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Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce

In my dream I am looking at the constellations at night with a man I've known on-line for about 2 years but have never seen or met in person. We were becoming more and more romantically attracted, but since I'm married we agreed to stop being in contact a little over 2 weeks ago.

I see and point out the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cepheus (which prompts him to compliment me for being able to pronounce it (not sure why, it's easy to pronounce.), and Cassiopeia (I'm never sure how to pronounce that...CassiOpeia or CassioPeia). I comment that I remember James Joyce thought of the W as a tribute to William Shakespeare (in Ulysses?). He then said something in reponse but I can't recall what.

The overall feeling in the dream is peaceful, relaxed and pleasant. Any insights? Lots of myth there.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 48 northeast, USA

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

Re: Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce


Would you clarify the first paragraph - the details about the relationship with the man - is this waking life or in the dream? This will assist in the interpretation.

Many thanks,

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

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

Re: Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce

Yes, it was in waking life. He didn't seem upset at all that we ended contact. It was a fantasy kind of relationship, we never intended to meet, so the line blurs there a bit about how real it was. Or, I blurred the line.

Thank you.

Re: Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce

My apologies on the very late response. The personal information you provided is a great help to interpretation. However I am not getting a good sense of the dream theme due to the current day job work load interferring with intuition for the moment.

On the personal level, the only feeling I get from the dream is perhaps a sense of the waking relationship being 'in the stars' or fated. And perhaps acknowledgement that what is was, was what it was, no more no less.
In that:
a. Night/space symbolizing internet
b. the two consellations, Cepheus/King and Cassiopeia/Queen
c. Joyces' Ulysses as a rework of the original, albeit very creative version, in the myths as a 'fated journey'.

What are your thoughts? Are you currently involved in Self work utilizing Jung and Campbell? As Ulysses symbolizes a Heroes Journey, set with all the stages, could this dream signal The Call to Adventure?

Many thanks,

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

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

Re: Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce

Thank you for taking the time to respond at all, and providing me the opportunity and space to think this through beyond myself. My thoughts don’t seem very insightful to me. As if I’m missing something that’s obvious. I can still recall the peaceful feeling of the dream.

No, I’m not involved with any official self work. I did read a biography of Jung (can’t remember the title) about 15 years ago, and also am a little familiar with Campbell from one of his books and videos (really love watching him speak). I might also add that I did love a class on 5 epics including The Odyssey, and a class exclusively devoted to Joyce’s Ulysses…about 10-15 years ago. So I have all that symbolism floating around in my head.

Night symbolizing the internet hadn’t occurred to me. That’s interesting. I wondered if Night was saying something about the obscure nature of this person I connected with (I never saw him, and I never asked to see him…if he was really a he. Many unknowns.). There seemed a comfort zone in that distance, so space makes sense. Now it just feels dark and remote. I should add that I had/have often wondered if the person I got attached to was assuming many different personas and names on the site we encountered each other. Sometimes that bothered me, sometimes, not. I never asked him about it. There were several distinct writing styles in his e-mails. It could’ve been many people using one name. That’s a dreadful thought, but a possibility. That might explain the appearance of Shakespeare and Joyce in my dream. They both created different characters, and were from British Isles. Same place as the person I communicated with, supposedly. However, I do love just looking at the stars. Maybe because they seem so permanent unlike our mortal relationships.

The King and Queen resonated a bit more with me. I don’t know enough about dream interpretation to know whether the King and Queen are both aspects of me. If so, I don’t know why I’d think the pronunciation of Cepheus would seem easier to me than Cassiopeia. Could that easiness say I’m more comfortable with my masculine side? But I also picked up a sense of an underlying untruthfulness in the compliment. As if it were overdone, or that I wouldn't notice. I did. Maybe that's the part of me that felt left in the dark about the questions I didn't ask him.

Cassiopeia is the vain queen. I wouldn’t call myself vain. I am aloof, and sometimes people think I'm haughty as a result. I haven’t been drawn to too many people. So I wonder if I’m identifying with the myth of the dishonored Queen itself and I’m feeling some loss of dignity for having let myself have a verbally intimate relationship that now seems so nonexistent and dispensable and maybe my punishment for myself is to be in an undignified position as Cassiopiea is half of the year. Though, I don't feel ashamed of my own feelings and thoughts, just that I might have offered my private self to someone who maybe didn't value me in the same way. The price of living, I suppose.

Then there’s the overall sense of peace that the dream left me with. Why would I feel relaxed and peaceful if the above is the case? Maybe as long as I attribute the value I do to the relationship, I am at peace. Or will be eventually.

What is The Call to Adventure you speak of? Like what it sounds like?

Here’s the (lovely) excerpt from Ulysses that refers to William in the stars. It’s from the chapter that corresponds with Scylla and Charybdis in The Odyssey:

STEPHEN: (STRINGENDO) He has hidden his own name, a fair name, William, in the plays, a super here, a clown there, as a painter of old Italy set his face in a dark corner of his canvas. He has revealed it in the sonnets where there is Will in overplus. Like John o'Gaunt his name is dear to him, as dear as the coat and crest he toadied for, on a bend sable a spear or steeled argent, honorificabilitudinitatibus, dearer than his glory of greatest shakescene in the country. What's in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours. A star, a daystar, a firedrake, rose at his birth. It shone by day in the heavens alone, brighter than Venus in the night, and by night it shone over delta in Cassiopeia, the recumbent constellation which is the signature of his initial among the stars. His eyes watched it, lowlying on the horizon, eastward of the bear, as he walked by the slumberous summer fields at midnight returning from Shottery and from her arms.


