Back in May, Linda Lane Magallón tackled the subject of dream characters in
part one of her four part series. Are dream characters real people? Do they
have a will, or a consciousness of their own? Are they all the same, or
could some be lifeless projections? Join Linda as she takes us on a journey
through her own thoughts and intriguing dreams. You may not look at your
dream characters in quite the same way again!
Dream Characters and Reality Checks
Part Three: Incubation and Fantasy
(c) 2005 Linda Lane Magallón
Lucid, I yell, "Willie, Willie!" remembering how many times this has not
worked to bring Willie to me and I feel my emotions move into despair. This
time, I halt them and affirm my desire instead. "I've got to believe I can,"
I think to myself.
Around the corner of a light green house, a slender, but not thin, Black
woman strolls towards me, dressed in slacks and a shirt. Is this Willie? I
feel myself start to doubt and stop myself, as if holding my breath. As the
woman comes my way, something like a banner of dark long hair furls out
between us to hide her face. I hope that she really is Willie and note that
she is sporting an Afro. Will I never see her face? I wonder. Then I affirm
that I will hold onto the dream until I do.
She comes around the obstruction and takes me by the left hand with a "come
with me, I want to show you something" attitude. (She may actually say this,
but the exact conversation is unremembered.) Her hair metamorphs a couple of
times from the Afro to several versions of less kinky hairstyle, although
all are mid-length. The last has convoluted curls on top and a fairly
straight bouffant. She is slightly taller than I and younger than I
expected. I think, "I've never seen her so close, so long." We walk along
the sides of what seem to be shop fronts. Finally I stop her and ask,
frowning, "What's taking you so long?" meaning to meet me in waking life.
When she starts to answer I realize I need to ask an even more specific
question. "Are you going to come into my reality?"
As she smiles and looks off to my right, I notice her slender facial
structure and cocoa complexion. "I'm waiting, too," she responds. "Next week
sometime," she says turning back to look at me with a wink.
"Next week! Ohh!" I exclaim in astonishment and gratitude. As I awake, I am
aware we are still holding hands.
Unfortunately, Willie never did show up that next week. Not in the waking
state, not in the dream. I was disappointed, discouraged, disenchanted.
I don't recall where I got the notion, but I do remember it was born of
desperation. I'd been searching for a new career without success. The
suggestion was that, to reveal my vocational heart's desire, I should
analyze my daydreams. There was one fantasy in particular that had started
when I was a kid, then grew and changed as I did. As an adult, I was too
embarrassed to admit that I still enjoyed it. Its genesis had been superhero
TV shows and comic books.
Not surprising, really. My maiden name was Linda Lane, but when people first
met me, they'd call me Lois. Lois Lane was the comic character whose prime
function was to be rescued by Superman. It didn't seem fair that he'd then
fly off and have all the fun. This inequality definitely called for a change
in the story line. So one day, in imagination, I took to the sky. No more
Lois. I became Casey Lane.
When I began analyzing my now grown-up version of the fantasy, I discovered
that some of the scenarios were much too vague. So I gave complete names to
the characters and retrofitted them with histories, personalities,
vocations, and avocations, all in an attempt to fill out my ideal working
environment. One of the characters was an Afro-American woman I'd been
calling Willie. I augmented her biography and expanded her name to Willette
Nicholson. I was very much aware that I was creating this character. Willful
fantasy was under my control, whereas dreams were totally out of control.
March the 8th International Women's Day. At approximately 4:30 in the
morning, for the first time in my life, I awoke to the fact that I was
dreaming. It began as a nightmare, as usual. Then I was rescued from
suffocation, not by Superman, but by a mysterious black-clothed woman who
flung me over her back and took me soaring through the sky. The dream
We fly over the plaza and down the street through a city of skyscrapers. The
woman makes a right turn, then stops. While hovering, she rolls me over onto
my back so that she is holding me in an embrace.
"Hello, Casey," she says softly, smiling. Her features are indistinguishable
but dark in color. She is projecting a blast of emotion toward me. I am
receiving an intense feeling of kindness and loving concern. She knows me as
Casey - my super self!
