Posted by jael on May 29, 2011 in Spiritual Journey

The origin myth of the dream catcher captured my imagination over the weekend.

It is said that in the beginning of times when our earth was but an infant, an ancient Lakota priest was on a mountain top and had a vision. In this revelation, Iktomi, the great teacher of wisdom and trickster, appeared in the form of a spider. The spider, Iktomi, wove a web from the priest’s willow hoop that was adorned with offerings:  beads, feathers, and horsehair. As Iktomi the spider spun, he told the priest about the cycles of life. Iktomi explained that we each begin our lives as babies, move on through childhood and then mature in adulthood. Iktomi observed that as we advance in age we cycle back to the position that we need to be taken care like newborns once again, thus completing the cycle.

Iktomi also taught the priest as he spun 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.”

As he finished speaking, Iktomi completed his web and gave it to the priest 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 priest shared his vision with his people.  Into modern day,  many tribal people hang a dream catcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. Legend says that the good is stored in the web of life and carried with the people, but the evil in drops through the hole in the center of the web.

This idea that the web sifts the contents of dreams and visions resonates with me as I work toward the goal of responsible thoughts.

Much like the legend of a dreamcatcher, I want to discipline my thoughts so that when I perceive an unfair thought, unkind observation, or negative stream of ideas, I identify it quickly and eject it from my mind.

As I try to become more responsible in relationship with My Father and my community, I seek to be clean with my words. This is something of an anathema to me as I am the same girl who formally thought of the F-word as a conversational lubricant and versatile grammarian as it readily enacts every part of speech.

My intention to become more Faithful with my words cycle back to my thoughts. Much like Iktomi the spider observed to the preist, there are developmental stages to maturity. It has been easier for me to stop saying swear words than to extinct the thinking of them. Yes, there is victory in shutting up, but if I can map my mind to reject negative thoughts, words and ideas, they are less likely to pop out of my mouth like corn in emotinally charged sitiations. Sadly, my children can attest this is a growth need of mine.

The image of a dreamcatcher lends me a visual to weave in my mind as I try to corral my thoughts. I want to dwell upon Good and maximize the people around me. In order to really be able to do this, I must surrender not just my heart to the Face of Love, but my mind as well.

It would seem that there are many layers to this Call of submission.

Like an onion, I will peel away layer after layer, until my tears and its potency bid me stop.

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah


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