Underground dreams are deep


Have you also dreamed about tunnels or exploring caves or crevices beneath the earth? What makes these dreams so fascinating is that, unless a miner, hermit or hobbit (!), humans spend all their time in the light and on the surface. Underground represents something quite mystical or foreign. A place of darkness, cold and fear. A home for hard minerals, dust and things that hide.

“I don’t dig that”…

This is a good analogy for how most people seemingly experience life. They take whatever comes at surface-value and desperately seek to stay in the light, where it is warm, safe and familiar. Many seem unwilling or uninterested in digging deeper. To dig deeper would mean having to confront pieces of themselves that they fear they, or others, would not be able to handle.

Typically, dreams of tunnels and being underground represent the exploration of the unconscious… the soup bubbling just beneath the surface. We are being told that something is afoot. All is not as it seems.

With that, I’ve chosen to share my second dream involving a tunnel. What follows after that is the subsequent insight gleaned by chatting to my therapist DS (Deep Soul).

I find myself in a garden. I realise I am at my last family home I stayed in before becoming independent. I am struck with a feeling that I have to leave the house as soon as I can. There are two holes at the bottom of my garden that lead underground. I enter the first hole and crawl through to my neighbour’s garden. I can’t get any further because there is a big locked gate in front of me, so I turn back to the other hole.

My name is Alice…

Here, I climb in head-first and crawl through on my belly. I find a subterranean tunnel which looks much like a mole’s home. Ahead of me, an open hole in the earth wall filters gentle, late afternoon sun through. The tunnel is dry and not too cold. As I crawl along the ground, I see little niches on the floor and in the walls. At the first shadowy niche on my left, a tortoise pops its head out. I say hello and crawl past. With my feet near its head, I take one last glance back and am surprised to see the “tortoise neck” is actually a big snake rearing its head. It is like a cobra waiting to strike but it doesn’t bite me. I am not scared to death but I am a bit freaked out. I quicken my pace.

Another hole beneath my belly has a yellow stringy, spongy insect or starfish hiding there. I am scared and fill up the hole with my teddy bear before crawling over it.

I come to the place in the tunnel where the sun is gently filtering in and casting a circle of light on the floor. Bathed in light are an assortment of blue china plates, bowls and tea cups. They are arranged in a haphazard fashion, almost like they have been left as an offering to some higher power. Some are filled with dry food, like flour. “It’s amazing that insects haven’t touched this stuff,” I think to myself. I wake up without knowing whether I get out of the tunnel or not.

(If you didn’t get a chance to read my about my first tunnel dream, here it is, along with some dream symbolism to help with your own dream interpretation: http://bit.ly/1n8OsE9).

Therapy is like archeology…

I shared both tunnel dreams with DS a few weeks ago. I told him that I was almost positive they were indicative of transformation.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t see a light at the end of either tunnel,” I remarked to him. Seeing the light in a dream would be a reassuring sign to anyone undergoing therapy or a shaky process of change and self-discovery.

In his typically insightful and gobsmackingly sensitive fashion, he replied: “Maybe you didn’t need to because the light is already inside the tunnel”. BAM. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Clearly, this is one of the many good reasons I am paying him the big bucks. It was so obvious once he had said it. Here I was thinking that hope and “enlightenment” lay at the end of the journey. But my dream was trying to shine a light on the nourishment and precious, delicate gifts I already have inside, just waiting to be used.

And what about the tortoise and snake? Both are ancient creatures with symbolic connotations. The tortoise is slow, cautious and protected by thick skin and a shell. It sounds a lot like how I’ve operated on an emotional level in the past. There is also a tinge of feeling slow and stupid because of people’s criticisms as a child. This tortoise magically transforms into a snake in the blink of an eye. In fact, it doesn’t transform. I just hadn’t looked at properly. I am not frightfully scared of snakes but have a fearful respect for them. My dream snake was poised to strike but didn’t. Instead, it was suspended in a position so graceful but worthy of respect. I truly believe this snake represents untapped strength. And that I can use this strength without having to strike out at others. Snakes shed their skin without fear because they know there will be renewal. I wish it was as easy for us to shed things which aren’t working anymore!

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8 thoughts on “Underground dreams are deep

  1. Dreams are so fascinating! Mine have always been vivid, meaningful and sometimes predict the future. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jay says:

      Indeed they are! Have you ever practiced dream incubation? From what I understand, you plant a question in your mind by focusing on it before you go to bed and the idea is that the answer may surface through symbols, images, words or even a song in your dreams. Curious to hear if that’s worked for someone!

  2. Dear Jay,
    I am sending the biggest virtual hug to you right now. I am so happy you have chosen to share some of your very personal journey with us here, and I mean it when I say to you that I was meant to find your blog. As you know I am working with a Jungian Analyst as part of my Analytical Dream Training for work, and I had absolutely no idea how quickly dream work could get you into deep, dark places – dark places where, yes, infinite light and gifts and waiting to be discovered. Your dream is beautiful. “Bam!” Yes! The light is IN the tunnel!!

    We are INFJs, we are dreamers, we are ALICE, we are brave explorers of the deep dark corners…we are heroes.

    Deep, Dark Love,

    • Jay says:

      Wow Amanda. I’m blown away by your comment! I also truly believe we were meant to find each other here. As an example, after reading your comment, I decided to read one of many psychology interviews I’d downloaded. This one was with Jungian analyst Dr James Hollis and I was spellbound by one of his paragraphs, because it related to depth and to fire 😉 …

      “To ordinary consciousness, we seem to be corporeal bodies, mostly, fixed by gravity and stitched by pain and mortality to this gravid earth. But we are, rather, systems, energies, exchanges, projections, programs, force fields, and continuous enactments of tenebrous scripts both conscious and unconscious. What animates this assemblage of matter that we inhabit when we are born? What blows spiritus into the lungs of the bawling infant? That spiritus – ésprit – re-spiration, in-spiration is energy, a force field blowing, blowing through eternity into time-bound bodies whose curving trajectory brings them inexorably back to earth. Even as plummet-bound bodies, decaying, dying as we lurch through life, we remain nonetheless force fields of energy, dancing on the grave of history and aflame with eternal fires.”

      The interviewer asked what tenebrous means and he replied that it means having depth and disappearing into darkness. Hollis explains further: “Leading us into mystery. Because in a sense we are matter that is in some way ensouled matter, animated matter and anima’s Latin for soul. It’s matter that longs, that suffers, that grieves, that yearns and can be intentional and contradictory and violent and loving and so forth and all of that is a profound mystery and when we forget it, we somehow settle in to being just creatures of stimulus.”

      • Thank you so much for sharing the Hollis quote! What synchronicity abounds! I have been thinking recently that my favorite thing about working with dreams is the idea that it gives you a snapshot of your psychic energy and your current somatic state. It shows you how you are utilizing your energies, or all Hollis says what “systems, energies, exchanges, projections, programs, force fields and continuous enactments of tenebrous scripts” we are playing and reveling within. I have found that there is something about the darkness that elucidates our energy expenditures – dreams and darkness reveal so much about our state – light is found in the darkness, yes!! Here’s to light and dark… and earth wind and fire haha ❤

  3. ptero9 says:

    Hi Jay,

    As a fellow spelunker, I love this dream of yours. I think the underworld holds treasures for us that perhaps haven’t yet seen the light of day. We’re down there digging for a reason.

    So nice to meet you here. You have a great blog and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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