The Egyptian Dream Book
The Egyptian ‘Dream Book’ is preserved in the form of a papyrus with a hieratic script. This papyrus was found in the ancient Egyptian workers’ village of Deir el-Medina, near the Valley of the Kings. This papyrus has been dated to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 B.C.).
Each page of the papyrus begins with a vertical column of hieratic signs which translates as ‘If a man sees himself in a dream’. In each horizontal line that follows, a dream is described, and the diagnosis ‘good’ or ‘bad’, as well as the interpretation is provided. Thus, as an example: ‘If a man sees himself in a dream looking out of a window, good; it means the hearing of his cry’. The good dreams are listed first, followed by the bad ones (written in red, as it is the colour of bad omens).
Around 108 dreams, which describe 78 activities and emotions, are recorded in the ‘Dream Book’. These activities may be said to be things commonly undertaken by the average person. Most of these activities deal with some form of sight or seeing. The second largest category deals with eating and drinking, and a few more deal with receiving and copulating.
The papyrus probably had several owners before being finally being deposited in Deir el-Medina. Although it is unclear who its original owner was, some of its owners can be traced through their names on the papyrus. For instance, we know that the scribe Qeniherkhepshef once owned this papyrus, since he copied a poem about the Battle of Kadesh which took place during Ramesses II’s reign. Also, the names of this scribe’s wife’s second husband, Khaemamen, and his son, Amennakht, can be found on the papyrus, indicating that the papyrus belonged to them.
Another interesting thing about the ‘Dream Book’ is that it was once part of an archive. In addition to this papyrus, there were a variety of papyri which dealt with literary, magical, and documentary works. As the ‘Dream Book’ has demonstrated, this was an heirloom that was handed down from one generation to the next.
It is interesting to consider whether the ‘Dream Book’ was regarded by the ancient Egyptians as a piece of ‘serious’ or a ‘popular’ piece of writing. After all, if archaeologists of the future were to discover newspaper clippings of the ‘daily horoscope’ (without the knowledge of the social context of our age), they would probably be equally unsure as to whether these ‘predictions’ were meant to be taken seriously or not. Obviously, how serious a reader takes these ‘predictions’ would be a whole different matter that could be explored as well.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian ‘Dream Book’ is a fascinating piece of work which shows one of the beliefs (be it serious or not) held by the ancient Egyptians. Moreover, the value placed by the ancient Egyptians on knowledge can also be seen, as this papyrus was passed down from one generation to another as an heirloom.
The Dream Interpretations
Here is a list of the dreams and their meanings. You will notice that some of them make more sense than others. The simplest way to read the list is to preface it with, ” If a man sees himself in a dream…”
- Against his finger ~ good ~ signifies receiving cattle.
- Anointing self with oil ~ bad ~ indicates his people will be taken away from him.
- An ape represents a heart.
- As helmsman of a boat, ~ bad ~ speaks of a judgement against him that is not justified.
- Baring his own rear-end ~ bad ~ means he will be poor.
- Barley and emmer in the beyond ~ good ~ he will be protected by his God.
- Being appointed an official ~ bad ~ in a dream means death is approaching.
- Beaten by a willow ~ bad ~ foretells a funeral procession.
- The bed goeth up in flames ~ bad ~ indicates his wife will be expelled.
- Beer represents surging emotions.
- “Being given a head” ~ good ~ “in order to speak.”
- Being pricked by a thorn ~ bad ~ signifies telling lies.
- Binding ~ good ~ receiving a house in the end.
- Binding people who are netted in the night ~ good ~ speech will be taken away from his enemies.
- Binding your own legs ~ good ~ dwelling with fellow-citizens.
- Bitten by a hound ~ bad ~ means to be touched by magic (but not in a good way).
- Bitten by a snake ~ bad ~ means a dispute against him.
- Blood ~ good ~ an end to his enemies.
- Blossoms ~ good ~ prosperity.
- Bones ~ good ~ sustenance of the palace.
- A bow in your hand ~ good ~ receiving an important office.
- Breaking a vessel with his feet ~ bad ~ fighting.
- Breaking apart stone ~ bad ~ his God is angry with him.
- Breaking into ~ good ~ receiving a wife.
- Breeding with a cow ~ good ~ happy day.
- Brewing beer in the house ~ bad ~ foretells of being turned away from his own house.
- Bringing mice from a field ~ bad ~ signifies a bad heart.
- Building a house for oneself ~ bad ~ foretells contrary words ahead.
