Dream catchers have been a fad that represents the best of American indie-folk fashion that has been trending for the past two decades and more. There are many versions of it; usually, a hooped, woven, and feathered wall-hanger believed to help trap and evade bad dreams. Dream catcher tattoos began as an alternative to the interior décor or bedside hanger version by having it rendered on the body to hold the sacred symbol closer to a person due to its power over evil and keeping negative energy away from the wearer.
The Original Design
There are many renditions of the dream catcher tattoo, but the most common is a circle of wood or metal with a webbed pattern woven in the center. Below it is hung items like feathers, beads, crystals, etc., that dangle at the end of a rope, thread, or ribbons. This basic design comes from the Native American folk story of Ojibwa, a female spider spirit. Her maternal instincts sent her round homes at night, providing her webbed protection over infants as they slept. So, this dream catcher tattoo is a rendition of the spider spirit’s blessing of protection.
Spirit Animal Designs
You can also have your spirit animal added to your dream catcher tattoo and make it an original design. This way, it will be not only a symbol of protection but also one that embodies your spirit and the animal protector in your life. Popular animal spirits include the owl, bear, horse, and wolf.
Besides animals, other natural designs can also be added into your dream catcher tattoos such as landscapes, a face or name of someone you love and care for, a heart symbol, etc. at the center of the hoop or circle. This adds further meaning to the tattoo by symbolizing someone or something you desire to protect or have protected in your life.
Ying and Yang Designs
The Ying and Yang dream catcher tattoo is the ideal representation of a cross-cultural mixture of Asian and American beliefs of the spiritual. When the yin and yang symbol of good and evil mixed in with the dream catcher tattoo of protection, it turns into a symbol of the tattoo wearer’s desire for security and balance in his or her life. The Asian symbol is usually added to the center of the woven circle.
Bird or Butterfly Designs
The bird or butterfly dream catcher tattoos are some of the most famous symbols due to the belief behind the symbol of wings that mean to take flight, usually towards freedom, or escape from a bad situation. This is often the preferred choice for people who desire, working towards, or overcome some significant burden or obstacle.
Compass or World Designs
Another popular design is that of a compass or globe symbol. It is usually preferred by those who are free-spirited and have an innate desire to see and travel the world.
Besides the type of dream catcher tattoos available, there are many parts of the body that can be tattooed with the symbol. Many popular places include the upper arm, the wrist, the upper back, the outer thigh, as well as the collar bone and the left side of the chest. The placement does not carry much significance spiritually but does personally depending on the preference of the tattoo wearer.