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Large snake

This is the dream of a friend of mine (male, 24) who is curious about its content.

It involves a snake chasing dogs.

In the first part of the dream it was a large dog..and my freind was camping in the wilderness. His compulsion was to try and save the dog. Then he and his family drove home.

Then the snake apppeared in the street. It was chasing 4 dogs, one large dog and three small dogs. My friend got the three dogs into the house, but the large dog went to sniff at the snake. Then my friend woke up.

I noticed the comment about snakes in a dream below....but what might the snake symbolise here?

Thanks

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: Australia

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Re: Large snake

Anna,
As important as the snake is in understanding the dream, the other symbols often determine what exact symbolism the snake carries. And the symbolism of these other symbols may be as important.

Let's try one possible explanation of the dream:

Your male friend is camping in the wilderness which may represent contemplating the 'wild' attributes of the male psyche {your friend is male}. The dog could very well represent his animal nature. For someone who is 24 such a defense is not uncommon. In this determination of symbols {I may be right, or may be way off course as to the symbolism} the snake would represent sexual aspects {snake is often symbolic of the penis}. Streets often indicate the path in one's life. This aspect may allude to potential sexual desires that may be beyond the norm. If your male friend is the type who enjoys the 'ladies' this interpretation may fit. He may be trying to control such sexual urges {the 3 dogs into the house} but there is the one big barrier of unconscious desire that escapes capture and control.

Look at your friend's personality and determine if he indeed is a ladies man. The dream would be addressing that aspect but is also looking deeper into his psychology for the causes for such attitudes. In the dream his 'compulsion' was to save the dog {uncontrollable animal nature of sexuality}.

As for other possible interpretations I can only suggest looking at the individual symbolism of each image {wilderness, dog, snake, house, etc.} to determine what other possibilities the dream may be addressing. Of course only he {your male friend} can determine which fits.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Large snake

Ahh....with thanks G. This is almost spooky.

Yes, he is a ladies man...to what extent I will not reveal here; that sexuality is not really conventional either. Not sure if he has a desire to control that....only he could say. There are those in his life who wish he could....

with thanks

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: Australia

Re: Large snake

Could it be that I am terrified of snakes and love and miss my dog (even though he had died in this dream?

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 24, Sydney

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Re: Large snake

Craigy,
Your dog could be a partial stimulus for the dream. But the dog would be more than just your dog. Dreams always address more than one aspect of the dreamer's life. And seldom are the symbols literal, they are metaphorical. The dog was most likely a metaphor for your own 'animal' instints. If you are indeed a 'ladies' man {Anna seems to think so} then the dream would fit. Dreams are not random illustrations that fill your hours of sleeping. Dreams are a mechanism to help you balance those aspects within your psyche that may need adjustment. Just like the body's natural defense mechanism against diseases, psychologically dreams are a defense against emotional overload or imbalance.

In your dream the word compulsion is included. This is probably not by accident. Being a 'ladies' man would suggest there is an overly stimulated libido. Psychologically there is probably a stimulus for this. It is what I can 'looking for love in all the wrong places'. Not only am I promoting this idea, I am a patient of it myself. And it probably stems from childhood.
What was your childhood like? Bad childhood experiences doesn't necessarily make you a 'ladies' man but they can push you to be. Since sex is perhaps the strongest human inclination {physically} it may be your instrument of choice. A substitute perhaps for the love and nourishment you have sought since you were a child.]

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Large snake

That's fairly interesting Gerard and scaringly "correct". I think my "ladies man" title is actually an over-compensation for what was rather a comparatively asexual childhood.

It seems that when I have the dreams that I do (with recurring themes), I keep having them until I figure out what they mean and conciously change/reflect on the issue at hand.

Being symbolic and all, no doubt waking up at the penultimate moment is signficant as well?

Cheers Gerard

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Re: Large snake

Craigy,
It is great that you have an awareness of the stimulus for your 'compulsions'. I wish I had the same insights when I was your age. It would have saved me from one more serious mistake in my life {a 3rd failed marriage}.

