How Life's Tapestry of Dreams, Combined with Dream-work, Can Lead to Jung's "Individuation": An Example from My Own Life

26 Jun

Ever since my grandparents died years ago, one of my grandmothers is with me quite frequently and has visited me in dreams and also in presence in my awake-world. More recently, ever since my dad died several years ago, I have felt my dad's presence a lot also and have listened to the messages he has given me. One evening I felt his hand on my shoulder waking me up out from a nightmare I was about to have. I knew I was about to have the nightmare because while I was asleep I was cognizant/aware of the "shiver" running through my body from the inside-out that I usually get when waking from dreams that are about to take a turn for the "worse" towards a nightmare (specifically of a certain sort--other nightmares I do need and do receive them but they are kind to me in that they appear less frightening than the ones I wake up from would be, which are generally the ones I need to perceive the most). In the case where my dad's hand nudged me from out of having a nightmare, it was a nightmare I had been having repetitively at the time and had had enough of, so his waking me was quite kind and timely. And then just a few weeks ago, I had a dream that a group of my ancestors were knocking upon the door of the basement to the old house I grew up in (where I no longer live). There was a side door to the garage and then steps down to the basement, and then steps back up to the first floor of one side of the house leading to the family room. They knocked on that basement door and when I went to answer the door, they all stepped in, into the basement and walked through with me telling it was time for a family gathering and to bake and enjoy some homemade cookies and coffee, all the Italian cookie recipes my mom and grandmother and my great aunts used to bake together. They came into the kitchen and we all baked cookies in our old traditional fashion and talked. In the past week, they have all kept coming back, visiting me in my dreams and are also showing up in my meditations and with Active Imagination sessions, with a whole lot to say about my life history and my dream history, and my family history. Jung and the ancestors is an important component of psyche and archetype, the ethnological and cultural imprints upon our psyche. Some of the information I have gotten recently using Jungian technique has covered over 20 some years of meanings of some dream motifs in my life, the themes and the threads that are repetitive but yet vary, and my ancestors have been telling me some of their symbolism which is yes collective from the collective unconscious but then how it has related in my dreams to me personally and in my family events and what these dreams were speaking to and from my psyche. I say to and from because some meaning is from the collective, and some of it as said above contains specifics into my own life events and conditions. I keep a journal, and I recommend you keep a journal of your dreams too. Some people keep them separate, the dream journal aside from the "awake-world" journal. I keep them all in one as I can write down the dream first then write down what is happening in my life recently that might pertain to the dream, and I also in that same journal record my Active Imagination sessions and meditations and my mandalas I draw and meditate upon. A whole lifetime of the path of individuation has been revealing itself to me lately, not just in each dream throughout life as has been a lifelong process for me ever since I was a child, but as a life-long tapestry in which the yarns and threads of my life story and my life story in dreams is being comprehensively stitched, and at the same time, many a mystery unraveled.

In any case in my recent AIs and meditations, one of my great aunts in particular has been coming to meet and greet me to talk to me while we have milk and anise cookies. What she has been telling me is incredibly illuminating and important in regards to me moving on in this my second half of life--and in understanding much of the goings-on in the first half of my life. She and my other ancestors and my animal totems have been putting my life into a new and almost crystal clear verbal perspective, and offering verbal language to the dream language or mythical motifs and symbols throughout my decades here on earth in this life--and even before this life of way-back ancestral memories.

It is not always from ancestors over the years through which I have gotten my messages, as most my dreams are animal dreams, so many of the messages I received in dreams from psyche were represented by animals, animal medicine/medicine powers or energies, and animal totems.

Sometimes these dreams and their messages were prophetic. Sometimes they were warnings from my own psyche to not proceed with this or that, or good "omens" to go ahead and proceed with this or that. Sometimes the animals I encountered in dreams taught me their special animal powers or skills that I could then use as tools in my "real" life. (To me, both realms are "real," but it is just that one realm is the dream-realm and the other is the awake-realm.)

However, we do not always start here large at this point. We can start by recording and reflecting upon individual dreams whether of your distant past, recent past, or just last night; we can look at recurring dream motifs/themes you have most had throughout your life and the symbols in them; or if you have had dreams involving ancestors we can also start there too, and move later towards a larger or whole picture or "dream-scope" or "dreamscape" as I like to call this tapestry.

All the dreams in your life that you can recall are important stitches into the fabric of your being, in this your life.

Does this type of dream-work interest you? Would you like to do this kind of work? Post responses and/or questions below to be opened here for discussion (or in private chat if you prefer).

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