Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dream incubation

Dream incubation has been a preferred way of seeking life direction in most human cultures as far back as we can trace. If you believe that, in seeking dream guidance, you are approaching a sacred source, then you will probably use some form of prayer or ritual as you seek help from that power. 
     In the Greek Magical Papyri (XVIIIb) we read this invocation:

Sender of true oracles
while I sleep send me your unerring skill
to read what is and and will be

     If we have a big request, it is important to ask nicely. Aelius Aristides, an ancient Greek orator who walked very close to his god – Asklepios, the patron of dream healing – used to phrase his requests as follows: “Lord, I ask for the guidance (or health, or resources) my body requires to serve the purposes of the soul.” A human who asks that way might hope to engage the support of a power behind the scenes.
     The journey to a special place – the shrine of a saint, the tomb of an ancestor, a sacred mountain, an ancient tree – has often been part of a full-dress dream incubation. 
     But in our hurried everyday lives, we can make all of this simple. Are you in need of life direction or a solution to a problem? Are you willing to turn to a source beyond the obvious ones? Then approach the night as a place of possible encounter with a power that can answer your questions and help to heal your life. If you are a person of faith, you may start by praying for guidance of healing.
     You may find it helpful to do something to make your sleeping area more of a sacred place; for example, by foregoing sugar and alcohol for a few hours before sleep, by lighting a candle, and/or by using a special fragrance or placing a little mugwort sachet under your pillow.
     Now you want to set your intention for the night. Make it as simple and clear as possible, and avoid composing a laundry-list of needs and wishes. You can make your request large and spacious:

I ask for guidance on my life path
I open myself to my creative source
I ask for healing

Or you can make it quite specific:

I would like guidance on my job interview.
I ask for healing for my friend in hospital.
I would like to see what will happen during my trip.
I want to prep for the exam.
Should I date the guy I met yesterday?

You will want to be ready to catch whatever your dreams give you whenever you wake. This may involve lingering in the half-dream state after you surface from deeper sleep; this in-between state is one in which important messages often come through.
     If you remember only a small piece from a dream, but your feelings are strong and your sense of direction is clear, you are in luck. Sometimes it is easier to read a plain answer from a short, uncomplicated dream vignette than from a rambling epic, and the energy that comes with a dream is often more important than the specific information it contains.
     If you can’t initially see any connection between the dream your record and the intention that preceded it, be patient and learn to use some detective skills. It’s possible that your dream producers decided to give you something they think you should see rather than what you asked for. All the same, it is always worth playing the game of trying to find a link between the dream and the intention.     
     You don’t want to ask for big messages, let alone big favors, every night. That becomes wearisome to everyone engaged, and can end by trivializing and cheapening the process. On the other had, I see no objection to putting a simple request like the following one to the dream oracle fairly frequently:

Show me what I need to see 

If you try that, be ready for some shocks! Our dream producers see our needs and issues from a different angle than we do.


Big o said...

I was recently diagnosed with melanoma and asked for guidance broadly one night...and I
all I remember of my dream was my right armpit being bitten by a turtle. Ha! I've wondered if it is saying the cancer has spread to lymph nodes there etc... but I prefer this snip I found randomly at wildgratitude.com :)

' Along with eternal life, or at least growing to be very old, the meaning of turtle is coupled with wisdom. The archetypes of the sage and crone parallel the medicine of turtle spirit animal. Does having a turtle spirit animal mean you’ll live a long life? It probably has no bearing on your lifespan, but how about your soul?

Turtle spirit animal reminds us that we are ageless. She points out the timeless quality of our soul and patiently prompts us to recall the broader picture of centuries rather than seconds, lifetimes versus break times. You are being called upon to develop your own inner sage to guide you along the path.'

Thank you Robert. So thankful to have you as a resource for reconnecting with spirit at this time. and all times.

Robert Moss said...

The snapping turtle, for the Iroquois, is a form of the great teacher of the Deep as well as the broad back on which Sky Woman - who fell from another world- danced a new Earth into being. Like the sea turtle, it can't retreat into its shell because its belly is mostly un-armored; it has to fight or move really fast. If it were my dream and my life, I might feel that a powerful ally is snapping at me for a reason. I might try to reenter the dream, confront the turtle, and try to understand why it bit me in a rather private place. Yes, there could be a medical advisory but I would also think about the symbolism of the armpit and how I would describe an armpit to a space alien. Wishing you rapid healing and recovery.