But it is what you do with this knowledge that makes the difference. To let it have control over your life will only lead to similiar mistakes I experienced. To learn more about the stimuli is most important in overcoming its 'hold' on you. Look back at those formative years and see exactly what was there that makes you who you are today. By removing the unknown you will learn all about yourself. It is like looking at a mirror and seeing what is inside and not just the outside. It can be life changing. At the least it will help you discover more about yourself that one day will hopefully bring an end to 'looking in all the wrong places' and instead give you cause to look within yourself for those things that will bring about wholeness and happiness.

Sex is a wonderful thing. There was a time in my life when I thought it was the most important thing. Now I know I was expecting too much from a physical desire and ignoring the psychological implications of my actions. How I wish I could go back and make changes.

I have a great song title for anyone who can come up with the lyrics.
I've Been On Both Sides of Hurt and Don't Care for Either One

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Large snake

Hi Craigy and Gerard

I am struck by this post for a numner of reasons.
Normally when I see a post of the dream of a friend it is hard to interpret and the interpretation is very difficult and rarely does the dreamer get involved.
Anna has demonstrated a lovely side to friendship here and Craigy has put forward a lot of trust in her, the Forum and his inner world.

The meanings of this dream will likely continue to unfold for a long time; and I would like to add some seeds for future thoughts.
The snake has many symbolic meanings, some already covered. There is an aspect of danger in the snake also - it has a bite, poison and can be fatal. So an aspect of you may be 'sniffing around' these issues. This may not be actual suicide, but more subtle 'life negating' tendancies.
Is the camping a allusion to (latent) homosexuality ?
Do you have an element of 'aloneness', maybe feeling outside the group, special, misunderstood ? or do you 'need' periods of aloneness ? I mention this because you are in the wilderness alone. This could also represent a feeling of unretatedness, both within and in outer life; for which the uncontained sexuality could be a compensation.

All the best Craigy, in line with what Gerard mentioned, I too wish that I had had my eyes opened earlier ,,, but that was not the path I needed to take, or chose to take

Justin

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Re: Large snake

Hi everyone....this post has taken a turn (for the good) which is ultimately none of my business.

However, from a philosophical perspective I am intersted to ask both Gerard and Justin the following question: what made the difference? You both suggests that you were walking the wrong path (of external gratification) and then took a new path towards internal psychological concerns. Can you say why exactly?

Cheers
Anna

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Re: Large snake

Oh...thanks for stuff on libido Gerard....

Anna

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Re: Large snake

Justin,
You bring up an interesting point about the how 'the meanings of this dream will likely continue to unfold for a long time'. Jung addressed how dreams can take on an 'evolving' interpretation to meet the evolving life. The same dream can mean different things at different times in a life. I find this application of how dreams function, along with how there are at least two interpretations to every dream {addressing the current personal life's condition and the deeper causation aspects}, as an example of the power of the psyche.

The human brain's evolution is progressing but there may be many existing aspects that have yet to be discovered {or more accurately, ***re-discovered}. Jung's archetypes give form in images {dreams & myth} that helps us understand the connection of the universal to the individual. It is nature, a natural evolution all around. So I agree with Justin of the possibility this dream {other related dreams} can come up again in the future. Or any dream where there remains unresolved issues lasting over time. The causations have will not have changed but it is another time in life. Unless the sexual issues have been confronted {often seen as a shadow image in dreams} and properly resolved them, the day and year will be different but the pattern of behavior hasn't. Even simple relationships have consequences if the 'other' isn't given full attention for their feelings. Or they become just another sexual partner and all emotional energy has been drained from the experience. It will no longer satisfy {yes, even sex can become ho hum-ask anyone married for more than 5 years} and then one becomes prime for depression, neurosis or possibly something worse.

I can't be critical of sexual issues because I was guilty of similar offenses. But if you {Craigy} are aware of the 'ladies man' persona and do not attempt to resolve the deeper issues there will be consequences later in life. Nothing sinister or mystical, just the natural result of our actions. Over time it will catch up with you and then there is real hell to pay. What goes around comes around {I live by this principle}. It is fun while you are doing it but believe me later on there are so many regrets. And your dreams will always be there to remind you.

