Within the vast array of mantic tools that characterize the discernment and interpretation of hidden circumstances, oneiromancy occupies a revered position and plays a specific role. According to the indications contained in textual sources, the dream state can be the vehicle for visions of pure fields, prophetic encounters, emblematic appearances of totemic animals and of messengers of powerful entities, to name just a few instances. The interrelation of divination in general, and oneiromancy in particular, with specifically identified liturgical and medical praxes, testifies to the value of the first and establishes the efficacy of the latter. The contribution, focused upon the gSal byed byang bu, a Bonpo text on oneiromancy from the Giuseppe Tucci Fund, will propose some hermeneutical reflections by taking into account the emic and etic implications of the divination discourse, so as to contextualize it in the broader ethno-sociological framework of the Tibetan cultural heritage.
Glimpses of Tibetan Divination: Past and Present is the first book of its kind, in that it contains articles by a group of eminent scholars who approach the subject matter by investigating it through various facets and salient historical figures.
Over the centuries, Tibetans developed many practices of prognostication and adapted many others from neighboring cultures and religions. In this way, Tibetan divination evolved into a vast field of ritual expertise that has been largely neglected in Tibetan Studies.
The Tibetan repertoire of divinatory techniques is rich and immensely varied. Accordingly, the specimen of practices discussed in this volume—many of which remain in use today—merely serve as examples that offer glimpses of divination in Tibet.
Contributors are Per Kværne, Brandon Dotson, Ai Nishida, Dan Martin, Petra Maurer, Charles Ramble, Donatella Rossi, Rolf Scheuermann, Alexander Smith, and Agata Bareja-Starzynska.