When you go to antique shops and souvenir stores, you will almost always find a dream catcher. Dream catchers come in different shapes and sizes and they also come in various colors. Just by the looks of it, dream catchers make for a beautiful tattoo. If you’re thinking of the same thing, then read on for more information about getting a dream catcher tattoo.
What Is A Dream Catcher?
A dream catcher is a handmade object that is known to “catch dreams”. It makes use of a circle whose inner area is composed of a web of strings similar to a spider web. The inside of the circle can contain strings and beads intertwined to each other forming a sort of net that is said to be the area that catches the dreams. On the lower and outer part of the circle are usually hoops, beads, and feathers.
The dream catcher is said to catch the negative dreams of a person (usually the babies) while the positive dreams and thoughts are said to trickle down to the person through the feathers and beads.
History Of Dream Catchers
Dream catchers were said to have come from the Ojibwa Nation which is found in Northern America. Although there is no exact date when these people used the dream catchers, these objects were said to have reached the other parts of North America during the 60’s and the 70’s.
The Ojibwa Nation believed that during nighttime, the air becomes filled with dreams and thoughts. The dream catcher looks the way it is now because the web is said to catch the negative dreams from the air, while the positive ones are caught and passed on to the people sleeping.
If you’ve noticed, dream catchers are often placed on top of a sleeping person’s head. During the olden times, the Ojibwa Nation only hung dream catchers on top of the heads of sleeping babies. As the babies grow older, the dream catcher is said to slowly dry out.
Dream Catcher Symbolism
Because of the nature and use of dream catchers, there are two main meanings attached to it – protection and good luck.
Dream catchers are always symbols of protection because they are said to protect people from having bad dreams and nightmares. Even though there is no scientific evidence showing that dream catchers actually do this, this tradition of giving dream catchers has been passed from cultures to generations.
Aside from catching dreams and protecting people from bad dreams, dream catchers can also be a symbol for good luck. In other cultures, a dream catcher is seen as a lucky charm that makes people feel better all throughout the day.
Why Get A Dream Catcher Tattoo?
There are many reasons why people would want to get a dream catcher tattoo or a tattoo in general. Here are some that can convince you to get one too.
They are beautiful.
The first and most obvious reason is that dream catcher tattoos are beautiful. Dream catchers have a very antique design to it that will make any simple or vintage-loving person attracted to it. In fact, gone are the days when old people were the ones giving dream catchers. Today, people as young as kids are aware of what dream catchers are and they buy them as gifts or to keep bad dreams away for themselves.
They involve dreams.
The realm of dreams is very unexplored and there are a lot of meanings and symbols that people venture into when it comes to the interpretation of their dreams. Because dreams can be messages from God or your subconscious, a lot of people have become fascinated with them. A tattoo is a great way to show this fascination. Not only does it entail not having to bring a dream catcher with you to show everyone, but it does make sure that people will understand that you are someone who is interested in dreams.
They are unconventional.
When you think about tattoos, you may think about arrows, hearts, skulls and even crosses. However, a dream catcher tattoo is not something you would think of right off the bat because it’s rare and unconventional to have this design inked on a person. If you want to move away from the bandwagon, then getting a dream catcher is one of the best designs that will keep you from it. However, a dream catcher tattoo does come with some stereotype – some people will think that you’re into vintage and to some extents, a hippie.
They are remembrances of certain dreams.
A dream catcher has one major look – a huge circle and two hanging feathers and beads on the lower sides of the circle. It’s similar to a head wearing pigtails. However, just because this is what a dream catcher looks like doesn’t mean that you have to get stuck with this design. Remember, dream catchers can also symbolize certain dreams for you. So, to make the dream catcher more personal, you can add other elements that will best describe the dream that you want to portray.
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It’s perfect for the boho chic in you.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, the word boho is short for “bohemian” which is a term referring to people who are socially non-conventional. This often refers to the way of thinking and the style of people. Boho chics are women who are into non-conventional styles that are not modern and fad. They are often the people who are into arts, indie music, and crafts. If you find yourself fitting this description, then you might want to consider getting a dream catcher tattoo. It’s one of the best symbols for the boho chic in you.
Getting tattoos can be addicting.
