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Journey up the Mountain

Dream this morning - slightly different, particularly from a "feeling" standpoint. It seemed that I was more in control of the events - almost like I had the potential to make decisions and ultimately alter the outcome of the dream.

Standing at the base of a familiar mountain - study the surroundings for quite some time, knowing that I have attempted to reach the summit a number of different ways in the past. Experience tells me that there are no shortcuts, but rather only one way up this particular mountain. I will need to follow the path to the right - even though it makes for a longer trip, it is considerably safer and has fewer obstacles along the way. I also know that until I make my way through the thick pines, the trail will not be visible.

Once the path is in sight, I'm comfortable with my surroundings and begin the journey up the mountainside. It seems that it's much steeper this time, and I find that I'm tiring quickly - more so that usual. Midway up the trail, it becomes too difficult to move on and I discover that I've lost my strength. Just to the side of the trail, I notice an arch-shaped wooden door built right into the hillside (would remind one of a little hobbit dwelling, of sorts)with brass numbers "131" on the door front. The door is ajar, and I enter - very simple furnishings with a wooden chair just right for resting a moment...before proceeding onward up the mountain.

Once outside and back on the trail, I notice that the old woman and the wolf are standing a distance away. She approaches me and motions for me to hold out my hands - palms upward. She places her hands on mine and I feel energized. I have a moment to study her...eyes are the most prominent feature - compassionate, knowing. She is fair-skinned, with a face that is quite weathered. Everything about her appearance is earthy - and very simple. I notice that she wears a strip of thin leather around her neck, with three feathers (two small ones on either side of a larger one)attached to it. Her movements are deliberate, but very gentle.

Suddenly, the old woman is gone - but the wolf remains. He moves alongside me, and I reach out to touch the fur around his neck...it's thick and course. I'm not afraid - he's a beautiful animal with typical gray wolf markings...pure white chest. I kneel down to his eye level, and place my hands, palms upward in front of him.

Not certain of the "palms upward" significance - nor numbers "131". Hmmm...any comments, my fellow dreamers?

Deedee

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Hi Deedee,
I don't have your interpretation, but here are some thoughts.

'Palms Upward' to place one's hands in those of another is to surrender ones freedom, or rather to resign mone's claim to it by entrusting it to that person and to lay down one's power. Sounds like TRUST. Another word for this is DEPENDABILITY, reminds me of your 'Body Bag' dream.

The '131' took a little more playing with. You can look at the number symbolism, but there was something else in your dream that is similar. The old woman's choker, two samller feathers either side of a larger one. Seems like the house in the mountain and the old woman could mean the same thing. Both the house and the old woman were earthy (simple) and welcoming. Did you notice the old woman doesn't talk to you. The choker is preventing something from coming up, just like you couldn't go any further up the mountain. Is the choker representing something you can't talk about?

'3' generally means mind, body, spirit. Is the choker stopping some of these elements from interelating with each other.

This seems to work with the path going to the right, which is the correct direction of movement to consciousness. Left is generally unconscious.

Hope it makes some sense for you. Stephen G.

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

hi deedee,just a few things to ponder,open hands/palms,when we approach a dog,we seem to instinctivly hold out a hand or hands for them to sniff,to show we are not a threat,a little bit of body language we use for acceptance or the seeking of it,from your past wolf encounters,i see that a better relationship is beginning to manifest itself,ie you offering your hands/palms ,we also hold out our hands in the gesture of,,give and recieve, as in communion,which is what is evolving in your dreams.i am happy for you.
as to the number 131,if you add them together you get five which is the number for change,and this would certainly echo the slight uncertainty you still have.
i remember you posting a series of three dreams,i wonder if ,a dream before the three and a dream after have any significance,they might be connected somehow.

the thick pines,an obstacle,can't see the wood for the trees,you know the path is there,but there is a bit more work to be done,a bit of clearing away,
i think it great that you have such an on going dream relationship with the old woman and wolf,you are aware of your own mythological journey as mirrored in your dreams,and it is all beginning to unfold,be brave, oh what dreams may come.regards steve.

