Analysis of a Dream Series


‘The Impossible Mountain Climb’ Dream: My wife and I were to climb or walk up this very steep mountain, using ropes which were provided. We had trouble, so we left and were to try another time.

We arrived back at the hotel/resort type place and parked, walking to the building that was on the edge of a deep ravine. There was a little gully, with a yellow rope that might help us get up onto the deck. I tried the rope and could not lift myself up to get up onto the deck, so I tried to climb the fence, to no success. I gave up and walked up the three steps. I thought to myself, “how will I climb the big hill with the rope if I can’t do this?”

We went in, and I walked to the room, opening the door. There was a hair dryer on the floor, and other mess such as clothes or towels. I quickly walked out and met my wife in the common area, thinking  that I had the right room, #751. That was the number on the room card.

I approached a little sitting area, containing a little bay window that looked over the ravine and the mountain we were to climb later. I looked closely, to see if anyone was gathering for the climb yet. I almost fell through, having a sense of vertigo, and had to pull myself back, forcefully. I felt a sudden fear of falling, and had to get away from this area.

I said that I would try to find the room again, and I went looking. I found a door that led to the hotel area and used my card to enter this big room that housed all the hotel room units. I wandered, looking at doors as I went but couldn’t find #751. Somehow, I had cut myself and had found a tissue to stop the bleeding on my upper right leg. There had been someone in these halls whom I had asked for help, but he was no help.

I was desperate, and I wanted to ask someone, anyone, even the dead for help. I thought that I shouldn’t ask the dead, unless it was really important. I could picture the dead wandering around the hotel bothering people, which would not do, especially if I didn’t absolutely need their help. The image I had was of my good friend Betty, an older lady who had passed years ago, wandering around the hotel, looking for me, or the right room number, to help me.

I was crying, because I felt totally frustrated, my leg was cut, and I didn’t want to take this desperate action that might involve consequences that I felt were too extreme. Sitting on this deck, I notice a man who is crying along with me, saying, “oh no. This is terrible! What are you going to do? Oh, boo hoo!” and saying other things. It made me think that he was mocking me, having a joke at my expense.

All of a sudden, I didn’t feel the same way. I started to feel angry at this man and my tears dried up. As I looked up at him, waited to catch his eye, to make eye contact so he would know that my attitude had changed. He had some contraption on his head, like a helmet. It resembled a stove of some kind, with brass fittings. He swung his head up and around toward me, and noticed my stare. I had begun to look hard at him, meeting his gaze with purpose. Then I said, “you were just leaving, weren’t you?” and he said, “yes, I was just leaving,” and he started to get up. I said, “yes, you were just leaving” and I watched him leave.

I woke up.


The “impossible mountain climb” is a metaphor for my current situation. My closest friend, hiking buddy and colleague at work was to die from cancer within a few months. Upon waking, I immediately felt that the dream referred to this. 

To be stuck in a ravine with no way out described my problem perfectly, because he would not be healed and I did not know when he would eventually pass. As his friend, I had no choice but to face death in a way I never had before. There was no way back and no way forward, even with a rope. There was powerful emotion associated with this situation as it stands.

Within the dream, I was so perplexed that I was mad at the yellow rope which I couldn’t even use to cross the smallest gully. I used the color chart from my book by Robert Hoss, Dream Language: self understanding through imagery and color. The statements for the color yellow that I responded to while visualizing the image were “I am seeking a solution that will open up new and better possibilities and allow my hopes to be fulfilled” and “I need to find a way out of this circumstance”.

Later, I listened to a shrinkrapradio show in which Dr. Dave Van Nuys interviewed Kim Hermanson, PhD [1] who teaches the transformative power of metaphor. Kim conducted an active imagination exercise with Dr. Dave who used the image of a tree and invited the listener to pick one of their images. I used the yellow rope and as I tried to blend or merge with it, I pictured it as a ray of sunlight. These techniques are really wonderful.

Astonished, I immediately felt hope in this impossible situation. Sunlight, representing consciousness and the archetype of the Self [2], told me that I had an ally and that the Self would see me through this, though I must consciously go through it without knowing the outcome. Though the top of the mountain was far away, beams of light had already reached me and I finally had confidence that I could get through the ordeal and support my friend.

The anima figure represented by my wife supported me as she does in so many dreams. Not being able to find our place in the hotel fits because I have no safe place, no sanctuary in this situation. The bay window vertigo incident left me feeling I was too high up, contrasting the opposite of the ravine bottom. I don’t know the significance of the room number #751. The digital root (7 + 5 + 1 = 13. 1 + 3 = 4) of western numerology [3] assigns it a value of 4, symbolizing the totality of the psyche and wholeness.

I was so desperate that I wanted to invoke the dead to help me with this problem of death. I thought this was an extreme measure to take and declined to take the step. Not sure of how it could be done, I conjured the absurd image of my deceased friend Betty, a motherly figure to me, wasting time helping me with my earthly problems. Thinking literally, I didn’t make the connection that this is a metaphor for communication with the unconscious. Without taking this step, there would be no solution. 

Hence, I broke down crying in frustration and to add further injury, my leg was cut and in need of treatment. the personal association is that in the waking world I experienced an upper right leg muscle injury two and a half years ago on a mountain. A survival situation ensued and I lucked out by dragging myself to my bivy tent, spending the night and walking out the next morning after having rested. My leg performed well enough to hike out but it took a year and a half to fully heal it. I learned to find more balance in my life after this scare so I would not endanger myself anymore. I had pushed my physical limits too far. It tells me that I must be calm, wise, and thoughtful or pay the price for it. The blood image with this injury symbolizes libido or life energy being drained with this problem.

