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Study a nationally recognised Diploma of
Transpersonal Art Therapy 51939
Transpersonal Counselling 51942
Austudy approved. Accredited by NTIS, ACA, IICT, AAHTC.
PHOENIX INSTITUTE OF VICTORIA
CRICOS No. 02701K • RTO No. 21582
ancient religion, medieval history,
mythology, theories of the image, fine art
and iconography. I devoured the complete
works of Jung, Sigmund Freud and a list
of other worthy writers including Joseph
Campbell, Mircae Eliade, Marie Louise
von Franz, Frazer Boa, Toni Woolfe, Emma
Jung, Marion Woodman, Sylvia Perera,
Barbara Walker, Anthony Stevens, James
Hillman, Robert Johnson, Peter O'Connor,
Robert Bosnak, Brenda Mallon and more.
I learned that to recognise and
properly benefit from the healing power
of dreams, I must look deep into them
for clues -- anything from the name of an
organisation or a society to a person or a
culture, a means of transport or an animal.
Or something different again. I realised
the best tool to use in exploring my dream
themes was intuition -- some small thing
in the dream might prove to be the start
of an unravelling that led to the treasure.
I marvelled at how pieces of information
link together, how a fascinating world of
associations opens up.
Searching like this is simpler and
more enjoyable than you might think,
and it is intriguing to find where it ends.
This rewarding experience also leads to
discovering more of ourselves.
Getting to know about dream themes
can help a dreamer 's quest for meaning
and, in turn, encourage healing. The kind
of themes I write about in my regular
NOVA dream column, and have done for
the past 11 years, assist the dreamer to find
meaning that's true for them. Investigating
a dream's theme often provides a clue
or clues that can help unravel valuable
personal truths. Once the dreamer learns
why a certain theme lies behind their
dream they have a practical path to follow.
This knowledge provokes a sense of
wholeness, connection and inner wisdom
many dreamers don't realise they possess.
For instance, a dreamer who was not
a Christian and denied any knowledge of
Christianity saw John the Baptist in their
dream. The rich imagery of the headless
St John provided a theme for them to
follow. When they worked on the dream
theme "John the Baptist", using libraries
and the Internet to find out more about
the saint's life and spiritual experience, they
discovered, as though by synchronicity,
incidents and associations that were of
direct benefit to their own healing.
Another dreamer disclaimed all
conscious knowledge of the island of
Mauritius, swearing they had never been
there, read or seen anything about it.
They had dreamt, however, of setting sail
for that exotic place. After researching in
much the same way as the last dreamer,
they found Mauritius to have a fascinating
history, geography and mythology. To them,
Mauritius represented the island of the
self, rich in its own healing ability.
Some dream themes are larger and
deeper than others. When we look at the
theme of flying, for instance, we discover
multiple meanings associated with it. The
oldest dates from ancient times -- way
before the invention of practical, reliable
aircraft -- as far back as the days of Icarus.
The story of Icarus remains key to
understanding many flying dreams.
In the Greek myth, Icarus and his
father Daedalus, imprisoned on the island
of Crete, used wax to attach wings to their
shoulder blades and were able to escape.
Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too
close to the sun. But Icarus, exhilarated
by the wonder of free flying, was drawn
towards the sun like a moth. The only
trouble was that when the wax melted,
Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.
Dreams in the free flying (with or
without wings) category were studied
closely by Marie Louise Von Franz, a friend
Rix Weaver and a pupil and colleague of
Carl Jung. Ma Lou, as Rix used to call
her, carried out depth psychology over
a number of years with young men who
held a fascination for dangerous sports,
especially mountaineering and flying.
She found that these men displayed
characteristically youthful charm and
a sense of spirituality. She linked their
fascination with flying with a fear of being
pinned down, and the desire to get as high
as possible far away from the earth -- and
also, symbolically, from ordinary life.
Women, as well as men, have free flying
dreams and these, too, are more often
than not associated with escape. Many
thanks to H, a 28 year old woman, for
sharing this dream:
I am in a hotel, being chased. I have
about six heavy bags and there is no one
to help me carry them. I decide to leave all
except one. In it I have passport, money,
tablets etc. As I fly away, I think to myself, 'I
don't need that other stuff.'
Dreams of flying in aircraft also belong
to the overall theme of flying. They are
likely to be linked with inflation -- an
elevation of status at work, perhaps, or a
thrilling, but temporary, love affair.
continued next page
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'I realised the best tool to use in exploring my dream
themes was intuition.'
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