The Seer's Guide To Seeing

written by Professor Wessex

A beginner's guide to the many-faceted field of divination.

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Dream Interpretation

Chapter 7

When students open their minds to the mysteries of the future, insights into events that have yet to be can seep into their lives at all levels of consciousness, even dreams. The interpretation of dreams, or oneiromancy, is a branch of Divination that involves the analysis of an individual's dreams to foretell future events in the individual's life. Like many veins of Divination, dreams can be used to illuminate the past, understand the present and predict the future. Dreams and the meaning assigned to them have been a fascination to many through nearly all of history.

  The first written records of dream interpretation date back to the Epic of Gilgamesh—in which Gilgamesh's strange dream about an ax that fell from the sky, was thrown at his mother and then was embraced as a wife was interpreted as a portentous vision of an important and powerful figure arriving. The ideal that dreams could be used to foresee the future continued from the time of the clay tablet writings of Gilgamesh through many ancient societies, such as Greece, Egypt and China. Each culture had it's own viewing of dreams and their meanings, both sacred and secular. It was quite common for the most accomplished Seers to analyze the dreams of royalty in the Medieval eras. Dreams have inspired awe and wonder in many, Muggle and Wizard alike, and in more modern times Muggles have used scientific studies to better understand the substance and purpose of dreams. Unlike our Muggle counterparts, we can record and analyze dreams for the magical properties we know they possess. With careful study and the development of interpretive skills, a magical student can use his or her dreams to help them navigate the possible paths of the future.

  Like prophecies, dreams are not straightforward or simple. They present themselves like a puzzle or riddle of images and sensations that must be studied and put in order to be able to determine what they mean. It is common that an individual's dreams will share no resemblance to the dreamer's normal life, though all dreams appear to be inspired by the individual's experiences and thoughts. Even when dreams seem like they are nonsensical or chaotic, it is the job of the dream interpreter to make sense and bring order to the series of pictures and events that dreams consist of to predict the divine meaning in the dream.

  Dreams occur most often when a subject is asleep, but it is possible to achieve a dream-like condition while awake. Since it is not feasible to have students sleeping away class time, the importance of recording dreams in some manner is substantial. No one is able to remember all of his or her dreams, nor everything that occurs within the dreams he or she does remember. Forgetting dreams is not an issue, but cataloging descriptions of remembered dreams promptly and thoroughly is vital. It is often the details one does remember that hold the most influence and significance on his or her future. Even the most miniscule of details can hold a significant message within it. What seems like the most inconsequential component of a dream may be the difference between predicting a coming catastrophe or determining the best choice of meal that evening.

  There are levels at which a subject may dream. Depending on how deep a level the subject is dreaming at, the degree of psychic potential the dream has in regards to predicting the future. The level one dreams are related to the preconscious mind and consist of content that is most easily related to normal life. These dreams tend to touch on the events of the dreamers day, but without much sense of deeper meaning. Level One dreams do not generally produce any material from which a magical student can divine future events. However, trivial aspects of these dreams may result as a tie in to deeper levels of the mind and deeper levels of dreams. Level Two dreams are the first level of dreams that may actually provide insights into the future. These dreams are associated with the personal unconscious and can involve forgotten memories; fears, wishes and emotions that have been repressed and unacknowledged expectations. These dreams are unique to the dreamer and the symbolism within them relate especially to the dreamer's future life. These dreams are usually very different than everyday life and are such memorable and not easily forgotten. Since they can be recalled quite clearly, these dreams are often the ones students are able to delve into deeply in this field of study. Level Three dreams are related to the collective unconscious and generally involve universal themes like life and death, love, and transformation. Insights from these dreams can usually lead to predictions that may affect, not just an individual, but many people or the world as a whole. There is a further level of dreams that not many individuals ever experience personally. Cosmic dreams that transcend the known world and delve into the deeper meanings of life itself are rare and have only been recorded as being experienced by the strongest Seers.

There are five commonly recorded types of psychic dreams: clairaudient dreams, telepathic dreams, clairvoyant dreams, dreams of apparitions, and empathic dreams. Although these types of dreams present themselves in a more overt manner than most beginning magical students will encounter in his or her dreams, divine meaning can be milled from any and all dreams with focus and a strong Inner Eye.

