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Dreams of Hell, Hades, and all the other slummy soul-hotels built for the gloomy, the guilty, and folks whose metaphysical imaginations just couldn't picture anything classier.

I was surprised how many of my hellish dreams are about ascent--climbing, slowly and often with setbacks, out of Hell, despite all the usual assurances it's impossible. Ascent with difficulty is a common motif in the dreams of shamans in training--teaches you not to believe all you hear, to strengthen the will, to overcome despair, to master pain... Your muscles aren't the only things that need toning!

So don't always assume that a dream with hellish content is a sign of trouble. The question is, how'd you handle it? Bravely, honorably, stubbornly? Or... are you ashamed?

To mangle Milton: "Better to be climbing out of Hell, than to be a couch-potato in Heaven."

RELATED TOPICS: paradises: Heavens, Edens, Utopias - demons and devils - guilt - chthonic dreams (the underworld) - fire dreams - volcanoes and eruptions - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.

ANGERHELM: by Wayan; 1994/11/11, a reassuring nightmare.
In one long night I hike out of Frustration Hell, to Inner-Freedom Heaven...
AROO'S ENGINEERS: by Wayan; 1984/11/9-10, a Hawaiian dream epic.
The Engineers make Eden... logical. But the blimps go blind, and a demon
goes viral. How can I escape the their ultra-efficient hell?
CLIMB FROM THE PIT: by Wayan, 1996/11/9, a dream parable.
I'm in the Mideast. No wonder it's a war zone--it's a vast pit BUILT for war!
But a spiral stair leads slowly out, to...
DEVILMENT: by Wayan, 2017/8/13, two dreams on Queen Bee syndrome, fusing Milton & Milton Friedman
A Queen Bee devil kidnaps my grandniece; I kill her to free the child. Turns out even Hell's leaders are relieved.
She returns as a satanic housing developer. Slicker this time, but just as crooked. Must I kill her again?
DRAMA IS HELL!: by Thomas Hood; 1824?; a comic nightmare
When my first play failed, I tried to console myself by reading Paradise Lost.
But drama and devils don't mix...
THE FACTORY: by Sunshine; 2015/9/25, a metaphorical dream
Elegant, ancient, the tower rose into the clouds. Inside? Smoke and darkness. Workers roasted meat on a huge range...
FAWN AND DEMON: by Wayan; 1990/7/15, twin dreams of desire.
A doe I meet is as horny and shy as me. We're similar: torn between desire and fear...
Then I meet a slacker succubus. She may just let herself get seduced toward freedom...
GAMESHOW PRIZE: by Wayan; 1998/1/6, a let-down dream.
I win a prize on a gameshow, but collecting is another story, since the show is run from Hell...
GET YOUR BODY BACK: by Wayan; 1997/6/11, a dreamed parable.
A man dies--his body's chopped up. He ends in Hell. But he's a stubborn guy; he wants his body back. So...
GIFTSHOP OF THE DAMNED: by Carmen Knoke, art by Jesse Reklaw; pre-2000; a comic nightmare
It was Christmas and we needed to buy gifts. But the shopping dragged on
and when at last we went to the register, the sales clerk laughed...
HELL-BOUND TRAIN: by Franz Jaegerstetter, summer 1938; a political dream
I was ordered to join Hitler's army. I dreamt a booming voice proclaimed, "This train is going to Hell!" So I...
HELL CAFE: by Wayan; 2009/10/21, a dream poem w/sketch; Dreamverse #62
A Buddhist scroll shows me Hell Cafe, where diners become entrees. But I read the scroll
backwards! You can escape Hell just by walking out, against the traffic flow...
HELL HALL: by Anonymous #3; c.1920?, a dream of initiatory cannibalism
A revival meeting goes bad--suicides, 'long pig', a hell-pit. If you sup with the devil, carry a long fork!
HELL I SUPPOSE: by Rick Veitch; pre-1995; a dream with a rockin' sense of sarcasm
I'm gloomy about the state of the world, but my alter ego cheerfully explains we're dead and in
Hell--as a demon train rolls up with Elvis Costello on the roof singing "This is Hell I suppose"...
HELL IS HEAVEN!: by John Keats; 1819, a happy scandalous dream
I dreamt I was in the outermost circle of Dante's Hell, among condemned lovers, floating forever, in love, in bliss...
HELL-TORNADO: by Wayan; 1988/7/2, a dream on social engineering.
Who built the tornado in the Heartland, that sucks anyone who opens their spirit-wings down to Hell?
INCREMENTAL HEAVENS: by Wayan; 2016/9/5, a reincarnation-frustration dream, baffling then. Not now.
I keep getting reincarnated in dull heavens where all is blocked by know-nothings. After the 2016 election...
KITTENS OR MOM?: by Jesse Reklaw; 1976-77, recurring nightmares of a choice
I was in Hell. My mom was in a cage suspended over lava. The devil
gave me a cruel choice: "Fry up these kittens or let your mom drop!"
MANSON'S CAGE: by Wayan; 1992/9/10, a nightmare.
At the end of my long, tiresome tour of Hell, it's feeding time in the cage of the Manson cult...
ORPHEUS AND POOH: by Wayan; 1972/4/9, a dream echoing Cocteau's film Orphee--before seeing it
I meet my true love during a coup. We go through Hell together, like Orpheus and Eurydice--only we...
SATANAGRAM: by Wayan; 1998/8/1, a Christmas song lyric.
A hard-hitting rap on Satan's dumbest disguise. Yet he's gotten away with it! The shocking truth...
TO HELL: by Katie Hofgard; 2003/4/19?, a nightmare of loyalty
I loyally served a demon who punished me until at last he sent me to hell. And STILL I didn't rebel...
VULTURE PEOPLE: by Jack Kerouac, 1962, a gross-out nightmare--and a warning?
The vulture people are fucking in the city dump. I end up their guest, given putrid food
in their cold stinking house of rancid grease. I'll become a vulture too...
THE WHO IN HELL AM I: by Wayan; 1984/1/28, a stubborn dream.
I'm Pete Townshend of the Who, climbing stubbornly out of Hell by noticing what I don't want...
THE WIND FROM HELL: by Wayan; 1981/4/21, a dream-poem.
Hot air rises, right? So there's a monsoon from Hell,
lifting souls. Lucky for us that gravity balances it...

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