THE WIZARD OF OZ –DREAM INTERPRETATION
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© September 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz is a book by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900. It recounts a dream that the author had about his fiancé. The movie version came out in 1939.
Many people consider the story very anti-Christian or anti-Biblical because it contains witches and other questionable material. However, it may be useful to view it simply as a dream.
The story in a nutshell. The main character is Dorothea, a 17-year-old girl from the farm country of the United States. She has not been far from the farm, and knows she has a lot to learn about the world.
During a storm, she is hit on the head with a board and falls into a dream. Her whole house is transported to a strange place called Oz.
There Dorothea meets various characters, gets on the yellow brick road, learns a lot, makes some new friends, and saves the world from several evil beings who are creating mischief for everyone.
II. THE CHARACTERS
In dream interpretation, every character in the story is usually an aspect of the main character having the dream – namely Dorothy. So let us begin by looking at these characters.
The name Dorothea literally means “a gift of God”. The word dor means a gift in old Greek. The word or means light in Hebrew.
Oro means gold in Spanish. This is seen in words such as dorado, with means golden in Spanish. The word theo means “of God”, as in our word theology.
Dorothy is a very loving and innocent young woman who brings light and love wherever she goes.
- She is inclusive and friendly at all times.
- She is no nonsense, reprimanding all the other characters when they misbehave or feel too sorry for themselves. In this sense, she is direct, stands up tall and straight, and says what is on her mind. She does not hesitate to tell the truth. She even insults the lion in the story – usually a symbol of strength and authority.
- She maintains a happy, upbeat attitude even when the others are sad, dejected or depressed. In this, she is teaching very valuable attitudes and emotions to children and to anyone who watch the film.
- She is earthy - a “farm girl” and not a fancy city girl. For example, she hugs and sings to her dog to pass the time.
- She is rather motherly, kind, caring, sharing and loving.
- She is also plain-looking, plain-dressing, and not particularly sexy. She does not wear makeup and does not wear her hair in fancy ways. Also, she does not seem at all interested in boys or the sexy side of life. She covers up her body well.
This is an image of womanhood that is missing today in the movies and on television. It is sometimes called the deep feminine version of womanhood. It is distinctly direct, earthy, motherly, not sexy, and very loving.
THE WOMEN IN THE STORY
The women we meet in the story are all powerful. Dorothy is at an age where she may need to learn about woman’s power. Also, the book was written at a time when women in America were gaining political and social power
Some of the women use their power for good. They dress all in white, stand tall, and radiate love to all. They also travel around in a bubble of light, which is a Merkaba, a sign of a developed person or master.
In fact, the “good witches” are not witches at all. They are masters. The word witch derives from old English and German words that mean a female sorcerer, an evil woman, or a woman who has dealing with the devil and evil spirits. For details about them, read Women Masters.
The women are the masters of the North and the South. North and South form the vertical axis, a theme also found in Christian thought in the vertical versus horizontal aspects of the symbol of the cross. The vertical axis is longer in the Christian symbol, indicating its greater importance. It is the symbol of the connection between God above and mankind below.
The pushing down exercise we strongly recommend teaches the same thing – to move energy vertically through your body from the head to the feet.
The lady masters have their magic wand, with which they can alter conditions on earth. The wand is a common symbol of achievement in spiritual matters. The wand in the hand of a woman also represents a blending of female and male energies.
The women that use their power for evil purposes dress in dark clothing, hunch over, have a screechy voice, and are rather ugly-looking and green in the face. They are definitely sick in some way. The contrast is very stark, perhaps to give Dorothy a better sense of choices that she can make.
The dark witches can be seen as forces within a person that slow one down or stop one on the path of development. They must be slain, as there is no other way to get rid of them out of your life.
They are scary-looking and scary-scounding. However, an important theme of the movie is that the dark witches are not as tough as they look. One is killed when Dorothy’s house falls on her. For Dorothy, just showing up in Oz kills one of the witches!
The dark witches are deeply afraid of water, which often represents spirituality in dream symbolism. Water also represents true femininity in dream images.
The wicked witch of the West dies accidentally when some water is splashed on her and she melts or dissolves. Here Dorothy’s problem dissolves before her eyes. This teaches a number of lessons:
1. Both witches die “accidentally”. Dorothy does not need to slay them intentionally. She simply stays on her path and pursues answers to life’s questions. By staying on the golden path, the bad witches in your life will one day just “dissolve”.
2. The first witch to die cannot even handle just the presence of Dorothy’s home. The lesson is that just the presence of a good person is hard on bad witches.
3. True femininity, represented by the water, is very powerful. Note that it is not a sexy femininity, nor an emotional one. It is a loving, caring, no-nonsense femininity that defeats the wicked witches.
THE MEN IN THE STORY
The men in the story are all incomplete in some way.
They are also rather serious, “stuck”, discouraged characters who respond to Dorothy’s simple, fresh and happy approach to life. Her ability to win their trust is somewhat like the theme of the famous musical, The Sound Of Music. In this musical play, once again an honest, forthright and rather innocent maiden triumphs over discouragement and evil.
