Congratulations to Linda Henderson & Estella, winners of Rita Hestand's giveaways!
There are many legends of the dream catcher. The one below is the one I use in my book, Beyond the Dream Catcher. It is one of the oldest legends
Legend of the Dream Catcher from the Chippewa tribe.
A spider was quietly spinning his web in his own spot 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.”—The Legend of the Dreamcatcher.
Other Legends are offered by the Lakota Indians
Long ago when the world was young an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In this vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. 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 onto adulthood. Finally, we go to the 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, make 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.
Regardless of which legend you believe, each legend involves a spider, and originated with the Ojibwa Tribe of the Great Lakes area. And have been passed down for generations to keep the bad dreams away and capture the good ones if hung over the top of the bed.
The Legend of the Dream Catcher is one I use in Beyond the Dream Catcher, and an old Shaman Indian named Burning Tree brought Chase Rivers and Katherine Hightower together through dreams that went Beyond the Dream Catcher. I hope you'll check it out.
For your pleasure I've enclosed a poem from the Chippewas.
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
Two lucky winners will win a copy of Beyond the Dreamcatcher. Please leave an email in your comment so Rita can contact you when you win!
~ Rita Hestand