Dream and Tarot Interpretation

The following entry may contain triggering material.

The dream, logged the morning of 19 September 2016.

I was trapped in a hotel with what looked like young Winston Churchill. He had Kilgrave’s mind-control powers. Officer Daisy from “Anansi Boys” (in my dream played by Naomie Harris) led me stealthily to the basement and out some secret stairs to safety. The next scene felt more like news footage I was watching: Daisy led riot police against not-Kilgrave’s mind-controlled minions. Some overcast morning after Daisy won, and everyone stayed indoors as though embarrassed that civil unrest had temporarily happened, I wandered around the empty city streets. Then I realized that I was feeling lighthearted enough to fly, which was a superpower I thought I’d lost after getting Kilgraved. Then I woke up.

My therapist mentioned that dreams which fall into three acts can be interpreted thusly: Act I symbolically describes the issue. Act II, the environment that exacerbates the issue. Act III, a suggestion from the wise subconscious.

This is why I get so annoyed by symbolism: the issue presented in the dream could be intimate violence, or how I hold onto my middle class privilege like a hot potato, or my fear and loathing at having reasoning so manipulated. That last one goes back to grade school shunning because I was born out of wedlock, which I can’t exactly make amends for or stop doing because I was literally actually born that way—but it was so, so easy for everyone to get herded about by the word of one person who just decided I was Satan. And I have not noticed this tendency disappearing in older people. I’d linked a conspiracy theorist to a CIA officer’s lecture about the unsustainable nature of the world order, appreciating the paraphrasing of Heinlein’s razor: (“Faced with a choice between conspiracy and incompetence, I’d go with incompetence.”) Whether this theorist would consider the points of that lecture apparently hinged on one question: This is one of the good guys, right? I’d wanted to reach through both our computer screens, grab their collar and scream, “I am not the one to sort out for you who is good and who is bad in this world!” They had their own damn mind, they used it to study the conspiracy of a flat earth, but! They had their own moral compass, at least! Didn’t they? Didn’t they?? I have to believe in that. But I also wanted to tell them that I was a shapeshifting reptile alien conspirator, or possibly that I was Satan, if that lie would get across for even a moment that they mustn’t invite me to do their thinking for them just because I learned the jargon.

…Considering what a nerve that struck, it’s probably that third one.

Act II, the news reports, suggests a detachment to this. I can witness heroic victories as Daisy’s, and maybe a fluffy fantasy of the Right And Good Thing for once, just once, also being the Smart Thing That Wins. I can’t lead or embody this, because that’s just not a combination that happens. Gaiman’s Daisy is a digital law enforcer, rather than a more classic action heroine.

Act III suggests some alone time outside of my comfort zone? I don’t know. What do the cards say?


Deck: Shadowscapes
Spread: Red King’s Crown

1. (Center) Signifies the Querent. The Chariot.
2. (Crossing) The crux of the issue. Eight of Cups.
3. (Top) Themes to consider. Seven of Pentacles.
4. (Upper left) Symbols from the dream. Four of Wands.
5. (Upper right) Symbols from reality. Ten of Pentacles.
6. (Lower left) Why the dream doesn’t wake up. Ace of Pentacles.
7. (Lower right) Why reality doesn’t sleep and dream. Judgment.
8. (Bottom) Future, culmination. Knight of Pentacles.

These feel like random cards. The prominence of pentacles and the absence of swords would suggest the exact opposite of my original interpretation: this dream is not about something as abstract as ideology, but more grounded in maybe sexuality or finances. (But that’s never any fun.)

I’d take the first two to mean that I’m on some sort of war path (Chariot) but I keep it all inside (Eight of Cups.) I do not! I take action, I-I…blog… Anyway, the Seven of Pentacles suggest a shared theme of delay or frustration. That doesn’t connect to the dream, though, because there was always something happening, then resolved, then setting in motion the next thing happening.

Daisy is one major symbol in the dream that fits the Four of Wands. Yes, the card shows a herd, and I’ve ranted about herd mentality, and in the dream I followed along. Because I was in a bad place with somebody bad, and she cared, and she knew better than I did about what to do. Sometimes that’s just what happens.

Symbols of reality…We don’t question everything, even though we should according to those inclined to complain about sheeple (which I thought was a portmanteau of “sheep” and “temple”) (in this case should it be guyselle? i think the animals in the wands card are gazelle.) Some adages pass as fact because they’ve become popular, or they’ve been popular far too long for anyone to notice that “popular” is a better descriptor than “true”. That doesn’t mean that whatever force sustains its presence or value is going to change. In a way, it becomes its own baseline of reality, its own inevitability.

The dream won’t wake up precisely because it’s seeded by waking life; waking life won’t fall asleep because I keep trying to look beyond or deep within or otherwise transcend it—not a causal because, more like a reminder that reasoning/hope isn’t impact.

The knight of pentacles represents some more purpose-driven and concrete journey already. That’s good.