The Desert Disappears Beneath the Water

In my dream last night we were both in a very old civilization. I think is was Mayan because of the architecture. It began in a museum though – we were looking at old artifacts. I showed you the snakes that they worships and you were afraid. I made you a couple of traditional necklaces that you really liked. I studied their culture and found that the ultimate symbol of separation was when the word “dune” was said to another person. This meant that you would never see them again. The person that said this word had to move far away to ensure that they couldn’t see each other. This ceremony usually took place when a family member was outcast or when lovers separated. It was a sacred word and vowed something that could never be broken.

After we left the museum we walked back in time into a big field surrounded by old Mayan temples. It seemed like a corn field or some kind of field with crops growing. You were at the very far side of the field and we were separated by this massive garden of corn. I turned to you and said “dune” and threw my arms down with my fingers extended in a sort of upside-down V shape, like a bird about to take flight. Then, I walked away remembering all the times I asked to be with you and you always said you had other plans. I woke up sad that we were separated and would never see each other again.

My Interpretation
The first important symbol is the bird – probably a phoenix. The phoenix is a bird from Egyptian mythology that lived in the desert for 500 years and then consumed itself by fire, later to rise renewed from its ashes. It is one of the many symbols of the rebirth archetype. The next major symbol is the word, “dune.” Dune is a book all about transformation and rebirth. This word has several meanings to me but the most relevant is probably very similar to the symbol of the phoenix. In the book, the planet Arrakis (aka Dune) is a desert planet. The transformation comes when the main character becomes the kwisatz haderach and wins the war. It begins to rain on the planet, oceans form, and the desert disappears beneath the water.

This dream is full of transformation symbols. The snake is another important symbol of the rebirth archetype. The snake sheds its skin and is reborn continually. It is also a potent symbol of the unconscious and all the fears that we repress and ignore. I guess this would be one of those dreams that Jung would call a “big” dream, full of symbols and archetypes that illuminate some struggle I am currently facing personally or one that I am just beginning to become aware of unconsciously.

To me this dream is just about as unambiguous as it could possibility be. I’ve had several dreams similar to this but that this dream focused on a museum and a past civilization is a new theme. In the Jungian model of dream analysis, I believe this would mean that this dream comes from a very primitive or deep part of my psyche. When your dreams spring up from this deep of a layer they bring with them pieces of the collective unconscious as well. These dream settings and symbols are usually very old and often universally recognized symbols – for example, the phoenix. Also, because these dreams are so clear about what must be done they confront the dreamer with deeply repressed material – those things we try so hard to escape or deny.

I know exactly what I wish to escape and deny. Until I confront it in the real world, and not just in my dreams, I am condemned to forever dream this dream.

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