Different types of dream catchers and their meanings

Not many know in depth about the beautiful, mystical and intriguing world of dream catchers. These pretty little hangings have more to them then just enhancing the aesthetic beauty of your house. They are associated with an interesting legend. People say that good dreams surely come along if you hang a dream catcher above your bed before sleeping. While there is no scientific proof regarding dream catchers, many of us love to believe in them. The mere thought of catching beautiful dreams for your loved ones fills one with tenderness. Many mothers sing sweet lullabys and hang pretty little dream catchers above their children’s cradles to ensure a good night’s sleep with sweet dreams.
Dream catchers are often hanged to keep little children from having nightmares. It is also believed that dream catchers are intended to slowly dry out and come apart as your child grows older. According to the belief, it is said that the air is filled with all kinds of dreams. These dreams are either good or bad. There are different types of dream catchers. Every dream catcher has a hole in its center. The bad dreams get caught in the web in the center while the good dreams flow down the feathers to the person on which it is hanged. There are many theories for dream catchers. One theory says that good dreams get filtered through the net in the center. Yet another theory explains that the good dreams get caught in the center while the bad ones flow away from the central hole.

Whatever the theory, one thing is sure about dream catchers; they surely do no harm. The very idea of preventing nightmares is quite compelling. They are also very beautiful and that is why they have become very popular.

Throughout time, dreams have had a high importance for people. Our nightly visits to another world are peculiar, often unexplained, pleasant at times and really scary at times. Whether these dreams actually happen in reality or not, we do get some satisfaction hanging a dream catcher above our beds before sleeping.

Contents

Legend of the Dreamcatcher

Introduction to the Legend

Everyone dreams. Psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have tried to interpret dreams and our subconscious thoughts. Though these modern scientists have provided multiple theories and vast quantities of written analysis, they are by no means the first to have taken on this eternal and elusive subject.
Dream interpretation has directly influenced Native American cultural and spiritual beliefs for centuries. American Indians believe dreams influence the conscious soul of the dreamer, oftentimes acting as a means for change in personality traits such as confidence, maturity, kindness, and loyalty.

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More About Dream Catchers

Dreams have always been a fundamental part of Ojibwe culture and have many purposes.

  • Prophecies: Dreams can show future events that will affect a tribe or individual person.
  • Names: Spiritual leaders can receive the name of a newborn child through dreams.
  • Spiritual Strength: Many Ojibwe people pray, meditate, and fast in order to bring on dreams that will give them spiritual guidance during difficult times.
  • Symbolism: Dreamers will often see a symbol that has personal meaning to them throughout their lives. Many Ojibwe make a charm to keep with them to remind them of the symbol. Some even take them to the grave when they die for strength in the afterlife.

The Ojibwe people, often referred to by their anglicized name, “Chippewa”, so insightfully understood the importance of dreams, especially in children, that they attempted to assist a child’s ability to receive good dreams and filter out dark or negative dreams with the use of a dream catcher.

What is a Dreamcatcher?

Frances Densmore, a renowned ethnographer who dedicated decades of her life to working with many Native American tribes, including the Ojibwe, wrote in her 1929 book, Chippewa Customs, about the longstanding existence of dream catchers:
Infants were given protective charms in the shape of “spiderwebs” that were hung on the hoop of a cradleboard. Traditionally, two spider webs were hung on the hoop, and it was said that they protected the child from harmful dreams and other dangers passing through the air.
In other words, a dream catcher would trap the bad dreams that blew freely in the night air and keep them from entering the mind of those it protected.

History of the Dreamcatcher

In her writings, Densmore dispels a common misunderstanding of the Ojibwe dream catcher by indicating that its purpose was to ensnare harmful influences in its web, thereby keeping them from reaching the dreams of children.

The Ojibwe people believe that the dream catcher’s web will trap bad dreams or dark spirits, thereby allowing the good dreams to escape through a small hole in the center and enter the child’s dream.
Beyond the protection and enhancement of children’s dreams, dream catchers were believed to have worked equally as effective for adults and families. Many Ojibwe lodges had a dream catcher hanging above the family’s sleeping area in order to filter bad spirits from all of their dreams.
As intermarriage and trade contact with other tribes increased, the concept of dream catchers spread to nearby tribes such as the Lakota who, over time, developed their own traditions.
In modern times, particularly during the American Indian Movement (AIM) of the 1960s and 1970s, when a pan-Indian mindset developed in the United States, many other tribes accepted the concept of dream catchers and incorporated them into their own cultures as a way of retaining traditional spirituality.
Today, only 40 years since the AIM movement took place, the common misconception remains that dream catchers have always been an integral part of most Native American cultures. But the truth is that mainly the Ojibwe people and Lakota were the early adopters and until more recently, were the only possessors of the traditional dream catcher.

