Jeane: I don’t remember the first half of this dream too well, but whatever happened takes place in a house. When I’m done with whatever I’m supposed to do, the man who owns the house allows me to go down into the basement and take some shiny coal that’s there.
John: Shiny coal?
Jeane: Yes. He gives me permission to take out all the coal I want. He doesn’t think I’m going to take out much because it’s so dusty down there and it makes me cough.
On the other hand, I take a look at all the coal spread out in the basement and I’m excited about it. I actually call a male friend and he shows up to take some coal, too. Then I draw these lines and divide the whole basement floor into quadrants. This way someone can come and take up the coal in one quadrant and someone else can come and take another.
I have this image of all my friends coming and taking all the coal out of the basement – even though it does make me cough a lot.
John: This is a dream with a fairly common symbolism. Coal represents something that smites you, like if you’re poked, or hit, in the eye. Coal is a type of darkness. Coal is a quality, it’s a characteristic, it’s a trait of something that you have to struggle through, something that oppresses you in some fashion.
Jeane: To me, coal seems like something you could burn to get warm.
John: Well, yes, in a roundabout way, but that’s a planetary, personal view. If you look at the image, coal is something dark that’s mined from below the surface. You see yourself in a basement, also below the surface, in terms of inner levels, and you’re trying to bring all the darkness out from below.
In other words, taking out the coal is addressing this depth inside you. Said another way, you are accepting of whatever you bring up – patterns, mannerisms, psychologies – in an act of liberation.
This is how you proceed, and you’re getting a man to help you take out the coal. In other words, you’re trying to incorporate a type of sight (the feminine “hears,” the masculine “sees”). So, what does getting out the coal mean in terms of the feminine nature? It’s like awakening the darkness of one’s self, the coal aspect of one’s being, which locks certain aspects in place, or keeps a certain health and flow from happening.
The coal, in and of itself, can lead to health conditions, i.e., the dust in your lungs etc., which can be hard on you (personally) because you have reactions and things could flare up as a consequence. When you take that and bring it out of the depths of your being, it’s like freeing the spirit energy that’s trapped in matter, and using the masculine “sight” to come in and touch it.
When you do something like that, it’s almost as if you’re making it shinier, because there’s also another concept that exists in terms of coal, whereby it transforms its darkness into the brilliance of a diamond. That’s a great metaphor for the spiritual process – turning our darkness into light.
When we address that darkness, we turn it into something that’s brilliant, which then penetrates and touches and sweeps in and takes into account a greater quality of the overall. The idea is to try to understand what’s going on in life in terms of what’s truly important.
In other words, you have an energy that has a deeper meaning to it, which is imbedded in the outer characteristics (of life) happening around you, and how do you come to grips with that?
So what you’re basically saying is that you are just going to take and deal with the overall, as it is, and you’re also going to go down and deal with the coal that’s in the basement – in spite of the fact that it’s a little awkward. You enlist the masculine to help. Sure, it’s dusty and it’s scattered all over the place, but it can be cleaned out, i.e., it can be put to good use.