Most likely, when you think of dreamcatcher tattoos, your mind would be immediately thrown back to 2010, when large watercolor dreamcatcher tattoos and owl dreamcatcher tattoos were popular.
Well, that was a few decades ago, what can be said about dreamcatchers now? Did they get any better over time?
In this article, you will learn about the origin and deep meaning of dreamcatchers, see a selection of 50 modern dreamcatcher tattoo designs, and find the answer to whether it’s appropriate to get such a tattoo.
The Spiritual Meaning of Dream Catchers
Dream catchers are the cultural heritage of the Ojibwes, who have lived in the northern Great Lakes region of North America for a very long time, which includes parts of what is now the United States and Canada. Their original land covers parts of today’s Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ontario, and nearby territories.
The Ojibwe tribe has its own spiritual beliefs and practices, which often center on a deep connection with nature and the spiritual world. Borrowing an idea from spiders and a deity named Asibikaashi, the dreamcatcher is designed to protect children from nightmares and bad omens by catching them in a web and absorbing them.
Original dreamcatchers were handmade using materials such as willow branches or grapevines to create a circular frame. Within this frame, a woven net or web was formed, and the central hole was left open. Hanging from the bottom of the dreamcatcher were feathers and beads, in some cases even gemstones.
50 Modern Dream Catcher Tattoo Designs
Over time, dreamcatchers have evolved from a talisman for children to a popular symbol whose design is also often used in tattoos. Even celebrities like Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, and Vanessa Ferlito once wore a dream catcher tattoo.
Dream catchers are mostly associated with feminine aesthetics and vibrant colors, but as we know, art has no gender. A dream catcher tattoo for men usually includes tribal patterns and animals like eagles or wolves to add a more masculine outline.
After a long search, we’ve put together a collection of modern stylish tattoos with dreamcatchers to suit every taste. So let’s take a closer look at them!
Classic Dream Catcher Tattoos
An old-time classic dream catcher tattoo has its own charm. There’s nothing wrong with going with a design with little to no decorations.
However, you could add a few of your favorite gemstones instead of regular beads, those are used for real dream catchers, too. Or add some of your favorite flowers for a more delicate and tender touch.
Dreamcatcher Tattoos With Names
A dream catcher tattoo with names and lettering tattoos in general may hold deep personal meaning, serving as a constant reminder of the important people and advice that shape one’s life. This way, someone can always keep a piece of their own story with them.
But be careful, lettering is one thing, but tattooing names has always been a risky practice. People tend to come and go at certain points in life, their name can lose its value, leaving only a trace of regret. So think twice before putting someone’s name on your body.
Tiny Dreamcatcher Tattoo
It would seem that the dream catcher has so many small details, from the spider web pattern to the tiny beads and feathers. But as you can see, this little talisman with a simple dream catcher tattoo will look great on a wrist, ankle, or even behind the ear.
Geometric Dreamcatcher Tattoo
Geometric shapes and patterns give the dream catcher a more modern and abstract look. For example, it can be an image of unique symmetrical symbols instead of the usual spider web. Another great option would be a dream catcher with a constellation.
This section includes a photo from our artist, Jing.
Tree Dream Catcher Tattoo
Instead of a traditional dream catcher web, an image of a tree is placed in the center of the frame. It also may include designs with a frame in the form of tree branches. This combination symbolizes a deep-rooted connection to nature.
There is also a theory that the tree may signify a connection with the mythical tree of Norse cosmology, Yggdrasil.
Crescent Dreamcatcher Tattoo
A crescent dreamcatcher tattoo combines the tranquil symbolism of the crescent moon with the protective essence of the dreamcatcher. The moon has long been associated with change, transformation, and the ebb and flow of life’s cycles.
When nestled within the design of a dreamcatcher, it offers a sense of guidance through the phases of life, symbolizing a watchful guardian during both waking and dreaming hours.
Compass Dreamcatcher Tattoo
A compass dreamcatcher tattoo blends the symbolism of two powerful elements: the compass, representing direction and guidance, and the dreamcatcher, symbolizing protection against negative energies and the filtering of positive dreams.
