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This Jungian Life

Oct 28, 2021

It’s witching season, the time when women of all ages embrace a mythical image of unfettered feminine power. The witch may cast spells, seek vengeance, or wreak creative havoc—as she pleases. Flying the night skies of psyche, the witch brings primordial realities into culture’s brittle convictions.

Like all aspects of the collective unconscious, the witch lays low when times are fine but rises when times are tense. Her archetypal power then infects humankind, inciting mass hysteria and the horrors of persecutory epidemics. The witch symbolizes our fear and vulnerability to the Great Mother in her dark, heartless aspect--and her power remains. Jung says, “On a primitive level, people are afraid of witches; on the modern level, we are apprehensively afraid of microbes.” If we can face the witch and acknowledge her power to depose ego and order, we can also face our choices and the freedom to make them. 

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“My family has rented a house in an affluent area of my city for a celebration. I borrow my dad’s keys afterward to get something out of the car before planning to return quickly to the house. I’m wearing a yarmulke for the occasion. On my way back, I step onto a concrete block overlooking an SUV with an alarm going off. Despite there being a man in the car, a plainclothes policeman approaches me to say I’m being taken in for questioning because the car was stolen. The police officer refuses to let me call my father to tell him what happened. I am questioned by two officers, now in their uniforms, at the back of a luxurious synagogue. I am outraged and trying to profess my innocence with confidence, but my body and voice are shaking. The other officer lets me call my dad, who speaks in a gentle voice with sadness and almost disappointment. Then I am brought to a university-type study room to be questioned by a group of teen police officers, some of whom I recognize as people I went to high school with. On the way to this room, I see a friend and explain what is happening, but she seems apathetic and keeps walking. In the room, the teen police group is being irreverent and making jokes and creating distractions, looking at their phones, playing games, not listening to my expressions of anger and fear. At the end of the dream, Amy Winehouse appears in the room, and we all sing her song “Love is Blind.” I strain my voice to sing loudly and distinctly.”


Erich Neumann, Fear of the Feminine,

Geoff Shullenberger, “Karen” and the Maenads, Outsider Theory,

Madeline Miller, Circe.


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: