Robert Moss

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Moss in December 2012

Robert Moss (born in 1946) is a historian, journalist, author and creator of a dreamwork technique called "active dreaming".

Early life and education[edit]

Moss was born in 1945 in Melbourne, Australia. As a child, Moss suffered several serious illnesses.[1][third-party source needed]

Moss attended Scotch College, Melbourne and Canberra Grammar School and then Australian National University (ANU), where he received a Bachelor of Arts with 1st class honours and the University Prize in History in 1967.[2] He then received a Master's Degree in history from ANU.[3] Following his education, he became a lecturer in ancient history at the ANU in 1969–1970.

In 1970, Moss began Ph.D. research at University College, London before discontinuing it to pursue a career in journalism.


Moss joined the editorial staff of The Economist, where he was an editorial writer and special correspondent from 1970 to 1980, reporting from some 35 countries. He edited The Economist's weekly Foreign Report from 1974–1980, and wrote for many other publications, including The Daily Telegraph, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic and Commentary. He was a regular commentator on international affairs on British television and the BBC World Service.

In a paper presented to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 1971, Moss was among the first to identify the emergence of international terrorism[citation needed]. He expanded his paper into his first book, Urban Guerrillas, published in 1971. From 1971–1980, he was a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. Moss drafted a speech for Margaret Thatcher in January 1976 which warned about the Soviet military build-up. In response to this speech Thatcher was labelled the "Iron Lady" by the Soviet Army newspaper Red Star.[4]

He was awarded the Freedom Prize of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation at the University of St. Gallen in 1979.

Moss co-authored the novel The Spike with Arnaud de Borchgrave; it became a best seller in 1980.[5] Moss then became a full-time writer and published several suspense novels including Moscow Rules and Carnival of Spies.

In 1986, Moss left this work as an author behind and moved to a farm in Upstate New York, where he started dreaming in a language he did not know that proved to be an archaic form of the Mohawk language[citation needed]. Assisted by native speakers to interpret his dreams, Moss came to believe that they had put him in touch with an ancient healer – a woman of power – and that they were calling him to a different life.[6]

Out of these encounters, he wrote a number of novels and created a technique he terms "active dreaming", which combines modern dreamwork with journeying and healing techniques. A central premise of Moss's approach is that dreaming isn't just what happens during sleep; dreaming is waking up to sources of guidance, healing and creativity beyond the reach of the everyday mind.[7] His first speech on the topic was at the conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) at the University of Leiden in 1994.[8]

Moss's description of the core techniques of active dreaming is:[9]

  • Quick dream-sharing (using a "lightning dreamwork" process) and using an "if it were my dream" protocol so that the dreamer is always the final authority on his or her dream.
  • Making a conscious journey back inside a dream in order to clarify information, dialogue with a dream character, or move beyond nightmare terrors into healing and resolution.
  • Conscious dream travel on an agreed itinerary by two or more partners, often supported by shamanic drumming.
  • Reading coincidence and "symbolic pop-ups" in ordinary life as "everyday oracles".

Personal Life[edit]

Moss married his first wife, Katrina Fairbairn in 1968. They had two daughters, Pandora Moss (born 1971) and Candida Moss (born 1978), and divorced in 1982. He is currently married to Marcia H. Moss, with whom he has a third daughter, Sophie Moss.[10]




  • "International Terrorism and Western Societies". International Journal, Vol. 28, No. 3, Revolution, Summer 1973, pp. 418–430. doi:10.2307/40201138. JSTOR 40201138.



  • Urban Guerrillas in Latin America. Institute for the Study of Conflict, 1970.

Suspense Novels[edit]

Historical Fiction[edit]

Active Dreaming[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Moss, Conscious Dreaming (Three Rivers Press, New York, 1996, pages 2–3).
  2. ^ The Canberra Times, Friday, 15 December 1967, p. 10; ANU Annual Reports 1967, p. 22, and 1968, p. 19
  3. ^ ANU Annual Report 1970, p. 24
  4. ^ John Campbell, Margaret Thatcher: The grocer's daughter (volume 1), Jonathan Cape, London, 2000, page 353.
  5. ^ The New York Times, "Behind the best sellers Arnaud de Borchgrave and Robert Moss", 22 June 1980.
  6. ^ Robert Moss, The healing power of ancient iroquoian dreamways, Shaman's Drum 64, 2003, pages 54–65.
  7. ^ Robert Moss, The Secret History of Dreaming, New World Library, Novato (California), 2009, page x.
  8. ^ Robert Moss, Newsletter of the ASD Conference, University of Leiden, the Netherlands, 1994
  9. ^ Robert Moss, The three "only" things: Tapping the power of dreams, coincidence and imagination (New World Library, Novato (CA), 2007, pages 81–88 and 149–157).
  10. ^ "Candida Moss, Justin Foa". The New York Times. 8 April 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 July 2020.

External links[edit]