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How to Buy a Dreamcatcher and Dreamcatcher Information

Updated on January 7, 2018

Dream catchers are now found almost world wide. They have expanded beyond the original use and also adorn the places we 'day dream' or do our most creative thinking. You will find them almost anywhere, in the work place, as jewelry, logos, designs on shirts, hanging in cars, living rooms, centering a favorite window, over a kitchen table, even in bathrooms - and of course hanging over our sleeping areas.

There are no 'wrong' ones. Each one honors the sacred space of dream time - and the spirit of Native American culture, which brought us this beautiful lore. It is possible that they came from various tribes. After all, communication was sparse back then ... who really knows? That individuals from various tribes desire to claim ownership and recognition of this beautiful mythos is only human, part of an ongoing struggle by Native Americans to regain so much of what has been lost through the decades.

Dreamcatcher materials

Even before the arrival of the horse on the American Continent, Natives were nomads. Nomads are adaptable and resourceful. Authentic / traditional materials were wild crafted from the current environment the tribe lived in. Nomadic travel and the arrival of Europeans brought a continually growing variety in materials available to make all things, including dream catchers.

In modern day, I've seen many things used for both the 'frame' and as webbing. Everything in creation has energy. Everything has symbolic meaning associated to it. The meanings associated to different things shifts and grows as personal awareness and understanding grows (our personal biases). It also shifts and grows within societies and cultures on the same basis.

The webbing:

reflected the materials available at the time. Each one was unique and required painstaking labor to create. Webbing was made at times from cordage collected from plants. Sinew was another common material used (yes from animals - cat gut is rumored to have been used in later times within certain tribes), the sinew split and chewed until it was soft and pliable. Special materials were included for their 'special medicine' (the energy carried by the object placed within the webbing). Prayers and chants were done as it was created. This 'medicine piece' was considered to be a sacred object.

In modern day, the most common material used for the webbing is an artificial sinew. It is made of pure linen flax that is coated with natural bee's wax. Some of the new colors of artificial sinew are wax coated cotton thread. Other materials now used, including fishing line, twine, thread, yarn and wire. Remember, every 'thing' carries it's own special 'vibration' - energy. Again, there are no 'wrong' ones. I would caution however that over the months and years, webs made with thread, twine and yarn tend to sag in the web after a period of time.

Hoops:

The weaving was done on the tops of cradle boards, or using a supple wood such as willow, cedar, wild plum and various others, that was harvested for this sacred object, in sacred ceremony. The wood was then twisted into the desired shape, most commonly a circle or teardrop. Hoops are as unique as everything else.

Modern day hoops are done with metals such as steel or brass. Tree branches and grapevines which are twisted and woven into the desired shape are also used. Children are being taught to weave them using plastic or paper plates, the middles cut out of them, and yarn for the webbing! I've seen webs on baskets, glass hoops, on full antler sets, over knickknack holders, as well as various pieces of jewelry also using many mediums ... and one even that was attached and draped from a lamp shade! I've done a few making lace out of deer or elk rawhide, then weaving a web onto the back side of a hoop drum as the 'handle.' It is more than a little frustrating when the rawhide dries to tight and breaks, or dries to loose and does not pull the drum tight enough for good tone.

Modern hoops are either totally or partially wrapped with a wide assortment of materials. Leather, fur, fabric, various kinds of paper, foil, twine, molded with ceramic, sweet grass, sage, flowers both dried and silk ... the list is goes on!

Dreamcatcher history

Some traditionalist lore...

The Ojibwe (Chippewa) consider themselves to be the first tribe to have used dream catchers. Based on a book first published in 1929, Chippewa Customs by Frances Densmore that associated the custom of 'dream charms' made with wooden hoops and yarn to the Chippewa tribe.

The round shape is said to represent that path of the sun as it journey's across the sky.

Some say it must have 8 points (spider woman's legs) - or 7 points (the 7 prophecies) connecting the web to the hoop.

The feathers represent breath, air, and Creative Force. With thousands of tiny fingers, they reach for and capture the whispered messages. They are also said to give children lessons on the importance of 'good air.' Within some tribes, they do not put feathers on dream catchers woven for adults (sad but true). Many of the feathers that may have been used traditionally, are now protected by law.

Many teach these need to hang freely (not flat against a wall). Personally I've not seen that this makes a difference in how the dreamer interacts with it. Whatever feels correct IS correct for each person. However, the multiple hoop styles described below do look better hanging freely!

Dreamcatcher Hoop Styles and Dreamcatcher Meanings

Single Hoop Dreamcatcher: Strength

These seem to be best for preventing nightmares in children and in recovering from any type of addiction. This perhaps is because the symbols within it tend to reflect the strengths already present within the person, ones they are making stronger, in life and in dream time.

Just as dreams shift, the energy of the single hoop shifts. Sometimes drawing physical strength, sometimes emotional, sometimes spiritual. In my experience, it seems to focus on one thing at a time. Most often I have noted this to be emotional - as we are all connected to all things within our experience emotionally. Not a thing happens to anyone that they do not have an emotional reaction to of some sort!

Double Hoop Dreamcatcher: Balance

The double hoop style spoken of here have EQUAL sized hoops. They are said to assist in bringing balance within relationships, even to draw true love. The balance begins first within the owner of it. From there it radiates outward into their most intimate relationship, to their family, friends, work and community. With as much as it makes some friends laugh, logic is often part of intuitive understanding. It is 'logical' that a person that is balanced will draw love, that it will affect all parts of their life!

The symbols within the double hoop are complex. They reflect the 'owner' - also reflect strengths that will be enhanced as the individual becomes more balanced. I've seen them also reflect qualities that 'partners' seem to enhance and draw out in one and other. If there is a symbol within the center of the hoops, it indicates where the balance is going (strength - goal).

Triple Hoop Dreamcatcher: Body / Mind / Spirit

This style of creating dream catchers came to me in dream time. It looked like work (lots of dreams do!), so I kept putting off trying it for almost a year. Over the year, the dream came more and more often. I had NO idea how to go about putting the three hoops together. One day I sat down determined to try ... and well, you see the results! I am quite flattered to say that I've seen this style reproduced by many others since I first introduced it to the public.

With these triple hoop dream catchers, the levels of dreaming tends to be quite intense and often confusing. It requires some initial effort to begin understanding the messages you bring back to your conscious state. It is well worth the effort of remembering.

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