Tholos Dreaming


"I am in a subterranean building of confusingly complicated design, through which a stream of water flows"

The legend of the Hesperides is an example from the ancient world of the relation between trees and serpents. In one legend the serpent Ladon winds itself around the tree which bears the golden apples of Hesperide

One of the most remarkable buildings of Asclepieia, in Ancient Greece, was a circular building with a labyrinthine basement, called the Tholos, or place of the altar, of sacrifice. In the Tholos at Pergamum, the labyrinthine lower storied had an artificial stream of running water through it. Here the healing power of dreams was clearly understood. Asclepieia usually appeared in the dream of the patient, conveying a message of healing. Today, when you carefully pick your way among the ruins that archeologists have carefully uncovered, there is little evidence of the stream. However, Epidaurus retains its healing essence. A tranquil sanctuary, Epidaurus is a restorative place to dream, to lie and mentally retrace the path pilgrims followed.


Try the following guided imagery.

After a perilous journey by ship... you undertake an arduous climb, within a group, riding on donkey back. The journey involves a painstaking five mile mountain trek.. Eventually you come into a place of great beauty. A sacred grove of pine trees marks the boundary...a serpent is climbing up a tree.. it guards the entrance to this sacred place. Harmless snakes climb everywhere. After dismounting you walk towards a pool of clear blue water... there are figures standing nearby. One explains that it is prescribed that you will bathe to free your soul from the contamination of the modern world... It is said that this bath will enable you to dream without restriction and that the dream will restore your creativity. After removing your clothing you slide into the warm water, luxuriating in it. Purified you put on soft robes. Freshly robed you are ready to enter the Epidaurian Tholos...said to be one of the most beautiful round buildings in the whole of Greece. The mythical musician Thaletas is playing on the flute. At the altar you pay homage to Asklepios, leaving a sacrifice on the altar. A woman leads you through a doorway, down winding stairs, to a labyrinthine basement where prayers are being said. There is a stream of water. You can hear it trickling over stones. You cup your hands, reach into the waters and drink. A sleeping draught has been administered. You lie on the floor. As you slip into the world of sleep a voice speaks to you, asking what you seek... what you are prepared to relinquish.

Begin writing. Do not worry about grammar or spelling. Just write for twenty minutes about your journey. Carefully record your time within the ancient Tholos.

Do not stop to think. Just write about where you are and what happens. You could write directly in the Bravenet forum I have provided or add your piece afterwards.

 

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