Today, I tend to have semi-recurrent dreams, in which a theme reappears with variations, mulling over a problem, trying new solutions--or just playing with an image, in different contexts. I'm a restless person, and I like change. And even my recurring dreams show it.
In the ancient world, another pattern seems to have been more common: a relentless barrage of identical dreams until the dreamer acts on the warning. These are always practical dreams; and once the problem's dealt with, they disappear.
This page also lists a few dreams that would better be called re-entry or replay dreams--after waking, you dive back in. Often the replay goes quite differently, and this can be deliberate--a course correction! Band-Aids is a fine example. On the other hand, some replays seem just to confirm the original ending, as in Direct Action.
RELATED TOPICS: episodic dreams (a recurring dreamworld where time progresses between dream-installments) - false waking, and dreams within dreams - epic dreams (whole lives in a night) - dreams about dreaming and dreamwork! - dreamwork in general - nightmares - recurring dream characters and types: shadow figures - twins and doubles - guides and animas - topdogs: cops, authoritarians, and rule-enforcers - what they did to Uncle Hugh - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.
The World Dream Bank has 2300 dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.
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|AIR OASIS: by Wayan; 1984/4/15, a dream of marginality.
Why'd I have to get my big inspiration deep in a lake in the Land of the Lizard People high in the Andes?
|ALPINE GUINEA PIG & SEXLESS CHILD, or, I'M EITHER A GREAT MOM OR A TERRIBLE MOM: by "Veronica Franco"; 2006/8/19, a dream of penned creatures and those who love them.
Alpine deer-hamsters, pigs, birds, children, even fundamentalists' daughters grow up and want to fly free...
|ANOTHER DREAM OF BURIAL: dreamed before 2009 by W.S. Merwin; poem of recurring dream
The garden varies, but I have always turned away and walked into the whole world. So far...
|THE ARMY ORGY: by Charles Scoy; late Sept. 2008, a recurrent nightmare that changed
Another Army nightmare suddenly switched gears! My enemy kissed me, and we started doing every kind of sex...
CAUTION: GAYS IN THE ARMY? DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL!
|AVENUE OF TREES: by Anonymous #34; July 1911?, early 1924?, March 30, 1934, and January 1947; four death-omen dreams, one predictive
Every decade or so, I dream a loved one says farewell and walks down an avenue of trees. I wake to find that person's dying...
|BAND-AIDS: by Bagheera Pardus; c.1985, a lucid re-entered nightmare turned to joy.
Giant snakes chased me, but I went lucid, turned and slew one. As I woke, the snakes were crying. So I re-entered the dream and...
CAUTION: SNAKES, BEHEADING, REHEADING
|BARN BURNING: by Denise Levertov; 1929?; a childhood nightmare
I'm in a barn full of peaceful animals lit by a golden glow. And then they all blacken, crinkle, and corrugate like burnt paper...
|THE BEES' ANSWER: by Wayan; 1994/8/2, a diagnostic dream.
A bee-doctor in the city of Propolopolis diagnoses me as having a rare syndrome, Ambition Denied...
|THE BOAT IS SINKING: by Mrs Griffiths; 1734/8/6, a recurrent warning dream
Mrs Griffiths has the same nightmare three times before she asks her nephew to skip a fishing trip...
|BOY BODY: by Wayan; dreamt 1960, drawn 1996; a dream and comic on body image
A recurring childhood dream on how weird a boy-body is when you've been a girl too many lifetimes.
CAUTION: PUBLIC HUMILIATION, NUDE MONSTERS, SILLY GENITALIA
|BUT AS YESTERDAY by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of being sacrificed
Our gods demand sacrifices. I let Mother mutilate me so I'd be unfit. But the priests turn out to be blind...
CAUTION: YOU CAN FEEL PAIN IN DREAMS
|CAT DANCER: by Wayan; 1996; statue of dream figure; clay, wire, acrylic, 15"
I have recurring dreams of this sexy feline anima or familiar who loves dance.
