The Meaning & Symbolism Of Dreamcatchers

Wondering what is a dreamcatcher? Here is a complete guide for you to know everything about a dreamcatcher, their meaning, and their symbolism.

By Janani
The Meaning & Symbolism Of Dreamcatchers

Meaning Of A Dreamcatcher

A dreamcatcher also referred to as 'spider web charm' or the 'Sacred Hoops,' has a long history to go with it. A dreamcatcher is known to trap all the nightmares and negative energy in your dreams and leave you with just the good ones at night. The main purpose of a dreamcatcher is to give you a good nights sleep and protect you from evil. 

A dreamcatcher is round, with the inner part woven like a spider web. It also has sacred items like feathers and beads attached to the bottom. Dreamcatchers come in different colors, patterns, and styles. Even with all the differences, the sole purpose is to protect you from bad dreams and evil spirits. 

A dreamcatcher is hung above the bed. The dreamcatcher is believed to bring in pleasant dreams, good luck, and charm.

Symbolism Of A Dreamcatcher

Every little detail in the dreamcatcher has a meaning attached to it. The ring or the loop in the dreamcatcher represents the different aspects of our life. 

The web inside the ring of the dreamcatcher filters the bad dreams. It represents the spider's web which traps everything that gets in its way. Likewise, the dreamcatcher's web is believed to trap all the bad and negative energy in your dreams. The holes in the web let past the good ones slide through them and pass through the feathers and beads, and then to the sleeper. The trapped bad dreams when exposed to sunlight gets dissolved in the light. It is a process of purifying the dreamcatcher when the sunlight hits it.

The feathers in the dreamcatcher act as a soft, gentle pillow for the good dreams, so they perfectly slide down to the sleeper. 

It is believed that the beads in a dreamcatcher symbolize two different things. It is considered either as a spider, the web weaver itself or as a good charm that prevents good dreams from being trapped in the web. The purpose of the beads in the dreamcatcher is to pass the good dreams or the positive energy through the holes in the web.

Origin Of Dreamcatchers

The origin of the dreamcatcher dates back to the Native American tribes Ojibwe in the year 1929. It is rumored that the protective dreamcatcher was brought in by a Spider-woman named Asibikaashi, who is believed to take care of all children, men, and women on land. As the Native American Ojibwe tribe grew in size, the Spider-women was unable to protect all her people on land as they started to spread all over the land. The spider-woman, Asibikaashi, created the dreamcatcher to protect her people from the bad and negative energy that is spread around in the air. So she created the dreamcatcher to keep her people safe from all evil. 

Every mother and grandmother in her place started to weave dreamcatchers to protect their family from everything bad and evil. Even infants had dreamcatchers hung by their bedside to be safe and unharmed by the nightmares. 

In many tribes, a spider is considered as a something bad, but in the Ojibwe tribe, it is considered as a protective charm.

What Are Dreamcatchers Made Of?

Now that you know the meaning, symbolism and the origin of a dreamcatcher it is important to know what it is made of. The traditional dreamcatcher for the infant is made of willow and sinew which is not meant to last long as it symbolizes that childhood is short-lived. The willow will eventually get dried up, and the sinew would collapse as the tension in the sinew increases. It has been designed this way for the younger kids and infants just as a reminder to know that nothing is meant to last forever. 

For adults, the dreamcatcher has woven fiber to mirror their adult "dreams."  It is still practiced in different parts of Canada and Northeastern U.S. to have dreamcatchers with a teardrop or a snowshoe shape. The feathers in the dreamcatcher are never used for adults in the traditional dreamcatcher. 

You can still get the traditional dreamcatcher in many parts of America as a souvenir for your dear ones. 

Dreamcatchers In The Modern World

In the modern world, dreamcatchers are used as decoratives in the home. Most people use it as a fancy ornamental to add beauty to their house without knowing the right meaning and symbolism of the dreamcatcher. Many use dreamcatchers to decorate their cars, the different patterns of the dreamcatcher make it ornamental rather a charm.  

The idea of the dreamcatcher has been taken from the Native American and has been enhanced in a way that would suit the modern world. There are a lot of enhancements with the dreamcatcher in the color, pattern, and material. This has made the dreamcatcher more of a fancy item than a charm.

You can even make your own dreamcatcher at home, so it matches your taste. With all the sacred items in place, the dreamcatcher will be your perfect companion for a good nights sleep.