Mythology of Women-or-Women's Bodies,Women's Dreams: Part 1
Matriarchal and Patriarchal Mythology
Joseph Campbell reportedly believed; "Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths." One of the interests of the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR), is the comparative study of mythology not only comparing dreams from different cultures and different mythological epochs, but also to compare the mythological similarities and differences of men's and women's dreams. In "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets" Barbara G. Walker informs the reader; "There is a need for a complete study of the many-faceted process of transition from female-oriented to male-oriented religions in Western civilization." The dream interpretation "The Holy Prostitute" provides a hermeneutic point of departure from a dream research perspective to understand the mythopoetic transition from matriarchal to patriarchal mythology.
In "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom", the physician Christiane Northrop tells her readers: "Western civilization has rested for the last five thousand years on the mythology of patriarchy, the authority of men and fathers." Northrop sees the need for restoring our relationships to ourselves and to others back to health. Northrop also sees feminism as a political and a medical vehicle to help heal the addictive process that has distorted the mind's and bodies of both men and woman. The IIDR dream interpretations; "Delusion and Dream of Love" speaks of the deleterious effects of love and "Confessions of a Porn Addict -or- The Devil in Disguise" testifies to the oneiric problems of the cultural myth of feminine evil. As well, the more pervasive psychological and emotional problem of separation and divorce has created a "The Divorce Culture" (read dream interpretation).
Patricia Garfield, "Women's Bodies, Women's Dreams" discusses the life cycle of women's dreams. For Garfield, the life rhythm of a woman's dreams are divided into seven transitional (cultural rites of passage) stages;
- Childhood: 0-13 years old
- Adolescence: 14-19
- Early Adult;: 20-29
- Middle Adult: 30-44
- Menopause: 45-54
- Late Adult: 55-64
- Older Years: 65-80+
Luce Iragaray believes that there is a need for a rebalancing of maternal and paternal communication. Applied to dreams, women's dreams follow the modern mythopoetic generational circle of life. Read Part 2, "The Female Body in Dreams" which discusses the modern female beauty myth and feminist criticism of "sexual politics".