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Dream Gates

Dream Gates

history of dreaming Archives

A short history of soul flight

posted by Robert Moss

In many human cultures the most profound insights into the nature of the divine and the fate of the soul after physical death have been attributed to ecstatic journeys beyond the body in waking dream or vision. In most human […]

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The Books of Night and Day

posted by Robert Moss

We have direct access to sacred knowledge, in our dreams. Our dreams are a personal oracle that reveals the future and helps us prepare for it. We must not let anyone tell us what our dreams mean or stand between […]

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Lucid dreaming and astral travel in the early Church

posted by Robert Moss

Early fathers of the Christian church were in favor of active dreaming and astral travel. Tertullian, who famously observed that  “most people derive their knowledge of God from dreams” urged Christians who found themselves in captivity, perhaps on the way to […]

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Where Homeric singers appoint their successors in dreams

posted by Robert Moss

How you know a dream matters among the Kyrgyz One of the markers of the dream that is also ayan, an omen, is that sensory impressions are unusually strong, including the sense of smell or taste, and that these impressions linger […]

As Lady Sarashina crossed a bridge of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

From a thousand years ago, in a slim autobiographical novel gusting with moonlight and desire, we have a dozen dreams of an anonymous Japanese woman who was born in Kyoto in 1008. The book itself is untitled; sometimes it is […]

The Underground Railroad of Dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Harriet Tubman dreamed of flying to freedom, over landscapes she subsequently crossed on foot when she made her escape from slavery in the South. Later she was guided by specific precognitive or clairvoyant dreams to safe houses, river crossings and […]

Back to Basics (1) Why Dreaming Is Important

posted by Robert Moss

A dream is a wake-up call. It takes us beyond what we already know. Dreams are the language of the soul, and they are experiences of the soul. There are “big” dreams and “little” dreams, of course. In big dreams, […]

Advice from a dead movie star created the star of “I Love Lucy”

posted by Robert Moss

On the day the Obama administration announced that it intended to seek to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, a friend reported dreaming of Lucille Ball, the star of “I Love Lucy.” She wanted to know why she was dreaming of […]

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure

posted by Robert Moss

An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul’s after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I’ll leave the narrative in Aubrey’s voice. Note that “reins” in late […]

Jung’s underworld journey

posted by Robert Moss

Let’s be candid: Jung’s Red Book is not for the faint-hearted. Yes, there are passages of incandescent beauty, perhaps beyond any other of his writings. There are also vertiginous falls into places of rank terror and screaming madness. In my […]

Dreamwork, the antidote to the League of Fear and Contempt

posted by Robert Moss

Why do so many adults in Western society deny that they dream or insist that dreams do not matter? These attitudes are partly the work of societal pressures, and of the authority we have assigned to two kinds of authority: […]

Enter lucid dreaming like a sleeping tiger

posted by Robert Moss

Chen Tuan (871-989) was a celebrated Taoist sage who lived a secluded life in mountain caves in China, where he created kung fu and a method of conscious dreaming. He was an ardent student of I Ching. He reputedly wandered […]

Smellie’s school of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

He was the first editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and his racy style and talent for aphorisms made it an immediate popular success. He was a friend of the poet Robert Burns, who described him as “that old Veteran in […]

What science tells us – and does not tell us – about dreams

posted by Robert Moss

What does science have to tell us about dreaming? One of the most important discoveries is that in modern urban society, few people sleep the way most humans did for all of our evolution before the introduction of artificial lighting. […]

“Nothing happens until it is dreamed”

posted by Robert Moss

The memory of a dream is the memory of a journey. It may have been a short visit to a neighbor’s place or a date with the lover you will meet three years from now. It may have been a […]

Questioning dreams in ancient Mesopotamia

posted by Robert Moss

Our earliest records of the work of a dream interpreter come from ancient Mesopotamia. Here the person you asked for help with your dream was called the “questioner”. On clay tablets from Assur and Nineveh, the “questioner” is usually a […]

Rabbi Zalman joins the Dream Assembly

posted by Robert Moss

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi related a wonderful teaching story about interactive dreaming in The Dream Assembly.  A bunch of Hasidic rabbis are discussing the goals of prayer. Instead of joining the debate, Zalman says, “I would like all of you to […]

The Secret History of Dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

What is one thing people should know about the role dreams have played in history?  Dreams are part of our human survival kit, part of what has kept us going, and evolving on this planet. Across history most people have […]

