Dreamwork Foundations – Being Seen: How Dreams See Us [Free]

In the last post about being seen, I included a dream about a feast set up to celebrate my journey, a drinking bowl of elixir, the archetypal figures in the dream celebrating and sitting with me, giving me space to sit in my own discomfort of celebration.

And my own discomfort of endings and beginnings.

For the dream marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. The dream offers a place to mark both things.


How do our dreams see us? How do the archetypes who come in our dreams see us? In my feast dream, I felt the struggle of letting go of the past way of survival and accepting a new way. I felt and reacted to my hesitation about the struggle. Is it okay to not even turn toward the past ways, not even for a moment?

But what if I step out of my struggle and stand with the man who offers me the elixir? What if I step out of my hesitation and discomfort and stand with the woman who has created the enormous feast?

Here’s the dream again:

Dream: I arrive home to my village, celebrated for the end of an arduous journey. At the celebration, a man offers me elixir in an enormous deep drinking cup/bowl, a woman offers an enormous feast and a phone number for the next thing. The whole thing joyful and about beginnings. In my dream, I can barely stay with the love and encouragement. The archetypes offering me elixir [so much!] and an invitation for the next step. Before I eat, before I sip the elixir, I get distracted for a moment [I hear my mother’s voice!] and when I turn back it is all gone – all except one small cordial glass of the elixir.

Reading glass with two lens [loupe]
ca. 1780 [French]
[Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art]

When I stand with the man [who, by the way, is tall and large and I feel like girl besides him – in a good way]; when I stand with the woman [who is sturdy and quiet and joyful] and look at the me in the dream, I see many things that I do not see when I am just myself.

I see a woman who can barely believe it is okay to settle into herself. Who can barely sit at the table for a moment. Who can acknowledge the gifts but does not yet know how to fully receive them.

I see a woman, a little jumpy.

I see a girl who has jumped. Jumped and fled. Fled at the presentation and possibility of love and gifts. And possibility.

Yes. The archetypes want to show us the edges where we need to work. The place where I am working to receive that I can receive the place of being lit and celebrated.

I can think of many [so many] dreams where I have been shown my jumpiness, my fleeing. Where I have been shown why I flee. Where I have been given help to not flee. Where I have been shown the devastating effects of the why and then the fleeing.

One way our dreams work to help us be seen is through the lens of clarity around the difficult.


When I stand with the man and the woman, I see something else. Not just her jumpiness, her hesitation. I see what they see in me.

A woman who knows how to go on journeys and return. Who knows how to face into what is difficult and return. A girl who [even though she still wrestles with hesitation and flight] does know how to face into the difficult. And keep going.

The dream is offering a view of who I am and where I am through the dream lens, through the lens of the archetypes rather than my own [very flawed] version[s].

The edge of the dream is about my hesitancy and what happens when I hesitate. Another edge is this – to show me the woman, the girl who is strong and grounded. Who not just knows journey but knows she is all journey and arrival, all beginnings and endings. Who knows she is all feast and elixir, too.

When I look at the me in the dream, standing with the man and the woman, I see a woman in her body with an ease I never thought I could have. I see a woman who is shy but also happy to be in the celebration. I see a girl who is not afraid, even when she is.

Which is, in part, how the dream sees me.

It is a way of seeing I am still, after all these years, astonished by.

How, the question is, do your dreams see you – past the difficulties and the challenges and the places where we have learned to survive, past the places where we believe the old stories and may still be living them. For the dreams are always wanting to show us how to be seen in this place.