- Building his own house ~ bad ~ foretells disputes against him.
- Burying alive ~ good ~ lively prosperity.
- Burying an old man ~ good ~ prosperity.
- Busiris ~ good ~ great old age.
- Carrying off temple items ~ bad ~ foretells property confiscated.
- Carved-up billy-goat’s limbs are given to him ~ good ~ a favorable outcome.
- Casting copper ~ bad ~ indicates a future of roaming the earth.
- A large cat ~ good ~ a large harvest.
- Catching birds ~ bad ~ something of his will be carried off.
- Causing cattle to come in ~ good ~ people will be assembled for him by his God.
- Chewing ~ good ~ something will happen.
- Chewing a melon ~ bad ~ disputes will happen.
- Chewing a plant ~ bad ~ indicates a debate.
- Chewing waterlily leaves ~ good ~ you will enjoy something.
- Climbing up a mast ~ good ~ he will be elevated by his God.
- Clothes are wet ~ bad ~ means fighting.
- Closing house ~ bad ~ indicates repulsion.
- Consuming the flesh of a donkey ~ good ~ to become great.
- Consuming the flesh of a crocodile ~ good ~ consuming the possessions of an official, it may also mean acting as an official.
- Copulating with a female aardwolf ~ bad ~ a judgement against him.
- Copulating with a kite ~ bad ~ something might be grabbed right out of his hand.
- Copulating with his mother ~ good ~ he will be joined by clansfolk.
- Copulating with a pig ~ bad ~ your possessions will be emptied.
- Copulating with his sister ~ good ~ something will be assigned.
- Copulating with his wife in the daylight ~ bad ~ his crimes will be seen by the God.
- Copulating with a woman ~ bad ~ signifies mourning.
- Cranes ~ good ~ prosperity.
- Crocodiles signify acting as an official.
- Cultivating herbs ~ good ~ victuals will be found.
- Cutting up a bull ~ good ~ the opponent will be killed.
- Cutting up a female hippopotamus ~ good ~ much food of the palace.
- Cutting your own hair ~ bad ~ something will be taken from the house.
- Dreaming you are dead ~ good ~ a long life.
- A dead bull means enemies.
- Drinking blood ~ bad ~ signifies fighting.
- Drinking warm beer ~ bad ~ suffering will come upon him.
- Drinking wine ~ good ~ living according to truth, or mouth will be open.
- To drive away his tears for God ~ bad ~ denotes fighting.
- A dwarf or midget ~ bad ~ signifies taking away half his life.
- Dying from a back-wound ~ good ~ you will live after your father.
- Eating in a dream represents food.
- Eating an egg ~ bad ~ something will be stolen.
- Eating figs and grapes ~ bad ~ foretells pain.
- Eating grapes ~ good ~ receiving something of one’s own.
- Eating a gutted catfish ~ bad ~ you will be seized by a crocodile.
- Eating hot meat ~ bad ~ signifies no justification.
- Eating sycamore figs ~ bad ~ signifies pains.
- Eating faience ~ bad ~ indicates strong dispute.
- Eating the flesh of cattle ~ bad ~ fighting or that something bad will happen.
- Eating tigre-nuts ~ good ~ governing townspeople.
- Eating what he detesteth ~ bad ~ he will eat unwittingly (not a good thing).
- Enchanted by a spell ~ bad ~ foretells mourning.
- Entering the temple of ‘female deity’ ~ bad ~ denotes an unfavorable outcome.
- Extinguishing~ bad ~ possessions will be ended.
- A face as a panther ~ good ~ acting as chief.
- Fallen prostrate before the southern tribunal ~ bad ~ you will be removed from office.
- Falling ~ good ~ prosperity.
- Falling off a wall reveals the outcome of a quarrel.
- Following behind a herd of billy-goats ~ good ~ a favorable outcome.
- Fattening the cattle ~ bad ~ an unfavorable dream.
- Feces ~ bad ~ his possession will be consumed.
- Ferrying in a ferry-boat ~ good ~ the going forth of all disputes.
- Fetching jars out of the water ~ good ~ a life of abundance.
- Fire~ bad ~ your son or brother will be taken away.
- Flames coming against him ~ bad ~ he will be slaughtered.
- Giving one’s self victuals of the temple ~ good ~ life will be assigned to him by his God.
- “God Who Is Above” ~ good ~ a great meal.
- Guarding patras monkeys ~ bad ~ change is ahead.
