Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dream Interpretation 24


12 January 2012

There was a small fragment of this dream in which I was lucid, so I have decided to record it as a ‘normal’ dream. As the dreams that I recall are becoming more complex, I’m in the process of evolving and adapting my recording methods.

Lucid dreaming experiments/techniques
  • Mental – MILD technique
  • Binaural beats through headphones during sleep (90 minute play) – theta/gamma mix
  • LDS - high strength cod liver oil enriched with omega 3 & multivitamins A – Z with evening meal; no 5-HTP (experimenting without to test improvement in dream recall)

Potential triggers/’day residue’
  • A couple of weeks ago, I watched some Youtube videos of the nomadic Persian, Kurdish and Turkic clans of Iran – as my Iranian family is rooted in this culture. My particular ‘tribe’ is of such prominence within the Iranian demography, being one of the oldest and largest, with their own rug patterns and dance, cuisine and language, a Japanese car manufacturer has named one of their most popular vehicles after us
  • I am planning to move home, although details are uncertain at present. On the day of the dream I had packed some unused clothing in preparation
  • I saw a television advert for an upcoming programme on gypsy/traveller culture
  • I love Ancient Greece and Grecian-inspired fashion. The day of this dream I randomly read a derogatory article about ‘typical modern Greek girls’ and their perceived character traits, which was strangely linked to a post on ‘Curlz Mt’ I had been reading whilst researching ‘typography’ (specifically, the prominence of particular fonts within popular culture); and I had a conversation with a friend about how my real first name is derived from the Greek and means ‘wisdom’, which led me to think of the Greek goddess Athena – whom I then read about on Wikipedia, as I couldn’t remember who her mother was (Metis)
  • When researching ‘typography’ I read a section on the font named ‘Trojan’ which is used extensively within the movie industry – for film title text
  • Facial yoga
  • I was due to travel to my university to attend a seminar the day after this dream took place
  • Jay-Z and Beyonce have been featured extensively in the media recently, due to the birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter

Main dream environment(s)
  • (Scene 1)  Day - an exterior environment that seemed very familiar. There were long, narrow dirt tracks and rows of little, irregularly-built, shack-like houses (but it wasn’t quite a shanty town). There were green trees and plants and the weather was dull and damp, yet warm and sunny all at the same time. I have no idea what country or continent this place was located in.
  • (Fragment 1) Day – vast grasslands, with a grey sky
  • (Scene 2) Day – the Student Union bar at my university – which was also a cruise-liner
  • (Fragments 2, 3 & 4) Timing unclear – an interior scene with bright light; details not known

(Present in all scenes/fragments):
  • Myself (first person perspective – I did not see myself
(Scene 1 & fragment 1):
  • A vast number of people – I could not tell their nationality or racial origin, but I felt a connection to them. They seemed to be a huge clan made up of various family groups
(Scene 2):
  • PS
  • Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) and Beyonce Knowles
  • A female character - unknown to me in dream and real-life
  • Other persons using the Student Union bar – i.e. students, staff, customers
(Fragments 2, 3 & 4):
  • A disconnected female voice – like a television advertisement ‘voice-over’
  • A baby in a white wicker crib – I’m not sure if it was my baby
  • A small male child – unknown to me in dream and real-life
  • Various bystanders

