Today's Halloween symbol is the enigmatic vampire.
Vampires have a long, rich mythological history and take many different forms and come in both sexes. From Babylon's terrifying female vampire, Lamashtu, to modern day's sexy "brat prince" Lestat, the vampire has left an indelible mark on the collective unconscious. As such powerful cross-cultural archetypes, vampires often show up in dreams. Here's a look at what the vampire may symbolize when one materializes in dreams.
Although there are stories of vampires or vampire-like creature dating back to ancient times today's sexy version is a relatively new take. John Polidori's 1819 novel, The Vampyre, introduced readers to Lord Ruthven, a magnetic, sensual bloodsucker.
In ancient times though, sex appeal was not a characteristic attributed to the vampire. Back then, vampires--both male and female--were overtly evil figures. Their evil nature was reflected in their ghastly appearance. Many vampires' breath smelled bad, their fangs appeared like overgrown rodent teeth, and they looked exactly like the reanimated corpses they were believed to be.
The one constant in vampire lore has been their need to feed off the energy of others. Most often this energy comes in the form of blood although there are vampires known as 'psi-vamps' who feed off the life force of other beings--not necessarily human.
Looking at the mythology of the vampire, their symbolism seems rather obvious and in some cases it is. As creatures who need the life force of others to live, a dream vampire may symbolize a situation, person, or relationship that is draining. A dream vampire may particularly represent a draining intimate relationship due to today's common association of the vampire with sex. A vampire might also represent 'sticking your neck out' for someone or something that might not be worthy of such action or that might end up costing you much more than anticipated.
Bram Stoker's Dracula sucking blood from the necks of women was imagery that slipped in under the wire of Victorian morality but still gave readers a healthy dose of sexuality. Looking at the vampire from this angle gives us another idea about what a dream vampire may also represent--sexual urges, especially those that are repressed.
There are, however, some not so obvious things the vampire may symbolize. Remember that your own personal association with your dream symbols always trumps any traditional symbol's interpretation. And since many of today's vampires are seductively attractive, some people do not associate them with evil at all. They may associate them with or perceive them as positive symbols.
The meanings that follow are more likely to apply to those who view vampires in a positive light. For those people, the vampire may simply be a charismatic, immortal creature possessing great power. A dream vampire may, to them, represent power or a longing for power. Or, it may symbolize a desire to have more influence over not only their own lives, but over the lives of others and other situations.
For those who admire vampires, their appearance is dreams may also represent a desire for immortality. As immortal creatures, one might view vampires as wise beings who possess centuries of knowledge. The dream vampire may therefore symbolize a thirst for knowledge or it may have some piece of wisdom to impart.
The vampire's strength is another component of its symbolism. Again, if one identifies positively with vampires, it may be appearing as a symbol of strength or even as a protective guide.
Today's vampire lore often portrays vampires as beautiful creatures who are very selective about who they 'turn' and allow into the vampire club. Oddly enough, therefore, vampires may also represent a desire for acceptance or a need for belonging.
Until next time, sleep well and dream out loud!
*~Aisling Ireland~* is an ordained Interfaith Minister, available for weddings and commitment ceremonies and a Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and Tarot readings. To make an appointment check out her website at: Sang-Realta Spiritual Counseling
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