sigil pages, hypersigils and emotional intents.

i am a big fan of doing things out of order. of embracing the non-linear and the liminal in my life and work. of layering meaning onto snippets of conversation written down years before and evolving them into new things, artistic recycling as it were. following the cycle of life to death to life in a new form. 

this post is going to be a little different from the previous ones in that i’m going to concentrate on a single page of my journal that has been evolving for the past 5 or so years. 

my current sigil page for public display. it has a black matte background with various shaped pink, yellow and green watercolor paper pieces cut out and glued as collage. there are 2 sigils and the word "trust" down the left side.

i first heard of hypersigils in reference to comic books. essentially, they are a group of sigils that add time as an element. a piece of magick created with the intent to constantly build and move thru time. it tells a story and uses emotions and repetition to rewrite things as they are now, into the future that you would like to see. 

in the format that i first encountered them, there were characters, a plot, odd and strange happenings and an emotional core that pulled everything together and drew the reader in to engage with the story and the sigil itself.

and this is good! but i do things a little bit differently. as long as i’ve been doing art and magick, i’ve unintentionally used my nonlinear journals as both records and hypersigils in a lot of ways, and a couple years ago i set out to intentionally create a hypersigil art journal. 

a finished green, pink and black colored ink sigil i made with the intention of "community."  the lines resemble small creatures and are pleasingly asymmetrical to me.

i love junk journals. i love mood boards. i love collage. i love things that are inspirational and spark ideas and provoke deep emotional memories and thoughts. when i was a kid, i would spend hours cutting out colorful and interesting magazine pages and taping them up on my walls in huge complicated collages that would both tell a story and take me on an emotional color journey when i was laying in my bed. (and also created a huge pain in the butt when i had to take all that tape off the walls. oops. live and learn!)

i also love sigil magick. i love all the different ways to create them and the different tech and purposes and histories of sigils and talismans. sigils work for me and i draw them a lot, which means if i am not destroying them, i need a place to keep the shoeboxes and envelopes of scraps of paper i’ve created and kept for potentiality ephemera over the years. 

i use some of them in my dirt jars and other spells, but the pretty ones and the long plan ones needed a journal. specifically, a junk journal where i can collage and alter and change the narrative as i see fit. each page would be a planned sigil to help ease the transition of moving to a new house and settling in after a long illness and bring health to recover from that illness, and so far it’s been doing brilliantly! 

my sigil book showing 5 prepped, blank pages waiting for inspiration.

junk journals mean that i can take a 50 cent composition book, glue the pages together to create a set number of primed and ready surfaces and then create to my heart’s delight with the bonus that there is no such thing as perfection. the work is ongoing and mistakes are just invitations for future innovation. 

when i make a sigil, i don’t spend too much time on the statement of intent, as controversial as that might sound. the words don’t actually mean much, they are more importantly a focal point for your emotions. the emotions that the sigil makes you feel are the important parts to me. my intents are usually pretty straight forward. “calm’ “safety” “my bill is paid” “health and healing” i make sigils for my Gods and Allies and use those in devotions and offerings. 

the words are the spark, but the emotions guide my hand. i’ll take the words and spin them into a story, creating a deep connection to the future that i want to see, the knot that needs to be untangled, the the problem that needs to be solved. and i weave those into the wider narrative of the page where i am adding that sigil.

the sigil page in a very early form. a jar of modpodge for collage and a bunch of paper cut in random shapes wait to be glued to the black background.

the photos in today’s post are mostly of an unfinished sigil page. a page that has the intention of welcome and hard work and getting things done in the timeframe that i have given them. i’m sharing this page because not only is it unfinished, but i’ve intentionally designed it as a page to be for public display, unlike most of the other pages. i like being able to share my art and works in progress, but some of those spreads are too personal to me to just post them on the internet, lol. 

it’s a good page! there are conversations going on there. i’ve slowly been adding and building it up since the middle of 2019, but the paper and sigils so far were created a longer time ago and taken from my ephemera box for a new life, and i’m adding that time into the spell. 

unlike a lot of sigil makers, i do keep track of the gist of what each one means and i infrequently completely destroy them. i like knowing that there is a relationship formed with each spell and that i can trace my path to where i began to where i am going and tweak things as i go along. refine the process and boost some areas, finish others and let them go, but respectfully and thanking them for their service. 

a spread showing the process of making a "proper" pen and ink sigil from statement of intent to doodles to finished inked sigil. the intention says, "put in the effort and so it is boosted and so you shall have it"

and just like reading cards or runes for divination, there are conversations that happen when i use sigils in collage. they are alive and real and active not only in conversation with me, but with each other. pasting certain pieces together create stronger bonds and boost older spells that would have been weaker alone. adding new intentions and emotions to old and ongoing sigils adds a new thread that connects it to both it’s beginnings and tweaks it’s destination for my current reality. coloring a black and white drawing gives subtle emotional nuance to the outcome. 

