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Native American Dream Analysis: Iroquois

By: Libby Pelham BA - Updated: 4 Mar 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Native American Native Americans Dreams

Most Native American tribes have always held dreams in high regard and given them much respect. To them, dreams are very spiritual and a way of gaining great insight and wisdom as well as guidance for day-to-day life. Most Native Americans believed ancestral spirits would visit them between the hours of midnight and 2:00 a.m. (which may have been during the deepest stages of sleep) to offer them guidance.

A Strong Influence
The Iroquois felt very strongly that dreams guided all aspects of their lives – hunting, fighting, even marriage. Dreaming had a big affect on their proceedings during war. If one person had a dream of failure before a battle, they would retreat, viewing the dream as an omen. French missionaries noted that the Iroquois totally submitted themselves to their dreams. Believing the dreams were concealed instructions from their soul, they felt obligated to live out what they dreamed or feel an overwhelming sense of guilt. Through their dreams, they felt they could contact their highest sacred power, Orenda.

To ignore their dreams was madness to them, sure to result in disaster. It also went against the wishes of the god within. They felt dreams could heal them, curing both physical diseases and mental illnesses. The Iroquois would often act out their dreams with those involved in the dream. They would tell others about their dreams, known as dreamsharing, as a way to understand and interpret the dream.

Festivals
The Iroquois also held several festivals related to dreams and the dream world. The False Face Society festival was an important healing ritual in which the members wore wooden masks in order to invoke the dream world. Members were either those healed by the society or those who dreamed they should be a member. Another important Iroquois festival that focused on dreams was the Midwinter Festival. The Midwinter Festival was held around New Years and featured dreamsharing, dream interpretation, and dream renewal. The men of the Iroquois tribe often ventured out themselves in search of particularly powerful dreams. The men would fast for a period of time, sometimes as long as thirty days, in hopes of having a powerful vision or dream.

Making Note
The importance of dreams to the Iroquois has oft been documented through the years. One example is that of Chief Cornplanter of the Seneca Iroquois. He had a dream that he did not quite understand, so he asked members of his community for interpretation. One such interpreter told Cornplanter that his name was now Onono and he was to give up his position as chief. Chief Cornplanter was convinced this was the correct interpretation and handed his tomahawk and wampum to a friend, thus making him chief. It is said that Cornplanter never regretted his decision, feeling it restored harmony with the Great Spirit.

Another documented case of dream importance to the Iroquois was the dream of Ely Parker’s mother, Elizabeth. Ely Parker was an Iroquois chief who ended up drafting the final terms of surrender for the Civil War. When Elizabeth was still pregnant with Ely, the young Iroquois woman had a dream that she did not understand. It was that of a broken rainbow. She visited a dream interpreter who told her she was pregnant with a son and that son would be a very wise and great peacemaker.

Native Americans such as the Iroquois saw dreams as real and felt real life was often the illusion. Perhaps it would be in our best interest to take note of their beliefs and give our dreams more credit in helping guide our lives to a healthier place.

