My Dream Symbol Glossary (A-M)

Caveat emptor: This glossary has a decidedly Jungian flavor. Suggestions for citable additions welcome.
[A-M] [N-Z]

abstract shape
The Self. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

animal
An instinctual part of oneself.

animal, helpful
The Self. Represents the Self’s instinctive nature and primal connectedness to our surroundings. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

animal, hostile
A suppressed instinctive emotional response. See also dangerous enemy. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

apartment
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

arch
To pass under an arch in initiation ceremonies symbolizes being reborn, leaving behind the old nature. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

arena
The Sufi path. In love’s arena, one does battle with the ego. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

armor
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

arms
Organs of action. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

ash
The end product of calcinatio is a white ash. This corresponds to the albedo or whitening phase. The ash is the incorruptible glorified body which has survived the purifying ordeal. (Edinger, 1985)
Ash is alchemically equivalent to salt. (See salt.) (Edinger, 1985)

award
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

baby or divine child
The Self. The birth of the Self. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
Or, the prima materia. To become like children is to revert to the innocent, undifferentiated state of the prima materia, a prerequisite of transformation. (Edinger, 1972/1991)

balloon
Inflation. Ego inflation. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
Inferiority is just a veiled inflation. If one feels inferior, that’s really ambition. One wants to be a great person, more than one is, and one knows one isn’t. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

bar, tavern
For the Sufi, the house of the teacher. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The heart of the perfect Sufi. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The master who has realized union with God. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

bartender
For the Sufi, the teacher who can give the dreamer spiritual intoxication. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

bathroom
The purification symbolism of water. The chamber of purification. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

bear
In folklore, the bears tends to be the bewitched prince, or the man who has been cursed to walk about in a bearskin. The bear knows why he acts as he does; there is no trembling or panic or uncertainty. He would simply kill his enemy when he meets him without any nasty irritation. (von Franz, 1993)

beard
See hair.

bird
A creature of the earth, yet not entirely of the earth since he can fly. (Singer, 1994)
Symbol for one’s spirit (highest aspiriations). (Singer, 1994)

black
The color of the feminine and the color of spiritual poverty in which one looks towards God knowing that He alone can answer our deepest needs. Renunciation, turning away from the world, complete dependence on God. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

black garment
For a male dreamer, this signifies a feature of the undeveloped inner anima. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

black person
For a white American, the shadow, carrying the rejected, “primitive” side of white people. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

book
Certain kinds of books represent the persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

bread
Nourishment. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

burglar
Something breaking into one’s conscious system. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

butterfly
The Self. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

car
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)
Mechanical way of moving through life. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

car, driving (a vehicle)
It is about getting somewhere. In this sense, it is masculine, goal-oriented. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

car, white
Inner purpose. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

castle
A symbol of the Self. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The majesty of the Self.

cat
Independent and sure of itself. Has never sold its soul to man. A positive model of feminine gehavior: “You may stroke me and serve me but I will never become your slave.” It is not amiable, but it is true to itself. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

cathedral
A holy place in the unconscious, magnificent and sacred. An inner dimension which belongs both to the present and to the long-distant past. Something within us far gerater than the ego. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

circle
The Self. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
All images that emphasize a circle with a center and usually with the additional feature of a square, cross, or some other representation of quaternity, fall into this category. (Edinger, 1972/1991)

city, celestial
The Self. The transcendent reality of the Self. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

cleaning, washing
A woman’s connection with the earth, with the body, with the material world. It is an experssion of love towards matter, devotion to the principle of matter. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

cleaning/washing dirty linen
Sorting out the shadowy things one has done, in order to dwell on them. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

climbing
An archetypal motif that can point to the nucleus of an emotionally-charged element in the psyche of an individual. Specifically, it points to something in that individual’s disposition or past experience that is the foundation of a complex (Singer, 1994)

clothing
Often we have a garment hidden within us, waiting for the right time to be worn. The time when we turn away from the outer world and pick up the thread of our spiritual destiny, a thread is woven into the fabric of our soul. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

cloud
A message from God. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

cooking
Changing or transforming a substance of one form in to another to make it edible, or assimilable (Singer, 1994, p. 36)

color
The color symbolism was important in alchemy. For the alchemists, when a substance underwent a change in color, it was simultaneously undergoing a change in its inner nature. Change in color therefore symbolized a transmutation of the substance and its movement from one level of being to another. (Raff, 2000)

