The History of Dream Catchers

A dream catcher is an ancient spiritual tool used to help assure good dreams while you sleep. A dream catcher is usually placed over a bed where you sleep.


Dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect sleep and to help stop negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the catcher, and glide down the feathers to the person sleeping below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web and when the first rays of the sun struck them, they would dissolve into the air. The dream catcher has been a part of the Native American culture for generations. One element of this tradition elates to the hoop. Some Native Americans held the hoop in the highest esteem, because it symbolized strength and unity.

The catchers were made by the Native Americans into beautiful handmade objects that consist of a willow hoop covered with net or webbing, they are also decorated with personal and sacred items such as beads or feathers. Today’s catchers are made with wood or even metal hoops wrapped in leather strips, to help preserve them. The webs are made of artificial sinew.

They come in many different sizes and are often purchased for their beauty and many are not fully aware of the concept behind them.

During the 60s and 70s, Native American tribes sought for a symbol of unity amongst themselves and many adopted the catcher as that symbol. They viewed the catcher not just as a tool to collect good dreams and eliminate the bad dreams, but also to help understand their dreams.

The catchers should be placed where you sleep, whether it is placed on the bed or on the wall. The catcher is a beautiful work of art; however, the Native Americans truly believed that it held the key to night visions and dreams.

The earliest catchers were commonly called sacred hoops and were crafted by parents to protect their children from nightmares. Newborns were given charms that were woven in the form of a spider web to protect their dreams so their innocence would not be harmed by the tricksters of the night. They would place the catcher on the cradle.


How to use your dream catcher

Once you have picked your dream catcher you need to clean it by smudging before use and periodically this removes the energies that become trapped in the web. To do this simply burn a stick of sage and pass the catcher through the smoke a few times to cleanse any bad energy held inside.

Place the catcher a foot or two above the head of your bed to help you remember your dreams and prevent nightmares. Dream catchers make perfect protective item for children who suffer from nightmares or are afraid of the dark.

You can also place the catcher in any room where brainstorming or planning occurs, such as a boardroom, classroom or office. They do not only help with your dreams, they also help to clear bad ideas and filter in creative and positive vision.

You can even place a catcher in a room that is used for meditating. A catcher can help channel in good visions and filter out negative energy. It helps you clarify your thoughts and visions. It is important to cleanse your catcher before and after any spiritual work, you do.


Making your own dream catcher

To do this you will need a thin bendable stick making sure you have the right amount to make a circle of the desired circumference, twine or string, ribbon, knife, breads and feathers.
Cut the stick into a circle and fasten it with the twine. Wrap the circle in ribbon paying special attention to the area where the circle has been fastened.

Tie one end of the twine and thread it across a quarter of the circle. Tie it into the other end of the circle and cut off the remaining length. Return to the starting point and tie another piece of the twine across the circle. Repeat this four times until you have four lengths around the circle.

Working from the center of each of these, tie one twine to each of the other three. Experiment until you find a pleasing pattern that resembles a spider’s web. Now add a bead to the center of the design to represent a spider. Finish the dream catcher by hanging ribbons, beads and feathers from the bottom.