"Will-it!" I exclaim in utter astonishment as I recognize her. This mutual
recognition has brought me to lucidity. Willette lifts me to an upright
position. Still embracing my body with one arm, she stands to my left. We
are both suspended in the air.
I can't believe my eyes. Here is the subject of my creation: a character who
I made up in fantasy. But now I know she's an actual person, a completely
mature, independent adult, standing right next to me, holding me, talking to
me! And she can really fly! I can hardly comprehend it all.
"Why?" I ask. Why is she here, saving me, showing so much concern for me?
Looking me straight in the eye, she says with utmost gravity, "You were once
The loving concern I felt emanating from Willie was so intense, I carried it
with me the entire next day. I was convinced, both in the dream and after I
awoke, that I was encountering a real person.
Here was the dichotomy expressed more vividly than I could have imagined. On
the one hand, there was this character that I had created, then enhanced
during the most intense period of visualization in my life. On the other
hand, there was this emancipating entity, freely speaking and acting on her
own. It was as if I'd incubated a new being in my imagination, who then
crossed over and was born into my dreams. If a statue had come to life in my
own front room, the psychological impact couldn't have been more powerful.
I am in a meeting room filled with people seated at rectangular tables.
Willie is seated across from me. I lean forward urgently, asking if she is
now living in this world and get an affirmative answer. I may also ask about
doing a project together. Then I stand to see her smiling but leaning
slightly away from the table with an aura of self-confidence (like she knows
she can join me but doesn't have to commit herself).
This connection has been intense, almost to the point of lucidity. I go into
the next room and gain some additional self-awareness when I wonder what
name Willie would have in this life. As if in my imagination, I get the
impression of two names, the second ending with an "sey" like in "Morresey".
The room is a bar filled with people. Gazing at a row of women seated at the
bar, I finally gain full lucidity.
I suddenly realize that I have seen Willie in an earlier part of this dream.
"Willie! Willie!" I bellow, facing the women, who look at me askance. I'm
ready to bolt for the next room, but stop to offer an apology for my
behavior. "Excuse me, I'm lucid," I say and leave. I quickly walk to the
meeting room, which is still filled with people, sitting and standing about.
"Willie!" I call again. When no one responds and I don't see her, I hurry on
to the next room. This one is a huge auditorium with descending seats to a
stage on the right-hand side of the room. It, too, is filled with people. I
call out Willie's name again, my eyes sweeping the room.
Someone with mid-length curly light brown hair steps directly in front of me
and the two of us sit down on the steps. "What do you know about her?" s/he
asks, referring to Willie. I try to remember our conversation at the table.
"Only that she was born in this world, which says mountains," I reply. I
recall that I had been wondering if Willie would remain a discarnate
throughout this life.
"Do you know anything about her family?" "First I thought she was alone," I
reply, thinking hard and picking up more imagery, "Then I got an impression
of a lot of problems, so I don't know."
Those lucid dreams, in which I remembered to or wanted to look for Willie,
were so infrequent that I pursued the elusive will-o'-the-wisp for many
years. This dream was the turning point.
There was absolutely nothing within my experience to encompass what had
happened. I began a dream journal and read every dream book I could get my
hands on. I also continued to run excerpts from the fantasy in my mind just
before sleep. Maybe that would provide more substance to the dream. Maybe,
if there was enough substance, Willie could make a second crossing - into
the waking state. Maybe I could become more Casey-like in dreams or waking
I am walking with Willie through the courtyard of an old apartment building
to a "gathering of the clan." Two friends come walking towards us; they turn
a corner and go up a couple of steps and inside a screen door. As Willie and
I follow them, I ponder on the fact that this married pair are the models
for two of the people in my fantasy. Thinking this way brings me to a low
level of lucidity.
Inside the apartment I recall their fantasy names and compare them with the
waking ones. "It's Sandy and Nancy Tully, not Torrey," I remember aloud.
Then I turn to the man and call him by his waking name. "Walter!" I exclaim.
"Who's that?" he responds. "The guy I patterned you after," I tell him.