Harriet Tubman and Ashanti traditions of dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

When I was writing my book Dreaming True, I asked for guidance from the night on how to bring the gifts of dreaming to a broader audience in our society. I dreamed I was teaching the history of the Underground Railroad […]

Mark Twain on drilling dream memory & dreaming parallel lives

posted by Robert Moss

In one of his later stories, “My Platonic Sweetheart”, Mark Twain wrote, “In our dreams — I know it! — we do make the journeys we seem to make, we do see the things we seem to see.” He also […]

Where the Hidden Folk can stop a highway or name a baby

posted by Robert Moss

Icelanders make a practice of listening to the larger reality. Construction of a new highway south of Reykjavik is currently on hold while the supreme court considers a law suit filed on behalf of elves. A group called the Friends […]

A Buddhist poet-saint: if dreams are illusions, so is life, so dream more!

posted by Robert Moss

I am always astonished when Westerners drawn to Buddhism tell me that in tradition, dreams are regarded as illusions from an unclear mind, for which the Rx is to cleanse and purify the mind, in order to dream no more. […]

Let’s rescue our dreams from the League of Fear and Contempt

posted by Robert Moss

Why do so many adults in Western society deny that they dream or insist that dreams do not matter? These attitudes are partly the work of societal pressures, and of the authority we have assigned to two kinds of authority: […]

The Angel That Troubles the Waters

posted by Robert Moss

The pool of Bethesda is famous. Its name has been borrowed by countless hospitals and medical centers, and by a town in Maryland that is a bedroom community for WashingtonDC. One of the distinctions of Bethesda, MD is that it […]

Harriet Tubman dreamed for liberation

posted by Robert Moss

Harriet Tubman is an iconic figure in American history – the runaway slave from Maryland’s Eastern Shore who went back to the South, braving great dangers, to free her fellow-slaves and became the most successful “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. […]

Celtic dream healing with Sequana

posted by Robert Moss

Tonight, in a journey into Celtic Dreaming I am leading at a beautiful private retreat center in the foothills of the Cascades, it is our group intention to dream with Sequana, the “fast-flowing” Celtic patron of dreams and travelers. At […]

Nine Ways Dreams Can Wake You Up

posted by Robert Moss

Have you ever said, “it’s only a dream”? While we often dismiss dreams, or fail to make room for them in the hurry of our daily lives, dreams can be a fabulous source of guidance, healing and juice for any […]

Dreaming is ancient wisdom and everyday practice for our contemporary lives

posted by Robert Moss

Most human societies have valued dreams and the dreamers for three principal reasons. They have recognized that in dreams we see the future, and this can help whole communities as well as individuals to make better choices. They have understood […]

Solving things in the Solution State

posted by Robert Moss

As I lay in bed early on a rainy Saturday morning, it occurred to me that the drifty state after waking can sometimes be – quite literally – the Solution State. I did not initially have narrative dream recall. Instead, […]

We want to sleep like cavemen, not like the dead

posted by Robert Moss

Few people sleep today the way most humans did for all of our evolution before the introduction of artificial lighting. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans thought that what the pushers of sleep meds promise – an uninterrupted night […]

In Search of the Antlered Goddess of the Ways

posted by Robert Moss

The British visionary artist Chesca Potter says that when she moved to London, she had a vision of an immense goddess figure, dressed in green and gold, over the church of  St Pancras. This is the oldest church,  in the […]

Dream sharing by the Founding Fathers

posted by Robert Moss

The founding fathers had a dream of a new society. Many of them also paid close attention to dreams of the night. On July 4, it seems appropriate to share the story of how two of them shared dreams over […]

Dreaming with Robert Louis Stevenson in his birth city

posted by Robert Moss

I am currently in Edinburgh, the birth city of Robert Louis Stevenson, and often feel as I roam the town that haunted his imagination – even after he moved to Bournemouth, or traveled the world, or settled in his last […]

The flight pioneer who learned from dreams of the future that the time is always Now

posted by Robert Moss

I am giving a talk in London tonight on “Dreaming the Future”. We are time travelers in our dreams and one thing that goes on, probably every night, is that the dream self travels into the possible future, scouting out […]

Dreaming our way to the heart of the world

posted by Robert Moss

If we could fold time, travel forward a century or two, and then look backward, I believe we would find abundant confirmation that the rise of the dreamwork movement is one of the most important developments of the modern era. […]

