Dream of the Month (November 1998)
Dr. Holloway's Comments:
The primary symbols in this dream are anatomical. The head and brain of course represent thinking, intelligence and knowing. The mouth is the organ through which we express ourselves, but also where we take in experience (swallow.) Hospitals often reflect a need to care for the self in a way that is not presently happening.
The wound to the dreamer suggests that in some way, one of the best parts of herself is being blown off. When a dream is so gory and dramatic, it can be because the issue is well-defended in waking life – something we have become skillful at preventing ourselves from thinking about. The loss of a brain is often a metaphor for something that drains the mind in such a way that we are unable to exercise our true talents. While this is typical of modern life, there are special circumstances that accentuate the pressure so that it becomes a crisis, and a wound that feels like it is killing us. Bleeding symbolizes the loss of energy and loss of soul. The dreamer does not want to “swallow the blood” (the signs of her own pain) indicating her instinct for honesty and self-preservation are intact.
The threat of death reveals how poignant and vital this loss is to the dreamer. It may be that a favored hope kept in “the back of her mind” is something she cannot stand to lose. Despite the dream's violence and drama it actually shows that some healing force is gathering within her, drawing attention to what she needs most. These urgent dreams seem horrific, but they are in fact the paramedics of the psyche coming to bring us back to consciousness. If she can recognize and respect her needs inwardly, the outward changes necessary to support them will probably be easier to arrange than she might expect.