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  • Visiting Duat in Dreams June 6, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient , trackback


    Every culture in history has had its own unique take on dreams from Viennese voodoo to Zhuang Zhou dreaming of butterflies, from the Aboriginal dream quest to lucid ‘shamanic’ dreaming, looking at your life line on your left hand as you gently snore. However, Beach has recently become intrigued by the Ancient Egyptians and dreams. In Ancient Egypt dreams were the conduit between this world and the ancestors, those who had gone on before. Nothing particularly strange about that, of course, after all practically every world religion that has ever been has involved the dead: ancient and medieval societies were practically tyrannized over by those who were no longer there. The ancestors and the gods lived in Duat, the world beyond, a world with its own landscape, demons and dilemmas. This was the world of dreams, at least the true dreams, ‘horn dreams’. The dreamer’s ka or soul could not enter Duat but they were, at least on certain special occasions, allowed to come to the edge of the Duat and look into it and to watch events there: the dream becomes in this way an intimation of death and the journey that, sooner or later, we will all take. One dream text – the oldest descriptions of dreams from anywhere in the world come from Egypt – has, for example, a son watching his (dead) dad in a city of the Duat with another man. There is something pleasing with the idea that a dream, instead of being the future, or the filtered present, is an autonomous reality. Much of the rest of Egyptian dream magic is the familiar and rather tedious dream prediction familiar from so many cultures: you dreamt of a hedgehog,  that means…

    Other dream worlds: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com

    Sources: inter alia Kasia Szpakowska, ‘Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies in Ancient Egypt’, Ancient Egyptian Demonology, ed Kousoulis, 2011, 63-76