By Dayna Winters
Let me start by saying Happy New Year! As we enter the year 2015, it is a wonderful time to intensify our exploration of dreams and their meaning. In December, we examined the influence of lunar energies on dreams and dream work. This month, I would like to explore the importance of dream journaling. While the immediate benefits of journaling might seem obvious, there are long-term benefits derived from documenting dreams as well. Journaling allows you to take a look back at the dreams you have had in the last few days, weeks, months, and years. Over the course of time, the analysis of your dreams can reveal the appearance of repetitious archetypes, running themes, the connections between two or more dreams, and may even hint at real life events.
In order to explore this idea further, I will present you with a couple of dreams I’ve had in the past few years. The meaning of the dreams and a connection between the two is, at first, ambiguous. Yet, through analysis you’ll soon discover significant meaning behind the dreams and precisely how both narratives are connected to one another.
Dream #1: About two years ago, I dreamed I was in a row boat in a vast body of water. There was no land in sight and I was all alone. The boat was slowly taking on water. I put my feet up on the seat of the row boat to keep them dry. I didn’t notice the rainbow serpent curled up in the bottom of the boat until it was too late. The snake bit me. The creature was incredibly aggressive and would not let go. I was terrified as I struggled to get away from the snake. Then I awoke.
Dream #2: About six months after I dreamed of the rainbow serpent, I had the following dream where I was watching a scene as if I was outside my body. I could see a mound of earth and knew I was buried beneath it. The grass on the surface of the mound was green. I was terrified at the idea of being buried alive. I could see the mound of earth moving up and down slightly, as if it was breathing. I heard a female voice speak to me. I perceived the voice to be a divine being. The voice said, “Do not worry, you’ll be fine, this is only a rebirth – a resurrection.” Then I awoke.
Dreams Hinting At Real Life Events To Come
What makes the connections between the two dreams under discussion is not immediately evident. However, what is not revealed in the two dreams are real life events that occurred following both dream scenarios. Keeping a dream journal allowed me to take a look back and realize the startling connections. The events are as follows:
About a year and a half after both dreams, I became incredibly ill. The illness came on suddenly and aggressively. I was at the County Fair when I became sick. While there I saw a huge rainbow in the sky. I did not know it at the time, but I had a terrible infection and my condition worsened rapidly. I ended up with sepsis and had to have emergency surgery. Following the surgery I had a lengthy and painful recovery period. While recovering in the hospital, my home was under renovation. My daughter called my husband to tell him that somehow a snake got in the kitchen and just slithered out from behind the stove onto the coffee maker (And no one was pleased to hear this news!).
During recovery I had what I can only call a near death experience – there were moments I felt as if I was outside my body looking on to what was happening to me. I witnessed things that were otherwise impossible to witness given my condition at the time.
Both dreams pointed toward the potential for the occurrence of a terrifying event. What is amazing about the dreams I had was the fact that I got an infection in the exact location where I was bitten by the rainbow serpent I saw in my dream scenario about a year and a half prior to the actual incident. My illness was sudden, as was the strike of the snake, and the infection was rapid and aggressive, just like the serpent. The day I fell ill I actually saw a rainbow in the sky at the County Fair. The snake appearing in the kitchen of my home was yet another strange and amazing (and extremely undesirable) connection. Before and after my surgery, there were moments where I felt outside of myself, as I did in my second dream where a female voice speaks to me and comforts me by telling me that this time period is a resurrection and I am not to worry. Indeed, my surgery saved my life and my recovery time was, without question, life-altering.
What’s amazing is with some research, I found even more remarkable connections between my dream of the rainbow serpent and the divine being speaking to me. I looked up the mythological basis of the Rainbow Serpent in Aboriginal Australia. Scholars suggest a link between the serpent, the cycle of the seasons, and the incredible importance of water in supporting life (Note: In the dream I was surrounded by a body of water and the boat was taking on water. Also note that I attended the County Fair, where my illness began, during the shift of seasons from the end of summer to the early beginnings of autumn – this relates to the shift in the cycle of the seasons association of the serpent). Further research revealed that the Rainbow Serpent, because of its association with water, is considered “a giver of life.” However, the creature is also considered destructive when angry (Note: The snake struck me aggressively in the dream and the infection I ended up with was extremely destructive, destroying surrounding tissue and poisoning my bloodstream, just as if I was actually bitten by a poisonous serpent.) Remarkably, in some stories, the Rainbow Serpent has associations with blood, circulation, and the creature is considered a healer.
