Saturday, May 1, 2010

Coyote alert: literal dream, symbolic event

Denver, Colorado
I spoke last night at another fine independent bookstore, the Tattered Cover on Colfax in Denver, in a once-raunchy neighborhood that is turning artsy. A mountain woman had an urgent question.
"I dreamed about a young woman who was hiking alone and made friends with some coyotes. Then the coyotes turned on her and killed her. Months later, I saw the story on the news. A young Toronto musician was killed by two coyotes while hiking in a park in Nova Scotia. When I saw the TV report, I was certain I had dreamed this ahead of time. But why would I have dreamed this?"
"If it were my dream," I suggested, "I might think that in my dream I had previewed the news report. Why that particular news report? Maybe because it would touch me deeply if I lived in coyote country and had a special feeling for animals and nature. Would that apply to you?"
The mountain woman nodded. She added that, like the young woman who was killed, she played the guitar.
"I'd want to think about further symbolism in the event," I continued. "If I felt that the young woman was killed by coyotes after she had befriended them, I might ask myself where in my life I might be incurring a risk by trusting people who are tricky and unreliable - people's whose coyote nature makes them unpredictable and possibly mischievous. After all, Coyote has quite a reputation as a trickster. If there were two coyotes involved in the Canadian tragedy, I might look around in my life for two people with coyote qualities I might want to watch carefully."
The dreamer immediately thought of two people who fitted this description and readily agreed to monitor her relations with them.
This exchange reminds us that a precognitive dream may be quite literal, in that it provides an accurate preview of an event in ordinary reality that later replicates the dream. At the same time, there may be deep symbolism involved. However, the symbolism is revealed by the physical event more than by the dream that anticipated it. Once again, we need to regard dreams more literally and waking events more symbolically.


Worldbridger said...

If I am correct (and I read the story some time ago) the woman hiker was listening to her iPod at the time of the attack. Might that also be part of the message?

Alla said...

It looks like another coincidence for me today... One of the topics of this day of mine was - never underestimate the wild nature of animals, even if they seem friendly. :-)

Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful way to explain it, Robert. I'm going to keep that in mind. Thank you.
Coincidentally, one of my close friends who just moved to Florida from Colorado was mauled by her dog last week. I will be asking her about her dreams prior and since.

Robert Moss said...

Margie - Sorry to hear about your friend. I remember coming to clarity on the general notion of "literal dream, symbolic event" many years ago, when working with a client who had dreamed that her kitchen was so messy that she could not tell the trash from the groceries. We discussed the symbolic resonance of the dream in relation to a troubled family situation. Then several weeks after the dream, she walked into her kitchen and saw the dream scene had been enacted in every detail. Thanks to the depredations of husband and kids, the kitchen was in such chaos that it was literally impossible to figure out what was food and what was trash without going through the items. The symbolism in the waking event brought home a powerful message - which the dreamer proceeded to act upon.