Aboriginal Dreaming into the Dreamtime

posted by Robert Moss

Aboriginal Australians believe that we dream our way into this world, and dream our way out of it. “We talk to the spirit-child before a baby is born,” naturopath and traditional healer Burnham Burnham explained it to me. If the […]

Full Moon in Cancer, and the spirits of dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

Full moon in Cancer (my birth sign) tonight. Good time to recall the connection between the moon and dreaming. We notice the lunar ebb and flow in the cycles of our body and blood, in our mood swings, and also […]

A Renaissance magus’ Rx for true dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Many things unknown, and unwished for, nor ever attempted by our minds, are manifested to us in dreams, also the representations of unknown places appear, and the images of men both alive and dead, and of things to come are […]

Dreaming in Bali, Part 2

posted by Robert Moss

Dream teacher Jane Carleton, who spent two years living and teaching Active Dreaming workshops in Bali, has contributed a second installment of her narrative of sharing dreams with Balinese. Guest blog by Jane Carleton Gathering Flowers of Sleep, and Throwing […]

The Civil War dream diary of a Confederate lady

posted by Robert Moss

The recent release of Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, which opens with a dramatization of one of Abraham Lincoln’s dreams, may have helped to remind us that in an earlier America, dreams were widely respected and shared. People – including those […]

Hopi dream bundles

posted by Robert Moss

I am endlessly fascinated by the etymology of the words for “dream” in different cultures. Often the root and alternative meanings of these words suggest a lively understanding that more is going on in dreams than is widely understood in […]

Dreaming in Bali

posted by Robert Moss

I had the pleasure of conversing with my friend Jane Carleton about her rich experiences of living in Bali, sharing dreams with Balinese people, and teaching Active Dreaming workshops there. Jane is a certified teacher of Active Dreaming, a gemologist, […]

The spirit of Rachmaninoff

posted by Robert Moss

I was privileged last night to be present at a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in which a virtuoso Ukrainian-born concert pianist, Valentina Lisista, played with stunning grace and spirit. She sent me deep into Russia, sometimes under […]

Three causes of dream drought in our modern lives

posted by Robert Moss

As a society, we are undergoing a protracted dream drought, and for most human cultures, this is a very serious condition, because it means we have lost touch with the three great gifts of dreaming: (1) our ability to see […]

Dreaming 9/11, before and after

posted by Robert Moss

One of the lessons of the horror on September 11, 2001 is that we need to rely on human intuition, as well as technology, to safeguard our liberties and our loved ones. Especially the intuitions that come through in dreams. […]

Give me a straight-up dream

posted by Robert Moss

Confused by your dreams?  You could try asking tonight for a straight-up dream. Let me explain. Some dreams take a lot of tending. We need to walk with them and around them for a while, letting different layers and possible […]

Prophecy, dreams and possible futures: Q&A

posted by Robert Moss

Do we dream mass events and earth changes in advance? We humans are living on the planet and in a sense nothing that is human or affects the planet is really foreign to us.  We might think it is but […]

Dreaming is good medicine

posted by Robert Moss

Most human cultures before the modern era have valued dreams as a source of healing. It was widely understood, for starters, that dreams can diagnose what’s going on inside the body. One of the ways to understand dreams is that […]

A POW stays alive by dreaming of a better place

posted by Robert Moss

  Inside a huge stockade hastily erected in Andersonville, Georgia, the Confederates operated the most notorious military prison of the American Civil War. In the last two years of the war, 13,000 Union soldiers died there from malnutrition, exposure and […]

How spiritual guides appear in dreams

posted by Robert Moss

  In the passage in Dante’s Purgatorio where he encounters his radiant guide in the form of a lovely woman called Beatrice, she reproaches him for not heeding the dreams in which she sought him, over many years. The message […]

Notice what’s showing through your slip

posted by Robert Moss

The book in which Freud gave the most complete account of the phenomenon known (after him) as the Freudian slip was first published in 1901 as The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. It’s  a collection of essays that was probably better-known and more […]

Dream the questions before you take the exam

posted by Robert Moss

Have you dreamed you are in school, having to take a test for which you are unprepared? You are not alone;  this is a very common dream theme. If you have finished school and do not have to take any […]

Happy birthday to the dream shaman of Switzerland

posted by Robert Moss

Happy Birthday to Carl Jung, who reminded us that psychology should be about soul, and that dreams are the easiest and best ways to understand what the soul wants in a life. In my book Dreaming the Soul Back Home, […]

