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Author Comment
Unregistered User
(12/3/02 12:08:35 am)
stories in which person has a dream
OKay, in another project I am working on, I am trying to talk about earliest recorded dreams, and I have pinpointed Joseph (who was a dream interpretor), and the other Jospeph (of Miryam) and Pilate's wife, in the Old Testament. Part of the trouble is that sometimes visitation and appearance of messenger angel and revelation are portrayed in OT as though they are dreams without using the word 'dream.' But rather visit, such as Jacob wrestling with angel; is this a dram or a visitation? The angel 'injured' Jacob, but is the injury spiritual or is is physical, or both. Okay, well enough of that wandering around out loud.

My question is do you know of other holy writing references of others who had dreams? Can be OT or New, Qur'an, the Gita, Buddhist, Confucianism, which and nowever, including Shakespeare (Hamlet's ghost, dream or visitation? the three old ones on the moor in McBeth, , dream or apparition?) fairytales, legend, etc.

The fairytales I think of are Handless maiden where the king sleeps and dreams, and the Match girl who dreams of food and of her grandmother as she dies. (geez, really uplifting on this cold winter night in the Rockies.) And that one where the firl dreams her future lover/husband/mate.
thank you if you can help
con cariņo,

Jane Yolen
Unregistered User
(12/3/02 4:24:48 am)
dream stories
CPE--my daughter and I have a complete selection of dream stories from around the world as we were supposed to do that book for one publisher, but it fell through and we are doing two other books instead. Contact me off list.


Unregistered User
(12/3/02 5:35:02 am)
Stories in which person has a dream
I wasn't clear whether you were looking for "holy" dreams or not, but in my reading of "A Winter's Tale" by Shakespeare, Antigonus has a dream in Act III which he relates to baby Perdita as he is abandoning her on the Bohemian shore. He says he has seen her mother, Hermione, in pure white robes which indicates to him that Hermione is dead. (Just a note -- according to my background reading, this is a case of misdirection by Shakespeare, as this play is the only one he wrote where he actually deliberately deceives the audience, giving out false information).

It's been awhile, but some years ago I read the (2-volume set?) of Grimm's Myths and Legends, and as I recall there were numerous dream stories in there, as well, where dreams formed the basis for the belief or action in the story.

Judith Berman
Registered User
(12/3/02 6:23:43 am)
Dreams are very important in North American culture, religion and traditional literature, of course. If I'm remembering correctly, the Iroquois Longhouse (Handome Lake) religion was revealed through a dream to its founder ca. 1790. Tony Wallace had an article on dreams in traditional Iroquois psychotherapy. Many other examples.

Don't know if this is of interest here, but George Hunt collected a short series of Kwakwaka'wakw dreams from his friends and acquaintances ca. 1915-1920 that are published in a Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology volume. I think the title is CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ETHNOLOGY OF THE KWAKIUTL. They range from the mundane to the outright shamanic.

Unregistered User
(12/3/02 12:13:28 pm)
Not holy, but a dream :o)
I remember several similar tales, one of them from Russia/ Asian-Russia, I believe?! where a boy/ young man dreams but refuses to tell his dream. He is beaten by his father but refuses. The king passing by objects, takes the boy with him and wants to know the dream. Again, it is not told. The king punishes the boy with difficult tasks but in the end, the boy marries the kings daughter (instead of being killed, I think, as the king ordered). He finally tells - that he dreamed exactly that.
Sorry, but apart from that basic storyline, I draw a blanc right now - anyone to pick up from here?

isthmus nekoi
Registered User
(12/10/02 9:43:16 am)
Re: Not holy, but a dream :o)
This is a little late, but it just occured to me... Neil Gaiman published a story awhile back called the Dreamhunters which was based on a Japanese folk tale in which dreams take on a prophetic character. I'm unfamiliar with the older versions of the tale however, I'm not sure how old they are.

