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The Unconscious World of Dream


Basic meaning: Emotional or psychic energy.

(1) Water is a common symbol of fertility, growth, creative potential (especially if it takes the form of a reservoir or still lake), new life, or healing.

(2) It si also a symbol for the uncosnscious, espcially if it is deep. An ocean or the sea is a good representation of the deep unconscious. In this case the dream is touching the deepest parts of your unconscious self, those parts that contain information that is not normally known to your waking consciousness.

(3) It is a feminine symbol (intuitive), representing either your own femininity (whether you are male or female), or your mother. It is therefore important to note your reaction to the water in your dream. Are you afraid of water in real life? This may mean you are afraid of women (if you are a man), or your mother, or your unconscious, especially if there are repressed memories.

(4)If the water in your dream is a river it may symbolize a flow of emotional energy. Crossing a bridge may symbolize a change is process or it may may be a symbol of avoiding a flood of passion or observing it from a safe vantage point of a detached observer. If you think the reiver does represent emotion, try to identify the emotion (e.g by asking the river questions and fetting answers by role-playing the river) and then decide what you are going to do about it.

(5) Ocean or Sea - This may represent the unconscious. Putting out to sea may, therefore, symblize an exploring of the unconscious. Drowning may represent (the fear of) having your unconscious mind swamped by unconscious contents - repressed emotions or memories. It also may mean your conscious ego needs to submit to your unconscious for a while, for the further enrichment and development of your personality.

The sea may also symbolize creative potential. In mythology, water existed prior to creation, and the creator-god wrestled with the sea goddess (his feminine side) and either made the world from her dismembered body or else impregnated her so that she gave birth to the world. Psychologically, therefore, the sea or ocean may symbolize the existence, within your psyche, of potential - the latent raw materials - for creation of your true and total self. (In Jungian psychology, a balanced psyche (Greek for soul) has incorporated the creative self (whatever your abilities) into the persona, the ego self which is aware of the totality of all the parts of the psyche)

Reference: Eric Ackroyd

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