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Dreaming of Magic & Mystery - What does a lucid dream feel like?

By guest author: Reece Joseph Jones Have you ever wondered what a lucid dream feels like? Share in the wonderful adventures of lucid dreamer, Reece Joseph Jones, in this beautifully written account of his mysterious fantasy themed lucid dream.


Shattered Reflection -

Lucid Dream Log #1 (DILD: Low-Level Lucidity)

A plague has ravaged the land. People and animals are dying in droves, the forests once lush and verdant have become barren and infertile, and I'm in exile, cast out for trying – and catastrophically failing – to bring about a cure.

As I leave town – mood low and bags in tow – even the weather turns against me, perfectly reflecting what's transpiring on the ground: skies darken, angry clouds form, thunderstorms rumble in the distance. The situation is dire. And so, I seek shelter from this coming storm – trying to find somewhere, anywhere, to take refuge in.

Accompanying me is a beautiful elven princess wearing a flowing silk dress. Exactly how we met is unclear, but I get the distinct impression that I rescued her earlier on in the dream and that it's now my duty to protect her. So I do. She follows me unquestioningly into the wilderness and I keep a watchful eye on her.

-----With no direction, we wander-----

Eventually, after some searching, we come across an ancient ruined castle, and just in time too: night's falling, the storm's beginning proper, and we’re starting to flag. Without delay, then, hand in hand, we enter the ruins and explore what’s left of it, scrambling ambitiously up and over fallen stone walls and a floor full of detritus. We discover rooms that are intact and others that aren’t. Some that are mere empty spaces and others that remain furnished. It's not perfect shelter by any means, but for now it’s our only option. And so, exchanging a little nod, we silently agree that it will suffice for the night.

But instead of stopping and settling down there, we continue to search, seemingly unsatisfied, as if looking for something more, something specific.

------Getting lost in the vastness of it all------

After a while we come across a dusty old room, full of cobwebs and dimly lit by a solitary flickering candle. A robed man stands in the corner, head lowered, dressed entirely in blood red, face obscured by a low hanging hood. His presence is unsettling and an ominous vibe hangs heavy in the air.

Moments later, the princess enters behind me, and upon sight of the man drops to her knees, overcome with emotion, quivering, hands together in prayer, muttering a name over and over again that I can only presume is his.

The robed man remains perfectly still, not saying a word.

It's then that I first start to recognise some dream signs: I've been cast out, ostracised; I'm in an ancient, medieval setting; evil looms close by. All recurring themes of my nightly excursions. And so, lucidity begins to simmer. Yet I still don't take that final leap. Not yet. Instead, I probe the absurdities a little deeper, asking myself questions as to my current situation and whereabouts. Like, why is the princess acting like this? Who on earth is this man? And, where are we again? Nothing seems quite right.

------Suspicion begins to trickle in------

I look down at her confused. "Off your knees!" I demand. But her eyes are glazed over. She's utterly transfixed. “I said off your knees!" Giving up on her, I look back up and approach the robed man with authority in my stride. "Let me see your face, sir! What are you doing here?" He continues to stand there motionless, unresponsive, a dark energy emanating from him, so palpable that it makes the hairs on my arms stand on end as I near.

"This is the source of the plague!" my inner voice screams. "Run whilst you still can!"

But I ignore it, once again requesting to see his face, and once again being met with silence. "Enough of this," I say out loud, and in impatient rebellion yank back his hood.

What greets me strikes me hard in the gut.

The man I reveal is a pale, gaunt version of myself, staring vacantly down at the ground, lifeless yet somehow standing. I gasp and turn back to the princess, looking for confirmation that she's seeing what I’m seeing...but she’s gone. "Huh?!" I swing back around to the man...but he’s gone now too. The wheels in my mind turn rapidly, pennies dropping one by one, faulty dream logic desperately trying to hold on to the last crumbling remnants of reason but failing.

And so, like a slow dawning of truth rising majestically above the horizon, I finally ask the question..."Is this a dream?" And without the need even for a reality check, like opening the floodgates of possibility, the strange "lucid feeling" in my stomach confirms it.

"Of course," I think. "I most certainly am."

-----The dreamer alive----- As lucidity kicks in, my fear and confusion quickly dissipate. “I’m dreaming,” I say out loud, taking a long, awe-filled breath in. “I’m dreaming.”

Let me tell you, however many times you become lucid in a dream (even after 25 years worth of experience in my case), nothing beats that moment of realisation, that moment of transcendent bliss, of pure amazement and wonder. It never, ever gets old. In fact, just writing about it now sends a tingle down my spine.

As all experienced Oneironauts know, however, getting too caught up in that initial excitement is a recipe for premature awakening. So, with that in mind, I stay calm and begin to stabilize the dream: rubbing my hands together, pacing around the room as I do, thinking clearly about who I am back in waking life in order to solidify full awareness. “I’m Reece Jones. I’m 31 years old. I live in England.”