The trickster or shadow figure who mimicked my emotional breakdown would have been a perfect dream character with whom to consult but I didn’t interview him. The helmet that  “resembled a stove of some kind, with brass fittings” seems to identify the figure with the Senex, or wise old man archetype.  Mark Sipowicz’s blog post on Depth Alliance from August 17th, “Walking the Talk: Airing Our Complexes and Our Complexity” inspired me to commit consciously to interviewing these figures in the future, because I might have figured out the solution right there. 

I am embarrassed that I felt such anger toward this dream character, because it reflects that I might feel that sort of emotion toward people in the waking world. I suppressed the expression of it but I told him to leave and would not want to do something like that in the waking world. However, a technique of lucid dreaming that I use (I was not lucid) is to suggest anything I choose to dream characters and they usually agree and comply. It may have been habit.

I’ve learned many things which have helped me in the dreamworld, utilizing techniques such as consciously declaring intent right before sleeping. A simple message to oneself as one is drifting off to sleep often influences behavior and understanding in dreams. Regular practice of these techniques embeds them in consciousness and I have now been telling myself before sleep each night to talk to all interesting dream characters, especially provocative ones. 

A month before my friend’s death, I had the following dream:

The Tornado Man Dream: My wife and I were walking through a valley. There were clouds and maybe a hole through them, where a light, maybe the sun was shining through. As we passed a house, there was a brighter light that was bursting through the hole in the cloud. My wife said, “see, I said that was remarkable.” I said, “not like that,” and we watched the light grow, as a ring of lights, spinning, and a wind came down from it as a tornado funnel formed. A man flew out of the funnel and flew to the house, alighting on a deck above.

We went in the house. There was a vacuum on the carpet in the middle of the room. The man said I could put it in a kiosk that it fit into, which was somewhere in the kitchen but I couldn’t find it. Out on the deck, with rocks lining its edge overlooking a valley, I said that many people have camped here over the years, before the house was built. The man was saying that his mother was involved with the problem of individuation. I exclaimed, “I am on the path of individuation!” and felt a strong urge to leave, heading in a clockwise direction around the yard, pulling my car keys out of my pocket, then put them back as I scooted down a slope to go around the house and head back the way we had come.

I woke up.


What is not archetypal about a man flying out of a descending tornado through a brightly lit hole in the clouds, landing at a house in an area that has been inhabited continuously since before it was settled? [4] The conscious communication specifically refers to individuation. My first vision as a young child was of a ring of lights. In the first dream I arrive in a car and in this, the second dream I intend to leave in a car, the keys in my hand. The clockwise spiral I describe as I leave may indicate a move toward conscious action.

The dream reassured me that I was on the “right path”, the path of individuation. I could handle the challenge ahead of me. I continued to assist and visit my dying friend. Brian Moore died September 18th, 2015.

Synchronicity: In the hours before Brian died, I was in a frenzy to sort things, to finally “straighten up and organize my life”. I was also looking for some pictures he gave me, that I had stored but could not find.

Eventually, I gave up. I lit the candle of the camping brass candle lantern that Brian gave me. On the computer was the Egypt series [5] with Tutankhamun, on which the archaeologist Carter, had just uncovered the body of Tut within the third coffin, made of gold. A few minutes later, I received the news of Brian’s passing. My wife and I went to see him one last time and to console his brother and girlfriend.

King Tutankhamun was a young king of 18 years who was cut down (most likely by the leg infection- relating him to my leg injury in the first dream) before his prime, who as a monarch symbolized the Puer Aeternus (eternal child) archetype in many ways. My friend Brian was a Puer type if there ever was one, and if you picture Peter Pan, you’ve got a clear picture of him. Symbolically representative figures of the Self, kings reflect the archetypal journey through life and in this context, the journey through death. The Osiris/Horus myth was represented specifically in Tut’s tomb. [6] Tutankhamun ended the worship of the one god Aten, under his father’s reign, restoring Amun and the other gods to their former stature. Contrast the Puer Aeternus with its opposite, the Senex, from the first dream.

Spirit and soul rejoice once again in the body which they now inhabit, and the soul, full of joy, hastens as quickly as possible to embrace the body and the soul embraces it. And the darkness no longer rules over it, for it has subordinated itself to the light and no longer permits itself to be separated from it in eternity, and it (the soul) rejoices in its house, because, after the body had been hidden in the darkness, (the spirit) found it full of light.” - Komarios text [7]

Dedicated to my friend.

Sphere of Light- Brian’s Dream [8]: The dream started, at first, with an awareness of the morning sunlight taking on a strange appearance as it shined through the slats of the blinds near his bed. A glass ball appeared within his chest or stomach, exiting his body as it showed him scenes from his life. He commented about the lights within the glass sphere. He was overcome with feelings of positive emotion as it showed him these scenes, which he could not remember later, but the feeling stayed.

Then, the glass sphere moved about the house, going from room to room, showing him things of which he also did not remember. The sphere said, “look at this, now look at this!” in excitement, as it darted from room to room. An eerie feeling started to grow, as of haunting or that otherworldly spirits were present.

When he woke, he was standing by the bed, looking at the blinds, through which sunlight was streaming.

[1] Source:

[2] Jung, Collected Works Vol. 9 part 1, The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, with emphasis on Self, Anima, the Psychology of the Trickster Figure, the Psychology of Rebirth, the Psychology of the Child Archetype, the Meaning of Individuation

[3] Keyword: digital root

[4] Jung, CW Vol. 12, Psychology and Alchemy, Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy

[5] Netflix

[6] The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, Translator, R.O. Faulkner

[7] Marie-Louise von Franz, On Dreams and Death, Final Resurrection as a Reunion of the Psyche with the Body

[8] Reproduced with permission.