When I was a youngin’, probably four years old, I remember having a nightmare about Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. I don’t remember what happened specifically but I remember her glowering from high up in her castle, waving her scary robes around, wearing her crazy helmet. That was scary enough but I’m pretty sure when she turned into that insanely creepy green-fire breathing dragon I woke up screaming. And that is my earliest memory of a nightmare.
At some point I remember getting a dream catcher. It was made out of purple suede and had a multicolored marble in the web. While I’m not sure if the dream catcher caught any of my bad dreams, the idea of dream catchers seemed pretty cool; a magical net to hang in your bedroom that catches all the bad juju and guarantees a night of happy dreams about food and puppies and world domination.
Dream catchers came from the Ojibwe people, who made them out of willow hoops and decorated them with feathers and beads. Supposedly dream catchers pull all dreams into their web. While good dreams go through the hole in the middle of the web and slide down the feathers into the dreamers head, bad dreams get stuck in the web until the morning light vanquishes them. As a child I didn’t know that the light took away the bad dreams permanently and worried that one day the accumulated bad thoughts would overwhelm the dream catcher and attack me all at once. Thankfully the light kept me safe.
They are a great DIY project, even though there are quite a few rules if you’re going for an authentic design. Either way, dream catchers are pretty and offer a unique accent to any room. If you do happen to go for an authentic dream catcher make sure you keep it in the bedroom where it can do what it does best – facilitate peaceful sleep.