religion pavilion in cloudIn ancient times people traveled to sacred places of power, seeking answers from “the gods” to troubling questions, or hoping for guidance in important life decisions. These pilgrimages were undertaken at great personal sacrifice and perhaps only once in a lifetime. Delphi in Greece was a famous oracular site where seekers came to sleep, perchance to dream, at the Oracle temple. The famous maxim “Know Thyself” was carved above the entrance. This is still excellent advice and a good way to start the new year.

Similar in some ways to a modern health spa, seekers were instructed how to facilitate a powerful dream through rites of purification, including bathing, special diet, and most importantly, asking for the dream. Having come a long way at great cost aspirants were in a mood to listen. The nature of a dream received at the temple might dramatically impact the seeker’s life; perhaps signaling a profound change in the path, or suggesting different choices.

At Delphi the dream was presented for interpretation to priestesses, called Sybils, who inhaled vapors from a deep underground cavern inside a cave, inducing a trance in which they spoke in a strange language. A specially-trained priest was on hand to translate for the seeker, gleaning meaning and significance from the mysterious utterances of the priestesses.

Dream incubation, sometimes called “seeding” a dream, is an ancient technique in which the dreamer strives to dream with a specific question or intention in mind; usually related to soul purpose or one’s spiritual path. This technique can still be used today, and willingness to listen is still the most important hallmark of the seeker.

We seek the counsel of the Higher Self where we need a broader perspective and a grander view and perhaps feel that we have exhausted our human resources.  No dream should be viewed in isolation and should never be a replacement for good judgment, abdication of personal responsibility, or reduced to a parlor game. Most dreams are not worthy of intense analysis as they are merely routine processing of the prior day’s events, acting as a kind of sorting mechanism to shift the information from the data buffers of short term memory into storage in the vast warehouse of our subconscious mind.

You can create your own dream oracle temple when a seeking guidance on a serious or spiritual question. Cultivate the same intention and attitude as if you are undertaking a meaningful journey to an ancient sacred site. Take time to consecrate the space where you will do your ritual preparations and cleansing. Eat sparingly at your evening meal and consume no alcohol or mood-altering substances. A soothing tea such as Chamomile may help to calm your mind. If you work with Tarot it can be very useful to perform a Tarot spread, using the archetypes of Tarot to incubate dreams before retiring to impress these symbols onto your subconscious.

Some helpful hints from people who have had success with this process:

*          Take a warm, soothing bath before retiring.

*          Scent the water with an aromatic oil such as jasmine or lavender.

*          Turn the lights low and light a pure white candle or two.

*          Surround your tub with crystals, especially amethyst, which is believed to open the higher centers of the mind

*          Listen to calming and inspiring music while you soak.

*          Still and quiet the mind, emptying the thoughts and concerns of the day.

*          Put on special sleep wear, like a rich cotton robe, which feels nurturing.

After your bath spend a few minutes asking for a dream, creating a positive expectation in your mind. Imagine your mind like a blank slate or screen on which your subconscious will create a compelling story during the night. Meditate before sleep, and ask your question. Gently repeat your question before you turn out the lights. Don’t forget to ask for a “Big Dream.”

If you decide to undertake this process resolve to heed whatever council your Big Dream provides. Take care formulating the question, identifying the real issue and not just a list of symptoms. In order to get good guidance it’s vital to get to the heart of the matter. If you are uncertain about your question you can set the intention to receive general guidance about your life path. You can also ask to see the true nature of a mental pattern that repeatedly magnetizes pain in your life. Openness of mind and humility of heart are the most important attributes of this work.

If you don’t remember your dream in the morning, don’t lose heart. Maybe you aren’t ready for the changes your dream message requires. Rest assured the message was received and stored by your subconscious, and when the time is right the symbols will emerge into your conscious awareness. Then it will be time to listen and act.

headshotAbout The Author: Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles.  She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs.  Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies.  Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day:  Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, (available at Satiama) has won three national awards.  Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show.  She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings.  Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt.  Visit her at http://www.julieloar.com

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