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Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
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Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
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Dead Jesus: A Dream Interpretation
Article ID: 13681
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: December 13th. 2009
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On October 14 of 2009 I participated in a one-hour computer/radio show on station Para-x.com. This particular show is a weekly event on Wednesday evenings called The Sacred Division. I thought I was going to be doing dream analyses for people throughout, but the two people hosting the show spent the first half hour asking me questions about dreams, where they come from, what certain dream symbols mean, and that sort of thing. For the second half hour of the show, I was able to do dream analyses for people who called in.
The two radio hosts knew that I used the I Ching oracle to help me divine the meanings of dreams, but it takes me a few minutes to cast my coins and draw the hexagrams and create spin-off hexagrams, and then look up their meanings and read them. The minutes it would take me to do that would create dead time on the radio show, so I had to forego the use of my I Ching and do all my dream analyses by the seat of my pants. But, I felt confident that my knowledge of dream analysis was sufficient enough to carry the day for me.
The most interesting dream analysis I did that night was about a dead Jesus. A lady named Kathy called in and described a dream for me in which a dead Jesus was actually one of her dream images.
Kathy explained that the story line of her dream began in a farmhouse, and she was in the kitchen or dining area eating breakfast with several other people, but she did not know the other people. She said that just outside the farmhouse was a horse-drawn hay wagon being driven that was carrying Jesus Christ, and he was lying in the hay, completely dead. She left the farmhouse where she had been eating breakfast, went out to where the wagon was, and observed this dead Jesus lying in the hay.
While Kathy was looking at him, she decided to conduct a test to see if he was truly two thousand years old, as he would have been if he had been alive since the days of his initial physical presence here on earth. In her dream, it seemed reasonable to Kathy that in the same way a tree reveals its age by the number of growth rings it has, this dead Jesus would be able to reveal his true age in the same way, through his growth rings. She had a knife with her, and she proceeded to try to cut through him so she could see and count the number of growth rings he had, and see if he was really two thousand years old.
But, every time she cut into Jesus with her knife, the dead Jesus would suddenly open his eyes and moan. That happened a few times, and every time it occurred, she felt guilty about conducting her growth ring experiment on him since he had already suffered so much in life, and she did not want to make him suffer additionally. However, she did make that attempt with her knife several times. And that is where the dream ended.
I have found that when trying to analyze a dream, it is best to start with the events or images that you understand, and expand from there. By the time you get to the parts of the dream that puzzle you, the context of the other parts of the dream will often help define the parts that you were having problems with. So, that is how I proceeded with this dream.
I explained to Kathy that dream images of being in a house always symbolize those aspects of your life that you are the most familiar and comfortable with. A dream image of a house symbolizes many things simultaneously. It symbolizes your lifestyle, your close friends, your immediate family members, your worldview, how you make your living, and so forth. In short, it symbolizes those things in your life that you feel “at home” with. It symbolizes your comfort zone.
In this dream, Kathy left her house and went outside, and the events outside were the focal events of the dream. This meant that her dream was about something outside her comfort zone, outside her immediate familiarity. This dream as a whole, therefore, was about something that was relatively new to her.
In Kathy’s dream, she was eating breakfast, and this is significant. Food images in dreams always symbolize things in our lives that nourish us and help us to grow. Kathy was eating breakfast, the first meal of the day, which seemed to suggest some new activity or adventure that she should involve herself in, one that would nurture her and make her stronger. This nurturing and growth theme was further strengthened by the fact that the house she was in was a farmhouse. Farms are places where food is grown.
In her dream, Kathy was eating breakfast with several other people, but she did not recognize any of them. The images of the anonymous others who were eating breakfast with her seemed to convey the idea that other people with whom Kathy would somehow be in contact would also profit and grow from the activity that Kathy’s dream was about.
The fact that, in Kathy’s dream, Jesus was being transported in a horse-drawn hay wagon instead of a modern gasoline-powered hearse is an important part of the dream. The horse, the wooden wagon, and the hay in the wagon are all natural things. They are not manmade. They are not artificial. The wagon is manmade in the sense that is was fashioned by human labor, but its main identity, being of wood, is still significant in terms of its being a product of nature, something natural.
Dream images of nature-related things such as those usually mean that part of the dream is about something that is in perfect harmony with the workings of the universe. Nature-related dream images convey the idea of cosmic naturalness, of something being in harmony with the essence of the universe as a whole.
And so, we can surmise so far that Kathy’s dream was about her becoming involved in a new activity outside of her current familiarity that will help her and others grow and develop, and this new activity is going to be cosmic in scope. This new activity will be cosmic in the sense that it will be a natural emanation of how the universe functions.
When Kathy was at the hay wagon observing the dead Jesus, she had the idea of testing his age by counting his growth rings. She thought that would be a good idea because that is the way you determine the age of trees. Here again in this dream is a product of nature: Trees. It is another symbol of the cosmic naturalness of what this dream is about.
