The birth event is the one sacred event that virtually every culture holds in common. Not surprisingly, it is one of Jung's archetypal selves-the self creating life for another. Since it is an archetype, there are lots of other dream images that lead back toward birth and life. Water and oceans are the two significant ones. Many cultures embrace the symbol of water as crucial to life. Many times, women who intuitively know that either they or a friend may be pregnant will dream of water. This may be related to the "broken water" images of pregnancy.
Emerging from a cave or isolated place as a new self is a Jungian version of birth themes. In this sense, birth is not limited to biological events, but also includes the advent of additional facets of personality or self-awareness in your waking life.
Freud held that entering back into small rooms or caves was symbolic of the womb. This could herald a desire to return to mother, be nurtured, or experience the mother's power as a protector in certain situations. Since all of us have been born, we have feelings about it for better or worse. We may feel as though life has been a fortunate or an unfortunate experience. Either way, these feelings play into our birth dreams as either positive or negative experiences as well.
How is the birth for the dreamer? Women may experience birth dreams out of either desire for or anxiety toward pregnancy. In this case, the medical, social, and sexual histories of the dreamer would be very significant. There may be moral, religious, or medical factors that make a pregnancy either desirable or dangerous. Examples may include a young woman who is sexually active against her moral or religious teachings or, a woman trying to conceive, yet unable to do so. In these cases, a guilt-producing deed may be construed as causing the birth or lack thereof.
Women who see themselves giving birth under positive circumstances may be affirming themselves not just in birth, but as archetypal women. They are able to see themselves as competent within their gender to complete the traditional roles of the gender. While this sounds incredibly sexist, it is true in the sense that all of us see men and women as particular and individual persons with strengths and abilities. It's what makes an archetype an archetype.
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