Off to the right are the rest of the group. I take a big breath and proclaim
loudly to them, "You're all figments of my imagination!" Astonished, they
all collapse and sit down on the floor.
As I wake, I hear a voice saying, "I wonder what she I be?"
Of course, many Willie dreams were directly influenced by the fantasy. This
was especially true when I slipped from hypnogogia into a dream. A few times
the scenery of my reveries would show up in my dreams, but rarely was the
story line reproduced. For the most part, the dream would head off in
directions I'd never imagined.
After a while, in some non-lucid dreams, I simply "knew" that I was Casey.
My waking persona had been replaced by my fantasy one. This turned out to be
immensely helpful. As Casey, I knew I could fly away from danger or stand up
to threats. Thus, nightmares could be transformed within the dream, before I
ever woke up. My dreaming self, who had been the unwitting victim of almost
40 years of hellish existence, was being remade as a super self.
Doctrinal Compliance Again
For Willie, just the opposite seemed to be happening. She played roles I'd
never visualized. A social worker (she was a scientist). A spy (she was a
human rights activist). An elementary school teacher (she taught college as
a grad student). A trumpet player (yes, she was a musician, but she played
the flute). In the fantasy, she had a strong personality; in the dream she
could act like a wimp.
Dream Willie was extremely elastic. Something besides deliberate pre-sleep
intent was forming her character. When I read Jungian literature, she'd act
like a Jungian archetype. If I were studying Freud, I'd dream something with
sexual content. Depending on what I read, talked about, or saw on TV, she'd
be Christ Consciousness or the Wicked Witch of the West. She was also The
Thinker, a Primal Screamer, a food server, a fund-raiser, a dress model, a
printing shop clerk and The Lone Ranger! The most pervasive influence was
the Seth material. I dreamt of her in Jane Roberts' imaginal Library, as an
oversoul and as a channeled entity. I dreamt she told me that Jane Roberts
was part of our "family." Whereas other folks in the Seth community
interpreted that to mean I was part of Jane Roberts' extended family, the
Sumari, I assumed that Willie was referring to my fantasy clan. In any case,
I accepted neither possibility out of hand. I knew only too well that
Doctrinal Compliance was swaying my subconscious. Dream conformity to what I
experienced in waking life was preprogramming Willie's dream persona. It was
responsible for both the foundation and maintenance of most dream settings
as well as the ongoing narrative. A lucid dream wasn't free of this
background influence, either.
Lucid Creation and Comparisons
Within lucid dreams, I could deliberately conjure up Willie's image, but it
would be quite vague or readily collapse. Once, her dream body turned into
an egg! Maybe I was once her mother, but this retro-birth was ridiculous. I
was more successful when I simply called for her. True, she didn't show up
very often, but then is a real person always available at our beck and call?
At the edge of hypnogogia, I tried to picture her in new surroundings to see
how much control I had over the pre-dream stage. A lot, it turned out.
However, once the dream began, the scenario was likely to morph. I learned
that, in-dream, create your own character was not an easy task. Most
definitely, I couldn't do everything I wanted to do. In fact, the more I
attempted the deliberate do-it-yourself approach to dreaming, the more I
realized how unyielding the dreamworld could be.
Reality checks I did, by keeping records and comparing methods of retrieval.
I came to understand that the sort of Willie I encountered depended on the
method of encounter. The non-lucid dream Willie was not like the fantasy
Willie. Less sure of herself. The automatic writing Willie was more like the
channeled Willie. Very authoritarian. The Willie of poetry was not like the
day vision Willie. Abstract and conceptual rather than visual and objective.
Lucid dream Willie was hard to find. Hypnogogic Willie was often an imp.
This sort of reality check yielded the conclusion that each type of
retrieval system actually formed a different kind of Willie.
Me as Willie
Occasionally, in non-lucid dreams, I actually became Willie - knew myself as
Willie, looked out from her point of view. I assumed this was an expansion
of the fantasy. There, the characters had the communal capacity to become
aware of one another's thoughts and feelings. Tele-empathy. Also, when I ran
the fantasy in my mind, I usually took on the role of each character,
especially when they had speaking parts. Temporarily, I could play Willie.
