I Put A Spell on You: Answers to Your Dreams Revealed

This space serves as a place of healing and wonder, redeeming the cast-out witches, queens and goddesses in you, the modern woman.

Dear Wondrous Advice Readers,
Thank you so much for your honest and insightful questions! I can’t wait to get to more of them. Check back every Monday to see if your submission has been selected.
And one reminder — when your submission is selected it will be posted along with my response. Please write only what you’re comfortable having made public, or note what you’d like taken out.  — Melissa

This month, NY-based “therapist for creatives” Melissa Daum, LMFT, has set up her couch for Free People. In her work, Melissa draws from ancient symbols, Greek mythology, fairy tales, and alchemy to shed light on modern-day conundrums. This realm of feminine magic and symbolism is easily overlooked, on a cultural level and in turn, within ourselves. In an effort to better identify and explain some of this magic, Melissa wants to field questions from YOU! Feel free to share with her your deepest secrets, strangest dreams, most absurd single behavior. This space serves as a place of healing and wonder, redeeming the cast-out witches, queens and goddesses in you, the modern woman.

SEND YOUR QUESTIONS/DREAMS/SECRETS to: cyotter@freepeople.com

We’ll be addressing YOUR thoughts, so please don’t be shy!

Question #5 comes from B:


(Background: I am 21 years old, female, white, studying fashion, in a relationship)

I often have the same dream and it it starting to bother me. Basically, I dream that I have a number of different Pop Tarts spread before me — different colors and flavors like cinnamon, strawberry, Oreo, etc., and even some flavors that don’t exist in real life like cookie dough and white chocolate fudge. I heat them up and begin to eat. My, they are delicious! I eat and eat as much as I can. They taste great! In the dream I can taste them. Like when you have sex in a dream and it feels amazing. But then you wake up and it’s a let-down. You are alone. The Pop Tarts were not real.

I do have some issues with eating and dieting. Is my dream really about food, or is it about sex? You should know that I would never normally eat Pop Tarts, or at least confess to eating them or desiring them, but in fact I crave them every day.


Dear B,

My what a decadent dream! As I read your dream I kept picturing a film like “The Wizard of Oz,” where Dorothy leaves her drab world of Kansas for the brilliant technicolor of Oz. Your Pop Tart wonderland seems to be compensating for your restricted palette of the everyday, as you mentioned you have some issues with dieting. Maybe your sex life could use some technicolor also?

Carl Jung wrote about this notion of psychic equilibrium. Just as molecules, planets, and all organic life in between seeks homeostasis, the psyche is no different. Say you take a long, hot shower. A very complex and interconnected internal system helps regulate your body temperature so that it remains largely unchanged despite the intense external heat conditions. Your pores open, you sweat, your heart rate speeds up, drawing blood toward the skin in order to cool it. Think of the opposite when you’re freezing and blood rushes inward to keep you insulated, leaving your extremities ice cold. You don’t have to tell your body to make these adjustments, it does so of its own accord. Our psychic life also regulates itself voluntarily, and communicates that it may be under stress through symptoms, soma, and dreams. Your dream life is doing you a favor by feeding you at night the treats you limit by day. This kind of chronic denial you’re imposing on yourself through dieting is putting stress on your self-regulating psychic system, and I’m sure your body as well. I recommend you stop what you’re doing and go get a Pop Tart! But not before you read what my friend Mikita Brottman, Freudian psychoanalyst and author, has to say about your pop tart dilemma. 

“I would say in some ways this is a simple wish fulfillment dream. Freud believed that all dreams were the fulfillment of a wish. We can see this most clearly when we dream that we do something we actually want to do, or should be doing — getting up and going to the bathroom, getting a glass of water, getting up and going to work, writing that paper for school — while enjoying the pleasure of staying asleep the whole time. This dream clearly fits into that category — the dreamer, who in real life has to restrict her diet, can enjoy a heavenly array of forbidden flavors and tastes without ‘paying’ for them in terms of calories or weight gain. I’d suggest the dreamer should go a little easier on herself when it comes to her diet. A treat now and then is not a disaster.

Also, being a Freudian, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the sexual aspect of the dream. The dreamer draws attention to a curious double standard in our society. Young women who overeat rich desserts are taught to feel guilty, to treat themselves with disdain, and yet when it comes to sex, modern ladies are encouraged to have as much as possible, be adventurous, experiment, go solo, insist upon multiple orgasms, etc. Ironically, if it were flavors and varieties of sex this dreamer was describing, her desire would be a lot more socially acceptable (less “vanilla”), which is perhaps why she would like her dream to be ‘about sex’ and not about food.”

B, I hope you can enjoy this food for thought as much as you’ll enjoy that Pop Tart!


Melissa is a therapist in private practice in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her work is grounded in psychoanalysis and Jungian theory. For several years Melissa was a therapist at an eating disorder day hospital program in Manhattan and she continues to work with men and women struggling with eating and body image issues. Illustrations are by Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist and designer, Erica Prince. Through drawing, sculpture, installation, relational projects, functional housewares and more, Erica’s work presents opportunities for speculation and exploration of potentialities. Her works have been featured in T: New York Times Style Magazine, Vice, Artsy, NPR, Wallpaper and Canadian Art. 
Erica and Melissa were college roommates at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and have continued to collaborate, inspire, and encourage one another. From Sex and the City Psychoanalysis Club to ladies terrarium nights, experimental performance art projects, and regular dates to discuss research projects, life, love, and book ideas, Erica and Melissa are excited to collaborate with Free People to bring you this magical advice column. 



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