Natural Dreamwork with Mary Jo

dreams and dowsing

When my husband, Joe, and I bought land in Colorado back in the 80’s we found a respected local fellow to dig our well. As we all drove out to the property, our well guy stopped alongside a nearby creek, got out of his truck, waded through a stand of willows…and emerged with a forked willow branch. Joe said, “I wonder what he’s doing?”  I said, “If it’s what I think it is this is about to get very interesting.”


When we arrived at the property, we suggested to him where we’d like the well. He smiled and kindly said, “Well, first we have to find where the water is.” He then proceeded to walk an imaginary grid with the point of the willow stick held up
…yes, he was dowsing for water, also known as divining.


After a few minutes the branch point dropped decidedly towards the ground and he said, “Here’s the water.”  We were about to spend a lot of money digging a well based on this guy’s willow branch. It wouldn’t be the first time we went with our intuition, a gut feeling that this was a trustworthy moment.  A few days later, the well crew hit beautiful water…ancient mountain water. The dowser, trusting the wisdom of the willow, found the deep well.


Working with our dreams is like dowsing.  Water in our dreams is really important as it is a feeling place. Sometimes it comes as a leaky roof or broken water pipe…sometimes a manmade structure like a swimming pool…all these ways we may or may not want to be in our feelings. And sometimes the water comes as deep as an ocean…awesome and even frightening as it invites us to share in its depths…an invitation to experience our own deep well of feeling.


When I explore a dream with a dreamer, I feel as if I, too, am a dowser, walking through the dream with my willow branch of deep listening, curiosity and heart. On the surface of the dream it may seem that there is no water in sight…no apparent feeling…and so I encourage the dreamer to walk even deeper into the dream moment…to stay…to take another breath here…trusting that like the willow branch, our intuitive felt sense of the dream will help us know when we are nearing an image in the dream that carries a potent feeling and we can then explore together its watery depths.

(Image by Radyastezi)


Mary Jo Heyen is a certified Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or video conference. Learn more about her work with dreams at