The Evil Eye of Medusa -or- Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Dreamer: Christa, Single Asian American female in her early twenties.

Pissed Off -or- Female Rage

There is an old saying: "Revenge is a dish best served cold." Christa's dream (below) seems to speak of a malevolent gaze, also known as the "evil eye". Feminists point to the "Medusa myth", and her gaze as a visual expression of "female rage". From a popular culture perspective the eye of Sauron in "Lord of the Rings", is a disembodied masculine representation of the evil eye. The sensual erotic idea of the dream begins with, is while relieving a biological body function, which suggests a sensual and sexual problem. Much like the dream interpretation "I've Got You Under My Skin" where the dreamer is trying to remove shells from under her skin, Christa seems to be saying she can't stand the sight of her former lover, inside or outside herself. While somewhat vulgar, Christa is saying she is "pissed off". The dream represents one more dream vision of the erotic failure of love, turned hateful and destructive.

Christa 22

I went to a toilet to urinate. After urinating, I felt as if something had been watching me. I turned back, looked up and saw an evil-looking snake curled up on one of the big pipes staring at me. I was scared. I quickly ran out. The snake came to chase after me. My legs felt like Jell-O and I couldn't run as fast as I wished I would. The snake stayed a short distance behind me. Out of nowhere, I suddenly grabbed a stick and hit the snake at its weakest point (seven inches from its head) and the head broke off. I stared at it for a moment, trying to make sure that it was dead. I then proceeded to chop up the snake into several pieces using the stick in my hand. Later, I saw a cat and a dog fighting. Their eyes gleamed with evil. I was very scared again as I had seen the same evil eyes from the snake before. Near the cat and the dog was the carcass of the snake, served on a plate and placed on the floor, with its head staring at me. It seemed to be grinning as if to tell me that it is not over yet. Could this be about a relationship I recently broke off?

Mr Hagen's Reply: Remedies of Love -or- I Will Survive

Who or what does the snake represent in your mind? Do you have a religious affiliation to explain the sense of evil? Do you feel there is someone who wants to do evil things to you?

You are left with apprehensions about the future. Certainly the dream implies that whatever is troubling you is not over. The dream seems to be about your relationship that recently broke up. I think probably that wishing the death of the snake metaphorically signifies a spiritual and/or emotional death. Remember that when an intimate relationship ends, not only is there a loss in terms of emotional intimacy but also a sexual loss, that is, the sexual death of the relationship. The death of the snake may be a personification/metaphor of that loss. 

Ovid a Roman poet and contemporary of Christ wrote a book "Remedies of Love" which reportedly provided inspiration to both Chaucer and Shakespeare. His work remains an archetypal and poetic bridge between ancient and modern sensibility of the ecstasies and agonies of love. Have you been served the poetic death of love on a plate, to emotionally consume or internalize, providing a symbolic behavioural and emotional sequence of revenge, grieving, sadness and moving on? From a popular music perspective Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive (watch music video) provides the poetic sentiment of your dream. 

Some literature that might be of interest includes:

  • Ethel Person, "Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters"
  • John Bowlby, "Attachment, Separation and Loss" (published separately as "Attachment, Vol. 1 of Attachment and loss" (1971), "Separation: Anxiety & anger, Vol. 2 of Attachment and loss" (1975) and "Loss: Sadness & depression, Vol. 3 of Attachment and loss" (1981))
  • Ovid's "Remedies of Love" (contains precepts for falling out of love)
  • Mario Praz, "Romantic Agony"
  • Julia Kristeva, "Tales of Love"
  • Jill Tweedie, "In the Name of Love: A Study of Sexual Desire"
  • Jane G. Goldberg, "The Dark Side of Love"
  • Ignace Lepp, "The Psychology of Love"

Hope these thoughts are of help and provide some insight,
Mark H.

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