“Three Dutch Cups” dream

30 Jan

I’ve just finished (ca. 12:45 a.m.)  typing up this morning’s dream (1/29, that is), and in the process made a pretty obvious association I hadn’t thought of when I recorded the dream. It turns out to be  lovely association, and it aptly describes how I’m feeling about the talk by Dutch Jungian analyst Robert Bosnak that’s less than 24 hours away. A lot of people have been and will be pitching in to help, and even those who aren’t have given me a boost with their enthusiasm for this event.

Here’s the dream in its entirety; the association that follows it is to the central image:

Daytime. I’m wandering along on a vague street. I have my hands cupped in front of me [to support each other], because I’m carrying three large, white ceramic cups [with slanted sides, top larger than bottom], hooked on my fingers. They have a design on them: each has a shield (or coat of arms), each one different. They’re Dutch. (Feeling) Relaxed.

I come upon a little line of people at “Get in line” [a sign??]. Another woman happens along, sees the design on my cups, and stops. (She’s my height, very thin, with a long, narrow, creased face and dull brown straggly hair—generally down-and-out looking, but not old, and she’s dressed reasonably well.) With a gleam in her eye, she says, “Nobody makes that good Dutch stuff anymore,” OR maybe “Nobody speaks Dutch anymore.” (Feeling) Mildly curious about what the line’s for, so I figure I’ll wait and see—rather than asking anyone.

At first I just nod and mumble and move away. Then I notice she has a European (Dutch? I’m unsure, wouldn’t know) accent “around the edges of” her speech, and I think it would be good to speak to someone Dutch and start getting used to the language. I ask her, “What can you tell me about these cups?”  (Feeling) I don’t want to be bothered. Then my self-interest helps me open to her sense of urgent desire and nostalgia.

Three of Cups at Learning the Tarot

Three of Cups at Learning the Tarot

The association I made to the three cups is “Three of Cups,” one of the cards in Tarot. I don’t know  nearly enough about Tarot to know offhand what any particular card symbolizes, so I looked it up.  I did so with some trepidation, anxious that the Three of Cups would be one of the Tarot’s darker cards and cast a shadow on the feeling of accomplishment and connection I’ve had this week. I didn’t need to worry. Here’s what the site Learning the Tarot says:

In readings, the Three of Cups can signify a friend or the feelings associated with friendship. This card can represent community – the network of support created when we interact with others. It can be any group in which the members feel a bond. When you see the Three of Cups, examine your attachments to the groups in your life from an emotional point of view. Consider reaching out to give or receive help. This card stands for all forms of support, including formal aid such as counseling and other social services.

The women on the Three of Cups also express joy and high spirits. Such feelings are not limited to groups, but can be especially strong there. Celebrations spontaneously arise when people feel connected, loved and secure. The Three of Cups can stand for a mood or experience that makes you feel like dancing and singing.

I know that Carl Jung was interested in both Tarot and alchemy, so I did an extremely brief Google search and see lots of sites referring to the Tarot’s major arcana (the first 22 cards) as corresponding to alchemical symbolism. If that’s the case, my dream is nicely suited to my anticipation of Robbie Bosnak’s talk in another way. His topic is “Nieuw Amsterdam and the Dream of the Golden Age: An Alchemical Perspective.”

Now I wonder whether the “coats of arms” on the cups in the dream—which were vague to me—might in fact be the faces of Tarot cards. Regardless, I like the way the dream uses an everyday object—cups—to symbolize something more intangible. The reading I’ve been doing about the Dutch Golden Age talks at length about the stereotype of Dutch burghers of the time being solely concerned with material life, and encourages us to look past that stereotype.

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