Since returning from Glastonbury this week, its been rebirth after rebirth for me in a slow rolling momentum of many gifts, like petals inside petals slowly revealing each other. One of them, taking place while I was under the waterfall of my shower this morning, told me quite distinctly that it was time to change the name Scattering the Light to Spinning the Light.
The need for a change had been coming upon me for some time. While the idea of “scattering” really appealed to me four years ago (when I chose it as a replacement for “chasing” the light, which no longer felt like what I was doing…), it had started to feel like the word described the action of fragmenting the light rather than bringing it back together; or perhaps diluting it rather than gathering it into a mighty force. It seemed to imply that I was having to break light up into bite-sized pieces to make it more easily digestible by people, like crumbling up a piece of bread to feed it to the birds, or of having to slip it in “unseen”, like a subtle seasoning slipped in amongst the more familiar flavours, or conventional topics, that I share so that people won’t run away from it. Well, I have now reached a point where I feel I have to stop patronising or babying people like that or being so furtive with all that wants to express from me. I want to make even more of my material, not less of it by breaking it up into smaller fragments. This year has all been about taking ownership of myself and expressing my truth and this feels like the next necessary stage of demonstrating how I have now outgrown something far too small to contain me and to set about sharing my alchemical experiences in earnest. I don’t want to scatter anything so much as build momentum and, increasingly, the analogy that is presenting to me is that of “spinning”.
Here’s what I know about spinning. When I was my daughter’s age, which is why it recently came back to the surface of me, I had just started at college where we were forced to choose some extra-curricula activities to pursue in between our more academic college time. Since I wasn’t a sporty person or into amateur dramatics, the choices were fairly limited so I took a fairly arbitrary dive…or so I thought…into spinning. A tiny group of us would meet up once a week to spin our own yarn in a small room led by an unforgetable woman who wore crazy-textured waistcoats and long cardigan-coats knitted with the fruits of her labour while she told us all about her passion for renovating old houses. These hours were chatting time, woman time, laughing time…and our fingers flew while our voices rang out with topics as broad as they were fantastical.
As soon as I sat down at that old spinning wheel with a sack of raw wool by my feet, I was away and seemed to know just what to do. I really, deeply knew the oily feel and the smell of that fleece; how its lanolin softened your hands as you worked with it and knew just how to tease it and feed it into the spinning yarn at just the right pace, pinched between finger and thumb…not force-feeding it so much that it ruined the texture nor holding back so tightly that it became stringy and weak. My resultant yarn was consistent yet excentric since I loved to mix things up by colour and texture. My teacher came over to watch me many times at the start, saying “you’ve done this before then?” or words to that effect. “No” I assured her, for I never had…at least, not in this lifetime.
A similar thing happened years later, at a craft fair, when I pounced on a group of women spinning in a tent and “had to have a go” at their wheel, then became so enthusiastic reminiscing about my college spinning days that they really urged me to join their group…but what point was there in that when I had no use for the wool I would be making, not being a knitter or even that fond of handicrafts like I used to be decades ago. Really, I already knew that it wasn’t the wool-making that appealed to me so much as the very act of spinning. The recollection of these two occasions, when spinning took me over, came back to me so vividly this year and I knew it had something fresh to tell me; knew already that I was been shown that I was already being the spinner, only these days I spin words, ideas and whole realities.
Like the tiny spiders who spin their gossamer webs all over the unseen landscape by night, I play my small part in spinning away ready for the inevitable dawn, when the rising sun will hit all those threads, transforming the familiar world into an ethereal landscape of iridescent gold. Many of us are doing this light-spinning at this time; so diligently we work with our spindles of intention, pouring out the thread of our particular speciality, awaiting the dawn. That dawn is already colouring the sky. The work I do may be small yet it contributes to an overal picture that is transforming before our very eyes and I spin what I do purposefully and proudly these days, knowing what I can do with my gifts.