- Hair hath lengthened ~ good ~ your face will brighten, or possibly, the multiplying of possessions.
- Harnessing a wagon ~ bad ~ indicates insults against him.
- Herbs of the field ~ good ~ sustenance for father.
- Homage-praesent ~ good ~ your call will be heard.
- Honey jar with a cover ~ good ~ something by his God.
- Immersing in the river ~ good ~ being purified from badness.
- In the field ~ good ~ you are giving to him.
- Killing a bull ~ good ~ your enemies will be killed.
- Killing snakes ~ good ~ disputes will be killed.
- Looking into a deep well ~ bad ~ you will be placed in prison.
- Looking through a window ~ good ~ his call will be heard by his god.
- Lying down on the floor ~ bad ~ something of his will be consumed.
- Making love with a cow ~ good ~ a day of love.
- Measuring barley ~ bad ~ signifies a dispute against him.
- Measuring barley with a measuring cup ~ bad ~ victuals will be regulated.
- Milk ~ good ~ much food.
- Mixing dates ~ good ~ victuals will be found.
- Moon shining ~ good ~ clemency to him of his God.
- Mourning ~ good ~ the multiplying of possessions, or possibly the road will tilt.
- A mouth filled with earth symbolizes eating off fellow-citizens.
- Nomads ~ good ~ your dead father will come.
- Notching sycamore figs ~ bad ~ indicates depression.
- An ostrich ~ bad ~ signifies harm to him.
- Paddling water ~ good ~ prosperity.
- A papyrus scroll ~ good ~ established in own home.
- Penis stiffening ~ bad ~ the victory of his enemy.
- People far away ~ bad ~ death is drawing near.
- Placing beer into a jug ~ bad ~ something will be taken away from the house.
- Placing incense on the flame for the God ~ bad ~ the power of God against him.
- Placing your own face against the floor ~ bad ~ requirements by yon (?) ones.
- Planting gourds ~ good ~ a good life as his God’s gift.
- Plastering his house with yellow ochre ~ bad ~ his people will be taken away.
- Ploughing emmer ~ good ~ something unspecified.
- Plundering ~ good ~ you will be satisfied.
- A pond ~ good ~ the road will tilt.
- Potting ~ bad ~ foretells that you will be in pain.
- Pounding barley and emmer ~ bad ~ seeking from him.
- Praising ~ good ~ he will be justified before his God.
- Preparing a shrine ~ bad ~ a crime will be brought to light.
- Pressing wine ~ bad ~ your possessions will be confiscated.
- Receiving ~ good ~ estate will be united.
- Receiving copper ~ good ~ you will be exalted.
- Receiving a harp ~ bad ~ you will come to harm.
- Receiving material ~ good ~ prosperity.
- Removing a wall ~ good ~ purification from badness.
- Removing his fingernails ~ bad ~ removing works of his hands.
- A river ~ good ~ he will be heard by his God.
- Sailing downstream ~ bad ~ means tying, it also signifies life running backward, and/or speaks of a violent dispute.
- Sailing in a boat ~ good ~ dwelling with fellow citizens.
- Sawing wood ~ good ~ his enemies are dead.
- A seat in his boat ~ bad ~ means his wife will be set aside.
- Seeing a woman’s vulva ~ bad ~ a “backside” of misery.
- Seeing your own face in a mirror ~ bad ~ signifies another wife.
- Sees himself in a dream, and the mouth is broken ~ bad ~ God will break his heart.
- Shank of his leg is amputated ~ bad ~ a judgment against him.
- Shaving your lower body ~ bad ~ mourning to come.
- Shod with white sandals ~ bad ~ roaming the earth.
- Shooting at a target ~ good ~ something will happen.
- Silver and gold ~ good ~ much food of the palace.
- Sitting in a garden of sunlight ~ good ~ pleasure.
- Sitting in the hold of a ship ~ bad ~ the dragging of your own heart.
- Sitting on a sycamore tree ~ good ~ badness will be driven out.
- Sky is raining ~ bad ~ disputes are coming.
- Snaring birds ~ bad ~ being deprived of possessions.
- Snatching the wood of a God from his hand ~ bad ~ his own crimes will be discovered by his God.
- Standing on high ground, holding ~ good ~ a favorable outcome.
- Stone ~ good ~ receiving something.
- Taking dates ~ good ~ victuals as a gift of his God.
- Tearing your own clothes ~ good ~ you will be freed from all badness.
- Teeth falling out below ~ bad ~ an underling will die.
- Tending small kids ~ bad ~ possessions will be lost.
