Dream sharing is the core feature of dreamwork. I believe dream sharing will continue to grow in popularity due to the wider acceptance of intuitive ways of knowing in our culture. This trend is coupled by an Internet that is increasingly about social networking and peer-to-peer (i.e. non-hierarchical) information sharing. In this way, dream sharing is inherently revolutionary.
In the past, online dream sharing was considered taboo by professionals due to the shaky legal status of dreamwork. Because of this, many experts opted to not participate in the beginnings of online dreaming. But those who did participate laid a strong cultural foundation that is largely still intact despite the massive structural changes of the Internet in the last 10 years.
Online Dream Sharing Today
Today, it is generally accepted that dream sharing (and dream interpretation) is a legally protected activity. Still, additional precautions are taken by many groups through ethics statements, legal disclaimers about non-medical advice, as well as “loopholes” such as dream-interpretation being defined as spiritual guidance rather than as psychological counsel (therefore falling under protection, in the US at least, of freedom of religion).
Here’s a list of the most reputable dream sharing venues active on the net. (Note: I am not covering dream-interpretation services or dream dictionary sites, but only peer-to-peer dream sharing sites)
- Dreamwheel is a Yahoo group with over 6500 members. To participate you have to agree to adhere to the ethical standards established by the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD).
- Sawlogs is a 5-year-old dream database where you can enter your dreams (with public or private settings), see who has had similar dreams, and even connect with these dreamers through discussion forums or private emails.
- Dream Network Journal. This online community of dream sharing was developed in 1995, but the print journal of the same name was established in 1982. IASD member Roberta Ossana still moderates the forums, which provide a safe place for dream sharing and peer-to-peer dream interpretation.
- DreamTree. The dream-sharing discussion forum of this 10 old site is very active; they also have a private google group.
Dream Sharing for Research
There are also a couple dreaming-sharing sites that invite you to do your own dream research. Here the aim is to share dreams in order to add to the database and investigate larger patterns in dreaming. Collectively, we have so much data, but of course interpreting the data requires as many unique perspectives as possible!
- DreamBank. DreamBank is IASD members Bill Domhoff and Adam Schneider’s dream database, hosted by the University of California Santa Cruz. With over 16,000 dream reports in English (and 6,000 in German), this is a great public resource to investigate patterns in dreaming.
- Dream-People. This is a new resource maintained by IASD member Erin Langley. Grounded in the philosophy of Indigenous Science, which maintains respect for the dream as a voice of our ancestors and the natural world, this database allows you to correlate cross-cultural dream themes with the cycles of the moon, as well as major astrological charts.
I”m certain that public dream sharing will only grow more popular in the next couple years as social networking technologies become more advanced (imagine Facebook for dreamers…). Dream sharing is grass-roots community building at its finest, and there are still plenty of venues for participating in this foundational part of dreaming culture on the web.
Also, if you are interested in traditional dream sharing (organizing and meeting with people in your community), I highly recommend this article by Kelly Bulkeley.