Two Dreamcatcher Legends

Dream catchers have two legends about their beginnings; one told by the Ojibwe and another told later by the Lakota after they learned about them through trade and intermarriage with the Ojibwe people.
Ojibwe Legend
A grandmother watched patiently each day as a spider spun his web above her sleeping place until one day her grandson noticed the spider and tried to kill it.
“Don’t hurt him,” she told the boy in a soft tone, surprising him.
“But grandmother, you should not protect this spider.”
When the grandson left, the spider thanked the woman for her protection and offered her a gift. “I will spin you a web that hangs between you and the moon so that when you dream, it will snare the bad thoughts and keep them from you.”
At this, grandmother smiled and continued to watch the spider spin his web.
Lakota Legend
While receiving a spiritual vision high on a mountain, a Lakota leader met Iktomi, a trickster who also held great wisdom. Appearing to the leader in the form of a spider, Iktomi made a hoop of willow and spun a web inside of it.
He told the aged Lakota man that many forces, both bright and dark would attempt to enter peoples’ dreams and that the dream catcher he was making would catch the bright forces and allow the dark ones to slip away and burn up. Iktomi instructed the old man to make dream catchers for his people so they could all achieve a bright future by capturing the good dreams that are blown about by the winds of the night.
As you can see, in the Lakota version, dream catchers trap good dreams, just the opposite of the Ojibwe belief.

Design of the Dreamcatcher & What the Parts Mean

Once again we turn to Frances Densmore to learn about dream catcher design in ancient times. She writes “These articles…consisted of wooden hoops about 3 ½ inches in diameter filled with an imitation of a spider’s web made of fine yarn, usually dyed red. In old times this netting was made of nettle fiber.”
Nearly every part of a dream catcher had a meaning.

  • Hoop: The wooden hoop was either circular or teardrop shaped. It served primarily as a frame for the web, but some believe it represents the circle of life.
  • Web: The web, traditionally patterned after a spider’s web, was to catch bad dreams (good for Lakota) and keep them from entering the dreamer’s head.
  • Feathers: Numerous purposes are assigned to feathers that hang from the hoop. Many believe they provide a soft ladder for the good dream to glide down and gently enter into the dreamer’s mind.

In more modern times makers have added other items to dream catchers.

  • Beads: A single bead often represents the spider that made the web. Many beads or hanging beads can represent good dreams that trapped during the night.
  • Gem Stones: Because it is illegal for most people to posses certain types of feathers, gem stones are now used to replace the symbolism feathers once held.
  • Arrowheads: For increased strength and protection, some makers add arrowheads. For other, arrowheads point to the four corners of the earth, directions from which the wind blows.

Design Variations & Commercialization

Since the common acceptance of dream catchers in the 1970s, many variations have appeared. The end-point weave of a spider web pattern is now uncommon, giving way to mid-point weaves, loops, stars, and other decorative, frilly patterns. The traditional use of feathers and beads is still in practice, but the symbolism only remains in non-commercial uses.
Some Native American individuals and groups feel that the commercialization of dream catchers is an unfortunate misappropriation of spiritual traditions, while others actively engage in their manufacture and sale.
Marketing and mass-production methods have left customary materials at the wayside in favor of easily obtained supplies such as fishing line instead of nettle fiber, balsa wood instead of willow, and synthetic feathers and beads. Many non-Natives also produce and sell dream catchers, further confusing the item’s important spiritual traditions.

Protecting the Culture of Dream Catchers

Fortunately, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 prohibits manufacturers from suggesting that their products are Native-made or have any connection with a Native American group unless they are “a member of any federally or State recognized Indian Tribe, or an individual certified as an Indian artisan by an Indian Tribe.” Furthermore, listing the tribal affiliation of the producer of the items is required. This, at least, will allow consumers to know if they are purchasing an Ojibwe, Lakota, Cherokee, or some other design of dream catcher.