there are so many ways to enhance and expand on this concept! i love keri smith’s book, wreck this journal so much i’ve bought it 3 times now and used each one to expand my anti-perfectionistic, nonlinear creativity. it’s such a fun concept and i’ve brought a lot of that into my hypersigil journals. 

adding sticks and dirt and coffee and candy wrappers and tearing and folding pages, removing some pages and adding others, burning the edges, writing out elaborate dreams and rewriting my past to incorporate the feelings that i want to embrace in my future is the way my brain works. 

the sigil page with added pink and yellow watercolors to the glues on pieces and watercolor palettes off to the side.

this is not a diary or a book of days, this is a well used travel planner and passport that shows it’s wear and tear and soup spills and coffee rings, but also gossamer dreams and energetic motivation to solve life’s problems and create a better life and a healthier mental place to be in. 

i’m not asking to win the lottery, buy a yacht and date a hot person. that’s really not me. when i flip thru my sigil pages, i feel calm and excitement and joy and the fresh smell of turned earth in springtime when the weeds are germinating and i am full of anticipation and plans for the year. it’s exciting and fresh and new and gives me tiny delights to add more and evolve those pages further. take those accidental spills and tears and turn them into fantastic stories for my future self to be inspired by and continue the conversation.

journaling as a conversation thru time.

words are hard this week, which is ironic as i’m going to be talking about journals and journaling in my practice. i’ve been sick this week. unreliable health sucks a whole lot, but it has also made me more flexible in my planning and in my expectations. i was considering skipping this post, but i promised my Sisters that i would write every week this year if i can and i’m going to keep to that promise to the best of my ability. and the best of my ability this time means a longer break and then two posts this week so i can stay on schedule. 

an open sketchbook with a colorful paper collage glues to the pages and a pen to doodle inside the print.

so! as i said, this month i’m going to write about journaling the way that i do it. i’m sure the folks who have heard me talk about journaling ad nauseum in my discord places are rolling their eyes right now. lol. but i really feel like it’s an important part of my practice and that the accommodations that i make for how i journal can be useful to other people who also have the limitations that i do.

i have been chronically ill for most of my life and because of that, i’ve had to learn to adapt my expectations and my methods to accommodate the times when i am unable to stick to my schedules, be they self imposed or external from myself. and an important part of those accomodations is to give myself the grace to be ill. there is no morality to being sick. it’s a neutral state. it just is. and when i am sick, i take care of myself until i am able to finish the projects i was working on when things fell apart. sometimes that takes years and sometimes it’s a few days or weeks. fortunately, this time i’ll be catching up instead of just skipping ahead and writing off the time lost. 

a long shelf of sketchbooks and journals from decades of journaling

i am not one of those people who have kept copious diaries since childhood. i envy those people with the fortitude to accomplish such a feat! but i am more of a keeper of non-linear conversations thu time. i do occasionally write in a therapy journal to organize my thoughts and see my situation from an outside perspective, but i rarely if ever keep those. usually those pages are torn out and cathartically torn up and either burned or flushed or buried, depending on the paper content. (pro tip. don’t flush more than one piece of very finely shredded paper down the toilet. ask me how i know. -_-; instead, finely shred that therapeutic missive and compost it with the kitchen scraps to be eaten by the bugs and fungi where it belongs.) 

now-a-days, i use google docs to gather my thoughts and then add bits of them to my art journals as sigils and prayers and spells and anecdotes with the intent to trigger my future self to remember the emotional journey it took to make that piece of art. or sometimes it’s just a piece to capture a moment in time that will be added to later as my life changes. 

to me, journaling is a non-linear conversation i’m having with myself over time. some days when i am very low on energy and focus, i prep pages with interesting papers and backgrounds and squiggles to color in and add to in future years. i’ll add little notes of encouragement  to my future self and when i read those years later, i’ll answer back and continue the conversation. i am always my past, my present and my future selves. 

an abstract colored pencil sketch in my art journal of a stack of eyes and stones in primary colors.

i have a lot of journals! i make them for many occasions and themes and rotate them as i feel moved to. i love undated day planners and sketchbooks and your average run of the mill composition book junk journals the best, tho. undated is better, but i also have fun with dated journals where i can anachronistically create collages and memory sketches and tactile reminders of a moment in time that never was. that has the energy of the time that i bought the planner, but is written years later in conversation with a past me viewed thru my present lens. 