Re: Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce

Again, I apologize. This response is very delayed again due to work but am back to balance now.

Your examination of your dream and symbolism is great! In actuality, the dreamers personal association to symbols are most important in dream interpretation as dreams are very personal. The Jungian basis we use here many times allows us to see the outline from an outside perspective. It’s the dreamer’s personal associations that provide context to the symbols. That’s why open communication and dreamer feedback is vital to getting to the real essence of dream meaning.

Overall, on a personal (waking) level perhaps this dream speaks to closure, hence the peaceful, relaxed feeling. Often times on further examination of our personal actions we habitually or auto invoke a guilt and punishment reaction due to our upbringing and social conditioning. From a psychological stand point neither is productive nor lead to positive self development. Simply recognizing something that is incongruent with our inner Self and applying rational examination to foster inner change of the source is positive and productive action leads to Self renewal and healing. In this, your dream perhaps recognizes your unconscious emotions and works to resolve an inner conflict.

In your dream the night sky, stars and constellations brought to mind the internet, minds and groups. Symbolized as:
Internet- vastness of space (distance) & the collective mind
Stars – individual minds
Constellations – connected groups of minds (like the Dream Forum)

Perhaps the Little Dipper and Big Dipper represent the particular internet group you where mutual contact was initiated and/or sustained.

Your definition and connections made to Shakespeare and Joyce relevant to the dream is excellent. Regarding the compliment on pronouncing Cepheus, the King, could hold dual meaning as to why continuing communication with this person after you experienced doubts/suspicions: the fictional aspect, in support of the connection to Shakespeare and Joyce; and perhaps unconsciously an outside affirmation, albeit false, of your self you received in this relationship.

A thought regarding the W. The unconscious, like the conscious, can communicate multiple lines in a single symbol. The universal language utilized by the unconscious is efficient in this way. Invert the W to become an M. Notice how a W, two openings above, could have additional clue to multiple meaning of this symbol. ‘Containing’ the Shakespeare/Joyce connection in fiction; the personal value you ‘held’ in the relationship, but also when inverted as M, your first initial. The hidden name…as from the excerpt from Ulysses…the M could symbolize you. Your opening yourself to an intimate verbal relationship and as your ability to see the incongruence in the communications. A secondary, but possibly more important, connection is discussed below.

With Jung, dreams function on many levels. A single dream can have multiple meaning as personal (waking), deeper (inner Self), spiritual, collective, wish fulfillment, etc all recognized as aspects of Self. With this there is often a deeper meaning within dreams. The Call to Adventure is the first step as Joseph Campbell defines in The Heroes Journey. At mid life the Journey takes on added dimension as a review of past life in preparation for later life. A 'chance' or call to live a life of personal fulfillment, rather than societal imposed duty, and a reconciliation or personal understanding of the final stage of physical life, death. Click on the link to access the MDS page for in depth information:
Joseph Cambell

Your dream may also contain a deeper level of meaning in relation to the inner Self. The Constellations, Shakespeare, Joyce, Ulysses, your interest and enjoyment of star gazing and mythology, all hold deep mythical symbolism relative to the inner Self. At this level dream characters represent different psychological aspects of a person. The man would be a masculine aspect of you, your animus. The feminine as your primary or leading aspect, the animus then being your supporting or compliment aspect. In the dream your feminine, you, perceives an underlying untruth in the compliment, the animus. This could denote although externally, ego/Persona, you are comfortable, (relaxed feeling), with your animus development the inner Self recognizes the animus is lacking development in some way. From the Cassiopeia constellation information you provided your animus may in some way act to dishonor the feminine. Perhaps the Cepheus connection describes the animus as placing itself above the feminie, the feminine a Queen to it's King role, in the Psyche. Only you can determine exactly what the symbolism represents as this relies on your inner view and knowledge of Self of your masculine/feminine aspects. This can also speak to the patriarchal view of women as a lesser component, devaluing our feminine aspects.

Thank you for your in depth consideration and participation. Your insight is much greater than you consciously realize. In your reply you answered many of your own questions and in essence interpreted your dream. From an outline of possibilities your insight brought out the depth of meaning in the dream. Your interest and knowledge of mythology is a great asset in dream interpretation.

And thank you for the link to quotesandpoem.com. I will be sure to visit this site.

Kind regards,

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

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

Re: Constellations, Shakespeare and James Joyce

Thank you, Kathy. There is a lot there to ponder. I really like the connections you made re the internet, constellations and groups of minds, etc. Not being terribly tech savvy, those kinds of newer connections tend to elude me. Though, not knowing what the person looked like, or other details, made me focus on the sense of his being through words (my medium). And I love his being.

The death/night connection also surfaced a day or so ago, and I wondered if the night and space might have something to do with my nearing menopause (woohoo!). I am kind of excited as compared to being depressed about that (watch, it won't happen til I'm 60), so maybe that has something to do with the peacefulness I felt, too. I'm ready.

I'm not sure how my animus manifests itself. I'll have to think about that. Hard-headedness and woeful stubbornness?

I have given thought to the idea of the internet (and the possibility of the above relationship as a group of people) as kind of like a group psyche because the internet is so anonymous unless you've actually met someone. I think maybe that's some of why the idea of there possibly being several people involved under one name didn't always bother me (us all being one, or from one source, et.). It kind of felt natural in a let-go-of-the-boundaries way.

I have printed out your response, and really appreciate the time you spent offering it to me. After I posted that previous response, I did a search for the Call to Adventure, and then got some books from the library. I've begun The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Thanks again,

stats from 7-14-10 to the present