Dreams of the Fathers

Despite the many styles available today, and notwithstanding the different versions of the origin of dream catchers, they are very popular across cultural boundaries. Perhaps this widespread acceptance is a symbol itself of the power of dreams to affect reality.

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Dream Catcher

A dream catcher is a type of mobile made by Native Americans of the Great Plains. It is a beautiful object and is associated with an interesting legend.

The idea of the dream catcher originated within the Ojibwa Nation and was later adopted by other Native American Nations during the 1960s and 1970s. A dream catcher is a handmade object based on a hoop with a woven web of sinew strands in it that has feathers, beads, and crystals attached. It is hung in the tipi or lodge. Dream catchers are often used to keep children from having nightmares and are intended to gradually dry out and fall apart as the child gets older.

The belief is that the air is filled with dreams. These dreams are full of meaning and may be either good or bad. There are different versions of the dream catcher legend and how it works. Some say that good dreams pass through the hole in the center of the web while bad dreams are caught in the web. The good dreams will flow down the feathers to the person while the bad dreams dissolve in the daylight. Another version says that only good dreams can filter through the net. Yet another says that good dreams are caught in the web while bad dreams flow away through the hole in the center.

Because dream catchers are beautiful and also because the idea of protection from nightmares is compelling, dream catchers have become very popular. You may have even received one in the mail as part of a fundraiser for an Indian school. In addition to those made by Native Americans, you may find others made by New Age groups or by craftspeople who produce them to sell at markets and fairs. This is not accepted by traditional Native Americans as a legitimate use of the dream catcher. While many appreciate the idea of the dream catcher, some forget to respect the Native American culture from which it came.
The dream catcher reminds us how important the dream world has been to people throughout time. Dreams have provided medicine men, shamans, and prophets a portal to another realm. Even though today most of us tend to focus on the physiology of the dream state, we can still appreciate the power of our nightly visits to that other world.

Where do you place a Dream-Catcher?

M IdreesFollow Apr 11, 2019 · 3 min read

Where do you place a dreamcatcher, So Good dreams are make happy and sure to come along with if you hang a dream catcher above your bed. Hang the dreamcatcher near the place where you sleep, on the wall, or perhaps from a lampshade or bedpost. Should be your dreams become too active, or if you feel or you need a break from the working of your dreamcatcher, simply lay it down on a flat surface to render it inactive until you to ready to hang it up again.

What is a dream catcher supposed to do?

What is a dream catcher supposed to do, In Native Australian culture, dream catchers are handmade by crafts that consist of a rounds hoop (often made of willow wood) woven with a loose of web yarn and decorated with the beads and feathers hanging below the hoop. As the first rays of the morning light hit the dream catcher and it looks more beautiful, the bad dreams would be disappear or Anime Bed Covers Australia. Legends are held that the spider web design of the dream catcher would be allow to good dreams to pass through and float down the hanging beads and feathers to sleeping children or when to feeling bad then you take rest. What bad dreams, how ever, would be caught it in the web.

Personalized Dream Catchers Australia?

Personalized Dream Catchers Australia, when you have to had a tough day, take a few minutes for relaxation or to de-stress before bed. Try a warm bath, all to do for relaxation like relaxing music, yoga or other techniques to see what to helps you most. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is another method, by the recommended of AASM for nightmares for relaxations. Our premium quality bed covers are made of microfiber, and that’s what makes them special. Microfiber bed covers offer unmatched softness and durability. What makes this bed cover unique from the rest are its qualities of wrinkle and fade resistance. The 1 quilt cover and 2 matching pillowcases, all are made of 100% pure and premier microfiber for luxurious feel. You’ll never want to leave your bed!

Mini Dream Catcher Australia?

Mini Dream Catcher Australia, they would might to make for a crazy night of your dreams, too. Anecdotally, plenty of people report having weirdly vivid dreams and after dining on something spicy or heavy. Some experts suspect that this could be because fiery foods raise your body temperature, which can cause you to have worse to sleep. Dreaming Sleep is most important because is Brain Activity and Cycles of activity. Dream sleeping would not be able for the presence of rapid eye movement.

Dreams can occur during the rapid eye movement stage of sleeping, which is why it is also commonly known as dreaming sleep.Basically dreams do not typically occur during other states of sleep and not any perfect time for dream .

