Waiting at the edge of the water.
A haze slowly drifting across
The fog so thick
I could not see across
The water was murky
Trash strewn about
I waited on the banks of the river
with a shivering, and somber crowd.
The ferry came, finally
Slowly taking form from the darkness
parting the mists
I saw the ferryman
He pulled up to the dock
and we got in
I gave him my gold coins
We rode across in silence
women, children, men
young and old
there was no noise at all
aside from a dull, muffled thud
the oars at the side of the boat
it was like a dream within a dream
when we reached the far bank
again we waited
slowly, slowly walking
one foot in front of the other
towards an enormous cavern
there was water running below our feet
towards the opening
i could hear a waterfall in the distance
and soft and insistent rushing
suddenly panic struck me
I saw one man rush to the side of the cavern
and deep in the shadows
i recognized two figures
in the darkness
i wondered why i hadn't noticed them before
i went to them, pushing my way through the crowd
i said, "it is not my time. you must let me pass"
they nodded, and behind them opened a golden elevator
i got inside, grateful to be returning to the light
In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the symbol for water is a wavy line with
small sharp crests, representing the water’s surface. The same sign, when tripled,
symbolizes a volume of water, that is, the primaeval ocean and prime matter.
According to hermetic tradition, the god Nu was the substance from which the
gods of the first ennead emerged (19). The Chinese consider water as the specific
abode of the dragon, because all life comes from the waters (13). In the Vedas,
water is referred to as mâtritamâh (the most maternal) because, in the beginning,
everything was like a sea without light. In India, this element is generally regarded
as the preserver of life, circulating throughout the whole of nature, in the form of
rain, sap, milk and blood. Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and
the end of all things on earth (60). Although water is, in appearance, formless,
ancient cultures made a distinction between ‘upper waters’ and ‘lower waters’.
The former correspond to the potential or what is still possible, the latter to what
is actual or already created (26). In a general sense, the concept of ‘water’ stands,
of course, for all liquid matter. Moreover, the primaeval waters, the image of
prime matter, also contained all solid bodies before they acquired form and rigidity. For this reason, the alchemists gave the name of ‘water’ to quicksilver in its
first stage of transmutation and, by analogy, also to the ‘fluid body’ of Man (57).
This ‘fluid body’ is interpreted by modern psychology as a symbol of the unconscious, that is, of the non-formal, dynamic, motivating, female side of the personality. The projection of the mother-imago into the waters endows them with
various numinous properties characteristic of the mother (31). A secondary meaning of this symbolism is found in the identification of water with intuitive wisdom. In the cosmogony of the Mesopotamian peoples, the abyss of water was
regarded as a symbol of the unfathomable, impersonal Wisdom. An ancient Irish
god was called Domnu, which means ‘marine depth’. In prehistoric times the
word for abyss seems to have been used exclusively to denote that which was
unfathomable and mysterious (4). The waters, in short, symbolize the universal
congress of potentialities, the fons et origo, which precedes all form and all
creation. Immersion in water signifies a return to the preformal state, with a sense
of death and annihilation on the one hand, but of rebirth and regeneration on the
other, since immersion intensifies the life-force. The symbolism of baptism,
which is closely linked to that of water, has been expounded by St. John
Chrysostom (Homil. in Joh., XXV, 2): ‘It represents death and interment, life and
resurrection. . . . When we plunge our head beneath water, as in a sepulchre, the
old man becomes completely immersed and buried. When we leave the water, the
new man suddenly appears’ (18). The ambiguity of this quotation is only on the
surface: in this particular aspect of the general symbolism of water, death affects
only Man-in-nature while the rebirth is that of spiritual man. On the cosmic level,
the equivalent of immersion is the flood, which causes all forms to dissolve and
return to a fluid state, thus liberating the elements which will later be recombined
in new cosmic patterns. The qualities of transparency and depth, often associated with water, go far towards explaining the veneration of the ancients for this
element which, like earth, was a female principle. The Babylonians called it ‘the
home of wisdom’. Oannes, the mythical being who brings culture to mankind, is
portrayed as half man and half fish (17). Moreover, in dreams, birth is usually
expressed through water-imagery (v. Freud, Introduction to Psycho-Analysis).
