One day an elder Native American leader was pondering on a mountain top, when he had a sudden vision. In his vision a great spirit came to him and spoke to him about the circle of life, and as he did this he picked up a few twigs and began to weave them into a complex structure. This spirit taught the elder about good spirits and bad spirits that one encounters in life- he said that one must let the good spirits steer you into a happy and peaceful existence, and deny the bad spirits control in your life. The elder listened in reverence that such a holy spirit would appear to him, willing to soak up the knowledge this spirit had to give him. The spirit then gave the finished web to the elder and explained to him that this contraption would help his people sift through the bad spirits.
This is just one of the legends as to how the dream catcher came to be.
It works because the good dreams and visions are clear and pure, these visions enter through the center hole and float subtly down the feathers at the bottom, the slight swaying of the feathers would symbol the passing through of another good dream. The bad dreams however are chaotic and messy, and these visions get caught along the web and evaporate in the morning.
I spun my first dream catcher this night. It is of course, no rival to the real willow-made dream catchers, but to me, it is still lovely all the same. It was a surprisingly simple process and so rewarding to know that I could be a part of such an old tradition. My dreams as of late have been waking me up frequently in the night, so perhaps I can sleep a little sounder knowing that thousands of years of tradition hang delicately above my head.