"There is a strong physical aspect to having a dream of the dark man...We could say the dream-maker has dispensed with subtle messages to the dreamer and now sends images which shake the neurological and autonomic nervous system of the dreamer, thereby communicating the urgency of the matter.
"The antagonist(s)of the dark dream are usually, in women's own words, 'terrorists, rapists, thugs..." There are several levels to the interpretation of such a dream , depending on the life circumstances and interior dramas surrounding the dreamer." -Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, "Women who run with the wolves"
Ok, I've been having uneasy dreams, but the last REAL dark man dream set I remember is from a long while ago. One involving a police officer who was a serial killer; one involving a 'pillar of the church' who (in the dream) was a wife-beater; one involving a head of a Catholic girls' school who drugged the girls to make them do what he wanted. The theme for me in those dreams was that I KNEW where to look, that I could see what was going on within institutions that people usually trust, but that no one would listen - but that *I* needed to pay attention and know the truth for what it was.
This afternoon's was much more primitive and much closer to the dream prototype.
I was walking at night, in the area of Silver Spring I grew up in, White Oak. I was walking along New Hampshire Ave, talking to my friend Ari on my mobile. It was late twilight, heading towards full darkness. I was aware, but relaxed, and as I passed White Oak Jr High, I saw a man sitting under a street light, eating his dinner. He was clearly a body builder - or to quote Fr X on the kind of man I'm supposed to fancy, "Tall, dark, butch and brutal."
[WTF? I don't find that attractive and, even more importantly, I'm FAR too aware of what a man like that would be capable of doing to me and I'd never, EVER relax.]
Our eyes met; the hate that flashed across his face was palpable. I could see his muscles tense. I ran.
Suddenly, it was much darker and I was much further along New Hampshire Ave, near the White Oak shopping centre - weirdly, I'd dialled 999 (UK emergency) rather than 911, said what I needed to say and kept the phone on so they could find me via GPS. It was odd - I was terrified, running hard, but there was a calm river as well - I thought "Irim, put your hair up so he doesn't have anything to grab." "Cross the road (all SIX lanes) and buy yourself some time."
I made it back to the house I grew up in, up the stairs and into the bathroom, backing into far wall against the window. There was nowhere to go as his hand reached for my throat - when suddenly, the master bedroom door opened, and there were two female SWAT team members with their guns trained on him - "Let her go," said the one closest to me, as she grabbed him, cuffed him and took him down the steps.
The other officer came over to me and asked me if I was ok, what had happened, and so on. I told her that whilst I felt shaken (I did), I was ok, and that I was going to ring a good male friend (someone I know IRL), because I needed to be ok with being around men and being touched by them, and I'd be ok.
As if THAT wasn't enough, the dream that followed entailed my sitting in the lounge and having a GIANT spider climb on my back from behind the sofa - I could feel the end of each one of the 8 legs in my back and screaming at Mark (Anna's boyfriend - we were waiting for her to arrive) to get it the FUCK OFF ME (I'd trapped it between my back and the sofa). As he approached to try to grab it by a leg, it leapt off and completely disappeared behind the sofa.
Dark man - and arachnid - dreams indeed.
Pinkola-Estes says that dark man dreams tend to be about initiation - from the young woman to through old age, as there is always another initiation into a different way of knowing and being. And this felt like that.
In the first dream, I did EVERYTHING I could whilst I was running - I knew where he was, I put my hair up, I did what I could as I could. And that's very different from the ones where I feel helpless - where I know and no one is listening, or where I'm passive.
And so, nightmare it may have been, but I'm with Clarissa on this:
"Dreams are portales, entrances, preparations and practices for the next step in a woman's consciousness, the next day in her individuation process. So, a woman might have a dream of the predator when her psychic circumstances are too quiescent or complacent... But also a dream like this affirms that the woman's life needs to change, that the woman dreamer has gotten caught in some hiatus or ennui as regards a difficult choice, that she is reluctant to take the next step, to go the next distance, that she is shying away from wresting her own power away from the predator, that she is not used to being/acting/striving at full bore, in all-out capacity."
Yeah, things are a bit slow, and I've gotten a bit lazy. And I DO hesitate about taking the next step and leaving the devil I know.
So I guess it's time for me - and anyone else having dark man dreams - throw heart and soul into the next step - not in knowing, but in faith.
And at full tilt, heart and soul, even if they look like windmills - because even that has a purpose on the journey.