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A kind of religious dream?

I had a strange dream. I guess I should first say that I am not Catholic and was not raised with any religion but have been stuying religious subject matter for a long time. The dream was that me and my mother went to a graveyard and I guess it was near or on the grounds of a church. I saw a priest getting out of a little house in the cemetery. My mother was interested in the gate of the cemetery. It had an interesting design on it and was made of a unique kind of material. Then I remember sitting down at a table with my mother and across from us sat a priest and he was showing us things. I think they were religious things. The priest had a kind of large goblet that almost looked like a large horn and he was showing it to me like this is something that is used in a sacred manner but then I noticed that I had one of these large goblets too between my legs as I sat in the chair but I was using it in a more casual way and I think I was using it to drink from as one would when thirsty. There was another table nearby with women sitting at it and there were cakes on their table. My mother kept telling me to go over and get her some of that cake so I finally did. There was only one piece left of the kind of cake she wanted so I gave it to her. It was the last remains of the cake but was the equivalent to one small piece. It looked like a Dominican birthday cake a family member buys for birthdays sometimes. Then I went over and got the other cake. It was almost an entire cake. I brought it over to my mother. anklebells

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 42

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Anklebells,
Your dream has a lot of spiritual symbolism in it for sure. The priest and the church. Horns can be symbolic of celestial music {angels with horns}. But the terms graveyard and the cemetery may suggest that part of this 'inherent' aspect may need more personal investigation {but may allude to your studies into religious matters}. The question that comes up is whether your mother is a symbolic metaphor for your higher feminine wisdom or is she a part of the dream due to your relationship with her. A good chance it is both.

The main plot of the dream may be centered on the 'casual' use of the goblet between your legs. The goblet would symbolize the 'blood of Christ' and your legs the foundation of who you are.
If you are like me {the study of religions is required in understanding mythology which is vital to understanding Jung's archetypes}, religion is a casual thing and not a controlling factor in life. But spirituality is. Perhaps you have put religion in its place but are still searching for that spiritual aspect. Even though religions have little value for you the spiritual aspect is there and available {drink when you are thirsty}.

Carl Jung's many aspects of the psyche include not only a shadow, masculine/feminine aspects, Freudian sexual aspects, Adler's power principles, but also a spiritual/creative aspect as well. Everyone possesses the above aspects within their individual psyche.

This would address the inclusion of the religious symbolism. The graveyard/cemetery may be about putting these 'myths' to rest as far as their historical value. But that doesn't mean putting your spiritual self to rest.

Then there is your mother. Has there been discussion about religion with her recently? Or better yet is this something she brings up in conversations? What is her stand on religion and how has it affected you {your dreams are about you. The inclusion of your mother, if not metaphorical, would be about your relationship with your mother}.

The cake. At first it is just a single piece. By the end of the dream it is the whole cake. Cake can be sweet and fun to eat. But the whole cake may mean over indulgence. Does this fit somewhere in your life or with the relationship with your mother?

To be honest I feel as though I am dancing around the perimeters of your dream. The exact meaning only you can discern. Perhaps a follow-up post reflecting your reaction to my interpretation, and a clearer view of the relationship with your mother will help clarify the intent of your dream.

Gerard

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

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Anklebells,
In addition to Gerard's insight the following may have some relevance. Another thread of meaning in the dream may be initiation and transformation as it pertains to the female in midlife. Campbell's insight about transition of girl to woman, in a cyclical manner, could have similar meaning at midlife.

from Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth: The First Storytellers

“…given the absence of initiation rituals, which have largely disappeared from our society…The kind of responsibility that goes into a priesthood with a ritual is not there…the girl becomes a woman with her first menstruation. It happens to her. Nature does it to her. And so she undergoes the transformation… The rituals that once conveyed an inner reality are now merely form…With respect to ritual, it must be kept alive. So much of our ritual is dead….Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are artists of one kind or another. The function of the artist is the mythologization of the environment and the world… The woman is life, the man is the servant of life.”


from Joseph Campbell's Pathways to Bliss: Dialogues

“…The most precious thing in my life can go. That’s the initiation rite for women, to let go. But the man has to be systematically withdrawn from the mother’s world, out into the men’s camp to find his field of action. The girl is overtaken. So the initiation of the girl consists largely of sitting in a little hut at the time of first menstruation realizing, I’m a woman-that’s really all it is. The boy has to enact being a man. The girl has to realize that she’s a woman.”

“…formerly, having children was the creative job…and there will come a time when they’re in their fifties and their family will begin to go off,…and there they will be…how to read the world in terms of the second half of life journey…there is something now feeding this aspect of each woman’s life….Don’t think about the negative side…There are going to be negatives and they are going to come down…You’ve got to hold the door open to do anything that hasn’t been done before. You have to do your thing.”

Kind regards,
Kathy

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Thank you Gerard and Kathie,

I guess the meaning of this dream was obvious to me in a lot of ways but I still wanted to post the dream and I am glad I did. Posting it and having some interpretation on it helped me somehow. I am 42 and never got married or had children so I never went through certain rites of passage but perhaps I went through them in other ways or have yet to go through them.

As far as the graveyard goes, it was wrapped up in certain studying I have done like ancestor veneration and ancestor altars for example. Also, even though I have done certain spiritual studies, I think for me personally, I have a need to be connected to and find a community in one religion. My parents both referred to themselves as aethiests. I guess the rite of passage I have not finally passed through yet is accepting that my family of origin is just not interested in religion and discussion of spiritual subject matter. I have been trying to share these things with them …I need to share it with those who are similar to me. Maybe we do things when we are ready. I am ready. My personal history made it so I was a late bloomer…

The part of the dream that I found intriguing is the casual use of the goblet shaped kind of like a horn between my legs. If you have any more insight on that I would be interested. Me and the priest both had one but we were using them a bit differently. I took this to mean that I am a minister of God in my own way and perhaps in a more casual way than a Catholic Priest.

