In my series, Writing Passions I’m going to be sharing some of my… well you could call them obsessions I suppose. They are the consistencies I need in my writing life. The first is a fairly recent discovery though I think I’ve always been passionate about what they represent. I’m constantly trying to access that dusty, area in my brain which stores all those dreams I know would make great stories… if only I could remember them! The first of these passions are Dreamcatchers – and cats of course 😎
Dreamcatchers are an ancient tradition that originated with Native Americans. One story is that the idea came from the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe, and that the Ojibwe word for dreamcatcher, asabikeshiinh, actually means “spider,” referring to the web woven to loosely cover the hoop. The legend goes that the Ojibwe tribe considered spiders to be symbols of protection and that a Spider Woman was the spiritual protecter of the tribe, and particularly young children. But as the tribe grew and developed became more dispersed she found it difficult to protect them all, so she developed the dreamcatcher.
The dreamcatcher, hung above the bed, is designed to catch and filter out bad dreams and nightmares as one sleeps. The good dreams get passed down through the feathers and down onto the sleeper it protects while the bad dreams get caught up in the circular web to be emptied or destroyed. I have one above the writing space in my campervan, Bobbus. Along with Pinocchio, a Irish Shamrock and a picture of my dearly missed Dad, Bob.
For me, the dreamcatcher symbolises my process of writing, where it captures ideas – both good and bad – and I attempt to pick out the bits that I think might work in a story, a setting or even just a character. I find the concept an extremely powerful one on a personal level as it fulfils my free spirit and that’s why I chose it to represent me, as an author. I hope I do the concept proud.