Last night I had my first nightmare in a while. I woke up in the middle of the night, terrified that a lion would come through the door and eat me alive.
I mostly consider dreams to be semi-random neuron firings that don’t hold much meaning in themselves. But I do believe that a particularly vivid dream is a great stimulus for exploring latent truths and new perspectives on my waking life.
As my philosopher friend, Scott Szymanski, says:
The subconscious and emotions have all sorts of stuff stored in there we normally don’t get access to. We usually use the “highways” and rarely see the side streets where the trash builds up, but also where the real culture and hole-in-the-wall gems of our subconscious reside.
From my dream log:
I was playing in a crowded communal pool shaped like a canal that wrapped around the town square. The colors and textures in this world felt more like a Renaissance painting than real life. In fact, the scene was heavily inspired by The Wedding at Cana. Just imagine that crowd of people (in the front of the painting) playing in a pool lined with stucco.
I’m always fascinated when bodies of water are prominent in my dream. In literature, they represent the womb or the birth canal (i.e. vagina), depending on the shape, I assume. In dream interpretation, water represents the unconscious and emotions. Specifically, a pool or bath represents the need for relaxation or renewal.
I sensed a sudden, subdued tension in the crowd near the center of the pool. I looked over and saw two adolescent lions wading in the pool, on their hind legs, toward the wide open town gate. The lions were technically female because they didn’t have manes, but they felt male or androgynous to me.
Lions in dreams can represent strength, courage, assertiveness, power, predatory feelings, or threats.
Fat women and hairy men separated to make room for the lions, but a few children kept playing, shifting the spotlight of their game to the fascinating newcomers.
We all watched in horror. No one stepped forward to rescue the children. The lions smirked but didn’t attack.