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The Mystery of Dream Catchers

The dream catcher—some see it as a novelty, or tourist souvenir. Some see it in its plainest definition: a webbing of string on a hoop, with feathers attached. Still others see it as a controversial item that has both good and bad attributes. My Native American friend, Emily, personally believes that dream catchers can unlock either positive or negative energy depending on the situation.

Emily says, “Dream catchers have played a controversial role in my life, from positive to negative.” When Emily was eleven, she toured Europe with a Native American dance group. In this group, she was able to share her culture with the world at large. Emily stated, “While in Poland, we were asked to participate in a Children's World Peace Festival. One of the events included creating art with bullet casings from WWII.”

According to Emily, “My group chose to construct a dream catcher, adorned with the traditional feathers and beads alongside the bullets.” This dream catcher was blessed by the group’s leading medicine man. “It was saturated with positive energy,” said Emily. Her group held up their blessed dream catcher proudly as they marched down those Polish streets participating in a peace parade. Emily said, “That became one of my most cherished memories in life, the merging of cultures for the greater good.”

In this example, a dream catcher has indeed granted positive attributes in the lives of those affected by it. Though, sometimes dream catchers can also invoke bad emotions. Since the late 1800’s, dream catchers have been created for means of profit, under the guise of a lowly tourist’s souvenir. These are not authentic and can invite negative energy. Most authentic dream catchers are illusive and hard to come by. Typically they’re only found on Native American Indian reservations.

According to Emily, “While in New Mexico, my younger sister received a beautiful dream catcher as a gift. Despite it having been manufactured randomly and off the reservation, she decided to hang it above her head where she slept”. This proved to be a mistake. The dream catcher she hung above her bed may have been beautiful, but its original source or purpose for that matter was unknown. This dream catcher inundated Emily’s little sister with strong, vivid nightmares. Night after night, she would wake up terrified or crying.

Emily said that her little sister had a hard time discerning these terrible images from real life. She was just a little girl and couldn’t understand why she would be having such awful dreams. It wasn’t until the dream catcher was taken down above her bed that the nightmares stopped.

Emily’s final thoughts on dream catchers are, “I personally believe that without the proper instruction and creation, dream catchers are highly unpredictable. Like any spiritual artifact, if used the wrong way or simply let loose without the proper blessings, it could invite the influence of any type of energy.”