On the subject of cultural appropriation

I often think about how many people would look at me making dream catchers and say “Wow, that’s cultural appropriation, how shitty.” and I feel bad about it. I don’t want people to look at me and think I’m some phony thieving hippie trash. This isn’t something I chose to do as a meaningless craft project, I didn’t look up directions, it came to me. I don’t like to talk about what I do because it’s really not understood in our culture as normal or sane and it feels very exposing to speak about. Most people still seem pretty set that the world around them that they can touch and explain is the only one there is and anybody who thinks otherwise is crazy… Or that those who practice shamanistic magic are for some reason either possessed by Satan or going to hell. My roots to tree magic date back into my childhood. I remember my first experience meeting a familiar tree spirit. I was about seven, and she was a large maple yellowing in the Autumn in Pittsburgh PA. I was drawn to the tree and hugged it and felt an intense familiarity. I told my mom that it was my grandmother, and she had given me a gift, a branch that was laying at her base. Later, I think when I was eleven, I made a wand from the branch. I put whiskers that my cat had shed in the core and burned designs into it. I still have my wand. The dream catchers particularly all started because one of my exes was having bad dreams. I made a dream catcher for them out of fig limbs and hemp that I had lying around. I went out and bought some small quarts crystals and tied them into places on the catcher that they felt drawn to. I didn’t look up a pattern, and it wasn’t the same spiraling dancing pattern that most classic dream catchers have. I was guided by light static that told me where to knot. I made more of them after that, not all with intentions and ended up selling them to a shop down the road. Within the coming years I would be slowly awakening into other dimensions. I started experimenting with meditation and lucid dreaming and stumbled upon astral travel before I really knew anything about it. I remember the first time I became a light body I had no idea what had happened to me. I was lying there focusing on the energy flowing through me, breathing deeply, letting myself melt when there was a loud ringing in my head, not in my ears, in my head. I felt this intense pulse of something and suddenly all reality disintegrated and everything was all yellow gold indigo white and I was in a different place of vast unending light, it was me and I was it. I remember trying to move and finding it to be difficult at first and extremely ticklish. Later on that day I told some of my friends about my experience hoping to gain some knowledge from them of what the fuck had happened and they were all “Woah dude, that’s fuckin weird, maybe you died”. My dreams were becoming really intensely vivid and lucid, but I wasn’t directing them, I was letting them appear before me and trying to extract direction from them. I had a vision one morning of a woman holding a ball of yarn in one hand, the strand of yarn falling from her hand and at the end of it was a spider, and in the other hand was a dream catcher. I started making dream catchers again, experimenting with different patterns and letting the universe guide my creating. I would find meanings coming into all of them, though I wasn’t actively putting them there at that point. Some of them were meanings that I could think in words like “health and healing” and some of them were vibrating tones. Sometimes as I would be weaving somebody would come into my mind and so I would know to give them to that person. When I’m selling them I'll often see somebody walking up to me and intuitively know that they’re going to buy one and know which one it is, and they’re instantly drawn to it. I only ever sell them because I don’t know everybody they are asking to go to and if I didn’t sell them my living space would be over-flowingly cluttered with dream catchers. I know that I am never ever ever to make them particularly for profit. I’ve tried making them for profit before, and the few times I did I got really sick fatigued and anxious afterwards. I don’t make empty dream catchers that are only there to look nice, I also never cut a tree to make them. If I come across somebody pruning their trees I will use those branches but I never intentionally steal them from a tree. Sometimes when I’m weaving, or making a hoop I go into deep trance and literally see, hear, and feel energies flowing through me and into the wood/twine, sometimes it’s not that vivid and I only have the intentions in my head as words and I direct them through my fingers. Some of them are ties to particular levels of reality such as dreamscapes. Sometimes I weave one for myself and I ask the universe for guidance or protection or healing and it comes to me and then within a few weeks I stop needing it and it goes off somewhere else in the world, maybe it sells, maybe I give it to somebody. There’s all sorts of strange magic in these creations and I still don’t think I know everything about it. I don’t make them just to look nice, I don’t make them for money, I make them because I’m guided to make them. I don’t feel like I am participating in culture theft. Yes, the Native Americans did it first. I am not claiming that I’m the first one to have the idea to make dream catchers or that any of my ancestors ever practiced making them. Does the fact that somebody else did it before me really make it wrong that I do it also?


Ganesha- the remover of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences and god of new beginnings. Ideal for a person determined to live a life as a patron of their own art, supporting their vision of existence, though it may be a little new to our society. This catcher can be used as a skimming net for negativetys floating in the air, just be sure to blow them out a window after they've been caught. Keep playing!


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