being part of spiritual practice that resonates with me, and I am grateful to have had the divine feminine in Mary present in my life (I hope to discover the Black Madonna as Marian talks about). I have spent time with eclectic neo-pagans, (working through myths such as Ivan and Baba Yaga, Odin and Yggdrasil – finding ways these stories are applicable to our own lives, finding the heroes journey), I was lucky enough last year to attend st Brigid’s feast day in Ireland, the nuns of kildare sing her name and light candles through a path leading from her well to her temple! I am searching. I am fascinated by Christian and pre-christian paganism but I have yet to explore more eastward – I believe that kundalini yoga may be a doorway to that spiritual way.

I wonder now, writing this, if the French connection prevalent in my dreams has to do with how I was raised attending mass in French (though my parents don't speak it and are anglophone, they preferred it.). And, just researching it now. The Archdiocese of Quebec city is the oldest in the new world north of Mexico. And New Orleans has the second oldest archdiocese in the United States, and Montreal has a giant blue beaming cross on the top of Mount Royal and the city has building instructions that nothing should block the view of that cross so that speaks for itself!

I think that the connections ARE overwhelming. Orleans meaning gold. The suburb I grew up in is also called Orleans.

One image from the dream, that shows me YES, you are right, it IS about finding wholeness between the emerging feminine and the opposites (would that be the masculine? Or the animus? Same thing?) my college friend’s protection charm was made out of beaded wood, and Charles’ anti-charm was made out of the exact same wood – they were nearly identical. They were made from the same thing though separate though the same (paradox again!)

Your response to the cults and rituals shop and costumes, about spiritual organizations and deciding if they fit with my new being – I think perhaps in the dream I could not tell if they were real sacred garments, or if they were costumes. What is the difference? What aspects are superficial and what is a pathway to something deeper! I think that’s frustrating! I don’t know if I was frustrated in my dream, but in holding the image in my mind now, I am frustrated, not knowing if they are playing or if they are real. (What is the difference! Is there one!? Anyways… Things to think about.)

I am excited to know that the number 4 represents balance, and identity centered in the creative/spiritual. These have been my goals over this year. I have been trying to find the spiritual in my creative energy, in my art. I have spent a lot of time feeling hollow and unsuccessful, but after this intensive I spoke of above and the discovery of archetypal energy (in the form of mask work) I think I may be beginning to see where the spiritual and the creative meet. For me.

I have one more question, could you clarify what you mean by “The masculine has always been the highest quality in the outer life and as a natural aspect of the human psyche must be integrated with a balance of use. The new emerging aspect, the new higher identity will be of the feminine.”

Why is the outer life masculine? Is it because it is action and doing in the world? Why will my higher identity be the feminine? Is that the path all women walk, or is it indicated in my dream as specific to me? If these questions are too specific, maybe there is a reading you could point me to about the feminine and the masculine balanced in an individual...

Thank you very much for your incredible insight and the time you were willing to take to let your intuition help discern meaning from my dream. Again this has meant a lot to me, and I am so grateful that random googling brought me here!

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 22 Canada

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

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Meeting a new Animus

Claire,
I will provide a response on Sunday morning. I do want to give my thoughts to your insightful detailed follow up post. Anytime I come across someone of your age who takes an interest in dreams, and self discovery, I make it a point to provide more food for thought to further stimulate that interest. And of course I want to address your dream further. Because dreams are a direct link to the unconscious, personal as well as collective, we are able to access aspects of 'Self/self' that are unattainable by conscious realization. If one can begin to understand those processes early in life, as you are doing, there is one more person who may be destined to become a 'teacher' of spirit and soul.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 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: Meeting a new Animus

Claire,
You are definitely boosting my ego with your response. Your realization and acceptance of 'Knowing that there IS information' within your unconscious psyche boosters my sense of your maturity at such a young age. It is as if I am 'psychic'. Of course what it is if anything is a good 'intuitive psyche'. I would never consider myself as a psychic but would accept the proposition of being 'psyche'. The former {psychic} has implied abilities that are often scrupulous where as the later, psyche, is a natural aspect of the human psyche which can be developed. I would argue you posses the same qualities having to do with the psyche and by exploring your dreams you can develop those 'higher' traits to an even greater level. It is from my many years of working with dreams I was able to develop my intuitive skills.