- Threshing grain ~ good ~ receiving life in house.
- Throwing hay onto water ~ good ~ elation.
- Throwing wood ~ bad ~ harm will be brought into the house.
- Throwing your own clothes on the ground shows the outcome of a dispute.
- Tigre-nuts ~ good ~ a happy life.
- A tomb ~ good ~ possessions will be great.
- To send far (a message) ~ good ~ great.
- Tossing about his house ~ bad ~ he will be ill.
- Towing a boat ~ good ~ landed well in his house.
- Uplifted fingers ~ good ~ provided by his God.
- Upon a roof ~ good ~ something will be found.
- Upon a sycamore ~ bad ~ you will lose.
- To dream of urine ~ bad ~ something belonging to his daughter will be consumed.
- Veiling himself ~ good ~ he will drive away his enemies.
- Waving a rag (or pennant) ~ bad ~ you will be challenged.
- Dreams that you are weak ~ bad ~ you will find enemies.
- Wearing an Asiatic garment ~ bad ~ you will be expelled from office.
- Weaving thread ~ bad ~ your possessions will be confiscated.
- White bread ~ good ~ that your face will brighten.
- Wings enfolding ~ bad ~ he is not justified before his God.
- With a blow ~ good ~ something to him.
- With one greater than oneself ~ good ~ you are exalted by your own ability.
- With one side paralyzed ~ bad ~ something taken away.
- A woman signifies “against a wife by the husband.”
- Working stone ~ good ~ established in his house.
- Writing ~ good ~ being established in office, it also means life is good.
- Writing on a papyrus roll ~ bad ~ his crimes will be reckoned by his God.
- Your own face in water (reflection?) ~ bad ~ spending a lifetime in another life.
- Your penis hath enlarged ~ good ~ an increase of possessions.
- Your woman with a married man ~ good ~ retreat.
Kasia Szakowska : Behind Closed Eyes : Dreams and Nightmares in Ancient Egypt. The Classical Pr of Wales, Swansea, 2003.
Is Your Lover True?
On receiving a love letter that has any particular declaration in it, lay it wide open; then fold it in nine folds, pin it next to your heart, and thus wear it till bedtime; then place it in your left hand glove, and lay it under your head.
- If you dream of gold, diamonds, or any costly gems, your lover is true, and means what he says.
- If of white linen, you will lose him by death.
- If of flowers, he will prove false.
- If you dream of his saluting you, he is at present false and means not what he professes, but only to draw you into a snare,
Found in: Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences
Dream Oracle Doll
This method, which resembles something from a fairy tale, traditionally uses a mandrake root, though ginseng, carrot, or any root that suggests a human form may be substituted.
- Embellish and dress the root so it looks like a person. (German folk tradition suggests using millet for eyes.)
- Wrap the root doll in silk when not in use and keep in a safe place.
- Unwrap the doll and talk to it before bedtime. Tell it your concerns and questions.
- Perch it on your pillow or tuck it beneath while you go to sleep and dream.
New Moon Marriage Divination
When the Moon is New, braid your hair or some kind of string while saying:
I braid this knot, this knot I braid,
To know the think I know not yet,
That while I sleep I plain may see
The man (woman) that shall husband (wife) be,
not in his (her) best but worst array,
Just what he (she) weareth every day,
That I tomorrow may him (her) ken
From among all other men.
From: Moon Magick
New Moon Divination Chant
New Moon New Moon,
Star in the stream,
Pray tell my fortune
In my dream.
Pale Moon doth rain
Red Moon doth blow
White Moon doth neither rain nor snow
From Moon Magick
Yarrow Love Divination
Pick some yarrow at the time of the New Moon. Put it under your pillow and say before going to sleep:
Good night fair yarrow,
Thrice good night to thee.
I hope before tomorrow’s dawn
My true love I shall see.
From: Moon Magick
Dreaming About Cats
There is quite a bit of lore on the meanings of cats in your dreams. Some of it is conflicting, and in order to find the true meaning in your own dream, it’s important to know what cats mean to you personally, and what the prevailing folklore about cats was during the time you were growing up.
Some General Ideas
Some say that cats in dreams are a symbol for your intuition, and that the health of the cat indicates whether you are heeding or ignoring your intuition. A dream about a sick cat, then, might mean that you need to listen to your intuition more and rely less on intellect.
Other interpretations claim that cats in dreams symbolize femininity, softness, an independent spirit, creativity, power, misfortune, vulnerability, bad luck, deceit and falseness.