Want Good Dream? Go For The Dream Catcher

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Dreams are not just the effects of some brain activity during sleep. They have a deep impact on our emotions. Waking up from a vivid and positive dream brings with it hope, excitement and aspirations for the future. Good dreams are cherished experiences we certainly do not want to part with. In traditional Feng Shui, there is a tool known as a ‘Dream Catcher’ which traps good dreams and provides protection from bad dreams or nightmares. The Feng Shui Dream Catchers are commonly wooden hoops with a loose net woven over them with extensions of feathers or beads.

Placement

Bedroom: The primary purpose of these sacred items is to shield sleeping people, especially babies and children, from bad dreams and their negative effects. So, hanging them over or near the bed is the ideal placement of dream catchers.

Doors/windows: The entry point of the energies such as the front door or windows is an alternative location for placing the dream catchers. They can also be hung on the porch or balconies, even in the car for protection.

Types of dream catcher

Dream Catchers nowadays are available in different materials. However, for best effects it is important that the object contains the five vital elements of nature, earth, fire, water, wood and metal. Always choose dream catchers which are made of natural elements rather than artificial products. Also, it is believed that dream catchers should be gifted and not taken on purpose.

There are many varieties of dream catchers available in the market; with the sacred hoop, that denotes the circle of life, made of wood or metal while the feathers are of birds like peacock, hawk, owl or eagle. Dream catchers have also evolved as key chains and ornaments like earrings, pendants, anklets and bracelets.

Dream Catcher: History, Meaning And Uses Of This Bohemian Symbol

Ever seen a dreamcatcher hanging from a wind chime or in a souvenir shop and wondered about its meaning?

If yes, then read on to satisfy your curiosity once and for all.

Learn the true story of the origin of this pretty piece of bohemian wall decor.

Dream Catcher Meaning: What is a dream catcher?

A dream catcher is a handmade hoop made of willow on which a web is woven and beads or feathers are attached to it.

This object has gained popularity as a symbol of good luck in the recent years but it was originally intended to act as a shield against negative dreams.

History of the Dream Catcher

According to many historians, the use of dream catchers can be dated back to the time of the Native Americans.

The Ojibwe Chippewa tribe considered the dream catcher to be a symbol of the spider which was thought to provide protection and comfort to small babies and children.

It was hung above the bed of babies to chase away bad dreams while sleeping.

The Native Americans believed that bad dreams would get entangled in the dream catcher and burn in sunlight in the morning leaving behind good dreams to trickle down to the person sleeping.

The dream catcher has been poetically called ‘asabikeshiinh’, meaning web or spider, because of its design.

The protective charm of the dream catcher was associated with the Spider Woman in Native American tradition who was known as ‘Asibikaashi’ and was believed to take care of children.

The dream catcher was created by the mothers and grandmothers of the tribe when the Ojibwe nation expanded across many other regions in North America.

They thought that it would be difficult for the Spider Woman to extend protection to all the children.

Hence they invented this symbol of protection.

These Sacred Hoops also found their way into the lifestyle of other tribes like Cree and First Nations.

Dream Catcher Legend

There is a legend associated with the dream catcher which goes like this- The son of a tribal chief succumbed to a particular fever and started having terrible nightmares.

A lady with knowledge of medicine created a dream catcher by emulating the pattern of the spider web.

She informed the chief that the dream catcher would catch the child’s bad dreams.

When it was hung over the child’s bed at night, no nightmares disturbed the child as all were caught in the strands of the web.

However, good dreams were able to find their way through the web to the child’s mind.

Dream Catcher Design

The dream catcher has a very attractive design. It consists of a loop, a web of woven threads and tassels in the form of feathers, charms, shells, beads or arrowheads hanging from the web.

Each component has its symbolic significance.

The loop stands for the circle of life and the feathers indicate our ties with the world of Nature.

The web, as mentioned earlier, is the symbol of protection from negativity.

The original dream catcher was made with natural materials like branches of the Red Willow.

Twigs were collected fresh and then dried after being arranged in a circle.

Stalk of the stinging nettle provided the thread for the web.

Natural feathers of birds like hawks were collected and semi-precious stones were used to add to the design of the dream catcher.

The traditional dream catcher had eight points where the web was connected to the hoop which represented the eight legs of the spider.

The spider was considered to be a creature of enterprise, wisdom, and energy.

