The Newcomer's Guide to the Invisible Realm:
A Journey Through Dreams, Metaphor, and Imagination

by Laura K. Deal, Ph.D.

First Church of Metaphor, 2013. ISBN 978-0-615-84738-2.
Reviewed by Donna Van Straten Remmert
Posted on 10/20/2013

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Laura K. Deal, Ph.D., the author of the just released book titled The Newcomer's Guide to the Invisible Realm: a Journey Through Dreams, Metaphor, and Imagination, is a wise woman and a wordsmith. She is also a writing teacher and a certified Dream Work Facilitator through the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work, trained by Dr. Jeremy Taylor, co-founder and past president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

I've witnessed Dr. Deal's wisdom at dream retreats conducted by Jeremy Taylor and Billie Ortiz. Ortiz has aptly referred to her as a "warrior of the unseen world." Deal's book is an example of the projective style of working with dreams that I most respect. At her retreats, participants comment on possible dream meanings as if the dream had been their dream. In other words, everyone projects his or her own inner issues and life experiences onto the dream and the dreamer can decide if the projection fits. When it does, the dreamer has what is called an Aha! moment of understanding at least one layer of possible meanings for the dream.

Deal uses this projective dream interpretation style in her book, willingly sacrificing her own privacy in order to illustrate the technique. Her book also shows, in a simple way that's easily understood by newcomers to this realm of thinking, how this same process of projection explains the mystical phenomena belonging to the Tarot, I Ching, Astrology, Clairvoyance, and oracles of various kinds. She stresses the richness and depth of meaning that our lives can have when we are open to these experiences and understand them metaphorically or symbolically.

In the opening chapter of The Newcomer's Guide to the Invisible Realm, Deal explains that she grew up in a family of mathematicians deeply rooted in the rationalist viewpoint in modern Western culture. "I enjoy the fruits of our greater rational understanding and clever inventions every day, and I don't reject the rationalist, materialist, scientific viewpoint... But there hasn't been enough research on the powers of the mind to widen that viewpoint to include intuition and telepathy and the meanings of dreams."

I agree. I loved reading this book because Deal authentically presents her views, illustrates them by using her own life experiences, and doesn't disparage other slants on life different from her own.

Laura K. Deal, Ph.D., is a writer, teacher, and dream reader. She's certified as a Dream Work Facilitator through the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work and has taught writing classes for ten years. You can find her at First Church of Metaphor or The Wild Writers.

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