ONEIROMANCY DREAM INTERPRETATION, THE RAMESSIDE PAPYRUS, ARTEMIDORUS ONEIROKRITICON, SHAMANIC DREAMING, AND IBN SIRIN

Gigamesh_mourns_Enkidu

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.

Shaman and the dream gate

Ancient Egypt

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.

Dream Papyrus

Artemidorus Daldianus

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.

Artemidorus

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.

South American Shaman

Ibn Sirin

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.

Dreamworld Gate

 

My personal Views

Dream interpretation it’s as old as the time of the first dream, which set the date of dream interpretation way back to the time the first Man had a dream, and that is why Dream, and Myth are closely link by Archetypes. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung were pioneers in our current Western culture  for a systematic study approach to it, but by no means were discoverers, the same way Christopher Columbus didn’t discover America, Indigenous people did Thousands of years ago, and populated America, Christopher Columbus just made people in Europe aware of it.

By the very nature of dreams, their fluid state, and the myriad of objects, and situations, books about dream interpretation, can only be of help to recognize a symbolic meaning to objects without been categorically  the last word, the dream interpreter has to analyze the dream taking in to consideration many factors, that may scape the neophyte, a dictionary of dreams it’s ultimately one of the many tools a skillful dream interpreter has resort to when the meaning it’s not clear, but as any tool it’s the skill of it’s use that brings good result to the enterprise, regardless of the tool itself, therefore dream books are just a general guide for interpretation, and the interpreter can’t rely solely on the book period.

Questioning the dreamer about the details of the dream can be useful, the more a person can recall about a dream the clearer the interpretation can be revealing in the details, sensations, feelings, colors, etc. The meaning of the dream, deep knowledge of Symbology, the use of analogy, are key factors, Spiritual awareness brings light, in to many affairs, and Intuition, plus knowledge about the dreamer facilitate the interpretation.

“There are as many paths to God as human souls on earth”. Ibn Arabi

You must only follow your path, path of the heart, learn how to feel and this way see beyond the mask, (ego) because reason, it sees the mask, the outside, the logic, but heart connects to one reality beyond it. Spiritual awareness shouldn’t be discarded either, on the contrary it’s closely linked in to the language of symbols.

Making Dreams the Stuff of Reality

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About theburningheart

Blog: KoneKrusosKronos.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Artemidorus, Carl. G. Jung, Counsciousness, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Gilgamesh, Ibn Sirin, Mundus Imaginalis, Myth, Mythology, Oneiromancy, Ranesside Dream Book, Shamanism, Spirituality, Symbology, Symbols, Uncategorized, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to ONEIROMANCY DREAM INTERPRETATION, THE RAMESSIDE PAPYRUS, ARTEMIDORUS ONEIROKRITICON, SHAMANIC DREAMING, AND IBN SIRIN

  1. WordPress has a way of dropping people I follow all too often, especially the more esoteric (and interesting ones). I knew you gravitar, but kept looking for “Burning Heart” alas!
    This is great stuff…I will be back to read more. Great works, keep them coming.
    Thanks.
    Namasté
    नमस्ते
    Chazz Vincent

  2. blondieaka says:

    I love that every so often I find a blog and it amazes me ….either with an awesome poem or thoughts , words about times past, times present or in the future which just amaze me with the authors insight or willingness to share with those who wish to partake ..thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. Damyanti says:

    i had never heard of Ibn Sirin. Thanks for this thought-provoking read— I learned much that I didn’t know before.

    • theburningheart says:

      Ibin Sirin or Ibin Seerin’s dictionary of dreams it’s great tool for dream interpretation, just as Artemidorus Oneirocritica, thank you for your comment! 🙂

  4. Your blog is awesome. I love the articles conveyed. So much knowledge, truly delightful.
    Thank you for visiting my blog!

  5. jurnul says:

    Wow, your blog is so rich in thought and creativity. Thanks for visiting mine. I’ll be back for more…

  6. Satindra says:

    Brilliant.

