Yin yang cats.

A large grey cat lounged on the couch, dozing, lazing, generally blissing out, when suddenly a small, spritely white cat leapt up from nowhere in vicious attack.

She, for I think she was a she, dragged him, for I think he was a him, off the couch and they rolled across the floor, belly to belly, locked in blood-drawn combat, and looking very much like a Yin-Yang symbol.

It was at the point where I recognised the Yin-Yang symbol that I woke up from my dream, feeling discomforted about the sudden attack, but as curious as a cat with nine lives about the symbol.

It was easy for me to relate to the large grey cat, as I had determined to take several days off work, and had been enjoying lounging, dozing, lazing, and generally blissing out. The labouring side of my work, perhaps the male side, the reasoning, the structuring, the business, the paperwork, had been intense and had left me feeling rather brain-drained. Rest and recovery was required. That explains the gender of the grey cat, and perhaps his size.

Reclining on the couch he was a very happy cat, soaking up the rest, stretching out in delight at simply being.

A few days into my rest, I was beginning to feel my energy return, enticing creative sparks firing here and there in my brain. An idea for a book, two ideas for blogs, and various creative home projects bubbled up for consideration. It was very tempting to get off the couch and start creating, but I knew I needed longer to restore more sustainably.

Why a grey cat?

When I dialogued with the cat I discovered he was really as black as night, a time for resting and dreaming, but the grey was some of the light showing through, an indication of recovery, of the renewal and energy morning brings. But he still needed time out; he was still, essentially, in black cat mode.

In my dream, conflict ensued. There was an energy in the shape of a small, spritely, white, female cat that sprang from nowhere in vicious attack. Now that we know something about the grey cat, we can see that this energetic little bundle represented my female side, the creative, holistic, big-picture perspective, awake to the inner world. She was the creative spark I was beginning to feel after my several days of rest, and she was feeling vicious about being denied in favour of more resting days on the couch, especially after being kept in check through several weeks of male side brain work. 

My reasoning male side said recover fully, re-energise completely, while my creative female side screamed no, get off that couch!

My dream cats reflected the inner conflict I was feeling at this time. I’m here to tell you that Mr Reasoning Grey cat, by virtue of his greater size, ruled the following few days until Ms Sparky White cat grew to such proportion that my fingers hit the keyboard and the new creative projects began, all the better for the rest. Mr Reasoning Grey cat emerged from hibernation much lighter in size and colour, and the last time I envisaged them, the two cats were much the same size, nestled together, belly to belly, in perfect Yin-Yang balance.

I have missed out a little bit of the story.

Many dreams highlight our inner conflicts, and there are techniques you can learn to help you look into dreams to identify these. 

The next step, after identifying an inner conflict, is to explore the rest of the dream until you understand the origins of the conflict and why the conflict is currently unresolved. Suitably enlightened, you may then choose to do some dream alchemy to persuade your unconscious mind toward resolving the powerfully unconscious aspects of the conflict.

In my case, I chose to visualise the two cats in the Yin-Yang combat transform into a more peaceful, mutually supportive Yin-Yang embrace, re-sizing the cats to bring them into perfect balance. (There are other elements you need to bring in to perform dream alchemy, but this suffices to illustrate the point.)

My unconscious mind reciprocated, and everything naturally unfolded peacefully from there.

As I’m sure you know already, if you look closely at a Yin-Yang symbol and see it as two tadpoles, or two fish, you’ll notice that the black one has a white eye and the white one has a black eye. At their head ends, where their energies are at their full extreme, each nestles a speck of the other. At the tail end, the black one’s tail gets thinner and thinner until it gives way to the white head of the other, and visa versa. Yin and Yang stay in perfect balance by each yielding to the other at their extremes, maintaining equilibrium in size and shape.

When you’re out of whack, out of balance, your dreams can alert you to the subtleties of your inner conflicts, and dream alchemy can assist in resolving those conflicts to smooth the way for transformation on all levels.


Jane Teresa Anderson

Graduating with an Honours degree in Zoology specialising in neurophysiology from the University of Glasgow, dream analyst and dream therapist Jane Teresa Anderson has been researching dreams since 1992, and developing and teaching dream alchemy practices that shift perspective and reprogram unconscious limiting beliefs. Jane Teresa is a multi-published author, and appears frequently in the media on television, radio, and in print. She is also host of the long-running podcast, The Dream Show, and offers her online study and certificate courses through The Dream Academy.


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