An aggressive cat might suggest difficulty with the feminine aspect of yourself. Being afraid of the dream cat implies there is some fear associated with your femininity. A dream feline may be a symbol for someone in your life who is “catty” or malicious. Being scratched by a cat in a dream suggests that you feel threatened.
Dreaming that you cannot find your cat is a metaphor for your independent spirit, and that you feel someone or something is holding you back from being free. Saving a dream cat’s life suggests that you are reclaiming your independence and power.
To see a frisky cat playing in your dream suggests a need to be more carefree and playful in your own life. Cats in your dream can reflect your need to feel loved, or your fear that you’re being untrue to others so they will love you. A house full of cats in a dream represents excessive illusions or things that you believe to be untrue.
Dreams about a wild cat may indicate that a neighbor could be dangerous or that you will have some sort of dispute with them. Dreaming about fighting with a cat could be a warning that you’ll be robbed or cheated in some way, whereas cuddling with a cat in a dream suggests that your enemies can be “tamed.” A cat biting you in a dream symbolizes the loss of something, typically relating to those closest to you.
Dreams about Kittens
Although adult cats are usually associated with independence and self-reliance, kittens are seen as helpless beings. Dreaming about kittens, then, could indicate that you are feeling vulnerable, scared or need help.
When women dream about cats, the felines are thought to be a symbol of how she views herself. This includes not only her physical body but also her intuition, independence, creativity and her relationships with men.
Men Dreaming of Cats
When a man dreams about cats, the felines are said to symbolize his attitude towards women, or how he thinks women perceive him. A purring cat means the man thinks women find him attractive and he feels comfortable around women. A hissing cat suggests that he feels rejected by women or that there are problems in his relationship.
More Lore on Cat Dreams
- If you dream of a tortoiseshell cat, you will be lucky in love.
- If you dream of a ginger cat, you will be lucky in money and business.
- If you dream of a black and white cat, you’ll have luck with children; may also mean the birth of a child.
- If you dream of a tabby, you will have luck for your home and all who live there.
- If you dream of a multicolored cat, you will have luck making friends.
- Dreaming of white cat means good luck.
- To dream of a white cat means luck in creativity, spiritual matters, divination and spellcraft.
- A dream of two cats fighting means illness or a quarrel.
- Seeing a black cat in your dream indicates that you are experiencing some fear in using your psychic abilities and believing in your intuition.
- To dream of a gray cat means to be guided by your dreams.
- If you dream about a cat with no tail, then it means lost independence.
- If you dream of an aggressive cat, it suggests that you are having problems with the feminine aspect of yourself.
- To dream of being badly scratched by a cat means sickness and trouble.
- To dream of a black cat is lucky.
- If you heard the noise of alley cats in your dream, it is a warning to avoid an indiscreet acquaintance in your immediate circle.
- If you hear the scream or the mewing of a cat, a false friend is trying to do you harm.
- To dream of seeing a cat and snake on friendly terms signifies the beginning of an angry struggle.
- Dreaming of a cat is sometimes regarded as a sign of bad luck in the future.
- American folklore has it that dreaming of a white cat is good luck.
- It is said that to dream of cats is unfavorable as this denotes treachery.
Spell to Dream of the Future
Dream divination is the power to see the future and enhance clairvoyance through dreaming. To foresee an event in the future through a dream, try this powerful dream ritual.
Decide what subject your prophetic/psychic dream will be about:
- Does it involve you, or someone else?
- What is the subject you need information on? (Money, love, etc.)
- How far or near in the future do you wish to see?
- Do you have a specific question to ask, or just a general topic?
- How do you want the question answered- by a guide, symbols, emotions, etc.?
Once you are sure you know what exactly the prophetic dream should be able, you can gather your items and prepare your working.
Lay out a square of pale blue cloth. In the middle, places a mixture of ash leaves, bay leaves, cinquefoil, heliotrope, holly, jasmine flowers, marigold flowers, mimosa, mugwort, onion, and/or yarrow (however many you can find). Bring the corners towards the middle and tie it all together like a small bag with a string, ribbon, or piece of yarn.
Then, on a white piece of paper, briefly explain what you need to see in the dream, using the guideline above to tell the main ideas/questions you need prophecies about.
Place the herbal bag and the note beneath your pillow, and make sure you record your dream in a notebook or journal as soon as you awake, so you do not forget it. Use what you learn to prepare you for the future.
Found at: Blessed Be Me
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