Find out all about this Native American talisman and how to create your own
Dream catchers are much more than a pretty decoration for your bedroom – they’re thought to contain mystical energies and can have a mysterious effect on your night-time visions. The indigenous peoples of America, who created the craft, consider them spiritual objects and treat them with a deep reverence. It’s thought that they were first made by the Ojibwe Nation, and prayers were said by the crafters to infuse them with sacred powers. They were originally made for children from willow and sinew, and as they dried out they broke – symbolising the impermanence of youth. Indigenous people believe the night’s air is full of dreams – nightmares are thought to get caught in the web and evaporate in the sun’s rays, while good dreams go through the hole in the middle and slide down the feathers, before slipping into the sleeper’s head. Watch out for the feathers of your dream catcher moving – it could be a beautiful message entering your subconscious mind, ready for you to dream about that evening!
Activate your catcher
Charge yours to attract wisdom from the universe
● Gather your dream catcher, a pinch of salt, a glass of water and some incense
● Light the incense and take a few clearing breaths to connect with the energy in your body
● When you are ready, take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it into the water – imagine it being filled with a golden light. Then sprinkle a tiny bit of water onto the dream catcher
● Pass the dream catcher through the smoke from the incense to purify it
● Now hold the catcher in your right hand. Picture a sphere of white light radiating in all directions above your head, then concentrate your energy on this sphere, feeling its power and brilliance grow
● Picture a shaft of white light flowing down from the ball above your head and descending into your solar plexus
● Next, transfer this energy from your body into the dream catcher. It’s now ready to be hung above your bed
How to make your own!
Hang above your bed for the best night’s snooze ever
You will need:
• Wooden hoops – one 16cm and four 5cm diameter
• Embroidery thread or coloured yarn
• Pony beads
• Natural feathers
1 Take the larger hoop and paste a little glue onto part of it. Knot your yarn to the hoop by the glue and begin wrapping tightly around the wood to cover it, butting each wrap up to the last. Continue gluing and wrapping the yarn, changing colour if desired, until you reach the beginning. Knot the yarn and make a long hanging loop from the excess, adding a bead to the loop for extra decoration.
2 To make the web, tie a different colour yarn to the top of the hoop, below the hanging loop. Wrap the yarn around the hoop about an eighth of the way around the circumference. Dab a little glue to the wrap to secure it before wrapping again a quarter of the way around the hoop. Keep the yarn fairly taut but avoid over-stretching it. Continue wrapping and gluing until you reach the beginning, making eight segments around the edge of the hoop.
3 Tie the yarn in a hitch knot around the centre of the first segment created. Carry on hitching the yarn to each segment to create the next row, checking the knot falls in the centre each time. Add beads to the yarn as you do so, if desired. Keep knotting around and around, pulling the yarn tighter as you make smaller rows. Finish the weave when you reach the centre of the hoop by tying the yarn tightly to the final segment and trimming the ends.
4 In the same way, make the four smaller webs in the 5cm diameter hoops, leaving a long end of yarn at the top of each. Use these long threads to tie three of the hoops to the main dream catcher at the remaining points of the compass and add beads for decoration. Tie the last small hoop to the bottom of the middle one.
5 Gather small bunches of feathers and wrap the top of the quills with yarn, knotting to hold secure and leaving a long end. Feed a bead over the long yarn’s end and slide over the binding, gluing to disguise the yarn. Tie the feathers to bottoms and sides of the smaller dream catchers.