About 8 months ago, I decided to build a dreamcatcher because I needed something to catch an old dream. I’ve had an addictive dream of a past lover that eventually became a destructive love nightmare for 6 years. His presence haunting my unconscious. Then, separately, I entered a magically energized moment in my life, full of possibility and momentum — which made the timeliness of building a dreamcatcher more pronounced. This is because dreamcatchers both catch negative dreams and allow positive dreams pass. Positivity, it’s said, knows how to navigate the web and eventually passes through the catcher and into the mind of the dreamer through droplets released by the ends of each feather. In my life, I’m in a powerful moment between haunted and moved. Now is the time for my dreamcatcher.
What else is a dreamcatcher? Dreamcatchers are filled with symbolism and intention. The circle shape represents unity bringing together night and day; conscious and unconscious, and positive and negative. Feathers represent the element Air (of which I am). Owl feathers represent wisdom, eagle feathers represent bravery. It is said that each time the feather stirs, a positive dream has passed. The placements of other decorative objects can represent directional elements, like cardinal directions of North, South, East, West. Colors represent Water, Earth, Mother Nature, Moon. And the tying of the web represents the intricacies of life, the repair work that life takes (like a spider weaving a web), and the symmetries we face across experiences.
Building off the traditional belief of the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe, I’ve chosen specific elements of unity that are important to me, including unities of consciousness and unconsciousness, intention and mishap; injury and healing; unlearned and learned; feminine and masculine. I put a special emphasis on the cardinal direction North which is a guiding star and compass for my passion of the outdoors and nature. Three feathered arms represent each of my lives: my Past life, my Present life, and my Future life. The Present life arm is made longest because it’s the most active communicator of dreams and guidance, today. The Past, on the left, is second longest because of its wealth of wisdom and learning. And the Future, on the right, is the shortest representing the potential to grow and change.
Wherever possible, my catcher is made with real elements from my world which I started collecting in January 2016. The hope here is to create a dreamcatcher that can authentically and accurately engage with me and my world. Materials include feathers I’ve collected from Washington, Colorado, and Massachusetts, each places I consider home. I’ve used beads recycled from jewelry from Colombia, France, and my grandmother’s collection. I built the hoop from repurposed tin wiring I found in a basement vintage shop in Boston.