What is war? Social struggle gone bad. I treat war dreams like nightmares--as warnings that may have multiple meanings. Do you live with real war, down the block--are you getting survival tips? Or are your dreams predictive--should you start packing? Or do they warn of non-armed conflicts around you, in your family, at work, on the street? Or internal struggles, "jihads" in the original, spiritual sense? Are those really values shooting at each other? The war you see may be your own.
A cute line to end on, but what if your dream wars are not inner, not symbolic, not even yours? Jung, around 1913, dreamed a tidal wave of blood was drowning Europe. He racked his brains to come up with symbolic interpretations. Even a man that intelligent and intuitive had cultural blinders--even with an explicit warning (one dream announced it was a literal prediction, not symbolic), he couldn't see the mounting wave, the millions about to die. That is, his conscious couldn't see it. His dreams had sharper eyes.
More than any other topic, dreams of war require a step back. Take off your cultural sunglasses.
What are you being warned of?
RELATED TOPICS: pacifism and peace movements - revolution - dream violence - politics - social issues - apocalyptic dreams - natural disasters - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.
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|THE ADMIRAL'S DEATH: by Mary Deane; 1653/6/2, a clairvoyant warning dream.
The wife of Admiral Richard Deane dreamt how he died two days before the news arrived...
|AMPLIFIER: by Alder; 1999/11/13, a dream on self-underestimation
I was always the weakest magic-worker I knew. But when demons threatened my grandchild...
|THE ARTIFACT: by Wayan; 1983/1/16. Narrative dream painting.
I was a lizard archeologist, a million years from now. What I dug up threatened my marriage...
|BABY HITLER'S DOG; 2012/2/7 by Wayan; a grotesque time-travel dream (of health advice?)
An old actor tells me "I met Hitler when we were both babies.
I knew what was coming so I wanted to kill him, but then I'd BE him..."
|BABY, I'LL BLOW YOUR MIND: by Wayan; 1995/3/21, a surreal nightmare
Allied submarines attack the giant Nazi toddler who's hunting us with sonar, occupying my playroom...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE AND GUILT
|THE BATTLE FOR THE RAI DRAGON: by Rikutsu; 2015/12/6, a dream declaring change is ready at last
In a corrupt world, a talisman called the Rai Dragon offers hope of real change--
IF it can be found, AND used by someone decent-hearted...
|THE BATTLE OF PHILIPPI: by Augustus Caesar's friend; 42 BC, a lifesaving dream
Augustus was ill, but a friend's dream prompted him to leave his tent before Brutus's assassins...
|A BEAM OF FLIGHT: by Wayan; 1992/4/19, a dream of love and shellshock.
I'm a dance teacher, I'm King Kong, I'm a shell-shocked elf, I'm a wild bird flying...
CAUTION: GAY-POSITIVE ROLE MODELS, OH NO!
|BILLIE: by Billie's Mom; 1945/1/20, a psychic warning dream
My son Billie, his Navy uniform soaking wet, cried "Oh, Mom--it's so terrible!"
and shrank into a baby again as I held him...
|BIRDS ON FIRE: by Wayan; 2008/9/15, a political dream-poem, Dreamverse #26
George Bush leads a hill-tribe raid against the hill-tribe led by Osama bin Laden... and I'm stuck between...
CAUTION: ANTI-HEROES, POLITICAL PREDICTION
|BONK VERONICA: by Wayan; 1997/4/1, 9 page dream-comic (1.3Mb)
The world's first all-bulemic band, Veronica and the Vomits, provokes a riot at our local punk club. So I go to
Anorexic Bootcamp where models learn self-defense under fire, as calories and fat jokes whiz by...
CAUTION: BARF, HORNY ANOREXIC, FOOD FIGHT
|BONOBO AND BEAR: by Wayan, 1999/10/14, a mystic war movie.
