A woman dreamed that she was asleep in the dream. Someone was sneaking up on her with a knife. She woke up just as they went to stab her in the heart. She dreamed that she woke up as the person was completing actually stabbing her in the heart. She later indicated that the attacker was a hooded figure.
Being stabbed in the heart often means that the dreamer has been hurt and has heartache over either words or actions. Being asleep in a dream usually means that the dreamer was unconscious or unaware of what led up to the hurt, but she suddenly woke up while being stabbed which usually indicates sudden awareness and shock that the hurtful actions and/or words are occurring right in front of her.
The first level of dream interpretation is always the hardest but potentially the most beneficial. At this first level, where you consider each character to be a part of the dreamer’s psyche, a hooded figure like that is often the dreamer’s shadow. We think of it as being the aggressive part which is used for self-protection and usually is the main part that changes in therapy.
If the dream is looked at in that way, her shadow could be urging her to wake up and have a change of heart because she was hurt. The shadow wants to get her out of the situation. Messages from the shadow are almost always dramatic and this may or may not apply to the dreamer’s situation.
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The Shadow is a major dream archetype. It is usually a dark figure in profile or can be a criminal or aggressive stalking figure that either tries to break in to your residence or is pursuing you in some way. We all have a shadow. These contain aggressive impulses and parts of ourselves that we have rejected for now.
The shadow also contains our “get up and go.” it is vital to the personality. Other parts of the personality need to be in contact with the shadow to place appropriate limits on it. By working with the shadow, the other parts of the personality benefit by getting the energy that is in the shadow that can be put to good use.
The following is a dream I had at a critical time that assured me that I would make it through a conflict:
Dream 305: The Caped Crusader
I saw a dark caped figure moving energetically down a hall towards me who seemed mysterious but not threatening. It had the aire almost of an evangelical figure arriving to save us all. I looked at him with awe as I was leaning down to tie my shoe.
This was a numinous or luminous image of the shadow. A numinous or luminous image fills the observer with awe because of its power and is almost sacred in nature. The Savior-moving energy of this dark almost evangelical hero image was to reassure me that I had lots of energy which I would have to use in the adversarial conflict I was in the middle of.
Even the detail of tying my shoes was important. Shoes protect the feet and allow us to get somewhere faster in safety. The feet are supportive of our body.
Tying my shoe meant that I was getting myself together to protect and support myself to get to where I needed to be in this conflict. While it was a high level conflict, I believe this detail was emphasizing the importance of details. Not tying your shoe could impede your progress. Not overlooking a detail in the huge administrative conflict I was involved in was extremely important.
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A woman dreamed that she was underwater in a swimming pool that was a combination of a swimming pool and the ocean. It seemed vast and open on the one hand, but had a ladder and swimming pool accessories on the other hand. In the water with her was a shark with a bloody mouth because he had just been feeding.
The shark made no move towards attacking her. She decided to leave the pool because she could not hold her breath any longer. She climbed up the pool ladder and was intending to go towards her mother and sister.
The shark grabbed her by the right leg as she was leaving the pool/ocean. The shark did not hurt or bite her. The shark only put enough pressure on the leg that she could not leave the ocean/pool.
Water is invariably emotions in dreams. Particularly subconscious emotions. It depends upon what type of body of water it is also.
The open ocean represents the best symbol we have for the vast subconscious. A pool represents our emotions at home because pools are located near homes. The image in the dream sounds like a combination of the ocean and a pool so that they together represent deep subconscious emotions at home.
Each character in a dream represents a part of our mind. Women tend to represent the parts of the dreamers mind that deals with emotions. That her mother and sister are in the dream especially emphasizes that it’s about emotions at home.
Also, the shark having a bloody mouth indicates the color red. The color red goes with the first chakra. The first chakra often deals with family (or tribe) issues. The color red also signals strong emotions such as love and anger (which are present in spades in family issues).
Animals represent our instincts. The shark is an aggressive predator. It is a shadow energy that we all deal with and are uncomfortable with for the most part.
