In the preceding pages I showed you how current dreams had come to answer Irina’s recent questions. Incubating a dream still works nowadays as it did in the old times.
I will illustrate this by going back in time and talking about dreams and dream incubation in ancient societies all through Antiquity.
In Asia Minor and throughout the Mediterranean region
We find the same situation. The study and interpretation of dreams go back as far as the early archeological remains bear witness to it. 7000 to 8000 years ago the inhabitants of Mesopotamia interpreted their dreams. The picture here shows the Sumerian cuneiform tablet where is written the Epopy of Gilgamesh, with the dream of the Deluge. 1000 years later this dream inspired the story of Noah’s Ark in the Bible.
The Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and the Hebrews maintained this way of living in contact with their dreams, as attested to by numerous passages of the Bible.
1700 years B.C. Pharaoh called upon a Jew, Joseph, to interpret his dreams and thereby he averted a famine in Egypt. ( Genesis, Ch. 41)
One thousand years later the king of Mesopotamia, Nabuchodonosor II,( 630-562 B C) asked another Jew, Daniel to tell him the meaning of his dreams. Daniel interpreted the dream and explained to the king that his megalomania would result in a psychotic episode in his life.
However, after several years of madness, he would come out of it with humility, recovering his power and glory. And that’s what happened. ( Daniel, Ch. 4)
In the Greco-Roman world
There existed a very famous dream interpreter. He is better known as the father of Western medicine. His name is Hippocrates who lived 600 years B.C. He came from a family of dream interpreters dedicated to the god Aesklelpios, the god of dreams and healing ; they bore the responsibility of three functions, that of priest, doctor and dream interpreter, as the three were considered inseparable.
The temples/hospitals where people came for treatment were numerous. In Antiquity there were 420 of them. The sanctuary of Kos, where Hippocrates officiated, was very famous, such as the one of Pergame, where 800 years later, at the beginning of the Christian era around year 250, pilgrims still flocked from the whole Mediterranean region.
Incubation and dreams
Praying Aesklepios in Greek, or Aesculapius in Latin, god of dreams and healing.
The pilgrims prepared to dream on a specifically chosen night. They received a very modern, natural and holistic treatment, prescribed by the priest/doctor : they followed a special diet, took baths, received massages and prayed. Then the priests and the pilgrims met in the temple in a sacred place called Aesclepeion, dedicated to Asklepios.
They slept there one or several nights, and the priests collected their dreams the next morning.
What dreamers dreamt and experienced during these nights has been reported. It was very well known that the god intervened in different manners : either he healed immediately, either he manifested his presence in dreams with the image of a snake or a dog.
Western medicine has taken up the symbol of the snake but has forgotten its meaning.
In the dream the god also explained the treatment to be followed in order to heal.
On site, many ex-votos thank Aesklepios for the healing.
You can see here an ex-voto with a hand, showing a kind of abscess , which was cured after the night spent in the Aesclepeion.
Today, I have spoken about dreams and incubation in Antiquity among Sumerians, Jews, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans. Next time we will see a especialy fascinating dream from Antiquity at the time of Christ.
I thank the artists and photographers, whose works permit me to illustrate my blog.
Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream
Nabuchodonosor who became mad, by Blake
Hippocrates with a patient
Aesclepeion in the sanctuary of the Kos Island in Greece
Aesclepeion in the sanctuary of Pergame, in Turkey
The god Aesklepios, the god of dreams and healing
The grass snake accompanying the god Aesculapios
The caducei of Aesclepios, with snakes, symbol of healing
Ex voto with a hand, showing a kind of abscess
Sphinx under the moon by the German artist Schinkel , 19th century
Who is the “other”?
How to decipher the meaning of a person in a dream ?
Dreams have the surprising habit of telling you what no one knows, what no one dares to tell you, and also what you don’t necessarily want to hear. Throughout your nights, with patience and benevolence they show you the different facets that exist within you, all your different ways of being.
To make you aware of that, dreams will tell you: “Look inside yourself, you are LIKE Mr.X or Mrs.Y, whom you know in the exterior world. You have the qualities or faults that you attribute to them”.
Only you don’t know it. But your interior world knows and wants to make you aware of it.
Indeed it is in your best interest to get to know these unrecognized aspects of yourself to harmonize them and to realize your full potential as well as your life realization.
So, when you study a dream you must first know that most often, the persons in the dream are facets of yourself. While in most cases they are describing you, it occasionally happens that these persons represent the corresponding person in the exterior world.
In another coming lesson, I will explain how to know if the image of your dream is personifying an interior aspect of yourself or an exterior person.
I emphasize that every time, for every person in the dream, you will have to study the image with the interview technique in order to know exactly what the dream is talking about.
That is the way to proceed regarding the image in your dream. A more thorough and comprehensive explanation of this method can be found in Gail Delaney’s books featured on my blog.
A certain state of mind
It is important to approach a dream with a certain state of mind :
- accepting that you have the solution and that with a bit of attention you’ll find it.
- accepting that you will make the required extra effort rather than consulting a readymade dream analysis book or a catalogue of symbols.
