Dreamcatchers - just there to block nightmares?

Late last December, I made my own version of a native-American dreamcatcher as part of a new year's psychic visioning project. I wove a collection of symbols into my ornament that I saw as representative of my aspirations for the year.

I'm seeing some of those dreams come true.

Traditionally, dreamcatchers were thought to snare "bad" dreams so we wouldn't have to dream them. The "good" ones would slip through the spider's web, and slide down the feathers into our minds. The web represents confusion in this paradigm. But the spider's woven spiral could also be seen as a galaxy. When dewdrops form on a spider's web, they glisten like stars. To me, a dream catcher is like a symbolic mirror Universe a place where we can imagine our goals taking shape.

Perhaps we dream at night to create reality, as much as we dream in reaction to our reality. If you play with this concept, you will tap into an essential element in manifesting your dreams: Wonder.

In dreaming, we wonder about things beyond the scope of our conscious minds. We catch hints at what the Universe might have to contribute to our story. We may also allow the Universe to play a part in helping to shape our reality, based on the symbols of our desires.

As I look around my life, I see the reflection of the items I placed in my mini symbolic Universe. I included a little anchor, to represent a grounded spirit and a willingness to work. I incorporated a small stack of coins, to symbolize financial security, and savings. My business has grown this year, and I've even managed to save some money.

I found a small comedy/tragedy mask, the symbol of theatrical acting. With this I've hoped to receive an acting job. I purposely tied the mask to the string that holds the stack of coins- in an attempt to snag a paid acting gig. I've come close to this goal, auditioning for "30 Rock" and other TV shows.

I placed a gecko on the edge of the web. I saw plenty of those on my September trip to Hawaii! Lizards are the messengers of dreams.

An ornament of the Eiffel Tower also went into my dreamcatcher. For reasons still unclear to me, the Eiffel Tower has long served as one of my magic totems. It's helped coordinate some phenomenal coincidences-and in doing so, taught me about designing reality. I share those stories in my book, "Can You Turn It Off? A Diary of Psychic Awakening". But I never imagined that my iconic little French souvenir would be reflected in my reality so literally! Last month, an opportunity to visit Paris presented itself to me- even though I never intended to go there.

I wove a ceramic home into my dreamcatcher, noting, at the time, that it looked like a hotel from the board game Monopoly. As it turned out, while I was in Paris, I didn't stay in a hotel. I stayed in a home. This past summer, I listed my apartment on a vacation home-exchange site. "My charming, centrally located apartment for your charming, centrally located apartment". I mentioned my preferred destinations; "Dublin, London, Rome!" I never mentioned Paris, but of the dozen or so offers I received, nearly all were from France. I turned every one of them down.

One night, I invited my friend Jason over for dinner. I lamented, "Jason, these people keep writing me asking if I want to go to Paris, and it's just not on my list!"

"Let me see these offers," he said, turning my computer in his direction. "I LOVE Paris. I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world."

"Well, this is the latest one to come in," I said, showing him photos of a colorfully painted flat. I shrugged my shoulders. "It looks pretty nice."

Jason flipped through the pictures and read the description. "Derek, what are you talking about? It's totally nice! Do you realize where this IS? It's very close to the Eiffel Tower! You'd be crazy to turn this down."

Sometimes in life, we need a friend to shake us out of our myopia, or ignorance, or just plain stubborn thinking! From the moment Jason pointed out that this was a genuine and special offer, it was like a light got turned on in my head. He proceeded to remind me of all the great things Paris has to offer, and I became instantly enthralled with the idea of visiting the city. I did visit, and I had a great time!

Why don't you make your own dreamcatcher? You can buy one ready-made, and then add your own special totems to it. Or make one from scratch, with twigs, string and feathers from an art supply store.

Consider the icons you place in your dreamcatcher as symbolic psychic visions. You could put symbols representing the personality of a lover you want to attract. Or say, for example, you tend to be reclusive and want to get out more; you could weave elements of a social scene into your web. A little pen might represent a writing project. A book could symbolize being published. The sky's the limit!

Everything comes in a trinket. And any trinket can be a totem!