This is the colour of the night, and so because it links with absence of light, opens us to what we can’t see or deal with in the dark – in what is ‘in the dark’, unconscious – within or around us. It is the experience, like sleep, in which the ego diminishes or melts back into unconsciousness. This relates to all those things you repress or avoid feeling or being aware of in yourself and life. So the dream will probably include threats of some sort, or what is unknown, hidden or avoided. So this relates to your hidden fears or past hurts that have been buried and remain unconscious. In African traditions black is the colour of night, death, excrement, and illness.
Black can depict what we feel is evil – in other words the unaccepted side of yourself, the parts of your nature you don’t want others to see, and you don’t want to admit even to yourself. It also may indicate depression, what is negative within you or from an outside influence. This includes feelings of secrecy, fear or things we fear, and anxious feelings about death. See The Con About Evil
Writing about the meeting with the darkness, Jung says, “The battle between the hero and the dragon is the more active form of this myth, and it shows more clearly the archetypal theme of the ego’s triumph over regressive trends. For most people the dark or negative side of the personality remains unconscious. The hero, on the contrary, must realise that the shadow exists and that he can draw strength from it. He must come to terms with its destructive powers if he is to become sufficiently terrible to overcome the dragon. I.e., before the ego can triumph, it must master and assimilate the shadow”.
Example: ‘Black and grey – outpouring of thoughts and feelings I have pushed down, refused to look at or acknowledge, for most of my life.
Last year I got into the habit when doing JKZ’s Body Scan Meditation, of doing the following: there is a part at the end of the meditation where you imagine you are breathing in through the top of your head, through your body and out your toes, and then reversing the process: in through the toes etc. I liked to imagine the air and the energy I was breathing in was full of colourful sparkles – it made me feel good. Towards the end of December last year I almost stopped in my tracks when I did this and realised that I was breathing in thick blackness – in through my head, and filling my body. I thought “Why is this happening?” and then made an effort to start again whilst imagining clean air coming in.
A few days later I was wondering though – perhaps I should have just let the blackness fill me and see what happened. I thought of how most of us only want to experience what we see as the ‘good’ things in life – always pushing away the ‘bad’ – but we need to experience everything – to integrate it all. On New Year’s Day I woke up feeling so low and empty – life seemed so meaningless, and I resolved to breathe in the blackness during my meditation…’ This is what set in motion a process of change, which over the months since then, has led me to a deep acceptance of myself and my life – I feel transformed. Helen Black
Things like a black animal or black vehicle usually indicate that you are dealing with feelings or fears that you have previously kept buried or repressed. Their appearance in your dream shows you are ready to meet such feelings by allowing them to be experienced and acknowledged.
Example: I dreamt last night that a black Spanish fighting bull charged me. I climbed a high wire mesh fence, like that surrounding tennis courts. There I was safe, as the Bull charged again. It charged people. I came down from the fence trying to help divert the bull’s destructiveness.
Here the dreamer is meeting sexual feelings that he had always avoided in the past and still feels threatened by. As the dream shows, he tries to avoid facing these feelings, but in the end has to deal with them. The forgetfulness or repression of parts of ones experience is very clearly shown in the next dream.
I felt very close to the girl. She said, “Do you remember when they made you black all over?” I said I couldn’t, and she reminded me of being a film extra, when, to cover up my bad skin, I was covered in black make-up to look like a slave. I then said, “You know, there are parts of my life I can’t remember.”
The connection in some dreams between feelings about death and the colour black are shown in the next dream.
Mike is dying. He is taking care of the old folks to gain merit because he knows he may soon be joining them wherever they are. He wants to be sure that they remember him kindly. The black road (death road=death row) has been incorporated into President Bush’s speech and is declaimed as death road or death highway in some of his speeches – as in ‘we want to protect you from death road or highway’. Of course, no one believes him as everyone knows that it is impossible to save oneself from death’s road. We all have to travel it eventually.
Black also sometimes indicate what is earthy, the source of life and growth. What is hidden in the unconscious or body can be powerfully transformative. Like compost, it is full of potentially life enhancing energy. Such black or hidden things often take time to clarify. They have remained in a condition of never having been felt or known fully, and so are unclear and pre-verbal. Knowing them means gradually understanding through experiencing them, and being able to describe and integrate them. There is often a complication here in ones progress, in that consciously you may have hidden or repressed, or been unwilling to accept, anything that was not judged good or positive. In this way the so called ‘bad’ is repressed and you become one sided and lacking wholeness. Therefore meeting the ‘black’ is important. Out of this fundamental earthiness the new person you can become can emerge. See: For blackbird, black hole, blackberries, black-tie, see respective
Black and white: The opposites appearing together. In ourselves the good and bad coexist, and one balances the other. So this would suggest such coexistence and balancing.
Black clothes or under garments: This usually points to hidden or unconscious feelings or sexuality. Black is also associated with a priest or the clergy, so might depict a religious or moral influence in some dreams.
A person dressed in black: This may represent your shadow, or less accepted characteristics. See: shadow.
Black people: If this is a true black person, see black people.
Shiny black: Rather like a crystal ball, this suggests looking into your intuitive perception of what lies usually unconscious within you, looking into the depths of yourself, perhaps beyond the boundaries of your personality.
Useful Questions and Hints:
What is it I am on the edge of being aware of, or have been unaware of previously?
Are there anxieties o feelings I usually do not allow myself to feel fully – perhaps using defences such as smoking or alcohol to help push away?
Is there something emerging out of the blackness that offers new growth – if so what do I notice in waking that is new and living in me?