Best foot forward; a dream work renewal

Posted on Mar 16, 2021 in Healing, Spiritual living, Uncategorized

Baby feet

Do you use conscious dream work as part of your self-development and soul growth? I’ve been blessed (it only occasionally felt like cursed!) with an extremely vivid dream life, which only went quiet during a few years of peri-menopause. I mourned the loss of my interior reality life; I’m assuming there was so much rippling on the surface of my consciousness that there was no need for indirect messaging. If you’ve been through menopause you’ll know exactly what I mean!

Anyway, now I’m serenely on the other side of it I’m happy to say my dream adventures have resumed with augmented lucidity. Over the last year or so I kept having a dream where I would look down at my bare foot and there was a deep hole there below the ankle, going right down to the bone. It wasn’t bloody or infected, it was just open, with a sort of translucent light shining through the workings of blood vessel, tissue, muscle, and bone.

I’ve always found myth, folklore, and faery tale helpful when trying to understand the symbolism of dreams, and I turn to them first when trying to deepen my understanding of images. Feet traditionally respresent our grounding and connection to the earth, obviously, and so our security and stability, but also our identity and the way we move through the world. In many myths and stories how we dress our feet symbolises our status in the world. It’s all there, hinted at in our language isn’t it? Someone is referred to as “of good standing”, “well-heeled” or we talk of a strong character as being able to “stand on their own two feet”. In the latter, there’s a suggestion of independence and self-confidence implied too. We can see someone we admire or envy and long to be “in their shoes”.

Think about Cinderella’s magical glass slippers, revealing the bright purity, nobility and beauty of the soul within the ash-besmirched servant. Then there are the infamous Red Shoes that enslaved a soul-starved young woman to a never-ending dance until she was so exhausted and desperate that she begged to have her feet cut off.

So feet and how they look are closely bound up with our sense of self. When it comes to bare feet, I see them as representing our innermost beings; the truth of who we are when all the external trappings of the world and outer layers of our personality are stripped away. In her incredible book Women Who Run with the Wolves, to which I return time and time again, Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes that feet are our “basis, the foundation on which we stand, a deep part of our instinctual nature that supports our freedom”. It seems to me to make perfect sense that the bottom of the feet bear the same name as our inner, spiritual self – the sole/soul. Our feet, after all, support and carry the human vessel of our soul through our lives.

So feet and how they look are closely bound up with our sense of self. When it comes to bare feet, I see them as representing our innermost beings; the truth of who we are when all the external trappings of the world are stripped away. In her incredible book Women Who Run with the Wolves, to which I return time and time again, Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes that feet are our “basis, the foundation on which we stand, a deep part of our instinctual nature that supports our freedom”.

Then a couple of days ago I dreamt that I looked down, but instead of the deep, open hole in my foot there was skin beginning to peel off. I absent-mindedly pulled on the loosened flake, and suddenly I was stripping off thick layers of skin and tissue that had been encasing my feet, almost as if they’d been covered in a false, prosthetic layer. Again, it wasn’t gory at all; there was no pain or blood, but just a wondering revelation of pristine new feet with the rosy pink hue of the newborn baby.

In shamanic tradition there is often a dismemberment, an initiation in which you have the old conditioned parts of you ripped away. Only then can you be reborn or regrow as your more true, authentic self. This knowing too is reflected in faery tales where the hero or heroine loses a part of their anatomy in order to obtain greater wisdom and understanding. The handless maiden loses and eventually regrows her hands, the young woman has to lose her feet along with the red shoes, Rapunzel’s Prince loses his eyesight before he can be reunited with his love.

I saw these dreams as a less extreme version of this initiation. I had been hearing a call from Spirit to expand my work, which involved making myself more visible and more available. To show more of who I was on a deep, inner level. Although I can present as very confident, at heart I’m an extremely private and introverted person, enjoying my quiet and peaceful existence in my rural sanctuary. So this pull to offer more of myself was warring with an inner instinct to retreat and hide away.

The hole in my foot told me I held a deep wound to my sense of confidence and security in the world. It was my right foot – right being the side of the body concerned with moving into the future, taking action. If the sole is also the soul, this could easily refer to the many lifetimes in which I, as wise woman, healer, priestess, and magic-worker, have been persecuted, outcast, and even killed for being who I am. The open wound with the light shining within it showed a fear of exposing fully my inner light, the absolute truth of who I am at my most sacred centre. During this time I listend compassionately to my own inner contradictions and sought healing and support from trusted friends and colleagues. I also began to plan and implement a new way of presenting my work that would make it easier for people to see and find me, and so decide if I was someone who could help them on their own journey.

Only a couple of days after I’d taken this step forward (notice the reference again), I had the dream of stripping away the thick casing of old skin from my now woundless foot. There was my newborn pearly-pink skin; naked, vulnerable and natural. I had successfully gained more stability and confidence in who I was and what I am here to do. I felt vulnerable yes, but in the positive sense of increased authenticity and open-ness, revealing more of my most inner self to the world and free to walk tall in the knowing that I was ready and safe to do so.

You’re warmly welcome to join my new online private Facebook group, The Soul Spiral, where I’ll be exploring more about how myth and story can help us on our soul journey, among other things. You might also be interested in signing up for my online journey through the year beginning on April 19th, The Soul Spiral online gathering.

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive guide, healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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