Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A night of Asklepian dream healing


I have an intention for the night, and I state it simply and clearly: “I wish to be healed.” I add a second statement: “I ask for the health of body and mind required to serve my spiritual purpose.”-
     I stretch out on the bed. Immediately, I see an enormous serpent. It is gray-blue, and could be twenty feet long. I see the dark slits of its pupils, quite close to me, in a head larger than my own. I do not feel fear, but there is a strong sense of the uncanny, the presence of a transpersonal other. I feel this is the Asklepian serpent, a power mastered for healing. The form of the god appears less distinctly, like a living statue. Also the form of a large dog with tall pointy ears.
-   I resolve to let the snake enter my energy field and do anything required for healing. I begin to experience movements of the serpent energy through my chakras, starting at the root center and moving upwards. There are moments of gentle physical pressure or constriction as it passes through some of my energy centers – of slight pressure in the heart, of a little constriction at the throat. The movement ceases to flow smoothly at the vision center, where I had been experiencing pressure and blurring. An experimental probe, not pushing too hard. The movement loops down and back, returning to try again. I invoke Light as well, and feel the presence and blessing of a being of Light I know well. I feel a process of healing has been initiated, and will be played out over time, if I allow it to be.
-    All of this has been enacted in the liminal state of wakedream the French used to call dorveille, which is where much of the work of Asklepian healing (I believe) took place, Now I let myself drift towards sleep, hoping for the gift of further healing in the dreamspace. That gift came in the form of an amazing and energizing sleep dream that connected my personal healing to new creative endeavors, writing new books and bringing them to the world.
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Comment: This is an excerpt from my journal from the night of March 6-7, 2003, a night of terrific personal healing of the kind pilgrims traveled to the temples of Asklepios to seek. For a full account of the ancient experience in the temples of dream healing associated with Asklepios and his divine family, please see The Secret History of Dreaming.

Photos: (1) Asklepios with his companion, in the archaeological museum at Epidaurus; (2) the author at the serpent column in the temple of Askelpios at Pergamon (Bergama) in Anatolia.

5 comments:

Naomi said...

That's the one. I imagined in my mind before I went to sleep that I entered this temple, settled down on a mat. There were votives all around, very peaceful. The temple is open air and the night air was warm and comforting. That's what I saw in my minds eye.

This works.

Liesl Richter said...

Fascinating! I especially enjoyed reading of this because lately I've been having a lot of dreams about snakes healing me. I'm lying down and a person puts large snakes on top of me. I'm aware that this is for healing purposes and I'm not afraid of snakes in waking life anyhow, so this dream does not frighten me. As the snakes massage my body and move around on me, they are removing any pain or sickness and I can feel vitality and health beginning to radiate from me.

Naomi said...

Wow! Liesl.

That's an amazing dream. I've had dreams of green snakes, bright green, friendly and they make me laugh. One would slide up within vision and open it's mouth, smile with it's tongue hanging to one side. I know, I know....how do you know a snake is smiling? The dream will tell you. LOL

Liesl Richter said...

That makes sense, that the dream will tell you! A friend asked me how I could not call that dream I had a nightmsre...well, I could sense the friendliness and the helpfulness of the snakes. Your bright green snakes make me think of healing, as green has long been considered a color of healing!

John Bradford said...

you people are nuts