Read an Excerpt
El Libro de Astrologoa y Numerologoa de ZolarZolar's Book of Dreams, Numbers & Lucky Days / Zolar's Book of Dreams, Numbers, and Lucky Days
By Zolar Entertainment
Fireside BooksCopyright ©1995 Zolar Entertainment
All right reserved.
The study of dreams is a great realm that may be divided into two territories: that of the observation of dreams, and that of their interpretation. Plutarch and Cicero did not scorn to study it, and following them there are numerous authors from olden times to the present day, not to speak of many writers of keys to dreams, always drawn up at second hand.
Many dreams have become famous, either on account of the position of those who had them or on account of the events that are claimed to have been foretold by them.
No child who has studied his Bible will have forgotten the dream of Jacob seeing the ladder placed on his breast and rising to the sky, prediction of the high destiny of his race; the dream of Pharaoh (the seven fat Kine and the seven lean line), which Joseph interpreted as the approach of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine; and so many others in which Jehovah appeared to Moses and the Prophets. He will remember in the Gospels the angel who foretold to the carpenter Joseph the supernatural motherhood of Mary, the other angel whowarned Joseph to fly into Egypt to escape the Massacre of the Innocents, and the wife of Pilate who was excited by dreams that drove her to beg her husband to save Christ.
It was in a dream that the mother of Virgil knew, by seeing laurels, that she would give birth to a poet. In a dream Brutus saw a threatening specter foretelling his defeat on the eve of the battle of Philippi. In a dream Calpurnia, the wife of Caesar, foresaw the murder of her husband. In a dream Catherine de' Medici foresaw the tournament in which her husband lost his life. In a dream Henri II of France heard a voice predicting the wound to his eye that would come soon. In a dream the princesse de Condé was present at the battle of Jarnac, in which her son was to perish. In dreams Madame Roland knew the death of her mother and Madame de la Bedollier saw the man she was to marry, whom she did not at that time know.
Are dreams in reality prophetic?
We have all known coincidences between dreams and future events that were at least disturbing and striking. Let us add that some scientists have believed and still believe in dreams as a warning, at least to some extent. On the other hand, there are certain cases in which the dream foreboding can easily be understood. How many wives of fishermen, for instance, see in their sleep their husbands being shipwrecked, when, alas, that same night the men are engulfed by a fate which is only too common to seafarers? But do the wives not forget these same dreams when nothing happens?
Nevertheless, let us remember that, if in some psychophysical condition (especially in hypnosis) the human being shows himself apt to foresee future events, it is not extraordinary that sleep should sometimes be accompanied by a premonitory sensitiveness in which images seen transform themselves into more or less vaguely symbolic forms.
On the other hand, Thylbus remarks in his Realm of Dreams that dreams are predictive barely once in a hundred times. These visions of the night are often due, as we shall see presently, to the state of the body, to a physical sensation perceived during sleep, or to a contradesire (Freud's theory). Therefore, before opening a key to dreams to the dream that disturbs you, remember that it is only in cases in which a dream seems inexplicable that it may possibly have any premonitory value.
The Egyptians called such dreams "mysterious messengers," for they took them to be sent by the goddess Isis, who, with the aid of Serapis, thus sent warnings and counsel.
But let us come to more serious explanations.
In the opinion of occultists, the separation of the being into the material self and the psychic or astral self takes place rarely in a state of wakefulness but more often during sleep. And if they see in dreams a kind of presentiment or telepathy, this is, they say, because the soul is freed from the heavy weight of the material body during sleep more often than during wakefulness and thus is more easily able to communicate with the spiritual world.
Scientists, on the other hand - at least the materialists who despise every hypothesis that does not use the scalpel - explain dreams by the rush of blood to the head, allow dreams only physiological causes, and say that they are the result of the nervous system's acting on itself without communication with the outside world. Sleep, by suspending at least in part the exercise of certain faculties (attention, willpower, judgment) releases the control of all the images and thoughts that imagination brings to mind without coordination (hence incoherence).
