You don't always go back to your past, either--you may dream of your future self. Or, as some of these dreams show, of being someone else much younger or older--a more radical way of trying on a different age.
I've included one real-life age-regression: Joan Brady's abrupt regeneration (The Unmaking of a Dancer).
RELATED TOPICS: I'm Just Not Myself Today: dreams where you've changed - cross-gender dreams: you learn how the other half lives - cross-cultural dreams: your race, culture, professional or tribal identity has changed - you're not even the same species! - cross-platform dreams: you're not even carbon! Silicon, steel, energy, data, spirit... - juvenilia (childhood art and writing) - children in dreams - time-travel dreams - 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.
|THE ANGEL: by William Blake; early 1790s; a gender-bending dream-poem
Blake dreams he's a young queen with an uneasy relationship to her guardian angel...
|THE ARMY ORGY: by Charles Scoy; late Sept. 2008, a recurrent nightmare that changed
An Army nightmare suddenly changes--my enemy kisses me, & we start doing every kind of sex...
CAUTION: GAYS IN THE ARMY? DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL!
|AS OTHERS SEE US: by Wayan; 1993/12/3, a socially astute flying dream.
We're orphans learning to fly by night, when others can't see and define us...
|BALLOONS: by Stan Brakhage; 1975/5/7, an epic, apocalyptic flying dream after a bad plane flight
I'm a schoolkid again, fleeing an eruption of sewage. We escape in a balloon.
Earth is beautiful, but I know this flood of shit will drown the whole world...
|BIG FLAMING AIRPLANES TRYING TO LAND: by Jack Kerouac, late Oct. 1953, a double nightmare
Two DC-6s catch burn over New York. Me? I'm a naked child in a Babylonian temple in Jersey...
|BRITISH TRIANGLE: by Wayan; 2019/8/18, a dream of another life.
I'm a middle-aged British writer in a triad with a sculptor and a dairy farmer
who seem happy sharing me. But it's a small town, so we must be discreet...
CAUTION: TRIAD THAT WORKS
|BUFFALO PERSON: by Plenty Coups, summer 1857; a child's time-traveling, tribe-saving dream
I was led into the future, where all the buffalo disappeared, to meet a frail old man by a ranch house...
|CHANGING IDENTITIES: by Mary Arnold-Forster; 1910-14? a dream of alternating selves.
I was the new girl among rich students, then an adult among snobs, then a girl again--always craving freedom...
|CHANGES, or, A WHISPER OF RESISTANCE: by Wayan; 1980/9/25, a dream of identity-chaos.
An identity earthquake that just wouldn't stop. I transform half a dozen times, and so does everyone else...
|COUNTERPOINT: by Susan Vasiljevic; 2011, a surreal dream painting
I find myself in a church-like setting. Above me, couples in 18th century dress dance joyfully.
It provides a wonderful, ‘curious’ moment to pause and reflect... before my journey must continue.
|A CRAIGSLIST BARGAIN: by Wayan; 2006/10/1. A dream of another life; possible ESP.
I’m an Asian kid in Pacifica, California. My parents annoy me, so I offer them for sale on Craigslist. A cop appears...
|DEMON-SUMMONING IS JUST A MISDEMEANOUR: by Jo; 2017/7/26, a gender-bent diagnostic nightmare
I protect my friends from a demon, but the dream-guardians I summon terrify me...
|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
|THE DESTRUCTION OF HAWAI'I; 2004/9/2 by Anonymous #37; a short apocalyptic nightmare
I was a small boy living on Oahu. Out my front door I saw a 20-mile-tall wall of flames stretching across the horizon...
|EDITH KEELER: by Wayan, 1975/10/8, an incubated dream giving multiple answers
I asked my dreams to show me my Shadow--what I deny. It showed me at least FIVE! And in every
time-branch, a runaway truck crushed me--the Truck of Ideology. Not that I seemed able to avoid it...
CAUTION: RECURRING DEATHS
|ESCAPE BY INTUITION: by Wayan; 2010/1/11; four dreams of breaking through
I must see a community as a whole, and intuit my way out of a sealed room, and spot details, and join a trio in bed...
CAUTION: NUDITY IN LAST DREAM
|EXPERIMENT WITH TIME by Nancy Price; 1948, a shamanic-initiation dream declined?
