Why we will not use dream dictionaries or glossaries
By Anyes Cartry
The most rewarding and life-changing part of DREAM HARVESTING® comes after remembering and writing down our dreams, doing so without connective tissue (explanatory or logical words, such as “but”, “so”, “because”, or “consequently,”, etc.) It unfolds through the use of Active Imagination. Every image, every protagonist, every scenery, every color and every word you choose to write the recollection of your dream counts. What we are seeking is to encourage dialogue between unseen parts of our personality as they manifest in a dream… This method is commonly used by writers when they write a novel or novella. For those familiar with Family Constellation, where other people enact members of our family, think of it as applying it to every character in your dream as if they represented a part of you (Karl Jung’s approach).
While some myths and metaphors are universally understood, the symbols, messages, colors and shapes of your dreams can only be understood by YOU. It is as though the myriads of associations created in your brain, like a network of spider webs through your unique personal history, have a unique path to be retraced. You are the only one to be able to do this. Hence, we speak of Dream Harvesting®. Dream dictionaries or glossaries have compiled thousands of possible interpretations of symbols, animals, emblems, shapes and more. Yet, “they do not attend to the subtle personal associations and feelings which are key to understanding YOUR dream.“(Williams, 2019, p. 120).
Joseph Campbell saw dreams as “our own private personal myths“(1993, p. 19). They may not make sense to anybody else than you, and you are the only one who can decipher their meaning. It is true that people who are versed in mythology and universal themes, such as analysts, can guide you towards understanding their message, but even they, as I do in this workshop, act as midwives to your own birthing.
Bamber said that “Dreams are a kind of biopsy of the psyche” (2008). They reveal our psychological imbalances, strengths, aspirations and wounds. These are related to our own personal history while at the same time are part of the whole body of the human experience. As it is said that the personal is political, we can also say that the personal is universal. By understanding the message and meaning that one of your dreams has for YOU, you add to universal intelligence. No dictionary or glossary can translate the language of the psyche. Dictionaries and glossaries are useful to convey linear data; they can’t give meaning to your own layers of interconnected associations emanating for your experience. Believing dream dictionaries or glossaries will answer our questions comes from the logical, analytical masculine-oriented part of our ego. Dream Harvesting® brings you to the “felt” experiential nature of your dream, the creativity of your self.
Regarding Dream analysis, Jung saw it “less as a technique than as a dialectical process between personalities (1961b par. 492). When Dream Harvesting®, we practice conversation rather than analysis. This encompasses, among other things, the art of listening, the art of putting oneself in somebody else’s shoes, respect, patience, responding rather than reacting and knowing how to ask questions without frightening the “other” (in this case, another inner personality).
Dream Harvesting® Salon
one hour per week, LIVE online, on Aug 23, Aug 30 and Sep 6
10am to 11am Pacific
limited to 8 dreamers
Cost: $72 total, for all three salon dates
Early Registration Discount: register by Aug 16th for only $60
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