…because Diane had a dream jam packed with archetypes including a bridge and a cave and a DRAGON-thing. Naturally, the dragon thing came out of the cave. But it wasn’t a classic serpent dragon, it was more lion-like with a dragony head, almost a griffon but made out of LAVA.
I think that’s very interesting because, just for starters, I’m gonna call lava a peculiarly mutable form of fire and I wouldn’t expect to find a solar symbol in a cave. Caves are usually a gateway to the underworld. On the other hand, a dragon’s treasure of choice is GOLD, which is a solar symbol.
Anyway, when heroes aren’t following enchanted animals into the woods and finding their way to the spirit world that way, they’re going into caves. Or some watery gateway like a river or a Leviathan of some kind – a cave inside a dragon.
Then they always get fucked up somehow. Frodo comes to mind, losing his finger in one cave to Golum, who Bilbo met in a cave where he found the ring that helped him face Smaug in yet another cave. There’s almost always a ritual injury, not the same thing as the ritual death/rebirth they experience which, on returning home, completes their transformation into a hero.
I don’t have my copy of The Masks of God series handy and I think most dream interpretation sites are rather awful, so I’m just going by memory, here.
I remember taking a philosophy class in college and learning about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. MAN, that blew my mind. Thanks, Dr. Dye!