It’s important to note that while I was surrounded by a body of “life giving water” and the row boat was taking on the same waters, I removed my feet from it. The removal of my feet ultimately signified a withdrawal from the life giving, watery associations of the serpent and the potential destruction to follow. In fact, being in a boat at all serves as a symbol of a disconnect from the life giving waters; I was not in the water in anyway, but I was physically separated from it.
My research revealed even more incredible connections. According to some stories, the serpent is considered a Creator deity. The creature is told of in “Dreaming,” “The Dreamtime,” or Tjukurrpa myths – in Aboriginal mythos, “Dreamtime” is a real place where all time exists at once, past, present, and future. Dreamtime lies beyond space and time. Interestingly, it is a location one goes to just before being reincarnated (this notion seems to correlate with my dream about rebirth and resurrection.) In the Dreamtime or Dreaming stories of the aborigines, the Rainbow Serpent is described as a creature originating from deep within the earth – one that “pushes up mountains and gorges as it moves upward from deep within Mother Earth.” It is here that the subtle connection between dream one and two become evident (In my second dream I was buried beneath the Earth, and the mound of Earth was pushing upward as if it was breathing.)
In some cultures, the serpent is a symbol of an umbilical cord that connects a being to Mother Earth (Note: this literally connects dream one and dream two together via the suggestion of the serpent being a connection to the Mother Earth or female deity I encountered in my second dream.) In many cultures, the Goddess is associated with serpents, with the snake proving a symbol of immortality, healing, transformation, and fertility. The venom of a snake is thought to have a fiery-like quality – it can therefore serve as a symbol of will, strength, and a purification through a trial by fire.
Even more remarkably, in a synchronistic event, a few days after researching the Rainbow Serpent’s meaning in various cultures and its connection to the Earth Goddess, I casually encountered a news article while browsing on the web. The article told of the recent discovery of a Goddess statue formerly buried by the Spanish Conquistadors because it is a pagan idol. Her name is Coatilcue, meaning “She of the skirt of serpents.” A replica was made of the statue and the item was reburied (Note: the remarkable connection between the serpent dream and the live burial in the second dream where I am addressed by a female deity.) The statue was rediscovered in 1804. Considered repulsive, the item was once again buried. She has since been rediscovered and the statue is now in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Once demonized, the statue is now viewed as a work of art.
Repetitious Archetypes and Running Themes
The repetitious archetypes become evident when viewing all of the related information associated with both dreams. Here, appropriate dream archetypes include all images of the Goddess/Divine Beings, serpents, and Medusa, The Magician, The Healer/Wounded Healer, and The Prophet and Mystic are all appropriate dream archetypes to examine. Looking at the following Tarot cards can also provide insightful information: The Magician, The High Priestess, Strength, Death, and the meaning behind Swords, and Pentacles.
The running themes in both dreams become evident and a connection can be made between the two – both dreams refer to life altering events, change, death, rebirth, resurrection, and purification via a trial by fire. The dreams were vivid and lasting, making them easy to remember – thus, the dreams pointed to potential life events of incredible importance. For more detailed information on dream archetypes and themes, see “The Esoteric Dream Book: Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind (Schiffer Publishing, August 2014).”
Dream journaling gives you the opportunity to document the dreams you have for further exploration. You can look to dreams for meaning you can extrapolate and use immediately, and you can use your journal to examine the potential long-term connections you might identify. Had I not documented both dreams, I might not have remembered the details of each dream with such incredible detail and I could have overlooked the connection between the two dream scenarios. Over the course of time, your journal can point to running themes, important dream associations, and potential dream connections that will prove more insightful than you ever imagined.
About Dayna Winters:
Dayna Winters is a solitary Witch, author, and artist. She is the co-author of three books written with Patricia Gardner and Angela Kaufman including, “Wicca: What’s The Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions,” “Sacred Objects, Sacred Space: Everyday Tools for The Modern Day Witch,” and “The Esoteric Dream Book: Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind”, all of which are published by Schiffer Publishing. You can find out more about Dayna and her work at her blog: http://daynawinters.blogspot.com/.