Depth Psych
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Depth Psych
Pioneered by William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Gustav Jung, Depth Psychology is the study of how we dialogue with the Unconscious via symbols, dreams, myth, art, nature. By paying attention to the messages that show up from beyond our conscious egos, we can be guided to greater understanding, transformation, and integration with the world around us, inner and outer. Join the conversation in community at
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Something to do with Love: Dreams and the Archetype of the Orphan  ~ by Jean Raffa

Something to do with Love: Dreams and the Archetype of the Orphan  ~ by Jean Raffa | Depth Psych |

In Monday night’s dream I’m driving a lawn mower and am surprised to see that I’m pulling three portable potties behind me, tiered one above the other, which appear to have been the unlucky recipients of some explosive diarrhea. The image suggests I am trying to get rid of, but still unconsciously lugging around, some powerful and “disgusting” inner contents.


Last night’s dream features some dangerous intruders who invade my house and run upstairs Fred goes to turn on the alarm to alert the police so I relax. But after time passes and the police have not arrived, I see shadows descending the staircase and run for my life.


Unwanted diarrhea. Dangerous intruders. Both dreams remind me of some powerful emotions I experienced after last weekend’s house party at the cabin. We had invited four couples to join us. Since it was Valentine’s Day weekend we decided to be romantic and silly. We made valentines out of red construction paper and lace and ... (Click title for the full essay)

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | The Secret Meaning of Myth

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | The Secret Meaning of Myth | Depth Psych |
A simplified life in nature exemplifies the ideal environment for inner growth; this fact has been alluded to in mystical literature, which expressed the need for humbleness, quietude and the beautiful surrounding of the country. You won’t find sacred literature extolling the need for 25,000 square foot castles, or the newest electronic gadget for that matter. The point was made there is a higher purpose to life, other than materialistic or narcissistic acquisitions, this involves serious inner work on our own ignorance. The advice to “Know Thyself” was the quintessence of Greek philosophy, also applies here.
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Depth Insights » The Coming Storm: Prophetic Dreams and the Climate Crisis by Paco Mitchell

Depth Insights » The Coming Storm: Prophetic Dreams and the Climate Crisis by Paco Mitchell | Depth Psych |

All dreams are laden with anticipatory clues about emerging trends; but a prophetic dream gazes, as it were, past the individual dreamer, to focus upon emergent motifs that confront the entire culture, society or even civilization. This collective, anticipatory potency imparts to prophetic dreams much of their enhanced value. That, plus the enlivening archetypal energies of their images and dramatics.


A prophetic dream enables us to see not just further ahead, in a horizontal, secular sense, but also deeper—into the emergent psycho-spiritual motifs that confront the entire culture, society or even civilization. Such dreams offer a better way for us to form attitudes toward the future than just relying on ego-habits alone. In creating the future, the transpersonal agencies within and behind dreams can help us break up our old assumptions and melt them down to be re-cast in new forms.

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Eva Rider's curator insight, November 9, 2014 4:41 PM

Dreams from the Paco Mitchell

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Jung, Individuation, and Shamanism

Jung, Individuation, and Shamanism | Depth Psych |
According to historian and philosopher Mircea Eliade, shamanism has been around for millennia, practically as long as humans have existed. In recent decades, the archetype of shamanism has experienced a rebirth. With growing consciousness, more and more individuals are recognizing spontaneously and consistently what our indigenous ancestors knew: that there is a divine intelligence at work in the universe, a life force of love andlight, of which, by nature and birthright, we are an integral part. 
Anne Baring (2007), psychologist and author, notes that C.G. Jung himself commented on the capacity of humans to respond to this greater force, saying:
The archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man's unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to a serious error...These primordial images are … called into being by the waywardness of the general outlook. When conscious life is characterised by one-sidedness and by a false attitude, they are activated…"instinctively" … in the dreams of individuals and the visions of artists and seers... (Click title for more)
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Carl Jung on How Symbols Arise in Dreams to Explain the Unconscious

Carl Jung on How Symbols Arise in Dreams to Explain the Unconscious | Depth Psych |

"Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, new contents, which have never yet been conscious, can arise from it," wrote Carl Gustav Jung, pointing to the critical importance of translating the symbols which show up in our lives through dreams, art, mythology, film, literature and dozens of other sources.


In Man and His Symbols, Jung spoke eloquently about the way symbols communicate the contents of the unconscious to us, saying...