coral
The tree of the Mother Goddess. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

cow
Cosmic maternal principle of feminine fertility of both the earth and sky. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

cowboy
The Western myth of the Warrior. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

crystal
A symbol of the Self. It’s mathematically precise arrangement suggests the union of extreme opposites. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

damsel in distress
An archetypal motif that can point to the nucleus of an emotionally-charged element in the psyche of an individual. Specifically, it points to something in that individual’s disposition or past experience that is the foundation of a complex (Singer, 1994)

dancing
Symbolizes integration. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

death
Transformation. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
When someone dies in a dream, it shows that that specific personification is coming to an end. The psychological energy invested in it will appeaar on a a different level. (von Franz, 1993)

diploma
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

dog
The representative of the animal kingdom that is most adapted to us. Domesticated animal instinct. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
A guide to help the dead cross over, a guide in the darkness of the unknown. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

A masculine figure. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

dove, female
Feminine spirit of God. The form of the feminine. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

dragon
A feminine symbol. In her darker form, she allures a man into the unconscious and abandons him there. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The Great Mother archetype seeking only power and using her magical attraction to imprison consciousness. For a man to realize his own relationhip to the inner and outer feminine, he has to free the virgin (his own pure feminine self) from the dragon. Once this would have been done via slaying the dragon (Rejecting the instinctual power of the feminine), but this is no longer viable. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

dragon, European
Greed. He guards heaps of gold (the vitality of life) and virgins, but he can’t make use of either of them. He just guards. Psychologically, it is the binding of oneself to one’s ego. [Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure]

dragon, Chinese
The vitality of the swamps. He yields the bounty. [Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure] In the East, only emperors are allowed to have dragons embroidered on their clothes. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

dress
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

drowning
A synonym for solution. (See solutio above.) (Edinger, 1985)

dual descent (two mothers, two fathers, two sets of parents)
Mythological motif in the lives of many legendary heroes. The hero is the son of parents of the highest stations, his conception takes place under difficult circumstances, and there is a portent in a dream or oracle connected with the child’s birth. He is sent away and exposed to extreme danger. He is rescued by people of humble station, or by helpful animals, and reared by them. When grown, he rediscoveres his noble birth after many adventrues and, overcoming all obstacles in his path, becomes at last recognized as the hero and attains fame and greatness. (Singer, 1994, pp. 98-9)

dwarf
Dwarfs have a lot to do with the feminine world and occur more frequently in women’s dreams than in men’s dreams. They often represent the first creative impulses in the unconscious and some kind of creative activity still hidden in the womb of nature. (von Franz, 1993)

dying or being killed
The ego attitude as it is at the moment has to go. Signifies the coming of a radical, compelte change. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

dying by being shot
The dreamer needs a shock to wake them up. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

eagle
Power drive and spiritual elation. High flights in thought and fantasy. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

eagle, gold
A solar symbol. Thought to be able to look unblinking into the sun. The transformation of the instinctual energy of the unconscious that results from working with the shadow. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
Energy of the Self. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

eight
Infinity. Consciousness of the infinite. A symbol of wholeness (like the number four). [Vaughan-Lee, 12 Levels of Initiation]

egg
Potential wholeness (the union of consciousness and the unconscious). (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
New birth. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

electricity
Life energy (Singer, 1994)

elephant
The Self. The great strength images the natural power of the Self. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

enemy, dangerous
A shadow figure. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
If something pursues us in a dream , it wants to come to us. But by being afraid of it, we lend it an evil figure. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

equipment
Certain kinds of equipment represent the persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

fall or sudden drop
a sudden disappointment in outer realtiy, with giving everything up. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

hitting the floor

A shock collision with reality. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

falling
A symbol indicating the dreamer is too high up; has too high an opinion of themselves; or has romantic, unreal ideas; or is living in a make-believe world, in a theory. Somewhere the dreamer is not in touch with reality. Sudden fall dreams generally coincide with outer, deep disappointment. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
Particularly in dreams of airplanes crashing, falling from high places, fear of heights, etc., flying or a fall from heights of unreality is an allusion to the myth of Icarus: Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned in Crete. The father made them each a pair of wings, and with these they were able to escape. But Daedalus warned his, “Don’t fly too high or the sun will melt the wax on your wings and you will fall. But Icarus became so exhilarated by his ability to fly, he forgot the warning and did follow his own course. He went too high, the wax melted, and he fell into the sea. (Edinger, 1985)The myth tells us that inflation, or power that is not accompanied by an equal sense of responsibility, has, as its inevitable consequence, a fall.