To further booster my ego {I believe in the death & resurrection as a metaphor of the death to the ego centered life and a resurrection to the spiritual/creative aspects} your conscious decisions in life to do with the creative process confirm my sense of your psyche maturity. Few realize so early in life the importance of the creative aspects that will in later life have so much to do with balance and harmony in life. You are off to a tremendous start for sure. To realize your 'calling' by the age of 22 would fill Joseph Campbell's heart with joy {Campbell taught at Sarah Lawrence women's college and his famous proverb is to 'follow your bliss, punctuating the need/desire for the creative aspect}.

Reconciling the masculine identities is always a trial for women. But for someone with the emerging 'feminine' qualities {spirituality/creativity are feminine aspects of the psyche}. Reconciling such 'manly' attitudes can be more difficult since our patriarchal society so discourages the feminine aspects. Both aspects are vital but a balance must be realized, with the feminine as the lead and not the masculine {in our 'Christian' patriarchal society, Jesus lives from the feminine aspects; loving, caring, accepting, whereas God tends to live out the masculine; demanding, judging, wrathful}. This may be where the emerging animus may come to play in your life.

The developing feminine would have much to do with the spiritual/creative processes. Perhaps the references to several French speaking localities {Toronto, Quebec and New Orleans} may have to do with American attitudes toward the French {considered soft, unwilling to fight like us Americans, too feminine like}. But of course the primary focus would be on your creative aspects. These cities probably can be associated with such creative aspects, and in particular the muses. These applications, these cities, would be references to your psyche, associations having to do with each that reflect parts of your psyche identity.
Dreams have a way of using such associations.

"When I went to New Orleans chasing my projected animus I discovered that he was human and that I had neglected my inner life". The discovery of 'his' being human would be a reference to your animus qualities, a realization that you are human, in a world of social obligations {what I call the social dragon}. These obligations are what the myths are often about. Having to fulfill those social obligations at the expense of the creative/spiritual aspects. The hero/heroine is able to transcend those social duties and focus on the creative/spiritual, following the bliss in life. It is an 'inner journey, a psychological journey.

"I started attending kundalini yoga practices". That answers my question about Eastern influences. This is a vital part of Jungian psyche, Eastern philosophies a part of that psychology {Buddhism is more a psychology than it is a religion}. Your experiences with the 'divine feminine in Mary' probably has a lot to do with shaping your creative psyche {this is one aspect of Catholicism that is a true positive-associations other Christian faiths deny}. Having experiences with neo pagans is also a plus since such earth based religions are closer to 'truths' in nature than are most organized religions. And you are right in your assumptions about Kundalini yoga. It is a pathway to understanding that can unlock 'secrets' few ever realize {when I say 'secrets' I am referring to knowledge within the psyche that has yet to be 'realized' by the individual}. Campbell's book 'Transformations of Myth Through Time' is an excellent source of learning about the Kundalini power. Energies of the body, unseen on the operating table but real in they are a force within the psyche/body that have the power to transform. Not only does this book address the Kundalini but also important realizations of Buddhism, origins of man and myth, Native American myths that provide great insights to our natural environment and more.

The 'French Connections', the spiritual, the creative. They are overwhelming when it is realized the dream is about these aspects of your psyche. Gold is the metal metaphor of God, the 'inner God' that resides within us all. If you spend enough time at Myths-Dreams-Symbols you will learn more about the 'inner truths' to do with Gnosticism, another vessel of 'secret knowledge' that has to do with the Christian myths. And another feminine sage I have learned so much from, Elaine Pagels.

I touched earlier on your question “The masculine has always been the highest quality in the outer life and as a natural aspect of the human psyche must be integrated with a balance of use. The new emerging aspect, the new higher identity will be of the feminine.” But the essence is there are the masculine and feminine identities and although our society, if not much of the world, recognizes the masculine/patriarchal aspects as the stronger of the two. I believe differently, the feminine is the stronger and such take the lad in everyday life {as in Jesus vs God]. But to balance the individual psyche there must be an integration of the masculine, especially when there is that realization that the feminine is the 'divine' that should lead our lives. Not only for women but for men also. I repeat, men also. Just as with the ego that has been resurrected, the masculine aspects is a natural and a vital part of the human animal but not the most vital. That is the role for the feminine. Blasphemy in the world of patriarchy.

I think I have covered most of what was in your response post. Let me say again how wonderful it is to discover someone your age who is taking the spiritual/creative path you have chosen. The world will open doors you never knew existed in this journey to inner knowledge. The hero/heroine of myth traveled this same path and their journeys are 'clues' to the 'spiritual Self'.
myths are clues to spiritual potentialities of life....Joseph Campbell

We all are heroes/heroines when we seek to understand those inner qualities that make up our individual lives. The spiritual path is a psychological journey. And so is life.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 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

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