"Because there are innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one reason why all religions employ symbolic language or images . But this conscious use of symbols is only one aspect of a psychological fact of great importance: Man also produces symbols unconsciously and spontaneously, in the form of dreams.... (Click title for more)

Viviana Puebla's curator insight, October 16, 2014 9:14 PM

Is  important to pay attention to symbolic language of the dreams, even if it displeases us like the nightmares we may have from time to time. They can teach us ways to understand better how we came to be and why we  choose to walk like this in the path of conscious life.


In the middle of the night ,covered by the protection of the dream world,  we tend to re-live those feeling who never acquire the proper wording so they never came to be in the light of the concious world.


Sometimes because they were dismissed , others, because we forget about what we don´t like  to disturb us  in the speedways of our existence.

But they are not forgotten by our inner self so they must acquire a voice of their own to be Heard by us in our life.



The painful feelings of loss and betrayal  re-lived in our dreams can affect our moods and preconceptions of our daily conscious life.


And by these the veils of the uncertainty of what is was and what is real now.

We start to re-enact those feelings searching for the clues of how they came to be unespected as we think they are, unwanted as they start to overthrow our world of day light : We become suspicious, sadder and angrier lossing ourselves in the mistranslations of the deeper meaning of this sensations. Affecting our relationships and our ability to function in life


Paying attention to the languaging of our dreams, tending the dreamworld means to start to understand this feelings and sensations in the ligth of the inner reaches of our unconcious , turning inwards to the symbolic, not outwards searching  scaping goats of our past experiencies.


Keeping us from the shadows of others but taking the toll of a live half lived. Until we decide to look and face this uncertainties as ours and because of that , looking for the way to make the sound of this symbolic language our way to converse and reach out the deeper meaning of our existence


Nightmares can effectively gallop wildly,  trembling the path of our existence, or if we learn to listen with attention and care to their symbolic languaging,  become our best friends and wise counsellors in the dawn of  our waking life


Dreams and symbols became the treasure map to our inner Gold.

Working towards a soul full life is an unexpected  and extraordinary journey. 


In order to Achieve complete fulfillment in life we must Become whole  again , to be able to recapture the discarded parts of ourselves entails the wisdom of hearing  the sounds and whispers of the language of  the life of the symbols in dreams  that give us the ability to Voice our Soul.


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Scientists Demonstrate Remarkable Evidence Of Dream Telepathy Between People

Scientists Demonstrate Remarkable Evidence Of Dream Telepathy Between People | Depth Psych |

Dream telepathy suggests that human beings have the ability to communicate telepathically with another person while they are dreaming. This isn’t a new concept, scientific interest in telepathy dates back to the fathers of the psychoanalytic movement. Freud, for example, considered telepathy and the implications of it with regards to psychoanalytic thought.


He also considered dream telepathy, or the telepathic influence of thought on dreaming on multiple occasions. Carl Jung believed in the telepathic hypothesis without question, and even developed a theoretical system to explain “paranormal” events of this nature. (2)


All great minds seem to encourage the study of various types of non-physical phenomena... (Click title for more)

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Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga: Traditional Technologies of Tranformation

Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga: Traditional Technologies of Tranformation | Depth Psych |
From the most ancient times, human beings have practiced disciplines of psychospiritual transformation with devoted energy and intention. Modern systems of psychotherapy are the inheritors of three great traditions of transformation, in which the human is seen as engaged in purposive processes of exploration and integration in many realms of consciousness. In this essay I describe some of the common methods used, as well as the major metaphors for transformation.1

One possible definition of shamanism is that it is the disciplined approach to what has been variously called "non-ordinary reality", "the sacred", "the mystery", "the supernatural", "the inner world(s)", or "the otherworld".

Psychologically speaking, one could say these expressions refer to realms of consciousness that lie outside the boundaries of our usual and ordinary perception. The depth psychologies derived from psychoanalysis refer to such normally inaccessible realms as "the unconscious", or "the collective unconscious". This would, however, be too limiting a definition for shamanism, if "unconscious" is taken to refer to something within the individual, i.e. intrapsychic. Shamanic practice involves the exploration not only of unknown aspects of our own psyche, but also the unknown aspects of the world around us, - the external as well as internal mysteries.

There are three traditional systems of consciousness... (Click title for more)

Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:04 AM

You don't usually get pscyhologists (or coaches and facilitators) admitting they draw on shamanism and alchemy, so this is refreshing reading.