Dream narrative
  • (Scene 1):
No lucidity. I was with the clan of people – we were all ‘exodus-ing’ the ‘town’ which consisted of the rows of shacks, lining the dirt tracks. On the dirt tracks was a fleet of vehicles – all open top (perhaps they were pick-up trucks? Vehicles with trailers attached? It wasn’t clear in the dream...) and the various families which made up the clan, were packing the vehicles with bundles of possessions. There was the sense of poverty and struggle, but everyone seemed content and happy, despite the energy and eagerness to move on from the immediate location. There was accordion music. I felt belonging and purpose, but no sense of immediate threat or danger. I’m not sure what I was wearing, but everyone else was dressed like peasants. When the vehicles were loaded with the clan’s possessions, we set off, all of us sitting on the open-top ‘trailers’. I felt as if I we were on boats, floating down a canal – I could see the shacks, either side of our procession.
  • (Fragment 1):
No lucidity. I was dressed as a beautiful Ancient Grecian woman or goddess, in a long white toga – I felt powerful and the pure embodiment of femininity. I was walking barefoot across a vast grasslands, under a stormy grey sky, yet it was perfectly warm. I could see other people standing or walking through the grass, but I felt happy being alone. I could hear the jangling of metal and realised I was adorned with many pieces of dangling gold jewellery – like the ‘coin’ decorations associated with belly-dance costumes.
  • (Scene 2):
No lucidity. I was sitting in the Student Union bar at university with PS. It was to the left of the entrance, by the windows. Everything inside the interior seemed to look the same as it does in real-life – except when I looked out of the window, instead of seeing the bookshop, cafes and laundry/residence office which would normally be visible, I saw the upper deck of a cruise ship and people lined up looking over the side at the ocean. I said to PS: “there’s Jay-Z and Beyonce” – I wasn’t overly surprised to see them there. I got the impression there was going to be an award ceremony held sometime in the very near future. Beyonce was wearing a long, glittering white dress – it looked as if it was made of sequins. Jay-Z wore a grey suit – he had his hand on Beyonce’s lower back and they were looking out towards the ocean. I thought: ‘maybe this is a ROC/Def Jam pre-party’. We were now standing by the corner of the bar, as if waiting to be served. A girl approached me and there was an altercation (I cannot remember what provoked it, or what was said), which ended with me punching her hard in the face and knocking her to the ground. I said to PS: “Jay-Z and Beyonce should have helped”. I saw them standing behind me – we exchanged a few words (which I can’t remember) then they walked off and I was unimpressed.
  • (Fragments 2):
Lucidity triggered. I was in an interior setting, with a bright light. I saw a huge close-up of my own face, although only half of the lower part was visible. I had amazingly clear skin and peach-coloured lip gloss. I saw my index finger, pointing to the portion of cheek which I could see. A female voice said; “all you need to be beautiful is a cheek, a finger and a smile”. At this point, I realised this was a reference to the ‘facial yoga’ I had been practicing in real-life, shortly before I went to bed (a method of using facial exercises and massage to sculpt the contours of the cheeks, lips and eyes; tone facial muscles; and reduce the signs of ageing, as an alternative to cosmetic procedure). As soon as this thought came to me, I realised I was now lucid in the dream.
  • (Fragments 3 & 4):
I found myself, lucid, sitting on the floor of a room. I was wearing a matching white underwear – a bra and knickers – but they were unattractive and plain, more suited to an older or larger woman. I decided to test my lucidity, by making my breasts as big as I could. I imagined I my real-life 32C chest was now 32H – and it happened. I put my hands to my chest to feel what the massive breasts felt like, and they were spilling out of the bra. I couldn’t contain them in my hands. My skin looked milky white. I thought it looked unattractive and my chest felt too heavy, weighing me down. I wished for my actual breasts and found I was now back to normal and clothed as I was in real-life – in a vest and lycra shorts. I could see a baby in a white wicker crib/moses basket, elevated from the floor by some form of stand. There were people crowded around the crib, looking at the baby. I walked over and saw a young male child (approximately 6 – 8 years old), poking the baby with his index finger repeatedly. I said angrily: “someone stop him from poking the baby” and then woke up.  


Group of people:
  1. A group of things or people in your real or imagined life
  2. Belonging or acceptance
  3. Abundance
  4. Plurality
Hut/shacks/simple residence:
  1. The owner or the owner's life
  2. Simplicity
  3. Lack
  4. Having only the basic necessities to get along
Favelas (shanty towns) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Favela by a canal in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  1. Preparing for a recent, expected, imagined or desired trip
  2. Preparing for a change or a task ahead
  3. Setting priorities
  4. Portability/mobility
The means by which you move forward in your life, where travelling represents moving forward in time through your life

 Other people in the vehicle:
  1. Individuals often around you in real life
  2. A recent or imagined shared situation
  1. The passage of time; making progress; moving forward in life
  2. A transition to show a separation or passage of time between topics portrayed in a dream Moving along your life path
  3. A representation of a recent real-life activity
Moving from one home to another can represent a change or transition in your life or a fresh start or new beginning
Exodus of refugees - Swat Valley, Pakistan