I meet a girl who's 16 and 61, who tells me dreams are lives, not messages.
But then I must fly over a sinister parade...
|FADING AWAY IN THE LIGHT: by Lilian Verkins; 2013, painting of nature-spirit dream?
I was a child again, sitting on a bench, watching young maidens dance.
But as I grew older, they faded away in the light of adulthood...
|FALLING INTO A TESSERACT, and Meeting a Being of Pure Energy: by Dustin Latham, 2019/11/7
I knew I was on my bed, yet I felt myself falling into a tesseract--huge, crystalline, colorful.
Inside I met an energy being who explained I'm not meant to die yet; this was just training...
CAUTION: UNCONVENTIONAL GOD
|FALSE ALARM: by Wayan; 1996/5/23, a nightmare I lived as a kid.
In school, I'm seen as a freak--lied to, set up for little pranks. Not just by my classmates--my teachers...
|FATHER LOOMS: by Wayan; 1983/?, a nonliteral diagnostic nightmare.
I was a 30ish woman discovering that my chronic pelvic inflammation was from childhood molestation...
CAUTION: MOLESTATION IN DREAM-PAST
|FINALLY I'M AN OLD WHORE: by Jack Kerouac, Jan/Feb 1953, a burnout dream... or his fears for the future
Finally I've turned into an old whore... a silly Jack Kerouac whore with that same old tired old gasafaycagoo...
|FLEEING KAMPUCHEA: by Laura Lawrence; early 1990s?; recurring nightmares of a future client's life
My Cambodian village was burned, my family murdered. At 12,
I was the oldest survivor; I led a band of kids to the border...
|THE GENERAL: by Wayan, mid-December 1975, a nightmare warning of real danger
I'm a child in a Latin American city who's murdered on the street. Then I'm my brother,
seeking my own murderers. I find the General behind it! Unfortunately...
CAUTION: DYING. DYING TWICE. AND THEN NEARLY AGAIN, AWAKE...
|HAUNTED BUT HAPPY: by Wayan; 1990/10/13, a labyrinthine dream.
Some Christian oneirologists barge into the Haunted Firehouse. But I pose for nude unicorn photos, and...
CAUTION: DUMB CHRISTIANS, EXHIBITIONIST UNICORNS, ETC.
|IN A REHEARSAL ROOM: by Wayan; 1982/10/20, a sexy dreamlet on shyness.
I dreamed my fears faded like ghosts, as we made love in the rehearsal room. But invisible is not gone...
CAUTION: UNDERAGE SEX
|KARMA AND HER SISTERS: by Emily Joy; 2006/12/27, a happy sexy flying dream that turned tragic.
One boring lonely day, I meet a cute teenage bunny who wants to play with me! But half an hour later…
CAUTION: LANGUAGE, INTERSPECIES FLIRTING, AND LOSS
|LBJ OR WOODROW?: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; July-Sept 1955 and Feb-Mar 1968, recurring paralysis dreams
From the neck up I was me; from the neck down, Woodrow Wilson in his old age, paralyzed.
My presidential aides divided up my duties, and ignored me...
|LBJ'S CAGE: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; May-June 1924, recurring teenage nightmares
I found myself in a cage, with only a bench and piles of old books. A mirror showed
I was old and twisted with speckled skin. In horror I said "I must get away"...
|LEARNING TO SING AND DANCE: by Marilyn Barrett; pre-1988, a dream of heritage
I'm a kid again, waltzing with my dad, though he's long dead. He hands me the trumpet inside his chest. When
I wake, I feel it still. My mom just died; I've reclaimed a playful part of him she condemned all her long life...
|LION-GIRL TRIANGLE: by Wayan; 2000/12/11, an uncomfortable sex-dilemma dream, possibly predictive
I'm a betrothed teenager having to choose between mates, in an alternate Africa where
lions are another tribe of people--and occasionally adopt humans...
|MEGALITHIC BREAKOUT: by Wayan, 2019/8/29; a half-lucid dream--that needed to be
I'm a kid imprisoned in an empty stone castle. Squeeze through a stone slit, and prepare to drop ten feet
down the face of a great stone gate. But I go lucid, and my dream and waking body-senses conflict...
|MEN CATCH FIRE: by Shannon Frazier; 2020/12/8, an identity-bent dream
I was a South Asian teenage girl. Strange men throw rocks at our house,
then explode into fire. I don't trust my dad to get my little brother out...
|MY DREAM NIGHTJOB: by Jack Kerouac, late 1956 or early '57, an outa-the-mouths-of-babes dream.
