About 5 years ago I had a dream. I’ve been thinking about it again recently as I consider the relationship of my spirituality and my activism to contemporary Paganism.
I was in a plane with my wife and some other people. We were under a spell which compelled us to jump out of the airplane without parachutes. As I fell, I intentionally fell backwards, fearing to look down. My wife, in contrast, chose to plummet head first, and so she passed me on her way down.
Somehow, I survived. At first I thought I was the sole survivor. I was so upset at the loss of my wife, I did not want to live any more.
I found my way to a shopping mall. A long-time friend of mine was there. My friend had no other friends and he was lonely. But his wife was with him. It turned out that he had made a wish and that wish had somehow compelled everyone to jump out of the plane. He was trying to start an organization, a Pagan organization. He was calling it the “Dragon Network”.
Then people from the plane started showing up and gathering with my friend. I left my friend quite abruptly to go find my wife. I looked and looked for my wife. I yelled her name, but I could not find her. Then suddenly she appeared, the last of all the people who had jumped out of the plane. I asked her where she had been, and she told me it didn’t matter so long as we were together now. I was so relieved, I woke up almost in tears.
From a Jungian perspective, in order to understand a dream, it’s important to remember that when other people appear in your dream, they are not other people, but parts of yourself. So my wife was not my wife, but a part of me. The same with the friend.
So, here’s my self-analysis:
The airplane was the transcendental/metaphysical approach to religion I had as young man. Falling from the airplane was a psychological descent to earth, to physicality and roundedness, which I experienced through my transition to Paganism. I was falling backwards, because my descent was involuntarily.
The shopping mall is a place I associate with desacralized, profane space. Curiously, it was there that I discovered the Pagan group. The name “Dragon Network” resembles the Dragon Environmental Network which I learned about through Adrian Harris, someone whose work on embodied spirituality I admire.
The friend in my dream was an aspect of myself which I associate with that friend, a kind of a sterile rationality. He had no other friends and was trying to create a community. The people who had fallen from the airplane and were gathering in the mall represented the Pagan community that I discovered. The friend was, of course, myself, or part of myself.
Interestingly I had to leave my friend (or that image of myself) and the emerging Pagan community to find my wife. My wife represented my soul/anima. Her more intentional descent from the plane suggests that she was a more intentionally embodied figure. My search for my wife was my search for my own soul. Our reunion represented the promise that I will find my soul.
But, and here’s the thing that bothered me when I had this dream: it seemed to suggest that I would have to leave behind the Pagan community that I had found in order to be reunited with my soul. This was my interpretation of the dream five years ago, and I even wrote about it on my blog. But I was uncomfortable with it, because I was really feeling settled with my Paganism at the time.
I don’t fully understand the dream yet, but it tugged at my mind at the time and I find myself thinking about it again now as I have become more and more disillusioned with the Pagan community.