  1. The way someone got from one place to another - either literally or symbolically (as in the course of action that led to certain results)
  2. Your life path; life journey or a portion of it - past, present or future
  3. Evidence of someone's or something's presence or existence
  1. A foundation, such as a set of beliefs, values, relationships and other factors that form the basis of a person's life and experience
  2. What is obvious, visible or known to others (whereas something underground is not obvious or could be secret)
  3. The place where you are in your life right now - as in ‘where you stand’ or ‘how things stand’
A canal, ditch or other water channel:
  1. A context where events happen or a process progresses (as a canal is a place where water can progress from one place to another)
  2. A means of progress or a mode of transportation in your life
  3. The idea of flowing away from or getting rid of something
  4. A connection between two people, situations, events, etc.
  5. A transition, such as between one phase and the next
  1. Means by which you move forward and progress in life
  2. Change or progress is already happening or it's on your mind
  3. You're skimming along the surface of life but not participating fully; you're feeling protected from possible threats
Floating on water:
  1. Freedom, feeling unburdened, unlimited, or without a worry
  2. Nothingness or lack of sensory perspective
  1. An actual parade, procession, festival, or celebration you've seen or heard about in your real life
  2. A series of events in your past, if the participants you notice in the parade seem to parallel certain events in your real life
  3. A process or flow
  4. A key characteristic you associate with the parade or procession - such as community; participation; volunteerism; a religious rite;  a certain time of year etc
  1. One event that happens (or happened) after another in your life
  2. The idea of being ‘pulled along’ or supported financially, emotionally, mentally etc
  3. The idea of following rather than leading, copying someone, tagging along, or ‘riding their coattails’
  4. The idea of following (a leader, a trend etc.) blindly or without thinking for yourself
  5. An add-on or accessory; something that is an afterthought or not essential
  6. Your issues or emotional baggage that you ‘carry with you’ wherever you go
Expression; communication; message

  1. A role you play, want to play or want others to think you play
  2. The impression you want to give to others; the kind of self-image you want to have
  3. A disguise; a wish to be disguised; a desire to not be recognised or seen
  4. A context, role, or situation you're exploring - such as your role in a potential new job or in a different type of relationship
Tall grass/thicket/overgrown brush or shrubbery:
  1. Home
  2. Playfulness or game-playing
  3. A feeling of expansiveness or no limits
  4. Hiding or obscured
  5. The unknown (as in threats or other things that could be hidden in the grass)
  6. Neglect
  7. Nature or the outdoors 
Grasslands with grey stormy sky
Grey sky:
The dampening of optimistic emotions; feelings of sadness, melancholy, irritability, grumpiness, wistfulness, reflection etc

Feeling warm:
Security; safety; love; compassion; feelings of good will

Standing up/upright position:
  1. An intention to act or participate
  2. A desire to be noticed, heard or considered
  3. An intention to leave or distance oneself from a situation
  1. Feeling casual or comfortable
  2. Going without or feeling deprived
  3. Feeling exposed, vulnerable, or unprotected; choosing to be vulnerable with others
  4. Being or acting inappropriately for the particular situation or environment
Purity; blankness; clean slate

Embellishment; personalisation; creativity

  1. Feeling blessed; experiencing happiness or abundance
  2. Something you consider valuable - such as knowledge, money, friendship etc.
  3. Autumn - which can represent the ‘winding down’ of a phase or cycle 
  1. Cold
  2. Modern or minimal
  3. Strength of character
  4. Rigid thinking
  1. Value or currency of some kind (monetary, mental/emotional, effort, energy etc - or other things of value)
  2. Treasure (financial, emotional, mental or sentimental etc) - even in an unexpected or hidden form
  3. Investment or saving
  4. The details or things that don't matter much
Mythological character:
  1. Whatever comes to mind when you think of that character - consider its characteristics, roles or responsibilities, plus the character's context and actions
  2. The main characteristics of the character; the traditional symbolism of that character
Statue of Athene, Austrian Parliament buildings, Vienna
Statue of Athena, the Parthenon, Athens, Greece
Athena (from the Greek) is symbolic of wisdom; courage; inspiration; civilisation; law and justice; just warfare; mathematics; strength; strategy; the arts and crafts; and skill. There are many conflicting mythologies surrounding the origins of Athena, but the most common ‘Olympian’ version states that Zeus, ‘father of the Gods and man’, sought a sexual relationship (despite his marriage to Hera) with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but immediately feared the consequences of his tryst and swallowed Metis. It had been prophesised that any child born from Metis would be more powerful than the sire – even Zeus himself. However, before she was swallowed into the belly of Zeus, Metis had conceived a child. Eventually Zeus suffered a terrible headache and according to various sources, was attended to by either  Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares or Palaemon – whom cleaved him in the head with a double-sided Minoan axe. Athena, the favoured daughter of Zeus, leapt from her father’s head, fully formed and armed – issuing a war cry. Plato, in Cratylus (407B) gave the etymology of her name as signifying ‘the mind of god’ - theou noesis.