The expressions ‘risen from the waves’ and ‘saved from the waters’ symbolize
fertility, and are metaphorical images of childbirth. On the other hand, water is, of
all the elements, the most clearly transitional, between fire and air (the ethereal
elements) and earth (the solid element). By analogy, water stands as a mediator
between life and death, with a two-way positive and negative flow of creation and
destruction. The Charon and Ophelia myths symbolize the last voyage. Death
was the first mariner. ‘Transparent depth’, apart from other meanings, stands in
particular for the communicating link between the surface and the abyss. It can
therefore be said that water conjoins these two images (2). Gaston Bachelard
points to many different characteristics of water, and derives from them many
secondary symbolic meanings which enrich the fundamental meaning we have described. These secondary meanings are not so much a set of strict symbols, as
a kind of language expressing the transmutations of this ever-flowing element.
Bachelard enumerates clear water, spring water, running water, stagnant water,
dead water, fresh and salt water, reflecting water, purifying water, deep water,
stormy water. Whether we take water as a symbol of the collective or of the
personal unconscious, or else as an element of mediation and dissolution, it is
obvious that this symbolism is an expression of the vital potential of the psyche,
of the struggles of the psychic depths to find a way of formulating a clear message
comprehensible to the consciousness. On the other hand, secondary symbolisms
are derived from associated objects such as water-containers, and also from the
ways in which water is used: ablutions, baths, holy water, etc. There is also a
very important spatial symbolism connected with the ‘level’ of the waters, denoting a correlation between actual physical level and absolute moral level. It is
for this reason that the Buddha, in his Assapuram sermon, was able to regard the
mountain-lake—whose transparent waters reveal, at the bottom, sand, shells,
snails and fishes—as the path of redemption. This lake obviously corresponds to
a fundamental aspect of the ‘Upper Waters’. Clouds are another aspect of the
‘Upper Waters’. In Le Transformationi of Ludovico Dolce, we find a mystic
figure looking into the unruffled surface of a pond, in contrast with the accursed
hunter, always in restless pursuit of his prey, implying the symbolic contrast
between contemplative activity—the sattva state of Yoga—and blind outward
activity—the rajas state. Finally, the upper and lower waters communicate reciprocally through the process of rain (involution) and evaporation (evolution).
Here, fire intervenes to modify water: the sun (spirit) causes sea water to evaporate (i.e. it sublimates life). Water is condensed in clouds and returns to earth in
the form of life-giving rain, which is invested with twofold virtues: it is water, and
it comes from heaven (15). Lao-Tse paid considerable attention to this cyclic
process of meteorology, which is at one and the same time physical and spiritual,
observing that: ‘Water never rests, neither by day nor by night. When flowing
above, it causes rain and dew. When flowing below, it forms streams and rivers.
Water is outstanding in doing good. If a dam is raised against it, it stops. If way is
made for it, it flows along that path. Hence it is said that it does not struggle. And
yet it has no equal in destroying that which is strong and hard’ (13). When water
stands revealed in its destructive aspects, in the course of cataclysmic events, its
symbolism does not change, but is merely subordinated to the dominant symbolism of the storm. Similarly, in those contexts where the flowing nature of water is
emphasized, as in the contention of Heraclitus that ‘You cannot step twice into
the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.’ Here the reference is not to water-symbolism as such, but to the idea of the irreversible flow along a
given path. To quote Evola, in La tradizione ermetica: ‘Without divine water,
nothing exists, according to Zosimus. On the other hand, among the symbols of
the female principle are included those which figure as origins of the waters
(mother, life), such as: Mother Earth, Mother of the Waters, Stone, Cave, House
of the Mother, Night, House of Depth, House of Force, House of Wisdom,
Forest, etc. One should not be misled by the word “divine”. Water symbolizes
terrestrial and natural life, never metaphysical life.’
This indicates birth (of some person).
To dream of clear water, foretells that you will joyfully realize prosperity and pleasure.
If the water is muddy, you will be in danger and gloom will occupy Pleasure's seat.
If you see it rise up in your house, denotes that you will struggle to resist evil, but unless you see it subside, you will succumb to dangerous influences.
If you find yourself baling it out, but with feet growing wet, foreshadows trouble, sickness, and misery will work you a hard task, but you will forestall them by your watchfulness. The same may be applied to muddy water rising in vessels.
To fall into muddy water, is a sign that you will make many bitter mistakes, and will suffer poignant grief therefrom.
To drink muddy water, portends sickness, but drinking it clear and refreshing brings favorable consummation of fair hopes.
