In the dark days before Winter Solstice, I take stock of where I am and wonder where I’m going. December questions match the season and my time of life. How will I spend my precious days this year? What do I want to write about? Is it time to move from my house? What matters most now?
After asking for inner guidance, a mysterious woman appeared in my dreams.
10/22/13: I talk to a woman I don’t see. There are no images to identify her. I tell her I want to create a new office and place to write in a room I’m not using now. I want a room of my own.
A place to write, a room I’m not using now and don’t know? My dream borrowed Virginia Woolf’s title “A Room of One’s Own” to make a point. I have a quiet house where I live and write, but we’re in dream consciousness here, in inner psychological worlds.
In my outer life, I’m slow to change, but my husband Vic died eight years ago and I’m 71. The dream lures me with a new space for creative work and an unknown feminine guide.
11/13/16: I see a table covered with lit candles, glowing with warm golden light. “I love the candles,” a woman says. The only image is glowing candles. I hear her, but don’t see her.
Discussing this dream with my Jungian therapist, we recalled my first dream. I knew this was an appearance of the same woman without knowing how I knew. Dreams require intuition and, for me, a dreamworker to help me explore. Even though I heard the dream woman speak, I couldn’t describe her voice when I woke up.
My dream woman likes candlelight, a world of ritual where I do healing work for myself, for those who grieve, and for friends who suffer losses. Instead of sharp-edged insight from thinking and reason, she prefers soft edges and intuition, moonlight illuminating the dark. Although I still don’t see her, I trust her. I’m listening.
Two weeks later, she appears again.
11/26/16: Vic and I stand in the basement of my house (not where I’ve lived for many years, but a place I don’t recognize). A woman plans to move into the cellar in six months. The cellar is huge compared to the house above it and cleaned out so she can move in. Brightly colored chickens, some with feathered plumes, walk around in the stone basement. I see three dogs, each with puppies. I want a puppy from the mellow black dog. She has scratches around her hind quarters. Dream Vic says she had a hard labor or was wounded, but her wounds are healing. The pups lie on her lower body, snoozing and grunting.
This time I recognize the woman when I wake up, although I still don’t see her. When I discussed the dream with my therapist, I connected the dream woman to an oil pastel I did in 1992 of a woman waiting for a sailboat. (Yes, 1992, and I’m still exploring the image.) I worked on this pastel for six months, compelled to capture some mystery. If I were to paint her now, she would have long white hair.
I had the 18 x 24 inch image framed. It hangs in my bedroom so I see it before I go to sleep and when I wake up.
The dream woman plans to move into my cellar in six months—in the spring when new life bursts forth. The cellar is cleaned out and ready, so I’ve done the inner work to prepare the way. The basement, the huge feminine unconscious, is much larger than the dream house or my conscious perspective.
Colorful chickens, ancient symbols for emerging life, will lay eggs I can’t yet imagine. I want a pup from the black dog. The black dog in my dream led me to the dog in my oil pastel. Black dogs are companions of the Crone Goddess Hecate who stands at the crossroad of any transition and at the threshold between life and death.
Dream Vic points out that the mother dog was injured. My instinctual self has been wounded by Vic’s illness and death, by his mother’s continuing needs, and by Meniere’s Disease, but like the mother dog, time brings healing and new life.
I ask my questions and wait for the dream woman to offer more clues, one by one. In the way of dreams, she’ll come or not come on her own schedule. My job is to recognize her and listen for her wisdom. I’ll watch for the orange lantern at her feet, the light within the dark.
Do you pay close attention to dreams? Do they offer you new hidden places to explore? As some know, I’ve been a student of Jungian Psychology and dreamwork since the late 1960s. I recently found a dream journal from 1967. For another blog about the importance of exploring dreams and intuitions through painting or drawing, see Finding Balance during Grief: Healing Dreams and Creativity. For more about my perspective about feminine consciousness, see Finding the Sacred Feminine in Nature and Friendship.