CAUTION: MILD NUDITY
|CENTAUR BEACH: by Wayan; 1990. Two images from a set of recurring dreams.
Me and my sisters at the beach. Strangers rarely think we're related, and you can see why...
|CHRYSALIS: by Wayan; 1999 acrylic painting of two dreams, 1997/10/6 and 1997/11/8.
Ballooning over Middle Earth with a metamorphosing butterfly-girl, we drift into forbidden territory:
|CITY OF BEES: by Wayan; 1994/8/2, a diagnostic dream-comic.
A bee-doctor in the city of Propolopolis diagnoses me as having a rare syndrome, Ambition Denied...
|CLAN TAUR: by Wayan; 620K total, suite of tinted pencil studies of dream-family, 1998-2002.
I keep dreaming I'm in a multispecies family full of centaurs and satyrs, having a reunion at the beach...
CAUTION: NUDE BEACH, STRANGE RELATIVES
|COLLAR OF GOLD: a Welshman of Kemmeis District; 1180s? A recurring dream of treasure
A rich man dreamt thrice that hidden in St Berner's Well near his house was a golden collar. He reached in and...
|A CONVERSATION WITH ANOREXIA: by Wayan; 1994/6/25; two wild shamanic dreams.
That day I read Hilde Bruch's "Conversations with Anorexics" and face the fact I am one.
That night, in the land where anorexic horses heal, I enter the Kiva of Shamanic Pamphlets, and...
|CRUISE: by "Michelle", 1990s; a recurrent predictive dream
I never go on cruise ships but I keep dreaming I'm on one and meet the same man, and marry him--or his brother...
|CRUSHED BY NETLEY ABBEY: by a Mr Taylor; 1704? A warning dream.
A carpenter named Taylor demolishes Netley Abbey in England despite dreams heíll be crushed by falling stones from a window...
|DANCING WITH EMILY BRONTE: by Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree; 1943?, a lesbian literary love-dream
Alli/Tip could only imagine loving the strange, intense, and unavailable--and Bronte was all three..
|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...
|THE DREAM TO LAST YEARS: by Elizabeth Church; 2004? to March 2008; recurring encounters with a protector--in and out of dreams!
For about five years now I have been dreaming of this guy. Different dreams, same guy...
|EDITORS: by Gavin Ewart; late 1970s, recurring nightmares of censorship.
My new editor starts rejecting my poems. My new new editor rewrites them for me. I feel lucky not to be arrested...
|EVERLASTING AND PERPETUAL NIGHTMARE: by Shawn King; c. 2009/2/10; two installments of a lifelong nightmare
Lucifer throws firebolts from a Montreal tower as monsters stalk people on the streets; then a great flood washes us away...
|FAIRY PRINCESS PALACE: 1992-, by Kavitha Subramaniam; a recurrent dream of prosperity
Ever since I was a little girl I've been dreaming of this luxurious bright-colored mansion...
|FISHERGIRLS: by Wayan; 2.6M, 42 illus.; 1996/7/15; a sexy dream epic.
I had a spectacular dream one night, that lasted many days in dream-time--a true other life. It wasn't Earth, and we weren't human.
I was a teenage lemur, sailing with two friends into unknown waters--a rite of passage. I woke on deck deep in the night, my friends curled around me, and realized I didn't WANT to pass the test, be declared a grown woman, marry and have pups. I loved my girl friends. In a world lacking the very word, I was groping toward queerdom. Sailing into unknown waters! "Here be dragons," the old maps say. And they were right...
If 2600K is too big to load, try it in parts: 1: HOME, 650K, 2: VOYAGE, 1200K, 3: BACK 750K.
CAUTION: NUDITY, SEX, QUEER TEEN ANGST, ANTI-FUNDAMENTALISM
|FLY, DANCER!: by Wayan; 1993/4/2; an advisory dream.
