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Dreaming of Vampires: Myth and Interpretation

I had a truly fantastical dream last night of a family of alien-vampires. They were vampires, to be sure, but not of the common sort. One distinguishing feature from those in popular media was that they had three eyes. The third was directly on top of their right eye, and which was attached by the bulb, like a siamese twin. The third eye could only be seen by looking at the vampire at a peculiar angle—if one were to look at them directly, they appeared to be normal people.

Everyone in the family was a vampire (though, they were once humans) except for one—the youngest boy. At one point, the child was talking about a class on British romanticism (I guess he was in university, though he didn’t look it) and I mentioned I wanted to take an art history seminar. He advised me not to enroll in it. I remember distinctly at one point we were all sitting at the dinner table when, for some reason or another, we revealed our extraterrestrial eyes to him. The look on his face was of absolute terror. At this point, we all sired him together. We did this by opening our mouths and all three of our eyes, and by some magical operation, willed our blood to escape from our pores and deposit it in the boy’s mouth. The change was instantaneous—he was a vampire. Immediately after this, all the vampires in the now-complete family suffered an intense nosebleed. All of my vampiric relatives quickly drank back up the blood they lost, in a truly disgusting, eldritch fashion. I will not endeavor to describe the severe distortions worn by their faces; I’ll leave that instead to your own perverse imaginations. It was at this point that I recognized this suffering vampire to be myself—I had hitherto been witnessing these events in third-person.

I had a bucket, or more like a plastic tupperware, which I was using to collect all the blood I was rapidly shedding. My family members seemed to be panicking as I kept losing more and more—they commanded me to drink it, but my body prevented me from doing so, like a gag reflex. Clotted blood kept pouring out from my nose like a partially blocked faucet, and I was coughing up more on top of that.

The family then added coins—quarters and dimes—to the container of blood and then sent me to my room. My sister came with me, and it was at this point that I recognized her to be Chelsea. She was helping me get down the blood, though at this point the emphasis of the scene was on swallowing the coins. I couldn’t, and I wept. She was supportive, and got me to swallow the first dime by placing it on my tongue and forcibly closing my mouth. I swallowed, and voila! With my confidence restored, I quickly swallowed the rest of the coins (and presumably the blood as well, though I can’t remember), and was recovered. To celebrate, the whole family, as well as an extended family of vampires which were not present earlier at the dinner table, entered my room to cheer and party.

There was, at this point, a scene break. I’m not sure if there was content between these two points, or if it simply transitioned like a sitcom. All I knew was that I was sitting in my room (which, it should be noted, I did not recognize yet knew to be mine) with a laptop and Chelsea sitting next to me. She was playing a video game and I watched her character jump on a path of lily pads in a swamp. There was a distinct urgency to her activity. She was stressed. Eventually, she sighed in exasperation and handed the laptop to me. I tried as well for a minute, and then failed or otherwise got bored, for this was the end of the scene.

The next task was something involving a movie on the other laptop. Chelsea was gone at this point, though I can’t remember her leaving. I was trying to get the movie to start, but there was some commercial, though I felt it to be a live performance, of a woman in a skimpy outfit, and a series of sexy vampire women (with only two eyes, to be sure!) entering the room. The scene devolved into a porno, but before much could happen, the commercial ended and the movie began. I remember becoming bored of the movie—that’s when I awoke. Or, more like, forced myself to awake.

Many months ago, I became intensely interested in the theories of Carl Jung. His emphasis on dreams as symbolic images from the unconscious psyche captivated me. Dreams, so the theory goes, have real and meaningful, albeit transcendental, content. Lest I be accused of blasphemy, I should mention dreams have prominent roles in both the Old and New Testament. The Hebrew prophet Daniel prophesied about his dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, and the Apocalypse, described in the book of Revelation, was revealed to the author John in a dream.

