“Perhaps the biggest misconception in the history of human thought is the idea that it is even possible for anything to be completely separate from anything else. “
- Jamie Janover
¨Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.¨
From Skye Alexander's Your Goddess Year
DATES FOR INVITING HER: December 25–31
As the year draws to a close, we honor the Native American goddess/grandmother Spider-Woman, whose divine web holds the world together. In this final week, when the Northern Hemisphere is immersed in death and decay and dark times, she reminds us that we are united with everything in an infinite universe. Nothing exists in isolation and all endings lead to renewal.
The spider signifies the great mother—legend says the goddess has a holy name but it cannot be spoken, so she’s called Spider-Woman or Spider Grandmother out of respect. If the spider is your totem, you possess creativity and ingenuity, as well as the industriousness to bring your dreams to fruition.
Many legends about Spider-Woman exist among the indigenous tribes of the southwestern United States. They tell us that this creator goddess brought the universe into being with her thoughts, and she continues to manage everything that transpires in the heavens and on earth. Her great web holds together humankind; the animals and birds; plants, rivers, and deserts; as well as the sun, moon, planets, and stars, connecting them to each other in a matrix of consciousness. One myth tells us Spider Woman created the cosmos by weaving and singing. She fashioned the land and sea from turquoise, red and yellow rocks, and quartz.
Another story says the goddess originally had dominion over the underworld region of the deities, whereas the sky god Tawa governed the heavens. Together they formed the earth and populated it with the creatures that now live on our planet. According to another legend, Spider-Woman spun a tubular channel that stretched from heaven down to the Grand Canyon, like a divine birth canal, and sent souls through it to incarnate on earth. This wise teacher schooled humans in the arts of weaving, basketry, and pottery making. Folklore tells us she brought corn to her people and taught them agriculture. She also gave them fire. Symbols and Correspondences This divine weaver naturally has a fondness for textiles, especially blankets and rugs with bold geometric shapes and bright colors. Colors have numerous symbolic meanings. The Navajo, for example, connect yellow with the west, black with the north, white with the east, and blue with the south.
Often we feel a lack of genuine connection to the people around us. We long for a sense of community, belonging, and to be able to communicate well with our families, friends, and neighbors. Spider-Woman can show you how to live and work harmoniously with others.
According to one legend, the goddess taught a lonely girl to spin and weave and instructed her to share the skill with the women in her tribe. Through teaching them, the girl gained respect and friendship. Spider-Woman also lets you appreciate your connection with all things, not only on this planet but in the spirit world as well. She’ll help you learn to listen to the messages conveyed to you by your ancestors, guides, and guardians. If you want to discover more about your biological ancestors, ask Spider-Woman to accompany you on your journey into the past.
How To Invite Her
This week invite the goddess to share insights into how to handle relationships with other people via your dreams. You’ll need: A dreamcatcher, which resembles a spider’s web A smudge stick, usually made of sage Matches or a lighter A journal or notebook A pen or pencil Hang the dreamcatcher above your bed. In the evening, light the smudge stick with your matches or lighter and carry it in a circle around your bedroom, letting its purifying smoke waft through the room and cleanse it of unwanted or inharmonious energies. (Make sure to extinguish the smudge stick before going to sleep.) Place the journal and pen/pencil on your nightstand, so they’re handy if you wake during the night and want to jot down a dream. Before falling asleep, set the intention that you will
A dreamcatcher, which resembles a spider’s web
A smudge stick, usually made of sage Matches or a lighter
A journal or notebook A pen or pencil
1. Hang the dreamcatcher above your bed.
2. In the evening, light the smudge stick with your matches or lighter and carry it in a circle around your bedroom, letting its purifying smoke waft through the room and cleanse it of unwanted or inharmonious energies. (Make sure to extinguish the smudge stick before going to sleep.)
3. Place the journal and pen/pencil on your nightstand, so they’re handy if you wake during the night and want to jot down a dream.
4. Before falling asleep, set the intention that you will remember and understand your dreams. Ask Spider-Woman to speak to you while you sleep.
5. In the morning, as soon as you wake up, write down as much as you can remember about your dreams. Pay attention to the mood of each dream, as well as the people in it and the action that occurs. Note symbols, especially those that recur frequently such as water, cars, houses, animals, etc.
6. Repeat each day of the week. You may want to read some books about dream interpretation or discuss your dreams with other people, but your own impressions are most important.
Alexander, Skye. Your Goddess Year (p. 212).