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Of Dreams and Nightmares

March 29, 2001|ROBERT BURNS |

One of the best things about the wide, wonderful Web is that it lets you dream a little. And don't worry about that keyboard pattern embossed on your face when you wake up. It's a small price to pay.

But what do all those REM images mean--other than Michael Stipe could use a few extra pounds? Well, the Net knows all, so this week we'll check out a few dream sites that aren't total nightmares.

Dream Moods ( has a thorough dictionary of dream symbols and what they mean. Under "dog," for example, several scenarios are interpreted, including this one: "To dream that you are dressing up your dog, signifies your attempts to cover up your own character flaws and habits." More so if Fido's outfit matches your own. You can e-mail Dream Moods for things you don't find in the dictionary.

Dream Doctor ( was founded by Charles McPhee, author of "Stop Sleeping Through Your Dreams: A Guide to Awakening Consciousness During Dream Sleep." There's a dictionary here too, but you can also e-mail the good Doc and get an automated response directing you to similar dreams and related symbols in the dictionary. There are archives of previously interpreted dreams. Personal responses cost $20.

The dictionary at The Meaning of Your Dreams ( has a fortune-cookie slant. Example: For the definition of "lips," you get "Message. Communication. You have many advantages and will have mastery over many matters." Plus, the Rolling Stones are playing on your clock-radio.

Prefer a little Jungian analysis? Try the DreamWeavers Web ( More a friend of Sigmund? Read "The Interpretation of Dreams" by Sigmund Freud at Especially helpful if you're a middle-class Viennese woman living about 100 years ago.

An alternative take on dreams can be found at Dreamwork 2000, now updated to 2001 ( The site features "dream cards," which appear to be some kind of nocturnal Tarot deck. We almost get it.

A lot of sites deal with dream sharing. You might think, "Ick," but look at it this way: If these people are sharing on the Web, they probably won't be sharing with you in the supermarket checkout line.

Electric Dreams ( is an e-zine with a lot on dream sharing, including discussion groups. You can post your dream for everyone to enjoy.

For a visual, as well as written, account of strangers' dreams, visit The people who submit their drawings and dreams also have a chance to offer interpretations. The dreams on this site aren't any more interesting, but everything goes better with art.

Some people want to do more than just make public the most intimate, unguarded parts of their minds. At Dream Vortex ( anyone who drops by can post an interpretation of your dream. Anyone.

Finally, there's the Nightmare Project (, which boasts "1,077 nightmares online." They obviously don't surf as much as we do. There's a good search engine, and when you click on a nightmare, the site opens a new window with the dream and responses. The subconscious, however, must be easily scared. Most of the nightmares are about as frightening as a Clive Barker baby shower. OK, wait. That is pretty spooky.


Robert Burns is an assistant Business editor at The Times.

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