Dream Circle Oneirogens

From 7:30 to 9:00 PST 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.

Register here to attend group on zoom: https://bit.ly/DreamCircleRegistration

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.

Oneirogen Schedule

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

During the next dream circle, on February 26, we’ll talk about liminal dreaming, the dream state that lies between waking and sleep. As we sink into slumber, we pass through hypnagogia, the first of the two liminal dream states. In this transitional zone, memories, perceptions, and imaginings arise in a fast moving, hallucinatory, semi-conscious remix. On the other end of the night, as we wake, we experience hypnopompia, the hazy, pleasant, drift that is the other liminal dream state. This topic is near and dear to my heart, since it is the topic of my book Liminal Dreaming: Exploring Consciousness at the Edges of Sleep.

February 26 Oneirogen

Binaural Beats

Although they’ve been around since the 1970s, Binaural Beats are currently undergoing a resurgence of interest thanks to the proliferation of Binaural phone apps. Binaural beats work by entraining brain waves. When two different frequencies enter the head through the right and left ears respectively, the brain synthesizes the difference between them to try and create a single, regular frequency. For example, if you hear a tone in one ear at 124Hz and a different tone in the other ear at 114Hz, the brain will synthesize these tones and will produce a wave that rises and falls at a rate of 10Hz, the difference between the frequencies. This, goes the reasoning, simulates the brainwave stage associated with that frequency. In this case, you’d cause your brain to pulse at a 10Hz beat, which is a frequency associated with the alpha state. If you’re using binaural beats to stimulate hypnagogia, then you trick the brain to maintain alpha as you fall asleep. Having your brainwaves maintaining the rhythm of a waking state, which is also the most active vibration rate in hypnagogia, keeps you in hypnagogia when otherwise you’d fall asleep.

How Binaural Beats Work

Binaural beats are used to simulate or trigger dream states, like hypnagogia or REM. Some apps claim to be useful in inducing lucid dreaming by simulating Theta, which increases the chances of relaxing quickly as you fall asleep and holding onto conscious awareness. Binaural beats app sites make a lot of claims about the mind/brain states they claim to be able to simulate. I can’t say I’ve had enormous luck with most of them, though some people say they do. I have had luck with using them for hypnagogia.

You can get binaural beats apps for your smartphone. Just go to either the Mac App Store or to Google Play and search binaural beats. Since I’ll be talking about liminal dreaming for this session, you may want to choose one that offers hypnagogia. But feel free to try any of the dream states.

Liminal Dream Meditation

In addition to the yoga nidra meditation I’ll lead at the end of the session, as I always do, you can try any of the beginning liminal dream exercises that appear on the Practices page of my Liminal Dreaming site.