- accepting to refrain from reverting to astrology or tarot cards etc. to interpret your dream. Indeed the dream itself gives you messages that are much more precise, personal and adequate if one deciphers it.
Interpreting a dream is not a matter of divination, or pseudo intuition, it is a scientific research, requiring rigorous and honest reflection and logical analysis. Only by working in this manner can you be sure of the result.
The Dream Interview Method
Here, I propose to you a practice of this method. You will be the interpreter and the dreamer, both asking the questions and answering them. And it works ! Of course it is much more pleasant if somebody else is leading the interview.
Dream example : Rita, a 45 year old woman, a mother, sees a woman in her dream, Mrs. X.
1) We must proceed with the interview and ask questions
Question 1: WHO is Mrs. X?
Answer: She is my neighbor. She lives across the street.
Advice: Don’t let yourself get caught up in endless descriptions. Take the first three associations which came to the dreamer’s mind, three sentences are sufficient.
Question 2 : HOW is Mrs. X ?
Answer : She’s a very active, intelligent woman, who takes good care of her children, but she’s an awful neighbor. I always have the impression that she’s watching everyone, she has a tendency to be nosy and to get involved in other people’s business.
Advice :You must note the associations and descriptions given, with great care leaving nothing aside.Here again, being a beginner at interpretation, limit yourself to a maximum of 3 or 4 sentences.
2) Do the recapitulation
Take the answers given to questions 1 and 2. Give preference to the abstract answers. Limit yourself to 3 sentences. Use only the dreamer' own words.
Example of a recapitulation : Mrs. X is an intelligent woman, but is inclined to be nosy and get involved in other people’s business.
3) Establishing the link with everyday life
Ask the following question : looking inside or outside yourself what does following description remind you of : “an intelligent woman who is inclined to be nosy and get involved in other people’s business” ?
The dreamer will think about it.
She says : On the outside it is Mrs. X.
How about inside the dreamer ? I ask Rita if Mrs. X could represent a particular behavior, an aspect of her own personality that she is not really aware of ?
4) The dreamer answers this question and finds the meaning of the image.
When I asked that last question, Rita remembered that, the day before that dream, she had rummaged through her teenage son’s pockets and read a letter that was addressed to him.
She had done that self righteously, thinking that her behavior was that of a responsible mother concerned with her son’s welfare.
But her interior world doesn’t see the situation in the same manner and comes to express its opinion in the night. Rita understood why the dream showed her the image of the nosy neighbor. Indeed she had behaved like Mrs. X, and the dream showed her that that was detestable.
Most of the time, with the image of another person, the dream is revealing a facet of the dreamer himself, that he or she is not conscious of.
Take note that I said : most of the time but not always.
5) Proceed to verifications, this is imperative.
We don’t end our investigation at the fourth step of the method. It is not sufficient to have found the interpretation made by the dreamer. Only by making verifications can you be sure that the meaning found is adequate. The verifications give proof of the validity of the interpretation.
I reiterate that I firmly oppose “esoteric” ways of interpreting dreams which can lead to so many errors and abuses, that Napoleon in the 19th century had even passed a law forbidding dream interpretation and fortune telling, in order to protect the public from trickery.
Getting back to our dream, it is still indispensable to check if all that has been said about the neighbor can also be said about the dreamer.
For this, one must go over every sentence covering the different points of the description and ask:
- Are you also an intelligent woman ?
- Active ?
- Do you take good care of your children ?
- On occasion are you too curious ?
- Do you have a tendency to watch everybody ?
If one of these points isn’t suitable, then the meaning found for the symbol " Mrs. X " is wrong. In that case one must redo the whole interview and the dreamer must be very honest with herself.
If the different elements of the description suit both the dreamer and Mrs. X, then you have found the signification of the symbol.
It is through rigorous and honest verifications that one can establish if the dream points to an exterior or an interior person.
Dreams don’t always express criticism, far from it, they can equally reveal unrecognized positive aspects of the personality.
6) Apply the message in our everyday life
It is useless to decipher a dream if one is not willing to accept and apply its indications.
Rita quickly understood the reproach of her dream and from then on abstained from giving in to her “nosy inclination”. Her son appreciated the respect she showed towards him.
I thank all the artists and photographers whose works permit me to illustrate my blog.
Symbols catalog : dreams : luckymojo.com
Tarot dream interpretation : ravenmoonlight.com
Woman at work : natureacive.fr
Nude woman in a veil, by the French artist Enjolras, 1857-1945, interencheres.com
Stressed woman : papillesetpupilles.fr
Woman playing violoncello by the French artist Jacqueline Hubert : http:// www.jacqueline-hubert.com
The neighbor : Harriet Samson Harris, purepeople.com
The nosy neighbor : Felicia Tilman, tvqc.com
Harriet Samson Harris, desperate housewife, episode39.fr
Lettre d’amour :blog.fille.com
Harriet Samson Harris, sharetv.org
Jean Baptiste Maunier in the film “ The Choristers”
Jean Baptiste Maunier : teemix.aufeminin.com