Unregistered User
(12/10/02 10:49:39 am)
Dreams in fairytales
As for the boy having a dream he cannot tell, it's coming from the Crimson Fairy Book, and the title of the story is "The boy who could keep a secret". You can find it here:

Other than that, I remember the early versions of Beauty and the Beast, where Beauty keeps having dreams of the handsome prince while she's at the Beast's castle. Funny how those dreams always irritated me...

Hope it helps


Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(12/10/02 11:22:38 am)
Re: Not holy, but a dream :o)
I just saw a version called "The Prophetic Dream" in an old collection of Russian tales. The elder brother dreams the younger was carried by eagles; the younger refuses to tell his dream. The father has the younger tied to a post. A Tsarevich rescues him, but when the boy still won't tell his dream, the T. puts him in a dungeon. After many adventures, the boy is rewarded and says he foresaw it all in the dream.

In this version the boy does not marry anyone, he just uses and invisibility cap and helps the T. do many tasks so that the T. can marry 'thrice-wise Helena.'

This is in _Russian Fairy Tales From the Skazki of Poplevoi_ by R. Nisbet Bain, published by A. L. Burt Company, NY. I didn't see a date in the book, but OCLC listed the London edition (Lawrence and Bullen) as 1893.

Edited by: Rosemary Lake at: 12/10/02 11:33:00 am
Registered User
(12/19/02 6:31:25 pm)
dreams in OT

I asked my brother, an orthodox rabbi, about dream/vision references in the Old Testament. Sometimes a situation arises where in the hebrew the word for dream is used, sometimes, the words translate as "night-vision", sometimes, an angel comes and speaks. In Genesis 31, Jacob is dealing with Laban, his uncle, who keeps swindling him out of what he is old, promising spotted calves, ringed-necked calves, etc.; that's in Genesis 31; then, in Chapter 19, there's a reference to a dream when angels visit Lot; God speaks to Jacob in Chapter 46 (that's the night-vision) and @ other possible references are God visiting Abraham in Genesis 15, and a visit to Hagar in Chapter 16.

Since my brother believes that the authorship of the Old Testament is "unified", he thinks if a different word than the Hebrew for dream is used, it must be some other kind of visitation. Anyway, hope this helps.


Unregistered User
(12/19/02 11:51:26 pm)
dreams in OT
Dear Judith, that is very helpful. I know that translation is a poetic art and your and your brother's understanding of OT Hebrew rings a certain note to me. In curanderismo there are several catagores of being 'visited." Only one is by dreams. Others are while sleeping, yet other occur while the person is awake. It is a very interesting subject isn't it?
con carino,

Registered User
(12/20/02 9:28:23 am)

It certainly is an interesting subject, and Genesis is by far the OT book most full of visitation and dreams. When I was in Yeshiva as a child, I dwelled in the imaginal world of D'Aulaires book of Greek myths and genesis stories, at all times!
I remember, when reading WWRWTW, your mentioning disembodied voice dreams, and I have had only one in my life, while sleeping in the woods. I had pitched my tent by a plant cluster of plants called Indian Pipe, which I had learned grows where native people once gathered for counsel. In the midst of the night I was woken by a voice that said "You know, this is the only life you have". It was a very interesting comment, because at the time I was involved with a yoga center very insistent on the belief in reincarnation and I was perhaps being a bit lazy with my life, as if I had all the time in the world (a function of being in my 20's, perhaps).

My grandmother, now passed, visits me in dreams and they always involve alot of physical contact. They are without a doubt visits, rather than memories. Because dreams offer such an sensory experience of other planes they truly expand my sense of mystery. I take dreams very seriously.

I must thank you, deeply, for writing your book so many years ago, and for all your storytelling tapes, which I listen to alot. Your voice was often in my mind while I was writing my own book, Herbal Rituals--and I quote you in it. I am so pleased to hear more of you on this board.

Winter Blessings, Judith Berger

Registered User
(12/25/02 11:37:20 am)
Dreams in the Bible
Merry Christmas, everyone!

I looked a references to dreams in the Bible and found some not yet mentioned.