But I am encouraged that Craigy will do the right thing. Craigy:I think my "ladies man" title is actually an over-compensation for what was rather a comparatively asexual childhood" is a positive remark. At least he is thinking about it and has an awareness. And Anna seems to think highly of him, that's a plus. Craigy may have a 'compulsion' but he is still a good person.

But wait a moment. Does the plot thicken and we learn Anna is a victim of Craigy's charms? What is the relationship here guys? Inquiring minds {Jerry Springer types} need to know.

Gerard

***re-discovered:
The ancient Pyramids still have scientist puzzled over how they were so symmetrically constructed.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Large snake

Hmmm...me feeling guilty....I think I have intruded upon what, ultimately, is Craigy's thread/issues/own journey.

I'll let Craigy speak to all of that...for now...if he wants to.

Anna

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Re: Re: Large snake

Hi All

yes this has expanded ,,, as it should.
Anna askes: "What made the difference?" Well maybe I can let one of my dreams answer that - I crashed into a glass wall. One that cannot be seen, but is certainly there, one that it is possible to see through but not penetrate, one that stops sound (vibration, life) very effectively ,,,, and there was no going around the issues any more. Indeed,, that is just the point - I could not see the issues, I could not see the things that were stopping my life move forward. I had to stop.
And - I had a dream that gave me a jolt; gave me feeling so strongly that I turned inside ,,,,

Rather than say i was on the wrong path - I would say that it would have been possible to circumvent a lot of heartache and hard life ,,, however without my history I would not have the personal data bank that has been so invaluable to work from; it serves as a contrast and source of learing for what is now evolving. Having worked through my patterns I can see them more clearly ,,,

Many thanks
Justin

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Re: Large snake

Anna,
What changed my attitude? Mid-life. As with most middle aged people you get to that point in life where the baggage is so heavy you have to find relief.
Joseph Campbell cites the T.S. Eliot poem The Wasteland as a metaphor for how many boomers see their past. We have wasted all those years looking for the wrong things in all the wrong places.

My change in direction came right after my 3rd divorce. I finally had to ask the question, 'why can't I stay married'? Three wonderful women yet I wasted it all. And for what? I did feel a void even when life seemed so right. It was an unconscious reasoning that I had no clue to at that time in my life.

That question wasn't answered until I happened upon Joseph Campbell, and then Carl Jung. With their help I began that long journey into self discovery. Not only did I find answers to my questions about marriage but also found new direction for many other questions in life. Including religion. And I discovered that creative aspect, my bliss.

Like Craigy I was a 'ladies man', seeking attention through sex {I am assuming a lot about Craigy}. But with that inner exploration of my life I discovered sex was only a substitute for the love and acceptance I never received as a child. Although my mother is a true hero, my father never was there to provide the attention I needed from a male role model {he abandoned my mother and 4 kids when I was 6}. And growing up 'poor' caused me to live an introverted life and slowed my personal growth. I am an extrovert by all measures. That is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. That was how I lived my first 30 years of life, trying to fill that void left over from childhood experiences.

Don't get me wrong. I don't suggest it was just this one thing in my life that caused me to seek love in all the wrong places. But it formed a pattern I would grow into and my choice was to substitute the lack of fatherly love with new sexual partners, thinking it would fill the void. Plus my father was the same type, many other women in his life. Like father, like son. I am no apologist but eartly life experiences can, and do determine how one lives their life.

Now that I have undergone 13+ years of self discovery I understand why I did what I did. It was an unconscious motivation that 'prompted' me to make those mistakes. And they were mistakes. I deeply regret those I hurt because of my actions. If there is one thing I wish to convey to Craigy and others who may share my 'disability' is what you do today can come back to 'haunt' you. If I knew at age 20 what I know today I would have done so many things differently. But I can't change the past, I can only try to make amends. And not to repeat those same mistakes. The new person I have become will never again make those mistakes.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Large snake

With thanks G. for being so candid in your replies. And, I think your comments about one's actions catching up with them - sometime in the future - is kind of why I take an interest in Craigy's dreams. (Amongst other issues which are, of course, part of my own journey).

I care for Craigy very much - and can predict a time in his future where that past might catch up with him....but who knows, and who am I to say...

But, I am talking about someone who isn't here again... I don't know how to convey this concern without seeming patronising - or without being sure I am not speaking from the context of my own journey instead of his. Does that make sense?

