Oneiromancy

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Oneiromancy

Oneiromancy.

It is a form of divination which uses dreams to predict the future.

It is at times referred to as Oneiric divination or dream divination. The practitioner can employ the method of reading the present, the future, and the past and or provide help to a problem at hand by interpreting the dreams.

Its limitation is that, there must be dreams to be interpreted either own dreams or from someone else. There is the problem of forgetting the dreams immediately one wakes up thus leaving out important details when narrating it out for interpretation.

 

This type of divination was practiced in ancient civilizations which are based in Mesopotamia and it is up to date, still in practice. Its practice can be found in literature such as the Atrahasis and Gilgamesh. Texts of Iskar Zaqiqu, which translated means the core text of the god Zaqiqu or the Assyrian Dream Book, show that the Oneiromancy was a divination which was practiced in real life.

 

The Epic of Gilgamesh

In this story, dreams are depicted as being a warning of impending doom. In the literature, a friend of Gilgamesh, in the dream, Enkidu sees the gods deciding that he should be dead due to his participation in the assassination of the bull of Huwawa and Heaven. He also sees himself being seized and brought into the underworld. After the dream, he falls ill and dies.

The Atrahasis

It is one of the literature which shows that the ancient Mesopotamia believed in Oneiromancy. The dreams were used to foretell a doom which was impending. In this literature, Atrahasis, who is the main character, is forewarned about a flood which will be destructive in his dream. According to the text, Atrahasis dreams were from the gods.

Dumuzid’s Dream

Dumuzid is a legendary king who lived before the floods and in his dream, he sees his own death. Unlike the Enkidu in Gilgamesh, his dream is filled with metaphors and he had to call for an interpretation of the dreams through the help of his sister.

Applications used during Oneiromancy include:

 

  • Retrocognitive dreaming.
  • Dream Scrying.
  • Precognitive dreaming.
  • Dream searching.

 

Other associations of the divination include:

 

  • Divination.
  • Subconscious manipulation.
  • Dream manipulation.
  • Sleep manipulation.

 

Why Oneiromancy?

It is considered a divine act by many ancient cultures which has survived many modern times.

Its basis is on what someone has dreamt and the belief that, dreams are messages which are sent to the soul by the dead or gods and most of the interpretations are normal warnings. In developed Oneiromancy like in ancient Greece, Babylonia, and Egypt, the diviners were people who had social influence and had great political influence altogether.

An example of Oneiromancy, in the Bible, is the dream of Pharaoh and how Joseph foretold it and averted a possible famine that could have hit the Egyptians.

 

Other examples in the bible include:

When God spoke to Abraham while he was in a deep sleep:

 

  • Joseph was told in a dream not to fear taking Mary as his wife.
  • Jacob dreaming of a ladder to heaven.
  • Pilate’s wife who suffered in the dream because of Jesus.

 

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