In the Anishnabe history there was a time when their people were being tormented with nightmares. The elders, along with the medicine people worked diligently to solve this problem but not one of them had made any procress against the nightmareish dreams. Then a counsil of the people was called, and it was during this council that one elder had a vision of good dreams being aloud to pass through the dream catcher while the nightmares could not. The then started to work fashioning these dream catchers in a manner that was prescribed in the vision of the elder.When the people started using them, then the nightmares seemed to go away. The dream catcher was hung above the bed in a place where the first mornings rays would hit it. It is the nature of the dream catcher to attract all kinds of dreams to its web. As the nightmare enter the web they do not know the way through the web so they get cought in it and perish at dawns first light. When the good dreams reach the webbibg of the dreamcatcher they know the way through the web, and they will go through the center, and then slide down the feather into the dreamers head. What is beleived is that only the bad dreams that are malicous or unimportant will be cought by the dreamcatcher, however some dreams that appear to be bad might contain very important visions or messages for the dreamer and these type dreams will also found their way down the feather and into the dreamer.
Long ago when the world was young,an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and he had a vision. In his vision,Iktomi,the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to in a sacred language of the Lakota could understand. As he spoke Iktomi,the spider,took the elder's willow hoop which had feathers,horse hair,beads and offerings on it and began to spin a web. He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life... and how we began our lives as infants ,to childhood,and than 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 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 will hurt you and steer you in the wrong direction. He continued,"There are many forces and diferent directions that can help or interfer with the harmony of nature,and also with the great spirit and and all of his wonderful teachings. All the while the spider spoke,he continued to weave his web starting from the outside and working towards the center. When Iktomi finished speaking,he gave the Lakota elder the web and said..."See, the web is a perfect circle but there is a whole in the center of the circle." He said use the web to protect yourself and your poeple to reach your goals and make good of your peoples ideads,dreams and visions. "If you believe in the great spirit,the web will catch your good ideas--and the bad will go in the hole.The Lakota elder passed on his vision to his people and now the Sioux Indians use the dream catcher as a web of their life. It is hung above their beds or in their home to sift their dreams and visions. The good in their dreams are captured in the web of life and carried with them... but the evil in their dreams escapes through the hole in the center of the web and are no longer a part of them.They also believe that the dream catcher holds the destiny of their future. I am part Siox Indian,I have visions and vivid psychic dreams,I too have a dream catcher above my bed.I also use it when I medatate to Native American music.
Dream Catcher Purpose and Application
It is traditional that a feather be put into the center of the dream catcher as it means breath, or air, and it is essential for life. The babies watching the feather would be entertained while the received a lesson on the importance of good air. The lesson comes in the way that the feather of an owl is the keeper for wisdom and is also the womans feather, and the eagle feather is for courage and is the mans feather. It is not to say that each feather is restricted to a spacific gender. The feathers are used for the awareness of the gender properties she or he is invoking. The Native American people are in general very spacific about gender roles and identity. Using gem stones in the dream catchers is something that is done today in the dreamcatchers that we see for sale. This was not done by the old ones. Government laws prohibit the sale of feathers from sacred birds, so four gems stones is used to represent the four directions, and the stones used by the western nations were substituted by us. The adult dream catchers do not use feathers.
A Dream Catcher Blessing
This dream catcher creation, thats made out of love. Is hung in the air, so pure like the dove. Im asking for blessings, from the divine that is near. And all four dirrections, that are held within me so dear. Please bless this dream catcher, and show it the way. To allow all the good things, flow through if they may. Spirit of the east, with your newness of birth. Spirit of the north, with your strength from the earth. Spirit of the south, with the energies of fire. Spirit of the west, with your passonate desire. To the Goddess and God, the creaters of me. Please bless this dream catcher, so mote it be.