recurring dreams

how many of you have had recurring dreams?

i’ve had a few, but two main ones: starting when i was maybe 14, til my early 20’s, i would dream about tornados…many of these dreams had me in my moms car, me and her were driving somewhere, on a big open plain, when we’d see a tornado in the distance. lots of times we’d pull over and try to hide under something. sometimes i was afraid but sometimes it was just this sense of wonder. they ended mid-20’s and then…after about 8 months of no tornado dreams, i started having-tidal wave dreams . and i’m still having them. usually im alone in these, tho sometim es with my bf. many times i’m just observing them. i’d say about 75% of the tornado dreams were somewhat scary, but only 40% of the tidal wave dreams are. sometimes they are tho, and im trying to get away, climbing up a hill or running away from them.

i’m pretty sure this means something, and i’m dying to know what. currently i’m having maybe one a week or so, of the tidal wave dreams. i havent had a tornado dream since they stopped in my mid 20s (im 34 now).

about Lucid Dreams-i’ve only had a few of them in my whole life but its an interest of mine and i definately want to learn how to have more, and am going to start trying using the techniques talked about on this website.

i’d really like to get in a tidal wave dream, become lucid, and ask “why do i keep dreaming about this?”

I think that’s the only way perhaps to answer your question. Use the tidal wave as a dreamsign to become lucid (for example with MILD) and confront the dream. Good luck with it! :smile:

I think everyone has reocurring dreams (usually nightmares, though not always).

To be completelty honest, I don’t think those tidal waves dreams mean anything more then any of your other dreams.
But, like you said - the only way to find out if there is a meaning behind this dream is to become lucid.

Tell yourself now (and breifly before you go to bed)… next time you see a tidal wave, you’ll know you’re dreaming (it’s not like you’ll see one in real life, is it?) :smile:.

I’ve never had a recurring dream that I’m aware of. I have recurring themes a lot, such as ‘true love’ or fighting off bad guys, but I don’t think it’s the same thing. At any rate, they’re all good themes so even if it is I’m not worried.

It is different but the same as well. You could still use the reoccurring themes as your dream signs.

There is no way to say for sure. Many times I have recurring dreams about matters of concern to me or things I experience during the day. This last year there have been a lot of disaster movies in the theaters and on TV. Then their was the real life tsunami. Perhaps all of that has filtered through to your dreams.

Anyway, it is a good opportunity for you to attain lucidity by using the reoccurring theme as a dream sign. Once you become lucid you will be in a better position to look at the dream and get at it’s true meaning.

Actually, it’s not neccesary to become lucid to figure out what your dreams (especially your recurring dreams) mean.

I especially recommend
Dream Power, by Anne Faradyay
Despite it’s age, it is probably the best single intro to dream interpretion I have ever seen!

alternatively, try

Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill by Jeremy Taylor.
This highly respected guy really knows his stuff, and knows how to convey it well – he does a lot of work teaching people how to interpret their own dreams, and as well showing communities how to set up “dreamwork” groups as a tool for community healing and change.

on this page of his site
you’ll find brief treatments on what tornados and storms, and surrounded by water can frequently mean for many people. Also a word on recurring dreams.


Gayle Delaney also has some useful stuff, though I personally find her approach somewhat mechanical and her attitude just plain irritates me in any number of ways. Still, her intro books are not a bad place to start, and she makes sure her work stays commercially available.

Bernard that might be so, but still these are other people explaining your dreams, and I remain convinced that the best person to interpret and understand your dreams is yourself. Others just dont have the same insights and ideas about your life situation etc. Finding out yourself what a dream means can be a very rewarding experience, especially in a LD.

I completely agree! With dream interpretation you are just speculating as to what a dream theme or image means. In a lucid dream you can go right to the source and ask “why are you here” or “What do you mean” etc.

No, Xetrov,

these are people showing you how to interpret your own dreams.

They are quite explicit on the inherent neccesity of the dreamers full participation in the process of figuring out the meaning of any dream, and in validating the result. They go to great lengths to explain that what a dream might mean for John is probably quite different than what it would mean for Jack or for James, and that the dreamer is the final abitrer of what is or isn’t a good, valid, useful interpretation.

I listed these particular books because I know that they are about the Dreamer, his or her self, learning skills for personally exploring and ellucidating the unique significance or meaning of that dream for that dreamer.

