The Dream Eater
Origin: China, Japan
Have bad dreams? Suffer from nightmares? Have no fear, Baku will eat them. Baku is a fierce, protective spirit who can permanently eliminate nightmares. No dream is too tough for Baku, whose other dietary mainstay is metal. (Baku is also commonly referred to as “the Baku”.)
Dreams pass through Baku’s digestive system to be eliminated in the form of good luck. He removes your torment, leaving blessings in its place. Baku may spontaneously consume dreams, but he generally must be requested to do so. Allegedly, if you cry out, “Eat it, Baku!” or words to that effect three times, Baku will immediately devour all traces of a nightmare. Tell children about him for reassurance: no need to suffer bad dreams when Baku can be called.
Of course, from a metaphysical perspective, nightmares are more than just unpleasant moments: some are harbingers of disaster. By eating nightmares, Baku can change and improve fate.
Images of Baku or stuffed Baku toys (he’s cute!) are placed in children’s bedrooms or in those of anyone suffering chronic nightmares. His name painted on headboards or placed inthe bedroom may be sufficient to promote peaceful, secure, uninterrupted sleep.
Manifestations: Baku is among those composite creatures classified as lion-dogs. His appearance is hazy; he may manifest differently for different people. He is a hybrid creature featuring elephant, rooster, horse, bear, ox, lion, dog, and possibly other animal components.
See also: Faunus
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.