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
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!
|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...
|BIG FLAMING AIRPLANES TRYING TO LAND: by Jack Kerouac, late Oct. 1953, a two-part surreal nightmare
Two DC-6s catch fire and burn over New York, and then I'm a naked child in a Babylonian Byzantine temple older than America, across the river in Bayonne...
|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 richer students, then my adult self among snobs, then a schoolgirl 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...
|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 starting to heal? 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...
|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...
|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 to heal a future patient
My Cambodian village was burned, my family murdered. At 12, I was the oldest survivor; I led a band of kids toward 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; 1955 and Feb-Mar 1968, a recurring nightmare of paralysis
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, a recurring teenage nightmare about college as prison
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"...
|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 people--and occasionally adopt humans...
|MY DREAM NIGHTJOB: by Jack Kerouac, late 1956 or early '57, an outa-the-mouths-of-babes-revelation dream.
First I commute to my dreamjob on a four-story bus, then I my baby brother (who I wouldn't give 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'm the one who 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 dream.
A 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 it for old age! Then, in real life...
|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 (answering a vital question)
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 chance photo and the length of my bed combine to change my life...
CAUTION: 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 an owl-lynx, the kid's a baby Pegasus... and I, W.C. Fields, fat cynical drunk, 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 singleness AND American political craziness
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
|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 searched rivers and lakes around the world for someone dead. But the living people I met were 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. Or kittens who cheat at dice.
My sisters roll a single die. Miriel can influence it telekinetically, but can't shoot well. No 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 and 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; 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
|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...
|THEY DON'T BELIEVE ME: by Wayan; 550K total, 15 illus., 1989/10/4, an unbelievable dream.
My dog and I are abducted by aliens who turn us into cats. We escape, and turn feral to survive. I'm back in school now, and in therapy... but how we got back, and what happened along the way, even my own shrink won't believe...
CAUTION: LEWD SQUID AND KLEPTOMANIAC BUGS
|UNIVERSITY OF THE SIERRA: by Wayan; 1975/10/30, a pun-studded dream poem
Jealous of newlyweds, I grind my teeth to splinters. But the Great Ice did that to Sierra granite, and that turned out fine...
|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 wasn't a refugee. Is this a pastlife memory, and if so, whose--his or mine?
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