But I never thought of her as a "part of me," like an essential limb or
organ. Rather, she was a cloak I could create and wear, then take off and
I experimented with this concept in waking life.
My hair was given a permanent of tight curls. I wore her colors (red and
black) all winter long.
Perhaps because of that period of pretending, I spoke up with more
confidence and began to identify myself as a researcher. Act as if, and it
rubs off on you.
Other Dreamer's Willie
When I began talking about Willie to colleagues and friends, several other
people dreamt about her. But with the exception of Melinda Nelson's
hypnogogic example, their variations weren't much like my waking or dreaming
versions. True, other people could dream of Willie singing or dancing, but
not to the rock and roll beat of the music tapes I played when I imagined
her. She was the parent of many children as well as a daughter in one of my
past lives (dream reactions to "Once you were my mother"). One dreamer's
version of Willie was a little child; another's was a high priestess.
Personal projection was the driving force, while tele-empathic perception
took a back seat. Willie could show up in other people's dreams as an
exalted divinity, an opera singer's attendant or a camera projectionist
(speaking of projection!).
Willie was also the inspiration for communal creativity after we woke.
Besides Melinda's drawing, friends created a plaster face mask for Willie
(using my face), a Tarot reading and a horoscope (based on the date and time
of the breakthrough dream). But none of them really rang true.
Waking Life: The 10% Manifestation
I was running errands one day and musing that if I ever met Willie in waking
life, she'd probably not have that name. After all, I was Casey only in the
fantasy. So what name would she have, I wondered. "Diana" came to me. Two
days later I walked into a new job and met the woman I was replacing. She
was of Anglo descent, not Afro-American, but that didn't stop me from
chuckling at her name. It was Diane Wills. I had imagined that Willie's
childhood home would be in Carson City, Nevada. That's where Diane and her
husband were going to retire.
Because the horoscope based on the date of the breakthrough dream didn't
feel right, I decided that, if I were to guess Willie's astrological sign,
she would be a Leo. Then I had a dream that Willie and I would meet in
Mexico. By this time, I didn't take it very seriously. Nevertheless, when my
husband and I journeyed there, a black woman was part of our tour group. I
mentioned dreams; she was interested in New Age phenomena. After talking
with her, I discovered that she was the mother of a single son, like Willie.
She was a vegetarian, like Willie. And she was a Leo.
Every once in a while, I'd have synchronicities like these. Bits and pieces
of the fantasy Willie would come true, but never the whole package. At
first, I was frustrated, then disappointed, then resigned. I tried my best
to create my own reality in the waking state, but it proved to be a far more
difficult task than influencing dream with imagination. How much actually
came to be? "About 10%," Willie had suggested in a lucid dream. That may be
Through all my seeking of her asleep, I learned a lot about the lucid
dreamworld. The exploration was fascinating, whether I looked for Willie or
not. With increasing frequency, I did other things. Willie was so elusive
that she was becoming an in-dream jokester and I was not enjoying the joke.
I felt rejected, ignored, conned, let down. Funny thing, the breakthrough
dream had prefigured this. When Willie told me, "You were once my mother," I
tried to understand.
"You mean in another existence?" I ask.
Willette does not respond verbally, but half turns and looks off toward the
clouds. The clouds are white and billowing as if in anticipation. They form
a corridor through which a patch of blue sky can be seen. The sky brightens,
taking on the silhouette of a robed Christ-like figure. As I watch the
figure approach, I become more and more hesitant, fearful of being misled
spiritually. I'm convinced Willette's comment means that she believes in
reincarnation. Willette gestures with her arm to indicate that this god-like
figure is coming halfway to meet us. "You mean Jesus?" I ask doubtfully.
Willette gives no answer. I worry that the figure might not be the "true"
divinity sanctioned by the Church. "Why am I hesitating?" I ask her, though
I know the answer. There must be some way out of this dilemma. I mentally
flail around, searching for a reason not to go. (Where was I going anyway?
To my death? Would I ever come back?)
