with Dmetri Kakmi
I am standing in the grounds of a university. A young woman tells me she needs my help to kill a vampire. She has a gun. I agree to help. We enter a shipping container. Inside is a dark, tall, cold-faced vampire. He is ugly, sallow and heartless. The young woman aims her gun. In a split second, the vampire tears her apart. I run! As I round a corner, the vampire is already there waiting for me. Looking me in the eye he rips apart a nearby male student. The vampire rewinds time and does it over and over again. Each time the agony of the student is played out just for me – I feel culpable in his suffering.
The vampire and dismemberment. Two archetypal images that continue to speak to the modern mind.
The vampire is a liminal being. Neither alive nor dead, he is seductive and predatory, beautiful and ugly. He represents human desire, torn between polarities, yet united in one body. The fact that he attracts and repels means that we fight ongoing battles with our own natures. I see this dream in relation to your previous dream. With that in mind, I add that for some the vampire is a revenant of unprocessed or unassimilated trauma and deprivation, which can obsess and keep us from fully living.
In this instance, however, the vampire is working for you. Note the educational setting? Despite your hesitation, he is doing you a favour by guiding you toward greater good. Dismemberment from the ancient cult religions is a blessing of fertility and resurrection. Being torn apart breaks down defensive structures until only the bone of personality remains, upon which a new body can be built. Your psyche is forcing you to trust in dissolution. It’s only when you’ve torn down your defenses that you can rebuild or transform yourself through suffering.
This is a recurrent dream. I’m on a cruising ship, like the Titanic, on the open sea. Sometimes I’m outside watching and sometimes I’m inside the ship, part of what’s happening. Sometimes I am trying to escape, sometimes I am watching the havoc as the sea closes in. This week I was inside, watching helplessly as the ship was engulfed and sank. The feeling of dread is prevalent. Knowing that I am trapped, knowing that it is going down and there’s nothing I can do. I love the sea, but in the dreams it is a dreadful, menacing place.
The dream may portend an ambivalent relationship with death.
You are traversing psychic depths in a vessel that is not up to the task. The ocean is primordial mother. She is the depth and range of human psychology. Inside us we carry oceanic memories of creation and destruction that are eternal. We are droplets in the vast swirling liquidity of the sea and the cosmos. The rational mind evolved from the same restless liquidity; however, in its Apollonian outreach it has unmoored itself from the knowledge that it is finite, infinitesimal. That is why the sea can be simultaneously calming and disquieting. It is unstable matter on which we have uncertain footing.
The boat, the ship, is a creation of the rational mind. It is the body that allows us, against the odds, to navigate oceanic depths. It holds us secure above the chaos that lurks below. The shipwreck, the terrifying descent into the abyss, is death itself. The vast cruising ship of your dreams, is human hubris and vanity, tossed on the back of a wave and crushed to matchsticks. As it sinks, the ocean becomes a womb tomb and the boat a coffin that carries us to the final destination.
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.
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