  Clairaudient dreams are those which involve the subject hearing sounds that clearly portray information. This information might be presented in various sounds, music or spoken messages. These type of dreams, as well as telepathic dreams, are often dreamed by individuals who are also skilled in the art of legilimency. Being able to peel back the layers of another person's mind or hear another person's thoughts through magical skill allows an individual to pull messages into his or her subconscious from the mysterious beyond. While the messages in these types of dreams are clear and obvious, the actual divine meaning behind them may be less direct and overt. Once again, dreams can function something like prophecies, in which even the simplest of phrases can be far more than what they seem.

  Telepathic dreams are dreams in which the subject pulls messages from another energy source. This is a dream type common in those skilled in legilimency, as well as those with an inherent inclination toward that magical art. Communication between the mentioned energy source and the subject's dream usually occurs when the energy source—usually another person, in physical proximity to the subject when the subject is only naturally inclined to legilimency but not necessarily so if the dreamer has developed as a legilimens—is in impending danger or about to be involved in some unusual predicament. Instead of predicting an event in the subject's future, these dreams often allow the subject to help another person prepare for a forthcoming event in his or her future.

  Clairvoyant dreams involve the dreaming of an event or experience that occurs almost concurrently with the dream itself. While the dream usually precedes the real life occurrence of the event, the time between the dreamed event and real life event is so short that nothing can be done to change or prevent it. Instead, these dreams serve only to prepare the subject or give the subject the chance to prepare those involved before the event in order to better experience it during and in the aftermath. Many dreams may present themselves as clairvoyant, sometimes because of the actual timing and sometimes because the time it takes a subject to interpret a dream to an accurate prediction.

  Dreams of apparitions are dreams that involve the appearance of a deceased person who enters the subject’s dream to convey a personal message either to the subject or even someone else. It is hard to always determine if the apparition is a true appearance of a person from beyond the veil or if it is a figment of the dreamer's mind, though in either case the message will carry the same divine meaning. The subject needs to focus on the message the apparition carried with it and interpret it separate from the overall dream and the apparition itself.

  Empathic dreams are dreams in which an event transpires that inspires specific clear and sympathetic feelings or sensations. These dreams do not generally predict actual real life events—the dream events may be absurd and unrealistic—but rather are meant to convey the emotions that will accompany an impending event. Determining what event may be coming in the future is made easier when the feelings that are involved have been narrowed to specifics. Empathic dreams with an intense feeling of contentment or positive emotions do not usually foretell forthcoming tragedy or disaster.

  Dreams of these five types and others can be further categorized into nine major categories. Not all dreams will fit neatly within the confines of these categories, but applying one of the categories is the first step in gaining insight from the dream. The different categories can help a subject to begin to generalize about the situations and emotions involved with the predictable events.

  The first category is for dreams that involve threats or danger to the self. These dreams, or more accurately labeled nightmares, manifest in many ways. They can be tame, involving threats and being followed. They can be more violent, involving animal or magical creature attacks, fire, or crashing vehicles, both magical or Muggle. They can even involve the more extreme case of being killed. These dreams are not believed to foretell these dreamed events occurring in real life, but rather are believed to be preparation for the subject to feel frightened and worried. These dreams may be associated with some event, less violent but still frightening or worrisome, that is down the line for the subject. Having felt the fear related to dying violently, the subject is then better prepared to handle the fear involved with an ill prepared for examination or one's first time on a broomstick.

  The second category is for dreams that involve a subject's family. These dreams often involve protecting children, family members or people the subject cares for as family; different stages of life and family, and can even extend to pets and friends. These dreams are believed to predict some change or event involving not just the subject, but all those close to him or her. They promote the need to protect the family as a unit, as well as reinforce the positive scenarios and commitment between members within a family. This category envelopes a large variety of dreams simply for their involvement of a family member. To determine the true meaning of dreams involving family, closer observation and study is needed. The ideas included here only touch the surface of what these dreams can mean and predict.

