Dreaming for One, Dreaming for All
What if your dreams are not just your own, but part of a global picture?
This is a concept that comes up when I lead dream groups. It seems the more we dream together, the more our imagery synchronizes. It’s as though our individual dreams are pieces of a ‘shared dream’ or bits of a larger whole. Sometimes they are precognitive, too, as though they hold the ‘psychic blueprint’ for the greater community.
This ‘collective dreaming’ usually happens in clusters after an event has occurred, making the pattern more visible. We even noticed this within the greater Dream Tribe community, so we began following a thread of whale dreams from both the dream team and members. Throughout the process we’ve uncovered striking connections by all involved.
But how do we begin to pull together the deeper implications of unintentional group dreaming?
Is there truly a message that’s trying to emerge?
Or is it just random or meaningless coincidence?
A Town Dreams Together, a Town Awakens
Susan Watkins, author of the groundbreaking book Dreaming Myself, Dreaming a town, decided to find out. Over a period of seven years, Watkins assessed the dreams of Dundee, NY residents. The results were intriguing.
Although Watkins was a research journalist and reporter for Dundee’s the Observer, she was also a prolific dreamer. Watkins knew she could trust the insights and information she received from her own dreams, so she wondered what might unfold if she assessed and tracked the dreams of an entire town?
In order to find out, Watkins placed an ad in the paper asking people to send their dreams; a risk that had remarkable consequences.
In advertising her true self to her readers and townspeople, Watkins was not only taking off her reporter mask and role, she was revealing what was underneath. In turn, by inviting participants to share their dreams and most private inner lives, they too would have to shed their masks.
This became clear weeks after her newspaper request; slowly and shyly residents, whom she never would have guessed, came out of the shadows to share their dreams with her.
Ironically, the first person to speak out was a large burly farmer named Thaddeus. One morning, Watkins teased Thaddeus about having dreams; his response shocked her. “Yeah, I got lotsa dreams-I remember ‘em all the time…You know what I think? I think that it’d be a good thing if everybody in town –in this town-hell! Everybody! -wrote their dreams down every mornin’ and then talked about ‘em…mebbe that would be a good way to find out what’s really goin on!”
Seeing Watkins shocked face made him try to recant his words but his true self had already come out. And as if by magic, more residents starting coming out of the woodwork to share themselves fully, masks off.
And so the Dundee dreaming project was born.
Animal Dreams as Precognitive
After talking with the residents, Watkins was amazed to find deep connections between the townspeople’s in both their dreaming and waking lives. Many shared entire dreams or at least dream fragments as if their collective unconscious were piecing together a giant mosaic. But that revelation only scratched the surface.
Her reporter and dream savvy mind also allowed Watkins to tease out the patterns and connections others would have missed.
For example, Watkins discovered the collective dreams were a way of tracking illness, accidents and even death. But the dreams didn’t just predict the Dundee residents’ health and wellbeing. It also related to their feathered and four legged friends. Watkins’ writes:
“I’d always noticed a strong connection in my dreams (and also in the dreams turned into me by my Dundee dreamers) between animals and precognition…how the daily contact and crisis with the animals fit right in with all the other galumphings goings-on…creating a strange balance in which the creatures around me seemed to give and take, symbolically and literally, in an intricate cooperative network.”
A powerful illustration of this was when her mare, Suzie, was diagnosed with ‘moon blindness.’ Watkins examined her research notes, and like existential pieces of a puzzle, saw more connections to Suzie than she ever imagined. Not only did she notice collective dreams about eyes but shared waking experiences, as well.
Her son Sean accidentally hit his friend with a slingshot in the eye and then later that same friend hit Sean in his eye. She also noticed her fish had developed cataracts in their eyes, their golden retriever got hit by a car and hurt her left eye and then one of the Dundee dreamer participants also disclosed personal history involving disease in the left eye.
If Watkins was correct in her assessment of animal dreams and precognition, what does that tell us about the abundance of whale dreams and waking occurrences happening in recent decades?
The Whales are Calling
Dream therapist, Lauren Z. Schneider’s article Eco Dreaming: The Whale’s Tale writes that the whale appears frequently in many of her client’s dreams. Ms. Schneider goes on to explain that “the dreams that emerge from the Western Psyche echo the same messages as prophecies and mythologies from ancient cultures around the world” and that the whales are “calling us through the dream as messengers of a greater evolutionary intelligence.”
In the larger context we are dreaming for a purpose beyond ourselves: That as fellow inhabitants on this planet it is imperative for all our survival to heed the whale’s call with greater attention and reverence.
Whales are Making Contact
In my own dreams and recent postings on The Dream Tribe there is an increasing number of dreams in which the whales are not only making direct contact with the dreamers, but there is also a deep resonance and intention to these mystical meetings.
The dreams show an uncanny resemblance to the recent strange and astounding behavior of whales around the world like Pacific gray whale off the coast of Baja, California.
Here are some of the excerpts of whale dreams collected on our site:
“I felt this person reassuring me that all was well and that the whales wanted to connect with us; I then felt this presence somehow urging me to approach the whale and touch it because the whale wanted to feel my energy to give it happiness. I did this with awe at the magnificent creature and felt relieved…”
“I felt a strong, deep, enormous presence approaching. I felt distinctly honored, awed…and came face to face with Mother Blue Whale. I floated on my back as she passed over me, and I felt so much peace.”
I dreamt I was swimming in beautiful ocean waters with my husband when a whale came up from beneath me. Feeling myself elevated on its back was totally exhilarating…shortly after, I taught my first yoga class as a qualified instructor at the surf club near my home. Suddenly, one of the students announced, “Oh, wow, whales!” and we all rushed to the window to watch for a while. Later, I walked down to the rocks and saw them up close. There was a most amazing eye-to-eye contact. It felt like we exchanged something meaningful.”
“When I dream of the whales, I am always with them in the deep ocean, which is very bizarre because I don’t know how to swim. Yet, in my dreams, I am amongst them in nature, in the deepest of oceans, swimming with them, and, even riding them.”
“Somehow, the whale dreams are the same. There is a communication going on that is unspoken. There is a sense of peace but there is also the teeniest tiniest niggling feeling that it’s kind of scary, too. My orca dreams always convey some sense of urgency. Blue whale dreams are gentle and more like people on acid dancing at a Grateful Dead show. In those dreams, I am swimming with the whales. Side by side, moving the same. In Orca dreams, it is not necessarily the orcas that are dangerous (they might almost be “protecting” me) but there is always a sense of danger to those dreams.”
“As the whale faded into the dark sea, a voice could be heard everywhere, saying, ‘There exists that one moment when out of a whole species, one will awaken.’”
In the spirit of Dundee, The Dream Tribe will continue to collect dreams and waking experiences while making connections that affect all of us.
If you have a whale dream and/or encounter, we would love for you to post your whale dreams here.
If you have thoughts about what the whale dreams might mean, feel free to post them below.