80. With these last words the dying Enkidu did pray
and say to his beloved companion:
- “In dreams last night
- the heavens and the earth poured
- out great groans while I alone
- stood facing devastation. Some fierce
- and threatening creature flew down at me
- and pushed me with its talons toward
- the horror-filled house of death
- wherein lrkalla, queen of shades,
90. stands in command.There is darkness which lets no personagain see light of day.
- There is a road leading away from
- bright and lively life.
- There dwell those who eat dry dust
- and have no cooling water to quench their awful thirst.
- As I stood there I saw all those who’ve died
- and even kings among those darkened souls
- have none of their remote and former glory.
100. All earthly greatness was forfeitand I entered then into the house of death.Others who have been there longdid rise to welcome me.”
EPIC OF GILGAMESH
THE SCIENCE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION ONEIROMANCY
Oneiromancy It is defined as :(from the Greek όνειροϛ oneiros, dream, and μαντεία manteia, prophecy) is a form of divination based upon dreams; it is a system of dream interpretation that uses dreams to predict the future.
I m not in agreement with the definition, specifically with the idea it’s some sort of divination, a bad word that our Jungian friends would be insulted if we would define them as diviners, rather than interpreters, or analyzers of dreams, I agree Intuition may play by no means a small role, however this it’s not to imply a supernatural science, but rather a long time of study, and the acquisition of wisdom by experience and skill, that makes to the eyes of the uninitiated appear like a magic trick or divination.
Dream interpretation it’s not a new science, it was well known to our ancestors the Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Celt, Maya, Aztec, Inca and all Native Americans Nations in North, Central, and South America on prehispanic times, and today between the Shamans of the Amazon basin and anywhere on America or Africa, or Asia, and Oceania including Australia and New Zealand, where Native Indigenous cultures have survived the onslaught of so call Western civilization.
Sigismund Freud, and The Swiss psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung they didn’t discovered a new science they made the role of the High Priest, and the Shaman in to a methodological approach named psychiatry, and developed the field of analytical psychology, focused this idea and formed theories, experiments, and terminology around Oneiromancy, although if in need of therapy maybe with a few exceptions I would rather entrust myself to a wise Shaman in Amazonia, or elsewhere than to a run of the mill psychotherapist, a product of academy and dependent on pharmaceuticals for treatment.
A unique exemplar of a book of dream-interpretation survives from pre-Hellenistic Egypt, the so-called “Ramesside Dream-Book”
The Dream Book
From Deir el-Medina, Egypt19th Dynasty, around 1275 BC
Papyrus giving a list of dreams and their interpretations
The meaning of dreams is a subject that fascinated the ancient Egyptians. This hieratic papyrus, probably dates to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). On each page of the papyrus a vertical column of hieratic signs begins: ‘if a man sees himself in a dream’; each horizontal line describes a dream, followed by the diagnosis ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and then the interpretation. For example, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream looking out of a window, good; it means the hearing of his cry’. Or, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream with his bed catching fire, bad; it means driving away his wife’. The text first lists good dreams, and then bad ones; the word ‘bad’ is written in red, ‘the colour of ill omen’.
The papyrus had several owners before it was, presumably, deposited in the cemetery at Deir el-Medina. It is uncertain who the original owner was, but it passed into the hands of the scribe Qeniherkhepshef; on the other side of the papyrus, the scribe copied a poem about the Battle of Kadesh, which took place in the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). The Dream Book passed to Khaemamen, Qeniherkhepshef’s wife’s second husband, and then to his son Amennakht (both added their name to the papyrus). The Dream Book was part of an archive, including a wide variety of literary, magical and documentary material, which passed down through the family for more than a century.
During the Hellenistic era all across the Mediterranean, the practice took place in temples that were staffed by priest-physicians. In fact, dream temples made up the single most popular spiritual healing institution in the Mediterranean world.
These restful sanctuaries were designed to produce dreams that provided healing wisdom — and also instant cures — if we are to believe the boasts of ancient graffiti. Successful cures were honored with inscriptions on the walls of the sanctuaries, acting as advertisements as well.
The dream healers of ancient Greece were also surgeons and herbalists, teaching their young doctors the art of empirical observation coupled with an environment of safety and spiritual cleansing. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, learned from his dream healing mentors to make empirical observations rather than simply following untested beliefs. Hippocrates is also cited as writing a medical dream dictionary that focused on a number of common dream symbols that indicate bodily ailments, although many scholars attribute the work to his disciples.
Artemidorus (Greek: Ἀρτεμίδωρος ὁ Δαλδιανός) or Ephesius was a professional diviner who lived in the 2nd century. He is known from an extant five-volume Greek work, the Oneirocritica or Oneirokritikon (English: The Interpretation of Dreams)
Artemidorus was surnamed Ephesius, from Ephesus, on the west coast of Asia Minor, but was also called Daldianus, from his mother’s native city, Daldis in Lycia. He lived in the 2nd century AD.