  The third category is for dreams that involve bonding. These dreams often involve the subject meeting and interacting with another person, more often than not with a member of the opposite sex. They can involve flirtation or romance, or even rehash situations with past loves. They may be a sign of new relationships about to form, old relationships reforming, or relationships deforming. They are not always romantic in nature. It is the bond between two people that is significant in these dreams, no matter what the type of relationship is. There is value and necessity in forming relationships in life and these dreams can help a subject determine which relationships are important and worth pursuit.

  The fourth category is for dreams that involve bodily injuries and abnormalities. These dreams, though sometimes seen as nightmares, involve the subject having some injury or illness, hying disfigurements or even dying by a violent attack. As frightening as these dreams may be, they do not always seem to foretell impending death or disaster—although that is a possibility when these omens arise in the dreams. Most times these dreams are believed to merely be a warning for the subject to take care of themselves from the simplest of degrees to the most extreme.

  The fifth category is for dreams that involve challenges and exploring. These dreams include situations of traversing obstacles physical or mental, competing in contest or sports like Quidditch, exploring, hunting or traveling. These dreams are believed to be associated with future events that may have the subject traveling to a new place, or competing in a grueling event, or even solving a very tough problem. They often mean that, in the future, the dreamer will be able to come to an achievement or accomplishment of some kind. The dreams are associated with feelings of excitement or exhilaration, high stimulus, or satisfaction in achievement. These dreams promote the continuation of progress and always moving forward into new and undiscovered things, places, or feelings.

  The sixth category is for dreams that involve being superior. These dreams can manifest situations where the subject is performing exceptionally, being dominant or clever, or even performing feats outside the normal bounds of his or her experience—for Muggles this may be feats of magic or power, while for magical students they often are conveyed through possessing specific magical skills he or she does not naturally possess. The dreams are often associated with feelings of pleasure or arrogance. These dreams are believed to predict that there is a task, skill or situation in which the subject may excel if he or she commits, but could fail without the determination to retain that pleasurable emotion.

  The seventh category is for dreams that involve being in a vulnerable situation. These dreams involve the subject being in a position of weak defense. These positions may manifest as being trapped, having lost a vitally needed possession such as glasses, or being exposed publicly. These dreams are believed to be a warning to the subject to be cautious when entering situations that are potentially dangerous or in someway intimidating. It is meant to be a sign that there is not immediate danger, but that feelings of uneasiness should be headed before letting oneself become vulnerable.

  The eighth category is for dreams that involve obstructions and frustrations. These dreams can involve barriers of some kind, figurative or literal, such as brick walls or the inability to move. The frustration occurs as a reaction to coming up against the dreamed blockage. It is believed that these dreams foretell a comping journey or task that will require the subject to be persistent and to retain determination even in the wake of setbacks and frustration.

  The ninth category is for dreams that involve being inferior. These dreams often feature situations in which the subject, or the figure he or she attaches to in the dream, performs poorly or comes up in some way inadequate or is somehow excluded or rejected. These dreams are believed to foretell events in which the subject will come to a point when he or she must choose to remain inferior through inaction or to be inspired to action to contradict the internalized feeling of inferiority. These dream visions may manifest as a divine guidance to prompt a subject out of complacency. While these dreams involve situations opposite to those in dreams of being superior, they contribute to the same result of inspiring the subject to be the best he or she can be at the involved task or skill.

  The symbolism that may crop up in dreams is vast and varied. There are far too many different meanings attached to each specific symbol that it can take exponential amounts of time in order to develop an understanding of all that may come to light through dreams. This section does not dip too far into the minute specific symbols, images and events and their believed meanings; however, further study at higher levels will return to these unique and particular details.

  Dreams can sometimes occur by the book and sometimes they defy definition of any kind. Like many branches of Divination, so much of dream interpretation is subjective and dependent upon the intuition and natural gift of the student. Those without the true Inner Eye may not be able to see the way to true ability of interpreting dreams, but any student can use their dreams as a starting point to journeying through their future life. It was the purpose of this chapter to open the minds of students to the order to the chaos that makes up all of our dreams.

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