Thanks again...
Anna

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Re: Large snake

It is interesting to see Anna, the content of this whole conversation, even though I haven't read it bit by bit. From my understanding, you seem to care about your friend and trying to express that through this forum.

I hope that your friend knows you care about him, I hope you have a good communication.
The fact that you started this post shows that you need to talk about your relationship with your friend, and what it means to you.

As we care about others we try to demonstrate that we're here for them, yet sometimes even that takes the wrong turn, and they need to find that strenght, honesty and inner voice within themselves, on their own. That obviously takes time.

All the best,
M

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Re: Large snake

I had a follow-up dream the other day that I thought I might need to share... and then another, but a different theme entirely!



There is this a girl at work who does the same job as me, not at all jealous of her, not a friend of her, would never socialise with her, but just a professional working relationship...

Anyways, the dream went as follows:

We were at a work function and we had both had a bit to drink. I dreamt that I "picked her up" and as we on a hotel bed, she said "i am cheating on my Lachlan!" but then she willingly obliged... (Lachlan is the actual name of her boyfriend in real life)

The next day at work, we didn't say anything about this night together, but found ourselves to be the last ones in the office... it is at this time, that she propositioned me, and we had sex on her desk... but again she repeated "i am cheating on Lachlan!"

Weird? Related? Work hasn't been too good at the moment, and she's not been the least bit easy to get on with...

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 24, Sydney

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Re: Large snake

Craigy,
Most likely the girl you speak of from real life is representing a part of your own unconscious {anima}. She represents a correcting mechanism to those actions in your waking life {ladies man} that deep down you feel is not approperiate and counter to emotional balance. She would represent that aspect of the psyche that Jung calls the 'soul-image'. It is a mediator - a go-between that establishes communication between the conscious ego and the unconscious and reconciles the two.

Consciously your impulsive behavior of being a ladies man is placating that inner need for some unfulfilled emotional need. This dream is addressing your unconscious 'guilt' because of your conscious actions. She, as a person you consciously view as someone not to socialize with, represents your conscious behavioral attitude which unconsciously you recognize as not emotionally positive. The cheating part is 'cheating on yourself', cheating yourself by your 'ladies man' attitude in waking life.

In the dream the girl knows it is wrong to cheat on 'Lachlan' {both of you are masculine}. This is the unconscious attitude you hold but consciously you can't help yourself and continue to follow through on your 'ladies man' attitude {she cheats anyways by having sex on the desk}. In real life you are cheating yourself by giving in to these desires.

It can sometimes be difficult to understand how dreams use symbols to address the unconscious attitudes we hold. Dream images can take on different manifestations, often addressing more than one aspect of the dreamer's life, using the same symbol. But by following Jung's guidance in interpreting dreams we can discpher much of the symboloic language. If you are interested in learning more about his methods {and those used here at the Dream Forum} I suggest you read the links in the left column. Not only will you discover how dreams function but also gain insights to your own emotional attitudes. It requires some effort on your part but if you will take time to investigate what Jung has to say you will be better prepared to handle the emotional toll of your conscious actions {of being a ladies man}.

Also very important is to discover the deeper issues as to why you have these attitudes to begin with. You stated in your original post of 'comparatively asexual childhood'. Perhaps following through on that will provide clues to those deeper issues. Although you feel you had comparatively asexual childhood your childhood evironment and the nurturing process from your parents play a large role in your reasoning. There may be deeper issues still that you have yet to recognize that plays a role in your adult behavior in the present.

Let me state for the record that you are not alone in having such emotional attitudes. I've spoken of my own experiences which are silimiliar to yours. But believe me everyone has some kind of unconscious issues that conscioulsy control their waking lives. Yours and mine happen to be Freudian related. Other people have different issues, most all related to experiences from early life or traumatic experiences. These are patterns of behavior which are often best summarized in mythological themes {example: Jekyl and Hyde-two different personalities within the one person}.

You are an intelligent guy and I see opportunties where you can learn to control your compulsions and discover the underlying causes. It is a matter of wanting to. Plus you have a great friend in Anna who is willing to be that good friend no matter who you are or what you do.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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