Great input, everyone! I'm adding them as I have a minute.
Does anyone have any thoughts about how we define nightmares? There are many here that I might define as nightmares, but you might just define as dreams, or vice versa. Just curious as to people's thoughts on that.
Also libation provided a link to a treasure trove of personal dream descriptions, tagged by significant elements, here: http://libation.livejournal.com/tag/
--one's own house, but with hidden/unknown passages
--one's own house, but under construction (improving)
--one's own house, but under construction (falling apart/things chewing at the foundations)
--one's own house, with unusual/new objects or people in it
--one's childhood home or past residence, but with different occupants, new/unknown passages
--visiting houses/neighborhoods familiar from childhood, even if not one's own
--Visiting combinations of familiar houses
--the ideal apartment/house seen as a refuge of some kind
--the terrifying house/apartment/building
--the terrifying house/apartment/building where you can't turn on the lights/lock/unlock the doors, etc
-- spending time on out of control elevators in a house/building
-- spending time searching for a bathroom in a house or building
-- hiding from terrifying people or creatures in a house/building
-- feeling increasingly trapped in a smaller and smaller house or building
-- house within a house-- like a dollhouse that you shrink down and explore
Dream cities/community issues:
-- elaborately produced big budget city
-- with special attention to specific kinds of architecture
--familiar city, but reorganized in a way that it isn't in reality
-- all the buildings connected by tunnels underground
-- the underground/or space city
-- holy places
-- combined with unholy/commercial places and activities
-- the astral dorm (you really just need to read this one. I think it deserves its own category)
-- amusement parks
-- poverty/wealth in dream communities
--finding nasty surprises in unexpected places
--oppressive society issues (Jew in Nazi Germany, and similar)
--the dream job with no downsides, but also no pay
--the bad job I used to have and thought I was done with
--it's the first day, and you're late(also under school)
--surprise! You're drafted.
--being asked to do a job of which you know nothing, because they need your help(crosses with famous people dreams)
--finding oneself ill prepared for work (no hammer holster, incomprehensible engine, piles of paperwork, poorly executed operation, unprepared to teach a class)
--dreams of completing tasks from your real job/life
--the forgotten errand
--perusing imaginary bookstores for spiritual advice
--pressure to complete a task with insufficient time/ materials
--back in school again even though you've been out for many years
--back in school even though you're married with children and aware of that/bring them with you
--the forgotten class
--the forgotten assignment
--lost in the school/lost schedule
--missing the bus
--taking a journey
--the frustrated journey(noted by joculum)
--lost in the parking garage
--the car has no brakes
--being forced to drive when you can't/don't have a license/don't have glasses, etc
--any of the above resulting in damage/injury to passers-by, etc.
--being driven somewhere you don't want to go, unable to escape
--car chases(as below)
--plane/train crashes with or without fatalities
--subways(or other) turning into rollercoaster rides
-- with or without the sense that you are participating in a movie
-- delight of chase/escape
-- terror of being chased/hunted by a predator
-- sense of being stalked by something unseen
--(crossed with house dreams) something stalking you in your house, light switches don't work, being chased into smaller and smaller places in a house
-- speeding up,
-- slowing down
--"running through molasses" (slow for me but everything around me at normal pace) or vice versa.
--forced by dreamer
--initiated by loved ones/famous people
--initiated by flying/changing mode of transportation
--which start as falling and turninto a cosmic slide
--which start as a chase
--in which you explore and you have no physical bounds
--in which you explore and find your world limited even though you can fly
-- seeing someone you know is dead, but they don't know
--conversing with the dead
--raising the dead
--knowing you're dead, but walking around anyhow
--meeting famous dead people
--End of the world and it's All My Fault
--End of the world, and it has nothing to do with my actions
--Massive weather events(tornado/hurricaine/earthquake) but no negative consequences
--Massive weather events and expected consequences
Physical identity issues
-- seeing onself in a mirror and seeing a different person
-- sleep paralysis/hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations
-- inability to act as one wants in a dream crowleyclow posits that this might be evidence of slipping between sleep stages, if I've understood him correctly.