I commute to my dreamjob on a four-story bus; then my baby brother
(who I wouldn't let eat any chocolate pudding) utters a new poem by William Blake...
|MY EX-WIFE: by Wayan; 1982/3/23, a dream on delusions.
My ex-wife breaks in, but acts like I've crawled back to her... and I don't HAVE an ex-wife!
CAUTION: ADULT THEMES. REALLY, REALLY STUPID ADULT THEMES.
|MY LIPS ARE SEALED: by Wayan, 1989/6/3, a moody, psychic, epic, two-part dream.
I'm a Romantic poet who defeats the curse of the fountain, to marry; but when our daughter's grown,
a new curse strikes me mute, paralyzed. And I mistake this for old age!
Then, in real life, my dad wakes up from a nap paralyzed...
|NAMELESS HAT: by Elizabeth Kew; 1930s?, a comic dream.
Giant worms put me on trial for wearing a nameless hat, but it turns out I like their punishment, so I taunt the judge...
|NOCTURNE: dreamed 2011 & 2013/11/19 by S---; nested, incubated advisory dreams
After asking "Am I ready to say yes to someone new?" I dreamed I met my old love...
|AN OUTGROWN BED: by Wayan; 1990/10/14, a dream of growth and time.
I'm a girl in a Catholic school. But a magazine and my too-small bed combine to change my life...
CAUTION: MASTURBATION, QUEER-POSITIVE, CHRISTIAN-NEGATIVE
|OVERWHELMED YOSEMITE DAD: by Wayan; 1998/9/25, a warning dream.
Mom's gone, and our writer/bohemian dad's caring for us alone, now. He's barely coping. And he's me...
|THE PEGASUS CHILD: by Wayan; 1982/4/4, a dream of family diversity and spiritual advice
Dad's human, Mom's a weird owl-lynx, the kid's a baby Pegasus... and I, W.C. Fields,
that fat cynical drunken old actor, am the babysitter...
|HIS RACIST SON: by Wayan; 1994/1/8, an incubated dream offering two diagnoses
Suddenly I hate and fear black kids in school! The counselor says I'm clinically paranoid: I need drugs!
My dad says "How strange, how sad." And goes home to light a candle at his shrine to the Confederacy...
CAUTION: INDUCED RACISM
|RECURRING SCHOOL NIGHTMARE: by Julie Doucet; July 1995, a dream of... oh, read the title!
Trapped in elementary school, Julie is forced to study the alphabet
until she declares "I'm a professional cartoonist, goddammit!"...
|A RENAISSANCE WOMAN: by Wayan; 1997/7/3, a dreamtale.
I'm an abused girl turning tricks to survive. But this is San Francisco: I join a prostitutes' co-op, and meet...
CAUTION: PROSTITUTES WITH SELF-RESPECT, OH NO!
|THE RESTLESS FILTER: by Wayan; 2011/2/4; a dream explaining my loneliness and American politics
I'm a kid in Nevada around 1950, learning that both my folks are lone wolves who gave me a genetic double dose...
CAUTION: RACIAL THEORY ABOUT... LIBERTARIANS?
|THE RIPPLE EFFECT: by Wayan; 1992/6/19, a double dream of false judges.
A dream of innocent incest turns guilty, growing to a war of ghosts versus a cult of sexy but dishonest psychics...
CAUTION: INCEST ISSUES, NIGHTMARE
|THE RUNES: by Denise Levertov; c.1963, an identity-bent oracular dream
I'm a small child in Finland writing out the meaning of three ancient runes
about trees, ships and elbow room. They seem to hold serious advice...
|SATYR: by Wayan; 1999/4/1, a frustrating wish-fulfillment dream (yes, both).
I'm a faun, the oracle for a Greek village. But my predecessor set up rituals I want to change...
CAUTION: SEX, PAGANISM, SELF-SATYRE
|SEARCHING FOR THE DEAD: by Acucena Q., 2007/3/4, a puzzling quest dream.