If this isn’t your first time to get a tattoo, then you have already gone through the process of thinking over the permanence of tattoos. When you get past that stage, it becomes easier for you to get a tattoo because “you’re already inked”. Getting another won’t make the other tattoos less permanent.
But that is not the main reason. The main reason is that once you get a tattoo, there’s a chance that you get addicted to it. It’s not like drugs wherein you get one after the other, but the pain you get from a tattoo can be a regular thing that you might look for. Some people get a tattoo annually while some get small ones to mark their travels. Hence, tattoos can also turn into personal collections.
What To Consider Before Getting A Tattoo
For first-timers a tattoo can be daunting, what with the permanence and pain involved in it (not to mention the budget!). So, if you’re new to body art, here are a few things you should know and consider before getting yourself inked.
- Why You Want It
The first thing you should think about is the reason why you want a tattoo. This is going to be relatively harder for those who haven’t gotten inked yet because this is going to be the first time they will have something so permanent.
It’s important to know the reason why you’re getting a tattoo because this will help you appreciate and give dedication to the design of your tattoo. If the meaning is deep and personal, you will find that the permanence of a tattoo is easier to accept. On the other hand, if you get a tattoo on a whim, you might end up not liking it.
Knowing the reason why you want a tattoo is important because it helps you accept the tattoos permanence easier. A tattoo is a lifelong commitment because you won’t be able to erase it unless you go under the knife (and this isn’t pleasant at all).
Before getting a tattoo, ask yourself, “Is this something I will love until I grow old?” Asking this question will make you understand even better why your main reason for getting a tattoo should be deep and personal. If your answer to this is a no, then a permanent tattoo is not for you. Maybe more temporary ones like a henna tattoo can suit your preferences.
The next thing you should think about is the meaning behind your tattoo. Knowing why you want a tattoo is different from knowing the meaning of the tattoo itself. So, if you’re sure you want a tattoo, what should the design portray? Knowing the meaning you want it to show will help you figure out the design that best describes it. In the case of dream catchers, it is a good symbol for dreams, vision, and uniqueness.
Let’s say you’ve already narrowed down the meaning you want to have for your new tattoo. Once you know this, it will be much easier to pick the design you want because there are different images portraying, for example, courage, wisdom, and even love.
- Where You Want It
Aside from knowing the design, you also have to know where you want to place your tattoo. Depending on the size of the tattoo, there are certain areas of the body that your tattoo will look better on. If you plan on having a dream catcher design that is big and long, then elongated body parts are better suited for this tattoo. However, if you plan on having small tattoos, then smaller body parts are better so that the tattoo is better emphasized.
When deciding the placement of your tattoo, it would help to know your pain tolerance level. This is because certain body parts are more sensitive than the others, so putting a tattoo in these areas will definitely make you feel uncomfortable. If your pain tolerance is low, it’s better to have the tattoo on muscular areas.
- Who Will Make It
Finally, when everything on your end is decided, it’s time to look for the artist who will make it. You might think that picking a tattoo artist is easy what with many artists around your area. But it’s not that simple. Different artists have different hourly rates and most especially, they vary in skill. If you plan on having a complicated dream catcher tattoo, then you need a seasoned tattoo artist so that they can give justice to your design.
Common Placements For Dream Catcher Tattoos
Dream catcher tattoos can range from small to large and so there are many areas where you can choose to put your tattoo. Here are some common placements that might interest you.
For Small Dream Catcher Tattoos
The inner wrist is starting to gain popularity among women who plan on getting small and subtle tattoos. The inner wrist is a hidden gem for anyone who doesn’t exactly want to flaunt their tattoo or for those who want to just want to add a little sexiness to their arms. The inner wrist is perfect for small dream catcher tattoos because the area is relatively small and dream catchers can be designed to look like bands and accessories.
The hip bone itself is small even if the entire hips can be a great place for large horizontal tattoos. However, if you plan on having a small dream catcher tattoo, then strategically placing it at the tip of your hip will add charisma for when you’re wearing a bikini or a pair of low-waisted jeans. Take note, though, that getting a tattoo here can be painful because the skin is so close to the bone. At the very least, you might feel the buzzing of the needle very near to your pelvis.