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Re: Re: Journey up the Mountain

Stephen, much food for thought - and something has definitely resonated. The "palms upward" and the trust factor of course make sense...particularly where the wolf is concerned. I have always felt more trusting of the old woman...she is quite like me in her actions and I know what to expect. But, something you said has caused me to feel uneasy and I suspect I must look inward for the reason why. The fact that the old woman does not speak is rather telling...and the "choker" reference, as well. Truth is, I don't believe I want her to talk. As long as she simply "motions" and keeps her communication slightly vague - I'm comfortable. It's even more likely that there is a "choking" fear associated with what she might say - or more frightening, what she might ask of me. I'll have to think more about this. One thing I know for certain, she is forever attempting to urge me further up the mountain.

I believe you're on to something with the correlation between the "131" on the door front, and the three feathers around the old woman's neck - although still not real sure of the significance. "1" being symbolic for unity - "3" being symbolic for completeness. I found it interesting that Jung says three may signify that something is nearly but not quite complete; or that what is lacking in you can be supplied only by some part of your unconscious self that you find too frightening to acknowledge or use.

Do the old woman and the wolf represent "1"...for unity? And, myself "3" for not quite complete?

Thanks for your insight, Stephen...most helpful.

Deedee

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Re: Re: Journey up the Mountain

Steve, I took your advice and re-read the dream posting prior to "Three for One" (even this dream title may hold significance) and the dream posting after. There are definitely similarities...each dream involving the old woman and/or wolf...and, in the "Three for One" the gift of a feather offered to me from the old woman.

It is true, also that in the dream state a more balanced relationship is beginning to develop between myself and the wolf. I'm more willing to allow him to get closer - the fact that I actually touched him was significant. The feeling at this moment was cautiousness...not sure of his response to my action. Getting down to his eye level and holding out my hands felt like a submissive posture - one that I thought would be more acceptable, as well as more likely to prevent harm. Interesting, however that I don't particularly like this passive role - fact is, I feel that I'm actually sronger and wiser than the wolf (in the dream) and would like to be more confident in my position.

Thanks again for your words, Steve...very wise.

Deedee

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Deedee, Jung says that the majority of dreams are compensations, so maybe you are being pulled back to center by taking a submissive role. Jung also says it is better to apply the dream to a particular event, rather than a broard personality change. It is easier for the ego to accept. So maybe look for something in the last week where you were too ascertive becasue of a lack of trust. I still believe the house and the old woman are metaphores for the same thing. The door was open, her hands were open. You felt energised after a rest in the house. You felt energised after the old woman put her hands in yours. This makes the scene a 'double' and this generally means something coming up from your unconscious for you to work with. The wolf? Cheers. Stephen G.

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Just had a thought. What if the house and the old woman are choices? To overcome the obstacle in your life you can either rest or trust your inner wisdom. Stephen G.

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Deedee,
Some thoughts to your dream, without interpreting it. When I have questions about a particular symbol that I know has relevance in mythology, I look in that direction. One of Joseph Campbell's great contributions to understanding dreams was his ability to articulate the relationship of myth to that of dream. Campbell was the master of metaphor, he taught metaphor {Life is but a metaphor....Joseph Campbell}.

From Native American mythology Campbell tells the story of the two young boys searching for their father {common motif of myth and dream}, and their choice of the taking left hand path when they came to fork {intersections, crossroads in our dreams}. The left hand path is the one that represents adventure, which for our time in on this earth would represent self discovery, creativity, the true indentity of self individuation, the higher Self. But it is full of obstacles that have to be overcome {your mountain}.
A familiar hero motif.

The boys must endure many trials, but their soul always leads them down the left hand path because this leads to his father {metaphorically himself, his highest self, and his real father in the myth}. And the Wise Old Woman is there when they need a helping hand, as an advisor providing clues as to what actions to be taken. Just as dreams do

myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life....Joseph Campbell.

But it is was the they, the boys {and you and me} who had to endure the trials and tribulations of life. As we do in our everyday lives. And because they affirm life they are reunited with their father. The hero path is one of discovering the spiritual/creative self, the self that undergoes a death and resurrection {as Jesus did} of ego-self {Campbell said annihilation} affirming the spiritual over the ego-centered self.

