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Soul Medicine: Healing Through Dream Incubation, Visions, Oracles & Pilgrimage

Soul Medicine:
Healing through Dream Incubation, Visions, Oracles, and Pilgrimage
by Edward Tick, PhD

The modern practice of medicine and psychology grew out of the ancient Greek healing tradition. Exploring the soul-healing practices missing in our contemporary health systems, Edward Tick, Ph.D., looks at the dream incubation tradition of Asklepios, sacred theatre of Dionysos, oracle gifting of Apollo, and their archaic roots. He includes techniques and case studies to reveal how healings are achieved with these methods and how we can restore soul healing in individuals and culture and integrate the sacred and mythological dimensions in contemporary medicine and psychotherapy.



Advance Praise for Soul Medicine:



"With Edward Tick's guidance as a shaman, a mentor and a fellow companion on the pilgrimage through life's greatest difficulties, the reader will find a polyphonic voice that combines the wisdom traditions of ancient Greek myths, the elaborate history that supports them as well as current healing passages that will aid fragmented souls who have misplaced their lives of coherence, toward a more whole order of being.


After reading only a few pages, the reader will discern the depth to which Edward Tick was called to the work of healing, which he has done for decades with many different audiences. The reader will also be delighted to learn quickly what a mesmerizing storyteller the author is. Our myths live twinkling through our narratives, so allow your own storied self to blend with the rich congress of recollections Edward gathers to illuminate his healing vision.


Edward Tick's new study is first of all an adventure. In it he takes us on his many journeys to ancient sites in Greece, communes deeply with the gods and goddesses that invest their energies in these conditions, and invite those who accompany him to find the treasures of their own brilliance amid woundings that assist in illuminating treasured moments of insight.


As a reader of this magnificent gathering of insights into our psychic landscape and into the modern cultural absence of ancient wisdom traditions, I found that one of the author's strongest gifts is a powerful analogical imagination; Edward Tick sees connections, correspondences and accords where we might only see a discrete series of persons, places and presences. I believe he is one of the most powerful polymaths of the human soul writing today.


Edward Tick's strength, one of many, is his interlocking of stories, where in one paragraph he recites a narrative of individuals who accompanied him to Greece, and in the next he relates a story of Xenophon or Achilles or Persephone. In the space and texture of mythopoetic time, there exist no gaps when the dreamscape, landscape and mythscape gather to confer with one another. We are the beneficiaries of such a rich Communitas."


--- Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and author, most recently, of From War to Wonder: Exploring Your Personal Myth Through Homer's Odyssey & The Way of Myth: Stories' Subtle Wisdom. www.dennispatrickslattery.com




"At a time when the practice of medicine is handcuffed to economics, awash in algorithms, and enslaved to electronic records, Ed Tick reminds us that healing is essentially a spiritual process, a sacred art. Soul Medicine is a bold, towering tree of a book: deep-rooted in a lifetime of personal learning and experience, richly nourished by ancient wisdom, and providing a compassionate canopy of hope and healing to the wounded and broken. This is a prophetic and eloquent book by a wise and good man who is himself, above all and to his core, a healer.


Dr. Tick, citing Emerson, has described his own path and project in Soul Medicine as "intellect inebriated by nectar," human reason inspired by sacred revelation. A psychotherapist by profession and calling, Dr. Tick embraces and embodies the ancient meaning of psyche-therapeia: attending the soul in its healing journey, guiding the afflicted to a transformative encounter with the numinous. The healing journeys he chronicles here, journeys across the war-riven, myth-infused landscape of Greece, remind us that, in the words of Homer, only the dead know the end of war. Warriors, like the soil on which they suffered, are forever soaked in sorrow and loss that, when shared in stories, ancient and modern, become bearable and, in moments of grace, even luminous.


Like all of Ed Tick's books, Soul Medicine is a gift: a gift to those who, like myself, never experienced war but want to understand those who did; and a gift to those who, like Orestes, are haunted by bloodshed and death and thirst for inner peace."


--- Robert Emmet Meagher, Emeritus Professor of Humanities, is author of The Essential Euripides: Dancing in Dark Times; Herakles Gone Mad; Killing from the Inside Out; and Albert Camus and the Human Crisis.