Ah-ha! I find an excuse; Willette's answer has given me the key. I remember
- I am wife and mother to my own two children. They need me. I can't go yet.
In fact, as I remember, superimposed on the scene is a mental impression of
my bedroom just outside the closet doors. I seem to be in two places at
once. Standing in my bedroom. And standing in the dream. "My children!" I
Willette looks at me seriously. "There is something unresolved here," she
says as she releases me. I fall backwards and down out of the sky. I wake
with a jerk, as though I have just crash landed on my bed.
The elation of meeting Willie was tempered by the spiritual conflict I'd had
to endure. And then, when I didn't do what was expected, I was dropped like
a hot potato. Some friend. I ignored this part of the dream. It made me feel
too uneasy. I was trying to think positively about dream Willie. Repression,
The issue of whether the god-like figure was really Christ became moot when
I left Catholicism soon thereafter. I never thought the Christian god would
respect me enough to meet me half-way. To indicate that I was remaining
neutral as to its identity, I called the figure "The Cloud Walker." Six
years later, I finally got up the courage to incubate a return to the
breakthrough dream. I didn't encounter Willie, although Jan accompanied me
for a time. It turned out that there were two Cloud Walkers. One of them was
a kindly gentleman named Da'caug. The other one was me! You can read the
dream and make of it what you will. I thought it was amazing, euphoric and,
at its conclusion, a bit humorous. What a delightful change from the
sensations I'd experienced at the end of my breakthrough dream. I felt quite
resolved, thank you very much. About the Cloud Walker, that is, not about
I'm in a large room filled with women. "Willie! Willie!" I yell. In response
some of the women in the first row seated facing me change color from white
to black. But it's a "fake" change, like overlaying one transparency over
another and I'm amused/irritated to see that their features haven't changed
from Caucasian either. "Do you know how long I've been looking for that
woman?" I ask the group rhetorically.
"How long?" responds a woman's voice to my right. I turn and discover I'm
seated on top of a counter along with a whole row of women. "Since 1982," I
reply. "March 8th, 1982, as a matter of fact."
A woman rushes past me down the aisle. Another woman perched on the opposite
side stops her with, "The woman (meaning me) wants to talk to you about the
Is the woman in the aisle Willie? I look at her back and notice her bouffant
black hair, trying to decide if she's Black or White. She hesitates, then
continues on. I watch her, tempted to jump down and follow. But I stop by
telling myself, there ain't no way I'm going to run after her if she doesn't
want to see me.
Return to the Breakthrough Dream
I am journeying down a single-lane dirt road through a hot, flat desert on
my way to a distant city. Then I decide I don't like to travel that way and
rerun the scenario, this time in a hot-air balloon. My friend Jan is with
me. Problem is, the winds could carry us anywhere in the desert, where we
might die of thirst. So Jan checks out the water supply, in tanks that look
like scuba gear.
Finally, I decide I don't want to go that direction at all and turn around,
back the way I've come. I gaze up at the distant mountains that parallel the
right side of the road. They seem to come together at a single peak which I
know is the "north pole." Then I realize that it looks that way because I
can see the curvature of the planet. Wow, this must be a small planet for me
to be able to see its curvature so well! The scene makes me slightly giddy.
I realize I'm not on Earth.
As I bring my gaze down, I find myself standing at the edge of a
semi-circular cliff. Beyond, white clouds swirl, obscuring the view below,
but I know that they mask a bottomless abyss. In fact, it seems that if I
could look through the clouds beneath my feet, I'd see more blue sky and
finally the blackness of starry space, as if the cliff is suspended like one
of those "cities in the sky." In front of me in the distance are the
multi-forms of layered clouds and the shadow of a building nestled into the
cliff. Above this panorama is the limitless expanse of the blue heavens.
Knowing full well I might fall, I decide to step off the cliff. What a
thrill to realize that I don't drop! Not even a little bit! Instead I skate
forward across the top of the puffy whiteness. I have conquered my fear and
with what wonderful results! I can feel the wind stream past my face and the
sun's warmth on my shoulders. The feeling of wonder surges up from inside,
straining to meet the expansiveness of the outer scene. I fling my arms wide
as the feeling inside my body fulfills itself in ecstasy. This rush of
energy brings me to lucidity.
