Dream Diary Project: Black Animals

I started The Dream Diary Project in January as a way to commit to intentional artistic creation, have a theme, a focal point, and a goal. I always dream, and I always dream BIG. In fact, I’ve been keeping track of dreams since elementary school, writing them in journals. By interpreting dreams visually, I’m able to translate my subconscious’ mysterious  language and unlock questions, problems, and new ideas.

One particular way the project has evolved is through an illustrated diary of sorts. I have plans to make this into a workbook/journal for other big dreamers, but in the meantime, it’s been a fascinating place to explore and flip back and forth through.

Here’s an example of a recent dream, where I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror:

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The mirror was important, because it made me realize that I couldn’t think of another time I actually saw my reflection in a dream. The reflection I did see made me sad, and when I woke up, I was angry at myself for my low self-esteem (true in waking and dream life). With each “symbol” or theme, I research what it has meant historically, and think of key words that can universally describe that object. So with the mirror, the words “Luck,” “Reflection,” and “Windows” came to mind. I then use those key words as jumping off points for questions to ask about the dream and its relation to my waking life.

After last night’s dream which included a playful black snake, slithering around my house, I started to realize a pattern with the animals that show up in my dream world:

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They are darkest of dark black, potentially dangerous, yet benevolent, even playful. I’ve had other dreams with animals, for example, the one where I chucked evil snails with toxic slime, or housecats chasing me, but they didn’t leave me with the same feeling upon waking. The ram, snake, and crow all needed me, followed me, or were close to me.

What does it mean!? This is EXACTLY what I hoped to gain from spending every day thinking about my dreams. To find clues my subconscious…or the collective subconscious…or the spirit world beyond…is trying to communicate.

The mystic in me, the gal who loves her chunks of amethyst that have been charged under full moon’s light and tucked by her pillow, the one who cleans the house with burning incense of palo santo, she has a theory.

(This is where you can roll your eyes and feel sorry for my husband who has to listen to this kind of chatter all night).

My theory is, it’s my old dog Bogey, visiting me through other animals in my dreams.

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Bogey, my deepest of dark black dogs, potentially dangerous, yet benevolent and almost playful (to me). 

Bogey was the love of my life, and over three years later, I’m still mourning his sudden and unexpected loss. He was a creature only a mother could love, and those who he did choose to let in his life were only the most special of special. I think about him every day, and…

…ok, here’s where I get EVEN CRAZIER…

…his spiritual presence has been missing from our house. After he passed, I could still feel him lurking behind doors, laying at the foot of my bed, or watching the house while I was gone. This lasted for a long time. But maybe it’s all the palo santo and sage I burn, or the time passed, or the wild golden retriever we brought in, but those little instances are forever gone.

So now maybe he’s showing up in my dreams.

Bogey was a guardian, a watchdog, and a comforting presence for me. I am in love with the theory that he is morphing into powerful animals that he couldn’t do in his waking life, checking in my life at night, and I am eager to see what other animals arrive in the future.

 

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