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Confessions of a Veteran of the Dream Quest

Noreen Wessling

Member of the Association for the Study of Dreams

So what's it like to spend a month doing Henry Reed's Dream Realizations / Dream Solutions: The Dream Quest Guide Book for Gaining Intuitive Guidance from Dreams?


For me, it's akin to being stranded in a semi-dark magic labyrinth with Sherlock Holmes, his cleaning lady and a thick guide book left by a Jungian elf.

The process cajoles me to clean up my act and unravel a mystery or two, then voila! I see the light. Again and again this cycle repeats over the four weeks of intensive spiraling towards greater understanding. This is filled with the sweat of hard work and the fun of the quest.

Dreams Realizations is not for namby-pamby dreamers or those who want instant results to their question. You have to work persistently and keep applying what you learn, but that's the secret of its success.

I should know. I've done six of them in the last few years. Each was unique in what it gave me and helpful in a way that sparked me to USE the insights.

A typical session has me plunked down in front of my trusty word processor, geared up for the four hour session I know to be necessary. My previous week's dreams are eagerly waiting to be entered and creatively played with...following the directions in the workbook.

I find it best to come to each session with no preconceptions and a sense of innocence about where all this may take me. This is especially true of the "Inspirational Writing," where you just let it all hang out and fly with your fantasies.

Each session usually goes great till about the third hour, by which time I'm bone-weary. I want to go to bed. I ask myself, "Isn't it time to clean out the dog bowl?" or "Better go to the bathroom (again)" and ultimately, "Gadzooks, why am I doing this to myself when I could be watching Johnny Carson?"

But like a good dream-trooper, I take a stretch break then doggedly persist, with the knowledge that somewhere in that last hour I will have some of the most helpful breakthroughs. And no wonder! My defenses have already brushed their teeth and gone to bed, leaving the rest of me open to what I really need to hear. I suspect this is part of the plan of how the workbook is set up to do its magic.

Now about this does it work and why does it work? I see it as a remarkable method for enticing my "intuitive knowing" to the surface where I can DO something with it, and therefore feel better about myself.

Each of the four weekly sessions is an adventure unto itself, although obviously connected with what came before. Initially, the most potent, image-exciting dream aspects are drawn out and experienced from various perspectives, in order to see the uppermost concerns of the dream and how this might coincide with waking-life concerns and questions.

From this, I come up with my "Best Guess" solution to my quest and take some ACTION every day till the next session, based on what I've just learned.

I find this action part a bit tough to follow sometimes, and have been known to say such rationalizing things as, "Henry's full of it...he's an action-nut...I've got better things to do." Then I pull myself up by the old bootstraps again and do enough of it apparently, because I DO get results.

The second session is geared at flushing out mistaken notions, if there are any, from the first session. One of my favorite techniques is called "Personal Symbol Translation," where I write out spontaneous thoughts on what each symbol means to me, then rewrite the dream by inserting these sentences in place of the original symbols.

This technique always astounds me. The final version is as if written by another person (or at least my Higher Self) and has layers of insights not visible to me at the start. This process, which incorporates Inspirational Writing, manages to bypass the logical mind and zoom right into the intuitive mind where our truest answers lie.

Now these latest threads of understanding are woven in with the previous thoughts and a new "Best Guess" on how to solve the quest (although the initial quest may have also changed by this point) is born and hopefully acted upon during the coming week.

The third week's session is what I consider the climax. My favorite week! This is where things start coming together for me and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the "Searching with New Eyes"  week, and there's lots of dialogue with enticing dream images. Yes, you talk to people and things in your dream as if they were real (aren't they?!) and let them give you some answers.

It's also time to relive a peak experience--a time where I felt wonderful-- and see what relevancy this has now. I contemplate on how others will be affected by the fulfillment of my quest, then I put all this together and see if it suggests new ways to deal with my problem. It usually does, and up comes the Best Guess for the final week.

The end is in sight (insight). "Taking Stock" is the key for the fourth week. After reviewing and evaluating everything so far, I have a chat with a "Wisdom Source" within me who is now quite eager to be known. This is the final zinger for me and the last pieces of the present puzzle fall beautifully into place.

It's fun to celebrate all this good stuff by writing a poem or doing a painting (or something else tangible) based on the essence of what has been discovered. Stick this on the fridge or someplace where you can see it often. It has power. It shows me just how much creative intelligence I have inside myself, just waiting to be recognized and used. That's the best part of the Dream Realizations experience and why I have gone on this 28-day Dream Quest so many times. I hope you too enjoy your quest and realize your dreams!

A decade or so has passed since writing up my Dream Quest experiences for Henry and from this perspective it's easier than ever to see how my dreams have inspired and profoundly guided my life. They remain my very best Inner Friends.

The dream work/play I have enjoyed and sweated through with Henry lo those many years is paying off big time now. Dream Questing vigorously primed my dream pump and the results excite me no end.

For example, a couple of years ago I designed and self-published my own Dream Treasure Cards (DTC). A dream which I titled, Gearing Up, prompted this adventure. My friend, Joanne, from our Juicy Dreamers group asked me, with a glint in her eye, “OK, Noreen, what are you gearing up for? Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “To write my own dream book of course.”

Let it be known that Henry has taught me well to take some action on important dreams, to honor them. Excitement coursed through me as I planned a week retreat to work on my dream book, only to find by the second day that I bogged down and felt overwhelmed by the continued prospect of digging through my 18 voluminous journals of recorded dreams for ideas. So I stopped everything. I meditated and soon an inner voice quietly suggested, “Make dream cards from your favorite dream art.” WOW! I felt energy surge through my body with every cell singing, “Yes, yes, yes!”

By the end of that retreat week I had finished 10 colorful dream cards. By the end of the summer I'd completed the whole deck of 50 cards. This was such a labor of love that I hardly remember the immense amount of work it took to do this. From the beginning, my intention was solely to create these cards for myself … after all, I reasoned, who else would give a rat's pitootie about my dream images. Surprise! As I showed these cards to a few of my friends and students, it became obvious something in these dream card images resonated with some other people. This delighted me.

Sparked by this interest, the latent entrepreneur in me eagerly sprang into action. Dream Treasure Cards were now for sale. I hand-sewed little pouches for each set of cards and included a little Traveler's Guide booklet. The most fulfilling aspect of this whole adventure is the continued feedback I receive from ‘happy customers,' telling me of the value, fun and guidance they experience from their cards. Nothing could please me more.

If you would like to know more about the making of DTC, the stories behind some of these dream cards, and receive encouragement towards making your own cards, visit my website at
Dream Network
In the wake of the success of DTC and requests from people about how they could make their own cards, I self-published another book in 2000, The Tao of Card-Making … Creative Ways of Sharing Inner Visions” This book spotlights the unique card-making experiences of 8 people and how this experience enhanced their lives.

Lest you think I gave up on the idea of writing my dream book ­ the initial suggestion from my Gearing Up dream.  Not so! The first draft is nearly completed on my next self-published book, Drawing Out Your Dreaming Soul … The Dreams from Whence Came the Dream Treasure Cards.

Now I understand why I was guided to create the cards first ­ to give me a focus for this forth-coming dream book. I have the photo for the book cover all ready. It's one of my favorite dream cards, The Magician of Dreams. So, I say, let the magic continue.

 Your Dream Quest, Personally Mentored by Dr. Henry Reed, is available through the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies.

To learn more about the Mentored Dream Quest

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