Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

The Interior Designer Within September 9, 2014

Celebrating my 10th birthday in my childhood home

Celebrating my 10th birthday in my childhood home

In the middle of my life I was forced to face some uncomfortable realities about myself. During that time I had many “unsuitable house” dreams. Their message was clear: if I moved into the “house” I had spent years designing and building I would be miserable. I had no idea why.

Now I do. Practically every choice I had made to that point was based on my need to please others and prove my worth. Because my focus was on how I appeared in the outer world I had no idea who I really was or what would make me happy. It felt selfish to even think that way! My only hope came from studying Jungian psychology and taking my dreams seriously.  Today I am living proof of the benefits of this inner work. To show you what I mean, here’s a “house” dream from a few nights ago.

Dream #4569: I’m Leading a Dream Group at My Childhood Home

I’m in my childhood house. It has been totally remodeled from a shabby little Victorian cottage into the most lovely and satisfying place I could imagine. I’m in the new dining room. It spans the width of the house in the space where the old kitchen and dining room used to be. I’m facing the front of the house where the screened porch, living room, my bedroom, and new kitchen are. Behind me is the back half of the house: Mom’s bedroom, the bathroom, the hall in between, and the back porch. This middle place is where I write.

The dining table is long, white, and surrounded by white chairs. There are flowers in the center and a few place settings in shades of white, cream, beige and soft greens. The adjoining kitchen is now in the front half of the house and mostly white too. It’s all very open, expansive and filled with light. I am awe-struck by how perfect it is for me.

I see people with books and notebooks coming through the front door into the living room. I realize they’re here for today’s dream group. I’m not quite ready yet so I ask the woman hovering nearby if she’ll offer them some water while I get ready. I’m already dressed in casual white capris and a loose white shirt, but haven’t done my hair or makeup. I look into the mirror on the table beside my work area and realize I look fine and will only need a minute.

The others are sitting in front of the house in a big circle under the trees. There are more people on the left side than the right with empty chairs in between. I ask them to form a smaller circle so everyone can see and hear everyone else.  I’m feeling relaxed and comfortable, happy that these people have come to my home to work on their dreams with me, and looking forward to today’s group.


The last sentence says it all. This is how I’ve been feeling lately:  casual, unhurried, in love with the remodel of my childhood house (my psyche:  the way I’m living now), and deeply grateful to have a circle of like-minded friends who want to discover their true selves and discuss their dreams with me (that would be you guys!!). Upon reflection (mirror), I realize I don’t fret nearly so much as I used to about appearances (makeup). And I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned (dream group). I love this life which is the exact opposite of how I used to live!

Who is the mysterious woman hovering nearby?  I never actually see her, but she’s appeared in many dreams, especially recently. I’m pretty sure she’s the same woman who rescued me when I found myself in deep water in “Going Against the Current,” one of the earliest dreams I recorded.  I think she’s Sophia, the Sacred Feminine who has been helping me remodel my house since I started working on my dreams.

Here are my reasons for telling you this.  First, no matter how good things may look from the outside, the inner life is a struggle for everyone. Second, we each have an interior designer who knows how to remodel our house in a way that is perfect for us.  Third, the price for her help is engaging in a regular practice that brings self-knowledge. Fourth, working on my dreams works for me.

What are your house dreams telling you?

Ebook versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.  Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.



21 Responses to “The Interior Designer Within”

  1. Jay Says:

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful dream and inspiring insights here. It really gives me hope that I too may have happy house dreams when I am strong enough to forge a path for myself without worrying about it being selfish. Funnily enough, my dream house is always a double story Victorian cottage, sometimes with an attic. And sometimes merged with parts of my childhood home or current home. It used to have unseen ghosts and spooky feelings but I’ve gotten to a point in my growth where those have at least been banished. Do you have any readings to recommend that specifically focus on home dream imagery? Keep well.


