If you want to figure out how to activate a dreamcatcher you have to go back to its basics.
A lot of Americans use dreamcatchers for decoration. In fact, if you watch a Hollywood movie, from time to time, you see one hanging on the wall.
This object has become so common that people overlook its original meaning and use. That’s really too bad because a dreamcatcher is a very important motif with a specific history and purpose.
How Do dreamcatchers Work?
The dreamcatcher is a device used by native Americans to “catch dreams.” In their spiritual tradition, there are many types of dreams that can enter our consciousness.
As we lie sleeping in our interior living spaces, dreams come up to us from the unformed world. This is a world of psychic and spiritual realities.
The problem is not all these dreams are good. Not all these dream visions would lead us to good outcomes and good lives.
Some of these are actually quite bad. They not only fill us with negative energy, but they can cause a chain reaction of negative consequences that isn’t just restricted to our actions and the ones closest to us. We may end up spreading our negative vibrations and actions to the rest of our community.
Dream catches were used traditionally by Native Americans to “filter” dreams. They act to attract only good dreams and allow them to pass through to our sleeping consciousness.
For the rest, they are attracted and caught and finally destroyed by the dreamcatcher. One good way of describing this device is that it acts as a dream filter.
How Are dreamcatchers Made?
dreamcatchers are made up of small wooden hoops. This can come in varying sizes depending on what design you like.
Typically, the wooden hoop is covered with plant-based fibers that are shaped in such a way that they appear to have a spiderweb-like design.
Alternatively, there is a colored fiber that is wrapped throughout the whole length of the circular hoop and this ends up covering the hoop.
Either way, the dreamcatcher isn’t made up of a raw or naked wooden hoop with an unadorned surface. It’s almost always covered. And once it’s covered, it is decorated with beads, and most importantly feathers are attached to the hanging beads so the feathers are hanging down from the hoop.
Does Design Matter for dreamcatchers?
dreamcatchers have a specific purpose, and any kind of deviation or alternative design might get in the way of this device doing its job.
If you want your dreamcatcher to do a good job filtering negative dreams in your living spaces, you might want to stick to the classic design. This means that the hoop shouldn’t be too big or too small.
Also, it has to be round or relatively round. As much as possible, stick to a perfect circle.
In terms of decoration, you shouldn’t get too crazy. You shouldn’t just use a naked hoop. It should have a decorative fiber covering. And most importantly you should use real feathers.
The design is there for a reason. The dreamcatcher is designed because it’s meant to catch all the bad or negative energy from the dream world.
You might be thinking that this is too speculative or fanciful. Well, you’d be surprised because science can only explain so much, and oftentimes, science is too little too late.
There’s just so many things out there in the realm of possibility that we can’t explain or cannot even begin to wrap our heads around. There’s a reason why the dreamcatcher has been made for countless generations among native Americans.
The fact that it’s been repeated in so many different contexts, and all these occurrences are united by one common idea regarding its use says volumes about the importance of this tool.
It’s important to understand that every single element of the typical design of a dreamcatcher has a specific meaning. The webbed design of the dreamcatcher is a symbol of protection. It is also a symbol of delineation between the dream world with all its random energies and the conscious world.
How Does a dreamcatcher Filter Dreams?
The dreamcatcher works for the purpose of filtering good and bad dreams that are up in the “ether.” One common analogy of this is that the dreams are just floating out there in the air.
They are unformed, invisible, and lack definite shape. They are also hard to detect.
But just because our senses have a tough time pinning them down doesn’t mean that they are not real. Just as gas is invisible but takes up space and can have consequences when it comes to chemical reactions, the same goes according to traditional thinking about dreamcatchers with our dreams.
The dreamcatcher has to be set up in such a way that the good dreams are able to pass through the web, while at the same time bad dreams get stuck in the web.
By setting it up properly and having one available close to the place where you sleep, only good dreams will come to you.
Cleansing Is a Key Part of Operating a dreamcatcher
Keep in mind that simply filtering negative energy or bad dreams is not enough. A dreamcatcher must also be cleansed from time to time because, while it can do a good job filtering out negative dreams before they reach your consciousness, it can accumulate so much negative energy that even good dreams are caught or it can get so “clogged up” that bad dreams can slip through.
You have to cleanse the dreamcatcher or replace it to make sure that it does its job properly. See below for the steps you need to follow to cleanse a dreamcatcher.
