Oneiromancy is a form of divination based upon dreams. It is a system of dream interpretation that uses dreams to predict the future.
The word comes from the Oneiroi, the sons of Hypnos the Greek god of sleep. Usually such dream interpretation is of a prophetic nature as opposed to the modern psychological version whereby dreams are often seen as clues to the present state of the dreamer, as in the scientific field of oneirology.
The interpretation of dreams was particularly prevalent in ancient Egypt where the dreams of the Pharoah were given great prominence. Oneiromancy also occurs in the Christian bible, as when the Magi are told in a dream to avoid Herod on their journey home.
For many cultures in the past, oneiromancy was seen as a science rather than an art. The use of flexible imagery and artistic interpretation is similar to some of the modern psychological approaches to dreams such as Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious and archetypes.