What do we want to save?  A tension between being a part of something and being apart.  Is something being born, but the gestation is beyond what we are used to.

  • 41 participants – about 28 female / 13 male
  • 14 dreams
  • 50 associations


  • Invasion
  • Sin and punishment
  • Babies
  • Death
  • Noah’s Ark
  • The Ferryman
  • The letter a / A
  • Working together: gestation and frustration

The matrix began with 10 dreams in a row and then many brief associations.

Dream: in a square house – a lion comes out, then a tiger and a cheetah.  There are two or three people in the house, the dreamer is trying to save them, they are moving from room to room but the dreamer has no fear when the cheetah moves forward, but a concern to save people from the cats.

An association to Bartolomeu Dias – C14 Portuguese captain who discovered the Cape of Good Hope and the sea route to India.

The opening of Dante’s Inferno – animals representing things we need to overcome or perhaps they are helpful or maybe a combination?  – 3 wild cats and Dante’s Divine Comedy which is in 3 parts: Hell; Purgatory; Paradise.  A later association to a Netflix film on private zoos, with wild cats as pets, being herded like cats.

The ferryboat as Noah’s Ark – safety: the animals going in 2 by 2 – only certain ones allowed in – who will get vaccines?  Not knowing what sign will mean that it’s safe to leave.  Will there be more babies or fewer babies at the end of this year?  The Ferryman song – “Don’t pay the Ferryman until you get to the other side” – can we trust those we place our trust in?  A price to be paid.

Can we be vulnerable – what happens to those who are?

Dream: supermarket, loads of people, no masks, distancing.  Dreamer sees someone in protective gear.  Panic – dreamer has virus and so has everyone in the shop.  Very trapped.  Guilt that dreamer has not been more careful.  Uniforms, lots of children, day and night.

Dream: Dreamer in a closet – antique lamp on the top shelf with 2 long cords attached.  Dreamer tries to turn light but is unable.  The cords are like those of a venetian blind – frustration not knowing which cord turns on the light.

Dream: massive church with 4 screens showing images of a huge sporting event.  A little boy has encountered a lion.  Spectators are all pointing at the little boy.

Association of a church to sin

Dream: the screen of a computer, design of a website:  The title, “African Strength” in bright sunny letters.   Assoc: tribes in Nairobi: “run fast, run alone.  Run far, run with people”. Refers to the wish for all of Africa to work together?

A later association: being punished for crimes committed in Africa, also in Brazil, Peru, US, Latin America towards indigenous peoples.

Dream: Doing something on screen – dreamer sees himself doing this as well as actually doing it.  Finding a job for a client, sees whole process.  The client goes to interviews, finally successfully.  The job is carrying things from one place to another.  Boss seems very nice but another colleague is very unhelpful – dreamer is worried for the client.

Dream: a big wide wall – group walking on wall.  Dreamer recognises their mother – who is afraid to fall down off the wall.  Dreamer standing in a safe place, giving directions to mother to continue walking.

A participant thinks of her friend getting very angry – there are so many deaths – why do we clap in the UK for the NHS each Thursday?

Death – both physical and the discomfort of the old ways and beliefs, which are dying.

Dream: old school friend of 30 years ago.  Pregnant and at full term.  Dreamer excited for her.  Bizarrely, suddenly the pregnant womb is transported to the dreamer, who is now pregnant.  The baby is ready to come out but continues to grow instead.  Dreamer can play with her baby inside the womb.

The virus itself being transferred from person to person.  Someone remembers a surprise realisation – 9 months gestation for a baby but a baby elephant takes 18 months.  We have had 9 months of corona – January to September.  What will be born or not born, by then?  By 18 months hopefully we will have a vaccine.

Playing with the baby, getting bigger – dangerous playfulness.  The baby reminded another participant of her time as a Doula where the emphasis was on the baby, not just becoming a mother – the baby needs a village to raise it.  Another association to the movie ‘Lucy’ – a woman is pregnant and has access to knowledge and wisdom – how to bring a life in.  We are one world in this pandemic and also in sharing Netflix associations.