A dream from God restrains Abimelech from unwitting evil - Gen. 20:3

God makes promises to Jacob in a dream - Gen. 28:11-22

God sends a dream to a Midianite enemy of Gideon's
(Which he overhears) to encourage Gideon - Judges 7:13-15

The interpretation of dreams is said to be:
sought anxiously - Dan. 2:1-3
revealed by God - Gen. 40:8
sought to find God's will - Num. 12:6
sometimes delusive - Is. 29:7-8
false, given by false prophets - Deut. 13:1-5, Zech 10:2

A few more:

God directs Solomon to ask for whatever he wants in a dream - 1 Kings:3:5

Job accuses God of frightening him with dreams - Job 7:14

Daniel recounts to Nebuchadnezzar his (the king's) prophetic dream and proceeds to interpret it - Dan. chapter 2

Daniel has what is referred to as "a dream and visions of his head while on his bed" outlining the rise and fall of great civilizations up to the physical coming of God's kingdom to earth - Dan. chapter 7

New Testament occurrences seem to be described more often as visions or revelations. There is one prophesy quoted from Joel 2:28-32 that seems to have been partially fulfilled at Pentecost about young men seeing visions and old men dreaming dreams (Acts 2:17). Some scholars see this as being completely fulfilled among the remnant of His Jewish people during the future time of the great tribulation.

Hope this helps. Blessings to all.


Registered User
(12/25/02 9:36:28 pm)
Rom: I dreamt a dream last nigt
Mer: So did I
Rom: Well, what was yours?
Mer: That dreamers often lie...
Rom: bed while they dream things true.
Mer: Ah... Then I see Queen Mab has been with you!

Unregistered User
(12/26/02 5:42:41 am)
Puck: "If we shadows have offended think but this and all is mended
That you have but slumbered here whilst these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme no more yielding than a dream."

(sorry as I think the line breaks are not quite right--my copy is at school) Dreams--at least it seems to Shakespeare were certainly the creative province of "the madman, the lover and the poet."

Registered User
(12/27/02 7:03:50 am)
Shakespeare & Dreams
Dreaming in Shakespeare is often a premonition of death, although sometimes they are also crossed with visions as in the Bible. (Interesting as the King James Bible emerges just after Shakespeare.)

I will include a few things that jump immediately to mind:

One of my all time favorite monologues appears near the beginning of Richard III (Act 1, Scene IV). The Duke of Clarence has a premonition of his death and dreams of the bottom of the sea. For the record, the Duke of Clarence dies drowned in a butt of sack. Shakespeare's account is rather more romantic.

Juliet has all sorts of premonitions: "O God, I have an ill-divining soul!/ Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low,/ As one dead in the bottom of a tomb..." (Act III, Scene V). Later, in another one of my favorite monologues, she imagines being buried alive just as she is about to drink the poison, (Act IV, Scene III).

Shakespeare frequently uses dreaming as a plot device to predict impending doom or to represent enchantment as in Midsummer or the Tempest.


Unregistered User
(12/28/02 9:21:54 am)
mi midori, bielie, judith and sarah and everyone; those are such useful references, thank you for remembering so much Shakespeare and holy scriptures--

I was just thinking about NT refs to Joseph (husband of Mary, Mir-yam, Maria) and seeing that 'dream' and 'visit' are sometimes used interchangeably. Joseph was 'visited by angels several times telling him to marry Mary, telling him to flee with her and the child from Herod the Great's pogrom, and so on. (In the Dec 2002 issue of U.S. Catholic, there is a piece I wrote called "I am Your Mother," about Our Lady of Guadalupe and how though the church has set up all kinds of legalistic juries (no kidding) about who has REALLY seen or not REALLY seen her in vision and dreams, that she keeps bypassing the gatekeeping efforts of the diocesan commissions and keeps appearing to people worldwide anyway--in dreams and in waking visions--almost always with insights or instructions to the good and useful.

