I’ve been doing my dream incubation experiment just over a month now. I originally wanted guidance on my business, but there are past issues I need to work through first. Last week, I got information on how I need to approach my work: balancing intuition with logic and structure.

My dreams this week mostly developed out of a discovery I made in Monday night’s powerful dream. What we do is always a reflection of who we are. I think this is why childhood lessons we’re taught about who we should or shouldn’t be are way more powerful than lessons on what we should or shouldn’t do. If we suppress an important part of who we are, as I’ve been doing until now, we undermine our potential and fall into destructive patterns without even realizing it. As my dreams this week show, growth involves uprooting that suppressed part and playing for higher stakes.

The Results

Last week was a low dream recall week with only 8 dreams. Luckily, this week was better with 11, which seems to be my average. Progress was significant mainly because I discovered powerful, assertive energy that had been buried through the years and can help drive me to success. At the same time, the garbage from the past can lead me into using that energy unwisely, which has happened many times in my life (though never to a really big extent). The odds are higher now, and I’m finding that more than a little scary!

My Procedure

I unfortunately am still suffering from neck and shoulder pain that started last week. Wednesday was terrible because I woke up multiple times and had to keep shifting position till I could fall asleep again. I did manage to remember two dreams, though. On Thursday, I bought some medicine that made my nights a little better. I still woke up in the middle of the night, though, with pain. I only remembered one dream from Saturday night.

I mentioned in my introductory post to dream incubation that there are a number of different types of activities that we can do to prepare. It basically comes down to three types: relaxation, creativity, and inspiration. I’ve generally opted to relax with mandala coloring (a form of meditation) and listening to relaxing music.

I chose, though, creativity and inspiration this week. I read an illustrated version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Wednesday. On Sunday, I watched the DVD Sukhavati with Joseph Campbell. I can’t say for certain whether these sorts of activities affect dream incubation results in any particular way, especially since I battled neck and shoulder pain all week, but I’d like to experiment a little more with this and see whether the type of activity before bed makes a difference in the dreams.

The Dreams

Note: To keep this section concise, I’m only sharing summaries of the main messages in the dreams.

Dreams last week left me with the challenge of balancing my intuition with a more structured approach to my work. Past beliefs are still influencing me and making me feel like I’m breaking rules if I work on what I know to be my calling. I had some ideas of how I could give my work more structure after Saturday’s dreams, though I didn’t actually sit down to reflect on them till Thursday.

On Sunday, I had three dreams that expressed this preparation to act upon the messages from Saturday’s dream incubation.

Dream #1: I want to move on with my work, but past issues are still being worked out and I have to be patient.

Dream #2: There’s the potential for doing meaningful things within me, but I have to explore places within the mind that I’m reluctant to explore.

Dream #3: Going even deeper within the mind, I see that repairs are going on and that continuing to interpret my dreams will help relieve me of burdens from the past.

On Monday, I had a really powerful dream:

I’m with a group of people at an archeological excavation site in what might be a class or at least a learning environment. Someone brings out the head of a ram. I tell people that this is from prehistoric times, amazed that we uncovered something so ancient.

I interpreted it as telling me something about my fundamental nature:

Dream #4: There’s powerful, aggressive energy within me to make things happen. It’s been buried deeply and has now emerged, though I don’t yet really know the full power of it or how to use it.

I’m not well educated on astrology, but I had an interesting conversation once with someone who was. When I told her my sun sign is Aries, she expressed surprise. In her experience, the Aries nature, she said, tended to be somewhat assertive and combative and even impulsive at times, and she didn’t get that impression about me.

Since then, I’ve reflected a lot on the Aries nature and my upbringing. Aggression was a major no-no in my family. It was all right for boys and men, but girls and women were supposed to be gentle and pleasant. Whenever I got assertive, and that included things like insisting on doing things my own way or making my own choices in matters where I had a right to do so, it was immediately pounded down in one way or another.

And yet, as I’ve begun to let go of family rules and started pursuing my desires, I can feel that assertive energy coming to the surface. I’m also more aware of its destructive force as combativeness against perceived (though not always actual) foes and impulsive actions that I later recognize were short-sighted.

My greatest fear with this ram energy is that I’m not strong enough to harness it for the good. I’m sure that I wasn’t until now and that’s why it remained buried. If you don’t do much with your life, you can’t use this kind of energy to do major harm, and that’s what’s been happening.

