INCUBATING MY INNER VOICE
I have long sensed that dreams portray my deepest needs and feelings. I began recording my dreams six years ago in a time of despair and confusion. I wanted to understand my anxiety and fundamental fear of facing life. I wanted to learn how I could trust and nurture my inner voice.
I want to be true to me. I want to live apart from the external voices that pull at me. I want to nurture my core. This i s my act of inner will; the seed of my life that sprouts in the compost of despair.
I seek my Big Dream. I seek to meet the eternal ones. I seek the vision that will guide my life.
Had I been an Eskimo, I might have been dragged on the shaman's sled to a secluded igloo where I would be left to starve and freeze for a month. There I might experience a symbolic death, receive a guiding vision for my life and open a permanent channel for inspiration.
As a graduate student in psychology at California State College, Sonoma, I was studying of Jung, dream groups, the ritual use of dreams and wilderness experience. My dreams seemed to give meaning to my search for understanding. Yet I longed for an inner affirmation, for a sense of knowing, for psychological self-sufficiency, for an assured sage to speak within me.
I wanted a research project relevant to my quest for vision, one in which the experiment transforms the experimenter. At a ripe moment, my advisor, Gordon Tappan, gave me Henry Reed's article, "Dream Incubation: A Reconstruction of a Ritual in Contemporary Form." (6) I knew that the ritual would focus my quest for understanding. The heat was turned on my psychic egg. I asked Gordon to be my guide in the ritual and he agreed.