Tagged: house

“There’s a Party in the Woods and an Old Woman Appears.” A Dream Interpretation.

Dear Satya:

Q: I am housesitting a rustic cabin, and there’s a huge party going on with high school friends. I’m sort of the babysitter, but I don’t know why. I’m not clear who owns the house. I’m trying to be in control, though I don’t understand the whole situation. Then the party is over. A strange old lady and her friends come back to the house from a trip. I tell the lady about how I was taking care of the house and how the other people broke things and dirtied it.

A: Well, if ever we needed a dream to illustrate the subtle navigations of growing-up, we’ve got one here. For the sake of context, I’ll share with our readers that you’re an adult woman in your late twenties, and also that this is a recurring dream for you. The three primary elements of this dream that I want to highlight are the fact that you’re housesitting, the high school party atmosphere that you’re managing, and the strange old lady.

In each of these pieces of the dream, you’re navigating questions of power and leadership. Who’s in charge? Who’s the adult who can be trusted? As these themes arose in a dream, your dream, they’re highlighting for you questions of internal leadership. Again, the question is “who’s in charge?” What part of you is at the helm? It would seem that you’re actively wrestling with this question. What type of person, what form of leadership and maturity, is going to be running your house?

You are housesitting in this dream. This is different than a dream in which you are in your own home, or even in a friend’s home. Here, your ego-identity, your sense of self, is present, but it’s not yet familiar with where it is. And it doesn’t necessarily like where it is. Things are in flux. This is not a home you would generally want to find yourself in, and there are high school partiers around that you’re having to manage. What I like about this dream for you, however, is that you find yourself rather distant from the partiers (you’re growing past that stage of life), and you’re in the home of an old lady, symbolic of your developing awareness of a deeper sense of aged wisdom inside of you.

Your inner work now is to build a relationship with the old lady who returns home. Yes, you find her a bit strange now, and she’s also a bit absent, but as you transform, as you age and grow over the next months and years, I predict that the image of this old woman will transform too, as will her home. The more you engage with your wise, mature, feminine self, the more this inner woman will transform to reflect that. Soon, you won’t be babysitting parties and the old lady won’t be gone. Soon, she’ll be having you over for tea and cultured conversation in her beautiful, stately home. You’ll be very glad she is.

Do you have a question about your dreams? Send me an email! satya@quarterlifecounselor.com

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Satya is a therapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon specializing in applicable dream work, the quarter-life crisis, and the stage of life between young adulthood and mid-life.

“Feral cats! In My House and Everywhere!” A Dream Interpretation.

Dear Satya:

Q: I am in my house and look outside and see a swarm of feral cats invading my yard. I am extremely frustrated and anxious. I go around to the kitchen and open the door to scare them away, but the cats start coming into my house! There are other people in my house, and everyone wants me to get rid of the cats! I pick-up one of the cats but it starts scratching my arm so I drop it. I try to start shoving them out, but they’re all dodging my efforts. Then a big, Native American blanket is somehow thrown over a cat and it transforms into a giant, stuffed, toy pony that falls to the ground. The whole scene changes. The cats are gone and everything is now outside.

A: Like a proper story, this dream provides the setting, the problem, the climax, and then the unlikely solution. You’re in your house looking into your yard. Feral cats are swarming outside and, in your desire to be rid of them, you inadvertently let them in! Your attempts to get rid of them by force fail, but then, out of nowhere, an unlikely shift: with the help of something more ancient and unfamiliar, the cat is transformed into a cuddly, inert, soft, pony. And just as you desired, the cats are all gone.

I know from conversations with you that this is a recurring dream; these feral cats have been haunting you for a long time. As a recurring dream, you are being presented with a challenge of some kind, a personal difficulty, that persists because (almost like an injury) it requires your attention. So what do these cats represent for you and why are you determined to keep them out?

Cats are companions for many people and bring comfort; they live in our homes, sit on our laps, sleep in our beds, and cuddle-up with us. They are also dependent on us for food and shelter. I won’t go into the varied mythological symbolism of cats here, because I think the primary question is why these cats are so regularly in your dreams, seeking your help, and why you are so determined to keep them out.

In the dream, are you at all concerned that these cats are homeless and seeking shelter in your home? You and I have spoken about this dream, so I’ll share with our readers that when I asked you this question, if you were worried about them, you replied that you were just annoyed with them, and that, perhaps, you wanted them gone quickly so that you didn’t have to worry about them. Out of sight out of mind.

That’s it, though. The more we try to avoid things, the more they bother us. A small part of you, I think, is actually concerned about these cats but avoiding thinking about it. So what does that mean? Every character that arises in a dream is a part of us. These cats, whatever they represent, are a part of you, a part that may be rather soft and even somewhat dependent on others, that you may prefer were not part of you at all. All this work you are doing to protect your home (another important symbol) suggests that you are working hard to keep your defenses up, fortifying walls in order to keep from admitting that something a little gentler, maybe emotional, is being neglected and left-out.

All of your tools to keep the cats out of your house are not working. They never will. In order to get rid of these cats once and for all, you may just have to let them in and engage them. The incredible solution at the end of your dream, the Native American blanket and the toy pony, will need to wait for explanation for another time. But I promise you, if you learn to pay attention to this cat part of you and what it needs, this recurring dream will either change dramatically or will never come back again.

Do you have a question about your dreams? Send me an email! satya@quarterlifecounselor.com