Written by Asterion
Translated by F.v.F.
Oneiromancy is the esoteric art of interpreting dreams. The ancients considered that the gods can communicate to mortals piece of information about what was going to happen and answers at their concerns through dreams. The wise kabbalists said that while sleeping, the human soul departs the body and travels to the other world, leaving behind only a scrap that would keep the heartbeat and breathing to continue. There they could converse with the angels and the souls of other people, either asleep as them or with the righteoust and saints of the traditions, who could guide them. Returned to the body, man can only vaguely remember what his soul learned and met during the dream state, and this was done through a certain language, alegorical, meaning a symbolic language.
Souls do not know any language and it is understood that if we would talk to our souls or other peoples souls, we would do this through symbols, senses and emotions, not by words. From the earlies times, people tried to corelate these symbols with what happens during the day or with what they wanted to find out. Thus, if somebody dreamt of a body in flames, it meant that his wife was cheating him, and if he dreamt of a child it meant he would win something. It is important to know that not all symbols from our dreams mean the same thing for everyone.
According to the era in which they lived, the civilization in which they were born and the beliefs they grew up with and were taught of, people began to consider certain signs as meaning something completely different than others. If they dreamt of a child they would normally consider this as a benefit or a prize, since children were not only the blessing for parents but also a help when they grow old, as well as a future source of income.
Someone asked me what it means if you have snakes in your dreams… Hard to say. If we’d ask a peasant he’d tell us that it means hidden evil or unknown danger. Where does this belief come from? From the meetings that country people have with snakes: snakes are many times venomous and we don’t know when they bite, because they stay hidden under rocks, in the grass or under houses and furniture. If we ask a devoted christian, dreaming of a snake means that someone is lying to us or is deceiving us. It is easy to figure out that this symbol comes from the mythical story of the snake in the Garden of Eden. If he haven’t met snakes in his life, he will associate them with what they heard of. But snakes, as Jesus said, were a symbol of wisdom. The Greeks considered it a sacred animal and signified healing, and the sign of medicine, Asklepios, the staff with a snake around it, has remained a classic emblem of medicine. If we asked a man from Ancient Greece what the snake in our dreams means, he would have told us it means healing.
The examples are many. Dreams play and important role in the Bible: Joseph has many prophetic dreams, and the gift to interpret them makes him the vizier of Egypt. But what dreams did Joseph have, that he could interpret? In his father’s home he dreamt of corn ears, and each of these symbolized his brothers, because they were working the field, picking grain, and in Egypt he dreams of cows and he knows that the cow symbolizes the year in Egypt. We cannot interpret a dream by what someone else is saying or what a different tradition is saying. Lets say that a man from Ancient Greece was sick and he was waiting his healing. He dreams of a snake, and asks a Christian, what does this mean? The Christian will tell him what it means in his tradition, that is deceit, and knowing that the snake is the symbol of healing, our man will think that his doctor is deceiving or lying to him, when in fact his dream signifies healing.
If we want to understand the interpretation of our dreams we must be wise and seek within ourselves what the dream means. A bread can mean the holy wafer for a priest, food and wealth for a poor man and poverty for the wealthy man who is used to fine dishes. A child can mean joy to a woman who likes children, but for an adolescent girl it can be a reason to worry. We don’t need to learn the significance of our dreams from others, we need to find it ourselves. We can listen to the advice of someone who knows us, but it is better that we meditate alone at its significance.
Dream books were born from dream journals, a practice that I recommend if you wish to learn oneiromancy. Once we have dreamt of something (and we remember the dream), we write it down as well and precise as we can, in a journal. With the passing of time we can observe certain associations between dreams and what happened or happens in real life. Slowly, we can create a very useful dream dictionary, to which we can appeal to any time our soul needs to tell us something.