Bringing to consciousness things that were previously unconscious or unknown. So, it means to reveal something to you or to realise. Many such dreams help you to become aware that you have buried things – feelings about a past love, old hurts and traumatic experiences, for instance.

If you are an archaeologist or involved in the work, then it relates to whatever is concerning or interesting you at the moment. But it will still probably have a more interior meaning.

It links to the process of gradually bringing your past experience to consciousness. Literally it shows you digging into what are usually your unconscious layers of yourself to unearth personal meaning and perhaps deal with past problems that were buried.  It can also depict what you have to pull out of yourself through hard work, or ‘digging’.

Example: ‘I entered a neglected garden adjoining a house I had formerly lived in. I was astonished that I had never noticed this garden before. I took a spade and hoe and began to vigorously work in order to put things right, digging like a navy. But wherever I put my spade I turned up live shells and hand grenades – highly explosive and very dangerous. I was terrified I would be blown to pieces and hurried away.’ From Organism of The Mind, G. R. Heyer, Kegan Paul, 1933.

The dreamer was a man in his forties who had taken up meditation on the suggestion of a friend. It shows him discovering and uncovering a parts of himself he had not known before. In doing so he meets explosive emotions and conflicts he is not used to dealing with.

Unearthing things we have not been aware of before means their awareness reaches beyond what they feel is their normal self and feel scared. Such resistances cause us to create awful dreams and fears as a means of avoiding our own inner world and its wonders. We feel that we will be swallowed up and we will die. It is important to say that when we meet the experience of powerlessness through becoming aware of the hugeness of your Life, which we are usually unaware if, it feels like something alien or attacking, and it is a shock.

When we begin to meet the Hugeness that we are, we often react to it in our dreams or in waking with fear or panic. So, we dream of being attacked by aliens or frightening creatures; or being swallowed by a whale or something huge, a tsunami, or even possessed by evil entities. If we realise that they are things we have created through our own fear, we will pass on.

Example: Dr. Karagulla, a famous neurologist, in her book Breakthrough to Creativity has described an experiment she made with two doctors. To test heightened sensory perception, she blindfolded one of the doctors and gave him a photograph. It was a medical picture of a pregnant woman. He was asked to pass his fingertips over the photograph and report any impressions and sensations. At this the other doctor began to protest that what she was asking was not possible. But at this point the blindfolded doctor began to speak of impressions which vividly described the picture he held. The other doctor began to protest so violently, and began to feel so ill, the experiment had to be terminated.

Unearthing Bones: Remembering something from the long past. Looking at the memory of something you repressed in the past. If you are digging your own grave, then it is an obviously statement about the life you are leading.

Unearthing a Skull: This often represents the life of a person now dead, perhaps from the long past. It is also a common symbol of human mortality and frailty, but a skull does not represent death, although most people see it as such, it is a shell, like those of sea creatures, left on the beach and is simply the shell that life itself used and has left, the essential us passes on in its journey.

Example: I was walking past a large building site which had been excavated for foundations. Rain had filled the excavated pits and a large lake had formed. As I walked past, I could see ancient primitive creatures rising out of the water. One of them, a large dinosaur, came toward me. I was scared and ran away. The dinosaur followed and started speaking to me. I couldn’t understand what it said. Don.

Don explored this dream and realised that through his internal digging into himself I had uncovered some feelings he had never met consciously before. The dinosaur speaking, he understood as his awareness of instinctive feelings, such as the anxiety, which he had suffered from a lot, and about the anger he felt toward his step children for not appreciating the work he was putting into building them a home and working to provide. Seeing these things helped him understand what was behind his difficult feelings and fears. For instance, I saw that fear is fundamental to all human experience and is part of his animal ancient and primordial self that I needed to meet it and help to enter into the modern world instead of being repressed and remaining primitive.

Unearthing treasure: Although in the dream it may show gold or money the dream is about the feelings and sense of finding something so valuable. So, the value it depicts can be about a new opportunity, a developing talent even a new baby on the way.

Useful questions:  

Have I been ‘digging’ into myself in any way – if so, what have I uncovered?

Have circumstances or events uncovered what was previously buried in me?

What part of my past are my dream images suggesting?

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