My friend Amy Oscar writes a very beautiful and inspiring blog. The other day she posted a dream she had that I found very interesting, so I analyzed it for her. Read on to find out how a butterfly, a talking bird and a tractor are helping Amy with her writing process…
I was on a bus, headed somewhere. The girl behind me said, Oooh
The butterfly started walking around, flapping its wings, the other girl, sitting beside me, said, Ooooh.
I didn’t like the way it felt to have a butterfly up there, walking on my head, But i kept quiet.
Because the girls were enchanted.
Still, I had to make adjustments. I reached up to
gently coax it away from my ear, where it was walking, in a tickly and annoying way.
But it panicked, and its legs got tangled in my hair.
It started to struggle – which i really didn’t like.
So I flipped my hair upside down to free it, which, in hindsight, was not the best idea.
The girl behind me gasped. No!
Here, said the girl beside me. Flip your hair back up – but very slowly.
Which isn’t really possible.
So i did it wrong.
And the butterfly was more entangled – and a little piece of its wing broke off.
Eventually, things worked out. The girls worked together on the top of my head to free the butterfly’s legs – and someone held up a mirror so I could see how lovely it looked there, behind my ear.
Once i could see the butterfly, I calmed down. It did look nice. I felt good about it.
I held out my finger and it crawled along my hand, which was also tickly but I didn’t mind it. I could see where the wing, hanging on a little hinge of wing cartilage, had broken.
Then, I guess it flew away.
Because somehow, in a piece of dream i can no longer recall, the butterfly dream turned into a bird dream.
A little bird with the most adorable face and spotted yellow and gray wings.
I loved that bird.
It flew around. It landed on things. It looked at me. I named it – and if, during the day, the name returns to me, I will add it here.
It was adorable. We had long loving conversations.
I talked. It cocked its little head to the side, listening.
Then, one day, it dropped its tail feathers, flew up to a small mound of dirt beside me and started to molt.
Is this okay? I asked and the people around me assured me that it was.
Still, I sat with it as it puffed up and its feathers went all fuzzy.. It seemed to be sleeping but it was NOT dead. I could see its little chest, now covered with white speckled fluff, rise and fall.
Then, the fluff fell away.
I held my breath.
And new wings started to grow.
I clapped, delighted and then…
A huge tree burst through the soil right under the bird.
Terrified, I tried to reach for the bird but iI couldn’t find it.
And, by the way, Where did that tree come from?
Then, from under the tree, with a huge rumble and roar, a huge, loud bright yellow earth mover- a tractor – rolled up from the hole, burst through to the surface and drove off.
And I was like, huh?
Cuz it made no sense, even in a dream.
And then, I looked down and there was my bird, pierced through the heart by a slim branch.
I woke up.
Lauri: It seems this dream is about freeing yourself from something that has been on your mind. That’s why that butterfly got tangled in your hair, it represents what you haven’t been able to get off your mind or out of your thoughts. Perhaps it was writer’s block since the girls around you were enchanted by it… and your writing, which comes from your head, is very enchanting (smile). The bus suggests this was an issue that was taking a long time to get anywhere (buses are one of the slowest means of transportation).
The butterfly turned into a bird because birds in dreams are all about freedom and one’s ability to soar and rise above what had been you down or holding you back. The communication with the bird is lovely. That is reflective of the communication you were finally able to have with yourself once you were freed. I think the molting may be about you having to shed some ideas or something you don’t need anymore. And that is why, at that point, the tree grew there as that is the growth that began to happen, the branching out that ensued.
The tractor is interesting, and also yellow. Lots of yellow in this dream. It is usually the color of fear. Anything going on that you have been a bit concerned or fearful of? Anyhoo, you described it as an earth mover. What have you been moving around in your life lately? Your priorities, your thoughts??? The way it suddenly burst onto the scene and then suddenly left is connected to something that feel the same way in your recent waking life. Perhaps something that suddenly preoccupied you, causing you to lose touch, momentarily, with your inner conversation (you and the bird).
Whatever it is, it is now gone and you are left with the aftermath. The piercing of the heart may point to a recent heartbreak you have suffered and now have to nurture, now that the chaos has left you. OR perhaps this is letting you know how heart-touching your work will be… despite all the frustration you went through.
Amy replies: Thanks, Lauri – you’re usually right on target and some of this, much of it, makes sense to me – and corresponds to my own interpretation.
Essentially, it’s about a breakthrough in my writing – and my sense of myself AS a writer/author. There’s been a great deal of movement in this area lately, so yes, as if the earth is literally moving under my feet. And the way that things suddenly burst through the surface in this work. It can be pretty unsettling. I work on something for a very long time and then, it SUDDENLY, comes to life outside of me. An example of this is when a book that’s taken two years to write, a completely internal, insular process, is published – which requires me to come out, show myself, ’sell’ the book.
One thing I’d adjust in your analysis is that the bus is a school bus and represents, for me, the journey of this mystery school I’m enrolled in. The one that sends dreams like this to challenge me and make me think symbolically.
Oh, birds and butterflies are very powerful totems for me – so they have other, layered meanings. But your interpretation works, too.
Lauri: The butterfly is my absolute favorite dream symbol! Wish I dreamed of it more. But my dreams are filled with cats and Oprah… always!!
Archetypically, butterflies represent ones ability to break out of a shell or some sort of confining state of mind and transform into a better, wiser, higher self. Is that a meaning you have for yourself?
Amy replies: Yes, they mean that to me, too. But ultimately, for me, because I work with angels for a living, butterflies mean that my life is graced by signs from the angels who love and support me in all things.
The butterfly in this dream told me that the project and ideas related to it that have been trying to ‘break out’ from my head to the page were ‘good.’ It symbolized also another phase of awakening, a lightening of the heaviness around my book project and the arrival of grace.
Lauri: That is really neat. Oh I just love it when animals and creatures speak to us in our dreams! Last night I dreamed I had a fish in my pocket, and he was telling me jokes! Not quite as prolific as your butterfly… but still. 🙂
Dream books make GREAT GIFTS!! Why not give someone you love a copy of one of my books? They’ll think of you every time they get an “Aha! moment” from being able to understanding their dreams. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
“Just wanted to let you know I ordered two of your books for Christmas presents and the two people I gave them to were so excited. I was like their hero. They said I find the best gifts, so just wanted to say thanks.” – Paula, Mentor, OH