Many of us are spinners and don’t even know it; we spin stories around the fireside of our blogs or when we meet people who seem ready to listen and, of course, there is already so much “spin” in the world but then why should the big-manipulators, the game-players, have all the use of that skill set out there in the world? There is another “story” to be told about what is currently happening in this world and I know I am here to tell it; me as only one voice amongst so many others forming a chorus and so many of them the women who are finding their voices after eons of needing to be seen and not heard. Women have often spun together in groups and spinning our version of truth to each other and to our organically grown audience is a way that we get to revive that activity in a way that truly makes a difference because, together, we are spinning a brand new reality.
So what about doing some spinning as light workers; an activity quite consistent with the great spiral of evolution that is such a strong impulse for me and one I have touched upon many times in this space. When we go around in circles all our lives (sometimes for many generations) we become stuck in the status quo. It takes the upward “shoot” of the spiral to break out of that trend and progress us to the next stage in our own highest production…and spinning is this very thing since it teaches us how to feed that progression; not to fast, not too slow, guiding the process with the finger and thumb of our consciousness which, somehow, always seems to know just what to do since this skill is absolutely innate. Using our inner guidance, our innate spinning-ability, we get to make ourselves just the way we would like to be made; to manifest ourselves according to our own chosen colours and textures and to grow so very long, strong and continuous from root to branches, making best use of all our layers and experiences to add to the strength and quickly repair any part of ourselves that feel threadbare, feeding those so-called flaws back into the yarn to add to its interest and hardiness. We know that our own yarn can then be woven in with that of so many other people who are doing this work to make a fantastical cloth of many colours; and, together, we get to add to the beauty, diversity and strength of the fabric of life, made just the way we like it.
I could go on and on with this analogy but you get the idea; the act of spinning is a subtle alchemy dressed up as an ordinary-everyday necessity; why do you think so many so-called “witches” were famed for their spinning-prowess. The Egyptians widely used the symbol of the spindle; Isis the goddess of magic and life is very closely associated with spinning. In fact, the spindle is very closely associated with many goddesses, including German Holda, Norwegian Frigg and Freya, Greek Artemis and Athena and the Hundu goddess Maya. “Maya” literally means “appearance” – she is the creator of what we wish to see, as in she teaches us how to visualise what is possible and spin this into our reality. Therefore Maya Shakti is the divine power that spins out the evolution of the present world as we do when we tune into our imaginal cells and birth this into reality; and isn’t this one of my core topics, shared whenever I touch upon the “ordinary” ways that we get to rebirth ourselves by rewriting our own story, remembering where we have been from the far wider perspective of many lifetimes and by subtly altering the way that we perceive ourselves. This is my primary skill-set since it is no less than I have done for myself, transforming my health and my world through the use of all these methods so it is something I feel I have to offer to all of my readers, particularly (but not exclusively) women at this time.
Of course, spindles appear in so many cursory tales; not least the story of Sleeping Beauty who pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep like living death (and hasn’t that been the story of all women for the longest time, mine included…even in this life) yet its time to wake up and stop being so afraid of our spinning wheels now since we inherently know how to use them.Then we get the story of Rumpelstiltskin and the girl with whom I have always identified, who was locked away and ordered to spin straw into gold (many times have I lived that one) since men have long known about the great alchemical power of spinning and coveted its golden yarn. Yet the kind of spinning I look forward to doing now is the voluntary kind; the kind of everyday alchemy achieved through the spinning of words that make up the light-filled substance of this blog, put out here for those who happen to find snippets of inspiration via my everyday experiences of spinning straw into gold…and all I am really doing here is reminding you how to do it all for yourselves.
So “Scattering the Light” has been reborn today as “Spinning the Light”; may its yarn spin long, strong and beautiful, leading a clear way into all the future potential that waits up ahead waiting to be realised. I look forward to admiring all the unforeseen ways that its material gets to weave into the warp and weft of the fabric of all who happen to find this space. Already, as I feed the new fleece of this name change between finger and thumb, I feel its power as a subtle change in direction and energy for all that I create in words; and so I find I have rebirthed my creative self – yet again – and sit here blinking in the light of yet another new era waiting to be teased and spiralled into shape.