Discovering the Meaning: What Does the Dreamcatcher Symbolize?

You’ve probably seen a dreamcatcher at some point in your life, perhaps even hung over a friend’s bed or in a souvenir shop during a vacation. But have you ever wondered what this icon represents beyond being a bohemian decoration? Dreamcatchers have a rich history and symbolism dating back to Indigenous North American cultures. They were made to catch nightmares and allow only good dreams to filter through, but their meaning goes beyond just a good night’s rest.

In Indigenous lore, dreamcatchers were created to filter out negative energy and thoughts that could potentially cause harm. They were hung in ways that allowed good dreams to pass through the webbing and down the feathers to the sleeper, while nightmares were captured and dissolved with the light of day. The dreamcatcher’s shape and materials also hold significant meaning. Circular shapes represent the connectedness of all living things, and the feathers or other materials used were chosen for their symbolic properties.

As the popularity of dreamcatchers spread beyond Indigenous communities, their meaning has often been diluted or lost altogether. Many people simply see them as a trendy accessory, while others view them as a way to connect with spirituality or reframe negative thoughts. Despite this, the original significance of the dreamcatcher remains a powerful symbol of spiritual protection and positive intention.

Origins and History of the Dreamcatcher Symbol

The dreamcatcher is a Native American symbol believed to have originated from the Anishinabe tribe, also known as the Chippewa tribe, in the 18th century. According to Native American legend, a spider woman used to weave a magical web to protect young children from bad dreams, nightmares, and negative energies. The web captured any negative thoughts and feelings, allowing good dreams to pass through and enter the child’s mind.

  • The dreamcatcher is a Native American symbol that has been popularized in modern culture and is a common household decoration.
  • The dreamcatcher has a rich history and cultural significance, being a symbol that represents protection and comfort to its people.
  • The design of the dreamcatcher often features a circular web with feathers, beads, and other decorative elements hanging from it.

The dreamcatcher symbol has evolved over time, and its use has spread to many different cultures across the world. Today, it has become a common household decoration that people use to decorate their homes, offices, and even cars.

However, it is important to remember the origins and cultural significance of the dreamcatcher symbol. Native American tribes have used the dreamcatcher for centuries as a symbol of protection and comfort to their people. It is a symbol that should be respected and honored for its rich history and cultural importance.

The Role of Dreamcatchers in Native American Cultures

Dreamcatchers have been a significant symbol in Native American cultures for centuries. They are handcrafted objects that typically consist of a willow hoop wrapped in sinew or other natural fibers such as leather, with a web that features a hole in the center. Decorative elements such as feathers, beads, and crystals often adorn the hanging strings of the dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers are believed to hold protective power over individuals and are hung above beds or in the home to help filter out bad dreams and negative energy, allowing for a peaceful and restful slumber.

The Symbolism of Dreamcatchers

  • The hoop of the dreamcatcher represents the circle of life, with no beginning and no end. This symbolizes the idea that everything in the universe, including the cycles of nature and the passage of time, are interconnected and infinite.
  • The web woven inside the hoop of the dreamcatcher is said to function like a spider’s web, trapping negative energy, bad dreams, and evil spirits while allowing positive energy, good dreams, and spirits to pass through the center hole. This represents the importance of filtering out negative energy and embracing positivity in life.
  • The feathers and other decorative elements added to the dreamcatcher are said to bring wisdom, courage, and strength to the individual who uses it. The feathers, in particular, represent the breath of life, connecting the dreamer to the spirit world and reminding the individual of their connection to nature.

The Importance of Dreamcatchers in Native American Spirituality

In Native American cultures, dreamcatchers play a vital role in spirituality and are often used in healing ceremonies. They are seen as a spiritual tool for connecting with the spirit world and maintaining a harmonious balance with nature and the universe. Dreamcatchers are believed to hold a sacred power that can bring clarity and focus to the individual, helping them to find their spiritual path and purpose in life. They are also said to provide guidance and protection during times of uncertainty, fear, and transition.

The Variations of Dreamcatchers In Different Tribes

Dreamcatchers are not a uniform symbol across Native American tribes and cultures. Each tribe has their unique interpretations of dreamcatchers, and their design and materials used in making them vary significantly. For example, Ojibwe dreamcatchers are generally smaller and feature a geometric web design that represents the cycles of the sun and moon. In contrast, Sioux dreamcatchers are known for their larger size and are adorned with long beaded strands and buffalo hide, which symbolize strength and power. Regardless of their variations, dreamcatchers have maintained their symbolism and importance in Native American cultures and continue to be respected and admired by people worldwide.

