I was outside an antique shop. There was something ornate in a box. It was beaded in lines of reds and golds. The object was hanging from some wires. As I turned it around I realised it was a lamp. I reattached the shade to its stand. It was beautiful. I took it to the counter and said I would take it. First I looked for anything else I might like. When I returned to the counter, the shop owner offered me a different lamp. It was taller, plainer, not the lamp I had found. I told him it was not the lamp I wanted.
You feel as if you have lost something vital, brilliant and true. Or you fear you have been shortchanged, cheated, perhaps.
The lamp symbolises intelligence and spirit, the dawning of clarity. It is a quantum of cosmic light, captured and preserved to sustain the flame of life, hope, liberty. We hold it before us as we progress through life.
In ancient times different types of lamps represented different occasions. The ornate box refers to the unconscious and the maternal body. Streamed with gold and red, it is sexual passion, divine intelligence and superior function. Caskets or boxes often recur in fables. They correspond to the three stages of life. Two are fortunate; the last unfortunate. To open a box is to take a risk.
Put together it sounds as if you have let slip through your fingers something authentic, precious and delicate. There is an element of regret too. Did you hesitate to make a decision or choice and thereby miss out on what you wanted? Have you opted for an inferior version of what you hoped?
Dmetri Kakmi learned to tell fortunes and interpret dreams by observing his grandmother when he was growing up in Turkey. Nowadays he combines that fledgling knowledge with Jungian, ancient and traditional symbolism.
I’ve had two recurring elements in my dreams ever since I was a child.
The first is flying, but not very good flying; I only ever manage to glide a foot or so off the ground. Sometimes this is a remarkable feat, sometimes everyone can do it, but it’s in a lot of my dreams and it’s never very impressive.
The second is that I’m Batman. What does this mean?
Flying and bats are ambiguous, contradictory symbols. They sit between polarities.
These dreams could be about a life-long attempt to strike a balance between two poles: realism and fantasy. You could be striving to sublimate one for the good of the other. In that lies your dilemma and uncertainty.
Flight is a symbol of thought and imagination. It indicates a desire to rise above a situation, in moral and physical terms. The other side of the coin is that flight in dreams symbolises the inability to fly. The more you want to, the less you are able. The dream of flying always ends in the dream of falling. In this regard flight is an unreal substitute for action that ought to be taken in real life. It’s saying, face reality rather than try to escape it.
You are not able to fully fly. No matter how much you try, you always hover or glide above the earth. No matter how limitless your imagination, you have one foot on the ground. This could be a good thing. Despite your inclination, you are a realist. Your situation keeps you sober and sensible because you know you have the capacity to lose yourself.
The bat is another ambiguous symbol. A bird without feathers, a mammal that flies, it is neither one thing nor another. In some cultures it trails death, in others it augers longevity and blessings. It is caught in an intermediate stage.
The question is: are you bogged down? Are you caught between two planes and wish to rise higher? Or maybe you need to strike a balance and make your peace with that?
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