To sport with water, denotes a sudden awakening to love and passion.
To have it sprayed on your head, denotes that your passionate awakening to love will meet reciprocal consummation.
The following dream and its allegorical occurrence in actual life is related by a young woman student of dreams:
``Without knowing how, I was (in my dream) on a boat, I waded through clear blue water to a wharfboat, which I found to be snow white, but rough and splintry. The next evening I had a delightful male caller, but he remained beyond the time prescribed by mothers and I was severely censured for it.'' The blue water and fairy white boat were the disappointing prospects in the symbol.
To see water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment. To dream that water is boiling, suggests that you are expressing some emotional turmoil. Feelings from your unconscious are surfacing and ready to be acknowledged. You need to let out some steam.
To see calm, clear water in your dream, means that you are in tune with your spirituality. It denotes serenity, peace of mind, and rejuvenation.
To see muddy or dirty water in your dream, indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to take some time to cleanse your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, the dream suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions.
To dream that water is rising up in your house, suggests that you are becoming overwhelmed by your emotions.
To hear running water in your dream, denotes meditation and reflection. You are reflecting on your thoughts and emotions.
To dream that you are walking on water, indicates that you have total control over your emotions. It also suggests that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, the dream is symbolic of faith in yourself.
Seeing water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment. Seeing calm, clear water in your dream means that you are in tune with your spirituality. It indicates serenity, peace of mind, and rejuvenation. Seeing muddy or dirty water in your dream indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to devote some time to clarify your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, it suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions. Dreaming that water is rising up in your house means your struggles and overwhelming emotions. Hearing running water in your dream indicates meditation, reflection and pondering of your thoughts and emotions. Dreaming that you are walking on water, suggests that you have supreme and ultimate control over your emotions. It may also suggest that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, it is symbolic of faith in yourself.
If you visit in your dreams, you will shortly have some pleasant occasion in your life.
If your visit is unpleasant, your enjoyment will be marred by the action of malicious persons.
For a friend to visit you, denotes that news of a favorable nature will soon reach you. If the friend appears sad and travel-worn, there will be a note of displeasure growing out of the visit, or other slight disappointments may follow. If she is dressed in black or white and looks pale or ghastly, serious illness or accidents are predicted.
To visit someone in your dream, suggests that you need to reconnect with this person in your waking life. Perhaps you have been neglecting that relationship.
The idea of the ‘crowd’ is symbolically superior to that of ‘multiplicity’, since it implies a new concept of the numerous as a totality, or of Oneness
as a fragmented whole. Thus, Jung’s interpretation of the multitude or crowd is
well judged; he asserts that, especially when moving or restless, it corresponds to
an analogous movement in the unconscious (31). Homer has a well-known simile
in which he likens a crowd of warriors in the agora (or in battle) to the ocean swell
(constituting another symbol of the unconscious).
To dream that you are in or part of a crowd, suggests that you need some space for yourself. You need solitude to reflect on a situation and recharge your energy. Consider also the familiar phrase of "going along with the crowd" which implies conformity and lack of individuality. Perhaps you feel that your own opinion doesn't count or matter. Alternatively, dreaming of a crowd means that you need to incorporate the various aspects of the crowd into your own persona.
To see an unruly crowd in your dream, signifies that the worries and problems around you are pressing in on you. You are expressing great distress.
To see a happy, orderly crowd in your dream, indicates that you have a strong social support system.
To dream of a large, handsomely dressed crowd of people at some entertainment, denotes pleasant association with friends; but anything occurring to mar the pleasure of the guests, denotes distress and loss of friendship, and unhappiness will be found where profit and congenial intercourse was expected. It also denotes dissatisfaction in government and family dissensions.
To see a crowd in a church, denotes that a death will be likely to affect you, or some slight unpleasantness may develop.
To see a crowd in the street, indicates unusual briskness in trade and a general air of prosperity will surround you.
To try to be heard in a crowd, foretells that you will push your interests ahead of all others.
To see a crowd is usually good, if too many are not wearing black or dull costumes.
To dream of seeing a hypnotist trying to hypnotize others, and then turn his attention on you, and fail to do so, indicates that a trouble is hanging above you which friends will not succeed in warding off. Yourself alone can avert the impending danger.
