As I said yesterday, a couple people I know are seeing a lot of strange and serendipitous signs everywhere and wondering what it all means and when it’s finally going to come to a head. I was surprised to read the other day that Carl Jung himself was plagued by dreams and serendipitous experiences near the beginning of his career that actually
There's a full moon on Sept 24, and we often have elaborate/ fantastical/poignant dreams around full moons. Make sure you stay in bed a little longer than usual if you can, and try and remember what you dreamed. I like to look up the meanings of my dreams in the Dream Moods app, but while I appreciate and value its guidance, and
I once heard someone say that Type Eights wake up angry. I thought since that's a pretty core emotion for the Eight, the other types must wake up to their go-to emotion too, so I decided to see if I, as a Four, woke up melancholic.
Of course, nobody wakes up immediately feeling a certain emotion. There's that timeless ethereal white space first thing between sleeping and waking where you're processing your dreams and you just want to stay like that forever, unaware of who and where you are. And then you remember you have a meeting that day, or something jolts you awake and suddenly, your regular thought patterns shoot back into place. As your psyche fishes for its ground, it must grab what feels the most familiar.
My first thoughts aren't always necessarily about melancholic things (?), like let's say my first emotion is anxiety, but I'll settle into a melancholic feeling about the anxiety. Sometimes I'll just have to take a look at the heavy feeling that's settled over me and say, "Hey! What happened there? I was feeling so good before!" and the awareness shooes the clouds away....
Last night I did a phone survey with a woman I met at an Enneagram workshop in 2014. She's doing her certification to be an Enneagram instructor, and has to do a research paper on her own topic. She's doing dreams and our instinct stack- how our instinct stack affects how we solve problems in our dreams. Pretty interesting, and I'll definitely pay closer attention now... and incidentally I did have a dream last night that confirms her thesis.
We ended up having a lengthy conversation and I'll take some gems away from it, but the biggest thing I took away was a kick in the pants to get back to meditation. I just moved, and I'm recovering from that, running around getting everything settled, and I keep saying, "when I'm settled, I'll meditate. When I'm settled I'll meditate." And you know that's just backwards, but you keep feeding yourself that line. Eventually it has to stop.
One thing she mentioned about it that I liked was this idea that meditation is time spent with yourself, reaffirming your purpose on this earth. I liked that line. After how many decades on earth, I finally know my purpose- to teach the Enneagram- that, I'm 100% sure of, but how am I actually advancing on that purpose?
Anyway, you just know meditation is the right thing to do. My job is super stressful, and when you're driving to work in the morning and your anxiety has already got your pulse up and your muscles clenched, you know you have stuff to process, and the more you put it off, the more it builds and becomes a monster.
Plus the coaching school that she attended (New Ventures West)- I think one of the best coaching schools in North America, if not the best- asks their students to commit to 30 min a day.
'Nuff reasons. Must get started today.
In Jung's writing, the Animus and Anima are personifications of the shadow self- the parts of us that for whatever reason, we have prevented from entering the conscious realm.
Each manifestation of the shadow self can represent light or darkness. So when we ignore it and refuse to integrate its qualities, it becomes larger, grotesque, terrifying- both in our dreams and to the people in our every day lives.
If, on the other hand, we welcome the shadow, "the ego will then find an inner power that contains all the possibilities of renewal."
If a man [or woman?] devotes himself to the instructions of his own unconscious, it can bestow this gift [renewal of life, creative elan vital, a new spiritual orientation], so that suddenly life, which has been stale and dull, turns into a rich, unending inner adventure, full of creative possibilities.
Their purpose is to build a bridge to the Self, and when the Shadow and the Self become integrated, it becomes a friend and guide who tunes the Self into higher principles of a more spiritual timbre.
The animus shows up in women when they have an underdevelopped aggression and assertiveness, when they refuse to own their power. In folk tales and cultural archetypes, he can manifest as a death demon, a robber, murderer, or wild animal, like in Beauty and the Beast (where the love of the girl redeems the monster, a metaphor for her animus becoming transitioning from unconscious to conscious). When ignored, he shows up in the way she speaks about certain matters.
One of the favorite themes that the animus repeats endlessly in this kind of woman goes like this, 'The only thing that I want in the world is love -- and he doesn't love me'; or 'In this situation, there are only two possibilities- and both are equally bad.' (The animus never believes in exceptions.) One can rarely contradict an animus opinion because it is usually right in a general way; yet it seldom seems to fit the individual situation. It is apt to be an opinion that seems reasonable, but beside the point.
