(This blog was originally posted on August 23, 2016)
|Image courtesy of Flickr|
Readers who are familiar with this story know that it features a myriad of fantastic images. In addition to those magical ruby slippers, there is an army of flying monkeys, the constant threat of a vindictive witch intent on exacting revenge for her sister and a city made entirely of emerald. Dorothy Gale’s new friends are not even human but a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion that not only walk and talk but are also in search of something important to them: a brain, a heart and courage, respectively. Fortunately, the entire Land of Oz is in Technicolor—Dorothy’s home in Kansas was symbolically in black and white—which should make it all the easier for the group to find their symbolic treasures.
Of course, the final portion of their journey to the Emerald City is fraught with new dangers, including having to cross a field of sleep-inducing poppies that seduce Dorothy into much-needed slumber—actually a temporary escape—from her worries. When she awakes, her beloved dog is in the clutches of the Wicked Witch. Dorothy accidentally dispatches the witch by throwing a bucket of water on her, rescues her dog and runs back to meet her friends to find the Wizard. When Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal a little man manipulating various levers and controls to simulate the mystical “Wizard,” Dorothy and her friends are immediately disheartened and disappointed. How can their dreams possibly come true, now?
Fortunately, like the charlatan who correctly warned Dorothy about the storm in Kansas, this wizard can still help Dorothy by spiriting her home to Kansas in his hot-air balloon. But when he accidentally launches the balloon and takes off without her. Glinda the Good Witch makes another appearance at this point. She points out that the Scarecrow obviously has a brain; how else could he have helped his friends find the Emerald City? The Tin Man already has a heart, or he wouldn’t have been able to feel sad and cry when he thought of Dorothy going away. As for the Cowardly Lion, he had so bravely faced every danger with his friends as they made their way to find the Wizard. Of course, he was very brave indeed. And Dorothy only needed to click her heels together three times repeating the heartfelt sentiment, “There’s no place like home” and she would be reunited with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry on the family farm.
When Dorothy next opens her eyes she is in her own bed, surrounded by everyone she knows and loves, the film returned to its original black-and-white from its Technicolor dreamscape. There is no telling how long she has slept, but the pseudo-realistic/symbolic experiences she had in Oz are compelling evidence that she had one doozy of a venting dream.
The concept of the Gales’ home being picked up by the wind and being symbolically dropped in Oz could easily have been triggered by a physical stimulus: the tornado that hit the property and likely knocked Dorothy out in the first place. The similarities between Miss Gulch’s physical appearance and Dorothy’s perception of the woman’s personality as being a witch are very strong to the Wicked Witch. Indeed, Dorothy called the woman a “witch” when Miss Gulch packed Toto into the basket on her bicycle because the dog chased her cats. When the tornado hits, the girl looks out her bedroom window to see her nemesis riding her bicycle as it transforms into a witch riding a broomstick on the swirling wind.
Other people in Dorothy’s daily life were also represented in her dream, including several of her uncle’s farm hands who showed up as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, respectively. Furthermore, the things these characters wanted to find in Oz—a brain (intelligence), heart and courage were traits that Dorothy would have needed to run away from home and, more important, find her way back. As for the ruby (red) slippers and Emerald (green) City, these might have symbolically represented what and the people whom Dorothy loved, and the fantastic, trouble-free, “grass is always greener” land she imagined running to before the storm hit. Even the fortune-teller she met before the storm had shown up in her dream as the Wizard of Oz.
Finally, the biggest “tell” that her experience was a venting dream was the representation of Dorothy’s subconscious mind as Glinda, the Good Witch. Although Glinda is only seen a few times, always arriving in a bubble of golden light (Dorothy’s higher self), her gentle counsel and advice are felt throughout. Glinda is the one who sets Dorothy down that Yellow Brick Road to find the way home; which the girl does, even though she really has no idea where this road will truly lead. The love and protective instinct Dorothy has for her dog has her reach for the nearest weapon to hand—a seemingly innocuous bucket of water—to ultimately defeat the Wicked Witch and rescue her Toto. Finally, it is Glinda who reminds Dorothy that she always had the power to go home when she wanted to, all she needed to do was click the heels of those magical ruby slippers together three times and say “There’s no place like home.”
Fortunately, Dorothy ultimately, gratefully, understood.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.