The dream catcher is a sacred medicine that was given to us by Spider Woman. Its purpose is to prevent bad dreams from waking up our children. It’s similar to a spider’s web with a hole in the center. We often add feathers and stones to it, but the key is the wooden hoop and the ropes. The lore amongst Native America’s has many stories about how we received the Dream Catcher. We have for your benefit chosen this one.
Legend of Grandmother Spider and the first Grandmother who received the medicine of the dream catcher.
An old grandmother saw a spider nearby her sleeping spot. She had watched the spider for days while she spun his web. Her grandson entered one day and saw the spider. He picked up a rock and was going to crush it, but the grandmother stopped him. He asked her why. But the grandmother just smiled.
After the boy left, Grandmother Spider spoke to the grandmother who had been watching her spin her web for days. To thank her for saving his life she would give her a gift. She showed her how to spin a web. She said the web would snare all bad dreams and only the good dreams would come through to be remembered. The bad would become entangled in the web and would dissipate when touched by the light of day.
Placed in front of a window or above a bed, the dream catcher retains bad dreams at night and they will dissipate as soon as the first rays of sun reach it. Good dreams, however, go directly through the hole in the center and are received by the sleeper. Many parents have used a dream catcher for their children who had nightmares and it has proven to be very effective.
The important thing is to purify the dream catcher when you first receive it, using sage smoke or liquid smudge Chiiyaam. Then, in a sacred way (with the intention of blocking bad dreams), suspend it in front of the bedroom window, or above the bed or between the bed and the window while singing or dancing in an inspired way, if possible, so the intention vibrates into the dream catcher.
The dream catcher is easy to make, but it’s essential that the person who makes it does so with the right intention. In that way, medicine is always present in the dream catcher. That’s why we only have traditional First Nation’s artisans making our dream catchers.