Dream Circle Oneirogens
On the fourth Friday of the month, join our monthly dream circle, facilitated by me, Jennifer Dumpert, and supported by the San Francisco Psychedelic Society. Visit the events page of the San Francisco Psychedelic Society to register. Participation is free, but you must register to receive info about the zoom meeting..
In 2008, I began holding monthly Oneironauticum events based on the exploration of various oneirogens–any herb, flower, root, sound, scent, practice, etc. that promotes vivid dreaming. In this new monthly dream circle, participants will have the option to experiment with oneirogens and to discuss their experiences. This is only one element of the dream circle. Participants may choose to engage with other elements of dream work. Involvement with oneirogens is an ongoing experiment. In this group, we work with a wide variety of oneirogens, a different one every month. This website contains information about a variety of oneirogens.
Dream Circles occur on the 4th Friday of the month.
- Dec 23: Mugwort or other olfactory oneirogens
- Jan 22: Galantamine
- Feb 26: Binauraul Beats
- Mar 26: Calea Zacatechichi
- Apr 23: Guayusa
- May 28: Silene Capensis
January 22 Oneirogen
Galantamine, or in its organic form, red spider lily, is used to treat Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments. An alkaloid, Galantamine is believed to increase the concentration of acetylcholine—a neurotransmitter that plays a very active role in dreaming—in the brain. Galantamine is also used to promote lucid or vivid dreaming.
Galantamine is short acting. To use it for lucid dreaming or for vivid dreams, plan to take your Galantamine five hours after you go to sleep, when the longer periods of REM sleep begin. Set an alarm just before you go to bed, and leave the capsules by your bed. Start with 3 – 6 mg and see what effect that has. If you are pregnant or concerned about taking a substance, try the practice, outlined below, instead.
You can buy Galantamine online at many locations. Be sure to search for organic Galantamine. You can also buy Galantamine directly through the Dream Studies Portal, an excellent resource to learn more about lucid dreaming or about dreaming in general. You can also go directly to the Dream Portal’s Galantamine Purchase Page to buy a bottle of 30 6 mg capsules.
Lucid Dream Meditation
If you don’t want to either purchase or use Galantamine, I’ll lead a meditation based on the WILD lucid dream practice in my book (see below). To prepare for this, choose a dream you’ve had that you can clearly remember. It can be a recent dream, or a really vivid or meaningful dream you’ve had in the past, or just one you want to revisit. You can prepare for this session by imagining yourself back in that dream. Clearly visualize the surroundings. Use all your senses (Did you see anything memorable? Did you feel sun on your skin? Were there any specific sounds?) to imaginatively place yourself in the dream. If you don’t have time to practice being in the dream, or if you’re seeing this on the day of circle, don’t worry. I’ll lead you through the visualization during the meditation. All you need do is come to Dream Circle. I’ll teach you this practice then.
Waking Induced Lucid Dream, or WILD
If you really want to dive into lucid dreaming, you can also try this exercise from my book, Liminal Dreaming: Exploring Consciousness at the Edges of Sleep. Most people respond best to using visual images for this practice. Some people, however, have stronger aural senses, and find that sound plays a stronger role in their hypnagogic (the dream state through which you pass as you fall asleep) experiences than vision. If this is true of you, feel free to create soundscapes in your head instead of visualizations.
- 1. Lie down comfortably. Some sources recommend the corpse pose (savasana) from hatha yoga—on your back with your arms away from you at 45 degree angles. This position allows for regular blood flow throughout your body so no limbs go to sleep. I suggest experimenting to find the position that works best for you.
- 2. Get yourself into a hypnagogic state using the Feedback Loop exercise; you can find both a recorded meditation of me leading you through that and a written version on the Practices page of my Liminal Dreaming website. You can also just consciously slow down your breath and relax your body, being careful not to fall fully asleep. Maintain enough awareness so you can direct your dream state into lucidity.
- 3. Create some simple visualizations, such as a circle or a triangle. If you have an existing visualization practice, do it. Play around with the picture in your mind’s eye to get the hang of manipulating it. Change its color, brightness or size. Try moving it around. Bounce it, stretch it, send it rolling, whatever.
- 4.Visualize a dream environment. If you frequently visit someplace in your dreams, this could work well. You could also try reading through your dream journal and choosing a place you’ve visited in a recent dream. Or imagine an exotic place you’ve visited and loved. Picture this setting as clearly as you can.
- 5. Now insert yourself into your dream setting. Use your faculty of imagination to listen to the sounds, or sense the textures of the environment. Is the sun hot on your skin? Can you hear the surf crashing on your dream island? Move around in your dream space and get accustomed to occupying your dream body.
- 6. As you pass into hypnagogia, maintain your awareness of yourself in this environment. You’ll probably drift away from your visualization. That’s OK. Gently guide yourself back to your dream environment.
- 7. Eventually, your waking consciousness will use the liminal dream space as a bridge to lead you into a lucid dream. You’ll find yourself in REM, still in the dream environment you created, and still awake.