Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Monday, January 13, 2014
The Rabbit the Pig and the Dog
I spotted these three in an exhibition on painter, Modigliani. They were hiding out in the gallery bookshop and with these colours, I couldn't resist a quick shot on the compact camera. It occurred to me that someone might have a dream about a rabbit a dog a pig, and I wondered how it could be interpreted. Now there are plenty of dream interpretation dictionaries and web sites but frankly they're hopeless. There is no standard interpretation for a dream. If only life was that simple. The dreamer might live in the countryside where these animals would mean something different from a city dweller. A person interested in animal rights would have different associations. All these would be worked through in dream interpretation. So is there any certainty in the symbolic? The dog is one of man's greatest allies, yet always associated with the underworld and death. The much maligned pig is allocated gluttony, greed and filth. The rabbit is a mysterious lunar creature who can appear and disappear at will. It is fecund and so connected with plenty and fertility. But any symbolic certainties are modified by the experiences and psychological life of the individual. Colours have symbolic meaning but what meaning for the dreamer? So in dream analysis, we move psychically inwards and outwards, considering not only archetypes and folk tales, but the dreamer's associations and life experiences. It's a long process and in theory nothing should be neglected. There is one certainty however. In the analysis of any dream, only the dreamer can really know if an interpretation is correct.