Churchill’s art of vision transfer

posted by Robert Moss

It’s June 1940.Englandstands alone against the Nazi horde that has overrunWestern Europe, and Hitler looks invincible. Churchill, Prime Minister for just one month, speaks to the people and warns them of the stakes. If the British people fail to resist […]

At the junction between sleep and waking

posted by Robert Moss

Shiva came to Vasugupta in a dream, they say. He showed the sage the location of a huge rock in a forest at the foot of a mountain. When the rock was turned over, a sacred text was revealed on […]

Creating from the double life of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

  “I realized that my dream life was as full of memories as my real life, that it was a real life, denser, richer in episodes and in details of all kinds, more precise, in fact, and that it was […]

Dreaming as soulcraft and survival tool in Iroquois tradition

posted by Robert Moss

“The Iroquois have, properly speaking, only a single Divinity – the dream. To it they render their submission, and follow all its orders with the utmost exactness.” –          Father Jacques  Frémin, S.J., 1669-70 Long before the first Europeans arrived in […]

Dreams of George Orwell and “1984”

posted by Robert Moss

A dream changed the mind of one of the greatest political writers of the twentieth century. George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) reached a watershed in his thinking in the summer of 1939, when he discovered that – despite his deep […]

The morning after the night in the dream temple

posted by Robert Moss

In previous articles, I described the experience in the temples of dream healing of the ancient Mediterranean. After an encounter with the sacred healer – who might appear as a figure of living gold, or a dog or a snake, […]

Inside the temple of dream healing

posted by Robert Moss

You have earned right of entry to the abaton, the “forbidden dormitory” of the sacred healer, by following the path described in the previous article. Your bed for the night, in the womblike space of the darkened chamber, is an […]

To the temple of dream healing

posted by Robert Moss

You are called to the temple of healing, often by a dream. You may be driven by desperation: you are suffering in body or mind, and you have found nothing that relieves your pain or heals your symptoms. So you […]

The ancient art of Polynesian dream navigation

posted by Robert Moss

According to Polynesian tradition, the first human to see Easter Islandwas a dream traveler and the island was settled because a young king trusted the traveler’s story and acted upon it. In a time of savage warfare amongst the Polynesian […]

The modern myth of sleep that is contrary to nature and diminishes dreams

posted by Robert Moss

We humans don’t sleep the way we used to. No, this is not the lead in for a commercial for some new kind of sleeping pill. It is a statement about how our contemporary sleep patterns are radically different from […]

Writers dreaming, dreamers writing

posted by Robert Moss

Writing and dreaming are closely related as daily practice. Writers who keep journals and record their dreams are giving themselves a warm-up, flexing the creative muscles that will work on the larger project. Writers who may not record their dreams […]

Dreaming as a survival tool in Iroquois tradition

posted by Robert Moss

“The Iroquois have, properly speaking, only a single Divinity – the dream. To it they render their submission, and follow all its orders with the utmost exactness.” –          Father Jacques Frémin, S.J., 1669-70 Long before the first Europeans arrived, the […]

Literature begins in dreams of the Goddess

posted by Robert Moss

The raw sexuality of her call to her lover is wild and shocking.  He plunges into her like a wild bull. When they couple, he is the green life of all growing things and she is the Queen of Heaven. He […]

Daydreams of science: the benzene Ouroboros and the Clapham omnibus

posted by Robert Moss

One of the most famous, and most controversial, dreams in the history of science is the vision of Ouroboros – the snake consuming its own tail – that revealed the shape of the benzene ring to German chemist Friedrich August […]

Could Mark Twain’s dream have saved his brother?

posted by Robert Moss

My recent post about Mark Twain’s precognitive dream of his brother Henry’s tragic death has triggered a stream of questions, including this one: “What’s the use of dreaming the future if you can’t do anything about it?” My response: any […]

The shadow of Mark Twain’s precognitive dream

posted by Robert Moss

Great humor often sparkles on the surface of a dark tide of challenge or tragedy. Mark Twain, still America’s most beloved humorist, was stricken by many terrible events in his life and that of his family – the loss of […]

Paleopsych 101

posted by Robert Moss

At a benefit dinner, the wife of a bank president asked me, “What exactly is it that you do?” I told her, “I’m a paleolithic psychologist.” She nodded respectfully, possibly associating me with the clinical psychiatrist seated above the salt. […]