The gods of our cave-past and star-future fight over us--using us, of course. After I see the toll it's taking on a
bonobo buddy of mine, I decide to bring the war back home, and go gunning for God--BOTH of them...
CAUTION: APES AND EXPLOSIVES DON'T MIX
|BONOBOCARE, or, THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE: by Wayan, 2015/8/8, a dream's "Modest Proposal"
Tax-funded child prostitution ends war--sex calms men down from mean chimps to nice bonobos. Rough on street kids, though...
CAUTION: SEXPLOITATION, NUDITY, SATIRE HARSH AS JONATHAN SWIFT. BUT ALSO HAPPY UNICORNS!
|BREAD LIBERATION: by Georges Perec; March 1971, a dream of a lame revolution. Dream #60
Mobilization, war, troop transport, slogans, marching bands and orgies, all in an apotheosis of dough...
CAUTION: ENDS IN SEX
|BURN THE EGGS: by Wayan; 2008/1/20; a magical advisory nightmare with 15 sketches.
Fighting an abolutist theocracy, my dragon-soul burns the
church's dragon-nursery. The cost is terrible: a black vortex...
CAUTION: ROMANTIC THREESOME GETS BURNED
|BUT OUR CAT...: by Wayan; 1974/2/7, a dream haiku
I'd just gone off to college. I dream I'm back in my quarrelsome family's house--
as they start World War Three in the back yard! But our cat...
|THE CHANGED RIVER: by E.M. Martin; 1914/11/25, the quietest apocalyptic dream on record
Humanity improves a river to death, so the river just disappears. Ominous since itís the river of nature, time and God...
|CLOUD WAR: by Wayan; 2012/12/22, a dream of eco-apocalypse on the darkest day of the year
Clouds wake up. Maybe they were always aware, but now they're aware of us. And rage against us all.
Oh, humanity'll survive. But easy times are over...
CAUTION: PARTISAN INTERPRETATION
|CYCLOPS, or, THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYER: by Wayan; 1993/8/24, a spiritual nightmare.
In the far future, I relive Odysseus' tale. To save my life I must give up realistic hope, and focus on...
CAUTION: CANNIBAL MONSTERS
|DEATH CHANTY: by E.M. Martin's friend; 1914/9/21, a psychic dream
An endless parade of drowned sailors sing a dirge. The dreamer woke in tears. Then the news arrived.
|THE DENUNCIATION: by Georges Perec; August 1972, a dream of war-trauma finally healing? Dream #124
1941. My dad and I are denounced to the SS. We're put in with monsters; I'm a snake or fish myself.
But the Nazis become a photo album, I go to a memorial, I cry, it's 1947, peace...
CAUTION: HOLOCAUST MEMORIES
|DIRECT ACTION SAVES THE SHIP: by Alder; 2006/11/5; a dream-fable with instant replay.
A bomb's planted on our ship! But when a teen finds it, rather than fetch a responsible adult...
|DREAMS IN WAR TIME: by Amy Lowell; c. 1917, a chain of seven small dream-poems
Terse dreamlets quietly catch World War I's effect. Faith died in the trenches...
|DYING ONCE, DYING TWICE: by Walter de la Mare; c. 1920?, two dreams of death.
My only chance of life and freedom is to leap. He raises the gun and fires.
I'm flooded with a soundless explosion of light...
|EXECUTE ME!: by Wayan; 2014/1/27, a harsh revolutionary dream
I'm condemned to die for fighting a regime that's killed my minority with impunity
for centuries. I have no regrets. They'll hesitate now, knowing they too can die...
|THE FIREBREAK OF MEN: by Wayan; 1997/2/13, a herstorical dream.
The Europeans have another great war, killing off their men. Will that break the cycle of violence? Like a...
|FLIGHT, MARGARET, MOUSE, DOG:Paul Nash, dreamed 1895-9 + Feb. 1913; art by Dave McKean
As a child, landscape artist Paul Nash dreamed of flying over the countryside
of southern England. But he was threatened by the legendary Black Dog...
|A FLYING DREAM IN WAR-TIME: by Mary Arnold-Forster; Nov. 1914, a hyperrealist dream.
