greeney2 wrote:Is there a connection between the spider medicine, the Grandmother spider, and dreamcatchers?
Yes. Dream catchers hold everything supposedly 'evil' as a spider’s web catches and holds everything that comes into contact with it. That is what most people would tell you, but that is somewhat distorted. Infact Greeney2 dreamcatchers originally came from the Ojibwe Culture, which I'm part of. Long time ago their main use was for children.
Having a spirit name is of much importance to the Ojibwe culture; when you received an Indian name you could then be recognised for the first time in the spirit world, and your spirit guides would then prepare a place for you when you cross into the next world. A spirit name in simple terms: is a guide in itself, it helps you maintain a balance between what is spiritual and what is physical.
When a child was young, many times someone was offered tobacco to give a child their spirit name, since that name would often time have to come in a dream, it could take a while for that child to receive it. So the parents would weave a dreamcatcher and let it hang from the childs craddle board, for protection and to allow only the good things to pass through the center of the dreamcatcher's web to the child, while the child still did not have an Indian Name see. If the child were to get sick, it was thought the spirit world would not know that child, who they really were, and would not be known.....in order for help or aknowledgement in passing.
Receiving an Indian name (spirit name) is somewhat similar to the importance of baptism if you think about it.
The dreamcatcher is weaved and often times people place beads in the center to represent a spider in its web. The good things pass through, what is meant to come will, what is not, will be caught in the web and not allowed to enter.
However I see what is caught in a spiders web for what it is, food. Fuel and for our next creations, as I view drinking and receiving the holy spirit. With more faith, with more weaving, the more we will catch and receive. It is nothing I can control to incorparate things of Christianity in my Native Culture, it is simply who I am. Both.
One thing I note* Long time ago Native American people did not beleive in evil, they did not seperate evil from what is sacred or good, things just were. And I always remember that when thinking about Native American legends, symbolism, and Culture in general.
So even though they say a dram catcher is used to catch evil things, my personal belief is that when they hung that dreamcatcher (a mini spiders web) from a craddle board, they were acknowleding that the ability of spiritual cocreation starts from the time of birth. That simple. It was something the child became amused with.