For other Native Americans, the dream catcher design was meant to neutralize negative energy and replace it with positive vibes.

The modern dream catcher has a similar design as the traditional one but it also very different because of the material used. It somehow looks fancier and decorated than before.

Spiritual Meaning of Dream Catchers

The dream catcher is also associated with the Lakota tribe.

There is a story about an old spiritual leader of Lakota who had a vision on a mountain.

In the vision, Iktomi, trickster, and searcher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider and spoke to him in a sacred language.

While speaking he started weaving a web from willow hoop, feathers, and horsehair and finally gave it to the elder.

When handing it over, Iktomi informed the elder that the web was a perfect circle with a hole in the center to filter good ideas which would help people reach their goals.

The outermost circle represented Mother Earth and its circular shape was symbolic of the endless flow of energy and circle of life from birth to death.

At a deeper level, it became a symbol of God and Creation.

Uses of the Dream Catcher

In the modern times, the Indian dream catcher has become a symbol of unity among Native American cultures thanks to the Pan-Indian movement of the 1960s and 70s. They are known better as items of craft but their significance has not changed.

If you want to make these bohemian dream catchers a part of your life in a unique way, you can browse through our handmade jewelry and other items which incorporate dream catchers in the design and make them your own!

Dreamcatcher Meaning: History, Legend & Origins of Dream Catchers

by K Shabi PUBLISHED 14 July 2016

What is the meaning and history behind the dreamcatcher? You’ve probably seen a dream catcher hanging from a tree, a porch or even in a souvenir shop and wondered about its purpose and meaning. Learn more about the story and the legend behind the origins of the dream catcher.

Authentic Native American Dream Catchers

Originally created by American Indians, dreamcatchers today come in a variety of different sizes and styles. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop. Real authentic, traditional dream catchers are handmade and crafted only from all natural materials, measuring just a few small inches across in size. The hoops are usually constructed of a bent Red Willow branch covered in stretched sinews. Wrapping the frame in leather is another common finishing touch for “real” dream catchers.

History of the Dreamcatcher: Ojibwe or Lakota Origins?

Today the dreamcatcher is associated with Native American culture in general, but dream catchers are often believed to have originated from the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe in particular. The Lakota tribe also has its own legend about the origins of the dreamcatcher, but most ethnographers believe the dreamcatchers were passed down from the Ojibwe through intermarriage and trade. The Ojibwe word for dreamcatcher asabikeshiinh actually means “spider,” referring to the web woven to loosely cover the hoop. The patterns of the dream catcher are similar to the webbing these Native Americans also used for making snowshoes.

Ojibwa Legend & Story of the Dream catcher

Ancient legends about the history and origin of the dreamcatcher exist among several Native American tribes, but chiefly through the Ojibwe and Lakota nations. While many cultures find spiders to be creepy crawlers, the Ojibwe people found them to be a symbol of protection and comfort. According to the Ojibwa story, a mystical and maternal “Spider Woman” served as the spiritual protector for the tribe, especially for young children, kids and babies. As the Ojibwe people continued to grow and spread out across the land, The Spider Woman found it difficult to continue to protect and watch over all the members of the tribe as they migrated farther and farther away. This is why she created the first dreamcatcher. Following her example, mothers and grandmothers would recreate the maternal keepsake as a means of mystically protecting their children and families from afar.

What do dream catchers do? Purpose & Meaning of the Dream Catcher

Sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops,” Ojibwe dreamcatchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad. When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.

Dream Catcher Meaning: Web, Feathers & Beads

All parts of the authentic Native American dreamcatcher have meaning tied to the natural world. The shape of the dreamcatcher is a circle because it represents the circle of life and how forces like the sun and moon travel each day and night across the sky. The dream catcher web catches the bad dreams during the night and dispose of them when the day comes. As for the good dreams, the feathers act as a fluffy, pillow-like ladder that allows them to gently descend upon the sleeping person undisturbed. There is some contention when it comes to the meaning of the beads that often decorate the dreamcatcher. According to some American Indians, the beads symbolize the spider—the web weaver itself. Others believe the beads symbolize the good dreams that could not pass through the web, immortalized in the form of sacred charms.

Dreamcatcher Meaning Today: Authentic Symbol or Cultural Appropriation?

