Typically, I would just work with the dream symbols but sometimes you have a dream you can’t make heads or tails of. In this case, choosing a few cards may help shed light on the symbols and the overarching subject.
Carl G. Jung, the Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology, describes the structure of a dream in four phases:
- Sets the scene and provides a summary of the dream
- “this is what the dream is all about”
- Who the dream is about. Is the emphasis on you or someone else?
- What environment you are in or how you perceive your environment.
- What issues you are facing
- What’s happening
- The problem and where/how it began
- Your level of involvement
- Your feelings
- What you want and don’t want
- Who else plays a role? Are new characters introduced?
- Ways you try to resolve your problems
- What happens as a result of trying to get what you want
- What is creating inner conflict or anxiety
- What you don’t know or haven’t accepted
- What results
- Whether you may be successful in avoidance or reaching a goal
- An unanticipated new development
- Whether or not a solution is found
- The bottom line
- The moral of the story
Let’s do a sample reading using one of my recent dreams:
I was working at a retail store and I gave away some merchandise. I then had second thoughts as I realized that although it was a generous thing to do, I was at work and I had not received permission to give those items away. So I had to go to the customer and ask for them back. I felt very uncomfortable asking for the items and explaining why I needed them back, but I felt it was the right thing to do. Essentially I made a mistake and was trying to correct it. I should not be generous with things that aren’t mine. I don’t remember how the customer reacted. I just woke up with a sense of relief that the dream wasn’t real.
Well, it would seem I’m trying to give away things that aren’t mine to give but I don’t know how to relate this to waking life. Let’s see what the Second Sight Cards show.
Exposition — The retail store
Books — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com
Development — Giving away store items
Mouse — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com
Culmination — Realizing I made a mistake and going to correct it
Hide and Seek — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com
Lysis — No real lysis here so the card will show the outcome or direction of this situation.
Gone Fishing — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com
Now that I see all these cards, it seems to be bringing up the same issues that came out in My One Card Celtic Cross Reading.
A retail store is where goods and services are sold (you’ll see the humor in this after you read My One Card Celtic Cross Reading). The exposition phase of the dream tells you what it’s all about — it sets the tone and lets you know the environment or aspect of life the dreamer is concerned about. In this case, BOOKS (I’m literally surrounded by at least 10 books as I write this) shows I’m concerned about work, my studies, my current projects (i.e., my goods and services) and all the time I spend developing those goods and services.
What’s happening is I’m giving away merchandise. I’m giving away too much of my time and energy with all of these projects and this causes stress and worry (one of the divinatory meanings for MOUSE). The mouse (stress and worry) is stealing my sugar cubes (the sweetness of life).
This sweetness issue came up in other Journal posts: JOURNAL: What tastes sweet in my life? & JOURNAL: What tastes bitter in my life?
In HIDE AND SEEK, a dog is hunting for the critter hiding in the foreground. I think this card reveals what is creating anxiety and conflict and what I haven’t yet accepted: I’m seeking something that seems elusive but it’s right under my nose. Yep, I’m a seeker at heart and all of my many projects are borne out of seeking but, alas, a seeker’s work is never done — there’s always more to be sought. During the dream culmination, I realize I made a mistake and I’m going to correct it. This is a positive sign that I’m ready to make some changes. I notice I told the dream mostly in past tense which is also a good sign that shows I’m putting these issues behind me.
My result is GONE FISHING. As the moral of the story, it suggests I need to spend more time relaxing and enjoying life, which is the same conclusion from My One Card Celtic Cross Reading:
Next, I will put everything down for a while. I may even kick up my feet to relax and put the twelveofhearts stuff down for a while before I have to work on it again.
Just examining the dream alone, I would never have made what is now an obvious connection to the issues brought up in the Celtic Cross reading. I also think it worked well with these cards because they are very simple and direct. Using a traditional tarot deck would have introduced too many additional symbols to wade through.
You may have figured out that you don’t really need a dream to interpret in order to get great insights with this spread!
Share your reading with this spread!