|Dream Catcher Heritage Collection
of the Seventh Fire
by White Eagle Soaring
I am White Eagle Soaring, bridging the worlds of spirit and science. I am teacher and learner, of European descent and Native American. I didn't choose dream catchers. Dream catchers chose me. I didn't plan to leave my comfortable job in the public schools. I didn't plan to listen to the sissagwad, the soft wind of spirit in the trees. I didn't plan to weave dream catchers and tell their stories. Instead dream catchers wove me, changing a skeptic into a shaman, showing me a path of power and wonder that I couldn't have imagined. I certainly didn't choose to be homeless for over 6 years and travel throughout the USA and then across the Atlantic. I was told to bring these dream catchers to the place where the pebble of mind was dropped into the pond. The ripples of this way of being has caused great destruction of many great cultures vested deeply in their path of spirit. And it continues today. Even many "Indians" have adopted this way of mind. These dream catchers are manidoog', gifts directly from spirit. See with eyes of spirit, listen with your heart.
Dream catchers are not just things, works of art, a beautiful craft of a forgotten people. They are teachers of natural wisdom. They were originally intended for more than ornamentation. Hear now the whispers of the Original Instructions and the wisdom of the Seventh Fire. Now is a pivotal time on Mother Earth. Some are ready to make the quantum leap to the next level of human evolution. It is to those people that these dream catchers speak, the new people described as the Osh-ki-bi- mah-di-zig lead by those spirit warriors, the Ogi-chi-daag' . By the light of the Seventh Fire come those who will use their power and strength with gentleness and wisdom on the path of the heart that leads them inward to their True Being.
The night air is filled with dreams. Since ancient times Ojibwe people have woven dream catchers of twigs, sinew, and feathers. It was woven by the grandfathers and grandmothers for newborn children and hung above the cradleboard to give the infants peaceful, beautiful dreams. Good dreams are clear and know the way to the dreamer, descending through the feathers. The slightest movement of the feathers indicated the passage of yet another beautiful dream. Bad dreams, however, are confused and confusing. They cannot find their way through the web and are trapped there until the sun rises and evaporates them like the morning dew.
At the beginning of the last century, Frances Densmore conducted a careful and extensive study of the culture of the Ojibwe (also known as Chippewa) living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. The information can be found in the book, Chippewa Customs, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul) in 1979. She describes articles looking like spider webs that were usually hung from the hoop of a child's cradle board. She said that 'they catch and hold everything evil as a spider's web catches and holds everything that comes into contact with it'. These 'dream catchers' were wooden hoops with a 3 1/2 in. diameter, woven with a web made of nettle-stalk fiber that was dyed red with the red sap of the root of bloodroot or the inner bark of the wild plum tree. A facsimile of this traditional dream catcher can be seen at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation in central Minnesota. The spider web dream catcher shown at the right is very similar to the original dream catcher that has been a tradition for a very long time. My dream catchers can be found in the museum store at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and at stores, museums and galleries from San Diego and Seattle to Vienna and Berlin. You can see that list by clicking on Links.
Spider Web $20
His head filled with the magic and wonder of the spiral web of Spider, Eagle Dreamer gathered the materials Spider had demanded. Weeks later he stood before the spider web in the roof of his lodge and prayed to Spider to teach him how to weave. From the shadows came the voice of Spider.
"You have done well, Eagle Dreamer. Since you cannot make thread sticky as I do, I will show you a human way to weave the Dream Spiral. After you have tied the twig ends together, make six loops around the hoop so that the seven points honor the Seven Powers - the Four Directions, Mother Earth below, Father Sky above, and the Great Mystery within."
