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    Ask the Dream Doctor

    Excerpted from
    Ask the Dream Doctor: An A-Z Guide to Deciphering the Hidden Symbols of Your Dreams
    By Charles McPhee

    "Wounded Baby"

    In my dream I was looking after someone else's baby like it was my own. I was in a largish house and for no reason a strange man stabbed the baby in the neck. I was horrified. I think I called a doctor or ambulance and the baby was patched up and fine.

    I discovered a garden to the house. It was full of blossoming trees and green grass. I thought I'd like to go out there. At this point I was semiconscious of the baby's mother, as I had been wondering what to do with the baby.

    Then, the strange man appeared again and stabbed the baby. I hadn't been concentrating on looking after the baby but was more interested in the garden. This time the wound was huge and I could see in graphic detail a hole from the neck down to the shoulder. I knew the baby wouldn't survive.

    I called an ambulance, but no one came quickly enough. I thought the mother would be so angry with me. I saw the baby go blue. I knew it was dying. I tried to resuscitate it, but it shriveled up in front of me. I accepted it, but thought I ought to have grieved more, felt more. I didn't seem to have any emotions at all. It was dead and that was that.

    At the moment I am in a state of flux regarding my career. I have been working in the same place for nine months. hoping it would continue, but it seems that it may all be finished by the end of the year. I haven't given up entirely but my hopes are waning. I have been thinking of starting up my own business, and perhaps that is symbolized by the garden. Can you help me solve this mystery ?

    -Mary, Age 30, Single, England

    Mary has identified the symbolic significance of the garden in her dream precisely. With her hopes waning for continued employment with her current company, Mary naturally has begun to look elsewhere - for areas of "new growth."

    Mary's dream reveals how babies often symbolize new projects in our lives, that we are nurturing and helping to grow from the ground up. Given that Mary's current employer is experiencing trouble "surviving," it is clear that the baby in her dream symbolizes her current job. The attacks the baby receives represent the "setbacks" and "financial losses" that have occurred in the company. In the dream Mary is committed to caring for this baby, yet she also fears that perhaps the end is near. When the baby dies, Mary is puzzled that she does not feel a greater sense of grief or loss. This is another clue that the baby she holds really symbolizes the "death of her job," and does not reflect concerns about a real child.

    As the dream concludes, Mary accepts the baby's death, but remains intrigued by new opportunities that appear to exist in a garden. Mary's desire to start her own business is strong. In dreams to come, the new baby Mary will be carrying will be her own. It will be another "baby business" that a concerned parent is helping to grow.

    "New Baby"

    Background information: I am twenty-four years old and just moved back in with my mother so I can finish college. I recently received a new position at work, somewhat of a promotion. Basically> I am starting a new everything. A relationship also just recently ended with no explanation. He just stopped calling and returning calls. I work a lot of hours with not much personal time.

    In my dream I was standing in the middle of nowhere (white and foggy) and was handed a baby, by a person that I could not see. It was almost like the baby just appeared.

    I knew the baby looked familiar but I couldn't place the face. Then my mother appeared and said that the baby was me, and that I was granted the greatest gift-to be able to see myself I just remember feeling every emotion possible at that time, and then woke up feeling the same way... (every emotion still going through me).

    This dream happened a while ago, but it is always on my mind.

    -Faith, Age 24, Single, USA

    Faith tells us that she is "starting a new everything" in her life. She recently received a new position at work (a promotion), and she decided to move back home with her mother, so she can finish her college education. Faith is even starting a new phase in her romantic life. A man she was seeing recently stopped calling, leaving the door open to new romance in her future. Is it such a surprise that Faith's dream represents this period of new beginnings by showing her as a newborn?

    Faith's dream reflects her multiple new statuses in waking life, but it also references a new' phase in Faith's personal and spiritual growth The color white, and clouds, are both associated with spirituality in dreams. Because Faith is in a "white and foggy" location when the baby appears, a spiritual insight into herself is indicated. Faith's mother next explains that the ability to "see herself' is a great gift. Indeed, from a spiritual perspective, the ability to "see oneself" is equivalent to the universal spiritual admonition to "know thyself." The better we are able to see ourselves, the better "parents"-to our developing souls-we can be

    In a powerful moment of enlightenment and atonement (at-one-ment), Faith experiences "every emotion possible" in her dream and awakens deeply moved. Her memory of the dream, she writes, "is always on my mind." The dream has encouraged Faith that, even in the midst of great change, she knows what is required for her to develop into a strong and healthy personality. With love and attention, Faith's "baby" will grow into everything Faith desires her to be.

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