father

father, divine
For a male dreamer, he symbolizes loyalty, power, virility, the rock at the center of her life.(Qualls-Corbett, 1988, p.7)

fathers, two
see dual descent

feces
Creativity. They are produced from within. Unused inner creativity pollutes us. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

fire
The libido. (Edinger, 1985)
Associated with the process of calcinatio. (See above.) Fire is often associated with God and therefore represents archteypal energies that transcend the ego and are experienced as numious. (Edinger, 1985)
Fire was a central symbol in the alchemical lexicon. Calcinatio, the alchemical process of burning a substance and reducing it to ash, served as a method of purification. Fire also effected separation, splitting the ash or body of the material from the spirit. (Raff, 2000)

fish
A power of the underworld, ever-present in the abyss of the unconscious. (Noah did not have to take fish on the Ark.) [Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure]

The contents of the unconscious. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
Christ.
(Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

fish, the eating of
Being nourished by the unconscious. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

five
The number of mankind or humanity. We have five senses. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The dignity, pride and honor in being a human being. At the level of awareness represented by the number five, one begins to connect with and live one’s real self. You realize that you have a part to play in humanity. [Vaughan-Lee, 12 Levels of Initiation]

flower
The flowering of the soul. We can only become what we are in the most natural core of our being, and just as a flower opens its petals towards the sun, so does the seeker open her heart to the Beloved. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

flying
In its negative connotation: Not grounded; unrealistic. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
Particularly in dreams of flight without any means of mechanical support, or dreams of airplanes crashing, falling from high places, fear of heights, etc., flying or a fall from heights of unreality is an allusion to the myth of Icarus:
Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned in Crete. The father made them each a pair of wings, and with these they were able to escape. But Daedalus warned his, “Don’t fly too high or the sun will melt the wax on your wings and you will fall. But Icarus became so exhilarated by his ability to fly, he forgot the warning and did follow his own course. He went too high, the wax melted, and he fell into the sea. (Edinger, 1985)

food
Nourishment. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The ego, to establish itself as an autonomous entity (in its separation from unconscious wholeness to consciousness), must appropriate food (energy) for itself. (Edinger, 1985)

food, forbidden
Consciousness. Awareness of one’s darkness and the opposites of good and evil. It must be stolen to emerge from unconscious wholeness. (Edinger, 1985)

foot
A replica of the whole body. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

four
The number of psychological wholeness. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

forest or wilderness
A classic symbol of psychological alienation. The state in which the ego has exhausted its resources and is aware of its essential impotence by itself. It is in this state that the supporting aspect of the archetypal psyche is most likely to occur. In dreams, these sometimes show up as a helpful animal. (Edinger, 1985)

foundation, shaky
An archetypal motif that can point to the nucleus of an emotionally-charged element in the psyche of an individual. Specifically, it points to something in that individual’s disposition or past experience that is the foundation of a complex (Singer, 1994)

frog
The frog represents a complex which has a strong energetic drive towards consciousness. When a frog appears in a dream, all that is required is a receptive attitude and then the rest will follow by itself. (von Franz, 1993)
Lunar symbol of renewal and transformation, emphasizing the feminine potential for inner change. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

fruit
Symbolical of the knowledge of good and evil. (Edinger, 1985)

Fragments of the theme of the expulsion from paradise (i.e., stealing or eating fruit) are common in dreams when new conscious insights are being born.

garden
An image for the world of the soul; particularly, for the Sufi, who sees its beauty and sweet fragrance as a reflection of an infinite beauty.. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

giraffe
The most graceful of feminine creatures. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

gods and goddesses
Gods and goddesses represent archetypal contents in the unconscious, or collective complexes – normal complexes which everybody has, not pathological complexes. If a god or goddess has been neglected, it means that a specific natural psychological way of behaving has been omitted. If a god is forgotten, it means that some aspects of the dreamer are so much in the foreground that others are ignored to a great extent. The archetype of the mother goddess has suffered that fate in our civilization. You could refer every god to a biological instinctive dimension; the god represents its meaning, or spiritual aspect. Every archetypal god image is a dynamic, explosive load of energy and humanly uncontrollable. (von Franz, 1993)

gold
The vitality of life. [Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure]
Immortality, eternity. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
The substance of highest value. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