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Across Cultures, Image Is Everything: ARAS

Across Cultures, Image Is Everything: ARAS | Depth Psych |
The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism turns the human subconscious into a picture book.


Up a flight of quiet townhouse stairs, on a manic stretch of East 39th Street that includes, among other things, a stately cultural institute, a religious mission and a center for "foot health," hides the New York branch of a mysterious enterprise called ARAS, or the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism. It's hard to figure out exactly what goes on there, and even harder to explain once you know. But a lot of it owes to ARAS's namesake holdings: a collection of 17,000 "mythological, ritualistic and symbolic" images meant to catalog, more or less, the whole of our collective human unconscious.

"A 'symbol' points to something beyond just the thing in an image itself, beyond the knowledge that we have in our waking, conscious life," said ARAS curator Ami Ronnberg. "What we want to do is to go into an image and let the image speak on its own, to go into the deeper meaning of it."... (Click title for more)

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A Skin for the Imaginal

A Skin for the Imaginal | Depth Psych |

My interest in the psychological function of the skin began when several years ago I was doing research into Jung's infancy and childhood, and the impact that this had upon the evolution of his psychology (Feldman 1992).

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Jung 1961), Jung's autobiography, written when he was eighty-three years old, he talks about his infancy and childhood with a great deal of candour and insight. When Jung was three years old his mother was hospitalized for what appears to have been a severe depression. She was hospitalized in a Swiss psychiatric hospital for several months, and Jung says that her hospitalization was related to difficulties that were surfacing in the parental relationship.

During his mother's absence he was taken care of by a maid. He also developed a severe skin disorder, eczema that he connected with the separation of his parents and his mother's hospitalization.

I thought it probable that Jung's severe eczema was linked to the sense of psychic catastrophe that he experienced upon his separation from his mother. It was as if he was unable to contain tortuous and painful emotions within himself and they burst out in a somatic form as a severe skin disorder... (Click title for more)

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Snake Symbol Significance in Dreams

Snake Symbol Significance in Dreams | Depth Psych |

The ouroboros, the snake forever swallowing its own tail, is a famous alchemical symbol of transformation. Jung saw the ouroboros much like he saw the mandala, as an archetypal template of the psyche symbolizing eternity and the law of endless return. Instead of looking at life as a finite game played between the bookends of birth and death, the ouroboros symbolizes a dynamic state of change and purification.


A literal ouroboros isn’t necessary for a dream to have its symbolic meaning. Since waking life snakes routinely shed their skins, they are ready made symbols for change and transformation. Dreams where snakes shed skin or seeing snake skins in a dream also symbolize change and transformation. Old, outgrown behavioral patterns, relationships, or even... (Click title for more)

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Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini

Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini | Depth Psych |

We are living at a period of history variously called “the shift” and “the great turning.” A time when the spirit of domination, conquest, heroism, and individualism are on the wane, and a new spirit or zeitgeist is emerging—of cooperation, respect for diversity, and recognition of the interconnectedness of all life.

It’s a challenging and trying time to live through, because these two paradigms are in direct opposition; they are actively and intensely antagonistic. We might wish that the redwood trees on the empty lot at the corner here belonged to the earth, to all of us; but they belong to the owner, who has a right to cut them down, which he did. The international geological society that names the eras, epochs and periods of earth history has recently come to the decision that the Holocene epoch is over and we are now in the Anthropocene, meaning “human-centered.” (Click title for more)

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Psychology and Fairy Tales--by Carrie Hughes

Psychology and Fairy Tales--by Carrie Hughes | Depth Psych |

Beginning with the fathers of the field, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, psychoanalysts have turned to fairy tales in an effort to understand the human mind. This is accomplished in two ways—either by studying the psychology and needs of the creators of these stories or by examining the characters in the stories. Just as many fairy tales hinge upon a revelation of the truth about those who have been somehow disguised, so too, fairy tales cut to the essence of the human psyche.


Freud suspected that dreams and fairy tales stem from the same place, and the relaxation of inhibition that occurs in the dream state is also true of many story tellers. So fairy tales might prove, like dreams, windows into the unconscious.... (click title to read more)

Belkacem Nabout's curator insight, December 11, 2013 1:55 PM

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Eva Rider's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:04 AM

In my workshops, synthesizing the symbolic elements in fairy tales, dreams with our personal life myths, we can weave new patterns with in the larger tapestry. The personal and collective intetwine in colourful and unexpected ways but the story always leads us towards healing through love.

