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The legend of the Dreamcatcher

 

 

THE LEGEND OF THE DREAMCATCHER.

 

"A spider was quietly spinning his web in his own space. It was beside the sleeping space of Nokomis, the grandmother.

Each day, Nokomis watched the spider at work, quietly spinning away. One day as she was watching him, her grandson came in. "Nokomis-iya!" he shouted, glancing at the spider. He stomped over to the spider, picked up a shoe and went to hit it.

"No-keegwa," the old lady whispered, "don't hurt him." "Nokomis, why do you protect the spider?" asked the little boy.

The old lady smiled, but did not answer. When the boy left, the spider went to the old woman and thanked her for saving his life. He said to her, "For many days you have watched me spin and weave my web. You have admired my work. In return for saving my life, I will give you a gift." He smiled his special spider smile and moved away, spinning as he went. Soon the moon glistened on a magical silvery web moving gently in the window. "See how I spin?" he said. "See and learn, for each web will snare bad dreams. Only good dreams will go through the small hole. This is my gift to you. Use it so that only good dreams will be remembered. The bad dreams will become hopelessly entangled in the web."

- Author Unknown

 


 

ANOTHER LEGEND OF THE DREAMCATCHER (The LAKOTA legend)

 

Long ago when the world was young, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language. As he spoke, Iktomi the spider picked up the elder's willow hoop which had feathers, horsehair, beads and offerings on it, and began to spin a web.

He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life; how we begin our lives as infants, move on through childhood and on to adulthood. Finally we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle. "But", Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, "in each time of life there are many forces; some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they'll steer you in the wrong direction and may hurt you. So these forces can help, or can interfere with the harmony of Nature. While the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web.

When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the elder the web and said, "The web is a perfect circle with a hole in the center. Use the web to help your people reach their goals, making good use of their ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the great spirit, the web will catch your good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole." The elder passed on his vision to the people and now many Indian people hang a dream catcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. The good is captured in the web of life and carried with the people, but the evil in their dreams drops through the hole in the center of the web and are no longer a part of their lives. It's said that the dream catcher holds the destiny of the future.

- Author Unknown

 


 

THE OJIBWE TRIBE LEGEND

 

Long ago in the anciet 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) helped Wanabozhoo bring giizis (sun) back to the 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. It is in shape of a circle to represent how giizis travels each day across the sky. The dreamcatcher will filter out all the bad bawedjigewin (dreams) and allow only good thoughts to enter into our minds when we are just abinooji. You will see a small hole in the center of each dream catchers 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.

 


 

THE DREAMCATCHER

 

For hundreds of generations, certain elements of Native American peoples' spiritualism have been, and continue to be, handed down. One of these elements was the hoop. Some Native Americans of North America held the hoop in the highest esteem, because it symbolized strength and unity.

A lot of symbols evolved around the hoop, and one of these was the Dreamcatcher.

Using a hoop of willow, traditionally, and decorating it with findings, bits and pieces of everyday life, it is believed to have the power to catch all of a person's dreams, filtering out the bad ones, letting only the good dreams pass through.

May they also work for you...

 


 

AN ANCIENT CHIPPEWA TRADITION

 

The dream net has been made
For many generations
Where spirit dreams have played.
Hung above the cradle board,
Or in the lodge up high,
The dream net catches bad dreams,
While good dreams slip on by.
Bad dreams become entangled
Among the sinew thread.
Good dreams slip through the center hole,
While you dream upon your bed.
This is an ancient legend,
Since dreams will never cease,
Hang this dream net above your bed,
Dream on, and be at peace.

~Author Unknown~

 


 

THE DREAMCATCHER LORE

 

The Indians believe that the night air is filled with dreams both good and bad. The dreamcatcher when hung in your place of rest, swinging freely with the air, catches the dreams as they flow by. The good dreams know the way, slipping through the outer holes and slide down the soft feathers so gently that many times the sleeper does not know that he/she is dreaming. The bad dreams not knowing the way, get tangled in the web and perish with the first light of the new day.

 


 

BEYOND

 

Sleep well sweet child
Don't worry your head.
Your Dream Catcher is humming
Above your bed

Listen so softly
I know you can hear.
The tone of beyond
Close to your ear

Love is alive
And living in you.
Beyond all your troubles
Where good dreams are true

~By Toni~

 


 

ANOTHER LEGEND OF THE DREAMCATCHER

 

Dreams were sought by the Indians, since they valued visions to be very sacred. The Old Ones tell that dreams do hold great power and drift about at night before coming to the sleeping ones. To keep the dreamer safe, the Old Ones created a special web, the Dreamcatcher, to hang above their sleeping places. The ancient story told by the Native Indians is that the Dreamcatcher's hoop, with the intricate webbing at it's center, ensures a sleep undisturbed by bad dreams. The good dreams would take the path of the web with great ease to its center and would float gently down the trail of beads, and like the feather, drift down into the minds of the sleepers below. The bad dreams would struggle with the web and always become entangled. The night would pass on, leaving them to perish in the rays of the new day sun. Hang one near you, and pleasant dreams!

"Gaa wiin daa-aangoshkigaazo ahaw enaabiyaan gaa-inaabid."

[Translated: "You can not destroy one who has dreamed a dream like mine."]

 


 

'LEGEND OF THE DREAMCATCHER'

 

The Dream Catcher was originally made by tribes such as the Ojibwa (aka: Ojibwe, Ojibway and Chippewa), from a hoop of bent willow with a webbing of sinew. The Native Americans sometimes carried them in dances and ceremonies. Hung from a baby's cradleboard or near the sleeping area in the lodge, it was believed to sort dreams. The bad dreams were caught in the web and , while the good dreams flowed through to the dreamer. The wise Natives of the plains knew that dreams hold much meaning. The night air would bring the dreams to their people, both good and bad. So a web was woven of sinew, supple wood, beads and a feather, to catch the dreams as they drifted past.

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