(I understand how you could jump to that conclusion -- the field is inundated in garbage with pretentions of authority.  I often liken my search for useful books on dreaming to that of someone, looking for books on astronomy, being continually directed to the astrology section.)

One of the things I especially liked about Faraday's book (she was actually doing dream research in an university setting) was her accounts of her personal, "[i]client-side[/i]"  experiences with Freudian, Jungian, Gestalt and other schools of psycho-therapy/dream-interpretation, and how these different approaches -- and practitioners -- influenced and often distorted the "meaning" of her dream experiences.  The Psycho-analyst was the worst; in Freudian theory, a strong negative reaction to the interpretation was considered proof that the analysis was correct -- hence the strong denial/repression reaction to the "truth". She also discussed how the dreams of a 'client' or 'patient' tend over time to shape themselves to conform to the model  used by the therapist.

Sure enough Bernard, I did not mean to attack you personally might you suspect such. You seem to have dig up some decent authors on dream interpretation, which is a good thing and surely useful, and I did not claim otherwise. Remember that I just wrote “that might be so”, not “you’re wrong”. What I meant, and what I still believe strongly, is that even without reading these books and using these author’s explanations, we have an inherent innate ability to know how to explain our own dreams. If you want to do that with the aid of some (probably good) books, ok, but it’s not a requirement. Personally I would never do that, because I have become quite apt at interpreting my own dreams through years of experience and reflection.

This is what I’m aiming at, I’m in favor of an interpretation as less influenced as possible. If such an approach leaves you in the dark still, then by all means start using these books.

Take care,

I quite agree. And the authors of books I recommended do too – that’s precisely why I recommend them. They are quite explicit and vehement on the subject. They are entirely focused on teaching people how to do this for themselves, using their own intrinsic, ‘gut-level’ response and ability to recognise what’s true and aplicable to their own experience as a touchstone for their own understanding.

I think that you perhaps are less familiar with the practice and experience of such dream interpretation techniques than you realise.

There are other ways to get in touch with ones inner reality than just Lucid Dreaming. Granted, LDs are a priviliged and powerful, exceptionally direct means to access and comunicate with one’s inner, psychic reality – but it’s not the only way. For example, Gestalt Therapy methods are often a surprisingly effective way do do as you suggested, ie. ask dream characters (and other dream elements, for that matter) “Why are you here” or “What do you mean” etc.

I can remember dreams every night, pretty reliably – especially if the dream is important. This month I’ve only managed 2 or 3 LDs – and only one was long enough to actually do anything. That’s my best performance in over a year.

I agree LDs are the prefered way to go. In many ways the best way. In many respects the easiest way. But not the only way, and not always a way available to the people who need them, when they need them. So let’s not denigrate the common home, just because some people have access to mansions.

Don’t worry. I had no inclination to see that as a personal attack.

Good points.

However, let me point out two things.

  1. Our culture dismisses, denigrates, disvalues and misinforms us about virtually all aspects of dreams. It’s in our movies, pop-culture, religion, our assumptions about medicine and mental-health. even our language and vernacular. In it’s own way, the position of someone seeking to accurately inform themselves about dreamlife is not dissimilar to those seeking reliable information about sex or drugs. People without experience or well-developed instincts for these matters often need sane, honest, unbiased (or at least explicit bias), non-judgmental, fact-based info.

Books like these, that don’t adhere to any specific school of thought are invaluabe for these people.

I myself found them invaluable, when as an adult I came to the realisation that I had lost touch with a large fraction of my personal experience, and wanted trustworthy guides to recovering this societally discounted reality. I had to wade through a lot of garbage to find trustworthy, comprehensive, essentially neutral or objective, fact-based stuff.

  1. "we have an inherent innate ability " to swim, fight, make love, create art, think rationally, hit balls around with various implements, and any number of things. We still find it useful and productive to learn from others nonetheless – do we not?

Yes you’re right. Still like I said, I’m in favor of an interpretation as less influenced as possible (because influence will change dream interpretation). But you’re right in that some (or perhaps most?) people need at least some guidance.

This wasn’t supposed to be posted, and I can’t delete it,
so I’ll just erase it.

You might try this technique. It was one of the first things I tried after reading Ann Faraday’s book. I thought it was incredably silly and new-age-y (I was working on my B.Sc. at the time), but it actually worked for me.

It seems too simple to believe, but it’s surprising how often it produces useful info. It tends to work even better with recurring dreams.

Essentially, what you do is role-play your dream:

*Find youself some private time and space.
*Sit yourself in a chair. You might want another chair facing you.
( If you prefer you can stand.)
*Review your dream(s) in your mind.

*Now call or greet the dream character in your mind – silently or out lould as you prefer
(elements such as houses, tornados, the sky can also be treated as dream characters)
*Envision it sitting or standing or whatever, across from you
*Ask it what it is, who it is, what he/she/it represents, what it wants, how it feels, why it’s acting that way, – whatever questions seem most appropriate to you.

*Now move to the other chair or spot,
(where your dream character is supposed to be sitting or standing),
and play its part, or let it speak through you.
*Switch back and forth as the dialogue suggests.

Be alert to references that your dream character may make to other characters or elements, sometimes the key element or character is one that you really haven’t noticed much (which could be why the dream keeps recurring). You can switch back and forth between more than one such dream character at the same time – even have them talk to each other.

I don’t do this much (I always feel silly doing it) but I’ve found it to be a useful technique for opening up a new perspective and insights on the occassional troublesome or perplexing dream.

I think I may have misunderstood what you were saying. Certainly there are other was to get in touch with yourself than lucid dreaming. I just believe in looking inside ones self for answers. I believe this to be true for everything not just dream interpretation. I thought you were speaking of dream interpretation books where if you dream about snakes for example, you look up snakes in the index and the book tells you what the dream means. I see now that you are talking about something completely different.

Have many of these. My most common one is dreams involving shopping malls. They are always pretty much empty, and a lot of the stores have small puddles of water on the ground. Another one that seems to come up a lot is I try to walk from place to place. I go to my girlfriend’s house quite a bit during the week, its about twenty miles away and I drive there. But in my dream, it seems I always want to walk there. Every dream I have had where I was trying to walk to my girlfriend’s house, I don’t think I have ever made it. The landscaping always seems to be very bare all around me. I don’t know what it meens that I never make it to her house, but it might have some subconscious meening.

Oh, and re your original question, yes, I have recurring dreams. For me they usually (but not always) come in the form of recurring dream locales.

I’m making a list, so I can be more alert to them as dream-signs. When-ever I have one of these, I usually say – after I wake up, unfortunately – “Oh, I’ve had that one before. I better make real sure I write this one down!”

Last night I was in one that hadn’t made it onto my list yet.
It’s an imaginary blend of 3 or 4 actual places, that are miles apart, plus a few original features. It’s up the valley, on a small lake, and has a hydro-station by a waterfall, that I’m usually seeing on some sort of tour, with my dream family (specific to this scenario).

Others involve me returning to a job I once had at a resort hotel in the Rockies, or taking a train between that town and the next, along a track running along the ridgeline in a big, miles-long ‘U’.

And there’s my favorite one; I’m starting my first day at a top-notch educational and research instute that has a very strong oceanography/marine-biology program. The complex starts on the shore, and runs into and under the water, where there are special labs, boat bays and underwater submarine docks.

There are several others that I can think of, off the top of my head. So yes, it’s a pretty common thing, once you start remembering your dreams.

I used to have a recurring nightmare about bedsheets, Easter candy, the numbers six and eight, and impish voices. Don’t ask. Thankfully, this problem has been dormant for about six years.

However, I’ve got a new sort of recurring dream, and I’m at a total loss to explain it. I’ve been having dreams with two recurring people in two recurring locations. The two people consist of one man and one woman who seem almost fey-like and are probably in some sort of relationship. The recurring locations are in a large wooden tower and a large trireme in an almost paradise-like harbor.

The first two times I found them, in the tower and in the harbor respectively, they would impart words of wisdom to me. However, these dreams occurred so long ago that I cannot remember what this advice was. However, lately, I’ve had two more dreams with them in these locations, and the circumstances have been far less than ideal.

The first new dream happened in the wooden tower, but the tower was being assaulted on all sides and began to fall apart as I climbed up the inside, desperate to get to the top where the people would be. I managed to make it there and meet up with these two people, but they said that they had to leave and gave me something to keep safe as a gift of sorts (it kills me that I cannot remember what it was). The second time was on the trireme, but they were chased away by malicious people and they told me they were growing tired of this and said they would be back in eighteen years.

It all seems so weird, but hopefully I can encounter them in a lucid dream and ask what the heck is going on!

What would you think (or guess) that this meant if this was someone else’s dream, that they were telling to you? Or if it was the plot/theme of some movie or a television programe?