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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth



Four years ago I wrote a number of posts about dream symbolism. While I was teaching psychology at Florida International University in Miami, I often opted to teach a very popular elective Dream Interpretation, and I chose to give it a very Jungian slant because that is where I come from - ideologically. Dream interpretation is also given some importance in my sessions with private clients - obviously depending on whether or not there have been dreams of significance prior to the session in question.

At any rate, the blog series was quite popular, so I am revisiting it here and will do so every couple of days over the next few weeks.

If you are interested in good dream books, please visit my website and go to Recommended Books. Once there, click on Dream Books or Symbolism Books, in order to see a good reference list. If you have any questions about the books, email me. You may also listen to a number of audio files from my weekly radio program (in English) about dream interpretation and dream symbolism (at the link, scroll down to the 2003 - 2008 shows - not the later ones - and then scroll down to the DREAMS section).

Pregnancy or gestation in a dream tends to symbolize the process of something coming into being in the dreamer. The pregnancy could potentially happen to a dreaming male, or a dreaming female, because the symbolism is not that of a biological fetus, but that of something that the dreamer is gestating on another level.

So if the dreamer is pregnant in the dream, potentially whatever it is that is coming into being, is not yet “ready to be born”, i.e. it still needs some work. Thanks to this kind of dream, the dreamer may recognize that some project that he or she is working on might still need some fine-tuning before launching it.

Conversely, the dreamer may only come to realize, thanks to the dream that something is indeed gestating. Sometimes we are so busy “doing”, that we don’t see the big picture, and this kind of dream may help us become aware of that, and consequently we can continue the project in a much more conscious fashion until it is ready to be launched (born).

If the dreamer has an abortion in the dream, or goes to the clinic where the abortion is about to take place, or is instrumental in bringing about (or contemplating bringing about) the demise or death of the child/fetus (some dreamers see themselves trying to flush a fetus or young baby down the toilet) and the dream ends just before the actual abortion/murder or flushing takes place, it may signify that the dreamer is on the verge of destroying or sabotaging the project, or whatever it is that he or she is bringing into being. Hence it may be of importance for the dreamer (in real life) to consider what it is that is threatening to come to an end in his or her life, in order to decide whether it is perhaps worth keeping.

If the dreamer gives birth in the dream the symbolism points to something that is actually just coming to life in his or her reality. Perhaps the new born baby in the dream is frail and weak – clearly the project needs careful tending for it to prosper. Perhaps the new born baby cries a great deal, or is robust and joyous…in both instances the symbolism translated to that which has just come into being in the dreamer’s life is clear.

Sometimes the dreamer has adopted a child in the dream that is already some months or even years old. Or the dreamer may be the biological parent of the child that is no longer a baby or young child. Here the symbolism deals more with a project that the dreamer has taken on once it was already launched, rather than one that he or she actually gestated, or it may refer to a project that was gestated some time ago and that is only now coming into it own. It may require another kind of care than one that was gestated by the dreamer.

Dreams of pregnancy and birth are often transformative dreams, in the sense that something of importance is happening in the life of the dreamer, and that this needs to be paid careful attention to. Dreams of this nature may signify moments in the life of the dreamer that offer great hope for the future precisely because of what is gestating or being born.

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