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I have been trying to figure this dream out as it is most definitely one of the most vivid dreams that i have ever had and has impacted me. I dreamed that i was sitting at a table outside in the morning time and there was a native american sitting across from me. He had two feathers in his hair and was chanting/singing and trying to converse with me. To my left was another Native American who was holding a piece of wood carved to a point, but the top was lit and smoke was coming from it, he was not paying attention to me, only to the other Native American across from me. Both of these Native Americans were chanting/singing and then the Native American holding the wood or whatever this was emitting smoke, held it up to the sky and then brought it back down and held briefly the hot burning tip to his nose, said something i could not understand and then inhaled the smoke still coming from this wood, he then passed it to the Native American that was across from me, the one that was conversing with me.They spoke something to eachother i could not understand it was not anything i know. The Native American conversing with me told me something very important in which i cannot remember, I just know he mentioned a wolf and it was like an analogy. After this they continued to sing/chant and I woke up. I am just trying to understand the meaning of this. Thank you for any guidance, the past year for me has been a very awakening period, so this is important. Thank you.
Farris - 4-Mar-19 @ 2:47 PM
I was wondering what heyoka means, when I was a kid there was a local band that was I guess semi famous in Texas named heyoka.
Besherta - 5-Feb-19 @ 10:32 PM
This happened over 20 years ago.It was around the time I was told of my Apache heritage on my fathers side. It was so real I even question if I was awake or asleep.I was laying in bed and opened my eyes.At the foot of my bed was a Native American man.He had a wolf head dress on, and white stripes painted on his chest and arms.He was waving his hand over me as if providing a blessing.He was speaking in a tongue I had never heard.The odd thing is I wasn’t afraid at all.I felt protected and his face expressed warmth.It was so comforting that I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.That was over 20 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of it. What would you say was the interpretation of my dream?
ApacheLady - 30-Jan-19 @ 7:57 AM
I had a dream about two Native Indian boys who left their home and were lost. I found them, and I asked the eldest boy, who was about 9 years old, the youngest about 5, both had their face painted and dressed in traditional garb. As the eldest boy told me why he left his house (I don't remember the story), I could see a stairwell, taupe paint on the walls and handrails leading down the stairs. I envisioned them holding hands while going down the stairs with their face paint and garb on. They lived in an apartment building! I found them at the edge of the woods. There were other Native Indians around and there was a lot of hustle and bustle. I think I was just myself in my everyday clothes, hard to remember. I just knew I needed to help them find their way. I have no idea what any of this means.
Ace7 - 2-Jan-19 @ 3:03 AM
My dream happen in a cabin in Suches Georgia that was build by the Cherokee Indian, in my dream a weasel came to me and let me pet it and smell me,also never seen a weasel in my life I saw every detail of the animal and also called him the weasel first thing when I saw him approached.
Vic - 2-Nov-18 @ 1:01 AM
For about two weeks now I've had a recurring dream every night about being in the wilderness alone. As the sun begins to set a large grizzly bear appears in the distance and charges me. I pull out my knife and prepare to fight off the bear and just as the bear gets close enough to bite me a black wolf appears from behind me and leaps onto the bear fighting him off. I'm seeing all this as first person view and I stand there as the wolf protects me. After the bear retreats the wolf turns to me bows his head then lifts his head and howls. I have no idea what this dream means.
The Bootheel Kid - 12-Oct-18 @ 3:14 PM
Dream - Your Question:
I was at a powwow, my sister and her family were down. It was very stormy out, and the wind was strong. There was an invisible spirit trying to play and dance with my nephew Kali. He touched him a few times lifting him up while no one was looking but I caught it, I was able to get to him before it got worse. He had him in his hands, levitating the kid in the air lifting him up. He wouldn't go away. I ended up having to work faster, I had to smudge and say a prayer in each corner of their room. I found it, saw it last under the bed, it was black, shiny, Evil, scales, not regular skin, it looked shiny like a beetles skin, it looked like a demon. I saw it's eyes, and I had finished smudging and praying, It had long hands and a tall body like a man, it was smiling at me because it was still trying. It wanted my nephew Kali. The spirit didn't say nothing to me but it tried for a long time to get to my nephew.

Our Response:
The stormy sea and the spirit trying to get at your nephew means that you may have an underlying concern regarding your nephew or will have. Only you can figure out what that may be. Alternatively, it might be a dream that has no meaning apart from being a scary/nightmarish dream.
AnalyseDreams - 23-Jul-18 @ 2:45 PM
I was at a powwow, my sister and her family were down. It was very stormy out, and the wind was strong. There was an invisible spirit trying to play and dance with my nephew Kali. He touched him a few times lifting him up while no one was looking but I caught it, i was able to get to him before it got worse. He had him in his hands, levitating the kid in the air lifting him up. He wouldn't go away. I ended up having to work faster, I had to smudge and say a prayer in each corner of their room. I found it, saw it last under the bed, it was black, shiny, Evil, scales, not regular skin, it looked shiny like a beetles skin, it looked like a demon. I saw it's eyes, and I had finished smudging and praying, It had long hands and a tall body like a man, it was smiling at me because it was still trying. It wanted my nephew Kali. The spirit didn't say nothing to me but it tried for a long time to get to my nephew.
Dream - 21-Jul-18 @ 12:15 PM
I keep having nightmares about believe it or not freddy kruger and some monster following me and trying to go where I go. They are always together each time getting closer and closer. This lastime freddy spoke to me he said "only a dream" The creature was holding a bloodsoaked sweetgrass braid in one hand and a piece of pine in the other. What does it mean?
littlerunningdeer - 2-Jan-16 @ 8:21 PM
I dreamt there was a pow wow or some sort of festival in our town. My husband and I wanted to attend. I went to get my husband but I only found his glasses. Then I saw this beautifully dressed Indian walking down the street alone. He was wearing all black with a black head dress that touched the ground as he walked. I was in awe and felt I had to follow him. In my mind I thought he'd lead me to the event but I just kept following him, then I woke up. The next afternoon I took our trash outside to find a preying mantis sitting on top of the trash can. Any thoughts on this? I dream I just rarely remember them. Thank you in advance for your guidance.
Trace - 12-Sep-14 @ 2:25 AM
My dream was pretty weird. I met who I think was my ancestor. He looked like me yet native american. He had long hair pulled back in a pony tail and wide eyes. He even acted like me somewhat. I made a joke, he made a joke. He did a silly face, i did a silly face. And then what I don't get is he called me a Heyoka. I had a similar dream about heyoka earlier too. I really am confused could someone interpret this?
Shakalaka - 28-May-14 @ 9:16 PM
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