The dream implies that she is immersed in her emotions and dealing with instincts or anger which we all have. We need these instincts to some extent to defend ourselves. The dream indicates that she worries about being overly angry sometimes at home and tries not to dwell on it as it makes her uncomfortable.
When she tries to get out of the pool to go to her mother and sister, the shark grabs her right leg. This is important. It sounded like it didn’t really hurt the dreamer but mainly wanted her to stay in the pool.
This is the dreams way of saying it wants her to deal with these emotions. The dream wanted to help her deal emotionally with others. Even the fact that it grabbed her right leg is significant.
Legs support us. The right side is associated with our conscious intentions. This suggest that the dream wants her to deal with any angers she had at home to help her be supportive to others and to herself.
Possible Details to Wonder About
We know at the first level that this dream is about emotional conflicts at home. At the next and second level of the dream, it is vital to get details from the dreamer. Let me explain.
For example, this dream could involve money conflicts and difficulty leaving home. The term “loan shark” comes to mind. One wonders whether there are money issues.
It is possible that she is subconsciously angry because she feels controlled because someone she is close to her has a financial hold on her (the shark not allowing her to leave the pool is the major clue here). Being in such a situation is especially stressful because if she leaves the current financial arrangements, she might feel that she didn’t have a leg to stand on (the shark would not let go of her leg). While it looks like she might be in a “hostile dependency” situation, getting further details from the dreamer would be vital to fully interpret this interesting dream.
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A 42-year-old man dreamed that he was swimming in the ocean infested with sharks. Sometimes the sharks would bite him, and sometimes he would bite the sharks. Neither he nor the sharks were seriously hurt by the bites.
The scene shifted to his hometown streets being flooded. Again the water was filled with sharks. He was able to bite and nourish himself from the sharks. He somehow knew that eating the sharks was “medicinal.”
A Chinese woman came to warn him not to bite the sharks too much. She did not disapprove of his feeding on the sharks, but mainly wanted him not to go overboard. He knew that the sharks were not hurt by his feeding upon them, because the bite marks immediately healed and regenerated.
Water is emotion. The ocean is the best symbol of the subconscious that we have. Creatures in the ocean, like sharks, represent subconscious energy.
Sharks represent aggressive energy because they are the ultimate predators. A persona needs some aggressive energy to accomplish goals, as aggressive energy ends up being the “get up and go” needed to achieve. Other parts of the personality need to moderate the aggressive energy so that it is sublimated into desired outcomes.
The dream starts out by noting that sometimes he is the prey, and sometimes he is the predator. When the sharks are moved from the ocean to the streets of his hometown, the dream is moving from his subconscious (the ocean) to his conscious (the land). The dream emphasizes that incorporating predator behavior into himself (eating the shark) was genuinely healing or “medicinal.”
Women tend to represent more emotional parts of the psyche. That she was Chinese was the dream’s way of indicating that her way of handling emotions was somewhat foreign to him. The message of the dream was that he perhaps should be somewhat more assertive in getting what he wanted, but that he should not take it too far.
It was interesting that shark cartilage is thought to be healing. In the dream, this was emphasized over and over. No one was hurt by being bitten. Tissue that was bitten regenerated.
The dream was not overly critical as it indicated he vacillated from being prey or predator. It just thought he should be more predator-like somewhat more of the time. He may need even to be aggressive sometimes.
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Dream 190: I’m Depressed to Avoid Being Aggressive
A 44-year-old man dreamt that he was sitting on a couch. Little wild, furry and aggressive creatures were trying to climb up the back of the couch. A high school friend was leaning over him and protecting him from the creatures. Every so often the friend slapped a creature so that it fell down the back of the couch.
Dream 190 Interpretation
The furry aggressive creatures represented instinctive aggression. He described the high school friend as chronically depressed. The dream is saying that he becomes depressed to avoid becoming aggressive. At work, he was very irritated by all the little squabbles he had to deal with in customer service.
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