The dreamcatcher mandala is rich in symbolism - the circular shape of the dreamcatcher represents the circle of life, with no beginning and no end. This is significant to many Native Americans because they believe that death is a part of life and that the spirit lives on.
Legend has it that a Sioux woman could not put her child to sleep. She went to the old medicine woman who gave her a ring of willows with spider webs laced through the center. The medicine woman explained that the sleepless child suffered from nightmares, and the willow ring would serve to filter the bad dreams out, allowing only good dreams to visit her sleep.
As a mandala, the dream catcher has two connotations. One, it allows us to utilize filtering power of our minds. It also brings our attention to the elaborate construction of our lives, and our power to construct and rebuild it as we deem fit. Both of these meanings boil down to the reminder that our thoughts are powerful, and have the ability to make our lives into nightmares or incredible dreams.
The peacock symbolizes many things, including strength and pride, vitality, fertility, spirituality and awakening. Peacocks are symbolic of the integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavour to show our true colours, and can also rejuvenate self-esteem levels. Just imagine the glorious, vibrant display of colours the peacock provides and know that you can walk tall and proud like a peacock too!
In Christianity peacocks represent immortality and resurrection, as it was once believed the their flesh does not decay after death. They also symbolize renewal, because a peacock sheds and replaces it's feathers annually. In Hinduism peacocks are associated with Lakshmi, who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck. In Buddism, because they eat poisonous plants, peacocks symbolize the ability to thrive in the face of suffering.
Peacock feathers are also symbolic of a mother's love, because peacocks are so protective of their young ones. There is also an ancient Chinese belief that if a peacock looks at a woman, she will be able to conceive a child easily. A peacock feather is also supposed to bring easy labor and good fortune to the newborn.
The name “Metta-morphosis” is a play on the word metamorphosis, the process of transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. “Metta” is a Pali word meaning “loving-kindness”, a benevolence toward all beings free of selfish attachment, and is often used in Buddhist philosophy.
The butterfly is one of the most enduring symbols of human transformation. The caterpillar goes through a massive amount of transition during a short time in its cocoon to emerge anew as a beautiful butterfly. Before transformation, the caterpillar lives in a completely different world than the butterfly and is unaware of the miraculous transformation it will one day undertake. Yet it embraces the changes of its environment and body with unwavering acceptance. Therefore the butterfly is also symbolic of enduring faith and inspires us to surrender to the natural flow of life and turning tides of nature.
A fascinating feature of the chickadee is that it is able to lower its body temperature in the coldest of conditions. This ability is a reminder that we all are divinely constructed. We all have infinite potential to adjust and adapt, no matter what the conditions may be. Chickadees are also fearless, curious creatures and are known to land in the palm of a human hand (as Landon's chickadees do). This reminds us to be fearless with regards to expressing ourselves, and to have the courage and curiosity to explore new ideas and new avenues of growth.
In Native American mythology chickadees are associated with truth and knowledge, and are thought to bring good luck and success. The chickadee is symbolic of higher thinking capabilities, clarity, and purity of the soul which implies a better understanding of the self as well as that of the world.
According to Greek lore, the lily flower is associated with birth and it is a symbol for motherhood because the flower was said to be created from the breast milk of Hera. The lily also holds symbolism of purity, innocence and fertility and is a symbolic flower of health and provision. Additionally, the lily symbolizes vulnerability, growth and the freedom to be ourselves, as well as allowing others to be as they are too. As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.
The Orchid flower is loaded with symbolism, but it's most vital lesson is one self-love. The orchid is unabashed. She flaunts her stuff. She boldly expands her beauty. She emits her fragrance as if the world is depending on it. Orchids are also able to self-pollinate. What does this mean on a symbolic level? It means that we are capable of loving ourselves to such a degree that we can create our own offspring in the form of dreams, goals, art, projects, connections.
As dream symbols, palm trees symbolize our ability to rise above conflict and spread our light brilliantly. They inspire us to let the brightness of our light it shine over the din of petty concerns, thus rising above disillusionment like the sun itself. Palm trees also have held significant symbolism in ancient cultures. To Assyrians, the palm is one of the trees identified as the sacred tree or "tree of life" connecting heaven, represented by the crown of the tree, and earth, the base of the trunk. In ancient Mesopotamia the date palm may have represented fertility in humans. Palm stems represented long life to the Ancient Egyptians, and Christians adapted the palms as a symbol of resurrection.
In many cultures rainbows are symbolic of spiritual cohesion and unity between the earth and heaven, mortals and the divine, the mundane and enlightened. In Celtic folklore, the rainbow is known as “kambonemos” which means “curve of the sky”. Curves are associated with lunar/feminine energy and linked to symbolically to fertility, prosperity, provision, and the promise of new life provided by the divine feminine. The expression that there is a “pot o’ gold” at the end of a rainbow was originally a reference to the promise of a child, as the “pot” or “cauldron” is symbolic of a mother’s womb, and “gold” is symbolic of offspring, seen as the most valuable and precious gift.
The rainbow is also a symbol of promise and connection between God and humankind in Christianity. Genesis 9:13 reads “I have set my (rain)bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth”. In Chinese wisdom, the rainbow is a bridge illustrated by a double-headed “sky dragon” that is the mediator between heaven and earth. In Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, those who achieve the highest meditative state are said to experience the "rainbow body", also described as a "body of light". The rainbow body is an ultimate oneness with the divine.