On Dreamscaping

An experimental guide to the programing and control of Dreams

by Bill Costlow

Everyone's perspective is different...Serge King in his book, "Urban Shaman", says: you may not smell the perfume of a co-worker, but they know it's there, you may not hear the music another person is listening to unless you wear their headphones. Shared reality is limited -- we can all sit in the same room and percieve different things. King talks about life as a dream, and waking within the dream in order to change it ... most of us think of dreaming as unreal. Many shamanic cultures believe otherwise.

King argues that the the keyboard in front of me isn't solid at all, but a field of molecules vibrating at a frequency very close to the frequency that my own molecules vibrate at. Radio waves, on the other hand, pass right through us and the computer in front of us as well. The conscious mind interperates the keyboard as "solid". We interprete dreams in much the same way.

Regardless of agreement with the above, dreaming, is a great way to speak with your deep mind. What better way to get a leg up on quiting smoking or dieting or whatever you choose. Life is what you think it is.

Change your thinking: change your life.

I've developed eight goals that every potential dreamscaper should have. In support of those goals, I've developed a system of 3 sigils/mantras to go with the diagram below:

Matrix of 8 Universal Dream Goals cooresponding to the Chaosphere To Maintain Control Remember Realization of Dream state | \ | / Combat ------+------ Work a Adversaries / | \ Positive outcome | Find a Find a Guide Solution To command the Dream

Since any one goal leads to its opposite, there are only four steps. Steps three and four are much more difficult. Step four may require a servator to remind mage that s/he is in dreamstate. I've found that sigils planted through vacuity give better results.

Make a mantra/sigil from each of goal: this is a deeply personal, roll your own:

Step four can be misleading. You must think of dreamstate as an interactive process with the deep mind. Many dream situations occur for a reason and you may not want to tamper with that overmuch. For example, when you dream of climbing a mountain, don't fly off to covort in playland, continue to the top and see why you were climbing in the first place.

This plan requires some preparation.

A dream diary and a daily reminder is absolutely necessary for success. A small table light will also be helpful because dream memories fade swiftly and a significant other is easily disturbed by a ceiling light.

  1. Decide that "dreams are an important part of your life."
  2. Design a ritual to enhance dreaming. Something as simple as lighting a candle or stick of inscense with the simple invocation of "This is for the dreams I will have tonight." will do.
  3. A regular sleep schedule is extremely important. Be sure to get enough rest and drink only in moderation. Alarm clocks that go off at unreasonable hours are a real deterent. The best dreams seem to come towards sun-up.
  4. When you wake at night, your first action should be to record any dreams you remember, even bullet comments about quickly fading dreams can be helpful.
  5. A list of dream goals should be reviewed several times a week. Doing this each night seems to inhibite the process.
  6. The intent to dream well needs to be a part of your daily endevors, but trying too hard is detrimental. The list can be as long or short as you like it to be. Your "Deep mind" will take only those suggestions it's ready for.
  7. Attaining "Seething" trance before sleep usually ensures vivid, memorable dreams.


Urban Shaman, Serge Kahlili King ISBN 0-671-68307-1
Visual Magic, Jan Fries, ISBN 1-869928-18-0
Seidways, Jan Fries, ISBN 1869928-369
Creative Dreaming, Patricia Garfield, ISBN 0-684-80172-8
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, Stephen LaBerge and Howard Reingold, ISBN 0-345-37410-X