Dreaming that you are in or part of a crowd means that you need to make some space for yourself. You need solitude to reflect on a situation at hand and recharge your energy. Consider also the familiar phrase of "going along with the crowd" which implies conformity and lack of individuality. Seeing an unruly crowd in your dream means that the worries and problems around you are pressing in on you. You will be be greatly distressed. Seeing a happy, orderly crowd in your dream means assured happiness, pleasant friends and opportunities for advancement.
Equated with matter, with the maternal and germinant, but it preexists the differentiation of matter (9). The dualism of light/darkness does not
arise as a symbolic formula of morality until primordial darkness has been split
up into light and dark. Hence, the pure concept of darkness is not, in symbolic
tradition, identified with gloom—on the contrary, it corresponds to primigenial
chaos. It is also related to mystic nothingness, and, in consequence, Hermetic language is an obscurum per obscurius, a path leading back to the profound
mystery of the Origin. According to Guénon, light is the basic principle behind
differentiation and hierarchical order. The gloom which preceded the Fiat Lux
always, in traditional symbolism, represents the state of undeveloped potentialities which give rise to chaos (29). Hence, the darkness introduced into the world,
after the advent of light, is regressive; hence, too, the fact that it is traditionally
associated with the principle of evil and with the base, unsublimated forces.
To dream that darkness comes upon you, signifies failure in some work that you are attempting. Darkness is synonymous with ignorance, the unconscious, evil, death, and fear of the unknown. If the sun breaks through the darkness, then you will overcome your failures. If you feel safe in the dark, then it suggests that you like not knowing about certain things. As some might say, ignorance is bliss.
To dream that you cannot find someone in the darkness, signifies that you need to keep your temper in check. You have the tendency to let your emotions get out of control and lose your temper.
To dream that you are lost in the darkness, denotes feelings of desperation, depression, or insecurity.
To dream that you are groping around in the darkness, indicates that you have insufficient information to make a clear decision. Do your research and do not rush into making choices.
Dreaming that darkness comes upon you means failure in work you may attempt. Darkness is synonymous with ignorance, the unconscious, evil, death, and fear of the unknown. If the sun breaks through the darkness, then you will overcome your failures. If you feel safe in the dark, then it suggests that you like not knowing about certain things. As some might say, ignorance is bliss. Dreaming that you cannot find someone in the darkness means that you need to keep your temper in check. You have the tendency to let your emotions get out of control and lose your temper. Dreaming that you are lost in the darkness indicates feelings of desperation, depression, or insecurity. Dreaming that you are groping around in the darkness indicates that you have insufficient information to make a clear decision. Do your research and do not rush into making choices.
In Hindu doctrine, gold is the ‘mineral light’. According to Guénon, the
Latin word for gold—aurum—is the same as the Hebrew for light—aor (26).
Jung quotes the delightful explanation offered by the alchemist Michael Maier in
De Circulo Physico Quadrato to the effect that the sun, by virtue of millions of
journeys round the earth (or conversely) has spun threads of gold all round it.
Gold is the image of solar light and hence of the divine intelligence. If the heart is
the image of the sun in man, in the earth it is gold (32). Consequently, gold is
symbolic of all that is superior, the glorified or ‘fourth state’ after the first three
stages of black (standing for sin and penitence), white (remission and innocence)
and red (sublimation and passion). Everything golden or made of gold tends to
pass on this quality of superiority to its utilitarian function. Chrysaor, the magic
sword of gold, symbolizes supreme spiritual determination. Gold is also the
essential element in the symbolism of the hidden or elusive treasure which is an
illustration of the fruits of the spirit and of supreme illumination.
To see gold in your dream, symbolizes wealth, riches, natural healing, illumination and/or spirituality. It is also a symbol of love, longevity and domestic bliss. Negatively, gold may represent greed, corruption and temptation.
To find gold in your dream, indicates that you have discovered something valuable about yourself. This may be some hidden talent or knowledge.
To bury gold in your dream, suggests that you are trying to hide something about yourself.
f you handle gold in your dream, you will be unusually successful in all enterprises. For a woman to dream that she receives presents of gold, either money or ornaments, she will marry a wealthy but mercenary man.
To find gold, indicates that your superior abilities will place you easily ahead in the race for honors and wealth.
If you lose gold, you will miss the grandest opportunity of your life through negligence.
To dream of finding a gold vein, denotes that some uneasy honor will be thrust upon you.