In one myth, Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, but she eluded him. His semen fell to the earth and impregnated the soil, and Erichthonius was born from the Earth, Gaia. Athena then raised the baby as a foster mother, placing the infant Erichthonius in a small box (cista) which she entrusts to the care of three sisters, Herse, Pandrosus, and Aglaulus of Athens. The goddess does not tell them what the box contains, but warns them not to open it until she returns. One or two sisters opens the cista to reveal Erichthonius, in the form (or embrace) of a serpent. The serpent, or insanity induced by the sight, drives Herse and Aglaulus to throw themselves off the Acropolis. Athena never had a consort or lover and is thus known as Athena Parthenos – i.e. ‘Virgin Athena’ – a goddess who struck blind any mortal man who happened to witness her nakedness (i.e. the ‘Tiresias’ myth). In the myth of the ‘Judgment of Paris’ – Athena who offers Paris wisdom, fame and glory in battle in exchange for being named the fairest of the three goddesses (Hera, Athena and Aphrodite) brought into discord at a wedding party by Eris and her golden apple, loses out to Aphrodite, the goddess of love who promises  Paris the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy – which lead to the Trojan war. Athena is also associated with feminism and androgyny. Some scholars have suggested that Athena represents empowerment; androgynous compromise; and feminine patriarchy, however Freud argued that Athena was an ‘original mother goddess divested of her power’ – demoted to being the favoured daughter of Zeus and denied the expression of motherhood.

This is really interesting – obviously the mythological basis of the character of Athena has been condensed and highly summarised (and based entirely on the classical Greek mythology, which I am most familiar with) – as generally speaking, I can associate the themes with real-life concerns and feelings. Last weekend I was discussing feminism (in the Western, secular world) with two male friends. Their opinions were, broadly speaking, that women ‘had it all’ in modern times, but were never satisfied with their personal choices and blamed men when they failed to get the balance right. My view was that feminism had damaged women’s expectations – leading us to believe we ‘have it all’ – i.e. the ability to gain the same education available to men; to choose whether to have casual sex and when to marry and have children; and to pursue a successful career, whilst failing to adequately acknowledge the biological impermanence of true female choice – you can choose to not be a mother until menopause (say, at approximately the mid-point in an average life-span) and then the choice is effectively removed. Men can reproduce – and therefore have true choice – ostensibly, for their entire lives. Feminism, in my opinion, convinced women than motherhood was not an inevitability or an expectation, yet did not acknowledge that in making the choice not to bear children during fertile youth, such women benefiting from the notion of ‘female empowerment’ were effectively leaving themselves in an unequal position without choice – at a life stage when earlier choices could not be reversed. Yet true feminism surely means that a woman should be able to form a successful and equally profitable career post-fertility (i.e. without ageist restrictions), after (as opposed to before or during) raising a family, without having to sacrifice ‘traditional domesticity’ (a choice, even if abhorrent to some women!) or young motherhood (again, a choice) for early career status – therefore enabling full choice (or as ‘full’ as is possible within the biologically imposed boundaries)? There is, of course, the added problem of the ‘glass ceiling’ still remaining intact in various industries and careers, even if the ladder to the top appears much longer. The goal may be higher and the prize for reaching it greater, but the fact the journey is longer means the notion of ‘choice’ is reaffirmed and intensified in modern life, perhaps in a way not anticipated by the feminist movement of the 1970s. A typical phrase, said to me countless times (by women who ‘chose’ to be mothers, typically sometime in the late ‘70s onwards given they are often from the generation above and family members/family friends/parents of friends) is “you’ve got the whole world open to you, why would you want to have children when you’re intelligent and could have a high-flying career?” I often ask these women whether they can imagine how it would feel to be a successful career woman (or even a woman who anticipated a successful career, but failed to achieve it, for that matter) who does not realise how much she would like to be a mother until it’s too late. Or what it would feel like to be in a relationship with a man and make the choice not to have children, only for him to leave and bear children with a younger woman, should he make his (limitless) ‘choice’ to be a father in later life. 

