A dream catcher or dream catcher prevents bad dreams from invading the sleep of its holder. Today, a lot of people use this object as a decorative object or a good luck charm in the same way as the four-leaf clover or the horseshoe.
However , the dream catcher, in some cultures notably North American Indian, was a sacred object, used to scare away negative waves, bad visions and ideas and to keep only the positive and necessary ones.
In this article, I will explain the origin, the meaning, the different legends around this mystical object which is the dream catcher or its use.
You will be able to find dream catcher on our shop. This object can either help you decorate your home, or always be positive and overcome certain trials in your life or avoid having nightmares.
What is the origin of the dreamcatcher?
Its origin comes from the North American Indian culture.
Dream catchers were made with willow for the circle, rope woven around the circle and also various different decorations for each dream catcher such as animal feathers.
Dream catchers were hung in trees on the west side i.e. where the sun rises so that the first rays of the day could burn away the bad dreams, the bad visions, which were captured in the nets of the object during the night.
It was in the 1960s, that dream catchers started to be democratized. With the evolution of tourism, the last tribes started to sell this object to tourists. Now, for many, the dream catcher is a decorative object or a good luck charm but is no longer used as its original use.
☀️ What is the meaning of the dreamcatcher?
The rope woven into a net around the circle represents a spider’s web. Indeed, according to the legends of the various tribes, it was a spider that passed on this protection to the men. The net allows bad dreams to be caught and burned in the morning. The good dreams slip through the feathers to the holder of the sensor. In addition, feathers in this culture have a sacred meaning. They are a symbol of peace, especially eagle feathers. Generally, the weaving has 4, 8 or 13 points of attachment which correspond to the medicine wheel, the 8 legs of the spider or the 13 phases of the moon also called ” The Wheel of the 13 Moons” .
Dream catchers are usually in the shape of a circle but in some tribes they were shaped like a drop of water . For some this represents the sun or the circle of life.
Same for the bead in the centre of the dream catcher which represents the spider spinning a web.
To better understand the meaning of the dream filter, I will explain the meaning of the medicine wheel and the 13 phases of the moon for Native Americans.
The medicine wheel is represented in 4 parts representing several ideas or concepts:
- The 4 cardinal points: north, east, south and west
- The 4 colours: white, yellow, red and black
- The 4 elements, Wind, fire, water and earth
- The 4 parts of a person: Intellect, Body, Spiritual and Emotional
- The 4 stages of life: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age
The 13 Moons govern astrology, so there are 13 signs in Native American culture as opposed to the 12 we all know. These 13 signs are inspired by the qualities of animals because in Native American culture, one of the fundamentals is the earth. The ” Wheel of the 13 Moons ” allows you to reveal your personality and will inform about the totem animal and its influence, as well as your description.
- The Bear (06/01 to 01/02): qualities of the bear: perseverance, courage and originality
- Orignal (02/02 to 03/03) : qualities: inspiration, foresight and will
- Marmotte (04/03 to 31/03): qualities: lucidity, receptivity and eagerness
- Hare (01/04 to 28/04): qualities: magnetism, emotionality and common sense
- White Goose (29/04 to 26/05): qualities: intelligence, creativity and realism
- Salmon (27/05 to 23/06): qualities: fidelity, valour and determination
- Hare (24/06 to 22/07): qualities: energetic, adaptability and intelligence
- Eagle (23/07 to 16/08): qualities: skill, tenacity and vigilance
- Tortoise (17/08 to 16/09): qualities: competence, diplomacy and generosity
- Bernache (17/09 to 14/10): qualities: sociability, autonomy and performance
- Castor (15/10 to 11/11): qualities: ingenuity, boldness and intuition
- Fox (12/11 to 09/12): qualities: psyche, wisdom and sensitivity
- Otters (10/12 to 05/01): qualities: perseverance, analytical mind and skill
What are the different legends around the dreamcatcher?
There are many legends to explain the transmission of the dreamcatcher to humans. All speak of a spider.
I will tell you my two favorite legends, the one from the ” Huron ” tribe or more commonly known as ” The Legend of the Hunter ” and the one from the ” Lakota Sioux ” tribe which is less well known :
The Legend of ” Huron “:
” long ago, a man of a tribe had to go out to get food for his people. On his way he saw a cave and thought that some animals might live there. So he went into the cave with his bow. However, something evil was living there. A beast with blood-coloured eyes and black fur ready to devour the man appeared. The man, frightened, dropped his weapon and fled, hoping to survive. He arrived at his tribe without food and told of his misadventure. The man could not sleep for days because of the image of the beast with blood-coloured eyes in his head. One night, when he still could not sleep, he lay down under a tree and fell asleep. When he woke up, he saw a spider’s web above him with little drops of water letting in the daylight. The next day he fell asleep again under this tree. So he told his tribe who adopted this technique from a spider. “
The legend ” Lakota Sioux ” :
” long ago, a spiritual leader of the tribe went to the top of a mountain to recharge his batteries. At the top of the mountain, he had a vision of the great sage named ” Iktomi ” in the form of a spider. This one, took a willow branch in the form of a hoop , horse mane and bird feathers and began to weave. The great sage spoke in a language that only great wizards could understand. While weaving, Iktomi spoke that in life there were forces of good and evil, that if one listened to the forces of good, one would go in the right direction and vice versa. He wove from the outside in, leaving a hole. The visions were caught by the net, this hole allowed to chase away the evil spirits, the bad visions into the hole of nothingness and the feathers allowed the good visions to pass to the holder of the dream catcher. He gave his work to the spiritual leader saying that this object would enable his tribe to achieve their goals, objectives and make good use of their dreams and visions. Thus, the dream catcher became a sacred object and was placed on top of every bed in the tribe to purify the dreams and visions. The dream catcher thus allows to use the positive waves and to chase away the negative ones. “
How to use and purify your dream catcher?
Depending on whether the objective is spiritual or decorative (or both), here are, below, different ways of uses.
For a decorative purpose:
There are several types of dreamcatchers, of several shapes (circle, heart, square etc.), luminous or not, of several sizes etc. You can make your own or buy one from our shop to decorate a room in your house. We have several ideas for decorations. You can buy a giant dream catcher to hang on the wall. You can get a classic size to hang in a window or you can get several to hang on the wall in different sizes to make a unique creation. You can also hang a dream catcher on a child’s bed. Be careful, if it’s a baby’s bed, choose a dream catcher without beads or rhinestones to avoid the baby catching and swallowing the beads. If you have any ideas for decorating with the dreamcatchers from our shop or show your use, please write to us!
For a spiritual purpose:
When you have made or purchased your dream catcher. Light an incense to scare away bad ideas and fill your dream catcher with your energy, good intentions and positive vibes. Make your dream catcher understand its purpose so that it can help you. Place it in a place where it will be in contact with light such as in front of a window, a door, in your garden, in your car or a place where the light reflects.
If this article has made you want to get a dream catcher, you can find some in our shop Atelier Macramé.