Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Opening the Dream Gates

mosswood yurt path.jpg
Welcome to a path of limitless adventure, healing and possibility. The Aborigines of my native Australia believe that our personal dreams may open doorways into the Dreamtime, the deeper reality from which the events and circumstances of our lives are emanated, and the place of encounter with ancestors and spiritual powers. In my experience, this is simple and practical truth.Nietzsche wrote that “in our sleep and in our dreams we pass through the whole thought of earlier humanity”.


That is part of the story, but the story is even greater than this.
Dreaming is traveling. In dreams, we slip free from the normal constraints of space and time and from our everyday consensual hallucinations; we get out there. We travel to places where our departed are at home, and to cities and schools and pleasure palaces on various levels of the Imaginal Realm, the realm of true imagination. Shamans and mystics have long practiced the art of journeying consciously into this world-behind-the-world, and we can learn similar practices through the techniques of shamanic lucid dreaming that I have termed Active Dreaming.

I n dreams, we go beyond the curtain walls of everyday consciousness. Through the play of coincidence, the powers of the deeper world come through those curtains to prod or tickle or goad us awake. Real dreamers work with the signs and symbols and synchronicities of everyday life as well as with night dreams, conscious visions, and liminal states of consciousness. In this blog, I’ll offer techniques to help you become a dreamer 24/7, by playing with all these states of mind. I’ll share stories from dreamers today and in history to encourage and incite you to make more room in your life for the gifts of dreaming.


What’s that? You’re going through a dream drought? And you don’t notice much magic in the round of your days? Don’t worry: you have a world-class dreamer inside you who is ready to help you reopen your dream gates. This is the child in you who is the beautiful dreamer and knows the magic of making things up. In my next post, we’ll learn how by listening to the dreams of young children, we can not only support them, but reawaken the dreamer inside our supposedly grown-up selves.

We’ll discover, when we do this, that dreaming is not fundamentally about what happens during sleep (though there are great gifts in spontaneous sleep dreams that show us aspects of ourselves and our worlds that the waking mind doesn’t see). Dreaming is essentially about waking up to the bigger story and the deeper logic of our lives.

NEXT: Listening to children’s dreams.

Graphic: The torchlit path to the big yurt at Mosswood Hollow, a magical private retreat center (think Wind in the Willows transplanted to the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest) where I lead many playshops and trainings in Active Dreaming.

  • Savannah

    Welcome to the world, Dream Gates. Really great to find you here, Robert. Looking forward to more limitless adventures!

  • Tamara

    I’m really looking forward to reading more about your interpretation and work with dreams. As someone who dreams frequently and whose dreams are often bewildering, I hope to catch a vision of what some of this all means in my spiritual or emotional development.

  • bird

    Welcome to Beliefnet! I love your work and am thrilled to be learning more on Dream Gates!

  • Robert Moss

    Bird – Thanks so much. I’m sure we’ll be sharing dreams of birds and of flight pretty soon on this blog. I have yet to meet anyone who does not enjoy flying in their dreams (though comig down to Earth can be challenging :-)

  • Robert Moss

    Savannah – Thanks so much. Glad to find you here, intrepid dreamer and dreamworker that you are, as we shake out our wings and get ready for flight!

  • Robert Moss

    Tamara – Thank you so much. One of the things we’ll learn together here is that it’s not enough to scout out the meanings of our dreams; we always want to decide on the right action to bring their gifts of insight, energy and imagery into embodied life in our worlds. In relation to your wonderful life intention, dreams and dreamwork can bring us deep emotional healing, keys to richer and more spirited relationships, and direct access to our spiritual source.

  • Your Name luciano


  • Marie

    This can be fun :-) What comes to my mind is if the contact at this site will affect ours dreams so that we will be synchronized, even though it might be an Atlantc Ocean between some of us… It feels like a good opportunity for research, as well. So let´s try, fly and see what happens!

  • Robert Moss

    Hi Luciano – There are many approaches to lucid dreaming, as to dreams and dreamwork in general, and I am open to any way that works and also supports and empowers others. For many of us, the easiest approach to conscious dreaming is to start out conscious and stay that way – for example, by using a remembered dream as the portal for a journey into that dreamspace and beyond it. I call this Dream Reentry. In my workshops, when we use shamanic drumming to power the journeys we find that this is an approach that quickly facilitates rich experiences in mutual or GROUP dreaming, in which two or more partners travel into the same space together – hyper-awake and lucid – on agreed assignments.

