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Legend of the Dreamcatchers
I was doing some reading about Dreamcatchers
and found some really nice stories that I thought I'd share
LEGEND OF THE DREAMCATCHER
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 that only the spiritual
leaders of the Lakota could understand.
As he spoke Iktomi, the spider, took
the elders willow hoop which had feathers, horse hairs, 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 and we move on
to childhood, and then to adulthood. Finally, we go to old age
where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle.
Iktomi said, "In each time
of life there are many forces and different directions that
can help or interfere with the harmony of nature, and also with
the great spirit and all of his wonderful teachings."
Iktomi gave the web to the Lakota
elder and said, "See, the web is a perfect circle but there
is a hole in the center of the circle. If you believe in the
great spirit, the web will catch your good dreams and ideas
- - and the bad ones will go through the hole.
Use the web to help yourself and
your people to reach your goals and make good use of your people's
ideas, dreams and visions." The Lakota elder passed on
his vision to his people and now the Lakota's use the dreamcatcher
as the web of their life. It is hung above their beds or in
their home to sift their dreams and visions. The good of their
dreams is captured in the web of life and carried with them...but
the evil in their dreams escapes through the center hole, and
are no longer part of them.
* "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
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."
* An ancient Chippewa tradition
The dream net has been made For many
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
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