Dreamcatcher ElementsMeaning
Willow HoopCircle of Life, Interconnectedness
WebFiltering of Negative Energy
FeathersSpirit Connection and Guidance
Decorative ElementsPersonalization and Spiritual Meaning

Dreamcatchers are a beautiful symbol whose meaning and significance stretch back hundreds of years. Understanding the symbolism behind their creation and significance to the Native American cultures is a powerful way to connect with the beauty of the universe, embrace positivity, and gain spiritual insights.

Legend of the Dreamcatcher and how it works

The dreamcatcher is a Native American cultural item that has been adopted and adapted by many different cultures. Its origins can be traced back to the Anishinabe people, also known as the Ojibwe or Chippewa. According to legend, Asibikaashi, the spider woman, took care of the children and people of the land. As the Anishinabe tribe began to spread out, it became difficult for Asibikaashi to keep up with all of them, so she taught the tribe how to weave dreamcatchers, which would filter out bad dreams and let good dreams pass through to the sleeper.

  • The webbing of the dreamcatcher represents the Spider Woman’s protection and is meant to catch any bad dreams that may be floating around in the night.
  • The beads, feathers, and other decorations hanging from the bottom of the dreamcatcher represent good dreams that are allowed to pass through to the sleeper.
  • The circle around the webbing represents the cycle of life and how everything is connected.

The dreamcatcher works by hanging it near the sleeping area. As dreams pass through the air, the bad dreams get caught in the webbing and disappear with the rising sun. The good dreams, on the other hand, are allowed to pass through the webbing and are fed down to the sleeper through the feathers and other decorations hanging from the bottom of the dreamcatcher.

Today, dreamcatchers are popular decorations and are often given as gifts. They are still used by some people to help filter out bad dreams and promote peaceful sleep.

WebbingProtection from bad dreams
Beads, feathers, and decorationsGood dreams allowed to pass through
CircleConnection and cycle of life

The dreamcatcher is a powerful symbol that has been used for centuries. Whether used for spiritual or decorative purposes, the dreamcatcher still holds a place in many cultures around the world.

Meaning of the different parts of the Dreamcatcher

The Dreamcatcher is a popular Native American object that has been used for centuries. The Dreamcatcher is composed of several different parts that symbolize various aspects of the dream world. Understanding the symbolic meaning of these different parts is crucial to understanding the Dreamcatcher’s power.

Number 4

  • In Native American culture, the number four is considered a sacred number. It represents the four cardinal directions — North, South, East, and West — and is seen as a symbol of balance and stability.
  • When four points are used in the Dreamcatcher’s design, it is believed to represent the four stages of life: infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
  • The four points can also represent the four seasons, the four elements – air, water, fire, and earth – or the four phases of the moon – full, waxing, waning, and new.


Feathers are an important part of the Dreamcatcher’s design. They are often hung from the bottom of the hoop and are believed to help the good dreams filter down to the sleeper. Feathers are also seen as a way of connecting the Dreamcatcher to the spiritual world, as they are seen as a link between the earth and the sky.

Each type of feather used in a Dreamcatcher has a different symbolic meaning. For example, eagle feathers are seen as a symbol of strength and courage, while owl feathers are believed to bring wisdom and understanding.


The hoop is the main structural component of the Dreamcatcher. It is typically made from willow wood and is meant to symbolize the cyclical nature of life. The hoop represents the circle of life and the never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.


The web is the most recognizable feature of the Dreamcatcher. It is meant to catch the bad dreams and hold them until they dissipate with the morning sun. The web design can vary from intricate to simple, but the overall intention is the same – to filter out the negative dreams and let the positive ones through.

Dreamcatcher SymbolismMeaning
SpiderThe spider is believed to symbolize the creator of the Dreamcatcher. The spider’s web is considered a sacred symbol of protection and unity.
BeadsBeads are used to decorate the Dreamcatcher and are believed to represent the good dreams that are captured. The colors of the beads can have different meanings depending on the culture in which the Dreamcatcher is made.
StonesStones are often added to Dreamcatchers, and each stone has its own unique properties. For example, turquoise is believed to offer protection and healing, while amethyst is believed to promote tranquility and peace.

