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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.

Yet it wants something from us.  The image we carry of ourselves is incomplete. We would very much like to think of ourselves as some who–doesn’t get angry, doesn’t show aggression, isn’t vulnerable, and so on.  But the psyche seeks wholeness.  It wants us to become the fullest version of ourselves–not the version we have cut and pasted to fit either our own expectations or those of the people around us.

Invited or not, this unclaimed aspect of ourselves will come calling.  The very quality we have rejected will appear on our doorstep (or more likely force its way inside) demanding its right to have a seat at the table.  It will hound us until we begin the process of integration–allowing whatever it is to be an active participant in our psychic repertory.

In this dreamer’s case the intruder is the “mailman.”  In its funny way, the dream is underscoring the fact that this energy has a message to deliver.  Like Mercury, the winged god of communication, modern day mail carriers deliver information and news.  This dreamer’s mailman has something to tell her.  He has something to communicate–but his intentions appear threatening.

Furthermore, the dream puns on the word “mail.”  He is also a “male man”–a very masculine character. As this woman is especially feeling and feminine in her approach to life–the maleness of her intruder is significant.  For this dreamer, her own masculine energy feels unwelcome and foreign.  It is not something that typically resides in her psychic home.  Instead, she feels violated and afraid when she encounters its force.

And yet, as much as we desperately need to honor and reclaim a more feminine approach to life and relationships, we also need the masculine.  The masculine or yang energy in the psyche is what gives us permission to say “no,” to set boundaries, to stand on our own behalf, to achieve what we wish to achieve.  Without access to this energy inside herself, a woman is in danger of having her boundaries overrun, of being too open and vulnerable, of being unable to deal with other’s aggression as well as her own.

Intruder dreams may feel scary and threatening.  But they come bearing gifts.  After having such a dream it is helpful to ask: what does this energy want from me?  What is chasing me or breaking in to my space that I would otherwise wish to ignore or reject?  In this way we have the opportunity to heed the wisdom of the dream and expand our limited notions of who we are.


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