An Orphic invocation of the dream oracle

posted by Robert Moss

The turning of the year is a good time to seek dream guidance on what the next year may hold, and indeed on any important life issues. In cultures that value dreams, there are recognized and recommended methods of dream […]

The dream is our key to half the total universe

posted by Robert Moss

In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James observed that “The founders of every church owed their power originally to the fact of their direct personal communion with the divine.” That “direct personal communion” has been conducted through dreams and […]

Why we dream #2: A Southwestern version

posted by Robert Moss

We dream to wake up to our larger Self: to the memory of who we are and what we are meant to become. There is a wonderful Dine (Navajo) teaching story about this.  In the Fourth World, the Hero Twins […]

Epona’s day: time for rest and roses

posted by Robert Moss

Put your feet up for a while today, smell the roses,  and give a thought to Epona, whose day (December 18) this is, in the Roman calendar. Epona was the great horse goddess of the Celts, and the only Celtic […]

In the temple of dream healing

posted by Robert Moss

The dreamgates open paths to spontaneous healing. This was the shared wisdom of the ancient world. It calls to us again, in our dreams, to move beyond our fixation with physical symptoms to the spiritual causes of wellness and illness. […]

Egyptian ritual for dispelling bad dreams

posted by Robert Moss

An Egyptian dream book inscribed in the reign of Ramses II, in the 13th century  BCE,  contains a ritual for turning away the negative energy of “bad” dreams and the psychic forces at play in them. The hieratic papyrus classifies […]

Hawaiian dreaming: wild goatfish or straight up

posted by Robert Moss

How much a culture understands of the practice of dreaming is reflected in the variety and specificity of the terms it uses for different types of dream experience. The Hawaiian language contains a rich vocabulary for dreaming that makes a […]

What if the dream angel spoke to you tonight?

posted by Robert Moss

“Can you imagine a modern American man coming to his wife, who had just had a baby, and saying ‘I had a dream last night, and I received a message that we need to move to Mexico because our baby […]

How dreams saved Jesus, according to Matthew

posted by Robert Moss

My last two posts here have sparked a lively discussion on what dreams mean in the Christian story, and how Christians are sometimes confused about that. Back to basics. I want to review very briefly what the Gospel according to […]

How dreams and visions made Christianity the religion of the West

posted by Robert Moss

“Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” said the burly man who approached me after one of my lectures. “That’s it. I was raised Irish Catholic, and there’s no need for dreams in my religion.” I did not argue, but remarked gently […]

A museum rises from the sea of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

She designed a stage set when she was eight, and living in her native Rio de Janeiro: a giant tree painted on a black background. As a film maker, she recently directed and produced an extraordinary nine-hour documentary, “Amazônia (Projecting […]

The dreamwork movement: building a gentle revolution

posted by Robert Moss

The dreamwork movement that first emerged in the United States in the last decades of the 20th century has made a huge contribution to how we approach the inner life, and how we draw on it as a source for […]

The dream people and the birth of a novel

posted by Robert Moss

Because of a hawk and a white oak and my need to get away from big cities, in 1986 I purchased a farm in rolling horse country in the upper Hudson Valley of New York. I had no idea how […]

What dreaming will be, for our world

posted by Robert Moss

If we could fold time, travel forward a century or two, and then look backward, I believe we would find abundant confirmation that the rise of the dreamwork movement is one of the most important developments of the modern era. […]

The beautiful dream spy of Madrid

posted by Robert Moss

When Lucrecia de León was a guest of the Spanish Inquisition, one of the investigators told her, “You are so beautiful a dead man would rise up and make you pregnant.” Since women are absent from so much of the […]

Iroquois dreaming: for survival, soul, and good luck

posted by Robert Moss

Long before the first Europeans arrived, the Six Nations of the Longhouse, or Iroquois, taught their children that dreams are the single most important source of both practical and spiritual guidance. The first business of the day in an Iroquois […]

Dreaming with Hawk, and the Mohawk

posted by Robert Moss

When I moved in the mid-1980s to a farm in upstate New York, in order to get away from the clutter of big cities, I was called to learn a new language. It started with a red-tailed hawk who turned […]

Dreaming oil

posted by Robert Moss

He lived with his large and imposing wife Violet in a blue and white house overlooking the Gulf, with a verandah on the upper level to catch the sea breezes. Under the fierce desert sun, he went shooting in gaiters […]