Understanding the symbolic meaning behind each component of the Dreamcatcher can help you appreciate the significance and power of this ancient object. Whether you hang one above your bed or carry one with you as a talisman, the Dreamcatcher is a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness of life, the beauty of dreams, and the importance of protection.

Differences Between Traditional and Modern Dreamcatchers

If you’ve ever wondered what does the dreamcatcher symbolize, you may be surprised to learn that the answer is not straightforward. Dreamcatchers are known for their intricate weaving patterns and are believed to have originated from Indigenous North American tribes. Over time, dreamcatchers have evolved to include modern adaptations, sometimes straying far from their traditional roots. Here are some differences between traditional and modern dreamcatchers.

  • Purposes: Traditional dreamcatchers were used as talismans to protect sleeping children from nightmares and harmful spirits. They were often hung above a child’s bed as a form of protection. Modern dreamcatchers are used more for decoration and can be found in various forms such as jewelry, keychains, and wall art.
  • Materials: Traditional dreamcatchers were made using only natural materials such as willow branches, sinew, and feathers. These materials were chosen for their connection to nature and the belief that they held sacred spiritual power. Modern dreamcatchers can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and synthetic fibers.
  • Design: Traditional dreamcatchers have a specific design composed of a circular hoop with a web of sinew or twine woven inside. The hoop is often adorned with feathers and small beads. The design is meant to represent the circle of life and the interconnectedness of all things in the world. Modern dreamcatchers can have varying designs, including non-circular shapes, multiple hoops, and intricate patterns.

Despite these differences, both traditional and modern dreamcatchers continue to be popular symbols for protection, peace, and good luck. Whether you choose a traditional or modern dreamcatcher, be sure to select one that resonates with your personal beliefs and values.

Five Symbolism in Traditional Dreamcatchers

Number 5Symbolism
Five points of the star inside the webRepresents the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit

The number 5 holds significant symbolism in traditional dreamcatchers. The five points of the star inside the web are said to represent the five elements – earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. These elements are believed to be the building blocks of the universe and are thought to have a connection to every living being.

The five points can also represent the five fingers on a hand and the five senses of the human body. In some interpretations, each of the five points holds a specific meaning related to the five elements. For example, the top point may represent the element of spirit and the other points may correspond to the remaining four elements.

Regardless of the specific interpretation, the number 5 in traditional dreamcatchers serves to remind us of our connection to the natural world and the importance of balance in our lives.

Significance of the feathers on a Dreamcatcher

The feathers on a dreamcatcher are a key symbol of the dreamcatcher, and each feather holds a special meaning. Dreamcatchers are often decorated with feathers to represent the connection between the dreamcatcher and the spiritual world.

The number of feathers on a dreamcatcher is also significant. Many Native American tribes believe that six is a sacred number, as it represents balance and harmony in all aspects of life.

  • The first feather represents breath and the importance of air in sustaining life.
  • The second feather represents light and the importance of light in guiding us on our path.
  • The third feather represents wisdom and the importance of wisdom in making good decisions.

The fourth feather represents courage and the bravery needed to face our fears and overcome challenges.

The fifth feather represents love and the importance of loving ourselves and others.

The sixth feather represents freedom and the importance of being free to be who we are and to live our lives as we choose.

FirstBreath and the importance of air in sustaining life
SecondLight and the importance of light in guiding us on our path
ThirdWisdom and the importance of wisdom in making good decisions
FourthCourage and the bravery needed to face our fears and overcome challenges
FifthLove and the importance of loving ourselves and others
SixthFreedom and the importance of being free to be who we are and to live our lives as we choose

The feathers on a dreamcatcher are not just decorative, but rather an important symbol with deep spiritual meaning. They represent the fundamental values that are important to Native American culture, including balance, harmony, and freedom. Understanding the symbolism of the feathers on a dreamcatcher can help to deepen our appreciation for this beautiful and meaningful object.

Colors and their meanings in Dreamcatchers

The use of colors in dreamcatchers can change the meaning of the symbol. Generally, dreamcatchers are made with natural materials like wood and feathers. However, the colors used in their construction can also have symbolic significance. In this article, we will explore the meaning of the color 7 in dreamcatchers.

