The 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. 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

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.

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