Why Should You Get a dreamcatcher?
Having dreamcatchers can help you sleep better at night. Also, having dreamcatchers in your interior space has a calming effect because they are a positive symbol that you can use to trigger positive or peaceful states of mind that can help you sleep better at night.
They can also give you a sense of reassurance that can build up over time so you are more confident. If anything, they just make your interior space look better.
If you have been having too many nightmares or have been waking up so many intense dreams, you might want to get a dreamcatcher or build one yourself.
How to Activate a dreamcatcher?
dreamcatcher activation is not as simple as you think. dreamcatchers require a special ritual to activate them.
1. You Should Place Your dreamcatcher in the Right Place
You can’t just put this item anywhere in your interior living space where you think it will look good. It has to be in an area where it can be touched by the morning light.
As much as possible, the light must be morning sunlight. This is the most powerful and “luckiest” of the sun’s rays.
So, take a look at the orientation of your house and see if there is a window that gets morning sun and place your dreamcatcher there strategically.
It’s important that the sunlight touch the object because the rays of light will destroy the tangled dreams that are trapped in the dreamcatcher’s web. If the light doesn’t touch them, the bad dreams accumulate and this can get in the way of the effectiveness of the dreamcatcher or cause all sorts of problems later on.
It’s also important that the interior space where the light goes through be above the bed of your child. Now, if your child rarely has nightmares, then you should be okay with not having the bed right under the dreamcatcher.
But if your kid is having problems with nightmares or disturbing dreams, the dreamcatcher must be placed directly above the bed of your child. Not only will this help him sleep better, but the quality of his or her dreams will probably improve as well.
2. You Should Do a Smudging Ritual
To activate a dreamcatcher involves an old spiritual ritual known as “smudging.” Just as campers set up smudge fires to ward off insects, smudging does the same to cleanse rooms or interior spaces, objects, or even a physical body of negative energy and negative spirits.
Sage is a native American holy herb that’s long associated with cleansing rituals.
Some modern-day dreamcatcher users use crystals, but you don’t have to use these. A lot of contemporary users of dreamcatchers would pass a crystal through the dreamcatcher to get rid of negative energies that may be lurking in the device. They also take the crystals and walk around the room and place them in certain strategic areas to ward off negative accumulations of bad or unwelcome energy.
Step by Step Guide to Activating a dreamcatcher
The first step to activating a dream is to hang it at the window where it can catch the morning sun’s rays. The second step is to create a smudge smoke.
Many Native Americans use white sage or Palo Santo for the ritual. These have traditionally been viewed as very potent sources of smoke that are known to drive away even the most stubborn forms of psychic negativity.
If you are outdoors, you can use a pile of rocks and bricks, and then burn dried sage leaves, but if you are indoors, you can buy a smudge stick or compressed sage bundle for the ritual.
The next step involves the purification ritual.
What Are the Steps for a dreamcatcher Purification Ritual?
First, stand at the center of the space and light the sage and allow it to burn. Once the top of the branches is burned, extinguish the fire and allow the smoke to slowly appear and fill the room.
Next, purify yourself with the smoke. Move your body around the smoke and allow it to touch as much of your body as possible.
This helps increase the chances that the smoke will rid your soul, mind, and body of negative energies as well as the residues of the negative thoughts of other people.
Next, focus on your intentions. Breathe deeply and block every other thought out, and make sure that your intentions are focused on the here and now.
And then say a prayer or repeat a positive affirmation. This will be your mantra.
Using Your Mantra
If you’re not of a spiritual bent, just set your intentions for clarity by repeating a mantra made up of a word that doesn’t mean anything. This way, it doesn’t trigger a thought. Your mind is just centered on the nothingness that you’re focusing on.
As you close your eyes, you then zero in on the stillness of the darkness and you repeat the mantra to line up your breathing as well as your mental focus and mind’s eye on the nothingness in front of you. This produces a deep and heavy yet liberating sense of calm.
If you are from a more spiritual background, then you can say a prayer. Again, focus on God and it has to be all about Him, not what you want, not any kind of self-centered desire. It has to be about God.
If you’re a Muslim, pray to Allah. If you are Jewish, pray to Hashem or Elohim. If you are Christian, focus on Jesus Christ or God the Father.
