Anyone know if dreamcatchers should be avoided? My mom is in Utah on vacation and when I talked to her on the phone she said she had bought me a dream catcher. I was thinking…hmm, I am not sure I am comfortable taking something associated with Native American spirituality, but that might just be me being overly cautious. My mom is usually very cautious about these things - I wasn’t even allowed to have “troll” dolls growing up in the 90’s because my mom thought they looked demonic and I couldn’t read the Goosebump books, lol.
I personally don’t see anything wrong with dreamcatchers. I come from a Native American background, so we’ve always had one or two around here growing up. They aren’t really superstitious or anything; there’s a legend that they catch bad dreams and only the good dreams pass through the knots, but ultimately, it’s just a decoration indicative of our culture.
[LEFT][size=2]Pope John Paul came in 1987 to visit the National Catholic Indian Conference in Phoenix. 15,000 Indian People were assembled. While we stood. Stephen Baca, a Mescalero Apache Holy Man, blessed the Pope. Pope John Paul responded: [/size][/LEFT]
[LEFT][size=2]In part…… “I have greatly looked forward to this visit with you, the original peoples of this vast country. I thank you for inviting me to be with you and for sharing with me some aspects of your rich and ancient culture…….Here your forebears worshipped the Creator and thanked him for his gifts. In contact with the forces of nature they learned the value of prayer, of silence and fasting, of patience and courage in the face of pain and disappointment. Unfortunately (in coming to your land) not all members of our Church lived up to their Christian responsibilities……I encourage you, as native people, to preserve and keep alive your cultures,[/size] your languages, the values and customs which have served you well in the past and which provide a solid foundation for the future…… These things benefit not only yourselves but the entire human family.” [/LEFT]
[LEFT][LEFT][size=3]I doubt a dream catcher is harmfull if the Pope would say that it should be preserved.[/LEFT]
I’m also part Native American. Iroquois. At one time, I too… kept several “dream catchers” in my home. But I began to have a feeling, that they were sort of superstitious. So, I got rid of them.
I had heard a priest on EWTN say that it’s a good idea to eliminate from our homes… any items which could have a superstitious element attached to them. We no longer keep any kind of so-called “good luck” items in our home. There are other ways to honor your Native American heritage. Blankets, rugs and pottery… for example. I have a great love of Native American music, too; much of which… honors and praises God’s awesome Creation.
This is my opinion, of course… based on what I have read and heard. You may wish to ask a priest who is knowledgeable of such things. God bless.
After hearing about dreamcatchers, I decided to make one my way.
Here are the steps:
Download the freeware program PiFast from the internet and use it to calculate the
transcendental number PI to 500 million places of decimal. It’s a very long number,
so it may take the afternoon to calculate, depending on your computer’s speed.
Save it to a text file and burn it onto a blank CD. If you want to decorate, you might
add a couple of feathers from HobbyLobby.
Hang it near your bed. That’s it. You’re done.
This dreamcatcher is a bit different, but it still has the hole in the center.
Everyone makes their catcher their own way. No two are the same.
My catcher gives you the most vivid dreams. Saints preserve us
all the ones I’ve seen, except those made by kids as crafts during VBS, are manufactured in China, including those I have seen in reservation gift shops. I think any link to genuine native American spirituality is tenuous at best.
The priest, Fr. Steve, who runs the St. Joseph Indian School, a Catholic missionary school for poor and troubled Native American Youth thinks they are OK for Catholics. They are forever sending out these dream catchers with their letters for donations. The address stickers I can use, the dream catchers, not so much.
We have a large Indian population where we live, so you see as many dream catchers as rosaries hanging from rear view mirrors. Also a lot of new-agers here, so lots of crystals. Sometimes folks put a variety of stuff - wonder how they can see through their windshield at times.
"In Ojibwa (Chippewa) culture, a dreamcatcher (or dream catcher; Ojibwe asabikeshiinh, the inanimate form of the word for “spider” or bawaajige nagwaagan meaning “dream snare”) is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with personal and sacred items such as feathers and beads.
American ethnographer Frances Densmore writes in her book Chippewa Customs (1979, pg. 113), "Even infants were provided with protective charms. Examples of these are the “spiderwebs” hung on the hoop of a cradle board. These articles consisted of wooden hoops about 3½ inches in diameter filled with an imitation of a spider’s web made of fine yarn, usually dyed red. In old times this netting was made of nettle fiber. Two spider webs were usually hung on the hoop, and it was said that they “caught any harm that might be in the air as a spider’s web catches and holds whatever comes in contact with it.”
The Ojibwa believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person’s dreams. According to Konrad J. Kaweczynski, “Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through . . . Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day.” Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.
Another version from the same article was, “Luscious dreams pass through the center hole to the sleeping person. The bad dreams are trapped in the web, where they perish in the light of dawn.”’
Just a wikipedia source.
You don’t own stuff like this if you’re Catholic. You don’t promote it. You don’t want it near your bed and having anything to do with your dreams. Period.
Religious objects of other religions are offensive to God.
Superstitious practices are offensive to God.
Things that are offensive to God, related to other religions, are attractive to the Devil, and have occult influence.
If you want to sleep peacefully, you don’t pick up an object from another religion that is supposed to make you sleep peacefully – on the contrary, being offensive to God and true religion, it will have a bad spiritual effect.
Being Catholic isn’t about what knickknacks you have around your house. It’s about who you are and how you act as a human being. Carrying rosary beads around doesn’t make you Catholic any more than carrying car keys makes you a driver.
The OP did not mention anything about using them for that purposes. Goths used crosses to decorate themselves and consider it part of their fashion, does that automatically make Goths Christian?
As a general rule, objects and symbols have no power in of themselves. You have to attribute that power and in even in cases like that, the attribution doesn’t last long and it just goes back to being a meager trinket.
I wondered the same thing about dreamcatchers. Good to know they’re okay to have. As for “troll dolls” I never thought about it before, but they do look sort of demonic, lol. I too wouldn’t allow my daughter to read Goosebumps books when she was younger, and I had been away from the Church at that time.