Can never be corrupted. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

Radiance, freedom from pollution. A non-corrosive element. Consciousness. (Qualls-Corbett, 1988)

grandfather
The archetypal male.

grandmother
The archetypal female.

green
The color of nature. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The color of growth and becoming. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
For the Sufi, the color of the realization of God. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

hair
Hair evokes the idea of something primitive and instinctive and animal-like, but the meaning varies according to the part of the body on which it appears. Hair on the head carries the projection of unconscious involuntary thoughts and fantasies, because these grow out of our heads. A beard, the thoughts we voice unconsciously. (von Franz, 1993)

hair, gift of
There is a custom among lovers that the beloved gives a lock of her hair which the lover treasures above anything else. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

hanging
A negative deification. It signifies the moment of being elevated into the spiritual realm, but at the expense of human reality. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)
In a suspended state. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

hat
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

herbs
Herbs belong to Mother Earth and their use belongs to the primordial knowledge of women. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

honey
Sacred to the Earth and to the Goddess. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

horse, flying
See Pegasus

house
The persona. (Singer, 1994)

One’s own psyche. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

husband
When it not a figure with a personal connection in your waking life, it represents the animus. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998) (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

immortality
Immortality of is a quality of the archetypes. A encounter of the ego with immortality makes the former aware of its transpersonal, eternal, or immortal aspect. (Edinger, 1985)

impregnation
When a woman encouters the Self, it is often expressed as celestial impregnating power. (Edinger, 1985)

incest
A phase in the collective human experience as we develop toward a higher form of consciousness (Singer, 1994, p. 116)
Symbolic of a desire for spiritual rebirth in psyhic process of becoming an individual. [Hyde and McGuinness, Introducing Jung]

jungle
The instinctual, primal world of the unconscious. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

king
The ruling masculine principle is one’s life. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
The ego – at least the dominant or ruling principle according to which the ego is structured. (Edinger, 1985)

king, old and impotent
The wounding and impotence of the king result in the kingdom becoming a wasteland (i.e., the Grail legend of the Fisher King.) (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)
Can represent the inability to relate to one’s real self. While this king remains in power, there can be no inner growth. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

ladder
A continuous connection with the world of the gods, with the divine powers of the unconscious. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

landscape, vast and beautiful
New psychological horizons. Often imaged through a doorway, archway or window. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

legs
Organs by which we stand in reality. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

lefthand
Symbolizes unconsciousness, where the path of life is neither clear nor paved. The left is a feminine path that works through the unconscious. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

libido
The divine creative force of nature (Singer, 1994, p. 116)

lily, water lily
The pure aspect of the feminine. A flower sacred to the Virgin Goddess. It also exhibits the quality of the lotus, for it rises from the mud to flower only when it reaches the surface of the water; the process of inner transformation which begins in the muddy depths of the unconscious and flowers when it emerges into consciousness. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

lion
Symbol of Christ or of the spiritual teacher. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

lover
See or , as appropriate.

love, making
A symbol of integration.(Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

man
For men, such a figure may represent their shadow side. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

For women, such a figure may represent the contrasexual nature (animus) of the dreamer. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

(Qualls-Corbett, 1988)

mandala
A symbol of the Self. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

marriage, mystic
A sacred commitment in which everything is surrendered into the hands of love. (Vaughan-Lee, 1992/1998)

mask
The persona. The character or stance we assume as a compromise between our natural inclinations and the patterns of society in order to relate outside of ourselves. (Singer, 1994)

moon
The emergence of a strong feminine element. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

mother
For a woman, her instinctive basis. If a woman has trouble with her mother, she very often has trouble with menstruation, sexual functions and maternal feelings. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

mothers, two
See dual descent

mother, devouring
For a male dreamer, this may signify inertia. (von Franz & Boa, 1994)

mother, divine
For a male dreamer, she symbolizes beauty, goodness, chastity, life-giving love.(Qualls-Corbett, 1988, p.7)

murder and suicide
In a depressed state, one often encounters murderous dreams. This kind of inner violence often follows an unbearable alienation. (Edinger, 1985)

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