Lost in Ireland

Cythia, Irish  62 years old

I am lost down a country lane. My grand daughter Gloria is with me but she is silent as am I. We do not speak to each other at all but she seems to be with me all the time. It begins to snow and suddenly I am pulling a sleigh with Gloria sitting on it. I feel the rope around my waist and the weight of the sleigh as I pull it. I bend forward with the weight of it. Then it begins to snow heavily rather like a blizzard and I find it difficult to see in front of me. Suddenly the snow is gone and I am pulling the sled on hard ground and realise that I do not have to pull it anymore. I am sitting in the ditch then with Gloria still silent beside me. Then three horses gallop down the lane towards us. I am a little frightened but no very much. The horses are very big and powerful and are frisky - heads going up and down and manes flowing. I think that if I could get on one of them with Gloria they would know the way home and take us there but I am too frightened to do that and they are too big and powerful. Then I take up a stick (like my walking pole) and hit it hard off the ground. Two of the horses turn immediately and gallop back up the lane. But one stays put and keeps looking at me in defiance, still frisky but staying in one spot. Two cars go by and I hitch them but they keep going and seem not to see me or ignore me. I think do they not see the danger Im in. Suddenly I am in a village I do not recognise and three men are standing talking. I approach them (I do not feel Gloria beside me now) and ask them where I am. One of them breaks away and tells me the name of the village (one I do not recognise and cannot remember the name of) and tells me that it is between ________ and ________(two local villages). The man then becomes someone I do recognise as a local neighbour and I ask him if he has a telephone because I am lost and would like to ring my husband as he would be worried. He give me a movile phone. I dont remember anymore. I have had several dreams about telephones and horses also of being on roads driving or walking also of trying to find my way out of somewhere or to somewhere.

Mr Hagens; Reply

I have never been to Ireland although I have heard a good deal about it. Searching on Map Quest (which is on the web) I can see where the towns you mention are located. While I can only see Ireland from the outside and have never gone native, researching it's industries, institutions, artistic, literary and theatre culture can provide a lens though which to view life in Ireland and get a sense of it's social and literary dimensions. The understanding of Irish dream texts then procedes from this research.

Now to your dream.

Lost in Ireland

You are lost down a country lane which is somewhere in Ireland and you seem to be searching for orientation/structure based on your confusion (spiritual, social and emotional?). The country road may represent the landscape and journey of your life. As such, it can be viewed from a literary perspective as part of your life writing which can be consciously recorded in a journal or diary or unconsciously remembered in your dreams.

The influences that shape Irish literature and the Irish novel are numerous. These influences shape both the individual and the collective narrative (life story). Your story appears to be shaped by a number of influences which include your search for spiritual guidance, your husband, your granddaughter, the cancer which is in remission, the country (Ireland) you live in, and the attraction to another man.

The theme of Irish city dwelling versus rural (more nature related) lifestyles seems apparent in your dream with media/technology playing an important role ie cars, moblie phones.

Irish Dreams, Archetypes and Mythology

The Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung believed that the psyche expresses "a natural spiritual function" in collective dreams, myths, folklore, fairy tales, poetry and hallucinations. For Jung, this spirituality was expressed through archetypes which are the source of spiritual/supernatural experience that embody and embrace the meanings of life, death and history. The dream is the literary archetypal vehicle for spiritual individuation and self realization, connecting individuals with collective history and biography.

Primitive humans were powerfully motivated by the expression of a natural spiritual function. The fulfillment of basic material needs by hunting, fishing, and agriculture were counter-balanced by the building of religious narrative values and mythological explanations of creation.

Jung believed that animal images are archetypes carrying messages of our ancestral  life. The horse can be viewed from a literary archetypal perspective. The fable (which we still teach our children) is the narrative vehicle which flourished among primitive peoples. The genre of the presentation and personification of human beings as animals can be traced as far back as 6th century B.C. Greece, for example Aesop's fables.

In mythology the horse plays an important role. In ancient Greek mythology Pegasus as well as the Trojan War horse have shaped the figure of the horse and the course of history. From a Christian mythological perspective Jesus is prophesized to return on a horse, "And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war" (Rev. 19:11). The film Equus staring Richard Burton is a film that uses the archetypal perspective of the horse. The horses in your dream seem to know the way home and yet you are afraid to mount them seems to be significant. What are you really afraid of?

Archetypes transform creative energies into symbols (metaphors) and provide the individual and the community with the myths and narratives that guide the generational rites of passage from birth to death. When individuals lose touch with the literary archetypes of the creative Self, this can produce alienation, confusion and disorientation in the journey of life.

Myth is a basic cultural phenomenon, a constant dimension of human experience. Myths are composed of symbols for everyday life and culture. Irish culture and mythology appears diverse and steeped in historical narrative.

The Irish Novel and Irish Theatre

The Irish Novel and literary canon is informed by numerous literary figures whose artistic expression gives rise to the spirit of the nation. These figures include the works of Jonathan Shift Gulliver's Travels, James Joyce Finnigan's Wake and A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man , the poetry of William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot and Seamus Heaney all of whom are Nobel Prize winners (except Swift).

George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Isabella Augusta amoung many others are figures who have shaped Irish theatre and therefore the sense of the dramatic sense and sensibility of Irish life.

The Irish Romance Novel

Ethel Person's Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters focuses on the lovers internal soliloquy and external dialogue with the beloved. This soliloquy, dialogue and narratives of love, loss and romantic agony can develop during ones' whole life. Your dream appears to address your inner conflict and external dialogue of the poetic problems of love and loving.

In your associations you say the three men and the number three seemed important. I think your dream is about a conflicted romantic triangle (triangles of course have three sides). You appear to be repressing your romantic thoughts, feelings and sensations, perhaps because of the guilt you consciously experience when you have these thoughts and feelings. They (these thoughts and feelings) are then religated to your unconscious mind where they attempt to gain expression, albeit in disguised forms ie. The recurring theme of three may represent the conflicted love triangle you feel yourself in. Yet as you say, guilt may be motivating you from breaking the bonds to your husband with your granddaughter symbolizing your whole family as well as your responsibilities in your social role as grandmother.

You can most likely see the problems created by your leaving your husband for another man, both for yourself and the community you live in.  Dreams often help us to see the different sides/perspectives of a problem. Your side, your husband's side, the other man's (who you are attracted to) side, your granddaughter/your families side, even the communities side you live in.  These sides all constitute a social field of forces which have an influence on you both consciously and unconsciously. This social field of life is visible and can be seen in your dreams.

In the dream you want to contact your husband and yet you admit you have separation feelings as well (because you are attracted to another man).  I think that focusing on your conflict is important while at the same time asking pointed questions about the romantic conflict is imperative. These questions and answers must search for the truth of your needs for love and loving. The questions include;

What were the rough times in your marriage? Did those rough times alienate (cause feelings of separation) your affections to each other? If so, how is that alienation influencing your thoughts, feelings and behaviour now? What is the nature of the attraction to this other man? Is it physical, emotional, spiritual? Who is this man? Does he have real feelings for you? Is there any sort of future for you? Who will you hurt if you leave your husband? Have you talked to your husband about separating? These are some of the questions only you can answer.

Often we sacrifice our own happiness because the guilt we experience. And yet, do we not also sacrifice because of love?



All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.