Dream Catcher Meaning & Origin

You can ask almost anyone what a dream catcher is, and most people have seen or heard of one. However, they’re rarely able to tell you precisely what the dreamcatcher stands for or from where it originates. There’s so much more to a dreamcatcher than just its beauty.

Before you endeavor to create one or purchase one from someone, you should know what it symbolizes and how it works. The webbing, shape, colors, and beads all stand for something different. In this article, we’ll explain what those meanings are what they mean for your sleep.

Dream Catcher Origin

Dream catchers are believed to have originated about 1500 years ago from Asibaikaashi, a custodian to the Ojibwe people of the Chippewa Indian Tribe. Known as Spider Woman, Asibaikaashi took care of all the earth’s people, but, as the people began to move into all corners of the world, it became hard for Spider Woman to send her energy to everyone. Hence, she implored the help of the women and grandmothers of each family.

All the women took on the responsibility for weaving the webs of the dream catchers for the babies. They would use sinew for the webs in the middle of willow hoops. Then, the charms were added to help protect the children as they were meant to catch any evil or harm within the vicinity of where it was placed.

Dream Catcher Meaning & Symbolism

As the Chippewa tribes’ women created the dream catchers, they started to gain popularity outside of the indigenous Ojibwe people. It’s expanded into other Indian communities and outside the Indian community, and thus, new meanings for these dream catchers have been created. So, the dream catcher significance has changed from tribe to tribe and person to person over the years.

However, the traditional meaning of a dream catcher remains. The circular shape of the hoop represents the shape of the world. From them, a web is woven that catches the nightmares so that they can be discharged during the day.

From there, feathers are typically added to the bottom, which allows the good dreams to flow to the person who is sleeping under the dream catcher. But, since laws have changed and it’s illegal to possess bird feathers in some areas, people have begun adding beads and gems to the dream catcher.

These act the same way as the feathers do, having a portal for the good dreams to enter so that they can be transferred to the adult or infant who is sleeping near it.

Dream Catcher Bracelet
Dream Catcher Necklace

Spiritual Meaning Of Dream Catchers

Dream catchers are more than just a pretty piece of art that catches terrible dreams and releases the good ones. The web in the middle of the dream catcher is much like a ‘spider’s web’ hence why so many referred to Asibaikaashi as “The Spider Woman.” Spiders were a good omen to the Ojibwa Chippewa Tribe.

The indigenous Ojibwa people believe that spiders represent good energy, learning, and wisdom. This energy is then thought to be transferred into the dream catcher, which is why eight points are common to have within the dream catcher, as it represents the eight legs that a spider has. Therefore, the bad dreams are caught in the web and neutralizes, while the good ones are held and then allowed through to the sleeping individual.

Different Types Of Dream Catchers

As time went on, the dream catcher began taking on a different meaning depending on who created them. Eventually, different colors were incorporated, and other cultures started making them as well. For example, the Malayalam dream catchers are often signs of positivity, while a black dream catcher represents death and mystery. Below are a few examples of the different types of dream catchers and their meanings.

  • Malayalam Dream Catcher: The Malayalam dream catcher is one of several traditional ones available today. The Malayalam dream catcher stands as a symbol of positivity like it has in previous generations. These are created with feathers that allow the good dreams to descend upon the sleeping person who owns the dream catcher.
  • Black Dream Catcher: The black dream catcher stands for death, mystery, power, and evil. Black is also a color that is associated with the unknown and with fear. Representing grief as well, black dream catchers are thought to be more of a negative connotation, so many prefer that their dream catcher is not black.
  • White Dream Catcher: White is the color of purity, goodness, light, and joy. It’s thought to be a perfect color. In dream catchers, white stands for cleanliness, safety, and purity. It’s believed to bring positivity into your dreams. White can also represent a new beginning and may bring good fortune to the owner.

Dream Catcher Pattern Meaning

Even though it’s significant, something else that’s overlooked is the pattern in which the web of the dream catcher is woven. There is a different meaning to each point pattern regarding the web.

  • Five points: Symbolizes a star or the stars.
  • Six points: This is representative of an eagle.
  • Seven points: Takes after the seven prophesies.
  • Eight points: Is symbolic of a spider, or the spider woman, Asibaikaashi.
  • Thirteen points: Represents the 13 phases of the moon.
  • In addition to the patterns, beads have been added to the web, which is thought to represent one of two things; The beads represent the spider of the web, or they are the good dreams in physical form that did not pass through the web.

    Also, on the web, you may notice a cross in the center, which is meant to stand for the Four Sacred Directions, which is believed to bring good fortune and good medicine from the universe while protecting the individual from misfortune.

    In Conclusion
    A dream catcher is meant to connect to your soul and work only for you. Therefore, it’s best to purchase one that is 100% authentic and not one that’s mass-produced. Also, it’s good if you have some ideas of what you want to incorporate in your dream catcher so that you can have one custom made just for you and your dreams. Only then will your dream catcher work to the best of its ability and pass on the sweetest of dreams during your slumber.