In my ballet class, we were learning to leap. But I wanted to FLY. So I went outside alone...
|FLYING MACHINE: by George B. Burgin, c.1860 on, a recurrent flying dream
Whenever I'm stressed, I build a set of luna-moth wings and fly invisibly. Though once a blind man caught me by ear...
|FOLLOWING THE ELEPHANTS: by John Goldhammer; 1990s, a ten-year series of short dreams.
Dream-elephants slowly bring John to terms with the early loss of his dad--and lead him out of a cult heís outgrown..
|FOUR LOVERS: by Wayan; 1992; digital painting based on recurrent dream
A recurring dream of a fourway marriage of animal people. I don't think it's symbolic, but predictive...
CAUTION: FURRY SEX
|GENNADIUS: by Gennadius, ca. 415 AD, apparently the first recorded lucid dream
Gennadius re-dreams a previous dream, prompting him to notice heís dreaming. His guide points out the spiritual implications...
|GOBLET OF GOLD: by Sophocles, between 450-406 BC; a detective dream.
A huge gold cup had been stolen from the Temple of Hercules. Sophocles repeatedly dreamt Hercules told him who'd done it...
|GOSHEN: by Percy Konqobe; 1940s-1960s?, a lifelong recurring psychic dream
I hear voices: "The road to success is in Kafkat, in a place called Goshen." I look back, and see seven male shadows...
|GRAVESTONE: by "Miss S."; late 1930s-1946, a recurring clairvoyant/predictive nightmare
I'm walking up a churchyard path. My long hair clings to me, damp. Horses wander aimlessly. I'm irresistably drawn to a graveside...
|GREEN DAY DREAM: by Cristy C. Road; early 1995. A recurring dream.
Green Day singer Billie Joe hocked a lugie on me in concert. I felt blessed...
|HAUNTED BUT HAPPY: by Wayan; 1990/9/13, 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.
|HIDE THE LIST!: by Anonymous; c. 1550, a recurrent warning dream.
One of London's last Protestants dreamed Bloody Mary would find the congregation's member-list and burn them all...
|HUNTERS' FIRE: by Wayan; 1997/9/8, a nightmare that may be a memory.
I'm an orphan shot at by hunters. They shoot my sister! But no one believes me...
|HYPNOGOGIC ASSAULT: by Dr Simon Forman; 1559-63, recurring hypnogogic images.
From age six on, Simon nightly climbs mountains and faces roaring floods in a sort of naptime bootcamp...
|I AM THREE: by Wayan; 1957-58, my three earliest dreams.
My first memory is of being a wild horse and waking up to find I was suddenly a human child...
|I FIGHT FOR BEAUTY: by Wayan; 125K, 6 illus, 1990/1/1, an incubated dream within a dream within a dream.
From Hawaii to Wyoming, I fight for beauty, always waking to find I'm someone new...
|ILLUSIONISTS DON'T RULE: by Wayan; 1996/8/26, a dream on the strength of logic.
I read 'The Closing of the American Mind," and dream I'm a pilot who suspects an illusionist in my plane...
|IT MUST BE SOMEONE SHE ATE: by Sorcha; 2008/10/11 and mid-Jan. 2009, a recurring comic news-nightmare
Cilda Spitzer and Hillary Clinton sentence America's bimbos to a shitty fate. But what of their cheating husbands?
|JAKE'S MAGIC CARPET; 2006/12/12 by Zhea Zarecor; a poltergeist experience and a reconciliation dream that grew to something more
Not long after Jake died, I dreamed he took me on a magic carpet ride. Since then, I've been flying...
|THE KEY TO HIS LIFE: by an English rebel's wife; 1745; a lifesaving oracular/psychic dream.
Twice a condemned man's wife dreamt of a key hidden in rubble below a wall. The second time she went out and found it...
|KIOSK: by Wayan; 250K total, 1994/5/1, a major dreamtale, 7 illustrations.
