By Joan C. Harthan © 2012
It was a wet and cold Sunday evening in October 2009. I’d gone to bed at 10.30pm and read three of the IASD PsiberDreaming conference papers that I hadn’t had chance to read over the weekend. They were, as usual, fascinating and thought provoking, but they didn’t stop me falling asleep immediately I’d finished reading them.
I turned out the light at around 11pm. At 2.40am I awoke with a start and found myself unable to get back to sleep. I didn’t get up but lay in bed, quite peaceful and comfortable, thinking over the papers I’d read earlier. The last time I glanced at the clock, it was 4am. After this I must have fallen back to sleep because I woke at 5am from an incredibly lucid dream which I later titled ‘Lucid Town’. Perhaps I should have titled it, ‘Lucid Predators’.
In the dream I’m walking round a village where many friendly people are milling about. They’re greeting me, and I them. I don’t know any of these people in OR (Ordinary Reality) though clearly we are well acquainted in the dreamtime. I wander into a bookstore and begin to browse through a book that’s lying on a table.
The text in the book is exceptionally clear and I read it easily. This causes me to realise I’m dreaming and I become totally lucid and marvel at the ‘reality’ of the dreamscape. However, what I’m reading doesn’t make any sense to me even though I’m amazed at the visual clarity. All the words are English but I’m having trouble understanding the content.
I think about reaching for my Dictaphone, which is lying on my bedside table in OR, so that I can read aloud and record it, but I’m afraid I’ll lose the experience if I move. Certain words stand out very clearly and I concentrate on committing them to memory, (though I couldn’t remember them on waking).
After putting the book back down on the table, I begin to look round the shop. There are posters on the walls and I examine those with great interest. As the dream progresses, more and more people come into the shop until it becomes uncomfortably crowded. I decide to leave the shop. Outside, I find myself in a busy shopping mall in a town.
As I’m passing an open-fronted shop, a woman invites me inside with an offer of a free, relaxation procedure. She’s very friendly and seems pleasant. I follow her inside and she leads me over to a wooden structure in a corner of the shop; rather like an old-fashioned stock. She tells me to place my hands on a certain part of the structure, with my back to the room, so she can secure my hands and the procedure can begin.
Whatever the procedure is, it will be done to my back whilst I’m tied to the structure. I have enough lucidity to recognise that this is not good and I refuse to comply. I make to leave. There are now other people round the woman and they are blocking my exit and telling me I must stay. I become fearful and I verbally intimidate them.
They back off and draw away from me. I leave. I make my way through the crowds of people outside in the mall but I don’t feel safe any longer. Strangers are approaching me and talking to me. I’m still lucid but I can’t make out what they’re saying, and I don’t have a good feeling about them. I decide I need to get back to the village in the countryside, where I was at the beginning of the dream.
I see a long subway corridor, like you see at tube/underground stations. This will take me out of the town and I set off down it. The subway is busy and the people walking towards me are all staring at me with a menacing look in their eyes. I’m hurrying now and all I can see are faces looming up and whizzing by. My instinct is screaming that this is not a safe place to be and that I need to wake myself up, which I do with heart pounding.
I wanted to share this lucid dream because I’ve had other lucid dreams, and also shamanic journeys, where I’ve been surrounded by throngs of people trying to communicate with me and also sometimes trying to make me stay with them against my will. Is this type of experience in lucidity more likely to happen at Halloween I wonder; when the boundary between the worlds is thin?
[Author and Educator Jo Harthan is trained in the Harner method of Shamanic Counselling. She is the author of two books on Dreaming and is a Copy Editor for The International Journal of Dream Research, (IJODR) Psychological Aspects of Sleep and Dreaming. She has been dream journaling for over twenty years. Visit www.docdreamuk.com for more information.