When I was a teenager, I read a book about shamans and their dream practices. The book mentioned how they would sometimes use a talisman to aid in their journeys. That night, I had a dream about finding my own talisman in my backyard. Its surface was tiered, representing the stages of sleep. In the morning, fueled by curiosity, I searched my backyard intending to find the talisman. And I did… sort of.
Our backyard was filled with rocks instead of grass. Among them, I found a rock that closely resembled the shape of the talisman in my dream. Then, I borrowed my father’s Dremel and began shaping the rock to match the tiered design I had seen in my dream. Having never carved a rock before, I was clueless about the process. Luckily, the design was simple and, in the end, it closely resembled the dream version.
At that time, I was already practicing standard reality checks throughout my waking hours. Now that I had the talisman, which I called the “Dream Stone,” I incorporated it into my reality checks. Instead of trying to press my finger through my palm, I would attempt to absorb the stone into my hand. Sometimes, I’d clench both fists and try to teleport the stone from one hand to the other, then open them to see if it worked. When in public, I’d subtly try to move the stone from one pocket to the other without using my hands. At other times, I’d hold the stone on my open palm, attempting to make it levitate.
Over the following months, these reality checks infiltrated my dreams, and so did the stone. As a child, I had always wanted to bring something back from the dream world to my waking life. With the Dream Stone, I achieved the opposite: bringing something from my waking life into the dream world. While most things in dreams have waking world analogues, this was different. This was intentional. In these lucid dreams, the stone was always more vivid and vibrant, almost vibrating with vividness. It may sound silly, but it became my companion in these dreams. Absorbing it into my hand allowed me to fly. It could shoot off and attack enemies or emanate an energy shield for protection. The tiered segments would sometimes break apart and reform into shapes that aided me in various ways.
It was an incredible gift, and I perceived it as such. It felt less like something I made and more like something I discovered, something that had always existed. However, as I grew older, especially during my college years, I traded dream exploration for late nights with friends, video games, or last-minute study sessions. This pattern followed me into adulthood and parenthood. Eventually, I even preferred regular dreams over lucid ones, as they required less effort. I no longer wanted to carry the burden of consciousness into my dream world, preferring instead to let my unconscious mind take full control.
These days, I occasionally experience lucid dreams, and sometimes the Dream Stone makes an appearance, but it’s rare, especially since I no longer carry it with me or perform reality checks. As I write this, I feel a sense of loss, yet as an adult, I lack the drive or energy to reclaim it. I fondly look back at those dreams, and sometimes, I hold the stone, taking comfort in its cool, smooth surface. During these reflective moments, I wonder how many others have had a similar experience. While this particular stone is unique to me, the concept of a dream talisman is not. How many others have found their own talisman to guide them in their nightly adventures? Have you found one? Are you looking?