What Are You Made of?: Stone House Story by Michelle Katz
I had a strange dream this week, an Alice in Wonderland, sense-of-Self dream. When I woke, I couldn’t remember all of it as I sat up in the dark room and scribbled in my journal, in a half sleep state. Something about it stuck and felt overwhelming in a way that screams, “pay attention!”
Here is what I remember:
I was coming up to a stone house, it was beautiful and huge, like the castles you see in Europe. It was surrounded by a large field in the middle of nowhere. There were rolling hills in the background. I do not recall who I was with, but I do know that we were there to look into buying this house.
The stones were intricately placed, it felt unusual to see a house like this in the U.S. Each stone a different size and shape, mostly gray in color, mortared together. We entered the house, first walking through what seemed like a garage space and I immediately felt concerned that this house would be too cold to live in. However, as we entered into the main structure, it was warm and comfortable. We walked around the house. The layout was wildly complex, and incredibly modern. The interior and exterior did not seem to match. It was already furnished and very well kept. It didn’t take me long to find what I knew and declared to be my room. It wasn’t the master bedroom, but something particular about it made me know it was right for me. It was in the front right corner of the second floor of the house. I liked looking out the window. It had everything I needed. In the room, there was a stairway that led down to a living room space that I could easily see making my own, it was private but inviting to others. I found myself running up and down the stairs from the bedroom to the living room.
Along my way I would see an alternate route down on the side of the stairway, but every time I took it, I ended up back on the main stairway. I was so confused and kept trying to understand the structure of this. I had deep curiosity for the purpose and path of this alternative route. Feeling that I was missing something, I deeply wanted to figure out what this passageway was about. Up and down I went trying different ways to uncover this alternative path, until I woke up.
When I woke, I found myself reflecting on this dream. Dreams are incredible experiences of connecting to psyche. Dreams hold meaning, it is important to be with symbols and settings of our dream world as they may reveal something significant about our life process.
In dreams, a house can be seen as a symbol of the Self. Stone houses speak to me of something old, ancient, outdated. Also, wildly artistic and intricate, unique, and picturesque. This house would be time consuming to construct, more time than our modern day structures. It would entail a great deal of attention and detail. I also anticipated it to be cold, dark, quiet and unusual to navigate; but, it was warm, modern inside, well-lit and comfortable, still unusual to navigate, but beautiful. I found myself wondering how I embody the old, intricate, yet contemporary and light.
The knowing of my room and the stairwell also seemed important. The location of the room within the house is notable, the right side of the house is a symbol of the tiger in feng shui, and the tiger is a symbol of the yin, the feminine, grounded and earthy. I don’t know how I knew this space to be right for me in this house but I knew it was my room. Stairways in dreams tend to symbolize the movement from conscious and subconscious or unconscious realms. In the dream, I seemed to be engaged in the process of moving between these levels of consciousness and looking for different routes to them. The dream also seems to have an Alice in Wonderland quantity, with alternative mysterious stairways that lead to the same place repeatedly. Alice in Wonderland is a tale of increasing consciousness and individuation. It is also a story about what happens if we let the ego or if we let our instinct guide us. Alice enters Wonderland through a fall down the rabbit hole, not unlike the hole/alternative passageway in the stairway of my dream that I continually chose to navigate through. We must fall in order to move through the gateway into another world, sometimes, it seems we must fall repeatedly. As I fall deeper into my grief this week, this dream arouse; where houses don’t seem to be what they are/ I do not seem to be what I am, paths have different ways but bring you back to the same place/ when trying something different we are brought back to do our constant and important work again and again, where different levels of consciousness can be opened when we recognize we are suddenly in a changed world/when we know our selves differently in the face of grief and loss.
I still sit curious about that alternative stairway and the stone walls. Perhaps a part of me refuses to trust in the alternative route, and feels I need hard walls to hold and protect me. This is my work now, to find trust and fully fall into the rabbit hole and integrate all levels of consciousness.
Integrate all parts of yourself and learn what you are made up of with Oaks Counsel.