Spiralling into the center, the center of the wheel
We are the weavers, we are the woven ones
We are the dreamers, we are the dream
We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weavers, we are the web - words by Shekinah Mountainwater
I bought this vintage statue of Mary on Etsy and when I took her in my hand, an image and feeling arose, which I then did my best to re-create in this shrine. The image was that of the Divine Mother, weaving us through the aeons and us weaving life in return. It was a dance of giving and receiving; receiving and giving; all held together by love, whilst honouring the suffering of this world at the same time.
So I dedicated this shrine to Divine Mother, the Weaver of All.
The tenacity with which for millennia of Western history both men and women have, in the figure of the Virgin Mary, clung to the veneration of the compassionate and merciful mother attests to the human hunger for such a reassuring image. This tenacity only becomes comprehensible in the context of what we now know about the millennia-long tradition of Goddess worship in pre-history. Riane Eisler
The intent of life is loving purpose. The intent of life is to manifest Love through our choices and decisions. As we live in a world of cycles, change and death, we often become burdened by the thoughts that joy, ecstasy and love is only fleeting. But by saying 'yes' to the givens in life, to the gifts and blessings of life, we can let go of our attachment to making it last and allow the inevitable change to transform us. As we weave our daily lives with the thread of Grace, we become part of the tapestry of the Mystery : that which shines with Love beyond reason, beyond logic and beyond mind.
The compassionate Mary holds the thread for us; She weaves the Web that holds us, both shadow and light. The shadow is that nothing seemingly lasts in this realm, but the thread is eternal and the Love is for all eternity. That is Her promise to us. And our greatest challenge is to allow it to happen, despite appearances and despite the suffering. Ultimate reality is both temporal and eternal and so are the world and we. We, as humans, include both the personal and the transpersonal; the human and the Divine. Mary is that highest divine potential; she is the Beacon of Love and Grace.
In this shrine she stands on a piece of woven cloth and she holds threads, combined with gold and teardrop crystals, between her two hands - a garland of the web of life. To her left is a porcelain wing and behind her is a crown embellished with real freshwater pearls. In honouring Her as weaver, we are also honouring all those who weave and sew the stories. For them I have added a miniature set of knitting needles and some knitting, a tiny ball of wool, a sewn babe's cap; miniature skeins of tapestry wool, a dressing maker's mannequin, tape measures (one vintage made of cloth), and a tiny sewing machine. On the right is a bucket with copper wire and roses twisted around : reminiscent of the Passion of the Christ. In the bucket is a tiny tag that says 'Faith'. On the left hand side, behind the tapestry wool, is a tiny safety pin, beaded with beads in the traditional African way. The shrine is decorated with pieces of vintage doily, trim and teardrop crystal beads.
As I worked on this shrine, I was filled with memories of my grandmothers; women who passed all their wisdom and creativity on to me. As I sat with my maternal grandmother and watched her sew, she told me about her life of suffering and the courage it took to re-create a life for herself. My paternal grandmother told me her story whilst knitting booties for the next grandchild. Both their lives spanned the war and my paternal grandfather died on the battlefield. In their memory and in holding their suffering, I collaged the frame with postcards and letters and ticket stubs from the war, as well as from some of my grandmother's sewing patterns.
When we move beyond our small selves, we bridge time and eternity and we do not have to cross the bridge we are. This world and our life can be considered the temporal aspects of eternity.
Grace is Undying Love.