If you dream that you contemplate working a gold mine, you will endeavor to usurp the rights of others, and should beware of domestic scandals.
Finding gold in your dream means that your superior abilities will place you easily ahead of others. Seeing bars of gold and gold jewelry in your dream means your carelessness with the spending of your money. Seeing golden tableware and flatware indicates financial gain and stability. For a pregnant woman, to dream of gold, foretells that your expected child will be a girl.
Dreaming about gold could be a reflection of concerns that you have about your most precious valuables or a reference to "alchemist's gold" which is usually spiritual in nature. If you are losing gold in your dream, it may express your anxieties over a missed opportunity. However, remember, "All that glitters is not gold." Your unconscious mind may be reminding you not to judge things on appearances
The representational shape of figures is always of a piece with the
object, or being, to which they allude. Symbolically speaking, a cock is the same thing as its figure whether painted, engraved or sculpted. When the figure is that
of a living being, this being provides the predominant sense, although secondary
meanings may be derived from the colour, the form, etc. When the figures are
geometric, or when they represent architectural masses, it is again the symbolism
of form which comes into play. Schematic figures—marks, signs, tattoos, engravings, prehistoric or primitive inscriptions, magic alphabets, etc—are all related to
graphic symbolism, which is founded in the main upon space, number and geometric form. Given the analogy, the possible similarity or inner connexion between Man’s works and those of his Creator, invented figures—cultural symbols
or instruments—are always related to the natural figures which resemble them.
Symbolic or mythic ideas which reveal some influence, resemblance or reminiscence of a natural form or figure, acquire thereby powerful symbolic implications.
So, for example, the head of Medusa and the octopus; the swastika and the
starfish; the double-bladed axe and the hawk in flight.
To see angels in your dream, symbolize goodness, purity, protection, comfort and consolation. Pay careful attention to the message that the angels are trying to convey. These messages serve as a guide toward greater fulfillment and happiness. Alternatively, it signifies an unusual disturbance in your soul. Angels may appear in your dream as a result of your wicked and mean-hearted activities.
To dream that you are an angel, suggests that you are feeling good about something your said or did.
In particular, to see three angels in your dream, symbolize some sort of divinity. It is considered a particularly spiritual and holy dream.
To see an angel holding a scroll in your dream, indicates a highly spiritual dream. Your future and goals are more clearer to you. The message on the scroll is particularly significant.
To dream of angels is prophetic of disturbing influences in the soul. It brings a changed condition of the person's lot. If the dream is unusually pleasing, you will hear of the health of friends, and receive a legacy from unknown relatives.
If the dream comes as a token of warning, the dreamer may expect threats of scandal about love or money matters. To wicked people, it is a demand to repent; to good people it should be a consolation.
Angels represent goodness, protection, and the heavenly realm. As a dream symbol they may attempt to focus the dreamer's attention on their own divine qualities and the supportive and loving aspects of life. Some say that dreaming about angels is a symbol of good luck, while others believe that you will see an angel in your dream around the time when there is a birth or death in your family, or in your close circle of friends. Angels are mystical and spiritual symbols; traditionally they have been the messengers of God. The interpretation of your dream angel depends on your own views. Generally, the message coming up from your unconscious may be of important magnitude, so record your dream and think about all of its details and implications.
To see you own shadow in your dream, signifies an aspect of yourself which you have not acknowledged or recognized. It may be a quality about yourself or a part of you that you are rejecting or want to keep hidden. These qualities may not necessary be negative, but can be creative ones. Alternatively, the dream may mean that you are in someone else's shadow. You are constantly being overlooked and are fed up with it.
To see a shadowy figure in your dream, represents characteristics which you have not acknowledged or incorporated into your own personality. Alternatively, it symbolizes the young, the helpless or the under-developed.
Seeing you own shadow in your dream means an aspect of yourself which you have not acknowledged or recognized. It may be a quality about yourself or a part of you that you are rejecting or want to keep hidden. These qualities may not necessary be negative, but can be creative ones. Seeing a shadowy figure in your dream, represents aspects of this figure which you have not acknowledged or incorporated into your own personality. Alternatively, it symbolizes the young, the helpless or the under-developed.
To dream that you are in a rush, indicates that you need to better manage your time. You feel that you do not have the time to do all the things you want to do. The dream is also representative of the pressure you are putting on yourself. You feel unprepared. Perhaps, the dream is telling you to slow down.