Things we repeat over and over like habits; movement towards greater awareness or insight.

Example: ‘We walk around, go upstairs, and I notice a staircase leading to a room or rooms. The stairs are painted in the green too, and they go up square, about eight steps in a flight, but round and round – spiral. I am scared by them, don’t want to go up, but am curious. We move in and nobody but myself has really taken any notice of the stairs. Nobody has been up. Half way up I can see there is a glass roof, the wooden frames painted green. I am terrified but have to go on. Then I wake. Next dream I got up there. It smelt very musty. Lots of draw sheets covering things. I bent to lift a sheet. It was raining. I could hear it thrashing on the glass. Then I woke.’ Ann H.

In this example we have the spiral and the square combined in the stairs. In this way the dream manages to combine many different ideas such as climbing to the unknown, spiralling or circling something, and the squareness or down to earth nature of what is being discovered. There are things we have learned, yet not realised consciously. Like a jigsaw puzzle, we have all the pieces, and we sense the connection, but we have never formed it into a conscious thought or verbal idea. It therefore remains as a feeling sense or hunch, but not a rational idea. Ann is spiralling toward, or circling around such a realisation. She is frightened because it may be difficult – one may realise that all the years of marriage, for example, point to having been used as a door-mat.

A spiral is often used to indicate the core self and our journey toward realising it – i.e. realising who and what we fundamentally are. It depends though whether you are ascending or descending, and with what feelings. Up suggests growth and expansion. Down means developing a more down to earth attitude or awareness. Out of control shows feelings of disorientation and a need to take care. See: maze.

The spiral staircase hints at a view of life you have, that you are in a process of continual growth, the spiral staircase of Life. So perhaps the change is part of your growth. The sign on the house is usually a way of telling you something – probably that the house/you that you live in at the moment is not a good place to be. It is probably referring to your attitudes to your life.

In most cases the ascent is, like the rising sun during the day or the summer, linked completely with the descent in the evening, night, or winter. Ascent is therefore part of a spiral which also descends, the cycle of birth, death, rebirth. Christianity tends to speak of a one time resurrection however, whereas the ancient belies saw it as a continuing cycle.

The form of the spiral, a lunar symbol of the Mother Goddess and of the eternal cycle of renewal.

But spirals represent both the masculine and feminine waxing and waning cyclical powers of the cosmos: fertilisation, birth, growth, decline, death, birth. Spirals take many shapes, and can indicate a winding up or a winding down.

A spiral also is a centre of life, and a vortex of energy. In a dream spirals may represent a need for change, a growth process that is taking place, or the withering away of something no longer needed.

Spirals have numerous associations. Mazes, labyrinths and lightning, navels, s-link chains, fire and the caduceus are forms of spirals, whirlpools. All life that grows in coils, s-shapes and spirals represent the symbolism of the spiral, such as seashells, tree cones, serpents, trailing and twining plants, snails, ferns, and octopi. Animals with horns can be interpreted in terms of the spiral, as well as any animal which curls (coils) itself up.

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