Directing the Smoke
Next, make sure that the smoke is still going and then direct the smoke through gestures going a certain direction to the following 6 directions: north, east, south, west, upward, and downward.
Next, from the pit of your heart, be thankful. When you throw off smoke in a certain direction, focus on that sense of gratitude that you already have deep within you. The more you focus on it, the more it grows.
Let it grow. Let your whole being be filled with gratitude.
If you’re having a tough time, here’s a quick exercise.
Be grateful that you’re still breathing. Be grateful that you have loved ones in your life.
Be thankful for the fact that you can eat and have something to eat.
Focus on the basics, and find gratitude for them. This usually works because when you start with really small, it scales up quickly because you realize that you’ve been overlooking a lot of the things that you should be grateful for all this time.
So, let the thankfulness flow from you as you throw off smoke to the north, then be thankful, then throw off to the east, and repeat this process until you’ve completed all 6 directions.
Smudging the dreamcatcher
Next, smudge the dreamcatcher. Let the smoke flow to the front at first, then to its back, then the entire object should be covered with smoke.
And then make sure that all the beads and hanging feathers are also in contact with the smoke of the sage or herb you’re burning.
Next, walk around the room in a clockwise direction and allow the smoke to cover the entire perimeter of the area. You should then go back to your starting place and then give yourself some time.
Allow yourself to be empty, but be on the lookout for a sense of healing. ‘Coz when you breathe in the smoke of the herb, there’s a sense of cleansing, clarity, and healing. You might even also sense a feeling of power that all things are okay and that things are where they should be.
Let the presence of this power fill you. It starts off small, but the more you focus on it, the more it grows.
Focusing on the dreamcatcher
Finally, you end the ritual by focusing your attention on the dreamcatcher.
Verbally speak to it. Ask it to protect you and anybody else who sleeps in this room or enters it, and then end the prayer with thanks.
Cleansing Your dreamcatcher
As mentioned above, dreamcatchers need to be cleansed for them to retain their effectiveness over the long haul. A dreamcatcher is a container of dreams, but they can and do fill up.
They keep catching bad dreams and the more intense the bad dreams are and also the more potentially harmful they are, the quicker they fill the dreamcatcher. Nothing could be worse than having a nice-looking dream in a room, but it actually doesn’t work anymore. It is so filled and clogged up that it just lets even the worst dreams come to that interior space.
At that point, the dreamcatcher is nothing but a decoration. So, it’s really important to make sure that you cleanse your dreamcatcher.
Expose It to the Morning Sun
And the first step is to make sure that it is exposed to the morning sun. This is how you continuously keep it clean because the sun keeps it clean through its contact.
If you fail to do this, a hole in the hoop might as well be closed or the web that is in the middle of the hoop might as well be a solid webbing because it won’t be doing its job. It’s stuck.
Optional Smudging Ritual
Many native Americans go the extra step and cleanse the dreamcatcher by smudging it. Just review the smudging ritual described above to activate the dreamcatcher.
You should, from time to time, just run a sage smoke slowly through the dreamcatcher and above it and below it to cleanse it.
Under no circumstances should you clean your dreamcatcher with any kind of liquid, much less water. This will ruin the feathers and render the dreamcatcher useless. When cleansing your dreamcatcher using the smudging technique, try to time it with the phases of the moon.
The cleansing will have the biggest effect when you do it during the full, last quarter, or new and the first quarter of the moon.
If you’re looking for an alternative to a smudge stick or sage, you might want to burn Sage Essential Oil. This is easily available online.
Nutmeg oil, as well as myrrh incense, are also good choices. These are well-known as the best absorbers of any kind of negative energy or aura.
What’s important is that you give proper time and space to the smudging ritual to properly cleanse your dreamcatcher.
How to Amplify Your dreamcatcher
If you’re looking to boost the effectiveness of your dreamcatcher, you can attach crystal objects to it.
People who use dreamcatchers are kind of split on this. Some people swear by this. Others say it doesn’t have much of an effect.
It really all depends on what your experience is in terms of your dream quality as well as your peace of mind when you’re in that interior space.
You might want to experiment with just a few, low-cost crystals. If you notice a significant effect, then by all means add more beads and crystals to your dreamcatcher.
If you don’t see an improvement, then you should leave your dreamcatcher as is and choose to amplify it by performing the smudging ritual more often.
Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.