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Dreams—Big and Little: What dreams can tell us about our life

Dreams—Big and Little: What dreams can tell us about our life | Depth Psych |

I am, of course, referring to night dreaming—(day dreaming when one simply goes ‘off the air’ and continues one’s daily routine on ‘automatic pilot’, so to speak, is an aspect of consciousness which I will discuss at some future date). At this point I want to talk about the significant role our night dreams play in bringing us to become aware of the course our life is taking.


Over the weeks and months that Carl Jung would devote to the dialogue with his patients—a form oftherapy designed to bring them to a higher degree of self-knowledge—he would question them about their night dreams, and bring them to distinguish between those that were significant as Big Dreams—and those which were relatively insignificant as Little Dreams: (terminologies and distinctions also long employed by Australia’s Aboriginal peoples.)


Big Dreams are those that remain clearly in the waking memory for days, weeks, or even... (click title for more)

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10 Ways to Help Understand your Dreams—and Why Its Important

10 Ways to Help Understand your Dreams—and Why Its Important | Depth Psych |

Jungian Analysis is about much more than just dream interpretation. Yet dreams can be a useful way to gain understanding about what is going on in our lives.  Dreams offer insight into ourselves that we may otherwise be unaware of, or not have in a clear or correct perspective.

Dreams typically are expressed in the mytho-poetic language of the psyche. We can say that dreams are symbolic expressions of the deep meaning, needs, and desires of the Self.


These 10 steps provide a framework that will allow you to better understand your dreams and thereby, better interpret the meaning of your dreams... (Click here for full article)

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Carl Jung, John Weir Perry, and Emotion in Dreams

Carl Jung, John Weir Perry, and Emotion in Dreams | Depth Psych |

The important but limited focus of the more cognitive and problem solving modes of therapy tend to hurry over deeper personal needs and truths, in my opinion. Those invaluable core sources of meaning are just waiting to be revealed; by including dreams in therapy, or in our peer-to-peer conversations for those of us with lived experience.

I always encourage the people I serve to bring their dreams to our therapy sessions, because I know how valuable understanding what our dreams are telling us can be. Every night our unconscious psyches process enormous amounts of emotional content that is symbolically portrayed in imagery. This dreaming work of our deep psyches is so vital, that if we are kept from dreaming for a few nights, we will start to hallucinate, and soon will enter a so-called psychotic or extreme state of consciousness.

But every morning we have the chance to shed light on what our deepest desires, fears and individual life purpose is revealing – if we attend to our dreams. The best way I have found to explore dreams comes from what Jung told Perry...(click title for more)

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Working with Dreams: Depth Psychology Techniques of Carl Gustav Jung and James Hillman

Working with Dreams: Depth Psychology Techniques of Carl Gustav Jung and James Hillman | Depth Psych |

Dream work is ancient, it’s long tradition evidenced in the temples of Asclepius in Greece where individuals went to be healed through their dreams. Dreams have been an important aspect of many spiritual traditions, and even Freud considered the study of dreams to be his most important work. There are many methods of dream analysis. When working with dreams, it can be helpful to intentionally assess them from various aspects, including mythical, archetypal, alchemical, and collective, and to pay attention to which resonate most strongly emotionally and elicit even a physical response in order to begin to understand what insights are being gifted through your unconscious.


In The Dream and the Underworld, James Hillman prefers to allow the dream and dream symbols to remain what they are, and not to analyze and interpret them but to simply interact with them and see what comes about. However, Hillman’s method of seeing focuses far more on an artistic view than from a therapeutic or results-oriented standpoint. As such, when it comes to dreams and symbols, he stays... (click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, October 21, 2014 12:48 PM

Dreams: Jung and Hillman

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Inner Wakefulness by Rumi

Inner Wakefulness by Rumi | Depth Psych |

This place is a dream, only a sleeper considers it real

then death comes like dawn and you wake up laughing

at what you thought was your grief

A man goes to sleep in the town where he has always lived

and he dreams he's living in another town

in the dream he doesn't remember the town he's sleeping in his bed in

he believes the reality of the dream town

the world... (See the rest of the poem by Rumi by clicking the title)

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Carl Gustav Jung and Synchronicity, Archetypes, and the Collective Unconscious

Carl Gustav Jung and Synchronicity, Archetypes, and the Collective Unconscious | Depth Psych |