The Egyptian art of dream travel

posted by Robert Moss

The ancient Egyptians understood that in dreams, our eyes are opened. Their word for dream, rswt, is etymologically connected to the root meaning “to be awake”. It was written with a symbol representing an open eye. The Egyptians believed that […]

Daniel, an active dreamer in the Bible

posted by Robert Moss

In yesterday’s article, we saw how Daniel found a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar II claimed he had lost. Scholars suspect that the content of the symbolic dream of the composite statue was invented in Hellenistic times, perhaps around 200 BCE, […]

Daniel finds the king’s missing dream

posted by Robert Moss

Nebuchadnezzar II was the warrior-king of Babylon who laid waste to Jerusalem, destroyed Solomon’s Temple, and deported the Jews of Palestine into exile. An intriguing episode from Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (605-562 BCE) provides a window into an ancient way of dreaming. […]

Liberia’s woman peace warrior followed a dream

posted by Robert Moss

Leymah Gbowee, the 39-year-old Liberian peace activist, told NPR that she launched her movement in 2002 when a voice in a dream told her to “gather the women of the churches to pray for peace.”  She shared this year’s Nobel […]

In the secret laboratory of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli declared that dreams were his “secret library”. He recorded dreams and shared detailed reports with Jung over the quarter century before his premature death.  Einstein, Niels Bohr, Kekule – and Newton in his own day, and […]

From mental telegraphy to mental texting

posted by Robert Moss

Mark Twain was a lifelong student of meaningful coincidence. In 1878, he gathered some of experiences and experiments in a most interesting article he titled “Mental Telegraphy.” He waited 20 years to publish it, fearing ridicule or incredulity. When public […]

A 2-minute history of dream creation

posted by Robert Moss

 Dreams and twilight states of consciousness have inspired great scientists, inventors, musicians, writers and liberators of human possibility throughout history. Here are some examples: Scientist Otto Loewi dreamed the experiment that enabled him to prove that nerve impulses are chemically […]

The dream secret of Celtic inspiration

posted by Robert Moss

Awen – inspiration – was, as Caitlin Matthews reminds us, “the supreme preoccupation of Celtic poets, especially among those who had inherited the ancient prophetic and visionary arts of the ovate or faith – probably the earliest form of Celtic shaman.” [1] The word awen derives from […]

Wake up and dream

posted by Robert Moss

The bumper sticker on my car reads WAKE UP AND DREAM. I am not the first to realize that dreaming may be a way of waking up. The Egyptian word for dream is rswt. It literally means “awakening,” and in […]

Dreaming Back: Yeats on how the dead get their stories straight

posted by Robert Moss

To understand the important things and live that knowledge, we need poetic clarity. When I was writing my Dreamer’s Book of the Dead, I turned for that often to one of my favorite dead poets, W.B. Yeats. Yeats’s fullest account […]

Dream reentry in the Mabinogion

posted by Robert Moss

Reading the great cycle of Welsh epics known as the Mabinogion with the eye of a dreamer, we can discern an ancient account from the British Isles of the technique I call dream reentry – going back inside a dream […]

Dream archaeology: the Assyrian priest who solved a mystery

posted by Robert Moss

Dreams guide us to the necessary past, to the history we need to know and use. Dreams may also trigger and direct specific lines of research, as in the case of an archaeologist whose dreamed the solution to a mystery. […]

Take the plunge into the sea of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Among the Inuit, the strongest shamans are also the most gifted poets. One of the reasons spirit helpers flock around an angakok is that they are charmed and exhilarated by the shaman’s poetic improvisations. Inuit shamans have a language of […]

The future of imaginal healing

posted by Robert Moss

As we reclaim the skills of dreaming, imagery for healing will become central to our medicine. Advances in hard scientific research, especially in the fast-expanding field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) have helped to provide the mandate, because they supply overwhelming evidence that […]

St Jerome Bewitches Dreams and Dreamwork

posted by Robert Moss

For many centuries, the pretext for official Church hostility to dreams and dreamwork was the deliberate mistranslation of a Hebrew word in the first Latin version of the Bible. This was known as the Vulgate, and was the official Catholic […]

Mark Twain contemplates dream theater for healing

posted by Robert Moss

In “Which Was the Dream?”, a story begun the year after his beloved Susy’s sudden death from meningitis, Mark Twain attributes a series of terrifying dreams to a child character called “Bessie”. There is good reason to think that Bessie […]