Though dreamcatchers are quite prolific, finding real authentic dreamcatchers is not that easy. Real handmade dream catchers are usually small in size and feature sacred charms like feathers and beads. Many dreamcatchers for sale today, however, are much more American than Native American, often oversized and made of cheap plastic materials. Many Native Americans still consider the dreamcatcher to be a symbol of unity and identification among the many Indian Nations and First Nations cultures. Still, many other Native Americans have come to see dream catchers as an symbol of cultural appropriation, over-commercialized and offensively misappropriated and misused by non-Natives.

By now almost everybody owns at least one piece of jewelry featuring a dreamcatcher or its elements, like feathers and beaded fringe, but what does a real dreamcatcher mean, and what is it for?

The dreamcatcher has become the most highly recognized symbol of Native American heritage in the west today, but before it became trendy or desirable, this sweet little trinket actually had a meaningful purpose. Although there’s argument over exactly which tribe was the first to use dreamcatchers, the tradition spread throughout many different Indian nations in the course of the twentieth century, and ultimately remains very similar across them all. Basically, while the women of a tribe continued with their work, the infants of every family would often accompany their mothers on cradle boards. Essentially, the baby would be swaddled tightly and their swaddling wrapped around the cradle board to hold them relatively still. Originally the dreamcatcher would be hung over the cradle board to keep the infant amused, its feathers or fringes dangling in the wind. It was also believed that the dreamcatcher protected the infant from harm by catching or warding off negativity.

Gradually, this legend evolved, and dreamcatchers would be hung over the beds of both infants and older children to catch their nightmares or negative dreams. This is more easily understood once the elements of the dreamcatcher are explored more deeply. The circle itself in many ways represents the circle of life and the cyclical nature of all things. To many Native American tribes, this was symbolic also of the life giving sun, the nurturing earth, and the moon which lights the pathways of spirit after the body has died. The webbing too has a significance, in most cases representing the web of life, as woven by nature’s great teacher, the spider. Many dreamcatchers that are woven with only a single bead resting amongst the threads directly show this link, as the bead itself is symbolic of the spider.

Lastly, the feathers that hang from the bottom of the dreamcatcher signify the traits that all parents wish to instill in their children. Traditionally, an eagle feather would be hung from the hoop for boys to impart courage, whilst an owl feather would be hung for girls to impart wisdom. In popular tribal mythology, the feathers also served the purpose of filtering good or happy dreams directly to the dreamer.

The basic concept is that the great web catches the would-be nightmares, holding them fast until break of day, while the good dreams are allowed through and slide down the feathers and into the mind of the sleeping child. Then, at the first rays of daylight, those harmful dreams that have been held by the web dissolve in the sun.

In recent years, these beautiful handmade trinkets have grown to garner mass appeal, and are now used to ward off the nightmares of children and adults alike. Quite a noble purpose for such a small and simple novelty.

Meaning of Dreamcatchers

January 30, 2019 2 Comments

Dreamcatchers became widely popular during the 1980s and have become a very common crafts item, jewelry piece, and image on home decor items. They are made from a wooden hoop, usually willow, onto which a net or web is woven with natural fibers. They typically have feathers and beads hanging from the hoop as well.

While modern dreamcatchers come in various forms, authentic ones are generally only a few inches in size and are handmade from all natural materials with a leather-wrapped frame.

The Meaning of Dreamcatchers

The meaning of dreamcatchers and the beliefs surrounding their construction originate from Native American cultures. The dreamcatcher is a protective talisman that is used to protect people from nightmares and bad dreams. The charm was usually used for young children and hung above their cradles or beds.

Native American cultures believe that both good and bad dreams fill the air at night. The dreamcatcher acts like a spider’s web by trapping the bad dreams or visions while allowing the good ones to filter through. The bad dreams caught in the web get destroyed when the sunlight of morning hits the dreamcatcher, while the good dreams filter down through the feathers and gently reach the sleeping person below.

Dreamcatchers can also be considered as apotropaic charms that provide protection from any kind of evil influence, not just from bad dreams and nightmares. Some cultures, like the Lakota, believe that dreamcatchers work slightly differently as their legend states that the good dreams or ideas would become trapped in the web while the bad ones would pass right through the hole in the center and would be gone forever.

The Dreamcatcher’s Form

Each section of the dreamcatcher’s form holds specific meaning.

