Founded in 2008, the Oneironauticum is an international dream group that works with oneirogens.
An Oneirogen is any substance, practice, or experience that promotes or enhances dream states. “Oneirogen” originates in the Greek “oneiros”, to dream, and “gen”, to create. Both modern and traditional cultures work with oneirogens to seek guidance from ancestors, to practice oneiromancy—divination through dreams—to seek healing, wisdom, and visionary experience, and to cultivate the extraordinary through one of the most common yet remarkable human experiences: the dream.
The Oneironauticum gathers on a given night to work with the same oneirogen. Participants pursue many kinds of dreamwork: healing dreams, lucid dreams, liminal dreams, communication with the unconscious, meeting in dream worlds, oneiromancy. The list goes on. Above all, we strive to explore consciousness, to experiment with subjectivity, and to play with our own intricate, marvelous minds.
For each Oneironauticum, at least one group gathers together to sleep in the same space, using the same oneirogen. On the same night, dreamers from locations around the world also use the same oneirogen. Although they may be separated by hundreds or thousands of miles, on the night of Oneironauticum, dreamers are united community, bound by the common experience of the dream.
The Oneironauticum is founded by dream explorer Jennifer Dumpert, who posts a dream daily on twitter as @oneirofer.
In attendance at the October, 2009, Oneironauticum were dreamers lissa ivy, Erik, Vibrata, David, Dean, Nathan, Juliana, Stacey, Katherine, and yours truly, Jennifer.
We gathered between 10:00 and 11:00. Before going to sleep, we discussed dreams we’d had in which we’d died. Many of us had heard the same myth in our childhoods, that if you ever dreamed you died, you would actually died, but most of us had at some point died in a dream. Personally, I have died many times in dreams. I vividly remember the first time, around age 10, when I...
The next Oneironauticum is Thursday, October 29. For this session, we’ll be working with a combination of Melatonin and Vitamin B-6.
Melatonin is naturally produced in the human pineal gland (the sort sold in stores is grown on fungi), and helps regulate circadian rhythms by causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature. Studies have shown than melatonin increases REM sleep time and dream activity. The oneirogenic properties of B-6 are thought to arise because it aids in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, and thus increases...
I held the most recent Oneironauticum on Saturday, September 19, at the Symbiosis Gathering, following a talk I gave entitled “Dream Work as Visionary Practice”. To watch the talk (approximately 45 minutes), click here or go to the Home page tab of this site, click Lectures: Video Clips in the top right box, The Dreamer, and Select Symbiosis Gathering from the bottom of the list.
People in the audience later reported between 45 and 60 attendees. I didn’t count. The talk concentrated on ways of using dream work to connect with the...
The next Oneironauticum is Saturday, September 19. I’ll be conducting this Oneironauticum at the presentation/workshop I’m giving at the Symbiosis Gathering.
My talk, “Dream Work as Visionary Practice”, will address the visionary nature of dreaming and discuss how to cultivate experiences and practices based around dream. At the end of the workshop, participants will choose an oneirogen to work with that night. As always, dreamers are invited to participate remotely, joining our world-wide network of dreamers who go to sleep with the...
On Thursday, August 20, the students in my dream work class at Pacifica Graduate Institute (Brook, Casey, Christina, Corinne, Estelle, Eugene, and Suzanne) as well as five faculty members (including Mikita, Erik, and me), and about a dozen other students from other classes gathered to prepare for Oneironauticum. The oneirogen of the month was mugwort, taken one of three ways. Some of us stuffed sachets with dried mugwort, sprinkled with mugwort essential oil, to work primarily with the scent. Others made an anointing oil to absorb the mugwort...
The next Oneironauticum is Thursday, August 20th. This special session will take place in Santa Barbara, on the campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute, during the two-day session that marks the beginning of a class I’ll be teaching on dreams. Students and faculty will participate in person and, as always, we welcome remote participants.
For this session, we’ll be working with mugwort as our oneirogen. Mugwort contains thujone, the active ingredient in absinthe, and is known to promote powerful, visionary dreams and often also lucid...
On Monday, July 27, Dreamers Polly, Elizabeth, Kat, Emily, Amanda, Coco, and yours truly, Jennifer, gathered at Elizabeth’s beautiful house perched high on a hill with sweeping views of Marin.
We spent some time talking about the phases of sleep and the kinds of dreaming that happens in different dream states. People sleep in cycles of approximately 90 minutes (it varies individually), usually five or six cycles a night. The phase of slipping into sleep, when alpha waves (the steady mental idling of the mind that signals awake awareness)...
For the July Oneironauticum, we’ll be working with Kava kava, a root traditionally used among Pacific Ocean island cultures. Also known as Piper Methysticum (Piper is Latin for “pepper”; methysticum, Greek for “intoxicating”), kava is known as a sleep aid that relaxes the mind without dulling mental clarity. Kava displays both euphoric and narcotic qualities, and is often used to socially cohere groups of people.
General reports on the efficacy of kava as an oneirogen vary. Some say it promotes lucid dreaming,...
Because yours truly, Jennifer, was in Tokyo, the May, 2009 Oneironauticum consisted of remote participation only. After an evening of wandering amazed through Shinjuku, I returned to my cute little apartment in Yoyogi Hachiman, unrolled my futon, and applied my patch. Because I’m sensitive to nicotine, I used a 7mg transdermal patch (the weakest strength) cut in half.
The patch produced vivid dreams all night long. In addition to three distinct, very linear, clear dreams, I also had several shorter dreams. The three longer dreams featured...
The next Oneironauticum is on Saturday, May 30th. For this session, we’ll be working with nicotine patches. Advanced oneironauts swear by the effectiveness of patches to promote vivid and sometimes also lucid dreams. In fact, the packaging of the patches I bought lists vivid dreams as a side effect, and instructs the user to remove the patch at night and apply a new one in the morning if vivid dreaming becomes overwhelming.
Patches come in varying strength and should be applied according to your tolerance for nicotine. Stronger patches...