The Scarecrow needs a brain, the Tin Man needs a heart, the Lion needs courage and the Wizard needs more honesty.
These may represent masculine aspects of Dorothy that are, as yet, not fully developed. They all eventually help Dorothy, and she gladly helps them as well. This is another theme of the movie – we all need each other.
Also, we notice that there is no lasting animosity between Dorothea and any of the men, even the Wizard, who lies about who he is and what he can do. This is one of Dorothy’s best personality aspects in regards to men. It is a powerful lesson for women today.
WHO IS THE WIZARD?
The wizard is that mythical “someone” who will supposedly solve all of our problems. However, in the Oz story, it turns out that the wizard is not as great as he appears to be, and really cannot solve our problems. He can, however, point us in the right direction, perhaps.
This is a very important lesson for children and adults who think, for example, that their “big, powerful” parents will solve all their problems, when it is not so. They must really solve them by themselves, eventually.
This is an important lesson for all of us having to do with learning maturity, courage, thinking and having a heart.
WHO IS TOTO, THE DOG?
Toto represents the animal kingdom, awareness and totality. The name Toto may refer to “all” or “total”. The word todo in Spanish means all.
Dogs watch out for us and help us. This is even true of small dogs, such as Toto, who may not be as effective as guards or watch dogs, but can still help protect us in other ways.
Animals also listen to our cries and questions, as Toto does at the beginning of the film. The dog has a bigger awareness than Dorothy, in some matters.
Toto keeps an eye on everything for Dorothy, who often is caught up in the moment. This is typified near the end of the movie when Toto saves the day by pulling the curtain aside, revealing that the Wizard is a fake. It is often our awareness, perhaps typified as a true friend, or the “friend” within, who reveals to us the truth.
THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
Dorothy receives very specific instructions from one of the women masters to stay on the yellow brick road.
One interpretation of this is that this is a type of training for Dorothy. The path concept is that one stays on the path no matter what, encountering his or her future as one progresses, finally arriving at the destination. For more about this topic, read The Path Concept.
Today, living the principles of your religion is a type of path. Following a development program is very much a modern-day spiritual path.
An interesting theme of the story is that Dorothea saves everyone. When she first arrives, her house lands directly on one of the evil witches and kills her.
Everyone celebrates and the inhabitants of Oz all love her instantly for this. Later in the story, she accidentally kills the other evil witch.
Dorothy also rescues the Scarecrow and the Tin man, and helps the Lion. This may mean that she heals parts of herself in the story. Another interpretation is that in the real world, a loving young woman is a powerful force for good.
Another theme of the story is protection. Oz has some dangers. Not only does Dorothy heal others by her character and her actions, but she also gains protection for herself by her character and her actions.
For example, by helping the Scarecrow, she gains a friend on the path who later steps in front of the lion who is about to hit her. By helping the Tin Man, she gains another friend on the path who helps her out later in the story. The Lion, too, helps her out later in the story when they visit the wizard.
The point is that women can gain protection in life that they need by helping other properly. Please notice Dorothea did not want a boyfriend, or sex, or anything of that sort. It is not necessary, young ladies!
ANSWERING LIFE’S DEEPEST QUESTIONS
Dorothy seems to get swept up in a tornado and finds herself in a strange land. However, it is really not that strange. In fact, one could say that Oz comes to her, really, because she has asked a deep question about life.
She asks the question in the song at the beginning of the movie. She asks: Why, oh why, can’t I fly like a bird? In other words, she feels stuck on the farm, and does not know why she is on earth.
Dorothy represents all human beings who are looking for answers - usually in all the wrong places. Dorothy sings to her dog, for example, who is a true friend, but the dog does not have the answers she seeks.
As with most of us, it takes a “storm”, and maybe a blow on the head, or some other blow, to transport us to where we can work out our issues and learn the truth about life.
Dorothy not only solves her own problems, but solves problems for the people of Oz. This is an important spiritual lesson. As you solve your own problems, you solve the same problems for many other people.
Dorothy also learns to trust herself and her own judgment. She realizes the mistake of the munchkins, who only trust the Wizard, and not themselves. Somehow, this has allowed the rise of the dark witches.
Dorothy stays calm under pressure, and she handles all sorts of crises with love. This is another spiritual lesson.
Another very valuable spiritual lesson in the story is that help is available at all times, and we are watched and guided at all times.
THE OZ STORY AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
Dorothy just wants to go home. However, in the process of going home she learns many lessons. The same occurs when one begins a development program.
Most people who begin a program just want to get rid of their headaches, lose 30 pounds, or just want more energy. However, in the process of getting their symptoms removed, many must face their “dark witches”, and other strange things as they learn lessons about how to live correctly.
Dorothy is told to get on a special path in order to find what she seeks. A development program is also such a path.
She is told to just stay on the path and she will arrive safely at her goal. This is the same advice we give clients – just remain on the program and you will succeed.
Most healing methods today are not paths. They are simply the use of remedies. These are less work, but, in our experience, they are less effective and less permanent than a development program.