I can always fly in my dreams, so the military command asks me to levitate across war-torn Belgium as a courier...
|THE FOUR WINDS: by E.M. Martin; 1915, a harsh antiwar dream poem.
Three wind-gods are so revolted by humanity they want to kill us; the fourth says we'll kill ourselves soon enough...
|FREEZE!: by Wayan; 1984/5/29, an asymptotic dream.
Demons of fire invade the house, and the Voice of Truth says they can't be killed. What would you do?
|GARDEN OF SWORDS: by Louis MacNeice; 1937, a dream foreseeing World War II.
I'm at a garden-party when They attack. I flee through a garden of swords, but a guard with a bayonet...
|THE GREAT PEACE: by George Antheil; early 1922; two predictive dreams that change a pianist's life
I dream it's after a great war; I hear the music I must write, and meet the girl I must marry...
|GROUND ZERO: by Al Davison; 2001/9/9, a predictive dream-comic.
Two days before 9/11, I dream I'm a child at ground zero, mourning the devastation--and witnessing rebirth.
|HEPBURNING: by Wayan; 1984/8/1, a nightmare on repression.
Kat Hepburn burns inside as passionate aliens take over our souls. How can we expel them before...
|HITLER'S ROOST: by Wayan; 1983/2/14, a fierce dream-poem hinting at a dirty secret later bared
I built a Bavarian treehouse with a great view, hoping Hitler'd confiscate it.
He did! Now he's exposed to Allied spy planes--and assassination...
CAUTION: CHILD-MOLESTING THERAPIST
|HOBBIT SNIPER: by Wayan; 1998/10/13, a dream on strategy.
I'm a sniper in a desert battle of men against hobbits. Guilty for not fighting openly, but that'd be suicidal...
CAUTION: MATH AND WAR
|HORTA'S EGGS: by Wayan; 1984/1/17, a dream of re-evaluation.
I fight to save a nest of 50,000 eggs that'll hatch... psychics!
But my friends want to exterminate them! Who's wrong here?
|HOW TO SURVIVE NUCLEAR WAR: by Maxine Kumin; early 1980s, a dream poem.
In Japan, sick in bed, reading a book on radiation sickness, I dream of a restorative ritual for trees...
|INVADE GREECE, OR ELSE!: by Xerxes I and his uncle Artabanus; 480 BC, three linked, deceitful dreams.
Xerxes twice dreams a god orders him to attack Greece. So he asks his uncle to dream of the god to confirm...
|INVOKE THE ANIMAL POWERS (or was it PROVOKE?): by Wayan; 2008/9/9, a dream-poem, Dreamverse #24
A children's recital of "Where the Wild Things Are" turns into a riot-orgy. And it feels... political?
CAUTION: WILD THING ORGY
|THE ISLAND FURIES: by Wayan; summer 1975, a dream of self-control.
When warring Greek isles kill a peacemaker, her three best friends start a vendetta! But she wanted peace...
CAUTION: HATE NURSED TOO LONG
|JACK IN THE DITCH: by Jack's mom; 1944/6/6, 6/7 & 6/8, three apparently telepathic dreams
Jack was a parachutist on D-Day. His mom dreamt of the strafings, the ditch he hid in, the deaths of his comrades...
|JOSEPHUS, LET GO: by Josephus Flavius; c.65 AD, vague predictive dreams
Resistance fighter Josephus, cornered, took a hard look at his prophetic dreams and decided to make peace...
|JUNG'S PREMONITIONS OF WORLD WAR I: by Carl Jung, 1913-1914; five ignored warnings.
Jung was told in dreams and visions that Europe would soon drown in blood. But he just couldn't believe it...
|A KNIFE AT HIS THROAT: by Wayan; 1991/1/1; a political dream-cartoon-fable
A courtroom hostage-drama where I'm forced to commit... tracheotomy! And then the Gulf War begins...
