How Does a Dream Catcher Work?

Dream catcher: the name itself has a magical feel to it. It has become popular in recent times thanks to many movies and popular shows using it. Some believe it has magical powers, some think of it as just a craft. Even though many people have heard about them and some even use them, most of them don’t have any idea of what a dreamcatcher is, what it does, how it works, how did it originate, etc.

There is something about the unknown and the mystical that intrigues people and makes them want to dive deep into finding out the truth.

So, here let me take you through the journey of this fascinating thing from where it originated to the role it can play in our lives.

1) What is it?

A dream catcher is designed to hold the good dreams and make them flow to your mind and catch the bad dreams and keep them away from you.

2) Design of a Dream Catcher

It is basically a hoop, inside which a design is woven in the form of a spider’s web with beads or feathers hanging from the hoop. The earliest known dream catcher didn’t have beads and feathers. These have been added later on.

3) Origin

It is believed to have originated from the Ojiwbe tribe. They had a belief that “Asibikaashi”, a female who possesses the powers of a spider, protects the tribe, especially the young ones. Legend has it that as the tribe grew and spread to various regions, it became impossible for her to be there to protect all. So, she created the dream catcher. She taught it to the mothers who made the dream catchers out of willow hoops or tied strands of sinew around a circular wooden frame and made the web with yarn and hung them on their children’s beds. In this way, Asibikaashi could protect her people from far without her actual presence.

4) Symbolism

There are many interpretations of the specific design of the dream catcher. The dream catcher is in the shape of a circle and this circle signifies life, from birth, childhood, adulthood to death. Good and evil forces ( in the form of dreams) keep passing through trying to steer our lives in different directions. The web, which is a spider’s web traps everything and retains good forces and makes the bad forces leave. The beads and feathers are the dreams caught in the web that have trickled down and immortalized in these forms.

5) How does a dream catcher work?

The night is said to be filled with angels which bring good dreams and evil spirits which bring bad dreams. The dream catcher on the bed catches the good dreams and lets them slide down through the beads and feathers onto the person sleeping below, making them sleep peacefully and happily. Bad dreams, on the other hand, are allowed to pass through the spider web to the outside.

Some people have different interpretations. They say that it is the bad dreams that are caught and trapped in the form of beads and feathers and good dreams are allowed to pass through the web thus filling the room with positivity. The bad dreams that have been caught disappear with the morning sun rays.

6) How it is viewed in the present times

The use of a dream catcher spread onto the Native Americans and pan-Indian communities. It’s purpose and the story of it’s origin got translated many times and various versions and interpretations were added to it diluting the faith and belief of the masses it enjoyed. Now it is preferred more for decoration purposes rather than the original purpose for which it was created.

Many design variations have been introduced, but the basic design ( hoop, web, feathers, and beads) remains the same. The original design was crude and made of natural products but now most of them are made of plastic or metal hoops and are decorated with silk threads and more. It is now known as the craft of the Native Americans.

Nevertheless, the dream catcher continues to be the most popular object among people, be it for aesthetics or belief but one thing is for sure- The Dream Catcher is here to stay till it gets replaced by something more awesome and mysterious one than it.