As I’m doing all of this, the dream scene becomes supercharged and a door materialises in the stone wall just ahead of me. “Hmm,” I think to myself. “Do my own thing or follow the dream’s lead?” For a moment I quietly reflect upon my options.

It’s always a tough decision to make – to be the director or the directed – but eventually I decide to roll with it and explore what's behind the door.

Confirming one last time that everything is indeed stable, I walk through it and into a brightly lit, well-kept banquet room.

-----A lucid transition-----

Upon entering the new scene, like magic, the entire tone of the dream shifts, becoming less foreboding in nature and more upbeat instead. The colours change from blacks and greys, to reds and greens and oranges and purples. Everything seems alive now, whereas, comparatively, everything before seemed dead. There’s a feast in progress, a hum in the air. Hundreds of people are in attendance and revelry’s in full swing. I get the sense that this is what the castle looked like before it fell into ruin. It’s grand beyond reckoning.

I look around, soaking in the extravagance of it all, feeling wonderfully immersed in the auditory play as I do. “I’m dreaming,” I say out loud again, to keep the awareness at the forefront of my mind. “I’m dreaming.”

After a minute or so of passive observation, I decide to approach a group of revellers and engage with them lucidly. My intention is to reprise my character role from earlier – to play along with the theme of the dream – but as soon as I get close, that intention falls away. They're all me, I realise, shocked. Same face, same mannerisms, same everything. The realisation repels me 180 degrees in the opposite direction and towards another group instead. "Come now," I think to myself. "Don't play games." However, as I approach the second group, it's the same again: all me.

Looking back from my current waking perspective, I don’t know why I was so put off by this. After all, I've happily interacted with dream characters that look like me before. But for whatever reason, this time felt different. One indication of many that I hadn't reached full lucidity and was still a little caught up in the dream story.

-----A lucid regrounding-----

In an attempt to detangle myself from the intensifying dream emotions, I remind myself once more that I'm dreaming, rubbing my hands together and speaking out loud to reassert my presence in the dreamworld. "I'm Reece Jones. I'm 31 years old. I live in England." This helps. My mind sharpens and my resolve comes back into focus. I'm still not super lucid by any means, but lucid enough to understand what's going on. And so, I explore the room, inquisitively listening in on conversations, quietly observing the ruckus and festivities, and eventually sampling the party food. For a while I just have some fun.

However, I can't shake the feeling that the dream is messing with me as I continue to catch sight of doppelgänger after doppelgänger.

Mischievously, then, I decide to mess with it back, scrambling up onto one of the long, wooden dining tables, eager to see how the dream characters will react to my lucidity. "I’m putting an end to this charade," I think, rebelliously, banging my foot down loudly and repeatedly on the table and shouting at the top of my lungs, “You can come back in now! I know what's going on!” My voice booms loudly across the room, bouncing off the walls and bringing the festivities to a screeching and sudden halt.

-----An end to the games-----

The tone of the dream abruptly shifts back to ominous. "Oh," I think, mentally stalling. “Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea after all.” In unison, all of the dream characters look up at me, their gazes penetrating. I feel exposed and shaken.

“We don’t think you do actually," one of the revellers says with a knowing – half mocking – glint in his eyes, passing me up a small antique hand mirror. I yank it from him anxiously and bring it up to my face to look upon the reflection.

To my surprise, the person looking back isn't me at all, but the princess from earlier instead.

“He’s right!” my inner voice cries, panicked and flustered. “God, he’s right!”

With an uncontrolled physical jerk, I scream, mortified, losing my grip on the mirror as it drops to the floor below, shattering into a thousand little pieces upon impact – my lucidity shattering along with it.

-----Time to wake up-----

And just like that, I’m alone, staring blankly down at the countless tiny shards, confused – the dream characters gone. "What's this again?" I ask myself, once more lost in the dark caverns of my dreaming mind.

Then, as if in response to my query, the room begins to rumble – softly at first, before eventually reaching a level that I can only describe as violent.

"It's time to go back," a kindly female voice announces, emanating from the top of the room. "You're being put on. You're being put on. You’re being put on."

A loud, piercing, metallic screech reverberates through the dreamscape and the rumbling reaches a mad crescendo.

Overwhelmed, I drop to my knees, then my hands, on all fours like a dog, staring down into a sea of mirrored glass at my shattered reflection, each piece showing a different face, a different side of my splintered persona.

The dream dissolves and I wake in my bed at home.


This article was first shared in The Lucid Forum. If you're a budding writer, artist or educator, and would like to share your creativity, join the forums and your work may become an article. Join Reece to discuss his wonderful writing in the original thread:


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