I land at the building across the cliff and enter via the door. There are a
few people about in this elevator foyer, but one man in particular steps
forward to greet me. He speaks some phrases in an unfamiliar language. "I'm
awake...on earth," I exclaim, alerting him to my degree of consciousness.
"Earth" is a lower case word, very, very far away. His eyebrows go up and
his eyes sparkle as he realizes that I am lucid.
"What is this place?" I ask curiously. "Phobe," he replies emphatically,
rhyming the word with "robe." I remember him using that word when he first
addressed me. "Phobe?" I ask excitedly, "You mean one of Jupiter's moons?"
"No," he replies, furrowing his brow in concentration. I get the impression
of a spot in the far distance of a horizontal plane.
"What is your name?" I inquire. He tells me. "Da'caug," I repeat slowly,
carefully. It sounds like "Da-cawg."
Da'caug takes my hand in his. He feels so familiar, like family. I realize
that while he's serving as my guide, he is also according me great respect,
as if I were a colleague. We tour the back side of the building, ending up
at the far side of the cliff. This time I force myself to look down into the
white clouds and see far below me, the edge of a cosmic ocean. Hands firmly
clasped, we both push off from the cliff and once again I experience the
ecstasy of flying while standing up.
We return to the building and enter another door into a room busy with the
atmosphere of commerce. There are people in check-out lines, as if
purchasing items in a gift store at a lodge. The whole area now has the
feeling of a national park. A woman walks by, one I recognize from the first
"Hilda?" I ask Da'caug if that's her name.
"No, Ada," he replies. "She doesn't have a ____."
I don't catch the word but it seems like "soul," though I know that's not
it. Da'caug seems genuinely perplexed, like he can't figure out what she is.
I get the impression that she is more solid and doesn't have the same kind
of spiritual emanations that the other people in the scene do. I look at
them, concentrating, trying to see their auras myself, but all I see is a
shimmer as their forms temporarily dissolve and then refocus into sharp
"Auras," I say, "How can you tell?"
"There used to be a brochure," says Da'caug, looking around for one. Am I
supposed to buy it? No, Da'caug is going to give it to me, but is unable to
locate one. Instead, he starts telling me how to see auras. His words
resolve into a couple of lines of print in a book. I get the impression that
"seeing" auras is equivalent to seeing an additional layer of information
overlaid on the printed words.
(NOTE: Phobos, who in mythology was an attendant of Ares, is actually the
larger of the two moons of Mars. Its root is "-phobe" which is Latin for
"fear." But after the initial trepidation, I certainly experienced none of
that! Actually, the scenario was the antithesis of fear, perhaps where the
"other side" of our fearful selves dwell.
I had been incubating to "go home;" to find Willie so she would take me
"half-way" to god, as in the breakthrough dream. In a later dream of the
night, I became lucid in a room, paused to gather my energies, and called
out "Where are you Willie?" But the effort cost me the dream.)
The energy to have Willie dreams seemed to be winding down. Perhaps the
reserves I had accumulated during 30 years of fantasy were being depleted? I
sought her less and less in lucid dreams. I saw her with diminishing
frequency in non-lucid dreams. Elation and anticipation were replaced by
disappointment. I was angry, at her sometimes, but mostly with myself.
Willie was a trickster and I was a fool, or so it seemed. Cynical, I became,
about the whole affair.
Grounded Once More
After speculating in the stratosphere, it took years to get grounded again.
Thank goodness, I had a ground to fall back on. I had built its foundation
with my research into telepathic and mutual dreaming.
After everything is said and done, who is the only creature who can serve as
a reality check on dream characters? What sort of character can give you
feedback as to whether or not your assumptions are accurate? There's only
one. A cooperative, fully alive, physical human being.
Last in the series - Back to Verification: Mutual Dreaming - See LDE 37.
http://members.aol.com/caseyflyer/flying/dreams.html (Dream Flights)
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