The subject of volcanoes came up in a recent Squirrelly Dream Dabbling session. A volcanic eruption figured prominently in a dream one of the participants had.
So what does a volcano in a dream mean? It is usually associated with a conflict scenario, Dreams about earth-based dangers lie volcanoes (or tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.) generally point to inner turmoil or emotional conflict in the dreamers world. It is a warning from your subconscious that there is something going on in your waking life that needs your attention: a conflict that must be resolved. The volcano represents strong emotions held in check but bubbling just beneath the surface, ready to erupt. The usual emotion being held in check is anger: usually it is the anger the dreamer is bottling up, but it could be fear of someone else’s anger.
An erupting volcano is warning of the potential of an emotional explosion overwhelming a person’s self-control. The result, as is often the case with a volcano, could be catastrophic.
There are however, two types of volcanic eruptions (actually there are more than two, but no need to get too technical here). The first is the very explosive type, like Mount St. Helens or Pompeii. In this type of eruption, the lava is confined within the mountain until the pressure is so great that the mountain literally explodes. This kind of eruption is completely destructive, leveling the mountain and everything in the path of the eruption, and the effects are experienced at great distances. Such an eruption has little in the way of constructive power.
The second type is where lava dominates, flowing gently over the landscape, destroying everything in its path, but also building in the process. This is the type of volcano found in Iceland and Hawaii, and is very similar of the type that formed the basalt around Spokane. In this type of eruption, things can actually be created, like the islands of Hawaii and Iceland.
As the eruption signifies the release of a dreamers contained emotions, it is important to know what type of eruption was in the dream. A violent eruption, such as Mount St. Helens can cause much damage, while a lava flow might burn away some things, but is actually likely to be far more productive.
Forewarned is forearmed, and now a dreamer must act on the warning. In additional to taking action in the mundane world, the dreamer can use creative visualization, a form of meditation, to help address the anger a person is feeling. In fact, anyone can use this simple meditation to help them deal with their own anger.
1. Get into your preferred meditative position. Sitting in a chair with your spine straight, hands on your knees or thighs, palms up and slightly cupped with eyes closed is probably the easiest position for beginners.
2. Start rhythmic breathing. Rhythmic breathing is the art of consciously controlling your respiration rate. The most common technique is to breathe at a rate of five breaths per minute with equal inhalation and exhalation periods. Five breaths per minute results in six seconds for inhaling and six for exhaling each minute. Count slowly to six as you inhale, hold it for just an instant and then count slowly to six as you exhale.
3. When you feel yourself relaxed, visualize a volcano like the island of Hawaii. The volcano should be convex, kind of like a shield (which is why they are called shield volcanoes), rather than steep and mountainous like Mount Rainier. You can imagine the volcano surrounded by calm blue water if you wish. The idea is to create a somewhat peaceful scene.
4. Next, zoom in to the summit and imagine a crack forming there. Lava bubbles out of the crack and flows down the side of the hill, following whatever canyons or gullies are there, or just spreading out kind of in a fan-shape – whichever picture comes to your mind.
5. As the lava flows downhill away from the vent, let it carry away your anger and frustration.
6. The lava flows downhill, burning everything in its path, but carrying your emotion with it, down to the sea. As the lava enters the sea, feel it cool and harden, and your anger cooling with it.
7. Hold the visualization as long as you need to. Let as much of your anger dissipate in this manner as possible. Repeat the meditation the next day, if necessary, or for as many days as it takes for you to release the anger within you.
Releasing anger using this method is certainly better than waiting for the anger to explode with catastrophic force. After all, where would you rather find yourself? In Hawaii or atop Mount St. Helens?
Squirrelly conducts dream interpretations the last Saturday of every month at Reboot Coffee Bar, 01 S. Thor Street. The meetings are open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVP at Squirrelly’s MeetUp page.