  7. broodjejaap says:

    Dear BurningHeart, may I ask your help. Somewhere I did read the name and story about the Greek Goddess which stood as image for the Statue of Liberty.
    Was it the mother of Zeus? And what did the 7 rays of her crown signify??
    I would like to include this in my blog: https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/statues-of-liberty-and-the-goddess-of-freedom/

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, when it come to symbolism, there is the official version, which sometimes can be inane: The seven spikes on the crown of the statue represent the seven seas and continents of the world, according to the National Park Service.Barry Moreno, author of The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia and the park’s official librarian. The spikes are sun rays, he says, and the circle is “simply a halo or what in art is called a nimbus, showing she is divine.” He adds that the Web site needs to be changed.
      My opinion is that number seven it’s a highly symbolic number, and it’s symbolism can’t be confined to just one interpretation, remember the seven traditional Astrological planets, were our week take it’s day names, the seven colors of the rainbow, the seven musical notes, the seven chakras, etc.
      The Statue of Liberty’s face is said to be modeled after the sculptor’s mother.The sculptor who made the great statue his name was Auguste Bertholdi. His work was greatly influenced by the ancient sculptor Phidias who made gigantic statues of ancient goddesses, particularly “Athena,” the goddess of wisdom and “Nemesis” (another name for Venus), a goddess who held a cup in her right hand. Before beginning the statue of liberty project, Bertholdi was seeking a commission to construct a giant statue of the goddess “Isis,” the Egyptian Queen of Heaven, to overlook the Suez canal. The statue of Isis was to be of “a robed woman holding aloft a torch” (Statue of Liberty: 1st Hundred Years, Bernard Weisberger, p.30, quoted in Beyond Babylon, James Lloyd, p.103).

      Bottom line it now days symbolize freedom to the masses,The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) however there is too many opinions as anyone can hold his own interpretation of it, like some religious elements give a negative connotation to the statue of Liberty equating her with the bad symbolism of Biblical and Apocalyptic origin and equating her with Babylon.

      Hope this would be of service to you, and thank you! 🙂

  8. davideileen2 says:

    I have many thought provoking dreams. This has been most enlightening to this end. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  9. have you ever met a shaman?

  10. theburningheart says:

    I seek Knowledge, and Spirit through direct experience, not through hearsay, or hand me down seconds. 🙂

  11. Love this. I am always reading about dreams and interpretations! Blessings and light to you.

    • theburningheart says:

      If you care for dream interpretation I have many posts about it, like:DREAMS, VISIONS, SYMBOLS OF THE THEOPHANYC IMAGE WITHIN
      and:
      DREAMS AND MYTHS, CROSSING THE WATERS OF KNOWLEDGE, ARCHETYPES OF WISDOM, AN INNER JOURNEY

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Rabia! 🙂

  12. Wow wowWOW! What a fun and unexpected read! (although I can’t help pointing out – you could use some help with spelling and punctuation!)

    Thank you for being a fellow voice for dismissing standard interpretations of dreams! It’s entirely reliant on the INDIVIDUAL’S experiences, keeping archetypes in mind.
    Keep up the creative voice! – such a pleasure to read!:)

    • theburningheart says:

      First I got to apologize for my English, unfortunately it’s my second language, and I started writing it at a very late age, when I begun this blog some years ago.

      Through my blog you will find quite a few posts where I talk about dreams, based on my studies, and my own personal experience, some come easily to mind :Oct. 2013, Sept. 2013, July 2013 and Nov. 2011 if you wish you can read them.

      Thank you for your interest! 🙂

  13. Christy B says:

    I have not read much about dream interpretation but I admit it’s fascinating to think that the images that come to us are in some way symbolic of our thoughts while awake. Another great read! I don’t think I knew you yet back when you first published this post in 2015!

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, there is an Art, someone call it a Science, but dream interpretation it’s more Art than Science, since dreams are so undefined, and plastic, sometimes vivid images, sometimes more like impressions, that are hard to put into words or coherent thoughts, they are swift and changeable, and it may take great effort to figure them up, or not, sometimes they follow a pattern, and can be repetitive, sometimes are unique, or mimic an activity, but they are not just a reminder of the activity, but shows you a mechanism, which goes beyond the obvious.
      Maybe we did not met before 2015, but on the subject of dreams I have many years studying, and interpreting them.. I got a few posts who deals with dream interpretation from different angles, as far back as my firsts posts, in 2009.

      Thank you Christy for your interest. 🙂

  14. I recently cut about 90% of my followers from my ‘following’ list, just to make sure I can find your posts, as well as a very few others whose works I really respect.
    Thank you for that.
    Namasté
    नमस्ते
    Chazz Vincent

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