Number 7

The number seven is one of the most powerful numbers in numerology, and it is considered sacred in many cultures. In dreamcatchers, the number seven is often represented by the number of feathers or beads that are used in the construction of the charm. Seven is said to be a number of good fortune and represents completeness or wholeness.

  • In Christianity, seven is the number of creation and is associated with God’s work on the seventh day.
  • According to Hindu mythology, there are seven chakras or energy centers in the body. Each chakra is associated with a color and a specific aspect of spirituality.
  • In Chinese culture, seven represents good luck and is often used in gambling and other games of chance.

The number seven is also associated with intuition and introspection. It is believed that having seven feathers or beads in a dreamcatcher can help to amplify your intuition and provide greater insight into your dreams and subconscious mind.

PurpleSpiritual development, higher consciousness
YellowIntellect, clarity, communication
GreenGrowth, healing, nature
BlueCalm, peace, intuition
RedPassion, energy, strength
BlackProtection, mystery, power
WhitePurity, innocence, clarity

To conclude, the color 7 in dreamcatchers represent good fortune, intuition and completeness. It’s important to remember that the colors in dreamcatchers should be chosen depending on the specific purpose and intentions.

Varieties of Dreamcatchers and their uses

The dreamcatcher is a centuries-old tool that has been traditionally used by Indigenous cultures in North America. Its intricate design is meant to trap bad dreams and negative energy, allowing only good dreams and positive energy to pass through and provide a peaceful sleep. The dreamcatcher symbolizes protection and healing and has become a popular decorative item worldwide.

  • Traditional Dreamcatcher: The authentic dreamcatcher consists of a hoop made of willow wood, covered with netting made of sinew or thread, and decorated with feathers and beads. It is hung in a prominent place near the bed or the window, where it can capture the good dreams that come with the morning light.
  • Contemporary Dreamcatcher: The modern dreamcatcher comes in various shapes and sizes, made of different materials such as leather, yarn, and synthetic materials. Some have elaborate designs, while others may incorporate pictures or symbols significant to the owner. They can still be used for their intended purpose of promoting good dreams and warding off bad ones, while also serving as a stylish home d├ęcor item.
  • Chakra Dreamcatcher: The chakra dreamcatcher is designed to restore and balance the seven energy centers in the body known as chakras. Each of the seven chakras corresponds to a specific color, and the dreamcatcher is adorned with corresponding stones or crystals to activate the chakras and promote mental, emotional, and physical wellness.

The Significance of Number 8 in Dreamcatchers

Number 8 holds special significance in various cultures and spiritual practices, representing infinity, balance, and prosperity. In the context of dreamcatchers, the number 8 is represented in the number of points in the traditional dreamcatcher, each point symbolizing a direction of the wind and the eight legs of the spider, which traditionally is the center of the dreamcatcher’s web.

Symbolism of Number 8 in Dreamcatchers:Description:
InfinityInfinity symbolizes endless possibilities and represents the cyclical nature of life. It reminds us that everything in life is interconnected and that our actions and thoughts have a ripple effect.
BalanceBalance signifies harmony within oneself and with the world around us. It reminds us to live a balanced life and to maintain a balance between our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves.
ProsperityProsperity symbolizes abundance, wealth, and success. It serves as a reminder that our thoughts and intentions can manifest into reality and encourages us to attract positive energy and abundance in our lives.

The dreamcatcher is not just a beautiful piece of art to hang in your room; it symbolizes centuries of cultural history, spirituality, and healing practices. Understanding the significance of the number 8 and the variety of dreamcatchers available can help you choose the perfect dreamcatcher to protect your sleep and promote positive energy in your life.

Dreamcatcher Tattoos and Their Meanings

The Number 9 in Dreamcatcher Tattoos

Many dreamcatcher tattoos incorporate the number nine into their designs. This number holds a lot of significance in many cultures and religions, and its incorporation into dreamcatchers adds another layer of symbolism to these already meaningful tattoos.

In many Native American traditions, the number nine is considered sacred. It is often associated with feminine energy, endurance, and spiritual enlightenment. The nine points of a dreamcatcher’s web are said to represent the nine planets of the solar system, as well as the nine full moons that occur each year. In some tribes, a person becomes an adult at the age of nine, a milestone that is often commemorated with a dreamcatcher tattoo.