Lastly, you shouldn’t forget that your ankle also serves as a small spot for tattoos its size. The ankle is a common tattoo area because it adds design to an always bare area. If you want to make your dream catcher fit in well in this area, you can customize it to reach your feet. Some people choose to use the ankle as a wrap for the dream catcher while the actual dream catcher extends to their foot.
For Large Dream Catcher Tattoos
Your shoulder blades can hold medium to large tattoos because they can easily be extended to your back. A tattoo on the shoulders is often associated with being feminine especially since women are more prone to wear sleeveless clothing. At the same time, a tattoo on the shoulder does not exactly give off the male bravado a lot of guys are looking for.
A more neutral body part where you can put a medium or large tattoo is the rib cage. The rib cage is not a common area where people put tattoos especially since it’s more painful to put tattoos here than on your back. This can be attributed to the thinness of your skin. Skin in this area is more stretched as opposed to the skin on your back. Moreover, if you’re thin, the skin is very close to the rib cage so you might feel the piercing of the needle too close to your bones.
Another neutral body placement for tattoos is the back. Whether you’re male or female, dream catcher tattoos on the back can either be a show of strength or a show of personality. Usually, having a large tattoo on the back has a more powerful effect than having a large tattoo on the forearm. There is no scientific explanation for this, but you can attribute this to the back being the center of your body.
Unless you wear shorts or skirts all the time, not a lot of people will see that you have a tattoo on your thigh. For some people, this is ideal, while for some, it could be a waste of design and effort.
Like your arms, the thighs are relatively muscular so you can expect less pain here. It’s also an elongated body part so it’s good at emphasizing the whole image of the dream catcher.
How To Prepare For Your Tattoo Appointment
Knowing the basics of getting a tattoo can be the make or break your first tattoo experience. So, to avoid any bad first experiences, here are things you should follow to make sure that an uncomfortable session can be more tolerable.
Tip #1: Do not consume any blood thinners before your appointment.
The first thing you should know more than the body tanning is that you should NOT consume any blood thinners at least 48 hours before your tattoo appointment. Blood thinners make you more prone to bleeding and since a needle is piercing through your skin, you can expect more wounds than usual.
You might think that consuming alcohol will help you feel numb during the appointment, but this is far from the truth. Yes, you’ll feel a slight sensation because your body tends to feel less awake and alert when you’ve drunk alcohol, but that doesn’t mean your skin will not react to the needle. At the end of the day, you might still get a few wounds here and there when you get a tattoo.
Tip #2: Do not scrub before your appointment.
In an attempt to be clean before your appointment, you might think that getting a body scrub is ideal. However, you shouldn’t do this since scrubs can irritate your skin. Even if you say that there are scrubs that you aren’t allergic to, the fact that body scrubs make your old skin peel off, it could lead to making your skin more sensitive than it was before.
Tip #3: Eat a heavy meal before your appointment.
If you’re already anxious about your appointment, the last thing you want (and need) is a rumbling stomach. It also affects your body’s immune system whenever you are out of nutrients, so best eat something that will fill you before going to the tattoo studio. If you know that the tattoo will take longer than usual, bring light snacks with you.
Tip #4: Bring some distractions.
Even if you think that your dream catcher tattoo is simple enough that it will be done in an hour, you should still bring something that will help you get distracted. This is especially helpful for people who are not used to getting a tattoo or those who have very low pain tolerance.
Bringing a friend with you is a good way to keep distracted. This will help you forget that there’s something piercing through your skin and your tattoo artist does not have to worry about you while they work. If it’s your first time, it’s always best to go with someone who has had an experience in getting a permanent tattoo.
Tip #5: Wear light and loose clothes.
Depending on where you plan to put your tattoo, light and loose clothing can be beneficial. For example, if your tattoo will be placed on your thighs, then wearing shorts is better since your tattoo artist will have an easier time getting access to this area. The same thing should be done if you plan on putting a dream catcher on your ribs. Although it may feel awkward at first, you have to do away with any clothing that will only make it hard for your tattoo artist to create the tattoo.
Knowing these things might make you feel anxious and overwhelmed especially when this is your first time. Don’t worry, there is no rush to getting a tattoo and even if you think you’re in a race against time, don’t be! Getting a tattoo is a big commitment so make sure that you are 100% committed that you want a dream catcher inked on your body.