{tHE fIRST bUDDHIST sAYING is 'Life is all sorrowful'. There will always be sorrow in life'}

The opposite of left is right, the path of social duty. In dreams I often see this as the metaphor for social duty, taking the path prescribed by someone other than yourself {that enlightened self that knows}. Material worth over creativity. Living the The Wasteland life.

In the Arthurian myths the Knights of the Roundtable enter the forest where no other has blazed a path before, This is symbolic of the individual life. The knights were in search of the Holy Grail, the true inner self, the higher Self, spiritual and creative.




Campbell provides so much to the understanding of dreams and I always suggest one learn all they can from Campbell before they tackle the more difficult Jung. Jung was greatly influenced by mythology in his philosophies and understanding of dreams. Campbell is the great articulator of the Jungian thought. Add the understanding of Jung to his own life's experience and scholarly contributions, and you become a Jungian better versed than the 'ordinary' Jungian. I owe much to his influence to my understanding of dreams.

From Eric Ackroyd's A Dictionary of Dream Symbols

The left side of the body represents the heart, emotions, unconscious, factors, intuition

As for your number '131'. Numbers can be looked at in many ways. A single number has certain meanings, 4 & 9 as completeness, wholeness, 2 as duality, opposites. Your number can be added to repesent something. I often see 5 as a number for changes. But the number 3 flanked on either side by number 1 could have meaning. Jung saw the number 3 as something not quite complete {4}; or that what is lacking in you can be supplied only by some part of your unconscious self that you find frightening to acknolwedge and USE.
If you add right and left into the equation then you could have opposites. Your are your own opposite. Jung's number 3 may fit here. One is thought of as the number for Unity, oneness (conscious and unconscious integrated).
Just one of many possibilites.

Gerard

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

I remember when my daughters were much younger and I would be attempting to teach them an important life/spiritual principle - generally accomplished over a period of time and by using many examples in order that it be brought to life within them. It was incredibly rewarding to witness the moment when they really "got it".

Sometimes I feel a like scenario is being played out in dream - with myself and the wise old woman/wolf who are trying to impart some great spiritual truth. Even though there are definitely aspects of the dream and the psyche that I'm still very much learning, I believe I'm on the brink of "getting it" - and it's quite fascinating, to say the least.

Stephen, Steve, Gerard...as always, you've been a great help and resource for shedding light on the world of the dream. Thank you.

Deedee

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Hi Deedee,
I took on board what Gerard discussed in his posting and during the night I had a dream that I started to interpret. When I got the answer to my dream your dream popped into my head along with something else. Apart from mythology you can also apply traditional fairytales. Who are the main protaganists? Old woman - Old woman's house. Wolf. Could this be Grandma - Grandmas house. Wolf. Sounds like Little Red Riding Hood to me.

Jung mentions that apart from noticing what appears in the dreams it is also a good idea to think about what is missing. Where's the huntsman? In a body bag? If you consider this helpful then it may be a good idea to revisit this fairytale. A good place to start would be 'The Uses of Enchantment' by Bruno Bettelheim. In it he discusses the psychological aspects of many traditional fairytales.

If you accept this fairytale as a skin for your dream then the wolf has a definite devouring characteristic. In your dream it's as if the old woman (Grandma) has been devoured by the wolf (her disappearance) and then the wolf takes on the guise of the grandma (when you do the hand actions to the wolf that the old woman did to you).

What big white teeth you have, Grandma!!!
Good Hunting. Stephen G.

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Interesting that you should bring up the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale - was one of my favorites as a child. My mother has told me that at the age of five I would say at the end of the reading, "How could she have been so stupid...everybody knows he was trying to fool her!" Of course, the story has changed quite a bit throughout the years - with "Little Red Riding Hood" managing to now escape her near demise. When it was read to me, she and the Grandmother were lunch! And, I learned quickly (at least according to fairytales) that poor judgement could have potentially fatal consequences.

Certainly a fascinating slant to this dream, Stephen - not sure how I feel about it. I do know that I'm suspicious of the wolf - and not about to be fooled. There's the feeling that he will need to prove himself, before he can be fully trusted.

So, playing off of this fairytale train of thought for a moment...