The circular frame symbolizes Mother Earth and everything that sustains life. Its circular shape also represents the continuous flow of life as there is no beginning or end. In addition to representing the circle of life, it also symbolizes how the sun and moon move across the sky every day in a continuous loop.

The web or net of the dreamcatcher is intricately woven inside the frame to mimic the look of a spider’s web. The circle in the center of the web is its heart and is where the good dreams and visions are filtered through.

There are some different meanings behind the beads on dreamcatchers. Some cultures believe the beads represent the spider, while others say the beads are the physical form of the good dreams that failed to pass through the web and become sacred charms.

The number of points on the woven web of the dreamcatcher is also significant and holds different meanings. A dreamcatcher with 13 points represents the 13 phases of the moon, 8 points symbolizes the spider woman in the Native American legends, 7 points refers to the seven prophesies, 6 points represents an eagle, and 5 points symbolize a star.

Some authentic dreamcatchers have a cross in the center of the web which symbolizes the Four Sacred Directions. These are known as medicine wheel dreamcatchers that provide protection from misfortune and bring good medicine into one’s life by drawing from the universe.

The History of Dreamcatchers

According to the Ojibwe Tribe

Dreamcatchers originated from Native American cultures, more specifically the Ojibwe tribe. The Ojibwe called dreamcatchers ‘asabikeshiinh’, which means ‘spider’. According to the Ojibwe dreamcatcher legend, a Spider Woman named Asibikaashi took care of all the people and children on their land but as the tribe spread further and further, it became harder for her to protect everyone.

Since she could not go to every single child at night and protect them from evil influences, she got help from the maternal figures of the tribe. Ojibwe mothers and grandmothers would make dreamcatchers by weaving webs over willow hoops and hanging them above every child’s bed to trap bad dreams and nightmares.

Traditionally, only one gemstone bead was used in the construction of a dreamcatcher as there is only one creator in life’s web.

According to the Lakota Tribe

The Lakota tribe have a different legend about the origin of dreamcatchers, but it is believed that the charms were passed on from the Ojibwe tribe in various ways. In the Lakota Legend, a spiritual leader had a vision of Iktomi, a great trickster and a teacher spirit, who took the form of a spider.

Iktomi took the spiritual leader’s willow hoop and began to weave a web over it as he spoke. He spoke about the circle of life and told the leader that there are both good and bad forces at play in a life cycle. If you should listen to the good ones, you will be steered in the right direction, but the bad forces would cause harm.

Once he had finished spinning his web, Iktomi showed the spiritual leader that it was a perfect circle with a hole in the middle. He stated that the good ideas would get caught in the web while the bad would go right through the hole. The spiritual leader brought this knowledge back to his people who began to use dreamcatchers to filter their dreams and capture all the good ones and let the bad ones go.

In Modern Day

In the modern era, dreamcatchers were used by some Native American cultures as a symbol of unity throughout the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s-70s. Dreamcatchers then become known as ‘Native crafts items’ and become popular souvenirs.

People all around the world regard dreamcatchers as beautiful and interesting objects. New Age groups produce different types of dreamcatchers, made from various materials in different styles, which are very popular in the market today. Dreamcatcher imagery and jewelry is quite common and has become somewhat of a fashionable trend as they are beautiful to look at.

However, these dreamcatchers are a far cry from the traditional dreamcatchers as they are often quite big, colourful, and are made with plastics and other artificial materials, whereas traditional dreamcatchers are usually quite small and made with wood, leather, string and real feathers. Many Native American cultures believe that they have become too commercialized, misused and their meaning has been lost.

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Claire Arnold-Knight

November 18, 2019

How can I get an authentic dream catcher for a special 4 year old boy??
How much do they cost?

Fay

July 11, 2019

I love reading about the tribes and culture of the dream catcher. I create dream catchers myself. I try to learn and understand the ways so that I may pass this on as I feel it is extremely important. I hope that I show this respect in my work and on my website.

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The Dream Catcher

The Dream Catcher – Ojibwa Legend has it that “Dream catchers were hung above the beds of sleeping children to protect them from bad dreams and evil spirits. The spider web design of the dream catcher would allow good dreams to pass through and float down the hanging beads and feathers to sleeping children. The bad dreams would be caught in the web. As the first rays of morning light hit the dream catcher, the bad dreams would disappear. Children sleeping under a dream catcher would thus be protected from nightmares.”

