I’ve been digging a bit into my family history on a certain ancient event that turned into a well-kept secret. Not long ago I even held a nice little séance with my sister when we were scrying our heads off, while also drumming, reading tarot, and doing western geomancy. The session was inconclusive. But I insist. When all else fails I like to use dream incubation techniques to uncover what is unlikely to discover otherwise.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 1.38.03 PMI asked the Dark Goddess Tarot: Who can help me with some information? Laverna showed up: ‘Cunning succeeds where clout does not.’ Very neat. If it’s a secret, then obviously it must be extoled. Perfect.

So I go to bed and have a dream. I’m on a pile of bones and conduct an investigation. I feel like a detective agency, but I’m not actively engaged in the search myself. Four skeletons are doing a very good job for me. They are all bent over, and with their, once there, noses they are sniffing through the bones. Their movement is very rhythmic and thorough. They search and search.  And I wake up.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 1.31.31 PMDamn. Obviously something is missing. You can’t send Laverna to steal secrets and not tell her where to steal them from. The Skeleton assistants are obviously willing to work for me, but I have to tell them which pile of bones exactly to investigate.

So tonight I’ll continue. But before that, here’s the question:

Who can help Laverna locate the place where she can do her stealing, and where exactly must the skeletons dig?

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 1.37.25 PMWhile shuffling my cards, The Morrigan falls off the deck. ‘Never surrender what matters most.’ Indeed. I never give up. The Morrigan stands tall on a pile of bones precisely, and wearing her Raven helmet. She is ready. Sure enough we are with the dead here.

There is also a sense of control in this investigation. Although this card tells me that The Morrigan is not the one to follow, it wants to remind me something about resilience. Keep digging.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 1.37.47 PMUpon my two-part question, and drawing two cards, the one that showed up first was Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of the Moon who tells us that ‘birthings and endings come in a flood.’ Fair enough. There is a lot of water here in the Ten of Water, so we have a clue.

As for the skeletons’ job, it looks like they must dive into the kingdom of Tiamat. More water. The Babylonian Goddess of the Deep tells us: ‘What has been lost lives in hidden places.’ It sure looks like it. It looks like the secret will resist, just as it did when my sister and I were at it. And yet, there is The Morrigan, and I have a strong affinity with The Morrigan.

I’ll see if I can borrow my sister’s main traveling device, the bathyscaphe, and dive. I’ll make sure to make space in it for the skeletons too. Or send her on a mission again. I wonder how good skeletons are at swimming. Somehow I like the association of Ixchel, the Nocturnal Physician, and the Hanged One, Tiamat, the chtonic sea monster. Somewhere between them there is a path. In many necromantic traditions there’s the idea that below the pile of bones there’s water. A lot of it. The art is to find where exactly at the edge of the bone path one must stand to call forth the force. And if it insists on hiding, then what? A good thing Laverna showed up to being with. I’ll consolidate my agreement with her tonight, and we’ll see what happens.

Stay tuned. Perhaps this story will hit a bottom. Meanwhile, it is clear that the cards in the Dark Godess Tarot can be put to use to great entertainment, deep digging, and learning that surpasses the normative codes. A heartfelt thanks to Ellen, again, for her great work.



The night after the above event, Jan 13, 2014

The same incubation technique is applied as above. This is really nothing other than an exercise in awareness of the art of the night. You formulate an intent to dream about a certain topic. You formulate an intent to remember it. And you formulate an intent to be conscious in the dream that you’re dreaming about what you’re supposed to be dreaming. All this before bed, and while in bed, every time your thoughts wander before the actual sleep, make sure you bring them to your invocation. Then just relax.

This meta-awareness is identified by scholars as lucid-dreaming, or as controlling that which arises uncontrollably from the unconscious. Dream incubation is thus a ‘higher’ version of a shamanic journey, or a visualization trip. In dreams there’s no way of ‘faking’ it. This is also the reason why induced dreaming was – and in some traditions still is – considered ‘more sacred’, and hence more reliable. The art is, of course, to know what to make of the information that you get.

Now, however, given the fact that you have a very concrete question you start out with, the symbolic material that you’re given to work with tends to take on a literal form, more often than not.

So, I go to bed asking for stuff to emerge through the deep – thus I’m not imposing any concreteness here, which has a downside – and then have it controlled by Ixchel. If one looks at the card above, one can notice the vessel in Ixchel’s hands being emptied and handled at a certain point in the night. So we’re here with the idea of ceremony or ritual whose purpose is then cast into the greater deep in the realm of Tiamat. So, there’s something here about the importance of preparation.

This is the dream, again in black and white: I’m standing on a pile of neatly arranged bricks, or a small wall, no higher than 15 inches, and quite narrow. My position is actually that of crouching like a warrior in a martial arts context. Hands on knees, and a frontal penetrating gaze. This image comes like a rocket straight into my face. A very close-up hit. What I see is actually a much younger version of myself – so there’s some distancing here. I’m no more than 8, though it’s difficult to be more precise due to the squatting position. My feeling is that I may actually be even younger. Maybe 4. I’m also very much aware of the fact that this dream is related to figuring out a location for Laverna. This, however, throws me off track. For what I see is a brick wall and nothing else, and a very young person on it, almost as if acting in Crouching Tiger. Does that mean I’m in China somewhere? Good question.

Now, this dream was briefer than the previous one. And the pile of bones has turned into a pile of bricks. No skeletons or other assistants. Perhaps The Morrigan has a higher influence than anticipated above. What to make of that?

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 1.00.38 PMI asked the Dark Goddess about it. And surprise surprise. I get the exact same crouching image as in the dream. Even the wall at the bottom of this card is the same as the wall in my dream. The Spider Woman’s gaze is exactly the same too. The card of the Stars is thus simply a marvellous contribution to this investigation. This tells me the following: it requires vigilance to figure out what kind of weaving has been done in the past, and perhaps another kind of force to penetrate, or rather more so, walk the brick wall. Insofar as I’m crouching on it it means that this wall is not something to overcome as such, but perhaps something to use as a platform for more elevation, or a walk that’s not defensive.

This work of dream incubation has a continuous nature, as we can pursue all sorts of clues that can arise. We can play detective, and that’s a good thing for the brain, as unravelling threads keeps us vigilant.

For similar techniques, you’re welcome to check out The Oracle Travels Light: Principles of Magic with Cards.


The Dark Goddess, by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, 2013, ArnellArt.

All the quoted material above comes from Ellen’s description of the cards.


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Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen

4 thoughts on “INCUBATION

  1. Very intriguing, I look forward to knowing more of this investigation.
    Every time you post something with The Dark Goddess makes me covet them more!

    1. Yes, it’s starting to look like a real detective story. I’m also curious to see what else I might stumble upon. About the Dark Goddess Tarot. It’s a well of information, and Ellen has a way with putting things in a nutshell. I always appreciate her poetic and oracular sense. So, if you have the chance, don’t hesitate to get the cards. They are great.

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