Books on authentic Italian folk magical practices are very difficult to find, and are often more academic than they are practical. So I wanted to share this wonderful little treasure of a book with those who are not familiar with it, as it’s very easy to miss. The book is How to Dream Your Lucky Lotto Numbers, written by Raoul Maltagliati, an occultist from Florence, Italy. The book was printed in 1994, and was printed again in 2000. It’s unfortunately out of print, but is thankfully fairly easy to find used online.
The book contains Maltagliati’s teachings (in English) regarding dreams and numerology as it was taught to him by his teacher, Gennaro Esposito, a traditional Dream Interpreter from Naples, Italy. It’s a pretty simple book: the dreams are organized by subject, you look up the dream you wish to interpret, and there will be both an interpretation as well as a lucky number that you can bet in a lottery. This is an extremely traditional and old way of working with dreams in Italian folk magic, while it may not be as whimsical as some people would hope; small dream books such as this one were (and still are) very commonly used among Italians and Italian-Americans.
Maltagliati also discusses the importance of having a portafortuna, or good luck charm such as il cornu (the horn), mano cornu (the horned hands), or il gobo (the hunchback) which will give the wearer a better edge in games of chance, and life in general (a subject I plan to write about soon!).
Part of the reason I absolutely love this little book is that dream interpretation is the only full system of divination that my family brought to America from Italy that survived near intact and is still believed by virtually everyone in my family. This little book allows anyone that’s Italian-American or interested in Italian American folk magic, to have a wonderful connection to an authentic practice that is simple and available in English.