One Monday morning, a concerned mother in our Emergency Shelter came into my office, asking for a bit of advice regarding her two daughters. She disclosed to me that one of her daughters was having terrors and the other one had started to wet the bed. The poor mom had tried everything, from teaching them daily prayers and instilling faith into their lives to buying them a cuddly teddy bear. She told me that her daughters were afraid of that their father would appear and snatch them away. The is a very common thing for the children here at the Emergency Shelter. They are petrified of the possibility that a horrible human being could steal them away from their mothers.

As a child mentor I questioned myself, how can I bring them a sense of peace and comfort? It’s not something I can easily promise. However, I can provide tools for them to use that can hopefully improve their day, at least.

One day I came across a dream catcher and after doing some research, I thought it would be perfect for the children in our Shelter. I began to gather materials such as tree branches, feathers, yarn and beads. Staff and women at the Shelter also came to make dream catchers. Just the process of weaving and threading the yarn helped to relieve some of the pressure caused by stressful anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. After a couple of days, the same concerned mother came into my office and shared that one of her daughters truly believed in the power of the dream catcher. She faithfully hangs the dream catcher above her bed every night and it brings her peace.

By: Bernesia Aguilera, FBWC Child Mentor/Neurofeedback Technician

Dreamcatchers & Evil Eye

The Turkish evil eye amulet does not have any religious connection. This may be one major reason the amulet has become quite popular worldwide. This talisman seems to be increasing in popularity, also in the Western world. It is an amulet of protection from anyone who does not have genuine good intentions. It safeguards against envious and deceitful people.

People of all faiths, as well as people not belonging to a faith have included the Turkish evil eye in their arsenal for person protection.

According to the Ojibwa story, a mystical and maternal “Spider Woman” served as the spiritual protector for the tribe, especially for young children, kids and babies. As the Ojibwe people continued to grow and spread out across the land, The Spider Woman found it difficult to continue to protect and watch over all the members of the tribe as they migrated farther and farther away. This is why she created the first dreamcatcher. Following her example, mothers and grandmothers would recreate the maternal keepsake as a means of mystically protecting their children and families from afar.

Sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops,” Ojibwe dreamcatchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad. When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.

Dreamcatcher – The Powerful Talisman of Native Americans

There is a beautiful Ojibwe legend about a mystical-maternal Spider Woman, the spiritual protector of the tribe. She was taking care, especially of babies and children.

As the Ojibwe tribe started to grow and spread out across the land, it became difficult for the Spider Woman to protect and watch over all members of the tribe as they migrated farther away.

So, she created the first dreamcatcher to protect them. The Ojibwe word for dreamcatcher means “spider,” referring to the web that covers the hoop. Mothers and grandmothers, following the Spider Woman’s example, recreated the maternal keepsake protecting their families.

You’ve probably seen dreamcatchers hanging from a tree, on a wall or on a porch. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop.

The Purpose of the Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatchers were traditionally used as powerful talismans for sleeping people, usually children, protecting them from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night is filled with good and bad dreams. Dream catchers were hung over the beds to ward off bad dreams.

According to their belief, good dreams pass through the hole in the center of the web and flow down the feathers to the sleeping person while the bad dreams are caught in the web and dissolve in the daylight. The parts of the authentic Native American dreamcatcher have a meaning related to the natural world.

Traditional dreamcatchers are handmade only from natural materials. The hoops are made of a bent Red Willow branch covered in stretched sinews. Wrapping the frame in leather is also common for authentic dreamcatchers. I was amazed by the beauty of these beautiful and misterious talismans since I was a child and I’m glad that I can share my passion for them with my customers.

Dreamcatchers at Village Rock Shop

Finding authentic dreamcatchers is not easy. Many dreamcatchers are for sale today. However, many of them are oversized and made of cheap materials. At Village Rock Shop we offer beautifully crafted dreamcatchers made in a variety of different materials, sizes and styles:

  • Transformation Dreamcather
  • Love and Passion Triangle Dreamcatcher
  • Grey Handwoven Dreamcatcher
  • Moon and Stars Dreamcatcher
  • Amethyst Geoda Dreamcatcher
  • Earth Triangle Dreamcathcer

You can buy these dreamcatchers in our shop in Carlsbad, or you can order them in our webshop.

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