CAUTION: CARTOON VIOLENCE
|THE LAST MASS: by E.M. Martin; 1914/11/23, a dream of war invading a peaceful dreamland
For years Martin's dreams were all set in a parallel world untouched by World War, until...
|LEFT EYE: by "Anonymous #9"; 1938, a predictive, quasi-reassuring nightmare
I dreamed of an explosion--a stabbing pain in my left thigh, right fore-arm, and left eye. Two years later, a grenade...
|THE LESSON: by W.H. Auden; 1942, a poem on three linked nightmares
I'm told "Your lives are not in order." The golden crown's too heavy. And
I win my lover's hand--only the hand. What are my dreams accusing me of?
CAUTION: SEVERED HAND, SUBTLE GUILT
|THE M9: by David Parkinson, 1940; a dream-designed invention.
Parkinson dreamed his new telephone device got added to an anti-aircraft gun. He told his dream;
guns with M9 units turned out to be so accurate it gave the British hope against the Luftwaffe...
|MAHAKALA, MOZART, AND THE CRIPPLED BIRD: by Wayan; 1985/4/17, a dream on facing shadows
The Christian God vs Mahakala, Buddhist god of right anger! War in Middle Earth, as Pink Floyd sings...
|MANDALA DURING A TIME OF WAR AND DISINTEGRATION:
by Jenny Badger Sultan; Jan-Feb 2003, painting of a dream-series
My dreams were troubled by war. So I painted them in concentric rings--lotus, fire, children, animals, and nightmares...
|MAYAN FORCE: by Wayan; 1992/12/6, a political dream-fable.
First, sf writer Heinlein advocates a strong army; then I see one in action--turned against the people...
|MENTOR: by Wayan; 2001/6/13, six advisory dreamlets.
I meet a shapeshifting mentor who warns of coming war (9/11?). Then a sentient book, "The Art of War," gets intimately involved...
CAUTION: ELECTRODES, LIBROPHILIA
|MERLOO'S BROTHERS: by Joost Merloo, two apparent psychic nightmares, 1943 and c.1946
Joost Merloo escaped the Nazis, but had two neurologically impaired brothers who couldn't flee.
On a troopship, he dreamed the Nazis burst into their ward...
|MOM ON THE WING: by a tail gunner; 1942-45, a lifesaving warning dream
I saw my mother standing on the tip of one wing of our plane. She was
dressed in white flowing robes and calling my name, warning me of danger...
|THE MOUSE: by Paul Nash; Feb. 1913, surreal bedtime experience triggers surreal nightmare
We save a mouse from a man who claims he eats them. Later I dream I am the mouse...
|NEW LEVEL!: by "Julian"; 2006/5/22, 3 gamelike dreams in one night, two of them epic
My mom and I road-duel an alien beetle, then investigate a deepspace Marie Celeste;
then I spy for the Angevin Empire to protect the Crown Jewels...
|OVERKILL: by Wayan; 1991. Nondream digital picture-poem-poster.
Now the Evil Empire's dead. We're all safe, safe at last. And all the bombs are gone... right?
|PITS OF POWER: by Wayan; 2005/11/16, a dream of rival miracles
One tribe builds earth-magic pits that can teleport you or grant wishes.
But the other tribe's more powerful flow-state magic is harder to define...
CAUTION: SEX FANTASY GRANTED
|PLUTO THAWS: by Wayan; 1973/1/19, a mythic dream set on Pluto.
A quarrel between psychic adepts heats up to a war, thawing Pluto.What'll the ice-tribes wish for?
|PYLONS: by Louis MacNeice; Jan. 1940. A surreal political dream.
I was on a steamer run amok, in a boiling yellow incredible sea out of which great pylons rose...
|RABBIT WORLD: by Wayan; 260K total, 6-page comic of a 1990/9/26 dream.
