aesculapius

Dream Interpretation Aesculapius | Dream Meanings


Aesculapius (or Asclepius) was the most popular healing divinity of the Hellenistic world. He was a mortal son of Apollo, who was slain by Zeus for daring to bring people back from the dead. Taught the healing arts by the centaur Chiron, he was a healer by profession. He gradually evolved into a god, and by the end of the classical period he was one of the most popular deities of the Greek pantheon.

The central asclepieion (temple dedicated to Aesculapius) was situated six miles inland from the Greek city of Epidaurus, the birthplace of the legendary healer. This temple was established in the sixth or seventh century B.C.E. and was the focus of Aesculapius worship for over eight hundred years. The cult of Aesculapius was officially trans- planted to Rome in 293 B.C.E. when the asclepieion at Epidaurus sent a giant snake regarded as a form of Aesculapius himself to Rome in order to halt a disastrous plague. The subsequent waning of the plague was attributed to Aesculapius, and he became a popular god among the Romans. At least two hundred asclepieions were know to have existed in the Greco-Roman world.

The principal activity at the asclepieions was the seeking of cures via the technique of dream incubation, the practice of seeking dreams for specific purposes—for everything from healing to practical guidance. (Dream incubation was extremely popular in the ancient world and seems to have originated as a method of divination in ancient Mesopotamia.) People went to asclepieions to “camp out” and sleep with the intention of receiving a healing dream from Aesculapius. Particularly in the earliest centuries of the cult, it was believed that the dream directly cured the pilgrim. However, as the cult evolved, it came to be regarded as acceptable if the dream merely provided information that, if followed, would lead to a cure. Aesculapius himself some- times appeared in the seeker’s dreams, touched the diseased part of the body with his finger, and then disappeared. In other healings, he appeared in the form of a dog or a snake.

The dreamer fasted and engaged in other rituals before lying down to sleep. In cases where the temple was too far away from the person seeking dream guidance, or when the person was too sick to undertake the required fasts, sacrifices, cold baths, or other rituals, a surrogate could go through the rituals for the seeker. Priests assisted pilgrims in performing the proper rituals and were also available to help interpret their dreams.

Dreampedia | Dreampedia

The Roman form of the Greek god of healing,

A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences | Tony Crisp


Aesculapius | Dream Interpretation

The keywords of this dream: Aesculapius

Dreams And Ancient

Greece Antiphon, a Greek living in the fourth century bc. wrote the first known descriptive book of dreams. It was designed to be used for practical and profes­sional interpretations. He maintained that dreams are not cre­ated by supernatural powers but natural conditions. In the second century ad a similar book was written by Anemidorus, a Greek physician who lived in Rome. He claimed to have gathered his infonnation from ancient sources, possibly from the Egyptian dream book dating from the second millennium bc. He may have used works from the Assurbanipal library, later destroyed, which held one of the most complete collec­tions of dream literature. Anemidorus classified dreams into dreams, visions, oracles, fantasies and apparitions. He identi­fied two classes of dreams: the somnium, which forecast events; and the insomnium, which are concerned with present matters.

For the somnium dreams Anemidorus gave a dream dictionary.

For example, he said abyss meant an impending danger, a dream of warning, and to see a candle being lighted forecasts a binh, to exhibit a lighted candle augers content­ment and prosperity, a dimly burning candle shows sickness, sadness and delay. This last interpretation is taken from folk­lore of the times and, because dreams tend to use commonly used verbal images, was probably true. He maintained that a person’s name—that is their identity, and the family, national and social background from which they arose—has a bearing on what their dream means.

Plato (429-347 bc) said that even good men dream of un­controlled and violent actions, including sexual aggression. These actions are not committed by good men while awake, but criminals act them out without guilt. Democritus said that dreams are not products of an ethereal soul, but of visual impressions which influence our imagination. Aristotle (383— 322 bc) stated that dreams can predict future events. Earlier Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, discovered that dreams can reveal the onset of organic illness. Such dreams, he said, can be seen as illogically representing external reality.

Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos. On the island was the famous temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of medicine. There were about 300 such temples in Greece alone, dedicated to healing through the use of dreams. Hip­pocrates was an Aesculapian, and learnt his form of dream interpretation from them. In such temples the patient would ritually have to cleanse themselves by washing, and abstain from sex, alcohol and even food. They would then be led into what was sometimes a subterranean room with harmless snakes in—these were the symbol of the god. In the morning the patients were asked their dream, and it was expected they would dream an answer to their illness or problem. There are many attestations to the efficacy of this technique from pa­tients. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

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A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

Snake / Serpent

See Poisonous Snake. More than anything else, this is a symbol of fear.

