Which Direction to Hang a Dreamcatcher: Optimal Placement for Positive Energy

A dreamcatcher is a handcrafted object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. It is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads. Traditionally created by American Indians, dreamcatchers are believed to protect sleepers from negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. When you hang a dreamcatcher above your bed, the belief is that it catches the dreams as they flow by. The good dreams, knowing their way, pass through the opening in the center of the web, while the bad dreams, not knowing the way, are captured in the web and destroyed at the first light of the morning sun.

Deciding the exact placement and direction to hang your dreamcatcher is a matter of personal intuition and preference, as well as an understanding of the dreamcatcher’s purpose. Although there are no strict rules, it is often recommended to hang it above your bed, or in a place where the morning light can hit it, to enact its filtering ability. It’s not just about trapping the bad dreams but also about ensuring the good dreams slip through to you. If you’re wondering about positioning, consider a spot where it will be exposed to the air, where it can move freely, so its intricate web can do its work.

History and Significance of Dreamcatchers


Dreamcatchers hold significant power and symbolism within Native American tradition. These talismans are revered for their ability to protect individuals from bad dreams and to channel positive energy.

Origin in Native American Culture

The Ojibwe people are credited with the creation of the first dream catchers. According to the legend of the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi, she was the caregiver for the people. As the Ojibwe nation grew and spread out geographically, it became difficult for Asibikaashi to protect all the children from nightmares. Thus, mothers and grandmothers began creating these woven devices to filter out bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter their sleeping minds. Dream catchers are crafted from a willow hoop, a woven net or web, and may include sacred items such as feathers and beads for further protection.

Symbolism and Purpose

Dream catchers serve as more than just decorative items; they embody deep meaning and purpose within Native American culture. They are believed to hold the power to sieve dreams and thoughts; the good dreams know the way and slip through the center hole to glide down the feathers to the sleeper, while the bad dreams get entangled in the web, perishing with the first light of dawn. Beyond their functionality, dream catchers are symbolic of unity among various indigenous cultures and a testament to the Native American heritage of protection and spirituality. As a talisman, dream catchers are often hung above beds or in the home as a constant source of reassuring presence against nightmares.

Design Elements of a Dreamcatcher

When you select a dreamcatcher, you’re choosing a piece of artwork with distinct features that have both aesthetic and cultural significance. Each component, from the hoop and web to the decorative features, carries meaning and contributes to the unique design of the dreamcatcher.

Hoop and Web

The hoop, typically made of willow, represents the circle of life and is foundational to the dreamcatcher’s structure. Skilled artisans intricately weave the web inside the hoop, traditionally using sinew or twine. This web is not just an aesthetic centerpiece; it’s meant to ensnare bad dreams, allowing only good dreams to pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper below.

Decorative Features

Beyond functionality, dreamcatchers are often adorned with various embellishments, turning them into unique pieces of art. Feathers and beads are common, often with each feather representing breath or air. Beads, especially those made from turquoise, amethyst, or rose quartz, can signify different concepts, such as protection or love. Crystal beads or precious gemstones like coral and blue goldstone add not just visual appeal but are also thought to enhance the dreamcatcher’s spiritual utility. Materials like leather, fabric, or colored string contribute to the dreamcatcher’s overall look and feel.

Choosing the Right Location


When selecting the location for your dreamcatcher, it’s important to consider the areas where you spend a significant amount of time or need a sense of tranquility. The ideal placement is centered around maximizing the dreamcatcher’s role in providing protection and promoting good vibes.

Bedroom Placement

In the bedroom, the dreamcatcher should be placed close to the bed, as it is said to filter dreams. The traditional spot is above the headboard or near the bedroom window. This allows the dreamcatcher to capture dreams flowing in the night air. Position it so that the morning light can hit it, as sunlight is believed to purify the captured bad dreams.

  • Above the bed: Ensures protection throughout the night.
  • Near the window: Utilizes natural light for purification.

Other Effective Areas

Other areas of your home can also benefit from the presence of a dreamcatcher. If you seek serenity or have a designated meditation area or sacred space, hanging a dreamcatcher there can enhance the sense of peace.

  • Living Room: Establish a focal point that imbues the space with calming energy.
  • Garden or Porch: Connects the dreamcatcher with nature, allowing for a harmonization of outdoor energies.
  • Doorway: As a transitional space, it can shield your home from negative influences.

Whether in repose or in shared spaces, your dreamcatcher’s placement should be intentional, supporting a restful and positive environment.

Steps to Hang a Dreamcatcher

Before you begin, it’s essential to approach the process with a sense of balance and harmony in mind. Dreamcatchers are traditionally round to represent strength and the circle of life, and the placement is key to ensuring your dreamcatcher functions both as a symbol and a decor piece.

Gathering the Materials

First, assemble all necessary materials for hanging your dreamcatcher. You’ll need:

  • Dreamcatcher: Ensure it’s complete with beads, feathers, and an attached string or loop for hanging.
  • Hook or nail: Choose a suitable one for the wall or surface you are attaching the dreamcatcher to.
  • Hammer or adhesive hook: Depending on whether you’re able to use nails in your space.

Remember, the materials you choose to hang the dreamcatcher can contribute to the overall visual and energetic harmony of the piece.

Hanging Techniques

To properly hang your dreamcatcher, follow these techniques:

  1. Choose your location: Common places include above your bed on a wall, near a window to catch the morning light, or close to a door to greet or send off spirits.
  2. Install the hook or nail: If using a nail, gently hammer it into the wall at a slight upward angle. For adhesive hooks, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure it in place.
  3. Hang the dreamcatcher: Carefully place the dreamcatcher’s string or loop onto the hook or nail, making sure it’s secure. Test the balance to ensure it hangs straight.