I'm a telepathic rabbit defending our world from space-laser attack. We do, but do we modernize too much?
|REBEL OWL: by Wayan; 1971/10/9, a dream so mysterious it mystified its inhabitants
My city's invaded and occupied. I become a gigantic Owl and fight with impossible stamina.
But in the end I'm dead, stuffed, on a museum wall. Can I let go NOW?
|SIEGFRIED MUST DIE: by Carl Jung; 1913/12/18, an archetypal (and predictive?) dream.
Jung and a little brown man shoot down Siegfried the German Hero, riding his chariot of bones. Wait... his what?
|SNOW STALLION: by Wayan; 1994/6/4, a tangled political/spiritual dream.
I'm a peace terrorist trapped in Squaw Valley, herded like a mare by a huge stallion made of snow...
And then the dream shifts. I blurt out the truth behind our idiotic waking world! And wake believing it...
CAUTION: MERMAID AND HORSE NUDITY
|THE SPHINX APPROVES: by Wayan; 1991/5/2, a dreamtale on growth.
A great war shrinks to wrestling, then hopping from page to page! Once they were worlds to me, but now...
|A SPHINX IN CLAY: by Wayan; 2017/2/25, a dream urging me to face my heritage. Also sculpt!
I'm a half-sphinx--human dad, sphinx mom--stuck in human form so far.
Will I ever learn to shift? I practice--sculpt my elegant feline future self...
CAUTION: SPHINX NUDITY
|STEALTH: by Wayan; 1992/1/15; digital painting of political dream.
I dreamed the Stealth Bomber wasn't a machine, but a gigantic Owl-god. And Stealth was worshiped...
CAUTION: CREEPING PACIFISM
|SUPPORT TEAM: by Wayan; 2005/6/6, a dream-comic on what creative leaps need
I'm a married couple--the cook and laundress for an English observatory in 1948.
Why are we testifying to a Labor Party committee that we WANT to be servants? Well...
|THIRD EYE: by Wayan; 2009/3/25, three diverse dreamlets on the same theme: enlightenment
Three sisters flash me. But one has a third eye in there! Clothed, it's blind. Was she flirting or just enlightening herself?
In the future, nearly all cars self-drive. I'm the last driver using my own muscles and mind. Can I hold out?
A friend projects all history's wars on a chalkboard to show: democracies don't fight each other. So to get peace...
|THIRTEEN PEACE SIGNS IN A TIME OF WAR: by Wayan; early 2002, acrylic sgraffito on wood.
The animal goddess of peace, stubbornly raising her sign, my sign, as you all slide into your nice holy war...
|THE THIRTIES REVISITED: by Maxine Kumin; late 1970s; a dream-poem
Dreams of my childhood--bootlegger dad, critical mom, gun-happy uncles, slaughtered squirrels, slaughtered Jews...
|THREE SEVENS: by George Antheil; summer 1932; a psychic dream in a dreamlike time
I dream I play 7 and win three times at Monte Carlo. I wake and head for the casino with witnesses...
|TIGER TALL: by Wayan; 1992/7/3, a marathon dream.
I'm a tiger from Planet Cat, visiting Earth to run in San Francisco's "Bay to Breakers" race.
I knew racial tensions were high, but why is William S. Burroughs out to kill me? Oh. Because...
|TIN FISH: by a ship engineer's wife; 1914-1918, a precise lifesaving dream
I dreamed my husband's ship headed for India, but a 'tin fish'
sank it with just one casualty--him. I rushed down to the dock...
|TORCH-BEARER: by Queen Hecuba of Troy; c. 1220 BC, an alarming dream.
Hecuba dreams she gives birth, not to a child but a flaming torch! But she lets Paris live...
