Angels with Faces of Steel – Nov. 16, 1984

I had just turned sixteen at the time this particular dream occurred, living in a small town in Southern California. Warning, some graphic descriptions occur in most of my dreams and this one is no exception.

I fell asleep late that night, around midnight. I found myself getting out of bed because I thought I’d heard someone call my name and walked out into the living room. It was the late afternoon and red sunlight was pouring in through the half-opened curtains. Continuing on to the front door, I turned the knob and walked outside.

There were several people standing out in the middle of the road. I recognized them as friends and neighbors. They were looking up in the sky, toward the west. As I went to stand beside them and try to figure out what they were doing, I noticed that they were quiet, their attention fixed on the horizon. I turned to look and gasped at what I saw.

There was a black sun in a blood-red sky, surrounded by nasty, roiling clouds colored in a deep shade of red. I looked on, feeling terrified yet fascinated. The clouds drifted lower and lower until they became a rolling mass that rushed toward me and my neighbors. It looked like a huge, impossibly wide “scroll” of cloud that seemed to be crushing and destroying everything in its path. I stood still as it came toward us and I felt my body brace for impact.

The cloud hit me, fire and oily black smoke blasted all around me. I was untouched, not feeling a thing except a mild chill, which was strange considering all the fire. Everyone else standing with me was instantly vaporized. (When I saw the Terminator II movie years later, particularly the scene where the burning woman is clinging to the fence, I was reminded of this dream).

Then, as the smoke cleared I saw that the neighborhood was completely decimated. The only thing left intact was the scorched asphalt street and sidewalk that lay outside what used to be my home. Not knowing what else to do, I walked away down the road, crying and  looking for someone, anyone to ask what had just happened. As I did this, the dream changed.

I was in a new setting, a desert area with lots of high cliffs and canyons. I moved on, and while I walked, the canyon walls grew taller and taller until they loomed thousands of feet over my head. To my left, I sensed a shallow river but couldn’t bring myself to look at it. Instead, I kept my eyes on the ground in front of me and kept walking along the bank. I kept hearing the sounds of people screaming and calling for help, and I knew all of that was coming from the river. Finally, unable to bear it any longer, I turned and looked.

The river was deep red, the color of arterial blood. Things floated in it, passing by as they were caught in the swift current. I focused on them and to my horror I saw badly burned people, dismembered body parts, arms, legs, and heads. One woman reached out a hand to me. She was missing the other half of her body. I tore my eyes away from her and continued walking. After a while, the screams lessened to a distant wail. I looked up at the tops of the cliffs. There were thirteen figures lined up on the right side of the cliff, looking down at me and at all the people in the river. I strained to see them, wondering who they were and why they weren’t doing anything to help the screaming people. Then, without warning, I began to float upward.

As I rose into the air and gained speed, the sound of the river and the screaming dead left far below, I tried to get a good look at the figures standing on the edge of the cliff. When I reached their level, I noticed that they all wore long white robes. Long, dark wings were folded up behind their backs, like birds perched there. I couldn’t see their faces because they wore masks that were nothing but oval-shaped steel, convex like half of a steel egg, inverted. The metal was very shiny, and as I was wondering if the strange masks were made of silver or chrome, the thought filled my mind that the metal was specifically “steel.”

The angelic beings didn’t care about the people suffering and begging for death far down below. They were studying the whole scene with a weird sort of detachment, much like scientists studying insects. They did not seem to notice me at all. The thought then came to me that these beings – these angels with featureless faces of polished steel – had caused all of this. They were fascinated by what they’d done and didn’t regret it in the slightest.

I couldn’t look at them any longer and I felt myself floating up higher and higher above the scene. I felt myself beginning to awaken, so I looked around to see if I could tell where I was. The only things I could make out were the presence of a large lake and a very tall dam that had broken. The lake was emptying out into the canyon and the water became part of the river of the screaming not-quite-dead. I noticed then that I was still crying.

I woke up and scribbled the dream down in my journal, and later translated it into a poem in my red velvet poetry book. That poem is as follows, title and all verbiage as written in November of 1984:

“A Day for Change”

A dark, dark day, the sun rose
A black oblivion in the sky
The sky itself, gold and red
I walked and walked as hell rose
Felt a harsh wind chill my soul
And a shadow covered the land.
Screams deafened my ears
Blood splashed on my feet
I turned and stared at the dark sun
And I saw the warlord
With no mercy for the damned
Smell of death in the air, and such a chill
Blind is the bringer of death
Or was I invisible?
I saw the destruction
yet felt nothing
Walked through the carnage untouched
Until it was all behind me
Above, angels with faces of steel watched silently
A new land lay before me
And finally alone forever, I wept.

Years later, I would go on to visit several places that resembled the area in the last part of this dream. And I believe it is somewhere in Arizona or in the California desert. Later on, as I read the Bible, I noticed several passages talking about images similar to my dream in the book of Revelation, the book of Daniel, Joel and in Matthew.

Joel 2:30-32
“…30“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. 31“The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORDcomes. 32“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.”… []

Matthew 24:29
29Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall fromthe sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ ” []

Isaiah 34:4
“…And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as one withers from the fig tree.”  []

– Jillian


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