Still, I’ve many times felt passionate emotion drive me uncontrollably to do or act in ways that were destructive. For instance, in the third week of my dream incubation experiment, Dream #8 and Dream #9 referred to some conflict I had with my supervisor where I reacted impulsively and unwisely to her criticism. That was the ram energy out of control.

Tuesday’s dreams gave me more information on this ram energy:

Dream #5: I want to move on, but I’m having trouble finding my way. I need to continue undergoing emotional healing and ground my passion (from the previous dream, represented by the ram) in reality before I’ll be ready to move on.

Dream #6: Rebirth is possible only if I’m willing to work hard, reflect on what I do, and change.

As I noted in my post on Samhain/Halloween, this is a time for preparing for rebirth (which will happen in later festivals) and dressing up. I wanted to explore these themes and also feel the ram energy within me, so I decided to do a creative visualization where I imagined myself working towards my ultimate business goal (which I prefer to keep quiet at the moment).

I’ve done this sort of thing before, but I always leaped forward in my mind to the time when it had been accomplished (similar to a writer who has yet to be published imaging himself winning the Nobel Prize…). This time, I visualized the path towards the goal from where I am now. I really tried to feel that ram energy and imagined what it would be like if there were no past issues to get in the way.

It was an empowering experience and also helped me gain greater clarity on how to actually proceed with my work. Wednesday was dream incubation night, and I really wanted to know more about how to use this ram energy within me, so I asked: How can I use this ram energy constructively in my work? I got a straightforward answer:

Dream #7: The good life is there for the taking, but I need to take the initiative (ram energy) and not wait for permission, because if I do, I won’t get it.

Dream #8: However, there’s danger that my vision will remain within the imagination and not be manifested because I feel like I’m violating rules that I shouldn’t be violating.

This circles back to issues that last week’s dreams brought up about feeling guilty and uncomfortable for taking the initiative and pursuing my business goals. This ram energy is a big issue because it involves lessons I was taught about who I should and shouldn’t be, which have far more power over us than lessons about what we should and shouldn’t do. Being taught, for instance, not to have sex before marriage is very different from being taught that if you have sex before marriage, you’re a whore!

Another interesting thing to come up in multiple dreams during this time was the independent, solitary woman. This was likely inspired by my post last Saturday on my favorite Tarot card and the interactions I had with Wanderer Star (Anna), including a blog post she wrote about the solitary woman. I had three dreams with independent, solitary women as wise guides, so this is a part of me I’m working on bringing to the surface.

I had no dream recall on Thursday and went to bed feeling a little down. I’d written a journal entry reflecting on the creative visualization from Wednesday night, and although it clarified the next concrete steps to take in my work, it also brought me face-to-face with some fears. The journey between my present state of uncertainty and the achievement of my business goals seems huge and impossible to complete.

Friday brought two dreams:

Dream #9: I must be receptive to some difficult feelings in order to bring spiritual healing and rebirth.

Dream #10: I need to delve deeper into those feelings and understand that the learning process is uneven. Sometimes learning happens upon conscious reflection; sometimes it’s through feelings; sometimes the two happen together. By accepting this uneven process, I will release the potential to succeed.

This brought me some comfort in that I received reassurance. I’m not necessarily messing things up during these periods of uncertainty; that’s just the way things are.

For the final dream incubation of the week, I decided to stray a little bit from my usual routine of taking cues from previous dreams. I did a seasonal incubation concerning the festival of Samhain. I routinely do a Tarot reading during my rituals to discover what I should focus on in the time period between one festival and another. I decided I’d also incubate dreams on this with the following question: In honor of Samhain, what do I need to focus on until Yule? I got the following dream:

Dream #11:  I can’t ignore the corrupt (past) forces within my mind that now have control of my life, but I can defeat them by giving shape (through conscious reflection and actions) to my feelings, intuition, and creativity. This may be my biggest challenge from now until Yule.

It’s interesting how the dream incubation process alerts us to the rhythm of our mind. I seem to constantly come up against dreams that show me my foolishness in expecting things to go more swiftly than they can. Besides gaining greater clarity on how to actually move forward with my work, I also discovered powerful hidden energy that can support me or bring destruction into my life if I can’t get control of it in the right way. According to my dreams, I have to balance my feelings and intuition with conscious reflection and wise action as I pursue my creative goals.

Please see the introductory post for an index of all dream incubation experiment articles.