Saving Your Soul -or- The Exotic Dancer's Navel

Vivian, 28 American "Exotic Dancer"

I recently had this dream that scared me. In my dream I was at work, sitting on a barstool beside a gentleman and there was a commotion but I could not see. A woman I work with tells me that there are some religious freaks in the club trying to save our souls. I do not know why but I was about to say something derogatory, because typically the people who do these things are very aggressive and judgmental. I see two police officers exit the crowd with a priest shrouded in black and a large cross sewn into the front of his suit. Like it is part of the suit. Nobody is talking and every one is quiet at this point as if in shock at what is happening. He walks by and takes his finger and starts at the top of my head and presses firmly against my head and slowly runs his finger down to about my belly button then stops, like he was marking me or something. Then I look to the guy beside him as if to ask him what is going on and he does the same thing to me before I can say anything. Then I felt afraid, maybe because of the vividness, the emotions and the atmosphere of this dream! What do you think this means?

Mr Hagen's Reply: Pornography and Silence -or- Women's Alienation 

In "Folk Devils and Moral Panic" the sociologist Stanley Cohen coined the concept of "moral panic". Witch hunts were fueled by moral panic. Folk devils much like scapegoats fuel fears that threaten the "social order". A co-sex-worker informs you in the dream that "religious freaks" are in the club trying to save your soul. You believe that these people "typically" do things that "are very aggressive and judgmental".

This does not quite happen, instead, "nobody is talking and everyone is quiet". In "Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature" Susan Griffin tells us that; "So in striptease, culture realizes its revenge against nature." Griffin believes that women become alienated from their sensual and feeling bodies, by male cultural dominated pornography and pornographic images. Said another way, women become sexually objectified objects by men. Griffin sees women's soul and body are split, flesh and spirit cannot commune, which amounts to; ‘a loss of her wholeness'. This amounts to cultural splitting of the dreaming mind, body and poetic soul.

The priest with the large cross sewn on the front of his suit puts his finger on your head and runs it down to your belly button, then the man beside you does the same thing. This frightens you. Your head can be seen as signifying the physical centre of your thought, while your navel is a physical sign of your birth and perhaps an allusion to "mother's love". Perhaps it also is an allusion to the natural connection to the "Great Mother".

You ask; "What do I think the dream means?" The dream may be read as saying to you that by selling your body, you are allowing it to be objectified, degraded, and depersonalized, leading to feelings of alienation. How do you know that the shrouded priest is a man? Could the priest once unveiled be a woman? The IIDR interpretation "The Holy Prostitute", talks about "No-Man's Land" which is a poetic place where men and woman haters meet everyday on the planet, most likely right this moment, to exchange sexual services for money. Madonna evidently began to clean up her act, after a dream, read the interpretation "Madonna -or- My God, I've Killed My Baby". In another dream "Porn Stars" sent to the IIDR, the "head" of a sex-worker has most likely become filled with grotesque pornographic body images from the adult entertainment industry. The dream interpretation "The Doll's House", has a similar feel.


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.