  • In Chinese numerology, the number nine is associated with longevity and good fortune.
  • In numerology, the number nine is said to symbolize spiritual enlightenment, completeness, and humanitarianism.
  • In Norse mythology, Odin hung from the world tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nights in order to gain knowledge and wisdom.

When incorporated into dreamcatcher tattoos, the number nine can add an extra layer of spiritual meaning and significance. Whether as a tribute to Native American culture, a symbol of good luck and longevity, or a representation of personal growth and enlightenment, the number nine holds a special place in many people’s hearts and minds.

Dreamcatcher as a Popular Symbol in Contemporary Culture

The dreamcatcher has become a popular symbol in contemporary culture and is widely recognized for its intricate design and spiritual significance. It is often used as an ornamental element in modern fashion, home decor, and art, but its roots stem from Native American culture where it was used to protect individuals from bad dreams and negative energies.

The Number 10: Significance in Dreamcatcher Symbolism

The number 10 holds significant symbolism in dreamcatcher culture. First and foremost, the ten points on the dreamcatcher represent the ten stages of life in Native American culture. Each point represents a year of life, starting with birth and ending with old age. The web symbolizes the journey through life and how our actions impact others along the way.

  • Additionally, the ten points can represent the ten directions in traditional Native American culture, including north, south, east, west, above, below, and the four diagonal directions. The dreamcatcher can be seen as a compass, guiding individuals on their journey through life.
  • The number 10 is also significant in numerology and spiritual symbolism. It is associated with the concept of completion and fulfillment, indicating that a cycle has completed and a new one is beginning. This can be interpreted as a metaphorical representation of the journey through life, with the dreamcatcher acting as a symbol of protection and guidance along the way.
  • Furthermore, the number 10 is closely related to the idea of balance and harmony. In Native American culture, balance is an essential concept that emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with nature and with one’s surroundings. The dreamcatcher can be seen as a symbol of balance, with its intricate design representing the delicate balance between life’s various aspects.

The dreamcatcher’s symbolism and significance have evolved over time, with modern interpretations emphasizing its beauty and spiritual significance. However, the number 10 remains an essential aspect of dreamcatcher symbolism and reflects the values and beliefs of Native American culture.

Ten PointsRepresents the ten stages of life and the ten directions in traditional Native American culture
Metaphor for LifeSymbolizes the journey through life and the impact of one’s actions on others
Completion and FulfillmentAssociated with the concept of completion and the start of a new cycle in numerology and spiritual symbolism
Balance and HarmonyRepresents the importance of balance and harmony in Native American culture between individuals and their surroundings

Overall, the dreamcatcher’s symbolism and significance remain relevant and important in contemporary culture, reminding individuals of the importance of balance, harmony, and the journey through life.

What Does the Dreamcatcher Symbolize: FAQs

1. What is a dreamcatcher?

A dreamcatcher is a handmade object made of hoops, feathers, and thread, traditionally used by Native American cultures.

2. What does the dreamcatcher symbolize?

The dreamcatcher is believed to trap bad dreams in its web and let good dreams pass through. It is also thought to bring good luck, peace, and protection to its owner.

3. What are the origins of the dreamcatcher symbol?

The dreamcatcher symbol is derived from Ojibwe culture, but it has spread to various Native American tribes and is now popularized around the world.

4. How is a dreamcatcher used?

A dreamcatcher is commonly hung above a person’s bed or in their home, but it can also be worn as jewelry or carried around as a talisman.

5. What are the different styles of dreamcatchers?

There are various styles of dreamcatchers, each with its own unique design and purpose. Some have more hoops, beads, and feathers, while others have a simpler design.

6. What is the significance of the materials used in making a dreamcatcher?

The materials used in making a dreamcatcher have symbolic significance. For example, feathers represent air and the breath of life, while beads signify the spider’s path through the web.

7. Can anyone own a dreamcatcher?

Yes, anyone can own a dreamcatcher. It is seen as a beautiful and meaningful piece of art, and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

Closing: Thank You for Reading

Now that you know more about what a dreamcatcher symbolizes, you can appreciate the beauty and significance of this ancient Native American object. Whether you hang one above your bed or wear one as a necklace, a dreamcatcher is a powerful talisman that can bring good luck, peace, and protection into your life. Thank you for reading, and please come back to learn more about the rich history and culture of Native Americans.