I was in a house that I was living in, totally unfamiliar to me. It was very free and open. It was a share house, anyone could come in and for the most part it was peaceful. The doors wouldn’t lock or even shut properly, despite the fact that there was some sense of threat outside.
Freya, an old female uni flatmate was there. She asked if I’d been in touch with a mutual friend of ours called Cathy; then if I had borrowed any of Cathy’s books. Then she asked if I still had any of her (Freya’s) books. I said I wasn’t sure but invited her to look through my bookshelf.
She did, starting at the bottom right. She first located three of those little Beatrix Potter books and with a look of disgust said two of them were hers. She was very angry.
Sometime later (when she had gone) I related the tale to the others in the house. I tried to make it sound like she was crazy although at the same time I felt guilty and responsible. Another uni flatmate, Gavin who I had a crush on, was there, sitting in a group with the others. He said Freya had always been crazy; in fact whenever he whittled, both in Canada and England, she would collect and keep the shavings from the floor (?!). I joked that she probably still has her precious ornaments kept safe in those wood shavings.
The final phase of the dream – I had a sense that there was someone in a room just off the kitchen. ‘There’s a black man in there, waiting for me’ I said – and there was. He was pressed against the wall. I went outside the room. There was a lady at the kitchen window, very angry, saying that I had her painting, an aboriginal painting, and I was so stupid, I understood so little of it, that I’d hung it on the wall sideways. I tried to reason with her and thought I’d succeeded in reducing the threat. Next thing I was struggling with the black man as he tried to kill me. I was on the floor, striking him with various objects (including an empty tin can) but although I thought this should get him off me at the same time I knew I was done for.
What a terrifying dream. Your feminine side is incredibly angry and you are involved in a fight to the death with your masculine self. As the dream is primarily indoors, it’s about your inner world, not your interaction with the outside world.
My initial impression is that the dream is about knowledge and ideology. You are going through a transition of thought/attitude, reviewing old out-dated ideas and bringing new things into your life. Like any change this has the potential to wake deep fears.
People/ideas can come and go freely from this share house regardless of their quality, suitability or safety. That the characters in the nightmare are people you went to uni with is significant – it was a time when you were taking ideas/books from other people and trying them on as your own.
The ideas/books that Freya takes back are childish and you are happy for her to take them back. The guilt/responsibility is because you are not comfortable that you have made a mistake (harbouring the ideas/books of other people).
But Gavin, someone you hold in high esteem, agrees that some things, like wood shavings, are meant to be discarded. But is it so easy? You joke to him that Freya is probably using them to store ornaments. There is a sentimental attachment to the old, imported ideas. Although it seems ‘crazy’, these old ideas from the past protect things. What ideas are you holding onto subconsciously? What is being protected?
The woman at the window objects to the aboriginal painting being hung wrong. You interpret and cherish the painting in your own way but fear the judgement and anger of the women close to you. Reason cannot overrule emotion.
People are so angry at you in this dream! Freya’s angry; the woman at the window is angry. But at least they weren’t physically violent like the black man. Maybe though the confrontation with the black man is a confrontation with your shadow self… After all you are a white female who prefers to keep the peace.
You ‘thought’ you could defeat the black man but you ‘knew’ otherwise. Even to begin with, you ‘sensed’ he was there. And he’s in the kitchen, the household centre of nourishment… Pressed against the wall but not really hiding.
Do you acknowledge and nourish your dark, primal, intuitive side? I don’t think you can ignore it anymore.