Transforming the Self

The dreamer titled this dream Shape Shifting. What is shape shifting? In some cultures, stories, and folklore, shape shifters were those who could take on the shape and qualities of of another person or animal, living or dead. They would be able to mimic everything about the person or creature to either fool, confound, redirect, discover information, or frighten an individual, a village, a tribe, etc. Not always supernatural, it is a term used to imply someone who has learned to fit in or camouflage themselves to be accepted, no matter the circumstances.

In mythology, Homer’s Iliad, Proteus was a sea-god, considered an oracle who was prophetic in his abilities. He protected seas and rivers. Seas and rivers-water- constitute emotions and dreams are a sea of symbols that try and impart emotions and teachings through the dreamscapes we are offered when we go into the void-sleep-nightly. He was considered mercurial, like our emotions and held untold knowledge, like our dreams. The word protean is derived from the Greek Proteus and one of its meanings is changeable in shape and form.

I thought this was the perfect title that this dreamer gave the dream, for it speaks of the desire for inner transformation and change, of which we are all capable if we choose. To make that change requires us to dream something new into existence.

Shape Shifting

I am in a darkened hallway with an older wise woman and a young girl. There is something odd about the girl, almost feral like. She is short, dark native skin, and has an odd look to her eyes. I am supposed to take the girl to this place-it is like a foundation with no house on it. This seems to be a silent directive to me from the wise woman. Suddenly the girl jumps down, and I can’t figure out how I am going to get her back up. I let myself down gently to help her, but she shifts into a huge brown hummingbird and flies out right past me. I go back to the house, open the door so she can fly in, but she won’t. I go back into the darkened hallway where the older wise woman is waiting, when suddenly the girl bursts through the door as this black cat-like thing. The old women turns to me and says, “She does that.”

The Decoding

I am in a darkened hallway with an older wise woman and a young girl. There is something odd about the girl, almost feral like.

A hallway indicates that you are deciding which direction to go in, but you haven’t committed yet as to which “room” you will enter. It is dark which suggests you are unclear or unsure about how to proceed. There are two aspects (possibly of yourself) someone who is wise and knows what to do, and a young girl who you say is feral-like. She might be unsure of herself, or in need of teaching/taming/training, or a wild or unknown aspect of yourself that you have not unleashed.

It is interesting that they show up together because both have something to teach you in the dream. The part of you that is patient and needs to make a wise choice, and the part that hasn’t been developed fully yet.

She is short, dark native skin, and has an odd look to her eyes. I am supposed to take the girl to this place-it is like a foundation with no house on it. This seems to be a silent directive to me from the wise woman.

In describing the girl further, you state she is ‘native’— I am assuming you mean indigenous, and as such something you have not necessarily been schooled/trained in but may be curious about or she would potentially have showed herself differently. The way images show themselves in a dream are always trying to tell us something. The eyes are the windows to the soul, so in stating she had an odd look in her eyes, again implies this is something you, as yet, do not know or understand, either externally or internally. And yet the wise woman part of you is the one directing this next step.

You are directed to take her to a place where there is a foundation, but no house atop the foundation. Again, there is something foundational you are needing to discover or learn about. Once you do that, you can build the ‘house.’ It is about building something for the future that you can feel safe with using or sharing. She, that part of you that she represents, (I’ve often said in these blogs, everything in the dream is what it is, and also something about the ‘self’), will help you to build that change or knowledge for your future.

Suddenly the girl jumps down, and I can’t figure out how I am going to get her back up. I let myself down gently to help her, but she shifts into a huge brown hummingbird and flies out right past me.

Jumping into the foundation shows she is not afraid to get started; you thinking you need to find a way to get her out, suggests you are still in need of defining the foundation on which you wish to build something new or different moving forward. You ease into the foundation though, showing you are ready,

You say the hummingbird she shifted into was huge, where most hummers are small. The size is trying to get your attention. It is brown, which on the Wisdom Wheels is literally about building a foundation to share your truth. Brown also signifies the color of soil/the earth, which is what fertile things grow from. It is a stabilizing color.

Hummingbirds signify the ability to move in any direction, this implies to me that the new direction you are being guided to consider can take any direction you want. Hummingbirds relate to joy, exuberance, messages from the Spirit world and in some shamanic traditions their feathers are used in love potions. These are all good qualities to build your foundation on.

I go back to the house, open the door so she can fly in, but she won’t. I go back into the darkened hallway where the older wise woman is waiting, when suddenly the girl bursts through the door as this black cat-like thing. The old women turns to me and says, “She does that.”

You take that ‘desire’ back to the current ‘house’ representing the foundation you are currently working within (not the one yet to be built). In other words you go back to where you started to assess and ‘open the door’ so she will fly in. Opening a door means you are open to new opportunities and explorations.

She won’t fly in, which suggests that you still need to work on organizing and solidifying what your Higher Self or Spirit self is trying to guide you towards to feel more joy and love. You go back into the darkened hall where the wise woman is waiting for you. Our wisdom lies within the ‘not knowing’, for it is there that we are led to self-discovery,

Suddenly this as yet unknown part of you bursts through the opening you have created as “this black cat-like thing”. This is the most important sentence in the dream for a number of reasons. First, she is shape shifting again to get your attention. Secondly it is not clear she is a cat, but something cat-like, again your need to discover what it is that is still unclear. Third she comes through the door—you’ve left an opening for her teachings. And fourth, cats represent intuition, independence, and curiosity— all the things you will need to tap within yourself for self-discovery and new construction moving forward.

Black on the Wisdom Wheel is about listening to our inner truth. It also represents the Void from which things are created. Black signifies reflection, introspection, and mystery. As an outfit on a person, it can connote authority, elegance, and sophistication. It is also worn by those in morning. I see this as indicating that something has to die, for something new and empowered within you to be born. You are the creator of the future creation.

Through going into the void of yourself and reflecting on what needs to change, it will guide you to develop something elegant where you will have the personal authority to move out of the dark hallway towards living more of your own wise women self, feeling more joy and self-love. She (the wise woman part of yourself) was, after all, waiting for you. And her final words, “She does that” indicates you can shape shift in your waking life too.

Thank you, dreamer, for sharing.  

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