"Edward Tick's Soul Medicine is a love letter to the Greek wisdom traditions in healing and philosophy, literature, ritual, and the dramatic arts. In direct, passionate prose, the book is a plea to address the many wounds of twenty-first century western culture by returning to its 3,000-year-old roots. There, Dr. Tick points out, we will discover how to embody a holistic idea of health, one involving mind, soma, spirit, and soul; in which individual healing and communal healing are intertwined. The book reflects Dr. Tick's deep knowledge of Jung and Hillman, mythology and depth psychology. It inspires the reader with moving stories collected from decades of Dr. Tick's work with combat veterans and other contemporary pilgrims in search of soul."

--- Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson, Ph.D. www.elizabethnelson-phd.com



"Dr. Edward Tick has devoted his entire career to the work of healing others. Soul Medicine: Healing Through Dreams, Incubation, Visions, Oracles, and Pilgrimage is no exception. In fact, this book is a clear and critical result of Tick's lifelong endeavor; the book explores in easy depth the basis of his approach to psychotherapy. Illuminating the Greek origin of some important English words, and the interactions and purposes of the ancient Greek gods in the human lifeworld, Tick critiques contemporary psychology and medicine as a deficit of true knowledge and full experience. Beyond the most advanced "holistic" conceptions of mind and medicine, in the tradition of Socrates, Plato, Keats, Emerson, and Jung, Soul Medicine connects mythical stories with life's suffering and struggle ('mythology is where humans and divinity meet,' says Tick). Soul Medicine is full of stunning insights and delightful surprises for both professional and general readers alike.


There are many notions of "the soul" in contemporary culture; most of them are shallow if not downright silly. But Soul Medicine is not some flighty flip or "technical" self-help tip. Rather, grounded in a reading of Plato's notion of the soul as an "invisible reality," the book is about "awakening and transforming." Beyond grim gain and gaudy greed and gone gaunt of this transient and corrupt sliver of material reality we call Earth (perhaps even universe), the soul, Plato argues, is something to be sought for true health.


The reason is simple: In our material world, healing is largely mechanical, technological, "a rewriting of the brain with pharmaceuticals." Medicine itself is an unhealthy mythos, one we have become dependent on, addicted to. Soul Medicine "takes us into the foundations of our healing traditions, the mythological, philosophical, transpersonal, cultural, and naturalistic origins of Western medicine and psychotherapy" (Introduction) through the elucidation of the ancient wisdom of stories that have helped shape Western civilization and affected humanity for millennia, but whose power has been neglected and forgotten.


Dr. Tick knows these mythological stories and monuments well, having travelled there and back—physically and spiritually—throughout Greece. I know, because I accompanied him on one such pilgrimage, and experienced first-hand some of the psychological mysteries and numinous monuments that he discusses in this book. The ancient languages, the gods, even nature itself becomes alive, full and fraught with pagan divinity and sacred inspiration. It was an intense and deeply moving experience, life-changing and affirming. So is this book."


--- Dr. Steven B. Katz is Pearce Professor Emeritus of Professional Communication, and Professor Emeritus of English, Clemson University, and author of The Epistemic Music of Rhetoric; Writing in Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse (with Ann Penrose); Nana!, a limited edition chapbook of poems; and the forthcoming Plato's Nightmare.



"In his articulate, moving, and meticulously-researched book, Edward Tick, Ph.D., invites us to return to, engage with, and value the capacity of the Soul to heal the psyche when we are traumatized, wounded, lost, or hopeless. Informed by a quarter-century of personal experience, Ed reorients us to a wisdom that pre-dates Hippocrates, whose father and grandfather were Asklepian priests. In the Asklepian tradition, healing from the anathema of tragedy is made possible by creating a numinous experience for the supplicant. The supplicant enters a space sanctified by ritual, engages with tragic drama, dreams, shrives, is witnessed, and thereby connects with the numinous archetypal, mythopoetic, transpersonal realm. The healing energies of the personal and collective unconscious transform the supplicant's wound into a healed scar—a Jewel in the Wound—from which one may live with meaning and purpose."


