The Roman god Janus had two faces. They looked in opposite directions, representing dualities, especially beginnings and endings, past and future. Psychotherapy often begins by facing the past and understanding its influence on the present. Belief in the past as unalterably determinative, however, can imply that personal history is a single, all-powerful god—as if Janus fixed on yesterday. Jung took special interest in psyche’s purposive and creative energy—the face Janus turned toward the future. Incarnating our innate potential, which Jung termed the individuation process, is the process of engaging our capacity for growth and wholeness. Life’s road ahead has new possibilities, which is why we launch the new year in honor of Janus, for it is he who presides over all new beginnings.
HERE’S THE DREAM WE ANALYZE:
The Magic Gown
“I’m in a dress boutique, watching as teenage girls try on bright prom gowns. They giggle, twirl, and take selfies. I need a dress too because I’ll be attending the prom as a chaperone. I go into a private changing room that doubles as a small bedroom. The dresses hanging for me to try on make me think of Little Bo Peep. Reluctantly, I select the least offensive option, a ribbony mauve number. I’m sure it’s going to look ridiculous, but when I step into it, it becomes bespoke black lace, elegant and perfect. I want to send a selfie to my husband. I try to frame my image in the full-length mirror, but a bed is in the way, and I can’t move it or figure out the angles. Meanwhile, my husband texts sweet portraits of our dog who recently passed away.”
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Seems like the bed and bedroom frame this dream and includes the husband as participating in a change whereby the familiar old guard has died which the husband brings forth in the dog pictures. Also, the dresses of youth seem silly and the new dress is not entirely discerned because the bed is in the way, the marriage bed, perhaps. All this suggests she is going through changes ( changing room) in a mature relationship with a supportive husband and the dream itself might be a sign everything is progressing as needed, letting go of the past and trying on the futures. A positive dream, maybe, imo.
On Deb’s discussion of babies coming into the world with their own energy, Parker J. Palmer noticed this same thing and wrote a letter to his granddaughter, to be given to her when she turns 21, which tells her what he saw in her as an infant or what her energy was when she first came into the world.