  • Robert Moss

    Hej Marie – There is the internet and there is the interworld of dreaming, and it is entirely possible that we’ll find we are growing a delightful web of dreaming and helping to build a global community of dreamers. In my book “The Secret History of Dreaming” I describe how traditional peoples construct dream webs through which a whole community can travel and interact.

  • Jen-I

    Hi Robert, so glad to see you blogging here. As you know, after 10 years of learning and working with your dreaming techniques, I have found it to be one of the highlights in my life. Not only my healing experiences that have come from working with other dreamers to embody or ‘act out’ my dreams, but the creative muse that rises from sharing and working dreams, the insights and ‘aha’ feelings from reentry processes, the journeys into the past and future…all of it, all of it! I also really enjoy the online dream forum too! It all enriches and informs my life for the better.. Thanks so much. I look forward to following you here.

  • Robert Moss

    Jen-I, it’s grand to hear your voice. We’ve shared in many fabulous experience of dream healing and dream creation, and I’m excited that through this blog we may be able to introduce many more people to the gifts of dreaming. So many people are hungry for meaning, for access to the larger story of their lives, and the practice of ACTIVE dreaming will take them there.

  • Raymond

    Hello Robert, So excited to see your newest Dreamgate. I look forward to following and participating. Sincerely, Raymond

  • Robert Moss

    Raymond, thank you. Good to hear your voice.

  • Rebecca

    I want to know more on this. My dreams are always so realistic…. sometimes when I wake up I still feel however I felt in the dream, so if I was crying in it, I am waking up crying, and I have had the same dreams 3 times over fours years, remembered it and changed it in my dream, etc. Do you have any books about things like that? I seem to never be able to find out more of why things happen to me like that in my dreams or why they feel so real. It’s alot to explain and somewhat hard to but if you have anything that may help me understand that please let me know. Thanks!

  • Robert Moss

    Rebecca – When we can learn to change something for the better in a dream – or in active imagination afterwards – and that feels authentic and resolving, we’ve mastered a very important life skill, which is to meet challenges on the ground where they first present themselves. I have published seven books on my Active Dreaming approach, four of which are featured on this Beliefnet page, as well as an audio series and a DVD series, The Way of the Dreamer. I also lead a lively online Dreamwork class, as well as workshops all over the map.

  • Sherry

    Hi, Robert.
    I’m so grateful that you’re taking us by the hand, and guiding us step by step to learn and share the gifts of Active Dreaming. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey. From experience I know that you do far more than simply teach us—you make it fun!
    I’m going to share with my friends on Facebook!

  • Robert Moss

    Sherry – Great to hear your voice on the forum. Yes, all of this is wonderful fun. When we learn to harvest and share our dreams in the right way, we gain energy for life. And when we learn to join in the play of coincidence, that puts sparkle and fizz into the air, like subtle champagne bubbles.

  • Jenny

    In the dream, I have huge wings–eagle wings, I believe. I am running, then leaving the earth, teaching a whole gaggle of people behind me how to fly. I am telling them to believe it-that it’s possible, doable.I hear a soft whooshing sound and feel my wings now–where they attach firmly and delicately to my back. My fully spread wings are lifting me off the ground, as I move towards a cloud covered ledge and a now visible valley of breathtaking beauty and epic proportions. It is vastly deep–Grand Canyon like. I take a deep breath in and feel my wings stretch and open further. Without hesitation, I jump–right through the clouds, off the valley’s ledge. I soar and realize in this moment, I really do know how to fly. Robert, this has been a reoccurring dream for a few years now–perhaps since you first mentioned the Dream Teacher’s training to me. I am finally ready. Let’s FLY!

  • Robert Moss

    Jenny – Ah, what a delicious dream. I can feel my own wingfeathers rustling as I read of your flight :-) In dreaming, flying is a natural human ability and we remember that the soul has wings. As a teacher, I have often dreamed of bringing people to the edge of a precipice and goading them to take off and trust that they can fly. I have yet to meet anyone who has not been exhilarated by the sensations of flight in dreams, though sometimes they experience problems coming back to earth, power lines being a common obstacle. This is why, in the workshops and trainings, we place such importance in getting people grounded and oriented to bring the gifts of what has been shred and experienced within a circle of active dreamers into everyday life.

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