In my previous blogs, I provided tips and techniques on Keeping a Dream Journal and Working with Dream Symbols, Characters, Settings, Actions and Day Residue that appear in your dreams and how to Create an Action Plan once you interpret a dream.
Then I shared two of my own dreams and interpretations so you can see how to put it all together. Last week I showed you some of the risks and benefits of asking others to interpret your dream for you.
This week I’d like to show how you can benefit from a reflection from a professional dreamworker (such as DreamsCloud Reflectors).
Last week I mentioned that I had asked three friends about the dream below and shared what two of them had to say:
My cousin Carolyn is mixing a topping for fruitcake. She places the cake on a platter and slices half of it. She then pours the topping on both the uncut piece of cake and the slices. I tell her that's an interesting way to serve the cake, slicing half and leaving half uncut. She says, "That's because one is a fig cake."
Everyone "eats it up" quickly.
This week we will look at the response from Friend #3, a DreamsCloud Reflector, but first a little explanation about the reflection process.
DreamsCloud Reflectors begin all reflections the same way, “If this were my dream …” This is because everyone (including me and you) projects their own beliefs, experiences and fears all the time, including when they are interpreting your dream. Any respectable dreamworker knows and understands this. It’s important that you, as the dreamer, understand this as well.
Many of the professional Dream Reflectors at DreamsCloud also have years of experience in the field of dream study, are respected authors on the topic of dreams and hold post-grauate degrees. (See Reflectors’ Code of Ethics)
Note that by starting the reflection with “If this were my dream” the Reflector is, in effect, saying, “I can't say difinitively what your dream means to you, but if I had this dream this is what I think it would mean to me.”
Now, since I understand that she is projecting, I can read what she says and I take or leave anything or everything she says. I do, in fact, agree with parts of it and I disagree with other parts.
There are also some aspects that make me reconsider or question myself – it inspires self-reflection, which is always a good thing. This was her reflection with my comments are [bolded in brackets]:
“If this were my dream, my cousin tells me I may be dealing with aspects of myself that I am somewhat familiar with but not wholly (as oftentimes characters in our dreams represent parts of ourselves we need to acknowledge and recognize). [Agreed] The fact that I know she is making what appears to me as just a fruitcake in the beginning of the dream, but at the end it's revealed to be not only a fruitcake, but one is a 'fig cake' (from the same cake) might tell me things may be revealed as time goes on, from the whole of myself, even more so than I thought to begin with. [An interesting idea]
“A cake to me would also denote the need for some kind of nourishment, [But cake may not be healthy] specifically some sort of sweetness to come into my life [Possibly]; I may be the one preparing this for others as well as for myself or anticipating things coming my way in the near future. I would also consider the phrase 'topping on the cake', and that the ‘fruits of my labor’ will be well received and taken in - 'they'll eat it right up'. I would also consider the phrases a 'slice of life' or 'that takes the cake'. [Love the metaphors – all ‘food for thought’]
“To go a little deeper I'd focus in on the fact that one was a 'fig' cake. The fig is a particularly interesting type of fruit in that it denotes fertility [Thankfully, this no longer applies] and is oftentimes associated with the tree of knowledge [One of my associations]. I may be tapping into my own intuitive nature, spirituality, and things within the subconscious that are being revealed- things that hold more potential than first thought. [OK]
“Questions I would ask myself: What part of me is the cake maker? What am I cooking up that in the end might even be a delicious surprise to me (and those around me) in the end? What parts of my life do I slice up and serve to others and what parts do I keep whole within myself?” [All interesting questions to consider]
As you can see, I agreed with quite a bit of what she said and I discounted some of it too, while her questions gave me some additional things to think about.
This is my interpretation, which includes a few more associations and metaphors than she covered:
I see my cousin, Carolyn, in my dreams as a teacher, so there is something I need to learn from the dream.
‘Mixing’ suggests combining things together – or I may be mixing something up or I am confused about something in waking life.
‘Topping’ brings to mind several idioms – on top of the world, to top things off, off the top of my head, over the top, take it from the top, on top of that, stay on top of, a cherry on top.
‘Fruitcake’ brings to mind someone I think is a little fruity or nutty and reminds me of Christmas and family traditions.
Placing the cake on a ‘platter’ makes me think of being served something on a silver platter or getting something without having to work for it.
‘Slicing’ suggests cutting something into smaller pieces to make it easier to digest or understand.
‘Half’ suggests something that is incomplete or not whole.
‘Pouring over’ makes me think of examining something closely.
‘Fig’ brings to mind the fig leaf - the coverup used by Adam and Eve to hide their genitals.
The topping is ‘sweetening’ this coverup - making it more palatable so that everyone ‘eats it up’ or believes it to be true.
If I put all this together, I can only conclude that I am mixing something up in my head and to top it off I may be a little nutty or crazy in thinking that something I want should just be given to me without earning it. I may need to examine something closer or I may only have half the information I need. I may be covering up something – or someone else may be covering up something to make me believe it’s true.
Is it me that is cooking up something or making something up (the cake maker), perhaps a lie which needs to be covered up? Am I the cook or is someone serving me this lie?
There is no doubt that I am guilty of keeping some thoughts private (keeping them whole within me) which some people in my life would prefer I “serve up” or share with them.
Overall, her reflection was very helpful. Some of her associations were similar to my own and some weren’t, which is OK because I can discount anything that doesn’t feel right to me.
Her questions offered me the opportunity for self-reflection. I find the metaphors to be especially helpful, which are often difficult to see, even for experienced dreamworkers. You might consider reading my blog, Dreams as Visual Metaphors.
Next week I will offer tips on how YOU can reflect on others' dreams so that both you and the dreamer can benefit. You can also find more tips and techniques for working with your dreams in my book, Notes from a Dreamer … on Dreaming: A Personal Journey in Dream Interpretation.