    • jeanraffa Says:

      Very cool. Our modest Victorian cottage had a second story (one large room) and an attic. I have occasionally dreamed of an old Victorian mansion with “unseen ghosts and spooky feelings.” Many of them have contained a large attic containing old clothes (former aspects of my persona) I’d forgotten about. Victorian homes usually bring me pleasant feelings of nostalgia. I think that may have to do not only with my actual childhood house, but also with the mid-western houses of my grandparents and their old-fashioned Victorian values. I don’t know of any other resources for house dreams but several of my previous posts address this imagery. If you scan through my archives you’ll find some. Thank you for writing, Jay.


  2. I’ve only scanned the article and will return but have to say that photograph with the double-candle gateway is simply beautiful. I like the second one also, very much, but the first one is not only rich and warm but also loaded with symbolism. A child looking into the future…it could be a European film.


    • jeanraffa Says:

      I love it that you saw the beauty and symbolism in these old photos! My big brother only gave them to me a few weeks ago and I was delighted with how well they illustrated this post! Perhaps they even triggered this dream. At any rate, they’re filled with profound meaning for me.

      For one thing, this occasion was the first birthday celebration and cake I ever had! And there’s this beautifully decorated round birthday cake smack in the center of the table. In Jungian terms, centrality and the circle are primary symbols of the Self, the archetype of wholeness which Jung also called our god-image. So your association of the double-candle gateway on either side of it strikes a very deep chord, indeed. The Self has been the object of my search since way before I had any idea what I yearned for. Essentially, it’s the search for en-LIGHT-enment!

      Moreover, I’m not only a child looking into the future, but I’m leaning toward my father who sits on the opposite side of the table. My father was heroic to me, but was rarely home, and died only 20 months after this picture was taken. So naturally, a major aspect of my inner “hero’s” journey has been to activate and connect with my inner opposite, my masculine self, or Animus, for whom Daddy is most certainly a symbol.

      Thank you so much for this comment. It fills me with warmth and brings deep pleasure. Isn’t it amazing how much power symbols have to move us?

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeanraffa Says:

        Omigosh, Steven. I’ve just spent more time looking at the first picture. I’d taken note of the large round picture above the center of the buffet and the circular carnival glass bowl (alchemical vessel?) beneath it, but only now do I see that the circular object on the buffet is positioned precisely between the flames of the two candles! Thank you again for sharing your associations with me. If you see any more, please do let me know!

        Wait! Now I see my shadow on the wall behind me!! This is so cool!


      • Yes, and your scarf is almost like ancient moon-jewelry and your father’s hands relate to the bread. And creating a triangle connecting his hands and the bread a folded napkin looks like praying hands aimed directly above to the circular plant image. A second candle is waiting to be lit? And the cup/grail beside the bread. The image is absolutely loaded and the girl so very hopeful in all that symmetrical imagery. It’s a spontaneous scene and yet could have been cinematically designed. I love the look on your father’s tanned face. He is looking at the cake but I think he is thinking about you.


  3. jeanraffa Says:

    Oh my, Steven! I hadn’t noticed any of this and it means so much to me! By the way, I’m pretty sure that “folded napkin” (which I hadn’t noticed is aimed toward the circular plant image) is actually some kind of ceramic vessel in the shape of praying hands….maybe a sugar bowl or something. You can see it a bit more clearly in the bottom picture. I don’t remember it from my childhood but I love it. I’ve also noticed that my right hand is resting on a book; I’m pretty sure it’s a Bible. And Daddy’s pensive gaze? Could he be thinking about me? I hope so.

    Your visual literacy is truly amazing. I can see by your icon that you are an artist…are you a filmmaker too? I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to point these things out to me. I’m so intrigued by all the symbolism and what it means to me that I’m writing next week’s post about it. Again, thank you. Jeanie


  4. Now this picture has captured my imagination:
    So much whiteness. A flame upon your hand resting on a white cloth. The top of a glass of milk, a white cake. A white plate. Circles. Haloes and moons. Reflective glass. Light. I see now it’s not a scarf you are wearing but something else. The fabric looks like a boat. You also wear a top dark as space. Poetic speculation: A tiny star above your heart. This image is as beautiful as the first.
    To analyze the structure like a painting:
    A line from the glass candle holder through the cake, milk, and white plate, up the vertical line of the chair across the back support arcing into you at eye level: a crescent moon shape.
    The strong diagonal of the table edge aiming upward. Your eyes uplifted. Your face framed by the pillars of candle and milk. The fullness of the cake, awaiting your hand with the flame, between the gateway. A ceremony.
    This photograph is amazing. I am intrigued by the knowing and seeing that went into it. What a gift.


