Friday, May 3, 2013

Following my Anima

Nun Fording Stream of Life
CC Jean Stimmell created 5/1/13

Here we go again. Here's another strange dream I had 4/30/13:

Russet, her cousin, and I are taking a hike. We come to a wide stream with exposed rocks scattered about. When this happens at high water, we have learned to skip rock to rock to get across. But this time, the spaces between rocks are too wide and the water is too deep and the current too strong.  While we  ponder what to do, a nun dressed in a black robe comes along and, without a moment's hesitation,  calmly strides into the rushing waters and safely fords the stream. 

I don't remember what happens next but somehow we find ourselves on the other side of the stream and continue hiking but soon come across a larger stream, more like a raging river that appears impossible to cross. Once again, along comes the nun and just as last time, without a moment's hesitation, she strides straight into the raging torrent. Amazingly, just as last time, she doesn't get swept away downstream or bashed against the rocks. We watch the only part of her that is visible, her bopping head, moving smoothly and resolutely to the other side. 

Afterwards I catch a glimpse of the nun on the other side, partially hidden by the surrounding forest. She is taking off her sodden, black habit. The image isn't titillating or risqué; the only thing that stands out to me is her chaste, antique-looking underwear.

Like other recent dreams, this one feels like it is conveying something important to me but the various themes are difficult to unravel. Certainly, I think, one obvious interpretation is that I am recognizing and opening up more to my feminine side, my anima in Jungian terms.

In addition, the dream seems to be saying that as we journey down our path in life, we run across unexpected obstacles that we need to overcome? If so, then the question becomes, what do we do when the obstacle appears too great? Do we stand around and dither, retreat in defeat or do we have real faith like the devoted nun, trusting to the depth of our soul  that we are following the right path so we just jump in and start swimming, not fearing the consequences?

And what is the significance of seeing her partly naked taking off her soaking wet robe? Does her body represent her human vulnerability under her robe of faith? Or does the robe represent our transient human lifespan while the nun represents the eternal soul of the cosmos?

My most intriguing interpretation is that the nun represents not only devotion to life but also death. Because of the mortal danger she faces crossing the river, she symbolizes death and rebirth as symbolized by her shedding her sodden robe like a snake shedding her skin.

Finally, according to Jungians, the rushing waters in my dream often represent intense repressed emotions, a theory, to the extent it has validity, I will address at a later date, along with the nun's old fashioned underwear. Indeed, there is more to unravel.

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