Maitri Libellule
"The spider has shown up in myth and lore throughout the world. Usually its symbolism has been very similar wherever it is used. In India it was associated with Maya, the weaver of illusion. It has had connections to the Fates in Greek mythology and the Norns in Scandinavian lore - women who would weave, measure, and cut the threads of life. To the Native Americans, spider is grandmother, the link to the past and the future. Spider teaches you to maintain a balance - between past and future, physical and spiritual, male and female. Spider teaches you that everything you now do is weaving what you will encounter in the future. In the tarot deck is a card - The Wheel of Fortune. This is a card that has to do with rhythms - the rise and fall, the flow and flux. It is linked to the energies of honor and fame, and the sensitivities necessary to place ourselves within the rhythm of Nature. Meditation upon this card would be beneficial for anyone with the spider as a totem. The spider awakens creative sensibilities. It weaves a web of intricate and subtle fabric, as if to remind us that the past always subtly influences the present and future. Often the webs will take a spiral shape, the traditional form of creativity and development. The spider found within the web reminds us that we are the center of our own world. The ancient mystery schools had one precept inscribed above their portals: "Know Thyself and Thou Shalt Know The Universe!" Spider reminds us that the world is woven around us. We are the keepers and the writers of our own destiny, weaving it like a web by our thoughts, feelings and actions. The spider, because of its characteristics, has come to be associated by mystics and in mythology in three predominant expressions of magic. The first is magic and energy of creation. It is a symbol of creative power, reflected in its ability to spin a silken web. It is also associated with assertiveness of that creative force, of keeping the feminine energies of creation alive and strong. The third predominant magic of the spider is associated with its spiral energy, the links with the past and the future. The spiral of the web, converging at a central point, is something to be meditated upon by those with this totem. Are you moving toward a central goal or are you scattered and going in multiple directions? Is everything staying focused? Are you becoming too involved and/or self-absorbed? Are you focusing on others' accomplishments and not on your own? Are you developing resentment because of it - for yourself or them? Spider is the guardian of the ancient languages and alphabets. Every society has had myths about how the different languages and alphabets were formed. The Chinese alphabet is attributed to Ts'ang Chien, the god with the dragon face and four eyes. He formed it from the patterns of the stars, the marks on the back of the turtle and the footprints of birds in the sand. The Norse god Odin created the Runic alphabet after hanging upon the great tree of life for nine days and nights. After this time, the twigs fell off and spelled our certain formulas and words. To many, there was an alphabet even more primordial. It was formed by the geometric patterns found within spider's web. To many this was the first true alphabet. This is why spider is considered the teacher of language and the magic of writing. Those who weave magic with the written word probably have a spider totem. If spider has come into your life, ask yourself some important questions. Are you not weaving your dreams and imaginings into reality? Are you not using your creative opportunities? Are you feeling closed in or stuck as if in a web? Do you need to pay attention to your balance and where you are walking in life? Are others out of balance around you? Do you need to write? Are you inspired to write or draw and not following through? Remember that spider is the keeper of knowledge of the primordial alphabet. Spider can teach how to use the written language with power and creativity so that your words weave a web around those who would read them.

Excerpt from Animal Speak
by Ted Andrews

The Miraculous Spinning Of A Spider's Web...

What a time it has been for me. As I am the Phoenix crashing and burning, and just beginning the inevitable rise that comes afterwards, a time when doors are closing and windows are opening, Nature's smallest creatures are coming to me to teach me, to guide me on my path. First, the tiniest of tree frogs, so tiny they could sit on my big fingernail, spoke to me and told me their secrets. I wrote about the frog as totem several entries back.

Now, the spider has come. Several times a day I go outside to look at Bella (I first called her Betty but came to feel that that did not honor her beautiful, mystical place in this Universe. Now, when I leave her to come in, I whisper, 'Ciao Bella,' and I think she understands that I am honoring her, that I love her, that I am trying to protect her, and that I bow to her in gratitude as she has come to me as teaching.
Grandmother Spiderwoman spun the web of the world. Ted Andrews tells us that spiders as totems teach us to spin the web of our own destiny. It's time for me to weave again.

A few years back I was going through a very painful time, a learning time, a metamorphosis. I got out a small hexagonal loom (... smooth worn wood from much use, made in the 40's or 50's. They were made to be potholder looms...). For me, weaving one is part of the spiral journey that leads me into the center of myself and back out again with the answers I seek. Every night I would weave until 2 or 4 a.m. I sang, softly, sacred weaving songs from the Dine (Navajo) from centuries ago. It was a very hard piece to weave, tightly woven and going round and round in a spiral pattern, and by the time I got to the middle my fingers hurt from working the weaving needle in and out and round and round. But as we get closer to our center, the place where the mystery of our being lies, is it not harder and harder the closer we get?

I called this piece Ariadne's Web, and have had many people who wanted to buy it, and while I do sell my weaving, it has become more and more personal to me, so that the lessons I learn with each piece are part of the map of my journey, and the legacy I will leave my children and grandchildren. A story woven for them, how one imperfect woman could make her way through life, acquiring belief in herself, and as she begins the journey into Cronehood, comes to realize all that she is as a woman. I will leave my children, grandchildren and their children the knowledge that it is never too late, and that the effort to achieve your dreams is a thousand fold more mysterious and miraculous than you could ever dream at the outset.

I meditate upon Ariadne's Web, and Bella, my spider guide, right outside my front door, is leading me back into my writing and art after a long dry spell, when I was so frozen by life and grief that I was caught in a web of my own making and could not move. I will cherish this small piece of weaving for the rest of my days. It will have been one of the greatest teachings of my life...

Now, I am working on another kind of fiber work. It is freeform crochet, crocheted with my amazing set of hand-carved and hand-painted crochet hooks by the amazing artist, designer and writer, Noreen Crone-Findlay. These are magical tools, and in it's own way, crocheting in this manner feels very like a kind of weaving to me.

The piece I am working on I started many months ago, but when the gloom descended I was not able to create, and it caused me great pain. This piece is so big it could take me 2 or 3 years because much of my other work will be done alongside it as I create things to sell and write the book I am working on. The piece is 10' wide and will be 10' long. It is enormous, bright, colorful, and it is telling me a story as I go, and helping me working my way, with fibers and wooden tools, into the next phase of my life. It will be felted which will shrink it some, and I call it "The Magic Carpet." It will be part of the new life I will be creating in the little old cottage I am hunting down now. I will have begun it here and end it in the cottage I will spend the rest of my life in, in a tiny sea town on the coast of the Carolinas. It sits folded in a very large, very heavy, Mary Poppins-ish carpet bag. Here are a few pictures of The Magic Carpet in process...

And so the weaver weaves, and the dreamer dreams, and I weave my web where I will sit at the center and plan my new life. Look in your garden. Surely you will find me there.

Ciao Bella...

1 Response
  1. StaceyC4 Says:

    Hey, Maitri! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm glad that I'm not the only one with the thought of how we should be reimbursed for all of the lost drops/revenue from the days e card was down! I think it's a great program when it's working but lately it seems as if it's getting harder to use!

    Have a great night!

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