Jack Maguire

"By common agreement, the father of the dreamwork movement is Henry Reed,

now a licensed professional counselor in Virginia Beach, Virginia.* Reed first became interested in dreams during the late 1960s, while he was working toward his doctorate at U.C.L.A. and studying dream psychology. At that time, he was also wrestling with alcoholism. When all of his other sobriety campaigns failed, he had a series of graphic dreams that did the trick -- notably one revolting nightmare that associated wine with pus oozing from open sores.

So impressed was Reed by the curative power of his dreams that he formed a new life ambition: to free dreamwork from the separate ghettos of psychiatric therapy and occult practice and to return it to the dreamers themselves. Asked to describe his role as one of the early architects of popular dreamwork, he modestly claims, "All I did really was bring up-to-date a tradition that is long-standing, especially among American Indians."

In keeping with his neo-shamanic philosophy, Reed derived his idea for fostering lay-led dream groups from a dream--one that had a spellbinding way of linking dreamwork experiences old and new, amateur and professional. As the dream began, Reed and some of his psychologist colleagues were stumbling around in the dark. Eventually, they started moving their bodies in rhythmic, almost ceremonial ways, and the dreamscape burst into the light and color. He memorialized this dream in the title of a magazine he published during the late 1970s, Sundance: The Community Dream Journal, which functioned as a pioneer medium for inspiring dreamers across the country to exchange their dreams with one another. As he explains his mission: "I was trying to create an alternative scientific community that anyone could participate in by virtue of his or her being a dreamer, because in effect every dreamer is a researcher, and every dream is an experiment in consciousness."

Since the days of Sundance: The Community Dream Journal, the dreamwork movement has affected the waking and dreaming lives of millions of Americans."


From Jack Maguire, Night and Day: Use the Power of Your Dreams to Transform Your Life. Simon & Schuster, 1989


*Since this was published, Henry has moved to Mouth of Wilson, Virginia


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