Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Dream Catcher

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.The
Chief Seattle

The above arrived for me at work yesterday. It was such a wonderful and rather unexpected surprise.  The gift came from a co-worker who moved onto a better position during the summer.  It   was her way of thanking me for the help I gave her when she had been suffering from some rather disturbing dreams. Nightmares were seriously plaguing her to the point that she was looking drawn and sickly.  After working through the dreams, I advised her to get a Dream Catcher and told her the story of how they came to be. She not only remembered, but she also remembered my love of nature and the Moon and included them in her gift as well. It's lovely, isn't it?  And maybe it might be totally psychological, but I slept better last night than I have in a long time. Below is a closeup...

According to the legend, Native Americans believe that the night is filled with good and bad dreams. It is said that, when one hangs a 

Dream Catcher above the place where they sleep, it moves freely in the night air and catches the dreams as they drift by. The good dreams pass through the center hole to the sleeping person. while the bad dreams, not knowing the way, are caught and trapped in the Dream Catchers where they destroyed at the first light of the morning sun. 

There are many variations on the legend of the Dream Catcher, but the Ojibwa are credited as the first people to use Dream Catchers, so I will relate the following...

"Long ago in the ancient world of the Ojibwe Nation, the Clans were all located in one general area of that place known as Turtle Island. This is the way that the old Ojibwe storytellers say how Asibikaashi (Spider Woman) help Wanabozhoo bring the Sun back to people. To this day, Asibikaashi will build her special lodge before dawn. If you are awake at dawn, as you should be, look for her lodge and you will see this miracle of how she captured the sunrise as the light sparkles on the dew which is gathered there.

Asibikaashi took care of her children, the people of the land, and she continues to do so to this day. When the Ojibwe Nation dispersed to the four corners of North America, to fill a prophecy, Asibikaashi had a difficult time making her journey to all those cradle boards, so the mothers, sisters, and Nokomis (grandmothers) took up the practice of weaving the magical webs for the new babies using willow hoops and sinew or cordage made from plants. 

The shape of a circle represents how Giizis travels across the sky. The dream catcher filters out all the bad ba-we-dji-ge-win (dreams) and allow only good thoughts to enter into our minds when we are abinooji (asleep). A small hole in the center of the dream catcher is where those good bawadjige may come through. With the first rays of sunlight, the bad dreams would perish. 

When we see little Asibikaashi, we should not fear her but instead respect and protect her. In honor of there origin, the number of points where the web connected to the hoop numbered 8 for Spider Woman's eight legs or 7 for the Seven Prophecies." 

It is traditional to place a feather in the center of the dream catcher; it means breath, or air. It is essential for life. In the cradle board, a baby watched the air play with the feather and was happy being fascinated with the blowing feather. Dream catchers used by adults do not use feathers in the center. The feather of the owl, keeper of wisdom, was kept by the woman. The feather of the eagle, keeper of courage, was kept by the man. 

Hanging by the window,
the dream catcher waits,
to catch me a dream, that's hopefully great.

Quiet and still, it waits in the night,
to catch a dream, traveling in flight.

Its web is of leather, its feathers light,
the magic it works, carries great height.

Will it bring me a lover, a funny story or song?
or, will it bring nightmares
where everything goes wrong...

The time is now near, for me to lie down
and wait for a dream that's happy and sound.

Dream catcher, dream catcher,
caution you please,
my heart is now calm, my mind is at ease

Go in the night and find what you will,
catch me a dream
that's meaningful and still.



  1. I have a dreamcatcher that I love. I never knew the full story and myths behind it. Thank you Mary, love your new dreamcatcher.

  2. What a fabulous, meaningful gift! It is a very lovely dreamcatcher!! I have one too, and really love it. It works beautifully.

  3. Good morning your last few posts as well as this one....look like you have had a fine holiday. Good for you.

    I found this post about dream catchers interesting....I don't seem to dream much...or maybe I do....but just can't remember....It was a nice gift your coworker left you.



  4. Beautiful post! When I first met my husband he made me a dream catcher. I still have it!

  5. What an interesting post! I never really knew the real meaning of dream catchers , with the weird dreams I have at times (and they are very vivid in my mind for ages) maybe I should be on the lookout for one, I love this blog.