I'm a sexy singing beast, the Krelkin, trying to lure the Reading Man out of his Moral Kiosk...
CAUTION: NUDE CREATURES
|KRELKIN CAMOUFLAGE: by Wayan; 1981/4/21, three versions of recurring dream image
A sexy dream-creature hides by splitting her body visually, her red mane and tail matching her background...
|LEAN ON ME: by Wayan; 120K; 1987, 1992. Recurring dream image..
This couple keeps appearing in my dreams--as equals, as mount and rider, as friends, as enemies, as lovers...
|THE LONGING TO BE SAVED: by Maxine Kumin; 1980? a poem based on recurring nightmares
I save our horses from a fire, but they run back in. Then it's my family I must save from themselves. At last, it's my turn...
|THE MEGARA INN: by an Arcadian Greek c.200 BC; two dreams that fail to prevent but do solve a murder
A traveler dreams his friend's attacked, but he discounts it. Next he dreams his friend begs him to expose the killer at least...
|ONCE A HERO: by Wayan; 185K total, 9 images, 1998/10/22, a raw dream-series.
Sexy dreams of Chinese archeology, authorized by the fairies, make me face that my family abused me...
|MR. PERCEVAL'S MURDER: by John Williams; 1812/5/2-3, a recurrent predictive dream.
Thrice I saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer shot in the House of Commons. I nearly went to London to warn him, but...
|MOVING: by Roswila, 2007/10/13 and 2007/10/23; a recurring dreamku
My dreams support a radical break from my past--to let go of possessions and friends in a cross-country move...
|PIANOS IN THE SKY: by an Illinois woman; before 1948, a happy recurrent dream come true
My heart's desire was a new piano, as hopeless as owning a yacht. The dream: a huge space in the air, full of wonderful...
|PRACTICE IS REAL: by Wayan; 1998/1/6, three small dreamtales.
Three teasing sex-dreamlets chipping away at my shyness with women I like...
CAUTION: SEX TALK
|QUICKSILVER DREAM WYRM: by Orion Sandstorrm; before 2003/7/27; portrait of a recurrent dream character
A bizarre dragon that runs a toyshop and plans revolution. He has skin and eyes like hematite, black and metallic. His presence instills in you a kind of unsettled awe...
|THE RECURRING DREAM (CAT-BABY): by Julie Doucet; 1994/8/23-9/23-12/23, 1995/4/16: variations on a theme
Julie keeps dreaming that she gives birth to a cat, or a part-cat baby...
CAUTION: NUDITY, BIRTH, UNBIRTH, REBIRTH...
|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!"...
|SABOTAGED BOAT: by C. G. "Chinese" Gordon; c.1861-4, a recurrent warning dream
I recognized the saboteur. If I had neglected that dream warning I and probably all the men with me must have been drowned...
|SAURIANS: by Wayan; 155K, 1992, 4 digital dream portraits.
In dreams, I kept meeting a dinosaurian person who was proud, strange, beautiful. S/he introduced me to two sisters I just had to paint...
|SEPTIC: by Steve (age 6), before 1961, a recurring predictive nightmare
For three weeks he wakened nearly every night, screaming in fright; he said he "fell in a hole." Then, one snowy day...
|SHADOWS ADMIRABLE: by Wayan; 1993/9/28, a dream on dreams.
A dream-lecturer says Shadows aren't just what we hate or fear, but what we admire yet see as "not us"...
|SINGULARITIES: by Wayan, 1994. Digital image of mental state revealed by dreams.
Black holes can be scary enough outside you, but what if you have dormant ones inside you?
|SPORECOUNT: by Wayan; 105K, 1990/1/5, a dreamtale on change-phases.
I'm a hot archeology student till I open the wrong tomb. A plague turns us into green moldy monsters...
CAUTION: DISEASE, DEATH, GRIEF, SHAME
|STALAGMITE VALLEY: by Maude Meagher; 1902?-07, a recurring childhood dream.