    • jeanraffa Says:

      I’m blown away by what you can see with your trained eye. I think the scarf is actually a ruffle sewn in to frame my head and upper torso. I see the boat too. It makes me think of a Viking dragon boat! The tiny star above my heart orbiting in dark space? I have no idea what that is. Maybe a tiny star orbiting in dark space……

      I love, love the crescent line! I have a special affinity for the Greek moon goddess Artemis, the independent huntress and protectress of women whose symbol is the crescent moon.

      This photograph is, indeed a gift, and I didn’t see it until you took the time to look at it and appreciate it and share what you saw with me. You are a gift, Steven. Thank you.


  5. Her expression makes the scene very emotional. Perhaps this is what makes it all so meaningful.


  6. Joanpohl Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It resonates with me. What perfect timing . My dreams are starting to make more sense to me. Very powerful post.

    Sent from my iPad



    • jeanraffa Says:

      Hi Joan,

      It’s wonderful to hear from you. I loved our dream group and now I have this wonderful online circle of friends with whom to keep doing what I love. I’m glad to hear this dream came at the right time for you, and gladder still that you’re getting better at understanding the language of your dreams. Thank you for letting me know, sweet sister! It makes me feel so good.


  7. jcowles2001 Says:

    Jeanie, I can’t even tell you how much I love this post; It is affecting me on so many levels at once. The imagery is lovely and perfect for the work you’re doing in the world right now. And the feelings of peace and being right where you’re supposed to be…such a treasure of a dream. I had similar early house dreams as you when I was younger, where the houses were big and roomy but in need of such a lot of work: painting, repair, new furnaces, roofs repaired, walls completed, etc. But, gradually, over the years, I’ve been having much better house dreams. One such dream, has to do with the writing of the book I am currently working on about dreams and synchronicity. The night before having the dream, I had been thinking about accepting a generous offer from friends in East Texas to occupy a private space in their home where I could write undisturbed and finish my book – a two-month writer’s retreat of sorts. The property is quietly nestled in the country, the room is separate from the rest of the house and supposedly (I haven’t seen it in person yet) offers a lovely view of the surrounding countryside and walking path that my friends have built around some of the acreage of their property. In the dream, I meet a woman outside a house. I have feelings of love for this woman, but as I go to hug her, I see that she is devoid of color and ghostly looking. Just in the sense of being ‘white’ and colorless, not frightening. She leads me through the door of a house and takes me on a tour of the back part it to show me the room where I’ll be writing. The house is elegant, hallways decked with flowers and art. As I follow her in a labyrinth of rooms and halls that go on and on, I begin to think that this is more of a mansion than a house. We finally reach the room where I will be writing. It is filled with light and beautiful furniture that I feel comfortable with, somewhat like my parents’ room in the house I grew up in on Lake Erie, Bay Village, Ohio. I sit in a chair to take in the scenery, and realize that the woman, now, has taken on rich color – her skin has regular flesh tones and hair is now a attractive color of shiny red with thick curls. (EOD) I took that as a sign to go to Texas to write! Hugs, Jenna


    • jeanraffa Says:

      I’m glad to know you liked this post, Jenna. I love it too! I almost didn’t take the time to write it down because it seemed so ordinary and unimportant at first, but the more I wrote, the more excited I grew. (You’d think after doing this for 25 years I’d have learned that every dream is a valuable treasure!) And the synchronicity of my brother’s gift of the pictures that came shortly before I had the dream and lent it so much depth of meaning has been such a blessing. I’m still feeling its comforting embrace.

      I’m thrilled that your book is about dreams and synchronicity. I yearn to help people know what positive, healing, life-changing spiritual resources they are. If everyone took them seriously enough to connect with their inner guide there would be no more religious wars and we could all live in peace. Yet few seem to understand this. I’m so glad to know someone else who shares my passion and can’t wait for your book to come out. If there’s any way I can be of help in birthing this child, please let me know. There are few things I enjoy more. As more of us use our unique gifts and voices to share our individual stories, the ripples will touch more lives until one day they will swell into powerful waves of change. I wish we could be there to see it, but it’s enough for me to know I’ve helped stir up the waters!

