I enjoy observing the seasons and I enjoy directing my columns toward the theme of the season in observance. However, this being the Thanksgiving season I find myself in something of a quandary. What dreams fall into the category of Thanksgiving? The symbols we normally associate with Thanksgiving don't readily lend themselves to an entire article. I don't know many people dreaming about pumpkins or green bean casseroles. I'm sure people do, however, I must say that in my experience not many clients come to me perplexed by such dreams.
One symbol that I think falls in line with the season is the symbol of that which is foreign. When the New World was being settled, when people made the trek across the sea, when the indigenous people came to meet these settlers, all were involved in the confrontation of something foreign to them.
Foreign things are something about which many people dream. In general, that which is foreign symbolizes those aspects of ourselves with which we are unfamiliar, the specifics of what part of us we are encountering may be found in the specificity of the symbol. Below are some foreign symbols and ideas about what they may symbolize.
Foreign People, Strangers
Foreign people in dreams are perhaps the most obvious symbols of parts of ourselves with which we are unfamiliar.
Foreign people take different forms in dreams. The form they take is often indicative of how we are relating to what they represent. In my own dream journal I often see the words, "Dreamed about a person I knew in my dream but who is not know to me in waking life." Or I see "Dreamed I was at this place where there were all these people know neither in waking nor in dream life."
This basically illustrates the two forms the stranger most commonly assumes in dreams. In some cases the stranger seems familiar but isn't anyone we "know". In this case the stranger is standing in most likely as an aspect of ourselves that is developing but is not yet fully integrated or with which we are not entirely comfortable. A stranger appearing as a complete stranger usually represents some aspect of ourselves with which we are not comfortable at all. In this case the stranger may be standing in as a shadow figure--one of those parts of ourselves with which we are unhappy and are attempting suppress or push away. More information on the shadow can be found here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19121.asp
Again, foreign places represent alien aspects of ourselves. However, foreign places give us a little more information about what they are attempting to communicate. Foreign places, probably more so than other foreign symbols, rely heavily on that with which we associate the place about which we are dreaming. For instance, I associate the country of France with mystery and magic; therefore dreams of France are probably communicating some part of myself associated with these ideas that is developing. However, someone else may associate France with love; this would lend that flavor to the symbol. For yet another France might be associated with some unpleasant experience and as such the dream would point to that as its meaning.
Foreign rooms are another symbol that gives us a little more information about that which they are attempting to communicate. For example, a foreign attic might represent new thoughts or ideas we are attempting to integrate, a foreign basement might represent the basis of something occurring in our psyche. More information on rooms in houses may be found at: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art13923.asp
Dreams of things that are foreign may be uncomfortable or unsettling. Clients often report seeing the foreign places or people in their dreams as dark, shadowy, or frightening in some way. That which is foreign though is more than likely scary simply because it is unknown. The unknown is always the most frightening thing we encounter. Sometimes when we forge ahead and confront the unknown we discover our fears were completely unfounded. Sometimes when we confront the unknown we do discover that there was indeed something to fear. Either way, the only way to get through the unknown, the only way to look into its shadowy face is to do just that: go through it, look at it, confront it. Only then do we turn strangers into friends or gain power over those foreign aspects of ourselves that silently, secretly pull the strings of our lives from behind the shadowy curtain.
Until next time, sleep well and dream out loud!
*~Aisling Ireland~* is an ordained Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and Tarot readings. To make an appointment check out her website at: web.mac.com/aisling.ireland