I search rivers and lakes around the world for someone dead. But the living I meet act as strange as ghosts...
|SILKY SHIELDS A VANDAL: by Wayan; 1994/8/6, a cautionary dream.
I'm a kid in a classroom someone's trashed. Our teacher goes ballistic. But was the gypsy girl framed?
|THE SINGLE DIE: by Wayan; 1994/10/17, a dream on child prodigies.
My sisters roll a single die. Miriel can influence it telekinetically,
but can't shoot very well. Since she hasn't grown opposable thumbs yet...
|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
|SPACE NEEDLE: by Wayan; 1995/8/24, an erotic dream on architecture.
I'm a kid again, gawking at the Space Needle. But a woman stands before it, who no one else can see:
CAUTION: NUDITY, A SEXUAL PERSPECTIVE
|SPEWING WINE: by Wayan; 1992/8/17, a disgusting dreamtale.
My family moves into a damp basement. My dad just sneers at the leaks. "I'll show you REAL leaking..."
|SPILL SPELL: by Wayan; 1995/9/30, a mini-dream.
I'm a Lapp boy in northern Finland, studying shamanism. So why do I pour coffee down a driveway?
|SPORECOUNT: by Wayan; 1990/1/5, a dreamtale on patience through change.
I'm a hot archeology student till I open the wrong tomb. A plague
turns us into green moldy monsters--at first...
CAUTION: DISEASE, DEATH, GRIEF, SHAME
|SULFUR GROTTO: by Wayan; dreamed 1988/8/30, a psychic genderbent rescue-dream
I'm a teenage girl diving for treasure. In an eerie coral grotto reeking of sulfur,
I spot a diver in trouble... and wake to find the grotto is real..
|SUN AND MOON: by Katherine Mansfield; 1918/2/9, a dream-story
I dreamed a short story--even its title. Not that I read it. No, I lived it, through the eyes of a 5-year-old...
|TALISMAN: by Wayan; 2016/3/3, a dream hinting I need some long-term dreamwork!
I'm a boy from a Southwestern tribe whose rite of passage is a bike race.
I wear a jasper pendant with mysterious powers...
|THANOS: from Dream to Performance: by Lili Berko, before 1988, a dream of birth & death
The ship carrying my mom to America sails on, as I drown in the sea;
They strap me down to pull out the pieces of my stillborn baby Obdale;
A family/gang called Thanotos invites me to join them...
CAUTION: MISCARRIAGE, DEATH
|THEY DON'T BELIEVE ME: by Wayan; 1989/10/4, an unbelievable dream with 15 illus.
My dog and I are abducted by aliens who turn us into cats. We escape & go feral to survive.
How we got back, and what happened along the way, even my own shrink refuses to believe...
CAUTION: LEWD SQUID AND KLEPTOMANIAC BUGS
|THREE WOMEN IN ONE: by Katherine Metcalf Nelson; 1984/2/5; a multiple-self dream
Intimidated by stylish friends, I split in three--myself, and a small child
nursing at the breast of an earth-mother priestess--or Earth herself...
|TRAILER PARK ELF: by Dolores J. Nurss; 2001/11/18; a troubling dream of incompatible realms
I dreamed I was a blond guy tracking down an elf who lived in a trailer park. She'd gone mad; elves trapped
in the human world mostly do. Awake, I sketched her, then saw she's a lot like my younger self! Disturbing...
|UNGIRDLE THE TREE: by Wayan; dreamed 2018/10/6, a shamanic warning dream
I'm a girl living alone in a forest. I go patrolling after a storm and find a red cable
strangling a tree. Though scared, I climb up and tear it off. But there are more...
CAUTION: POLITICAL INTERPRETATION
|UNIVERSITY OF THE SIERRA: by Wayan; 1975/10/30, a pun-studded dream poem
Jealous of newlyweds, I grind my teeth. But the Ice Age ground the Sierra's granite teeth, and they're lovelier for it...
|THE UNMAKING OF A DANCER: by Wayan; 1994/5/22, a journal extract on dance and health.
Ballerina Joan Brady quit, but ten years later, returned. Her body rejuvenated! So what can MINE do?
|VERA AND HER PRIDE: by Bethany Sellers; 2005, a dream-portrait of an inner feline family.
I found myself in a whole pride of cat-people like me, each one representing some side of me...
|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?
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