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This Jungian Life

Sep 9, 2021

This is Shadowland, a new podcast experience from This Jungian Life that explores the lives of people who work and take refuge in the hidden places of our culture. Lisa, Deb, and Joseph collaborate with songwriter Wells Hanley, creator of I Wrote This Song For You podcast, to bring insight, compassion, and understanding to the darker side of human experience.

Nietzsche wrote, “I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.”

In that spirit, we meet Kay, a 21-year-old single mother who works throughout the American southwest as a self-described prostitute. We explore how she found her way to that life, what she aspires to, and how she holds the complicated tensions between herself, her clients, and the current culture. 

Here’s Kay’s dream that we analyze:

“I am in a pet store with my best friend and my daughter, who is in a stroller. The woman proprietor went in the back. I saw an alligator in a cage eating a piglet and looked at my daughter’s stroller -- she wasn’t in there. Then I am somewhere running through halls trying to find her. I see a lot of kids about her age running around [but she isn’t among them]. I think she is in the ventilation system because she likes to crawl around. I tell someone to hide the weed that’s in my car so we can call the police.”

We shared this interview with Wells Hanley, who was moved to create a song for Kay. We hope you’ll be as touched by her story as we were. 

You can support Wells Hanley’s creative work by becoming his patron here: 

His website is here


music and lyrics by Wells Hanley © 2020.


I will listen 

receive you 

affirm you in every way 

And I will hold you 

but as I’ve told you 

it’s just part of the play 


I will undress you 

and then impress you 

we’ll make a game of predator and prey 

I’ll be unrestrained 

but as I’ve explained 

it’s just part of the play 


She is hiding in the walls 

she is watching through a screen 

She is frightened to come out 

so she lingers there unseen 

calling, “Mama, help me!” 


I’ll be your Echo 

a kind of mirror 

your missing Helen I am willing to portray 

And you may long to claim me 

but you’ll never tame me 

I’m too refined for that cliché 

You see, my heart is never part of the play 


See her high above the crowd 

see her fall into the cage 

See her flee into the walls 

as she steps onto the stage 

crying, “Mama, help me!” 


You call me princess 

tell me I’m beautiful 

I’m not immune to the things you say 

But when the curtain falls 

I walk these empty halls 

and even though I can never go, I can show you the way 

and I will swear that everything’s ok 


Hush little baby, don’t say a word 

about what you’ve seen or about what you’ve heard 

There’s a fat, hungry beast in need of a meal 

so don’t ever share 

no, don’t tell a soul what you feel


Music and Lyrics by Wells Hanley © 2020.

Singer:  Ali Thibodeau at


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: https://thisjun


The Book of Symbols, published by Taschen

Kalsched, Donald. The Inner World of Trauma