In a dream some time ago I experienced trying to serve a customer where I had to follow strict Muslim ritual. Because I was unfamiliar with the ways, I was quite slow and humbly apologized to the customer. Another customer who was Muslim was watching me closely and I daresay was judging my performance.
When I walked away to get some materials for the sale I walked by a long table set for a Queen with all sorts of fancy dinnerware placed just so. I realized that both experiences were ritualistic in their own way.
In this interpretation I am using meanings for symbols that are exclusive to me. The Muslim traditions, as they seem to be practiced, seem oppressive to me especially in how they appear to treat women. I am not however, suggesting that the religion itself is oppressive, quite the contrary. But I do have judgments about the manner in which it is practiced in some parts of the Muslim world or within the Christian world for that matter. Perhaps I should just use word “world” which should pretty much cover the bent toward misogyny I’ve seen all over the world regardless of religion.
There are oppressive aspects of myself that come out when I’m stressed or tired, or particularly self-critical and I’ve become more an more aware of them as of late, not really liking what I see and preferring to not think about them too deeply. I’d rather dwell on high fantasy and on what looks glittery and fun versus what looks dark and foreboding.
There are several oppositions in this dream e.g. lower status vs. higher status; ignoble vs. noble; and ignoring vs. facing the shadow (the tendency to ignore the shadow is characteristic of most of us). Actually, both events have their shadow side; the Muslim symbol I’ve explained, but the noble or queenly symbol also has its shadow in the way they treat and think about those whom they consider their inferiors.
The ritual aspect represented by both might suggest an addictive tendency on my part with respect to certain behaviors and I’m finding that I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable with ignoring them. This is a good sign for me, and one that I have been looking for in my dreams for some time.