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Dreams as Divination

Post  Achrelus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:45 am

I know the topic used to be talked about often, but I don't have it to go back and look at. What value do we place on dreams we feel are of divine inspiration?

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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  ChaosBlue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:18 pm

Pretty interesting you mention this. I have a lot of vivid dreams frequently, but not all of them I consider divine. If it's something that I remember that I keep thinking about throughout the day, or have forgotten and suddenly something while I'm awake reminds me, I might go back and consider it. I sporadically record my dreams in a journal for reference but it is rare that I use dreams as divination. I can only recall maybe 3 times I have done this in direct correlation to the gods.

Nevertheless though, dreams do fascinate me to a great degree. I definitely also take in interest in dream incubation, which MIGHT be another subject altogether, I could be wrong, but isn't that also an ancient practice in which the dream would involve seeking symbols or cues in how to heal someone or solve a problem?

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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:57 pm

Dream interpretations a really complicated field; even psychoanalysts study the idea.

And yes, dream incubation was a practice associated mostly with temples of Asklepios at Epidauros and elsewhere, whereat pilgrims would seek information via dreams about how to cure their maladies.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Divine dreamis IMHO

Post  Linda on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:36 pm

I've had what I believe is divine dreams about trice or four times in my life. And it's a bit hard to explain, but I have felt it in my heart when that has been the case. They have also been clearer, more vibrant and possible to remember, even longer sequences of.
I believe we can have them if we "want them" - that is, we're making usselves tuned in, open minded and receptive.
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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Sun May 12, 2013 7:53 am

It's not often I have dreams that I would attribute to the divine, but when one occurs that is markedly different from my regular dreams and seems to deal with the divine directly, I'm open to the idea. The gods, after all, can communicate to us however they please.

I had such a dream less than a week ago. While I won't post the whole thing here (I've already posted it at http://wingsforicarus.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/i-had-an-odd-dream/ and I wouldn't want to spam up this forum with a massive wall of text), suffice to say, it was extremely intense, more intense than my usual dreams, and dealt blatantly with the gods, the starring ones being Ares and Athena, and an interplay between the two I am not sure I have sorted out completely in the context of the dream.

Do I believe a dream like that is divinely inspired? Yes. Why not? The gods can do pretty much whatever they want. Interpreting that, however... that's a whole other kettle of fish Laughing

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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Erodius on Sun May 12, 2013 1:48 pm

In my tradition, divination by any means, is not encouraged, because of the near impossibility of discerning with any certainly the mantic meaning of an outcome — however, we likewise avoid the practice because, as especially the later sages recognized, the source of divination is virtually never directly from a god, but rather through any of countless daimones. Many daimones act in the service of a certain god, but there are likewise malevolent, manipulative, and greedy kakodaimones, who would like nothing more than to tie a naïve mortal to their bidding and service, lying and claiming the name of X-god in order to trick their potential servants.

Mantic omens are mysteria, they are framed in mortal reference but illustrative of a higher frame — therein their genuine meaning appears outwardly distorted and confusing. As with any mysteria, without the mystagogue, their exegesis is a shot in the dark — and with divination, a potentially destructive one with high potential for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Neutral

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Tue May 14, 2013 2:48 am

Erodius wrote:In my tradition, divination by any means, is not encouraged, because of the near impossibility of discerning with any certainly the mantic meaning of an outcome — however, we likewise avoid the practice because, as especially the later sages recognized, the source of divination is virtually never directly from a god, but rather through any of countless daimones. Many daimones act in the service of a certain god, but there are likewise malevolent, manipulative, and greedy kakodaimones, who would like nothing more than to tie a naïve mortal to their bidding and service, lying and claiming the name of X-god in order to trick their potential servants.

Mantic omens are mysteria, they are framed in mortal reference but illustrative of a higher frame — therein their genuine meaning appears outwardly distorted and confusing. As with any mysteria, without the mystagogue, their exegesis is a shot in the dark — and with divination, a potentially destructive one with high potential for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Neutral

While I do think there's not much benefit in active divination, when an omen might have been practically thrust upon you- such as the case as possibly divine-inspired dreams- I would think it unwise to entirely disregard them simply because interpreting them is difficult- there might be a genuine message within the dream that we need to learn, and, if there is even a possibility of a message from the gods within it, it is our duty to do our best to interpret it. I would also hold that it's not possible for a mystagogue to interpret a dream for you, because your dreams are yours, not theirs. You do not have the exact same symbology as they do. Different things mean different things to you. For example, most people associate a sword with fighting and war. While this is certainly one way to go, a sword holds a different main meaning for me; I associate swords with words and knowledge. A book would usually be associated with knowledge for others; to me, a book symbolizes law. So a sword or a book in my dreams might mean different things to me than they would to a mystagogue. Therefore, the mystagogue's interpretation would be a shot in the dark, not yours, because you know your own personal symbology better than they, and it is your symbology, not theirs, that will determine how your dreams present the abstract concepts they contain. The message of the gods might be constant, but different people will associate different symbols to the same message. People are diverse that way, and so how it is interpreted would have to be adjusted accordingly.

And as to daimones being the usual messengers of the gods, and it's not always a good daimon that is talking to you, I would propose that there is a way to tell the good from the bad. If one were to compare the messages one receives with the laws the gods uphold, it would serve as one frame of reference. The gods will not send messages contrary to the laws they uphold. They also will not act out of their character, so if one were to check the message and see if it's in any way inconsistent with the character of the god who supposedly sent it, it would not take long to see the messages that are contrary to their natures. If contrary, it would be best to disregard. If they line up well, it would be cause to explore it more deeply.

All of that was just my two cents, though, and I'm not part of any tradition,so I usually just try to approach it the best way I know how.

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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Erodius on Tue May 14, 2013 9:17 am

Therefore, the mystagogue's interpretation would be a shot in the dark, not yours, because you know your own personal symbology better than they, and it is your symbology, not theirs, that will determine how your dreams present the abstract concepts they contain.

Well yes — I was referring to the mystagogue's role in transmission of mysteria as akin to that of one who is skilled in dream interpretation, not as synonymous.

I would disagree with this idea; I think almost the exact opposite is true. I really don't think anyone can interpret his/her own dreams, because one is biased and sees things as he/she wants to see them.

Interpretation of dreams is much more elaborate than "A= this, B= that" symbolism.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Sun May 19, 2013 4:59 pm

Bias is a possibility, this is true. But even the biased interpretation of the person who had the dream in the first place is more likely to hit the mark than a third party interpreting it, due to the highly individualistic symbologies of dreams.

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Re: Dreams as Divination

Post  Erodius on Sun May 19, 2013 5:48 pm

I would say the opposite, actually.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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