Below is a dream that I had, full of symbolism, and a great example of how powerful dreams can be. At the end of the dream, I will show you how I interpreted it, and how I uncovered the hidden messages.
First, let me give you some background on my life during the time that this dream took place. I had left my full-time job as a graphic designer to pursue my dream of being an artist. I had planned to support my creative endeavors by continuing to do graphic design on a freelance basis. But at the time, I was struggling with my lack of self-confidence. Could I really live my dream, and how was I going to do it? What if I failed? The lack of success in my life, especially in my career, has plagued me all of my life. I have often felt like I was forever climbing up the same mountain, only to slide back down again, and never being allowed to reach the summit. Then I had this dream…
An ex co-worker and I are on bicycles, trying to cross a road. She is yelling at me because I am hesitating, but my timing is different than hers. I want to wait until all of the speeding cars pass by before I attempt to cross the busy hi-way. Her tone of voice is one of superiority over me, and this makes me angry.
We cross the hi-way and are riding on another road by some tall trees and rolling hills. The scenery is changing into a beautiful and lush landscape before us. She makes another snide remark to me and I snap back, “I am a great woman, and I don’t care what you think of me!”
Furious, I peddle faster, leaving her behind, riding my bike through hills and valleys blanketed with farms, and finally steer my bike down a hill. It is steep and treacherous, but I maneuver easily around the boulders that were left here by the last ice age. Exhilarated by the speed, and challenged by riding my bike over the difficult terrain, I eventually reach the valley floor below. I notice that there is another road before me.
I stop here to take a rest, and get off my bike. Across the road in an empty field, sits a large piece of farm equipment. It looks like a silver zeppelin on wheels, or some kind of a spherical truck. It is as long as a football field. I stare at it, mesmerized by this unusual and mammoth thing.
A farmer approaches me, and the sunlight glares from his round spectacles when he says, “Would you like to hear this machine, mam?”
I nod my head.
He pushes a red button on the remote control that he holds in his strong leathered hand. The machine sputters, then hums a very low, but distinct sound from the motor. We walk to the front of the machine to where the cab is, and a face suddenly appears where the cab should be. It turns to look at me.
I gasped, “Wow, that thing has your face!”
The farmer smiles at me, then says, “Yes, it seems that it has grown fond of me and has created this image for itself.”
The farmer invites me to his homestead. We pass by a church on his property and go inside. There are a lot of people in the pews staring at a large screen television on top of the altar. I think this is odd and ask the farmer about it. He explains that he wants to remake his place into a campground where everyone can enjoy his land. The church, he said, would be the recreation area.
He invites me into his home where I am warmly greeted by his wife. She takes me into the kitchen, and I become aware that my young niece is with us. The farmer yawns, then says he is going into his bedroom for a nap. But before he leaves, he tells us that we can stay for dinner, “ because, he hasn’t had a little girl around for so long, that he would enjoy her presence at the table.”
I feel honored to be invited. I look at the table and see some dried flowers scattered about. I take some of the flowers and create a frame with them, and the other materials that are there. Then, I place a photo of the farmer’s wife inside of the frame. It looks wonderful, and I secretly hope that she will like my gift to her.
Out of all of my dreams, this has become my favorite one. So, where do we begin? This dream has an enormous amount of symbolism in it, and is in fact, a loaded treasure chest in the dream department. There are meanings within meanings. I still to this day have not yet interpreted all of it. I always find something new every time I read it. But, for the purposes of this exercise, I will only touch on the most important parts of the dream.
What I am going to focus on is me, the farmer and the machine. First, let’s start at the beginning. I am riding a bicycle. Bicycle is a symbol that has repeatedly shown up in my dreams, so I pay attention whenever I see it. Bicycle means getting ahead by your own power; independent, pursuing your own path. My co-worker was someone that I did not trust in real life, a two-faced sort of person. She stood for the tried and true method of having a career and getting ahead. When I broke away from my old job, I was a breaking away from the old way that she represented.
Everyone in your dream is a part of yourself showing up. What? you say. It’s true, and the co-worker represented the shadow part of my nature, the part that is hidden or in this case, negative. Well, in my dream, I stood up to her and I didn’t listen to her repeated attempts to belittle me. That was good, because it means that I have healthier self-esteem, which became obvious in the dream.
The road(s) in the dream stood for the new path that I was taking. So, by having the courage (bike) to face the obstacles (boulders) and the unknown (treacherous, downhill) I easily maneuvered ( have the skills and capability to pursue my goals/dreams) through new territory, and eventually wound up in a place far greater than I could have imagined (the farm).
Hmm…what about the farmer? Well, he was actually a very important part of the dream, and my dream dictionaries had much to say about farmers and farms in general. Basically, the farmer plants in order to reap. If I am the farmer, what am I planting? What do I have to do in order to reap? The land on the farm was tilled soil, and the farmer hadn’t planted anything yet. To me, this meant that I was in the beginning stages of my creative process/career. The farm stands for instinctive urges, and my urge is to create. So then I asked myself, what do I want to create?
Now, what about that machine? Okay, lets take a look. First, it was silver, which represents creativity, emotions, feminine, moon, etc. Metal, according to the dictionary, is success, prosperity and wealth. That sounds good. Then I looked up the word machine; the book said, ‘machine may be the internal working of your soul’. That sentence stopped me cold, because I knew that I just hit pay dirt. That big machine was my soul trying to communicate with me! WOW.
Then the farmer asks me if I want to hear this machine. I listen to it hum. My soul has a unique sound of it’s own. How interesting. What makes me unique? Then, the farmer takes me to the cab of the machine. The machine looks at me, and I say, “Wow, that thing has your face!” And the farmer replies, “Yes, it seems that it has grown fond of me and has created this image for itself.”
This dialogue, between me and the farmer, gave me alot of clues. Here is what I discovered: What images do I want to create for myself? My images (artwork, writing, etc.) are coming from my soul (ideas) and need to be grounded (planted in the earth; becoming manifest) now. My art needs to come from my emotions; I need to put my emotions into my work. What have I grown fond of? My soul likes the farmer self and likes what I am planting at this time. My soul is happy with my choice of blazing a new trail, and my higher self is supporting me in my efforts to succeed.
My soul is ready with a storehouse (large spherical truck/machine) of images, and a huge supply of creativity (silver), ready to plant into the fertile ground (farm). The machine and farmer work in tandem. I would have to say that the farmer and the machine (my creative self and soul) have merged and become one. If I allow these creative urges to blossom, I will reap a great harvest. My imagination is huge (silver machine) and with hard work (farmer) I will reap untold benefits.
The main message of this dream was: Follow your instinctive urges to create.
After working on this dream, I now believe that I made the right decision to pursue my dream of having a career as an artist/writer. This dream has restored my confidence in life, and my chosen path. I have no doubts about it now. As the Native Americans would say, this was a good medicine dream!
ARTWORK: Farmer, 1987 by Shelley Szajner