Thanks so much for your help… Anklebells

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Anklebells,
It seems I was correct in my statement about 'dancing around the perimeters' of your dream. The discussion with your mother I asked about concerning religion was obviously a spiritual aspect. Your parents being atheists may have been what I couldn't put my finger on about the dream. That would explain the graveyard and your mother.

As for the goblet shaped kind of like a horn between my legs, I believe your conclusions about that aspect is exactly right. "I took this to mean that I am a minister of God in my own way and perhaps in a more casual way than a Catholic Priest". That statement is probably the stimulus for the dream. I may have made the right conclusion with my statement "This would address the inclusion of the religious symbolism. The graveyard/cemetery may be about putting these 'myths' to rest as far as their historical value. But that doesn't mean putting your spiritual self to rest". Your studies in religion address the historical aspect of religion but that inner desire for a real spirituality is what truly interests you.

Thanks for the follow-up post. Your explanation shed a lot of light on the dream and put into context how your dream was addressing those inner desires..

Gerard

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

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Anklebells - just an alternative complementary view - not taking away from anything Gerard and Kathy have written - as I agree with these persepctives.
But like you I am unmarried without children.
The mention of the goblet in reference to your legs/body made me think of a painting, I produced about 4 years ago which was a woman writing with a body as an hour glass through which blood flowed.
It was a reference to the sacrifices made to education and work in regards to life and family and also the despair of time passing, without going through those gates you had hoped to pass through.
You referred to 'going through initiation/life rites in different ways'. I think those of use who don't go through the 'standardised' life measurements - and especially those for women, we grieve for those things, sometimes naturally but more often than not, because of the perceived pressure from society about achieving or going through things - because that is the expected norm.
Could the symbols (cup/blood) refer to menstural cycle and the life forces, underlying various religions which refer to this?

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Claire makes a good point that should be considered. It could well be addressing another aspect, not taking anything away from our discussion about the religious/spiritual aspect. I always look for more than one meaning in dreams, with an emphasis on determining which the dream is primarily addressing.

Of course if there is an association to her thoughts you will probably recognize it. Because you are a woman there is that possibility. How much 'energy' it occupies in your emotional life is what needs to be considered.

If the dream fits your life then there is a good chance of a proper interpretation.

Gerard

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Thank you Clare and Gerard. Yes, Gerard a spiritual life seems to be becoming more and more important to me as I get older and not as a means of excape either because the desire is there to connect it to the world and people too. I related very much to what Clare said as well and so much so that I thought I would also post another dream I had the same night because I think it is connected. I had this one right before the other one.

I had a dream I had a "D and C" (GYN minor surgery) done. I had one done before for real. This one in my dream was done in some "old coot" doctor's office. I was laying in a very uncomfortable cot and the doctor gave me anesthesia but it was not putting me out. I was still kind of awake and I called for a nurse to hold my hand and she was not very sensitive at all. I remember that her face was bruised up...it had blue and red patches on it. She did not even know why I wanted comfort and reluctantly held my hand. I was so scared as the doctor gave me more anesthesia and then I screamed in fear. The nurse got more sensitive and started stroking my hand and the doctor took a kind of thing which squirts out water and squirted it in my face as I went under. I woke up for real right as I was finally going under anesthesia. Sounds like a rite of passage of some kind...What do you think...? Anklebells...
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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Hi, again, Anklebells

Doctors, wise old men, 'learned' authority figures, teachers etc usually represent 'archetypes'.
Your doctor 'should' be your 'wise old man archetype' - helping and caring for you, but, the words 'old coot' suggest you do not trust his judgement, or feel he is 'out of touch' in some way - possibly with your feminine side?

The nurse is anything but sympathetic at first - she could be your shadow side, especially if she was representd as a similar age to you in the dream.
She has a bruised face - her identity has been 'wounded' and her character is cold and remote.
This suggests work needed to face and integrate your shadow. Some people look at their shadows and can't accept them as they seem 'evil' or too much to face, so the fact that your 'shadow nurse' is just 'cold' and a little 'inhuman' suggest you may have already progressed quite a way in accepting and integrating your shadow already.

The dream could be seen to suggest that to come to terms with certain 'rites of passage' and events and stages in your life you need to trust your male side to 'assist' you rather than 'bodge' the job!
I do understand how hard it can be to do this, especially if life experiences have 'told' you to trust the feminine - so I can see where you are coming from. However for true happiness and maturity - both sides need to complement each other.
You shadow side should then ( hopefully) appear as a more humane female figure and the 'doctor' will be a wise, competence helper rather than a 'quack'?

Be careful that I am not projecting my own thoughts etc over this, especially as we have had some similar life events/rites of passage etc - it's only one opinion

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Re: A kind of religious dream?

Hi...

Thank You...That was a really awful dream I had and even though I may not have been feeling well when I had it, it was still very powerful and I wanted to post it.

When I wrote,"old coot" doctor I meant a "quack doctor". You wrote, "Some people look at their shadows and can't accept them as they seem 'evil' or too much to face, so the fact that your 'shadow nurse' is just 'cold' and a little 'inhuman' suggest you may have already progressed quite a way in accepting and integrating your shadow already." You are right about that. I have been integrating my shadow and I often don't like what I see but I know this process is important.

I think I have been in touch with the masculine side of myself in various ways in my life for survival. I have just never been in a serious relationship or married. I am not sure if that makes any sense or is relavant in any way but thank you for helping me out with the interpretation and for giving me some insight. Anklebells

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