Feminism claimed to free women by providing them with the infinite life choices available to men, but to my mind, actually imprisons them, by presenting a two equally unsatisfying choices – the extreme ‘one or the other’ choice of career/domesticity; or the ‘balancing act’- ‘I can have it all’ choice, which seems the lesser of the two evils, but remains a distinctly ‘female’ choice. Men do not have to ‘choose’ – or at least, there is no perception of having to make a choice. In constructing a notion of ‘choice’ femininity rendered the ‘choosers’ decidedly unequal in having to bear the permanent consequences of their selection. 
The Feminist Movement of the 1970s
In my recent conversation with male friends (which took place whilst I was cooking them a meal in their kitchen, coincidentally) I expressed my anxieties regarding feminism and choice. They were trying to tell me that I was young enough to make whatever choice I wanted now, and be able to change my mind a few years down the line if I realised I’d made the wrong decisions – i.e. I could ‘have it all’. My view was that in the career I set out to follow (law), I would probably never reach the top of any ladder, glass ceiling or not – so what to do about family life? What of the choice between stepping off the ladder at the bottom, or waiting a few years (age a few years; add a few years of cynicism and needless career-orientated stress) to end up stepping off anyway, from a few rungs further up? I think this conflict may have been at the core of my dream symbol of ‘Athena’.

  1. Cultural or social changes
  2. Desire to increase knowledge or awareness
  3. The dream is teaching you some form of lesson
  4. Perseverance; stress
  5. If actual and current college/university – symbolic of a current situation
Award ceremony/mingling with celebrities:
Validation; recognition; fame; status; aspects of those celebrities characteristics desired or despised

Beyonce & Jay-Z
  1. A place or activity in your life where you interact with others, especially in a recreational manner
  2. The idea of letting go and having fun with other people
  3. The idea of meeting new people or interacting with strangers somehow in your life
Your view of the world around you; exposure

  1. An emotional journey
  2. A pun on ‘cruising’ through situations in your life with ease and little effort
Attacking someone:
  1. If you are attacking because you are angry at the person, you are probably really angry at them or something related to them/symbolised by them
  2. If you are attacking to protect yourself against an attack by them, you may feel threatened by that person's criticism, hostility, ambition etc, in real-life
Someone leaving:
  1. Feeling abandoned, alone, or left behind in real life - in a current or past situation
  2. An ending or a phase coming to a close in your real life
  3. Feeling that someone is abandoning someone or something - such as their responsibilities
Bravado or nerve; rejection; neutrality (as in ‘turning the other cheek’); beauty (as in ‘rosy-cheeked’); purity
Facial yoga
  1. Dealing with the details in life
  2. Dexterity in handling life's tasks and challenges
  3. Capability and adeptness
  4. A finger pointing at you can represent a feeling or fear of blame or attack
Expression; sensuality; communication; secrets

  1. Support and protection; vulnerability and emotional risk
  2. Perhaps you need to have your spirits uplifted
  3. Your nurturing side and maternal feelings
Over-sized breasts
  1. Primal nourishment; a need to be nursed and care for
  2. Motherhood; nurturance; infantile dependency
  3. Femininity; sexual arousal; raw energy 
  4. Naked breasts – exposure; invasion of privacy; anxieties about becoming a woman/mother
Exposed body:
  1. Vulnerability
  2. Obviousness or a desire for attention from others
  3. Aggressive intimacy or an attempt to act too familiar with others
  4. Casualness; relaxed mood; lack of concern about appearance
Something getting bigger:
  1. Gaining more power or strength; becoming more overwhelming
  2. Becoming more important or more prominent in your mind
  3. Becoming more of whatever the thing/person represents
  4. Maturing; getting older; the passage of time
Baby/baby-related items:  
  1. Innocence; warmth; new beginnings
  2. Purity; vulnerability; helplessness
  3. Need for self-nurturing; responsibility for yourself or others
Baby in white wicker moses basket
Dreaming that you are pregnant or that you have a baby you don't have in real-life:
  1. You could benefit from paying more attention to your own needs, especially those of your inner child
  2. Taking on responsibility for someone else or taking on too much responsibility
  3. You are contemplating having a baby or spending time around young children
  1. An actual child or child-like person in your life
  2. An adult who has been acting like a child or with the emotional disposition of a child
  3. The need for self-nurturing and responsibility for yourself
Finger poke
Something is being drawn to your attention

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