The penis; male sexuality; self expression in its positive extending aspect. Anything upright like this can also represent the spine, with its connotations of strength or ‘spinelessness’. So a pole with flag flying high could show the mood of well-being and rejoicing. The pole thrown down or broken could be a sense of defeat or low spirits.

Also a pole can be weapon or even a way of overcoming barriers like a vaulting pole. See: Maypole; OarPole StarOak .

A pole is sometimes used to refer to a Polish person.

The image of Jesus suffering on the Cross – which is a pole with arms – is a familiar one. What is the mystery of this suffering? There are some mythological parallels, described in Campbell’s The Masks of God. There is the Norse god, Wotan, for example, who hangs from a tree, speared in sacrifice to himself, in order to learn the secret of the Runes. There is also Ixion, forever bound to the Wheel of Life by his passion; yet it is his passion that also creates the wheel and sustains it.

There is the Sun Dance, which involves a pole, has something to teach about suffering. The leather strap from the central pole is gouged into the dancer’s chest. As the dancer leans back, pulling on the strap, he enters into suffering. If he moves too close to the centre, the strap becomes slack and there is no suffering. If he pulls back too hard, his skin tears and he separates himself from the dance. Maintaining the maximum amount of tension that the flesh will allow, the dancer sustains the suffering. At a certain point, the body ceases to distinguish suffering from non-suffering, and at that moment the dancer is initiated into the mystery by a vision.

Example: To prepare for dreaming together, the twelve women arranged their sleeping bags into a “wheel” surrounding a central pole. In addition, each woman had two strands of ribbon attached to her sleeping bag which were then attached to the pole, making a “dream net.” The arrangement is quite similar to the May Pole and Sun Dance ceremonies; except, in this case, the people are lying down, asleep and dreaming.

Example: Regeneration was also a theme of the tree festivity. Involving the rebirth of Dionysus, who, like the later Risen Christ of Easter, was seen as a twice-born young man. Another spring festival is the May Pole celebration of the British Isles, with its flowers and the dancing with ribbons around a pole prepared from a tree. It is almost as if by decorating a barren tree with flowers and dancing around it, the people are trying to coax the tree to imitate the spring in their dance and sprout forth its own flowers.

Snake a pole: The blind instinctive forces of life emerging into conscious experience – in other words the essence of human experience with its involvement in pain, pleasure, time and eternity; the process of personal growth or evolution. This is healing because personal growth often moves us beyond old attitudes or situations that led to inner tension or even sickness.

Totem pole: Like any pole it represents the uprising forces of nature and so is also a phallic symbol. But the carvings are man made and represent the stories that tribesmen honour – the great events of their tribe that are also the traditions that give the people their identity. So in a dream it can represent you links with your cultural or family heritage; your state of sexual energy; or the marks you have carved on the tree of life through your own activities. See identity.

Example: We were trying to cross the hall diagonally toward the exit, but were constantly attacked or haunted by black demons or ghosts. I was fighting them off, but the struggle went on and on as they came back. Then toward the end I had a large pole and I was smashing them aside shouting, “By the power of God within me, I dismiss you” – or words to that effect.

The dreamer says of this dream, “I felt a slightly sore throat as I became semi awake wondering about the dream. I remembered that yesterday I had a flu injection, and what I arrived at was that the blackness depicted serious illness that I had been fighting off. As I was looking at this the black demons became very real for me and I felt I could not really dismiss them as an influence. I struggled and struggled with this, as I had in the dream, but now semi awake. But gradually I became aware of peace, a solid unmovable peace – a steadiness of consciousness – and the steady peace seemed to dissolve any threat I felt. Also the sore throat went”.

Idioms: bean pole; low on the totem pole; may pole; pimple pole; pole vault; poles (negative and positive – north and south); scaffold pole; telephone pole; totem pole; touch it with a ten foot pole; up the pole

Useful Questions and Hints:
Was I using the pole or connected to in some way?
Did I feel any sexual attraction during the dream?
What feelings did I have in the dream?
What was the pole used for?
See Being the Person or Thing – Characters and People in Dreams – Key Words

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