By following these steps accurately and respectfully, your dreamcatcher can be displayed in a way that honors its intended purpose while adding a touch of beauty to your space.

Cultural Etiquette and Considerations

When hanging a dreamcatcher, it’s crucial to approach the practice with respect and an understanding of its origins in Native American and First Nations culture. Being mindful of the cultural significance can help ensure that this talisman is used in a way that honors its intended purpose.

Respecting Traditions

Native American culture regards the dreamcatcher as a sacred item used to protect individuals while sleeping. Traditionally, these hand-made objects are crafted from natural materials, and their designs often hold specific meanings related to the spirituality of indigenous peoples. If you choose to hang a dreamcatcher in your sacred space, it’s essential to do so with a sense of reverence for these traditions. Avoid treating the dreamcatcher merely as a decorative piece; recognize its role as a talisman aimed at ensnaring bad dreams and allowing good dreams to pass through.

Appropriate Use

When incorporating a dreamcatcher into your space, consider its appropriation in modern contexts. The meaning and value of dreamcatchers have been prone to misunderstandings, and their use has sometimes strayed from their original purpose. Ensure that you’re not reducing the dreamcatcher to a mere trinket or fashion statement. It’s also respectful to source dreamcatchers directly from Native American or First Nations artisans or businesses, which not only supports the community but also provides a more authentic connection to the object’s cultural roots.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining your dreamcatcher properly ensures its longevity and preserves its aesthetics. Specifically, you should pay attention to the cleaning methods that are safe for the materials used in your dreamcatcher, such as the beads and feathers.

Cleaning Methods


  • Dust off gently: Use a soft, dry cloth or a soft brush to carefully remove any dust from the beads.
  • Wipe with a damp cloth: If the beads are not made of a material that can be damaged by water, you can wipe them with a lightly dampened cloth and then dry immediately.


  • Dusting: To dust feathers, a light blow to remove any loose particles works best.
  • Handling stains: For soiled feathers, gently spot-clean with a damp cloth, avoiding getting them overly wet, and afterward, leave them to air dry. Remember never to use heat, as it can damage the feathers.

Regular cleaning at intervals, depending on the dust levels in your environment, will keep your dreamcatcher looking fresh and beautiful. Always handle the dreamcatcher with care during cleaning to avoid any damage to the delicate parts.

Enhancing Dreamcatcher Efficacy

To amplify the benefits of your dreamcatcher, consider integrating elements that boost its ability to filter out negative energy and attract positive influences. The strategic use of crystals and aromatherapy can harmonize with feng shui principles, enhancing the dreamcatcher’s potency.

Incorporating Crystals

Incorporate crystals into your dreamcatcher to strengthen its purpose. Different crystals carry specific energies that can enhance the filtering effect:

  • Quartz Crystal: Integrating a quartz crystal can promote clarity to your dreams and cleanse the space of negative vibes. Position it at the center of your dreamcatcher to act as a focal point for positive energy.
  • Aventurine: A aventurine layered dreamcatcher supports emotional healing and brings opportunities for growth and new experiences.
  • African Turquoise: Adding an African turquoise dreamcatcher can attract transformation and foster a positive evolution of your thoughts while sleeping.

Using Aromatherapy

Utilize aromatherapy to enhance your dreamcatcher’s energy-cleansing capabilities:

  • Candles: Light a candle before bedtime to introduce warmth and a soft, soothing fragrance to your space. The gentle light can also create a tranquil environment, working in harmony with your dreamcatcher.
  • Incense: Burn incense with calming scents like lavender or sandalwood nearby your dreamcatcher to infuse the area with a serene ambiance, conducive to better, more restful sleep and vivid, positive dreams.

Dreamcatcher Variations

Dreamcatchers come in various forms, each offering a unique touch of joy and inspiration to your space. You’ll encounter modern interpretations alongside the possibility of personalizing to create a piece that speaks directly to you.

Modern Interpretations

Contemporary updates to the traditional dreamcatcher involve a range of materials and design nuances that can reflect modern aesthetics. Unique designs could involve an embroidery hoop paired with suede lace, introducing a sleek, minimalist look. Innovations such as the goldstone dreamcatcher are said to attract wealth, using sparkling blue goldstone amongst the webbing—a modern take combining visual charm and intentions for prosperity.

Personalized Dreamcatchers

For a personal touch, customized dreamcatchers allow for a selection of patterns, colors, and materials, including the use of various gemstones recognized for their unique properties. Creating a personalized dreamcatcher might include choosing different layers for your dreamcatcher, integrating multiple embroidery hoops for a complex, layered dreamcatcher effect. Matching these aspects with your personal décor or spiritual needs turns the dreamcatcher into an item that is uniquely yours.

Creative Uses Beyond Hanging

Dreamcatchers are versatile and can be incorporated into your daily life in more ways than just as traditional hanging decorations. They can transition from merely being an artistic feature in your home to serving as a personal talisman or a focal point in large spaces.

Portable Dreamcatchers

For a touch of spirituality on the go, transform your dreamcatcher into a talisman for your backpack, handbag, or purse. Small dreamcatchers can serve as keychains or even be fashioned into earrings, allowing you to carry positive energy with you throughout the day.

Large-Scale Installations

If you have a large window or a spacious front porch, consider using dreamcatchers as part of a large-scale installation. They can become the centerpiece that captivates attention and sets the tone for the area. In an attic space, a large dreamcatcher can act as an artwork that also serves to create a calming and inspirational environment.

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