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A woman brings a dream in which she discovers a variety of studio spaces in the basement of her family home.  As a child her family greatly encouraged her creativity–she was provided with all manner of materials, lessons, supplies and freedom to play.  In her current life, however, she struggles to make space and time for her artistic side.  The dream reminds her of that earlier time (when she did, in fact, have studio space in the family basement) and offers a hint that she will need to become her own supportive parental figure if she is to actively nurture an artistic life.

As I listen to women’s dreams I can’t help noticing how frequently they seem to insist on the value of a creative life.  Perhaps there is something about the creative process–with its rhythms of conception, gestation, and birth—that closely parallels a woman’s experience of life in a female body.  Perhaps, mirroring the goddesses of ancient times, the feminine self is innately creative.  Or perhaps women, even more than men, suffer from caretaker’s disease, nurturing others talents and skills while overlooking their own. Continue Reading »

Animal Dreaming

The night before I was scheduled for an ultrasound on an ovarian cyst, I had the following dream:

I am walking on a path which winds through forest and streams.  From the hillside on my right a beautiful white horse comes toward me.  I hold its head against my face and say “I love you.”  The feeling between us is warm and loving.

When the ultrasound technician revealed that my cyst had shrunk—thus lessoning the possibility of malignancy and possible surgery–I remembered my dream.  My animal—the beautiful white horse—was seemingly healthy and loving.  Our relationship was positive and the connection between us—face to face and heart to heart—was strong.  I felt deeply blessed by this nighttime encounter as well as by the resulting indication that all seemed well on a physical level. Continue Reading »

A woman dreams that a mailman comes uninvited into her house.  She senses that he means her harm.  In alarm, she attempts to flee her house and manages to get away unscathed.  The dreamer feels violated–something threatening has invaded her space.  Naturally she does everything in her power to escape this threat.

Dreams are tricky sometimes.

This is a classic intruder dream.  The story we might tell about this kind of dream goes something like this: there is a quality or energy in the psyche with which we–the dreaming ego–are not comfortable.   This energy can appear in the dream as something which intrudes upon our psychic space–where we live, for example, or where we work.  It feels threatening and harmful. Continue Reading »

Burying Our Dead

A woman brings a dream in which there are dead bodies strewn throughout her backyard.  She is in the kitchen and can see the bodies through the window.  Somehow she is able to forget their presence and go on about her business.  But periodically she remembers what is outside and is horrified.

This dream has the feel of a zombie nightmare.  Something awful has occurred but the dreamer is unable to focus on the situation.   A killer has entered this woman’s world and left its gruesome trail.   We do not know what actually took place in that backyard—but the horrible image alerts us to the presence of trauma and pain.  Continue Reading »

Sorting the Bones


“This is our meditation practice as women, calling back the dead and dismembered aspects of ourselves……”–Clarissa Pinkola Estes


In her dream, a woman finds a pile of bones out behind the place in which she is living.  This is a disturbing image–with its suggestion of a crime have been committed, an act of brutality, or harm having been done.  Although the dream does not provide information about the actual events that occurred, it marks a dark history.  The remnants of that history–the bones–have been left in a heap.

The particulars of this dreamer’s life are not mine to share.  But I can attest to the fact that many of the women that I see in my therapy practice have been harmed in some way.  Our culture does not protect the feminine well.  Women experience injuries to their bodies, their minds, and their souls.  Many carry these wounds silently within themselves–shame or lack of support keeping them quiet–pretending that everything is okay.

The psyche is not fooled. Continue Reading »

los ovarios


“…she sings from the knowing of los ovarios, a knowing from deep within the body, deep within the mind, deep within the soul.” –Clarissa Pinkola Estes


A woman brings me a dream in which she goes to the doctor for a minor bladder irritation and is told that, while there, she might as well have her ovaries removed.  After all, says the dream doctor, she isn’t actually using her ovaries—she doesn’t need them—so why not simply have them out.

What a funny, horrifying dream.  Continue Reading »

Out Of Control

In her dream a woman is in a car hurtling down a slope with a drop-off into the water.  This is not a good place to be.  The dream shows imminent danger to the woman (and presumably to her car).   If this situation were happening in real life—we would likely be panicking and afraid for our life.  Waking up from such a dream causes us to ask: where in my life am I so out of control and what danger am I hurtling towards? Continue Reading »

Nature Dreaming

I dream about foxes living on my property—a silver fox and a red fox.  In the dream, I do not see them, but I know that they are there—mysterious presences that come through the woods and occasionally make themselves known.  In the waking world, I have seen the red fox.  Once, in the dead of winter, I looked out my dining room window and saw it walking on the surface of our frozen pond.  The contrast of color was startling—its bushy rust colored coat framed by the white and gray tones of the ice-covered pond and the deep verdant green of the pines trees on the shore.  It was not until after the fox had disappeared into the trees that I realized I had been holding my breath.  The impact of its visit gripped me deeply and allowed me to feel a sense of connection with the land upon which I live.  These moments of connection are rare and precious.  They enable me to move out of my head and feel an ancient and profound link to the natural world from which we are all born. Continue Reading »

Night Vision


“Female figures of thinking and wisdom appear in women’s dreams, notably…versions of the wise old woman such as the owl…”  Karen Signell


An owl has flown into a woman’s dream.  My ears perk up as she tells me her dream.  I have seen an owl that very morning.  I feel a special connection to this woman and her owl.  Together we attempt to listen to what owl might be trying to say.  We have been graced by a visitation—owl has entered the room and we know that we are in the presence of something mysterious and alive.

Owls, especially, carry a sense of mystery.  They can see in the dark.  They have night vision.  Harry Potter had an owl. Owls were sacred to Athena, goddess of wisdom.  Owls are associated with witches and other aspects of the deep feminine.  Their vision is not that of the day world.  Rather, they manifest a kind of intuitive knowing.  They remind us of our ability to find our way in the night—they suggest a kind of seeing that goes beyond our everyday perspective. Continue Reading »

Revolution: from the Latin revolutio, a turn around.

A woman tells me a dream in which she is invited to join the revolution of “she is worth her time.” Apparently, for this woman a revolution is in the making. A movement toward change is about to occur. She has been issued an invitation. She is cordially invited to attend the revolution within her own psyche. It is the revolution of “she is worth her time.”

The wording is funny. Dreams are like that. They don’t just come out and say—“you need to feel that you are worthy of your own time.” They make this funny point that causes us to smile and nod and feel some tingling sense of “yes.” And yet this dream is also speaking of a revolution. Please join us, the dream says. It asks nicely. But make no mistake, the revolution will occur, has been brewing for awhile no doubt. It will take place. Continue Reading »

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