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Rasputin Claus

Dreamed early 1990s? by "Sally Anne"
as told to Marc Ian Barasch

A woman I'll call Sally Anne told me that when she first met Bob, he was Prince Charming incarnate--a handsome captain of industry, with mansions scattered around the world, impeccably generous and exquisitely considerate, a dream come true. But one night she had a peculiar nightmare:

Bob is at the window asking to be let into my house. He is dressed in a Santa Claus costume; in fact, I think he is Santa Claus. But as I'm letting him in, his hat, which had obscured his face, falls off, and I see that he is really Rasputin.
She awoke in horror but could not understand why the dream had depicted her gift-bearing lover as the villainous, debauched manipulator of the last Russian czarina.

What was the dream trying to tell her about herself, she wondered. About Bob? Baffled, she chose to ignore it, and the courtship culminated in a spectacular wedding. Though she gradually came to see that her new husband had a penchant for control, it seemed a small price to pay for a basically fortunate union.

But a year into her marriage, she began to experience odd health symptoms. She was feeling weak, dizzy. Her hair began to fall out in clumps. She developed peculiar skin rashes. After going to specialist after specialist, she was finally diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning. What unfolded was a horror story of gothic proportions: as it turned out, her husband, a mining executive, was a deeply disturbed man who had been slowly, secretly poisoning her. Her dream of Rasputin had been a red alert; the jolly bearer of boons turned out to be a charming sociopath.

(Under the circumstances, the dream's choice of the figure of Rasputin was weirdly apropos: perhaps the most famous historical incident of his life was the attempt of the czar's courtiers to murder him by lacing a gift of sweet cakes and wine with poison.)

Sally Anne quickly divorced Bob, though her years of subsequent lawsuits amounted to naught. He was so powerful as to be untouchable; like Rasputin, he had behind him the power of a throne, albeit a corporate one. Glad to have escaped with her life, she has often thought of her dream over the ensuing years, and how readily she brushed it aside.

--Marc Ian Barasch

SOURCE

Healing Dreams by Marc Ian Barasch, 2000, p. 135. One of the best of the recent crop of dream books; he argues that assuming one's dreams only symbolize inner forces a la Freud or Jung ("Santa Claus represents the generous aspect of the animus, or perhaps the Wise Old Man archetype; Rasputin, the greedy, selfish shadow of that generosity. In my psyche these forces are in conflict. Does my generosity mask selfishness?" and blah blah blah) is nearly as reckless as ignoring dream-warnings entirely. He speaks from experience: dreams saved his life (see Thyroid)

--Chris Wayan



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