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My Interpretation of Jean Raffa's Dream 'Revisiting My Childhood Home'

Below is my interpretation of Dr. Jean Raffa's dream 'Revisiting My Childhood Home' which was posted at her MATRIGNOSIS: A BLOG ABOUT INNER WISDOM. Dr. Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops, dream groups, and study groups. Her job history includes teacher, television producer, college professor, and instructor at the Disney Institute in Orlando and The Jung Center in Winter Park, FL. She is the author of four books, numerous articles, and a series of meditations and short stories.
She also maintains a blog about inner wisdom titled Matrignosis. I was first introduced to Dr. Raffa when I purchased her book Dream Theatres of the Soul, Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dream Work.

Her newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace With Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, was launched in July of 2012 and won the 2013 Wilbur Award for best non-fiction from the Religion Communicators Council.



Childhood Homes in Dreams

What drew me to this particular dream was the mention of her childhood home at the beginning of the dream {as well as in the title}. I have found and mentioned in other posts at the Dream Forum that when I see a reference to a childhood home or a childhood experience in the beginning of a dream it almost always involves an experience in the dreamer's childhood. In this instance the childhood reference was a passing thought, a description of one part of the house and then immediately moving to a new room and references to present day life. This has been a recognizable design in these type dreams that I have monitored over the past year and seems to be pattern that fits with the reference to childhood experiences in the beginning {exposition}. I'll do some research of dreams posted at the forum and provide examples where childhood homes or experiences fit this pattern.




Dream: Revisiting My Childhood Home
I’m in my childhood home standing in a spacious kitchen that used to be tiny, dark, and dingy. Filled with light, it has gorgeous new hand-made cabinets and polished stone counters. A young woman is kneeling on the floor painting the cabinets a creamy white. A man in the adjoining dining
room is painting trim around the open doorway. I stand back to look at the remodeled kitchen and am so astonished at its beauty and suitability that I begin to weep in gratitude.

My Interpretation
Jean,
I think we can confidently conclude that houses are almost universally a representation of the dreamer’s psyche. The house is symbolic of the dreamer. In the case of someone else’s home, the house would represent the relationship of that person to the dreamer.
For example, if I have a dream I am in my mother’s house that would suggest the dream is addressing an experience with or in relationship to my mother. In responses to my interpretations at my dream forum this application of houses has been verified time and again.

As for being in the childhood home. My experiences are where there is a childhood home it is a symbolic representation {especially in the beginning of a dream} of an emotional experience{s} from that period of time in the dreamer’s life. The responses to this application in my interpretations have been pretty much verified without exception. I have consciously looked to this application of the childhood house in dreams and have found it to be accurate {from the responses to my interpretations by the dreamer}. Of course more dreams of this type must be analyzed to say it is a standard. And there will always be exceptions.

In your dream and noting the ‘past’ childhood home I believe the key word is ‘used to be’. There is a change of an emotional aspect from your childhood to the time you had the dream. The childhood home would be a past description of some aspect of the your life during childhood. What was ‘tiny, dark and dingy’ would represent an emotional description os some aspect of your life during childhood. That has changed, improved. What was dark and dingy has been ‘purified’ with awareness and insights. Your home now has gorgeous hand-made {by your hands} cabinets {cabinets are were we store the emotions} and polished stone {strength} counters.
I would be interested to know if this past childhood kitchen was an accurate description of some aspect of your childhood years. You have partially confirmed how your life is today which would fit with the newly decorated house in your dream.

As for the rest of the dream I see the young woman as being you some time in your adulthood. The man could very well be your husband, as well as your animus. The significant emotional changes could be at the age of 45 {which is still a young age} or perhaps even earlier. The animus aspect would be a stronger masculine self. The trim may suggest a stronger masculine addition to your natural feminine identity. This is an adjoining room with an open doorway. Something in adulthood requiring masculine strength has ‘opened’ up ‘painting’ a part of who you have become. You can now look at what you have achieved and have gratitude for the better lief you are living, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Jerry
Myths-Dreams-Symbols

Jean's Response
Hi Jerry, It’s great to hear from you. Thanks so much for your comments. They add great depth to the potential meanings of house dreams. I agree with all you’ve said, and am especially grateful for a few insights I didn’t have; one, that being in someone else’s house suggests an issue the dreamer has with that person.
Also, I hadn’t associated the cabinets as a place where we stow emotions! So thanks for this help. The strength of the stone counters resonates deeply.
Were there aspects of my childhood that are aptly described by “dark and dingy?” In a way, yes. I think that would be an accurate description of early feelings of sadness and loneliness, of not having my mother around enough to bring pleasure and light and happiness and safety. And then, of course, my father died. I got so used to being alone that after a while it seemed normal, but sometimes the sadness would break through into my awareness. And yes, I have opened up to many masculine aspects of my personality that have greatly enriched my life!

Thanks again for the opportunity to learn more from this dream.

Blessings,
Jean


Jean's comments on her dream as well as other comments can be seen at her MATRIGNOSIS BLOG



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