--Being your usual self in a dream, but other people treating you as an entirely different person.
--Being yourself, but with some exception: different age from your current one, different race, different gender, different species.
--Being a different person in your dream, but remembering the person you are in the waking world.
--Being a different person in your dream, with absolutely no relationship to who you are in the waking world.
--Being several different people in the same dream.
-- lost or detachable body parts
-- dreams of health(when not healthy) or illness(when not ill)
--nakedness and exposure to others(with awareness and shame)
--nakedness with or without exposure to others, and no shame
--erotic dreams with or without sexual contact
--sexual contact with or without erotic content
--erotic/sexual dreams with content that you would find appealing in real life
--erotic/ sexual dreams with content at odds with your usual preferences/experiences
-- needing a bathroom, and not finding one
-- needing a bathroom, but facilities are filty
-- needing a bathroom, but there are people milling around, doors to stalls are broken, etc.
-- thirst/frustrated(think Alice in the tea party)
-- hunger-- eating treats
-- hunger-- eating repulsive food
-- hunger-- unsatisfied
-- vomiting (the ordinary kind)
-- vomiting (surprising substances/objects) see for example the Dark Queen in Mirrormask.
dreaming about drinking/drugging(if you're on the wagon), or eating if you're watching your diet, etc.
-- who's on board?(When I was pregnant with oldest, I dreamed I had a Magic 8 ball window on my belly, so I could see the kid before he was born. In my dream he was about 3 and had bright red hair.)
--being pregnant when you're not
--having children with people you would never have intimate contact with
--Suddenly becoming a parent or guardian of children/other people/creatures
--having far more children/people/creatures to care for than you actully do
definition of life/personhood issues
--Inanimate objects come to life
--People becoming inanimate
--animals acting like people
Brushes with fame/power issues
--meeting a famous person who needs your help(the rock band that desperately needs my help,stand in drumming for the shaman)
-- relationship with famous person
-- the big man who makes me feel guilty/nervous/anxious (crosses with work dreams)
-- shop talk with the famous
--conversations with deities
--meeting a guru/teacher/holy person who gives you advice
--meeting a guru/teacher/holy person who gives you lousy advice or tells you to go away
--meeting a guru/teacher/holy person who looks at you in confusion, like, hey, wrong department, what are you here for?
-- non-famous but omnipresent charcters-- to quote John Crowley-- "Fifth Business"(from Robertson Davies)-- a person who plays "all the parts that moved the play along but weren't central to the drama" .
--combination people--peregrin8 calls them Portmanteau people--"After Lewis Carroll's "portmanteau words" -- as when he would fold "snort" and "chuckle" together to make "chortle.". People who (simultaneously or alternately)represent a number of real individuals in your life, all pasted together.
-- acting out a story familiar to you
-- ability to direct the actions of others in a dream/switch heads
-- having the sense that you're in a movie or on a holodeck or similar
-- redreaming the plot of an existing move/story (for instance,bondgwendabond describes dreaming new Buffy episodes).
-- dreaming about dreaming
--committing violent/Freudian acts one would never do in real life
--conversations with people one would never have in real life
--meeting the ideal Other
--meeting an old crush/ideal other and having non-ideal, ordinary conversation
--meeting an old crush and having a romantic encounter
--meeting an old crush and having a negative encounter
--searching for a lost loved one/pet
--marrying a stranger/monster/friend you'd never marry in real life
--finding yourself on the point of marrying one of the above and realizing-- Wait! I'm already married, and I like my real spouse better! And having to solve the ensuing social upheaval.
--the story/painting/movie/piece of music that we develop in our sleep
-- and can't remember on wakening
-- and remember, but find lacking on waking
-- and remember, and execute in real life(if you've done this, please share the story!)
--Dream creations we execute: Real details though not whole stories
Anyone have additions here? I know this isn't even close to all of them...