A Confederate girl dreams messages in the stars

posted by Robert Moss

I invited my friend Wanda Burch, the author of She Who Dreams, to contribute a guest article for this blog today. She is both a dream teacher and a trained historian who grew up in the South. She has been […]

At the junction of waking and sleeping

posted by Robert Moss

Looking over old journals as I cull experiential material for a new book, I am reminded just how many of my big experiences of inner and other worlds have taken place in a liminal state of consciousness, on the cusp […]

Everyone who dreams is a little bit shaman

posted by Robert Moss

It’s a saying of the Kagwahiv, an Amazonian dreaming people: “Everyone who dreams is a little bit shaman.” Or, in an alternate translation: “Everyone who dreams has a little bit of the shaman in them.” I remember vividly when I […]

Social dreaming among the First Peoples

posted by Robert Moss

For many indigenous peoples, dreaming is a highly social activity, in several senses. You go places and meet people when you travel in your dream body; they may be people in the next village or campsite, or beings in another […]

Catch a plane, or a crane

posted by Robert Moss

Oakland airport The Taoist immortal “will have a garment of feathers, will ride on a beam of light or saddle a star…His bones will shine like jade, his face will glow, a halo will surround his head, all his body […]

An experiment with Tibetan dream yoga

posted by Robert Moss

A note from my 1999 journal: After a long work day, I sat up with Tenzin Wangyal’s book on Tibetan dream yoga. Quite a lot of it appeals to me, especially the guidance on using dream states for emotional clearing, […]

Meeting the dream guide inside a stone

posted by Robert Moss

A widespread practice among ancient and indigenous peoples is to open contact with spiritual guides and allies by seeking a dream at a special place in nature. The vision quest at puberty is an essential life passage in many traditional […]

India’s dream travelers

posted by Robert Moss

In Hindu tradition, dreaming is the key to other worlds, and the literature and sacred writings of India are a treasury of tales of dream travel, clearly grounded on experience. The Yogavasistha, a vast Kashmiri compilation from the first millennium […]

Van Gogh’s dream road to the stars

posted by Robert Moss

Seeing the reference to Van Gogh sunflowers in my poem “A Way of Creating” – which was  inspired by a dream encounter with Van Gogh reported by an artist in one of my workshops – a friend reminds me that […]

Four reasons we must bring back the dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

As I survey the history of our kind on this planet, it seems clear to me that there are four reaons why most human cultures, before modern times, prized dreams and the dreamers. They knew the following things: 1. Dreams […]

Dream Q&A

posted by Robert Moss

I am going to start posting some of my responses to questions on dreams and dreaming that I am constantly being asked to field.  This first set of questions (from a high school student writing a paper on dreams) cover […]

Scottish dreaming: an ancestral call

posted by Robert Moss

My Scots ancestors have been on my case for a while. In the mid-1980s, when I started dreaming in an archaic form of Mohawk, in contact with a woman healer of long ago, I found myself obliged to study the […]

The Istikhara app and everyday dream incubation

posted by Robert Moss

If you are a Muslim in need of quick guidance on a decision, you can now order an app for your cell phone that gives you the Istikhara prayer. As described here yesterday, Istikhara is a method of praying for […]

Flights of the lonely swan: dreaming in Indian sacred texts

posted by Robert Moss

The epics and sacred texts of India are filled with dreams.  The earliest Indian references to dreams, in the Rig Veda (c 1200 BCE) aren’t cheery. They involve scary things – being robbed, being attacked by a wolf, being raped […]

Dream Satisfaction: Keith Richards dreams a hit song

posted by Robert Moss

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” may be the Rolling Stones’ best-known hit; it has certainly set millions writhing. Ironically, it was the product of dream satisfaction, a creative nocturnal episode described by Keith Richards in colorful detail in a recent […]

Dreaming on the longest night, when the wolf eats the moon

posted by Robert Moss

The winter solstice is one of the great ritual events of the Northern year. At Newgrange, the great megalithic site in Ireland, older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt, a light box was constructed so that at dawn on […]

How dreams might have saved John Lennon

posted by Robert Moss

Today, on the thirtieth anniversary of John Lennon’s murder, I am thinking about how his dreams might have saved his life, had he been able to do more with them. Late in 1979, Lennon was troubled by a dream in […]