The Spider showed Eagle Dreamer how to weave the Dream Spiral and then, "After you have finished the weaving, thread a stone bead into the center. This remembers the Creator at the center of Creation. Then tie feathers to the thread that remains so that good dreams will know the way to the Dreamer. Bad dreams will be lost in the weaving, there to perish by the first light of day. They will evaporate like drops of morning dew. Hang this where you sleep. Even the little infants in the cradleboard should have one of these Dream Spirals to catch dreams. And as they see it before them they will know the wisdom of the Spiral and the Web of Life. Then your people will always see the beauty that hides behind each moment and know the pathway that leads to the One. "
The common dream catcher weave seen today is the traditional weave used for other articles, most commonly the hoop for the hoop and stick game of many tribes. Woven with strong rawhide with a hole in the center. The children would roll the hoop along the ground and another would try to throw a wooden spear through the hole in the center. Stories of the dream catcher legend that describe the dreams going through a center hole are of recent origin. The original dream catcher had a very tiny hole in the center and the legend describes ALL dreams being caught in the weaving.
Power of the Circle $20
The circle represents the unbroken wholeness from which we draw our power and strength. It is our Source of Being. Everything is in the circle. Within the circle the traditional people follow their ancient ways of connection to each other and to Mother Earth. At the center of All That Is the Creator weaves the Web of Life, spiraling from the known into the unknown. Energy manifests as matter as it follows the path of the spiral and then matter disappears as it leaves the spiral of life to become energy once again. Four orders of being--the rocks, water, and air; the trees, grasses, and flowers; the four-legged, winged, swimmers, and the crawlers; and the two-legged creatures, the humans--are interdependent on each other and are one in the essential foundation of the universe. All beings are woven together in the matrix of All That Is.
For many years, only Ojibwe people made dream catchers as each tribe made only its original crafts. In the mid 70ís, dream catcher earrings became popular and many people of other tribes began to make dream catchers. Not knowing how to weave the spider web or not wanting to take the extra time needed they chose the mid-point weaving style of the hoop and stick instead of the end-point weave of the ancient spider web. Many people, not knowing the significance of the twig or not being able to find the beautiful red willow of the northern woodlands, began to use metal rings wound with leather or string. The thread of tradition was lost.
We always use natural twigs, primarily the red willow of tradition, but also golden, slender, and weeping willow, red-twig and gold-twig dogwood. When in the Southwest, from Pueblo, Colorado to Tucson, Arizona I used the tamarisk that grows lavishly along the waddies. In California I have made fascinating dream catchers from the wildly branching, cinnamon-colored branches of the manzanita. In Austria, I found a lot of a dogwood species called hartriegel in German. There is no reason to use metal rings wound with leather. The lively energy of our plant relatives is far better than the manufactured and tortured metal from mine and factory. Suitable plants can be found in almost all regions. Be aware and listen with your heart. You will hear the sissagwad, the soft wind of spirit.
Mother Earth Earrings $42
Wood twigs represent the plants, feathers the animals, and stones represent the mountains and hills. The materals are reminders of Mother Earth and our creativity is a gift of Father Sky. We are the playful yet respectful connection between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
To help fulfill the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire, Geedjee Manidoo has given me 24 new designs, each with a special story to help us remember the Original Instructions we were given. I tell their stories. You can see the other 20 dream catchers by going to the Dream Catcher Gallery links above or to room 1 of the Dream Catcher Gallery by clicking on the icon at the right. Don't miss the double spirals in room 5 or the butterfly and the marriage dream catcher in room 4. Be sure to check out the new, improved web site at www.real-dream-catchers.com/. M'gwech.
Bawaudjigayaun wayondjee manitoowiyaun. (To dreams I owe the mystery.)
allen aslan heart ( aka White Eagle Soaring)
All rights reserved. Copyright 2001, Allen Aslan Heart
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White Eagle Soaring
211 Aries Lane
Cave Junction, OR 97523
(928) 833-3207 fax
|M'gwech is Ojibwe meaning "thank you."|
|Geedjee Manidoo is Ojibwe for the "Great Spirit." It can be spelled several similar ways. Ojibwe is essentially a phonetic language.|
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