According to Artemidorus, the material for his work was gathered during lengthy travels through Greece, Italy and Asia, from diviners of high and low station. Another major source were the writings of Artemidorus’ predecessors, sixteen of whom he cites by name. It is clear he built on a rich written tradition, now otherwise lost. Artemidorus’ method is, at root, analogical. He writes that dream interpretation is “nothing other than the juxtaposition of similarities” (2.25). But like other types of Greek divination, including Astrology, celestial divination and pallomancy, Greek dream divination (Oneiromancy) became exceedingly complex, a given dream subject to a number of interpretations depending on secondary considerations, such as the age, sex, and status of the dreamer. At other times, subtle distinctions within the dream itself are significant. In a particularly memorable passage, Artemidorus expounds upon the meaning of dreams involving sex with one’s mother:
- “The case of one’s mother is both complex and manifold and admits of many different interpretations—a thing not all dream interpreters have realized. The fact is that the mere act of intercourse by itself is not enough to show what is portended. Rather, the manner of the embraces and the various positions of the bodies indicate different outcomes.”
I rather put my allegiance to Artemidorus than to Sigmund Freud when it come to dreaming about the Mother, obviously an Archetype of primordial proportions , and to his practical skills as a priest of the temple of Ephesus where the sick specifically went to find an oracle to cure their sickness or deal with their problems, let’s just say that Artemidorus knew some ill patient was about to die when it’s dream was having sex with their mother and she was on top, an obvious allusion to the fact of been covered by mother earth, a returning to the womb we all come from.
The first three books of the Oneirocritica are dedicated to one Cassius Maximus and were intended to serve as a detailed introduction for both diviners and the general public. Books four and five were written for Artemidorus’ son, also Artemidorus, to give him a leg-up on competitors, and Artemidorus cautions him about making copies.
According to the Suda The Suda or Souda (Medieval Greek:Σοῦδα Soũda) is a massive 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is an encyclopedic lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost, and often derived from medieval Christian compilers. (Alpha 4025), Artemidorus also penned a Oiônoscopica(Interpretation of Birds) and a Chiroscopica (Palmistry), but neither has survived, and the authorship is discounted. In the Oneirocritica, Artemidorus displays a hostile attitude to palmistry.
Among the authors Artemidorus cites are Antiphon (possibly the same as Antiphon the Sophist), Aristander of Telmessus, Demetrius of Phalerum, Alexander of Myndus in Caria, and Artemon of Miletus.
Shamanism And The Dream
For thousands of years, many indigenous tribes and cultures have valued dreaming. The Shaman’s journey to other worlds in non-ordinary reality to commune with the spirits, to retrieve lost soul parts, to find healing for their community. Aborigine tribes of Australia believed dreaming was a way to travel to other places. Cultures used dreaming to foretell the future so they could plan for what was coming.
Dreaming is a time when we can turn off our conscious and third dimensional mind chatter and enter into a world of vivid imagination where the subconscious and our creativity connect to the sacred divine. Our dreams are gateways, they tell us a story, and it is up to us to follow the storyline and find the meaning.
There are many ways of dreaming, the Shamans use journeying, and employing all their senses to be able to walk in both worlds. Lucid dreaming and guided meditation are other forms of being able to travel the worlds. I would not like to dwell too much on these practices, since it would be too extensive to cite examples of many cultures around the world, with their own set of beliefs, and rituals, some may include entheogens, some may not, it’s just enough to say wherever there is an indigenous group of people who preserve their culture, despite the encroaching of the prevailing dominant Eurocentric culture, there you will find Shamans who will dream, and interpret dreams as a Spiritual quest, and as healing tools.
Ibn Sirin, Muhammad was one of the first ascetics of Al-Basra. He became the prime imam in religion and an erudite in the Qur’an. He was described by one of his contemporaries (Abu Ná’eem) as wise, heeding God and perspicacious, sharing food with his brethren and travelers, strongly interceding in favor of the lonely and those who were punished for one reason or another. He was alert, cautious, honest and properly maintaining whatever was entrusted to him. He used to weep at night and smile and rove around all day. And he fasted every other day. No one was as religious or as knowledgeable as him in his art. His family was so generous that they would not hesitate to offer to their visitor the last loaf of bread in their house. He used to savor and recite poetry.
He was particularly renowned for his extraordinary skill in interpreting dreams as attested by the Arabs’ greatest intellectuals, such as Al-Gaheth, Ibn Qutaybah and Ibn Khaldoun, who considered his work as crucial in this field.
The most notable of the books attributed to him is Dreams and Interpretations. Ibn Al-Nadim says that he was the author of Taabirul Ro’oya (What Dreams Express), which is different from or an abridged version of Muntakhabul Kalam Fi Tafsir El Ahlam (A Concise Guide for the Interpretation of Dreams) first printed in Bulaq, Egypt, in 1284 AH, in Lucknow in AD 1874 and in Bombay in 1296 AH. It was subsequently reprinted numerous times in various parts of the Arab World under different titles.
It’s very likely Ibn Sirin never wrote anything, but his fame was so great that later composers of books about dream interpretation used his name in order to add prestige to the books in question, the fact remain this book it’s a great help to interpret dreams.