I have always wondered if the entire book of Revelation was not a series of dreams recorded by its dreamer. It has all the legiconographic features of dreams--as you know, some dreams are so ORGANIZED that they are stories whole and complete in themselves with a classical "Greek" drama structure effectively carrying exposition, mounting action, crisis (crises) and lysis (lyses). So, I was just thinking about what all passes for so-called revelation or 'real' that is actually not credited as dream.

When I was at Chicago Art Institute a couple days ago I was looking with a magnifying glass at some of the van Goghs and Lautrecs (which is completely spectacular)(and--mio Dio, did you remember those guys died so very young? in mid and late thirties? It made me sad.)and then I noticed this Gauguin which is a painting thought to be so very straightforward and I see that a big green bush in the foreground has lion's eyes in it--big ones, and that there is a red picket fence in the middle of nowhere not related to anything else in the painting and that there are two gold cone shapes like shaulks, also in the middle of nowhere in the middleground and I realize this artist in this painting was likely painting a dream he had, and I wondered why I had not ever known that before and why I had nevre seen the lion's eyes in his painting before (albeit I have only seen the painting printed tiny in the pages of a book until now --and on the wall in actuality it is about 3-1/2 feet by 3 feet tall or more.

I have a book coming from knopf called "la pasionaria; a manifesto on the creative fire." In it I am trying to give away every secret of creativity I know /learned over my six decades on earth. That might seem too much to say, but I do not think it is though. One of the pages is on how many artists writers painters poets sculptors, etc actually draw upon their dream material without mentioning it IS from actual dream material. I encourage others to use their own dream material too, and to credit it in spades. How will the psyche ever be understood as whole and wise if one whole side of its nature is drawn upon but then only admitted in whispers as though it is somekind of shameful sub-human. I find it more of the inspiratus than anything else. How radical. how holy.

One of the reasons I have liked the dramatic themes you all have mentioned is because they are also vignettes of how many persons in actuality or dramatae, have actually followed and or ignored their dreams. In the materials, the protagonist may be frail or especially uncertain, but the dream remains alive in direct accuracy---mirroring the real situation or what needs be done usefully.
How radical. How holy.

This comes with love and peace for the New Year; (I would just add this postscript because of the nature of all the communiques I am receiving lately.... Have we not been practicing all our lives to be beacons for times like these... no wavering, no hand-wringing now: anything you can do, will assist the whole. There is a larger plan for the soul of the world. You have your part. Remember what you promised. Keep your oldest promises. Now is the time.)
con cariņo,

Unregistered User
(12/28/02 9:42:31 am)
Possible answer to cpe?
It could be, Clarissa mia, that the reason we don't credit our dreams per se is that often we do not know that is what we are basing our creativity on.

For example, I can think of three specific stories/books that I know I got from a dream because I awoke and still had the dream in hand (so to speak) and sat down and immediately wrote about it: the plot of a book called UNCLE LEMON's SPRING, the opening paragraphs of WIZARD'S HALL, and the first chapters (I had dreamed them entire) of THE WILD HUNT. I also dreamed a picture book that has never been produced, called FEVER DREAM.

And even if you put thumb screws to me, I would admit those as the only dream visions I turned into story.

But does that mean I absolutely never used any dream material anywhere else? I am not foolish enough to make any such a claim. I am certain I have solved problems of plot, character, landscape in dreams, awakened, had no memory of anything, yet was able to sit down and suddenly write something that came out whole cloth. I have had waking visions or "daydreams" in which, again, problems in a story have solved or resolved themselves.

Those of us who work in story are tapped in to an unconscious, hindbrain dream world. We are induced, seduced, produced...without realizing it.


Unregistered User
(12/28/02 6:24:50 pm)
colonized by ideas
mi yo-lin, you are right. I had a very sweet old country g'mother who said ideas come live on/in/through us, sort of colonize those who are 'open.' The idea was that the idiom itself has intelligence inclusing a homing system... Well, that's another subject altogether, isn't it.
con cariņo

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