I had a powerful dream last night.
Please forgive me as I share a few details; I know how tedious hearing other people’s dreams are.
I dreamed that I was in the US Army. I was working with a group of men and women to fulfill a mission. Sometime during this mission, I got trapped between two delivery trucks, and was being crushed to death.
Now, I am severely claustrophobic, and this was one of the most terrifying dreams I have had in a long time. I don’t know how I was reacting in the real world, but I must have been showing some distress, because my dog, Max, started nipping at my fingers, causing me to wake up. This is not normal Max behavior.
The image of being a soldier was powerful to me, and it resolved something I’d been working on for several weeks now. I’d been feeling the archetype of the warrior trying to come forward, but I couldn’t put a face to her. I felt like she was a holdover from my High School days, but I was trying to form her into a Buffy/Xena/Cheesy Fantasy Novel type of warrior, because these were the things I enjoyed in High School.
When I was in high school, I also very briefly, considered joining the army.
The image of a female soldier feels much more stable than that of a Xena or Buffy type. She is real, not an actor performing a script. This image that I found for this archetype fits perfectly with my feelings about the warrior archetype that has been trying to emerge. She is a warrior, yes, but she is more than that. The little Afghan girl in this picture shows the soldier to be a caregiver, not just a protector.
I had also been seeking an archetypal image for a guide, though I wasn’t really sure why. The archetype of a seeker has always appealed to me, and has been an image I’ve applied to myself for a long time. In my mind, a seeker is one who explores off the beaten path, someone who is looking for answers where most people don’t see questions. To a seeker, the journey is far more important than the destination.
When Max woke me from my bad dream, I realized that I had misinterpreted my need. A guide does more than show the way, a guide protects from harm. This is a responsibility that Max takes very seriously in the waking world–he considers it his duty to protect me, and my other dog, Lulu, from dangers such as other dogs, strange men, people on bicycles, skateboards, and the ever-present danger of things moving on the TV and computer.
Okay, he’s not great in the protection front. But it’s not his fault he’s a 15 pound shih tzu.
But, I can now take the image of Max, and turn him into the archetype for a guardian, a part of my psyche that will show up when I’m treading in dangerous waters. This, I feel, will be more useful in my journey than having someone show me a path.
- Create an Archetype for Yourself (danielleharth.wordpress.com)