When I was around 9 years old, not long after moving to the UK, I started having terrible nightmares. I decided to do some research of my own to see how I could stop these nightmares or at least tame them down. That was when I stumbled upon the legend of the dream catcher, which I will tell you soon. Using a paper plate, beads, thread and feathers, I made my very first dream catcher. It sure wasn’t the best, but it truly felt like it gave me much more control over my dreams and it really worked for me! The nightmares were significantly less frequent. Of all the tips for stopping nightmares, the dream catcher caught my eye because of its beautiful origin and graceful appearance.
The Legend of the Dream Catcher
The Ojibwa (Chippewa) believe that night is full of both good and bad dreams. When a dream catcher is hung above the place where you sleep it moves freely in the night air and catches the dreams as they drift by.
The good dreams, knowing their way, pass through the opening in the centre of the webbing while the bad dreams, not knowing the way, are caught in the webbing and destroyed at the first light of the morning sun. According to an old Ojibwa legend, a mystical and maternal ‘spider woman’ once served as the spiritual protector for her tribe, especially in concern to young children, kids and babies. As the Ojibwe people flourished and spread out across the land, it was difficult for the spider woman to continue to protect and watch over all the members of the tribe as they migrated further and further away. This is why she created the first dream catcher. Following her example, over the course of generations mothers and grandmothers continued to ritualistically recreate the material keepsake as a means of mystically protecting their children and families even from a distance. All parts of the authentic dream catcher have a meaning connected to the natural world. The shape of the dreamcatcher is a circle because it represents the circle of life and how forces like the sun and the moon travel each day and night across the sky.
How To Make Your Own
There are many different methods of making a dream catcher. Here is a very simple one.
Take some twigs or bamboo and bend into a circle shape. Then take some string or thread and begin to make knots around the hoop. When the thread has covered the size of the hoop, start making knots on the thread - the more cross-overs the more chances the bad dreams will be caught. If you want to add your own touch you can add beads to your string of thread here. They can aslo make it harder for the bad dreams to come through.
Then use thread, feathers, beads, anything you have to tie to the bottom of the hoop so they hang down. This is where the good dreams will filter down into mind while you sleep. The only thing left to do is hang above your bed!