Jung created the term synchronicity to describe the alignment of "universal forces"with the life experiences of an individual. Jung believed that many experiences perceived as coincidences were not merely due to chance, but instead reflected the creation of an event or circumstance by the "coinciding" or alignment of such forces. The process of becoming intuitively aware and acting in harmony with these forces is what Jung labeled "individuation". Jung said that an individuated person would actually shape events around them through the communication of their consciousness with the collective unconscious


Jung coined the term “collective unconscious” to refer to that part of a person's unconscious which is common to all human beings, as opposed to personal unconscious, which is unique to each individual. According to Jung the collective unconscious contains archetypes, which are... (Click title for more)

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Quotes from “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections” by C.G. Jung

Quotes from “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections” by C.G. Jung | Depth Psych |

“The decisive question for a man is: is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities we regard as personal possessions: our talent and our beauty.

The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.

In our relationships to other men, too, the crucial question is whether an element of boundlessness is expressed in the relationship.” (Click title for more)

maria taveras's curator insight, September 6, 2014 9:05 PM

A treasure of a book for those who seek a deeper understanding of their authentic nature. 

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Pomegranates: symbolism in mysticism and dreams

Pomegranates: symbolism in mysticism and dreams | Depth Psych |

Last night I dreamed of pomegranates...


Carl Jung saw a garden of pomegranates when he was near to death: "“I myself was, so it seemed, in the Pardes Rimmonim, the garden of pomegranates, and the wedding of Tifereth with Malchuth was taking place. Or else I was Rabbi Simon ben Jochai, whose wedding in the afterlife was being celebrated. It was the mystic marriage as it appears in the Cabbalistic tradition. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was. I could only think continually, “Now this is the garden of pomegranates! Now this is the marriage.. (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, June 26, 2014 2:47 AM

The Pomegranate: Symbol of the fruit of the Underworld and perhaps,  thus signifying the marriage of the above and below. Tifereth (Beauty) and its married to Malkuth (kingdom). Love redeemed and made manifest in Matter. Lovely!

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“The Red Book” by Carl Jung: A Primer For Healing Madness In A Mad World

“The Red Book” by Carl Jung: A Primer For Healing Madness In A Mad World | Depth Psych |

Through his meticulous design of The Red Book, Carl G. Jung interwove his experience of madness with the collective suffering of his era. Such syntheses are rare — and just what the current mental health field desperately needs. In what follows, I look at how The Red Book became Jung’s journey out of madness as well as the foundation for his analytical psychology. Even today, over 50 years after his death, Jung’s analytical psychology is a relevant, non-pathologizing method for transcending madness, while also relating individual suffering to the larger collective.

The Ways of Jung’s World

In the early twentieth century, when Jung was “flooded” with “an enigmatic stream” that threatened to break him, the field of psychology was just beginning to make a science of the study of madness. Practitioners still acknowledged the wisdom of artists, novelists, and poets with regards to the nature of the human psyche. The soul was still in need of cure, and hearts were broken as much as brains. There were perhaps five diagnoses in use...(Click title for more)



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Jung's Theory of Dreams

Jung's Theory of Dreams | Depth Psych |

Why do we have dreams? Where do they originate? Do they have meaning? Are dreams of any value to us, or are they just so much nonsense? These questions have puzzled thinkers since the dawn of humanity. Every culture in the world has offered explanations. For instance, the Australian Aborigines believe that what we consider the realm of dreams is the real world (the Dreamtime), and the world we experience with our senses is a dream.


C.G. Jung put forth a theory of dreams which is quite popular today. Following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud, Jung claimed that dream analysis is the primary way to gain knowledge of the unconscious mind. He says that the dream is a natural phenomenon which we can study, thereby gaining knowledge of the hidden part of our mind.... (Click here for more....)

Ike Cerrada's curator insight, February 3, 2014 3:15 PM

The fabulous world of dreams...

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Jungian Psychology Series: The Anima and Animus

As its name suggests, the shadow is that part of our personality that we tend to keep in the dark, concealed from our own and others’ awareness. Because the shadow is composed primarily of undeveloped characteristics common to one’s gender, it is symbolized in dreams by dream figures the same sex as the dreamer (e.g., a female in a woman’s dream represents her shadow).


Carl Jung observed, as have many others before and since, that the human personality possesses an androgynous background; it contains symbolically masculine and symbolically feminine attributes. The masculine side of a... (click title for more)

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