Ask and You Shall Receive: Incubating a Dream

Relief des Sitzenden Asklepeos

Relief from an Asclepion Temple

Incubating a dream is all about asking for a dream that will address a specific issue by bringing needed information, prescriptive advice or healing resolution to the concern. Instead of just hoping you will get an inspiring or helpful dream, you proactively intend that what you need will come to you. It may come in the form of metaphor or story or a direct answer that is easily understandable. Early historical references to this kind of dream can be seen in the dream healing practices of the asclepions of ancient Greece and elsewhere in the Mediterranean. These temples to the healing god Asclepius were forerunners of our modern hospitals in that people went there to eat healthy food, exercise and be treated for diseases and conditions diagnosed through dreams.

Henry Reed, Ph.D., of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies developed a detailed, methodically and scientifically researched explanation for incubating dreams which can be found at: http://www.henryreed.com/incubation.pdf.  Please check it out for an in-depth understanding of incubating a dream.

Basic Instructions for Incubating a Dream

A shorter version of the dream incubation instructions would include doing the following:

  • On the evening before you want to have the dream, carefully think about the issue or concern for which you want inspiration or resolution.  The more energy and thought you put into this helps with the outcome you will get.  It should be something that is of genuine concern either to you or somebody else.
  • You may want to light a candle or do a little ritual to add significance to the occasion.
  • Write down the issue and the question. Pose a question that is as specific as possible in getting the information or assistance you want.

Example of Concern:

I haven’t had an eye exam in a long time. I am worried because my eyes aren’t quite as sharp as they were before. Do I have an eye problem? I hope I’m not going blind. (Be aware of your feelings abou the issue such as fear.  This will add a sense of importance and intensity which, based on my experience, helps for a better outcome.)

  • You may want to write down the question and put it under your pillow.
  • Just before you drop off to sleep tell yourself again (or pray if that is normal for you) that you want a dream which will give insight, an answer or a resolution to your question.
  • Some people have more than one dream during any given night.  Take note of the very first dream you get.  That is the dream that is the response to your request.
  • Before moving and while still in bed, review the dream sequence and give the dream a title. Then note every image, object, person, sound, etc. in the dream.
  • On rising or while still in bed, write down the dream in detail in the present tense and give the dream a title.

Example of Dream:

House with Dirty Windows

I am walking around my yard looking at my house. I am pleased to see that it is in pretty good shape. There are no major problems. I do notice, however, the panes in the windows have a film on them. I take a closer look and see that the glass itself is OK. It has not corroded or been scratched. The windows just need cleaning.

  •  Reflect on the dream in general by making associations. What do the images in the dream remind me of in my life?  When I see the house in my dream, it reminds of my body.  For the most part, it’s in good shape, but the windows need cleaning.
  • Reflect on each association:  What do the dirty windows remind me of?  My eyes!  Windows let light into the house just like my eyes let light into my brain.  My dream indicates there is a problem but it can be fixed. Since the windows are basically OK, my eyes are probably also OK. Maybe my eyes just need “cleaning.”  Maybe I’m getting cataracts and need to have them removed.
  • Act on the dream.  Go check the windows of my house.  Maybe they are dirty!  Dreams have a way of making comments at various levels of meaning.  Go see a doctor about my eyes with the confident feeling that whatever my issue is, it can be fixed. Most likely my eyes are basically OK.

Remember that any advice you get in dreams is not a substitute for seeing a professional like a doctor, mechanic, lawyer, etc! With serious issues, it helps to get both inner advice and advice from experts!  You will want to touch all the bases and go with what works for you.

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