Instinctive Energy

What is instinctive energy?

There are many ways of working with instinctive energies. This can involve: voice sessions, dancing, dreaming etc.  

Instinctive Dream theme: sensuality Amy

Natural instincts may range from simple assertiveness to fairly primitive energy patterns. By definition, they do not become demonic until they are repressed or disowned.

Our natural instincts, disowned over time, become distorted and threatening.

In dreams we can get compelling warnings from the unconscious that it is time to embrace a self that has been disowned.

The more energy we invest in holding back these energies, the more drained we become, physically and psychically. Exhaustion and fatigue, more often than not, are a function of strong instincts (animals) that are being disowned.

So it is with our instinctual life—those selves who fear instinct help lock our instinctual energies ‘in a box’. The “keeper of instincts” within us tells us that this viciousness is proof that the animals inside us are bad. If we listen to the keeper, we will force our animal/instinctual nature back into the cage.

For years, Amy was plagued by a repetitive nightmare of being chased by wild animals, particularly feline animals. Amy had grown up conditioned to identify with being a proper lady. In her upbringing, she was identified with being a good partner to be and a pleasing daughter. Her sensual Aphrodite nature had almost been eradicated from her awareness. She was not allowed to be selfish, sensual, or self-indulgent. Fortunately for Amy, her unconscious maintained its pressure. Over and over again, her animal nature appeared in her nightmares, chasing her like the aggressive.

Then Amy decided to have Voice Dialogue session around this theme of sensuality.

the facilitator asked to talk with her animal nature.

The Animal voice: She doesn’t know me or like me.

Facilitator: Why not?

Animal Voice: She’s afraid of what would happen if I were around.

Facilitator: Well, let’s imagine that you were around all the time. What would you do? What would happen?

Animal Voice: I’d preen a lot. I’d take hot baths all the time—hot sudsy baths with smelly things in them. I’d eat when I wanted, not when others wanted. I’d never, never cook for anyone, unless I wanted to cook. Then I’d make sure the man was with me while I was cooking, and I’d make sure he was making love to me all the time. That’s another thing. I’d make love all the time. I’d never stop. I’d use all kinds of exotic oils and I’d massage myself all over.

A few nights after a dialogue session, Amy had the following dream: I’m walking down the street; it feels very familiar. I’m aware again of the fear reaction and the sense of being followed. I know a cat is there. I start to run. Then I stop. I am tired of running. I turn around to face my pursuer. It is a lion. It comes racing up to me and then stops and licks my face. Why have I always been so afraid … ?

Because Amy had been identified with a good girl/ pleaser psychology all her life, it is no wonder that her natural instincts were negated. Having been rejected, they are now enraged; because she refused to look at them, they grew in power and authority. This made it even harder and more frightening for her to face them and listen to their demands. What is remarkable about this whole process is that when we have the courage to look at our disowned parts, they change. The raging lion licks our face. He does not need to take over our personality; he only needs to be honored, to be heard, to be allowed to speak. 

Follwing exercises can be done when such instinctual energies come up in dreams or in other exercises or sessions.

Exercise 10.1 - Using instinctive energy creatively

This exercise is preferably done outside in nature, but it is also possible inside with some nice background music. You need clay and a cup of water.


  1. Take a lump of clay in your hand and start to knead it. Knead it until it becomes warm and your energy is transformed into it. 

  2. Then follow the impulses of your body and find a place in nature. Meanwhile, continue to knead and follow your body/instinct in where it wants to go. Become one with the energy. ‘Drop into the energy’.

  3. If you have found a spot in nature, continue to knead with your eyes closed. Let your own energy and nature do its work. 

  4. See what develops in the clay, what is unfolding? Continue to knead until a shape is created. Let the instinctive energy lead you. 

  5. When it takes shape, you can continue working on the shape that was created with your eyes open. You can use water to smooth the clay. You can use material from nature in your project if you want. Also let the calm and silence do its work.

When you are ready, exchange the process and result with someone else. The following questions can help you:

  • What was doing this like, what happened inside you? 

  • Which energy or feelings were present?

  • What did you encounter during the process?

  • Which discoveries did you make?

  • What was it like to work with instinctive energy this way?

The project and/or process can lead to a Voice Dialogue session on the basis of a revealed polarity.