I rather like this person, let's not accidentally curse her..
May 26, 2010 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Help me not bungle up some esoteric part of this dreamcatcher crafting project!

So I've decided to make a birthday gift for someone, of a somewhat non-traditional dreamcatcher. Now I personally don't hold for the mysticism / spirituality aspect of "what crystals do which to your chakras" etc, but I do get the concept of certain tokens having specific semiotic structures in these settings. Basically, I want to vet my design against someone who knows more about the related symbols/imagery, so that when the gift is opened they don't say "Ummmm... thanks, but why did you go so heavy on the 'protection from crib death and bowel weakness' tokens?" or something similar.

So here's the basic design - a 7" hoop (approximately), either constructed of woven vine or a prefab hoop with black leather/thong wrapped around. The weave of the central threads will probably be in black thread if it's a vine hoop, otherwise uncolored/white on the black hoop. From the lower portion, three strands would be hanging down, decorated with an arrangement of hematite beads, raven/crow feathers (or similar coloration/size), and skeleton keys at the end. I'm using this guide for the basic construction pattern, and an idea sort of like this for the overall design, except with a few less strands and larger feathers.

Overall, the raven mythos is the sort of trickster god / creator figure, hematite is often a stone of protection / invincibility in battle, and the keys are more representative of 'opening doors / paths' in my eyes... I think the piece has a motif of 'strength and protection in finding your own way, creating your own path, going against the grain, etc', but please let me know if I'm inadvertently putting together an ancestral blood hex or something wacky like that!
posted by FatherDagon to Religion & Philosophy (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
please let me know if I'm inadvertently putting together an ancestral blood hex or something wacky like that!

According to whom? It's non-traditional anyway, so you can define the symbolism of each item and explain why you chose it. I had a spate of making these for people in the early 90s, and I would include a little tag on which I wrote what each item was, where it came from, and why I chose it. Dreamcatchers aren't an old Native American tradition, they're recent, and they aren't deeply rooted in a religious system - they're more of a statement. And if you were putting together some kind of hex, it wouldn't carry that symbolism when given as a gift between two people who aren't of that belief system. So unless you believe the objects do have a spiritual power independent of the viewer/believer, you're fine. it means what you say it does.
posted by Miko at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2010

Does the individual in question subscribe to any particular ethos? That might have an effect on how they view it.
posted by Solomon at 12:39 PM on May 26, 2010

She's a fairly free-form neo-pagan spiritualist. I realize that this entire project is fairly open to personal interpretation, just wanted to make sure I wasn't accidentally collecting together a series of symbols that has another meaning more well-known to those involved, like if I had worked in some runic design I thought looked nifty, without realizing it was more recognized as the Wolfsangel or something uncomfortable like that.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:22 PM on May 26, 2010

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