The Weavers’ Wyrd Wonders

Mightily wove they | the web of fate,
While Bralund’s towns | were trembling all;
And there the golden | threads they wove,
And in the moon’s hall | fast they made them.

~ Poetic Edda, Helgakvitha Hjorvarthssonar I, Verse 3

Weaving has been an integral part of human civilization for millennia. Though I’ve known this for ages, I am only recently learning what it means magically and how to use it. Many weaving related terms and concepts are a part of the magical vernacular. Spinning, warp, weft, and weaving are all terms used by witches and some other magical practitioners to describe spellcraft as well as fate-shaping magic and sorcery.

Die_Nornen_(1889)_by_Johannes_Gehrts

The Norns (1889) by Johannes Gehrts

Spinning had been the most powerful image for me. Women with wheels and spindles working, drawing raw materials up into a miniature cyclone that smooths, evens, and compacts the fibers into thread. The color, texture, and strength of the thread determined by the quality of the raw materials and the skill of the spinner. Then weaving came into my magical awareness but in a distant and detached way. It’s a skill farther from my magical home base. Precious few of the goddesses I know have intricate cultural connections to weaving, but those that do are utterly bound up with it as Fate-Shapers. The Norns and the Valkyries are the ones that I have the most connection with as weavers of fate, until recently.

Threads, once spun, are later woven into intricate patterned fabrics and then are sewn into the finished textiles that make individual and collective lives. I knew that weaving was the laying of threads but that was it. The basic ideas of spinning and weaving were magical but I just knew that in my head. I didn’t yet know and understand that magic within my heart.

At the end of 2017, the third to last day of December actually, I met Isis and Nephthys in a dream. They were weaving the universe, much like the Norse Norns and the Greek Moirai, the best known Goddesses of Destiny and Fate. In the dream, the threads they laid were human souls. The warp. I’d always heard about the warp’s counterpart- weft- but I didn’t know what it was. A basic Google search yielded that information recently. I’m embarrassed that I never sought out this information before now. The search was ultimately prompted by the shuttle that Frigga wielded in a recent trance journey. In trying to understand that symbolism, I researched the shuttle. While the distaff is the tool that holds raw fibers for the spinning process, the shuttle holds the weft thread that is carried betwixt and between the warp threads. Essentially, it’s the weft that connects the warp threads with one another and forms the weave pattern of the fabric.

The shuttle is the true witch wand of fate! It is the tool that allows us to use our inner and outer resources and will to work the threads of being into something beautiful and full of individual and collective meaning. Without the shuttle, everything is just spun thread singular and weighted, held in tension, with no organization, no pattern, no meaning.

Two Women Weaving

In my dream in December 2017, Isis and Nephthys stood back to back weighing and weaving human hearts and souls. The goddesses were the scales and the human hearts and souls were the raw material spun into thread and then carefully woven into the fabric of the star-studded cosmos. There are images from Ancient Egypt of women weaving together, each with a hand on the large shuttle moving between the warp threads. As the Two Weavers they are called the Abuti and they spin the thread and weave the pattern. They hold all in grace and beauty in Amenti, the mighty land of the west that is both the end and the beginning of life.

The Abuti, the Moirai, the Nornir, Frigga, the Valkyries and countless others spin the thread and weave the pattern, holding all in grace and beauty in the Other World that is This World that is Every World that is Our World.

We are a part of it too. Everything is connected. Every human, every animal and plant and insect, everything has been woven, weaves, and will become woven. The tapestry is made of us and made by us.

Hail the Weavers!!

Advertisements

Calling Up Courage

horse-430441_1920

Pixabay.com

In the wee hours of a day in late March, I caught a glimpse of a horse, a spear, and a beautiful bronze shield. In an instant, I was in a woman’s presence standing in a temple that was partially open to rich, green fields. The woman’s red robes caught my eye. She smiled warm and strong, her glistening spear held firm in her right hand. I knew she was Macha. I stared in awe, whispered “Your Majesty”, and took a knee. She appreciated the show of respect and reverence. Smiling broadly she took my hand and tugged upward for me to stand. Once I was on my feet again, she kissed my right cheek and gave me welcome in Gaelic. Her words were unclear at first because I don’t speak her language. She observed my confusion and switched to English.

Her words poured over me along with images of spears and horses, warriors at the ready, and Macha herself on horseback. She was battle-ready, laughing and riding free. She told me to be courageous, to stand bravely no matter the enemy at the gate or the fear deep in my heart. She demanded that I fully and boldly express myself in the world and in every way that matters to me because so-called “Others” living unapologetically is a vital aspect of Resistance as we work for change in the world.

I tearfully accepted her guidance and then she was gone.

Audre Lorde Quote

A Prayer to Macha

For the last several months, a good friend and I have been meeting via video chat as often as we can to discuss Morpheus Ravenna’s The Book of the Great Queen: The Many Faces of the Morrigan from Ancient Legends to Modern Devotions chapter by chapter. The book is robust, offering page after page of deeply satisfying food for thought and insightful guidance for devotional practice. This Friday night while I was sitting on the couch watching television, Macha inspired me. A supply of words rushed to my busy hands to be typed out. On Monday night, the eve of the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, I finished a small prayer for courage in her name.

May the prayer honor Macha and bring at least some small measure of blessing to her devotees. In these brightening (in terms of season) but still difficult and dangerous times (in terms of institutionalized oppression and dehumanizing political moves) we need her blessing of courage more than ever.

Morrigan Shrine

Personal Morrigan Shrine/Altar

Along with a glass of blood red wine and the light of my bright red Morrigan candle, I give these words of supplication:

Mighty Mother, hardened by horse hooves striking,
With striving muscle, shout thunder across the Plain.
With unrelenting strength, foal and finish.

Sovereign Queen, heartened by ripe crops yielding,
With cleaving claíomh, reap the high harvest of heads.
With blood-sorcery, doom the treacherous.

Woman in birthing strife!
Raven of the raids!
Greatness of wealth!

Courage we call up from the fertile land,
Hallowed and harnessed by womb and wound.
Great Macha, we pray you grant us favor!

Macha

“Macha Curses the Men of Ulster”, Illustration by Stephen Reid (1904). Image from Wikipedia.