It cannot be denied that physiological conditions affect dreams, and the ancients were well aware of this, for before accepting signs they took into account the functioning of the organs, the position of the sleeper during his sleep (which must avoid any compression of the liver, the mirror of true dreams), the hour, the day, and the season (autumn and winter, in their opinion, being not very good times). This is why, following the Arab physician Ibn Sirin (who lived in the eighth century B.C.), Moreau de la Sarthe and Maine de Biran distinguished two classes of dreams: the intuitive, and the affective or organic (connected with special conditions, pathological or other, and caused by them, as for instance a physically cold sleeper dreaming of snow).
Let us go into some detail for each of these categories. As we said, the intuitive dreams are the only ones that have any connection with divinatory science. Even then it is perhaps going too far to believe that the gods busy themselves with our petty affairs to the extent of giving us their advice in this manner, and it may be disturbing to see the contradictions existing between the various keys to dreams that are offered to our eagerness to know the future. And besides, we know that many thousands of dreams have never seen their predictions fulfilled!
We have said that occultists saw in dreams a kind of presentiment or telepathy, which is the faculty of seeing at a distance and without the aid of the senses. By the laws of determinism, events concerning each one of us are undoubtedly always in preparation in the vast field of the invisible world; they are in some way in a condition of germination as the seed is at the bottom of a furrow. But it happens in the spiritual world as it happens in the physical world, and all forebodings do not come true, just as all seeds cast into the furrow do not blossom. Sometimes our willpower, warned by the dream, arrests or precipitates the events in their course.
We should not consider interpretations of dreams as predictions. We must be realistic and consider dreams, rather, reminiscences or the reflection of preoccupations. We must not take keys to dreams literally. Everything we can say about man's search into the future must be based solely on hypotheses and coincidences.
The ancients claimed that it was possible - by recipes, by amulets, by prayers, and by drawings of dreams - to procure sweet and pleasant ones and to avoid unpleasant ones. For this purpose they often advised the placing of a branch of laurel near the sleeper's head. Would you like some more advice on this matter? Good dreams, according to the ancients, result from peace of mind; the righteous man who goes to sleep with pleasant thoughts will have pleasant dreams. To avoid terrifying dreams, they wrote, one should not read at night.
The slightest indispositions as well as the most serious illnesses may give rise to dreams. Unfortunately, their semiological value is very uncertain: we do not know their connections with the seat and the nature of the various affections which they accompany. All that we do know is that during sleep the pathological labor which goes on in the depths of the organism induces dreams which are more or less in direct relation with the affected organ. This is so true that dreams may sometimes arouse suspicions about an illness which are not revealed during wakefulness. To give some instances: An organic affection of the heart or of the large veins is sometimes announced before its obvious occurrence by painful dreams or nightmares followed by sorrowful presentiments. If the dreams are frequently repeated, they may be looked upon as symptoms foretelling a serious lesion already very difficult, if not impossible, to prevent. When the lesion has become actual, the dreams are very short; they usually occur during the first sleep and are quickly followed by sudden awakening. Combined with them, there is an early death in tragic circumstances. According to the observations of various doctors, spontaneous hemorrhages are foretold by red dreams or by dreams of murder. The more these dreams are accentuated and detailed, the more they must be taken into consideration. It is especially during the prodromic period of neurosis and of mental alienation that dreams are found to be of such a bizarre and extraordinary character as to arouse the suspicions of a doctor. Madness, before showing itself definitely, very often reveals itself in terrible nightmares of the worst omens.
The Same phenomena accompany illness more often than they precede it. Fever-stricken persons sometimes feel the most dreadful thirst, and dream that they cannot shake it. People have been known to dream that they had a leg cut off or turned to stone and to wake up paralyzed, or become so a few days later. Cold in an organ or its prolonged compression are sometimes accompanied by the same sensations.
Hindu and Chinese medicine, for centuries, has been looking to dreams for information as to the diagnosis of illness. In their system dreams are divided into five classes which correspond to the five great viscera: the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the spleen, and the liver. Each class is subdivided into two normal conditions of the organ. The normal conditions induce no dreams of any kind. These principles having been stated, the following gives, as an example of this Asian science, a summing up of the various dreams which denote the malfunctioning of each viscus:
1. Dreams of ghosts, monsters, terrifying figure - sign of malfunctioning of the heart (vessels choked), repletion. Dreams of fire, flames, smoke, light - sign of malfunctioning of the heart: giddiness due to weakness in the blood current, and slowing down of the heart's rhythm.
