From celebrating to dreaming
Key in Dragon Dreaming is recognising that there is a threshold to be crossed from one stage to another. The dream circle crosses the threshold between an individual dream and a collaborative project in service to the earth.
Within the dreaming phase, there is:
dreaming – awareness
planning – motivation
doing – gathering information
Going from the project idea to the ‘establishment of the project’s required relationships’ to all participants ‘perceiving newly’. And celebrating that!
The dream circle
A fundamental principles of Dragon Dreaming is that a dream can only manifest through sharing and cocreation. The idea is that your dreams are the dreams of the earth. You offer them to the dream circle and let your individual dream die. The dream is reborn in the dream circle and becomes a collective dream.
One person is the ‘sponsor’ of a dream and communicates their dream to the group. Then a ‘generative question’ is asked: “what would this project have to be like so that you could say, this project is my passion and I am so glad to have worked on it?”. There are several principles:
- everyone answers the question in turn
- every contribution is recorded briefly and perhaps artistically
- you can pass and rejoin
- you keep going round the circle until everyone has passed and then the circle is closed
- there is no interruption
- there is no discussion of ideas
- each person adds one contribution at a time
- the contributions should not be too rational or too abstract, but related to real life.
The herb garden dream circle
The dream circle was a great process, in which dreams, ideas, hopes, fears and inspiration were shared. The whole was indeed greater than the sum of its parts.
Creating a shared vision and community building methods are certainly used in permaculture, again not as an explicit part of the design process, rather as tools. If the dreaming phase is equivalent to the survey stage in permaculture, if only using the dream circle, there is a definite lack of gathering information about the site and the context (people and place), which is certainly integral to permaculture and foundational to meeting the permaculture ethic of earth care.