The convictions of the animus echo the woman's father, and don't seem to take into account the current, particulars of the woman's reality.
As a counterpart, the anima shows up in men when they haven't gotten in touch with their sensitive, artistic, intuitive side. Its appearance in dreams comes as a witch or sorcoress, a murderous Geisha, or some kind of femme fatale; in Medieval Europe, she was the damsel in distress. When men have integrated the anima in a healthy way, he's receptive to qualities typically associated with the female, "vague feelings and moods, prophetic hunches, receptiveness to the irrational, capacity for personal love, feeling for nature-- and last but not least, his relation to the unconscious. When he ignores her, however, she manifests in moodiness and crankiness, and ultimately poor life decisions.
... His anima will often express itself in irritable, depressed moods, uncertainty, insecurity, and touchiness.... These 'anima moods' cause a sort of dullness, a fear of disease, impotence, or of accidents.
As with all aspects of the shadow, they can be projected, and there are certain types of women who seem to be recipients of this kind of projection, "women who are of 'fairy-like character especially attract such anima projections, because men can attribute almost anything to a creature who is so fascinatingly vague and thus proceed to weave fantasies around her."
Men afflicted by the anima can "fall in love" with a woman on a dating site without ever meeting her because he recognizes his own anima within her, and becomes helplessly attached to her picture and her profile (obviously women can do this too, by the way.) Men who cling onto lost or former lovers - sometimes for years- can seem to the woman like a leech sucking the life out of her, draining her energy, living off her femininity (and vice-versa for women clinging to former lovers). A simple way to solve this problem is to understand the anima as a source of inner power within him, and to cultivate a listening ear for what she has to teach him. In her honored position, she can help navigate him through life into higher spiritual planes, as in her highest manifestation, she is the "incarnation of meaning" itself.
As I write this, I wonder about how this relates to the Enneagram, because there is no gender with the Enneagram, but there is a direction in the flow towards destruction of self and others; versus towards healing and wholeness, depending on which way you're cycling through the triangle or hexad. This is all very fascinating. My guess is that a man or woman stuck in the forward motion of the cycle will manifest the unhealthy anima or animus, ie. they're trapped in their particular intelligence centre. But when a man or woman gets the impetus to make some major life changes, they start moving backward through the symbol and start integrating the shadow for a healthier, lighter, actualized Self.
Some people who know me know that I've had the same group of people showing up in my dreams for about the last 18 years. The dream isn't the same every time, but the same kids from my childhood appear in a dream about once or twice a month.
In his last book, Man and His Symbols, Carl Jung writes about the phenomenon of the recurring dream.
There are cases in which people have dreamed the same dream from childhood into the later years of adult life. A dream of this kind is usually an attempt to compensate for a particular defect in the dreamer's attitude towards life... (pg. 40)
Sometimes it's novel and cool to wake up from one of those dreams because you'd wake up refreshed from having been "balanced out", but most of the time, and especially in the last five years, the dreams have started to grate on me and press on my conscience with a growing sense of alarm, shrieking, "You need to figure out what this means and move on!" It was like I was caught in the past like an animal in a trap, and I almost wanted to chew a body part off just to stop the dreams.
Dreams are odd little things. After you wake up, you can sometimes go back into the dream and ask the characters what they're doing in your dream, or what they need from you. I've tried that many times before but today was the first time I got an answer. In the dream, I was running from a cult leader and its adherents trying to find refuge- it was a battlefield and everyone was trying to find me to make me become a member, and this group of kids were sitting up high on a ledge watching me. After waking, I went back into the dream and asked them what they were doing there. To my surprise, one of them looked over at me and shouted over the noise of the battle, "Involve us in your war."
Finally, almost twenty years on, I have more clarity- something substantial I can work with. Now all I need to do is figure out how to put that into practice.
About four or five years ago, I heard a quote that compelled me to spend 20 minutes each morning tryng to reacall and interpret my dreams: "The uninterpreted dream is a letter left unopened from the subconscience." At about that time, I downloaded the dreammoods app on my phone, and look up various components of the dream in their dictionary. It doesn't always give you a clear answer, but I think the unconscious honors the seeker by giving you more bits and more pieces over time, the more open you are to decoding the message.