Dreams

Everybody dreams. Dreams are sequences of images, emotions or ideas that without our will appear in certain parts of our sleep. Most dreams exist during the R.E.M. (rapid-eye movement) phase of sleep. People have been trying to find out meaning of dreams for thousands of years. Some 5,000 years old Mesopotanian clay tablets with dream interpretations were found.

A mare is a creature in Germanic mythology who rides on person's chest when the one is sleeping. She brings bad dreams or nightmares. In Polish mythology she is known as mora. There is a belief that she represents the soul that leaves the body during sleep. She can be seen as a small bundle of grass, hair or as a moth.

In western folklore there is a mythological creature known as the Sandman. He sprinkles little bit of very special sand onto the eyes of a sleeping child. The result is the fact that the child is going to have only good dreams. Sandman appears in literature. Good example is the fairy tale "Ole Lukøje" by world famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875).

Dreamcatcher
Dreamcatcher

The Ojibwe (Chippewa) people who live in parts of Canada and the United States have an object called the Dreamcatcher. The object consists of a round or tear-shaped frame of willow. Inside the frame there is a web-shaped structure. On the bottom outer side of the frame there are several feathers.

According to the Ojibwe beliefs Dreamcatcher protects children from nightmares. It is put hanging above the bed. Bad dreams stay in the web and disappear with the first light of a new day. Those good ones are allowed to "move" down the feathers to the sleeping child.