Q: I am cleaning a room with two other people. On one side of the room, there are wasps’ nests strewn about the floor. We must step over them very slowly and quietly in order to not wake them — it seems to be some sort of test. I do alright at first, but then something happens and the wasps begin buzzing around. We run into the bedroom and dive under the covers for protection. Above me, I can feel the wasps relentlessly pelting the blankets, trying to attack us. I feel a sharp pain as a few of the stingers get through. After it’s over, I see that I have been stung three times: twice on my right hand, and once on my left.
A: Wowza! Well, I suppose you’re doing some deep diving into yourself these days, huh? The appearance of animals (or creatures) in dreams are always important images to take note of, but there are some that carry particular weight in the dreamworld, and wasps are among them. Big moments in our lives will often be marked by visitations of some of these animals in our dreams or, synchronistically, in our waking lives. In addition to wasps, other “big” animals include snakes, large cats, bears, and elephants; animals which, incidentally, Kundalini yoga and other ancient traditions, also include as representing significant stages of personal development.
So what’s going on in this dream? I’m quite curious what room it is that you’re cleaning, and who you’re with. Answers to those questions could probably provide us with some information regarding what areas of personal evolution you’re really undertaking at the moment. Without that information, however, I would say simply that it seems you’re cleaning house, so to speak, taking stock of life and disregarding the extraneous. In that process, as indicated by the sequence of events in your dream, you’ve awakened another part of your person, a very powerful, very evolved aspect, perhaps inclined towards the design and construction of a new home (symbolically speaking), as wasps are so adept at doing.
For a bit of global amplification, in Zambian mythology, it was the wasp who brought fire to a cold earth from God, acting as a beneficial intermediary between the divine and the (less enlivened) human experience. In other parts of the world, wasps are symbols of initiation into a higher ranks, and in general, wasp symbolism orients around new beginnings; they seem to act as archetypal threshold images for major life events and changes in relationships. In particular (and men, please correct me if I’m wrong), this animal seems to have a particular relationship to women’s lives, arriving more often in women’s dreams, perhaps pointing to the awakening of a very strong, self-contained energy of feminine independence and personal power.
Visitations of these threshold animals are even more attention grabbing when they bite or sting you, as is the case in your dream. Dreams with this motif appear on occasion with wasps and snakes in particular, while other animals will consistently engage with the dreamer differently. That you were stung by these wasps further indicates the integration and union of this new element of you with the old you, not unlike (cover your ears) the image and act of intercourse and the receptivity of the feminine from the masculine. In the image of “being stung,” therefore, the themes of fertility and new beginnings are self-evident. By cleaning house, it seems, you’ve awakened a sleeping giant in you and been stung, stuck, impregnated by it. Only you can know what that means for you, but I anticipate that a very important and rich phase of life and personal evolution is now in the works and gestating. Here, here!
Have you had a dream like this? Leave a comment and share!
Satya is a Jungian psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon specializing in dream work, the quarter-life crisis, and work with individuals in their late teens, 20s, and 30s. www.QuarterLifeCounselor.com