Monday, July 09, 2007


On the cold marble floor of the temple, there are evidences of shed snake-skin and sterilized death. Below the marble flutings of the columns, as the wind blows freely from the outside and whirls round the tamed, potted fires within the braziers, causing them to breathe the smoke of bay-leaves, the infirm sleep and dream of Asclepius.
If you dream of Asclepius, you have need of hope. If you dream of medicine, help is coming. If you dream of a doctor, help is coming. Two doctors are a warning that you should look after your body. If you dream of an ambulance, you will get better. If the ambulance bears a patient that is unconscious, someone you love will fall sick. If the patient in the ambulance is conscious, then you will learn news of someone you have not seen for a long time. If you dream of a surgeon, you have strayed from the right path.
If you dream of a heart bypass, you will break up with your beloved. If you dream of a stomach operation, you have not repented of your misdeeds. If you dream of a surgeon, you must let something you keep inside of you go. If you dream of a surgeon, you will fall sick. A scalpel is a call for immediate action.
To dream of a liver is a premonition of the state of your happiness. If your liver is healthy, so too are your finances and you are brave. If your liver is ill, then you will become poor and are a coward. To dream of a finger is of concern to your relatives. If you dream of a wounded finger, a relative will fall sick. If you dream of cutting your finger, you will have a fight with a relative. If you dream of your finger being cut off, you will mourn the death of a relative. To dream of an elbow signifies nothing. To dream of a knee heralds humiliation.
When you dream of a cyst, know that your relationship with someone will be tested. If the cyst is a large one, the relationship will last. If the cyst is a small one, beware of those that love you. If you dream of your kidneys, you will travel far away. If you dream that they are in a bad state, you will never return. If you dream of gall bladder problems, you will avoid bitterness. To dream of a brain is uncommon. To dream of the sole of one’s foot is perverse.
If you dream of a snake, help is coming. If you dream of a stroke, there is nothing wrong with your health. If you dream of a stroke, look to the state of your soul. If you dream of a fever, look to your affairs for there is trouble. If you dream of a fever, do not compromise, for you will be lost. If you dream of intestines, people will question how you made your money. If you dream that your intestines are that of a bird, you will find happiness. To boil your own intestines is to make a great mistake.
If you dream of a haemorrhage, you will get sick. If you dream of having an abortion, you will be sad. If you dream of performing an abortion, your plans will not eventuate. If you dream that you are watching someone else having an abortion, you will have an accident. If you dream of tonsillitis, then someone is oppressing you but the oppressor will not be found. To dream of recovering from an illness, is to marry well. To dream of a restoration of health means that you will inherit money. To dream of detoxification means that you will suffer disappointment. To dream of an ear infection means nothing.
If you dream of an asthma attack, you will be placed in an uncomfortable position. If you dream of an asthma attack, your friends will betray you. If you dream of asbestosis, you will prevail by the skin of your teeth. To dream of contagion signifies nothing. To dream of tuberculosis signifies nothing. If you dream of cholera, you will experience terrible thirst. If you dream of leprosy, your wife will betray you. If you dream of a hospital, you may die.
If you dream of gaping wounds, you will suffer. If you dream of gaping wounds on someone else, they are morally corrupt. If you dream of gingivitis then people will speak ill of you. If you dream of an eye condition, then you are a coward and lack depth. If you dream of an ophthalmologist, then someone will provide you with good advice. To dream of a nurse signifies nothing. To dream of a syringe is death. To dream of death may be death. To dream of a dream of death is complicated.
It is from within the dream that Asclepius makes his powers manifest, from within the dream that the signs of salvation will be revealed. The dreamers who will wake, will relate the signs of their dreams to his priests and the priests shall prescribe the cure. Yet there are those dreamers who will wake and not remember the signs at all, or shall recite them garbled. They are the ones who are unworthy and it is better that they had not ever dreamt at all. No sacred dogs will lick their wounds and their children cannot be born through a caesarian section.
A few will lie, on the cold marble forever and never wake up. These are the ones who in their dreams, have been given by Aesclepius to drink the Gorgon’s blood, a present from Athena. If they drink of the blood taken from her left side, it is fatal poison. If they drink from the blood taken from her right side, their dead will return to life, though they shall suffer terrible headaches and they themselves will look as though they have been struck by a thunderbolt.
To dream of treatment is to aspire to everlasting hope. To dream of a cure is presumptuous. If your doctor brings you back from the dead, for money, he will surely die, for to dream of resurrection illustrates man’s ability to challenge the natural order that separates mortal men from the Gods.
If you dream of a serpent, there is healing. If the serpent is curled around the stick, then you have seen the Rod of Ascelpius and with that healing comes authority. To dream of a shed serpent skin is to conceive a child. If that serpent skin belongs to the Elaphe longissima, then your child shall have the buck teeth belonging to rodents. If the serpent is brazen, then the blessings of God are upon you and your illnesses shall be cured, but only if you have faith. To dream of someone laying their hands on you is nothing. To dream of attempting to heal someone is nothing. To dream of sewing a black arm on a white amputee is to aspire to sainthood, unless you take money for it.
Some of the dreamers shall dream of cures hanging in their brazen beds, from the icon of the One that cleaned the lepers, restored sight to the blind, returned hearing to the death, stopped haemorrhages and restored health and mobility to the lame and paralyzed. They will dream dreams of molten metal and assume the forms of eyes and hands and legs erstwhile afflicted. As the incense tarnishes their sheen, they are destined to oxidize beatifically, in the knowledge that it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. In their hours of repose, they wrestle angels on ladders.
When they wake, when they wake, there shall be no more illness, no more doctors. The old women will not tell their tales in their waking hours, nor rub their backs and toothless gums in agony and the oil that has sunk in the water, heavy with curse and disease, will poison the rose-bushes no more.

First published in NKEE on 9 July 2007