Dreamcatchers

Earlier this week, in my “intro to American religious history” course, we discussed post-civil rights controversies around Native American religions. Dreamcatchers came up at one point in the conversation, as we were discussing Native American religion and the New Age movement. Only one student knew what a dreamcatcher was (or was willing to fess up to knowing at the risk of being asked to explain it to the rest of the class), which surprised me. But then, I don’t see them hanging from people’s rear view mirrors as much as I did in the late 1990s, so perhaps the trend has waned.

Photo from Seeking Shama

Anyway, I felt inspired to feature dreamcatchers in today’s random thought about religion in America, and as I was poking around online just now for info and photos, I came across the above photo at the blog Seeking Shama. The accompanying description was so ProjectilePluralism-ish that I had to reblog it. The author, Kee Kee Buckley, is describing a visit to a mom-and-pop “Indian trading post” during a road trip through Missouri with her dog Yoda.

I bought Yoda some buffalo jerky and myself a dream catcher to hang from my rear view mirror.  Dream catchers are meant to be hung above a sleeping person, and they catch and hold the bad dreams and let the good dreams or important messages through to the dreamer. . . . Now my new dream catcher hangs along with seeded necklaces given to me by women from the Shopibo Indian Tribe when I was in the Peruvian Amazon, and prayer beads blessed by Amma.  The left side of my dashboard has a purple dashboard Ganesh brought back to me from India by a very special yoga teacher, and a good luck crystal I bought on a road trip a couple years ago in Ukiah, California.  Of course, don’t forget about my most important dashboard adornment of all:  my decade-old Post-it note that says “I Welcome Change.”

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