      What a fabulous opportunity you’ve been given. I don’t know many writers who wouldn’t leap at the chance to take a two-month writer’s retreat in a secluded country place. If this were my dream I’d make the same conclusion you have. The large elegant mansion with its artful décor, the light, the beauty, the positive association with my parents’ bedroom in my childhood home, the scenery, and perhaps most of all, the colorful transformation of my inner guide (Sophia?) tell me this is where my energy is moving, this is where I’m meant to be. As a side note, in my dreams men and women with red hair always seem to be very positive symbols of the vibrancy and vitality of my creative Animus/Anima, Spirit/Soul. Red = life, vitality, passion. Thick, shiny, curly hair = dense, enlightened thoughts and ideas (growing out of my head!) You go, girl!!

      Bon Voyage! Do keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

      With warm blessings, Jeanie


      • jcowles2001 Says:


        I do see one more thing in the first photo of your 10th birthday: the look on your father’s face as he takes in the scene of his lovely daughter, admiring her very first birthday cake, suggests more than pensiveness to me. In my mind, his gaze holds a multitude of emotions, all mixed with admiration and love, that exemplify the positive Animus you will need in dealing with the Chaos his impending death is yet to stir up in your tender psyche (10 to11-years old is such a pivotal time between childhood and adolescence).

        Thanks so much for your ‘spot on’ remarks and thoughts about the dream I shared here. I especially like your thoughts about the ‘colorful transformation of my inner guide” and sharing your personal symbolism about the red hair that feels so right to me. I plan to write a blog piece about my dream and hope to include your comments there (I know that in the past that you’ve given me your blessing about sharing our written conversations on my blog). Also, thank you, thank you, thank you! for the offer to support me in birthing my ‘baby’ when the times comes for searching out a publisher and all the steps that entails. I will take you up on that offer. I can use any suggestions you have for me.

        With deep affection and appreciation,



      • jeanraffa Says:

        Thank you for your associations to my father’s gaze. He was a very tender, loving, charismatic man and a positive image for my animus in almost every way. Yes, I was 11, and you’re right. That age is a crucial crossroad with a huge impact on the direction one’s life takes.

        Of course you may use anything in my conversations with you. I’d be honored.

        Ways I can support the birthing of your baby include sharing my experiences in searching out a publisher all the way to reading the final manuscript and writing a blurb for the cover. I did that for Elaine’s book and would be delighted to do it for yours. Also, I’ve just finished writing the preface to Skip Conover’s new book and that’s something I’d be happy to do for you as well should you need it. We’ll talk when the times come!

        Sending that affection and appreciation back atcha, 🙂



  8. elainemansfield Says:

    Dear Jeanie,

    Thank you for the wonderful dream discussion ending with a powerful last paragraph. I felt I was rising from the underworld of grief when I had repeated dreams about a new house, new rooms, new attic space, and new light-filled office space. These dreams were encouraging as I felt the hope for a new life.

    With so much challenging and exciting change occurring in my outer life at this moment, it’s odd that I hardly dream at all. I’m used to dreaming at least two nights a week and often much more. I count on dream guidance and clarification. I’ve had no dreams for over two weeks; they’ve slowed to a trickle over the last three or four months. I look forward to their return.


    • jeanraffa Says:

      Thank you, Elaine. And thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I’ve been through phases when weeks went by without me remembering or working on dreams. Some of this seems to have come with psychological growth, and some with age. But some also seems to be related to extreme busyness in waking life such that I have little time to give more than a passing nod to my inner life. When this happens, like you, I always look forward to Dream Mother’s return! I don’t expect to ever outgrow the need for her guidance and clarification!


  9. jcowles2001 Says:

    Thank you for your generous offers of help with my book, Jeanie! All very much appreciated. I hope to have the manuscript ready by the Solstice and will be getting back with you.



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