Figures/Guides in Dreaming

Or The Sometimes Confusing, Sometimes Supportive, Sometimes Hilarious, Sometimes Scary, Sometimes Confounding, Sometimes Infuriating Guiding Figures in our Dreams

Dreams offer to teach us and lead us through stories and landscapes that unfold around us. Inside these stories, there are figures who step into our dream landscape to teach us.

Humans are relational beings, we need relationship, connection, we need the “other”. Other as friend, other as lover, other as guide, other as family member, other as teacher.

These figures do come to teach, to guide, to support, to challenge. They do not always come in ways that we would have them come. Sometimes they challenge us, sometimes they provoke us. Sometimes they stand in opposition to who we believe we are. Sometimes they are loving, sometimes they are frightening, sometimes they are hilarious, sometimes they are angry. But always, they come to stand with us, to teach us, to bring us what we do not yet about ourselves. Always, for me, they have our best intentions at heart.

What to call these figures who come to teach, to challenge, to provoke, to support? Jung, in his book about his personal journey The Red Book, named these figures as coming from the spirit of the depths. For want of a better word, I like to use archetype for these figures. This differs from the use of archetype (as Jung used it) in terms of the male or female parts of the self in that the archetype may come as a mirror for us, but is not us. The Archetype may come as a friend, lover, parent, but is not us.