The compass, often at the center of the dreamcatcher’s web, signifies a sense of purpose, the quest for personal growth, and a journey toward one’s dreams and aspirations. Another idea, which is somewhat similar in motive, is to combine a dreamcatcher with a clock.
Animal Dreamcatcher Tattoo
What happens when you combine two of the most popular tattoo motifs: dreamcatchers and animals? The most clichéd cliché of all time, or maybe something completely new? Check out these designs and see for yourself!
These tattoos often feature a dream catcher as the central element, and within its woven web, one can find intricate representations of animals. The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, a dream catcher owl tattoo, but as we can see, you can add anything you want: sea creatures, bears, other birds, even fantasy animals!
But why were owls the most popular? Something to do with mysticism? Does the dreamcatcher’s frame resemble the eyes of an owl? Who knows…
Perfect Places for Dream Catcher Tattoos
There are many places where you can get a dream catcher tattoo. And as you might have seen earlier, even small minimalist designs fit in perfectly. If you’re considering the perfect place for your dream catcher tattoo, here are some options to go for:
- Arm: Dream catcher tattoos on the arm can create a bold and eye-catching statement in all details. The curvature of the arm perfectly complements the circular shape of the dream catcher.
- Back: The back, with its wide canvas, offers ample space for intricate and detailed dream catcher designs. Placing a dream catcher tattoo on the back or between the shoulder blades can add an air of mystery and elegance.
- Wrist: For a delicate and discreet look, a dream catcher tattoo on the wrist is a great choice. Just make sure that your dreamcatcher is not placed upside down. The feathers should be pointing away from you.
- Ankle: Dream catcher tattoos around the ankle can be dainty and alluring. They’re often chosen for their ability to enhance the beauty of the legs and feet. In this design, you can also consider the option when the dream catcher wraps around the leg like a bracelet.
Is the Dream Catcher Tattoo Overrated?
They may be. For some people. Just like with any other tattoo designs that are considered “overrated”, like hyperrealistic animals, or the sign of infinity. However, the personal significance of the tattoo is generally more important than the object itself.
If we’re talking about spirituality, making a tattoo with a dreamcatcher would conflict with their purpose. The traditional belief was that dreamcatchers could filter out negative dreams, allowing only positive dreams to pass through the central hole to the dreamer while trapping the negative ones in the web.
Now let’s think about it for a moment: if dreamcatchers were meant to catch all negativity, a permanent tattoo would mean that a person would draw all that negativity to them and bear it forever. On the other hand, some people believe that tattoos are the opposite, they drive bad vibes away.
With that being said, the answer is pretty much simple: your tattoo is your choice.
While dream catcher tattoo designs are quite common, it’s always your choice to get or not. Even among the descendants of the Ojibwe tribe, there are different opinions about these tattoos. Some may be happy that their culture is being spread in the form of art, others may be outraged by the stolen heritage, and some will simply find it funny.
So, if you decide to take that leap of faith, consider searching for a professional tattoo artist in our catalog to bring your dream catcher design to life. Who knows, maybe with a bit of help, a cliché may turn into something more unique.
🌍 Are Dream Catcher Tattoos Good or Bad?
Dream catcher tattoos are neither inherently “good” nor “bad.” They are a form of self-expression, and what matters most is what they mean to you personally. For some, it’s outdated, but for others, it’s something precious. You do you.
📏 What Does a Dreamcatcher Tattoo Mean?
Originally created by Indigenous communities, dream catchers were believed to filter out negative dreams, allowing only positive ones to pass through. A dream catcher tattoo meaning is often seen as a symbol of protection and the pursuit of positive dreams.
🌟 How To Make My Dream Catcher Tattoo More Unique?
To make your dream catcher tattoo unique, consider adding personal elements or symbols that hold special meaning to you. Just as all roads lead to Rome, all tattooing depends on which tattoo artist you choose.
🚻 Are Dream Catcher Tattoos Only for Women?
Absolutely not! Dream catcher tattoos are not limited by gender. They can be a meaningful and beautiful choice for anyone, regardless of their gender.