--- Martha Blake, MBA, NCPsyA
Psychologist Jungian Analyst




"Dr Tick's latest book, Soul Medicine, reveals how he has mastered the knowledge and skills that have allowed him to rediscover and recreate the ancient Greek holistic healing philosophies and methods.

Ed Tick, PhD teaches how ancient Greek medicine was the link between shamanism and modern medicine. Ancient Greek medicine emphasized the role of the healing gods and goddesses ie archetypes in the healing process. Although Hippocrates' parents were Asklepian healers, he added the scientific perspective to what was already the prevailing holistic model of healing in the ancient Greek world.

The inclusion of his own and his pilgrims' personal healing experiences provides the soulful quality that makes this book come alive.

Dr Tick shows us the power of the Greek healing archetypes to heal old and deep wounds that are the sources of profound suffering. These methods can be adapted to other religious traditions where ritual, prayer, and spiritual healing are already accepted and practiced.

Ed Tick, PhD is a Renaissance Man: a leader, scholar, historian, philosopher, empath, psychic medium, teacher, magician, and compassionate healer. I have experienced and witnessed healing events with his guidance that rarely happen with conventional medicine. With Ed's support, I have been able to fully embrace my soul's identity as a holistic healer.

Dr Tick's book, Soul Medicine, describes many instances in which profound healing experiences occur when the Greek god of healing, Asklepios or his kin, appear in the dreams and visions of his supplicants. He illustrates the methods and conditions that must be met for these spiritual healing events to occur. The teachings in this book can serve as an essential component for the revisioning of modern medicine to become truly holistic and effective."

--- Philip Matthews, DO




"Can the nearly forgotten art of dream healing be resurrected? I felt a resounding YES as I read Soul Medicine. Ed Tick, a wise elder, guides us on an extraordinary expedition to rediscover our sacred heritage. Here we find that soul medicine is available to all of us; it is our divine birthright.



--- Kathleen Webster O'Malley, Author, The Healing Wisdom of Dreams: Discover Your True Self through Lucid Dreaming, Journaling and Visioning




"A beautiful exploration how dreams lay at the foundation of our western Medicine tradition. The wise wisdom of the dreams has been relegated to the margins in our culture, and Tick shows us how we can access the healing power in dreams. He especially takes us on a fascinating pilgrimage through the old Greek healing tradition of Asclepius. A very worthwhile read!"


--- Machiel Klerk, Author of Dream Guidance, therapist and founder of Jung Platform



"My dear friend & mentor, Edward Tick, puts his heart & soul into his work. What a blessing and a gift for us and future generations that he has published this book. 


In 2019, I was fortunate enough to travel to Greece with Ed and train in Asklepian Dream Incubation. He is one of the few that know this ancestral healing art and has brought so much healing to our world as a result.


Ed has led pilgrimages to Greece and Vietnam for 20+ years, bringing healing to the hearts and souls of combat war Veterans with PTSD and their families. I am one of those people, and I am forever grateful to have learned from such a gifted, loving and wise human being. 


Thank you for sharing your work with us, Ed. Thank you for all you have done. I celebrate you! So it is written…"


--- Melanie Ryan, LCSW, Founder and Author of The Golden Shadow Method: A Path of Awakening Your Full Potential



"Ed is to be applauded for diligently tracking the timeless healing ways of the soul which are so required right now. This book offers potent medicine from across the ages for our troubled times."
--- Asher Packman, President, Meditation Australia, and Founder of The Fifth Direction



"In Soul Medicine, Dr. Tick blends ancient and contemporary thought for both civilian and veteran as we seek to understand the forces shaping our past and present. From reconciliation with the enemy inside Vietnam to the temple at Delphi, we travel together with Ed the road we all must one day take if we are to become whole."

--- Brenton MacKinnon, Infantry, USMC, VN, 1967/68



"Early on in Soul Medicine, Col. Paul Henderson states "Psychology can only take you so far." Ed Tick takes us farther as he immerses the reader in Grecian spirituality and takes us to ancient sites that  hold healing energy for today. As one who has experienced the power of pilgrimage, I heartly recommend this book. "

--- Rev. Michael R. Young, MDiv., Universal Worship Minister, Former veterans counselor, Conductor in The Sufi Healing Order