The wolf would then represent an adversary - more of a negative force to be reckoned with...rather than a complimentary aspect of the psyche. The old woman, in turn, would represent a lacking - too vulnerable, too trusting, to a fault.

Do I need to simply gather my inner strength and wisdom - leave Grandma and her wolf behind - and get over the mountain (obstacle)? Are they assisting me, or delaying my progress?

More thoughts?

Deedee

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Re: Re: Journey up the Mountain

deedee,love the,he will need to prove himself,before he can be trusted,
i was reminded of star wars,and how luke skywalker was told to reach out with his senses and use the force while practicing light sabre,the wolf i feel is your,vehicle for ,reaching out .he is an extension of your senses,i have just been reading about the wolf from a shamanistic point of view,a realm full of archetypal energies,the wolf is refered to as the pathfinder!which is the mode the wolf in your dream seems to be taking,the relationship with it ,is evolving possitively.
i can't help but feel the shamanistic quality of your dream symbology,
in the heroes journey motif,there is a section about supernatural aids and helpers,the wise old man/woman is usually around here,the gifts and talisman given are symbolic of little snippets of knowledge to help the hero further on the quest,and you can't go to that, which you are not ready for.perhaps this is the forest hiding the path section of this particular dream,maybe the 131 on the door is suggesting you abide here a while,ie go back to the series of three dreams and linger,just a thought.
your old woman and wolf dreams can all be applied to the hero journey motif,but what ever you are given just like luke skywalker(the light sabre/the knowledge of the force),you have to learn to trust before you can use it, you have not been given a light sabre,but you have been given a wolf,the wolf is a symbolic, extension of your supernatural awareness,that is masculine in nature and is in ,the process of being intergrated(tamed)and on completion will become a valuble attribute for the rest of your journey.steve.

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

I think one of the most enjoyable (and educational) aspects of the dream forum are the many viewpoints being shared - and they're all worthy of consideration...each possessing a certain level of merit. I also believe it's very important for the dreamer to stay in touch with the emotions/feelings associated with dream scenarios and the characters in them - probably the most telling aspect of all.

When I think about this past dream, as well as prior dreams involving the old woman and the wolf, I see a definite character pattern...not to mention that there is intense emotion that surfaces within me when I encounter one or both of them.

The old woman is wise - the teacher, she expects that I pay attention to my surroundings and remain focused/on track. She stands back, often in the distance, and observes - only offering assistance when necessary. She is also compassionate and patient - aware that I have limitations. The wolf is my true guide - pathfinder - partner on the journey. I'm not crazy about him, but I know he's necessary. He's beginning to grow on me - trust is slow to be gained, but it's happening. Mind you, these are just perceptions.

The "mountain"...an obstacle to be overcome or a journey to a higher level?

Deedee

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

Hi Deedee,
Yes, you have differing aspects to your dream. Which one is the one for you? The one that clicks. The one that makes you think to yourself 'Oh shoot!!!'.

Did you ever see the film 'Bruce Almighty' with Jim Carey? God (played by Morgan Freemen) says to Bruce "Most people look for me up in the heavens, when really all they need to do is look down". Jung was of the same mind. He says you find God (Self)in the mud and goop. Those dirty aspects of oneself that we have been conditioned to ignore (mainly pertains to the personal unconscious interpretation, rather than the collective interpretation).

If none of these postings make you click, then keep on looking. It is in your unconscious somewhere. Was there anything that happened in your real life at the time the old woman and wolf started to appear in your dreams? Have a nice Easter. Stephen G.

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Re: Journey up the Mountain

I forgot to mention that in Bruno's book he says that in relation to "Little Red Riding Hood" the wolf (the id); the selfish, violent, potentially destructive tendencies versus the hunter (the ego); the unselfish, social, thoughtful and protective propensities. In the fairytale the wolf is transformed into the hunter by the act of the killing. Maybe in a particular real life situation your masculine aspects were taking on more of the wolf, and need to transform into the hunter. Was the little girl in you too trusting (leaving oneself open to pitfalls)that allowed the wolf to appear? Again, if it doesn't click then it is not the right interpretation. Although you did mention that it was a favorite fairytale for you. Keep on digging. You will find the treasure. Stephen G.

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