Dream clues in foreign languages

posted by Robert Moss

Words of foreign languages in my dreams have proven to be keys to very interesting doors in waking life.  When I was a boy in Australia, a radiant being who insisted in speaking Greek informed me that all true knowledge […]

Dream archeology in southern France

posted by Robert Moss

Early in my stay at the l’Hameau de l’Etoile (Hamlet of the Star), the refurbished 17th century village in southern France where I’ve been teaching Active Dreaming over the past two weeks, I dreamed of a prehistoric standing stone. The […]

The Mystery of Pauli’s Chinese Woman

posted by Robert Moss

 Coincidence multiplies when we are in motion. By “coincidence”, I mean the intersection of an external event – or series of events – with an inner sense of meaning. Case in point: When I was on book tour in San […]

Dream symbols – Excremental issues

posted by Robert Moss

“Shit is good!” The elderly Italian grocery store owner’s eyes twinkled as she bagged tomatoes and homemade pasta. “If you crap in your dreams, it means money.” Her reading is an ancient one, still alive in many family traditions. The […]

The dream that is a song that is a road

posted by Robert Moss

The Temiar people of the Malaysian rainforest live very close to their land. Their stilt houses are walled with bamboo poles, laid horizontally so there are gaps between them. There are also gaps between the bamboo slats of the floors. Earth and […]

Jung on the American sixth sense for the genuine

posted by Robert Moss

I just came upon some memorable counsel from Jung on how to talk (or rather not talk) to the English as opposed to the Americans, in which he speaks of the American “sixth sense for the genuine”. I find this quite fascinating: […]

Creative Rx: The right kind of Brownies

posted by Robert Moss

Robert Louis Stevenson received some of his best-beloved stories in dreams and a twilight state of “reverie” in which benign visitors he called “Brownies” helped him to compose, and we have lots to learn from his practice.  RLS described the […]

Dreaming like an Egyptian

posted by Robert Moss

The ancient Egyptians understood that in dreams, our eyes are opened. Their word for dream, rswt, is etymologically connected to the root meaning “to be awake”. It was written with a symbol representing an open eye. The Egyptians believed that the […]

Dreaming into Egyptian blue

posted by Robert Moss

After a murky sequence in my dreams last night, when I needed to avoid various dangers and distractions, I found myself lying at the edge of the ocean in marvelous gleaming morning sunlight. With my legs in the water, I […]

Martyrdom of a woman philosopher

posted by Robert Moss

When I posted my recent essay on Synesius – the “bishop of dreams” and student of Hypatia -on this blog, I had no idea that writer-director Alejandro Amenábar had made a movie in Spain (“Agora”) with Rachel Weisz as Hypatia […]

To converse with the stars

posted by Robert Moss

He lives in a world lit mostly by fire. The Roman Empire has recently been split into two. Rome, the capital of the West, will soon fall to the Goths. The barbarians are inside the gates of Constantinople, the capital […]

Dream and Get Lucky

posted by Robert Moss

If you want to know more about what dreams can be, consider what the words for “dream” mean in different languages. You’ll find clues here to what dreaming meant to our ancestors, before we lost respect for dreamers and contact […]

Techno-tilisms and astral mind traps before “Inception”

posted by Robert Moss

The maze constructed in the movie “Inception” to ensnare the mind of the target is far less sophisticated than ancient astral traps described, most memorably, in the vast Urdu fantasy cycle of Hoshruba. In their dastangos itinerant Urdu storytellers – […]

Previous Posts

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side
Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future life problems, or parts of ourselves we tend to ...

posted 1:22:38pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

A short history of soul flight
In many human cultures the most profound insights into the nature of the divine and the fate of the soul after physical death ...

posted 12:09:30pm Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Reading and releasing psychic cords
The essential things to know about life are usually simple - but can be sticky. One thing we need to know, to maintain our health and sanity, and work the true law of attraction, is that there are threads of psychic energy running between us and ...

posted 12:33:56am Apr. 16, 2015 | read full post »

The Books of Night and Day
We have direct access to sacred knowledge, in our dreams. Our dreams are a personal oracle that reveals the future and helps us prepare for it. We must not let anyone tell us what our dreams mean or stand between us and the direct experience of ...

posted 10:00:45am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Lucid dreaming and astral travel in the early Church
Early fathers of the Christian church were in favor of active dreaming and astral travel. Tertullian, who famously observed that  “most people ...

posted 5:17:18pm Apr. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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