By no means am I a trained analyst, and I do not want to open Pandora’s box by conducting an explicit analysis. I will impose Jung’s own warning to the curious:

“We are greatly mistaken if we think that the Unconscious is something harmless that could be made into an object of entertainment, a parlor game. Certainly the Unconscious is not always and in all circumstances dangerous, but as soon as a neurosis is present it is a sign of a special heaping up of energy in the Unconscious, like a charge that may explode. Here, caution is indicated. One never knows what one may be releasing when one begins to analyze dreams. Something deeply buried and invisible may thereby be set in motion, very probably something that would have come to light sooner or later anyway—but again, it might not. It is as if one were digging an artesian well and ran the risk of stumbling on a volcano. When neurotic symptoms are present one must proceed very carefully. But there are cases of people, apparently quite normal, showing no special neurotic symptoms—they may themselves be doctors or educators—priding themselves on their normality, models of good upbringing, with exceptionally normal views and habits of life, yet whose normality is a compensation for a latent psychosis. They themselves suspect nothing of their condition. Their suspicions may perhaps find only an indirect expression in the fact that they are particularly interested in psychology and psychiatry, and they are attracted to those things like a moth to the light. But since the analytical technique activates the Unconscious and brings it to the fore, in this case the healthful compensation is destroyed, the Unconscious breaks forth in the form of uncontrollable fantasies, an overwrought state which may, in certain circumstances, lead to mental disorder and possibly to suicide. Unfortunately, these latent psychoses are not so very uncommon.”

While I won’t attempt an analysis (and, even if I did, I don’t have the knowledge nor expertise to conduct an informed one), I will try to connect it to some mythological content.

As I mentioned, these vampires were far from those depicted in popular media. The fact that they were vampires is not surprising—I am a fan of many vampire media, whether it be Dracula or Carmilla, or Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I’ve watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer no less than six times through! While the vampire is of course monstrous, the archetype also has an undeniable sexual archetype. I will not delve into the details of my personal life, but this too, I can make sense of.

This third eye is an interesting symbol which I can’t quite explain. In Hindu myth, the third eye is a chakra represented by the sacred syllable ॐ (Ōṃ), placed over an inverted triangle. In Jungian typology, the inverted triangle is a symbol for a vagina. This makes sense within the context of the sexual vampire. The sexy vampires in the commercial—there were three of them, just like the Weird Sisters in Bram Stoker’s novel—reminds me of the three Wyrd Sisters in Macbeth. These, of course, we would nowadays call witches.

Another interpretation is that the significance of the eye is not that it is “third” but that it is separate. In this case, I’m thinking of the Eye of Horus in Egyptian myth. I’m less concerned with the specific meaning of the Eye of Horus (since I don’t see how it fits in with my dream content), but with who the eye belongs to. Horus is the god of kingship and the sky. He is most often represented with the head of a falcon, though he is also associated with the owl.

This takes on a larger meaning in the context of Roman myth in Ovid’s Fasti. The strix was a Roman vampire-monster, translated often as an owl but which also has a more general meaning of witch. In Ovid’s mythology, the striges may be birds of nature, or products of magic, or magical transformations of witches by magical incantation. My dream did not contain any mention of birds nor owls, but consider this astrological significance:

This dream occurred on the night of 20 December 2022—the first night after the ingress of Jupiter into Aries. Jupiter, the Roman god of the sky (like Horus) was also the King of the Gods, like his Greek counterpart Zeus. Jupiter exited the sign of Pisces, in which he domicile, or ruler. My sun sign is Pisces and I have recently, on occasion, compared myself to Jupiter, since it was in Pisces, and Chelsea to Mars, since it was in Taurus (her sun sign).

In Antoninus Liberalis’s Metamorphoses, the strix was a metamorphosis of the Greek deity Polyphonte, the granddaughter of Ares, the god of War. Ares, or Aries, is of course the sign Jupiter has just entered into—it is also the Greek counterpart to the Roman god Mars, which again, I compared to Chelsea.

I don’t pretend to know any larger significance to these synchronicities, and I don’t intend to dive any deeper into myth or occult science to find a meaning. I mentioned Carmilla earlier, which is a short vampire story by Sheridan Le Fanu. Le Fanu has another story, Green Tea, which has been foundational in my understanding of the occult and demonology. In the story, the protagonist is tormented by a monkey-demon after studying the works of the Christian occultist Emmanuel Swedenborg. It's a cautionary tale about the dangers of studying the occult and heresy.

I am a faithful Catholic, but I have (especially recently) become much more interested in astrology and myth. Lots of this, I think, can be traced back to my interest in Jung, but also more explicitly Christian heretics such as Hegel. I can’t help but draw some connections between these recent forays and this dream—and I’m surely not healing my conscience by conducting this partial analysis!

I’ll end the post here, having discovered very little but hopefully having found some closure about the meaning of my horrid dream. Please, do pray for me.

(An AI piece generated by Dall-E)

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