Trees trunks tend to be relatively round, and so the growth rings of trees are relatively round too. Dream images that are perfectly circular, or nearly perfectly circular, symbolize perfection, things that are perfect.
Kathy wanted to determine the age of Jesus, to perform an experiment, to test something out. This indicated there was something that Kathy would like to explore, and the thing she would like to explore is something that lies outside her immediate experience. It is something that will benefit her and others, it is perfect, and is something that is cosmic in essence.
Age came into play in this dream, and it came into play in the sense of something being very old. Kathy was going to test the age of Jesus to see if he was really two thousand years old.
When Kathy was using her knife to cut through Jesus to examine his growth rings, Jesus would suddenly open his eyes and moan. To open his eyes that way symbolized his coming back to life, which is part of the legend of Jesus: that he arose from the dead.
Therefore, this part of the dream means that there is something dormant that comes back to life for Kathy. For something to come back to life from being dead means this new cosmic activity that Kathy should involve herself in is something she has had some previous experience with. But, since this new thing lies outside her current comfort zone, her past involvement in this activity must have been only superficial.
In her dream, when Jesus moaned, Kathy felt sorry for him and did not want to make him suffer even more. She felt guilty. And that is another clue. That part of the dream suggests that Kathy’s previous brief involvement in this activity was something that she would like to pursue and is curious about, but she feels self-conscious about it, or she feels embarrassed or guilty about pursuing it. Perhaps she is afraid of how others will react if she pursues this activity.
When you read dream analysis books authored by reputable dream analysts, you will frequently read that one attribute of dream images is that sometimes they will involve plays on words. In other words, a dream image can be a pun. That dreams should be of this nature is not unusual at all, and Kathy’s dream was of that variety.
I was able to interpret all the elements of Kathy’s dream except for the most important part: Why Jesus? What did Jesus symbolize in this dream? That was the essence of the dream, and I could not figure it out. I could tell easily enough from the other elements of the dream that the Jesus image in this dream had no religious significance, but I did not understand what this Jesus image did symbolize. And then I had one of those Aha! moments.
From a Christian perspective, the whole significance of Jesus is that he is supposed to be divine. The word “divine” was the key to what Kathy’s dream was about. To “divine” also means to use an oracle. And that is precisely what this dream was encouraging Kathy to do.
Not only did Kathy’s dream encourage her to take up divining, it seemed also to encourage her to take up a specific kind of oracle. The fact that Jesus was two thousand years old, and Kathy was going to perform an experiment to see if he was really that old, was an important part of the dream. This part of the dream seems to be a metaphor for the age of the I Ching oracle, which is 3, 000 years old. Tarot cards being used as oracles emerged only quite recently, historically speaking.
There are the Nordic runes and the Celtic ogham staves that emerged around 2, 000 years ago, but dream images tend to be metaphorical, not representational. Also, I knew from doing other dream analyses for people that dream images of circles frequently occur in dreams that seem to be encouraging the dreamer to take up the I Ching oracle.
I knew from previous experience that everyone has dreams throughout their lives that encourage them in various ways to become competent diviners. I had observed that these dreams seem to fall into neat, standard categories of dream symbolism, and for that reason I am usually able to recognize those dreams fairly easily. But this dead Jesus dream did not fit the mold, and for a while it had me stumped.
This dream image of Jesus served to convey the idea to Kathy that she would be opening her life to her own divinity by making divining a permanent part of her daily routine.
As it turns out, Kathy did have a tarot card reading done for her a few years before by a visiting cousin. Her cousin was good at it, and the card reading told Kathy many things about her question, and included some prophetic information, all of which turned out to be fully accurate.
Kathy had her initial doubts about the tarot, but was soon impressed with it, and enough so that she wanted to pursue it on her own. But, her own self-consciousness held her back. She had always thought that tarot cards and other forms of divining were silly, and even though she had an experience with divining that proved otherwise, she was still unable to completely shake off her previous negativity toward it. Since that time, she would occasionally find herself thinking about the reading her cousin did for her, and her curiosity would be aroused anew, but she never followed through on it.
Kathy’s dream was telling her to get moving, but with the I Ching. The reason for the preference, I suppose, must be that the I Ching consists of sixty-four main information units called hexagrams, and 384 secondary information units called moving lines. By contrast, the tarot has only seventy-eight information units available to it, one per card. The I Ching is capable of rendering more nuance and relevant detail.
In my experience, when dreams encourage the dreamer to take up divining, most of the time there are no clues offered in the dream to indicate which oracle. However, when such clues do exist, without exception they point to the I Ching.
Copyright: (c) 2009 by James L. Nammack
Location: Morehead, Kentucky
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