CAUTION: MORAL NO-WIN SITUATION
|TRAUMDEUTUNG; before 1983, by Charles Gullans, a cryptic warning dreampoem
I was walking on an endless plain, upright and tense, walking beside you,
hurrying. What were we doing on the burning plain? What war...
|TRESPASSERS IN MALANCHAI: by Hyal; 100K, Feb 1996?, an epic dream with a weird intrusion.
A maneless lion-boy wins his people's respect. While training, he sees weird trespassers
who seem to be from someone else's dream... and ten years later, he finds that dreamer.
|TRUE LOVE = CHOICE! by Ms. Mira; Jan. 2008, a dream-lesson on compassion and free will.
I'm on an alien world inside the minds of two women and a child struggling with moral choices in a civil war...
CAUTION: DEATH, LOSS
|TWO CENTURIES OF PROGRESS: by Edwin Muir; 1938-9, two dreams and an extraordinary mini-essay
Yesterday, Hitler marched into town. I was born before the Industrial Revolution, and am now about 200 years old...
|TWO PLANES: by Wayan, 1994/9/6, a multistaged psychic dream.
An assassination plot using two planes triggers an invasion of our kingdom. Flee? Fight?
I'm a peaceful hobbit who'd rather be playing Frisbee with the dryads...
|UNEXPLODED SPHERE: by "Anonymous #10"; c. 1904, a precise predictive dream
As a boy I dreamt of a war; officers marked the landing-spot of an unexploded black sphere. Years later...
|THE UNWILLING GUIDE: by E.M. Martin; 1914/12/29, a nightmare of occupied England
In a wood full of snipers, Martin has a hard moral choice: lead, leave or turn in a group of strangers who may be spies...
|A VALLEY NEAR HOPE: by Wayan; 1984/10/17-19, an epic dream.
I wander a valley where unicorns love cyborgs but fear giant ants, who love unicorns but
fear cyborgs, who love ants but fear unicorns! And while the Three Tribes squabble, cave-monsters
sculpt them all. I set up peace talks between these four aspects of my tetrahedral soul...
CAUTION: SWEARING, DRUNK LIONS, CYBORG SURGERY, AND GOGGLE-BARFING
|WAR IN THE RING: by Bruno Oliveira; May 2011, a happy nightmare
War, monsters, plague and bombs are just thrills spicing up
this city rising from a tropical sea on an alien world...
|WARRING MOIRES: by Wayan; 1988. Abstract nondream digital picture-poem-thingy
Dodging between all your -isms, I feel like a bird on a battlefield...
|WASHINGTON'S DUNE: by Wayan; 1992/1/18, a dream on perseverance.
George Washington faces sniper fire, kamikaze birds
and critics claiming the fight for freedom is doomed...
|WE MARCHED THROUGH THE CITY OF SAINT FRANCIS: by Wayan; 1982/5/1?, a dream-tinged poem.
After a peace march in San Francisco, I saw us as deer, and Americans as dogs. Yet WE frighten THEM...
|WHOSE DREAM WAS IT?: by Wayan; 2008/10/18, a nested-dream poem, Dreamverse #35.
I'm a Chinese kid fleeing the Japanese Occupation in 1938. As we near San Francisco,
I wake to find it's all my dad's dream. Wait--he's alive again? But he was never a refugee.
Is it a pastlife memory? If so, whose--his or mine?
|WOUND-BARGAIN: by a Marine from New York; 1918/9/12-14, a prediction and possible alteration of the future
I was sure I'd be wounded, but dreaded being crippled. So I tried on injuries! I settled on a flesh wound in my left shoulder...
|YES, YOU CAN DIE IN A DREAM; 1998/12/12 by Anonymous #37; a nightmare
I was fatally wounded in a Star Wars battle, so I shot myself in the head.
For a solid minute, there was nothing but blackness...
|YGGDRASIL COLONY: by Exarian; 2009/4/20, an Asimovian dream
I dream of three colonies in the deep future. We outlived the universe itself, but can we survive each other?
CAUTION: WAR, GENOCIDE, POLITICAL ALLEGORY
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