The Dream Book of Self-Knowledge

Embrace (physical)

  • only very rarely is it emotionally based; it usually has an instinctual essence and ends in feelings of attachment and sexual desire (especially partner embraces).
  • sometimes the unconscious uses this image to indicate an emotional relation that almost always borders on feelings of ownership of the other person.
  • hurtful, painful, unpleasant embrace by a mother, father: The dreamer is confronting the dark face of the image of his own human parents, an image that mainly affects instinctual personifications while emotional personifications remain unaffected by the parents' negative activities; the unconscious is using this image to show the necessary path from an instinctual life to an emotional one.
  • hurtful, painful, unpleasant embrace by a sister, brother: brings awareness of one's male or female emotional component and therefore such an embrace is, despite the negative feeling, a benefit and can initiate knowledge and spiritual progress.
  • hurtful, painful, unpleasant embrace by others: it can also represent the dark aspect of oneself – the shadow with which the dreamer wages endless struggles and endless disputes; in this case we must understand the shadow's different trait and compassionately and tolerantly assimilate it without condemnation.