It is also often a sexual symbol, and a symbol of wholeness, transformation, and rebirth, as in Ouroboros.

A symbol of the dark feminine and deception, it also represents wisdom and cunning. Almost every woman dreams about serpents at least once in her life, which could mean fear of a rival or of the male gender.

The serpent stands for physical drives.

If something is not right in that area, snake dreams appear.

The image of the serpent may also refer to the “water of life,” since it comes from inside the earth where the healing springs originate.

The Caduceus, the staff of Aesculapius, a symbol of the healing arts, shows two serpents winding around it. In the sacred temple of Aesculapius, serpents crawled on the floor of the sleeping halls. They were said to induce healing dreams.

According to 2nd century dream interpreter Arte- midorus, dreaming about serpents indicates healing and the return to vitality.

It is also a symbol of immortality (shedding of the skin—rebirth).

The “Midgard-serpent” and the “Ferris wolf’ in Norse mythology threaten the gods as the world comes to an end.

The serpent is also the symbol for secret wisdom and the revelation of the hidden. Snakes are quick, attracted by fire and the birth of energy.

A snake steals from Gilgamesh (hero of the Sumerian epic) the herb of immortality, while he is taking a bath in a pond. In Greece, Gaia, the goddess of the earth, produces two half-serpents called Titans, who do battle with Zeus.

For the Gnostics of late antiquity, the serpent symbolized the dark, deep, and unfathomable side of God.

The serpent is also a symbol of Kundalini (the yogic life force). In ancient Greece, serpents were even honored publicly, because they were believed to be ghosts of the dead.

Snakes appear suddenly, out of the unknown, creating fear.

It is impossible to have a meaningful communication with them; they are secretive and fear-inducing, as is the unconscious. Their poison is sin, their wisdom transformation and deliverance. According to Early Christian imagination, when a snake was attacked, it would only protect its head.

According to Freud, a phallic symbol. According to Jung, the image of the snake means that something important is taking place in our unconscious; it may be dangerous or healing. See Eel.... Little Giant Encyclopedia

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Little Giant Encyclopedia

Healing Dreams

There is a long tradition of dreams being a resource for physical and psychological healing. The ancient Greek god Aesculapius was believed to come to people in their sleep to offer healing through their dreams. The sick and wounded would travel from far away places to sleep in the temple of Aesculapius to let the healer enter their dreams and heal them. The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that premonitory dreams of sickness could be caused by the dreamer’s unconscious recognition of the symptoms. He postulated that dreams may be premonitions of an illness coming from within the body, where some ’unconscious’ mind recognized early symptoms that had not yet come to the attention of the ’waking self’. The Iroquois Amerindians used a social form of dream therapy and one of the earliest recorded instances of such healing is the famous story in the Old Testament, when Joseph revealed the meaning of dreams to Pharaoh.

Sigmund Freud pioneered the use of dreams in therapy, bringing them to widespread attention, but many other approaches have been developed since then. The common feature for people who use dreams as therapeutic tools for physical and emotional healing is that dreams can empower them; they feel in touch with a powerful inner process that they believe is working actively for their own good.

Since time immemorial, people have created special places in which to sleep and dream. The dreaming chamber on the island of Malta is one example, but ancient dream temples can be found all over the world. These places were meant to ’incubate’ wise, deep dreams that would bring guidance and healing to the dreamer. Most of us do not have a dream temple located conveniently nearby; but the idea of receiving valuable, healing dreams is an appealing one, so here are four simple steps for creating a dream temple anywhere you like.

Find or create a special place for dreaming
For those of us fortunate enough to have more than enough rooms in our living space, the answer is simple: make one of those rooms— perhaps a guest room that is rarely used—into a dream place. Furnish it sparklingly, but make sure that the bed is comfortable. For the majority of us who don’t have a room to spare, we need to be a little bit more creative. Clear some space in a room in which you are comfortable and designate it as your dream place. All the time, keep in mind that you are preparing your sleeping space to facilitate your dreaming.

Prepare yourself
You are going to be welcoming dreams in a way that you don’t ordinarily do, so treat the experience as special from the outset. You might want to take a long bath. Make yourself comfortable. Eat lightly, if at all, for dinner. It’s probably best if you don’t consume alcohol or smoke the day before your dream incubation. As you go through your activities, keep in mind that you are preparing yourself to welcome dreams.

Focus on dreaming
Throughout your day, you are simply preparing yourself to be more receptive to dreams. Focus on dreaming.

If you have a particular issue in your life, you might tell yourself to ask for guidance in your dream.

Sweet dreams
This is not a one-shot exploration. Try it for a few days or even for a week—or for as long as you like. ... The Element Encyclopedia

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The Element Encyclopedia