I found myself upon a stone pillar in a valley. Invisible people sat on other stalagmites, but my voice couldnít reach them...
|STAY GROUNDED!: by Wayan; 1988/2/27, an unexpectedly grounded dream.
I'm playing poker with a dragon. But we barely dare move: we're both crackling with thousands of volts...
|STEPHENSON AND BELL: by Matthew Talbot; 1768, a recurring predictive dream.
A man in a blue coat on a white horse delivered papers from a nearby wrecked ship, signed Stephenson and Bell. I awoke, and...
|STEVENSONíS BROWNIES: by Robert Louis Stevenson; 1850s-1880s, a series of dreams
Stevensonís dreams changed over decades: from childhood nightmares to creative allies dreaming whole stories...
|STRANGE GIRL STALKING ME IN MY DREAMS: by Mike Hanes; 2010/12/11, a dream pointing out an earlier lost dream
This strange girl reminds me "I rode your bike recently but you've forgotten." She's right--she rode it in an earlier dream...
|THE STYGIAN SENTINELS: by SAO (Shawn Allen O'Neal); 1970s, a recurring astral dream.
The couple guarding the bridge over the River Styx, the Crocodile King and the Geisha Queen, rarely seemed to agree...
|THE SWAFFHAM TINKER: by John Chapman and a London shopkeeper; 1460s?, two linked, complementary dreams.
Chapman dreams he must go to London and stand on London Bridge; when he does, a stranger tells him "dreams are nonsense! Why, I dreamt of buried treasure a hundred miles from here, in some town called..."
|SWIMMER IN BLUE: by Wayan; 1984? about 11x14", crayon of recurring dream image.
I have recurring dreams of a figure broken up by hair the color of the background...
CAUTION: MILD NUDITY
|TEN THOUSAND MAD GHOSTS: by Wayan; 1996/9/3, a psychic nightmare.
A toxic site in Silicon Valley isn't a chemical spill, but angry ghosts, killed in a camp and forgotten...
CAUTION: THE CAMP TURNS OUT TO BE REAL
|TIME WARP: by "Erwre Qerwgeqwr"; 2010/2/5, a nightmare recurring 4 times in one night
A timewarp started to swallow my house. It looked normal from outside, but inside everyone was in a trance...
|TREASURE UNDER STONE, or, OOPS: by Daniel Healy; Jan. 1774, a recurring dream of treasure
Daniel thrice dreamt of money hidden under a great stone in a nearby field. He dug and found a surprise...
CAUTION: IRISH HUMOR
|TWO PLANES: by Wayan, 1994/9/6, a multistaged psychic dream.
An assassination plot using two planes triggers an invasion of our kingdom. I'd rather be playing Frisbee...
|VIEWPOINT: by Wayan; 1991/6/9, a dream on pastlife amnesia.
I ask to see my past lives, and dream of a viewpoint where I can--but this Mormon ranger...
|WHO IS OUTSIDE MY WINDOW?: by Krista G.; 2008/6/25, a recurrent false-waking dream.
Someone's prowling outside my window. I'm paralyzed in bed, but I force myself into action...
|WIRES: by Wayan; 1957-1963, a recurrent childhood nightmare resolved by drawing, Dec 1999
I was bodiless but trapped. All I could see were these moving wires. Whenever a knot drifted by...
CAUTION: MADNESS, TORMENT, TELEPATHY, SEXUAL REBELLION
|WYVERN: by Wayan; 1997, 22" ceramic sculpture; recurring dream figure.
I dreamed of a dragon-woman on a reef. She was my guardian, but she let me drown! She had her reasons...
CAUTION: SCALY NUDITY
|YELLOW CRANE: by Na Liu; spring 1976, a recurrent childhood flying dream.|
Each spring my mom took us up to Yellow Crane Tower, and that night I dreamed I rode the crane over the city of Wuhan...
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