How Do Dreamcatchers Work?

Dreamcatchers have their roots in the Native American Ojibwe tribe. Ancient stories mention the Spider Woman, the protector of the tribe. When the Ojibwe people started to move across North America, the Spider-Woman started to make these dreamcatchers, inspiring other mothers to do so too. Their purpose was to protect their children from bad thoughts and dreams.

Legend says that the night air is filled with both good and bad dreams. A dreamcatcher hung over the bed, swinging freely in the air, will catch these dreams that are flowing by. The bad dreams will get trapped in the web, while the good ones will pass through the web, sliding down the soft feathers onto the sleeper.

What Does a Dreamcatcher Do?

A dreamcatcher consists of a small wooden ring covered with a net or canvas made of natural fibers. It can be decorated with beads, small stones, crystals, sacred objects, and feathers. It is crucial that all the elements in a dreamcatcher be natural. The ring represents the circle of life, but also the journey made each day and night by the sun and the moon across the sky.

Traditionally, the web of dreamcatchers is attached to the hoop in eight points, which represent the eight legs of a spider. The spider is the symbol of learning, wisdom, and energy. That is why, for Native Americans, a dreamcatcher was also seen as a totem representing good energy and protection against the bad one.

In the beginning, dreamcatchers were hung above newborns' cradles or onto the headboards of children's beds. But as time passed, adults started using the dreamcatchers, too, for a restful and peaceful sleep.

It is said that during the night, evil spirits and bad dreams get caught in the canvas, while good dreams float down the hanging feathers and beads reaching the sleeper. When the morning sun rays hit the dreamcatcher, the bad dreams and spirits are destroyed.

Another version of the story is that nightmares and bad dreams pass through the holes in the canvas and exit through the nearest window, while the good dreams get caught in the web, floating down the feathers and beads to comfort the sleeping child.

No matter how dreamcatchers work, they serve a unique purpose: to protect us while we sleep.

Some of the dreamcatchers you can find in our shop: