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Symptom and Significance

  Beverley Kane, MD
Copyright © 2004-2021 Beverley Kane
some level, reflects the state of the body. Healing constantly occurs in the dream state, often before
an illness manifests in waking reality, and whether or not the dream is consciously remembered.
Develop an appreciation of the symbolic dimension of life and be sensitive to
synchronicities (meaningful coincidences). A physician colleague of mine finds that women often
become afflicted around the time that would have been the birth date of an aborted fetus. His most
dramatic case was a woman who fell off her horse and broke her pelvis on, unremembered by her,
her due date. (This is not an argument against abortion. It does suggest the need for a
conscientiously spiritual approach to the procedure, as in Buddhist Japan and as described in The
Pagan Way of Living and Dying by Starhawk and M. Macha NightMare.)
Understand that your symbols and associations are personal and dynamic, changing from
day to day and dream to dream, and cannot be subjected to dictionary-type definitions.  Depending
on the situation, flowers in a dream can symbolize romance, funerals, or allergies. Similarly, in
illness, the heart, liver, ovaries and other organs and symptoms will have shifting symbolic
interpretations.
Avoid psychosomatic approaches to illness that imply that the message from the body is
about something we have done "wrong." We must not "blame the victim," beg the question of
“sin,” or imply that illness comes to punish us. Illness is the voice of the soul crying out to be
heard. A kitten does not cry to punish its human companions. The humans must learn to interpret
the cry – is it meal time or petting time or time to go out? Like the kitten, the dreambody cries out
on behalf of legitimate needs. All somatic phenomena are ushered in from the dreambody to
manifest in the physical body, and like dreams themselves, come in the service of health and
wholeness. 

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Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul. HarperCollins. New York. 1992
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Roberts, Jane.
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(Originally Prentice-Hall. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.1974)
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Starhawk, M. Macha NightMare & The Reclaiming Collective. The Pagan Book of Living
and Dying. Harper. San Francisco. 1997
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Taylor, Jeremy. Dream Work. Paulist Press. Ramsey, NJ. 1983
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