2. Dreams of fights, war, weapons, soldiers - sign of malfunctioning of lungs, repletion. Dreams of plains, sea, country, difficult roads, and journeys - sign of malfunctioning of the heart.
3. Dreams of excessive fatigue, pain in the kidneys - sign of malfunctioning of the kidneys; canals overly full Dream that one is swimming with difficulty and is in danger of drowning - sign of malfunctioning of the kidneys.
4. Dreams of songs, festivities, music, pleasure - sign of malfunctioning of the spleen, starting repletion of the canals. Dreams of dangers, battles, disputes, meals - sign of malfunctioning of the spleen.
5. Dreams of inextricable forests, steep mountains, trees - sign of malfunctioning of the liver, repletion. Dreams of grass, lawns, bushes, fields - sign of malfunctioning of the liver.
Finally, dreaming of brooks, murmuring springs, or waterfalls is a sign of anemia, and dreaming of murderers, hanging, or strangulation is explained by asthmatic suffocation.
It will be seen that this diagnosis by dreams is very similar, in some of its inductions, to that made in similar cases by Western physicians, but it is a little more extended.
In any case, it is generally recognized today that painful nightmares - of suffocation with the sensation of imminent death - reveal a choking in the great vessels of the brain and the heart. It would be wise to remove the threats of congestion indicated, by a modification of the way of living. So, also, in the case of frequent dreams of total and partial paralysis, which indicate a defective circulation of the blood.
Here, at least, dreams offer a sure interest, and it is probable that it was this practical application of oneiromancy which formed in olden times the rightly fundamental basis of this science. We should be wrong to neglect its instructive study under the pretext that the mystics and subsequently the charlatans turned it aside from its most interesting purpose.
Here are some examples of dreams without value:
a. Dreams during the first hours of sleep during the time of digestion.
b. Dreams of a person or a thing of which we have recently heard spoken.
c. The feverish nightmares due to pain, to fright, to a book read, to something seen.
d. Dreams resulting from the manner of sleeping. from the position of the sleeper.
e. Dreams due to illness or some obvious outside cause (noise, cold, etc.).
The true oracle dream: This comes in the middle of sleep, usually between three and seven o'clock in the morning, when the digestive functions are complete, when the body is in a good state of health, when the mind has not been exposed to any excitement, and when the normal position of repose causes no trouble to any organ. According to the Arab Ibn Sirin, author of the first treatise on dreams, "the sleeper lying on the fight side will have abstained from all food or of drink. He will have gone to sleep with a light heart, an easy conscience, after having obeyed the precepts of the Koran as to prayers and ablutions.'
INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS
These are the general rules as to the interpretation of dreams:
a. The gravity and importance of the events predicted are in direct relation with the depth of impression produced in the dream by its omen.
b. The due date of the event predicted is in proportion: (1) in the case of an animal, to the time of its gestation, incubation, or the breaking of its egg; (2) in the case of a thing seen, to the distance at which it was, in the dream, from the dreamer; (3) in the case of a recurring event, to its recurrence, etc.
c. Apart from fairly numerous exceptions, the meaning is, in general, the opposite of the dream; thus dreaming of death means marriage or happiness; of murder, safety; of a mirror, betrayal.
d. Monstrosities, deformities, and ugliness are, however, evil.
e. The right is good (also odd numbers); the left is fatal.
f. All wild felines and all huge animals are evil.
g. All domestic animals, especially if of light color (except the cat), are of good omen.
h. Reptiles are the worst possible omens (slander, crookedness, betrayal).
i. Fishes mean abundance and wealth if they are fine and appear on the surface of the water; but, if they remain at the bottom, serious danger.
j. Interpretation relating to all birds seen in dreams: On the right or east - beneficence; on the left or west, - maleficence; flying high - good luck; flying low - bad luck; singing - success; hiding the head - bad luck; turning the head away - an upset; head under wing - illness of much-loved person; coming above the dreamer - reason to beware; wounded - betrayal.
Excerpted from El Libro de Astrologoa y Numerologoa de Zolar by Zolar Entertainment Copyright ©1995 by Zolar Entertainment. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.