posted on Jan, 3 2003 @ 02:56 PM
Definitions of incubus
Marriam Webster Dictionary:
Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin incubare - Date: 13th century
1 : an evil spirit that lies on persons in their sleep; especially one that has sexual intercourse with women while they are sleeping
n. pl. in
es or in
An evil spirit supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with women as they sleep.
A nightmare. An oppressive or nightmarish burden.
Additional information regarding incubus & succubus spirits:
The term 'incubus' is from the Latin incubo meaning 'burden' or 'weight'. It may have become applied to demonic lovers, because it was thought
that nightmares involving a feeling of oppressive weight on the chest were the consequence of the act of somnambulant copulation with a fiend. The
corresponding demon who appears to men is the
Succubus. Also known as demon lover. In occult lore, a lewd male demon or goblin which takes on the illusory
appearance of a male human being and seeks sexual intercourse with women, usually while they are asleep.
According to the church fathers, the incubus was an angel who fell from grace because of his insatiable lust for women. As a demon, the incubus
continued with his carnal desires, preying upon vulnerable women, raping them in their sleep and inciting sexual desires that only himself could
Traditional wisdom professes that demons were only spirits and had no corporeal form. To be able to do his 'thing', Incubus was presumed to come
upon his physical form in one of two ways: he either reanimated a human corpse, or he used human flesh to create a body of his own, which he then
endowed with artificial life.
Especially mischievous and clever incubi made themselves appear in the persons of real people ó a husband, a neighbor, a friend, the handsome young
stablehand. In one case, a medieval nun claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a local prelate, Bishop Sylvanus, but the bishop defended himself
on the grounds that an incubus had assumed his form. The convent took his word for it.
So how could a woman tell for sure if her lover was a demon or not? There were a few clues. If she freely admitted the incubus to her bed, it would
have the power to put everyone else in the house into a deep sleep ó even her husband, who might be lying right beside her. Other clues were even more
obvious ó the incubus often proved to be a nasty lover, with a sexual organ that was painfully large, freezing cold, made of iron, or even
Occasionally, these unholy unions were believed to create offspring. Children born with any type of deformity were automatically suspect. Twins were
also suspicious. The magician Merlin was thought to be the fruit of one of these demonic intercourses. Medieval records are filled with graphic
accounts of half-human, half-animal creatures that were reputedly fathered by incubi. These offspring were called Cambions.
But even with all the attention that was paid to them, there never seemed to be a foolproof way of warding off these demon lovers. Sometimes prayer
worked, sometimes exorcism and benediction, but in many cases, even these proved futile.
Ludovico Sinistrari, a 17th century Franciscan friar, author of 'Demoniality', wrote:
"Incubi do not obey the exorcists, have no dread of exorcisms, show no reverence for holy things, at the approach of which they are not in the least
overawed ... Sometimes they even laugh at exorcisms, strike at the exorcists themselves, and rend the sacred vestments."
According to the friar, if incubi were sufficiently irritated by these attacks, they could respond with random
violence and mayhem. When Sinistrari himself tried to free a virtuous matron from one persistent incubus, the demon gathered hundreds of roofing
stones and with them erected a wall around the woman's bed. When it was finished, the wall was so high, Sinistrari reports, "the couple were unable
to leave their bed without using a ladder."
Nightmares have been shrouded in fear and mystery for centuries. The first English description of a nightmare
appeared in 1763: "The nightmare generally seizes people sleeping on their backs, and often begins with frightful dreams, which are soon succeeded by
a difficult respiration, a violent oppression on the breast, and a total privation of voluntary motion. In this agony they sigh, groan, utter
indistinct sounds, and remain in the jaws of death, till, by the utmost efforts of this nature, or some external assistance, they escape out of that
dreadful torpid state. As soon as they shake off that vast oppression, and are able to move the body, they are affected by strong palpitation, great
anxiety, languor, and uneasiness; which symptoms gradually abate, and are succeeded by the pleasing reflection of having escaped such imminent
Historically, nightmares have three characteristics:
1. An indescribable fear
2. A feeling of a heavy weight on the chest
3. A feeling of helplessness
In Bayley's English Dictionary of 1785, incubus was defined as "the nightmare, a disease when a man in his sleep supposes he has a great weight
lying upon him; a devil who has carnal knowledge of a woman under the shape of a man."
It was said that with the mare-demon, terror predominated, and with the incubus-demon, the main element was pleasure mingled with dread. These demons
descended on a sleeper, paralyzing and suffocating them, and sometimes having sexual relations with them.
The 1999 Webster's Dictionary definition of a nightmare is: "1. a terrifying dream producing feelings of extreme fear and anxiety. 2. a condition,
thought, or experience suggestive of a nightmare. 3. (formerly) a monster or evil spirit believed to oppress persons during sleep."
In modern times, people look at nightmares as dreams which display images in a horrific manner. Nightmares are more than this. These images are fears
or issues in the dreamer's life that they are having a difficult time dealing with.
Nightmares can be a subconscious reflection of something much bigger, hidden deep within the dreamer's psyche. They can be a manifestation of a
mental or physical trauma (e.g. a rape), or a mental or physical condition (e.g. an accident which has caused an injury), deep-rooted psychological
confusion toward an issue in the dreamer's life (e.g. the dreamer feels they've done something bad and has kept it a secret).
The easiest remedy for nightmares that you feel are not messages for action from your subconscious, is to put
protective symbols (whatever is meaningful for you) around your sleeping area, and pray before going to bed.
A nightmare can also be associated with a greater spiritual event, such as demonic possession, as was thought in the past. Nightmares can be one of
the earliest symptoms of this condition.