Dream: a detox, drinking only water for 3 days, surviving – but a colleague anguished around the dreamer.

Dream: staying at someone else’s home, during Covid.  Feeling safe.  A few people walk in – one who lives there, who the dreamer doesn’t know well.  Another, she doesn’t know, who is staring at her – friendly but not friendly.  Dreamer goes up to the bathroom, washes face.  A person comes from out behind a curtain – dreamer knows them a bit. This person has taken a phone call in the night for the dreamer, from her former employer (who she left under bad circumstances).  The person needs the dreamer to do something urgently which she can’t do, the person becomes angry.  Dreamer becomes afraid of everyone in the house.

Dream: with friend on a ferry boat or gondola with a ferryman – a mythological being. Like the River Styx but with a broader significance than death, in some way.  They continue.  It’s a beautiful, bright day.

Assoc to the poem: “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream”.  Another participant finishes with “Life is but a Dream”.

Is reality a dream? – the dreamer watching himself, in the dream.  The associator becomes the association – attending to internal images.  The rebirth of consciousness, or entering the unconscious – a moment of rebirth – compassionate revolution.

Dream: in their office building but with glass walls – dreamer sneaks out – there’s been a serious crime in the area, very bad – a body buried somewhere.  There are secret stairs and passages.  There is a mess of work and unfinished meals, rotting.  Oppressive, hot, close, guilty.  Unease and dread.

Dream: old school friend of 25 years ago became pregnant at 17 – dreamer thought how could she, she won’t finish school.  Now dreamer has had babies and thinks – she was right, I was wrong.

Migrant workers – the homelessness felt.  Sharing – food, resources but also a reluctance to share as well.  Colonialism – the taking of other people’s lives and resources.  Equality and Liberty – do we all have it?  Amongst the countries represented within this Matrix – they are differently distributed – a hierarchy.

Dream: Wernher Von Braun – controversial historical figure – has a Green Card in his back pocket, with mauve printing on it – someone tries to take it from him – there is a struggle.

Association to the green and purple of the Suffragettes.  Another talks about a recent article about when there’s a crisis, it is the men in society who make the decisions.  This and the first Matrix have been predominantly female. Feminism – wanting a share of the power.

Dream: the letter a. No longer warm, cosy and round but flat with a stick coming out of it – a threat.

A – Apart / A part and Africa.  What part of our own wild nature is showing up, confronting us?

A – the start of the alphabet, and a reminder of the end too. Being singular, alone.  Already – All ready.  Are we?  What is going to happen?  The a losing its roundness – the earth is round.  Now, being online feels flat.  The deconstructing of current structures.    A participant describes a huge wave of anxiety: life v death.

A and an inverted A – a vessel – emptying or filling up.  Representing the masculine and feminine, finally ready to meet.  The A is first, like a pioneer and also a sacrifice – while we wait until those who are out first work things out or sacrifice themselves.

The participants mused why one letter is getting so much attention – the status of the letter.  Another thought of the capital A as a graphic form – two forces (masculine/feminine?) coming together, creating something new.

A is for Anarchy – not always seen in a positive light, but also relating to self-organising principles and growth – Kropotkin and Mutual Aid.

The final Dream had twice: the dreamer is in a car with her mother.  A woman very aggressively opens the passenger door, trying to get in, wanting to give them the virus, looking really unwell.  There is a baby in the back seat which this woman steals – not the dreamer’s baby.

Hopefulness and also dangerous vulnerability.  All is seen from both the positive and negative viewpoint.  What do we want to save?  A tension between being a part of something and being apart.  Is something being born, but the gestation is beyond what we are used to.

We look forward to the next unfolding.

Compiled by the Hosts: Rachel Kelly, Tim Dartington, Mira Erlich-Ginor

Image: Responsibility by Juliet Scott, 2019

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