the facts and statements don’t ever matter. it’s the emotions and the energy of the memories that i want to enrobe in crystal and metaphor. it’s healing my past and giving a nuanced and complex foundation to my future. i’m sure if any of my journals survive my life this time around, historians will hate me, haha. but this is a hypersigil of my life as it needs to be to do the Work that i do in the context that i do it. and it’s fun! 

i love bright vibrant colors and gluing things on pages and then coming back next year to update how my life has changed. i love keeping lists of seeds i want to try growing and creating books of sigils to improve my life and tarot spreads and conversations with my Gods and Allies. 

a spread in my art journal with three colored papers in rose, teal and coral and a grid of watercolor paper with random pen and ink doodles in each square.

all of these journals have no start or end. i occasionally date things, but as each page is constantly being reworked and added and subtracted from, there is an eternal feeling of change to them that is comforting to me. i am never the same person twice. my life and my being is constant change and my journals reflect that. 

there was a time a decade ago when i burned out hardcore, that i spent a lot of time in my journals. i wrote and drew all of my pain and confusion and my plans for the future that i could not envision as more than a vague hope. but as i follow the threads of conversation in that book, i can see where i had a turning point and things started getting better. and where i started going back and giving myself little hugs and encouragement and how i had left spaces open in those places for my future self to add in. 

it’s very curious to me how even now in my current, present self, i can feel those tendrils of a future me reaching back to encourage me in how i’m living now. i know that things will be rough for a while yet, but i also know that i’ll make it thru and i have confidence that we will be in a much better situation eventually, i just have to trust. and leave spaces in my journal where i can write encouragements and love to myself in the future.  

my hand holding a large red leather bound journal with junk journal pages added inside making it bigger than it's original thickness.

being creative and non judgemental can be a kind of working meditation, too. as i look back thru my art and devotional journals and reach a page that makes me cringe for whatever reason, i know that is a place where i need to sit with those feelings of embarrassment and discomfort and see where that is coming from. to dig deep into those feelings and find compassion for the past me who wrote or drew those things. who was learning and deep in the shit of life that gradually broke down into the compost that grew the better life and skills that i have now. 

it’s easy to judge my past self, but i wouldn’t be the me that i am now without the hours of practice and the billions of mistakes that i made and learned from. i’m grateful for those moments of cringe at my old art and i have no qualms about adding to those pieces and freshening them up with alterations. remixing them into something wonderful by adding the skills and experience that i have now to the energy and emotions i had then. creating a conversation over time that my future self will also continue when she’s flipping thru my journals in a few years time. 

the inside of a green leatherbound journal with copper paint and brown thread being sewn in a pattern.

no art is bad art. and good conversation is a skill. i’ve learned to roll with the ups and downs and recreate myself over and over as i mix the creative compost and hopefully grow some good things out of the process. 

this month i’ll be talking about that process as a skill and a tool in my practice and hopefully spark some inspiration and soothe some fears of a blank page. and in the spirit of my journaling process, this post is a starting point for my future self to build from.

hello future me! i hope that you have the best time with what we have planned! <3 

big actions are colonies of small ones, finding the magick of tiny delights in the mundane

this weekend and possibly thru next week, i am moving to live downstairs in my house. it’s a good thing! i am excited about the extra space and the huge stone fireplace hearth in the den that i’ll have access to and a bedroom with a lot more sunlight available for myself and my houseplants. 

an old ash tree with heart rot conks against a blue sky

but it’s a very big project. it’s honestly overwhelming to think about, so i’m breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks that give me happy rewards as i complete them, rather than slogging thru one giant task until the end where the results may very well be anticlimactic and depressing because then i’ll have to begin the even harder task of putting everything away.

so instead, i’m planning small things. there is no denouement in this method, but in exchange i get a constant stream of self confident rewards that continue past my goal of moving all of my furniture and goods downstairs, into putting them away and picking up where i left off and adapting my routines to my new situation. it makes a much better transition.

honestly, 15 years ago, this would have been an alien concept for me. my motivations were fear and self made crisis and impending burn-out. it’s taken me a lot of therapy and self care and self knowledge to reach this point where i can motivate myself thru tiny delights and routines and play rather than browbeating myself into complying with my goals. it’s taken a lot of time to learn to love myself and care for myself as much as i care for other people, my house and my family. 

magenta zinnia with a bumble bee in my garden.

as an eldest daughter with 5 siblings and parents who had mental health issues, i have an overactive sense of responsibility and learning to allow play and fun and soft deadlines and non-judgemental mindfulness in my day has been a long and arduous journey. but once i realized that i can love myself *and* love my house and everything in it that cares for me, housekeeping became an act of love rather than a chore. 

granted, this was a years long process and i am still learning and solving problems every day, but i think this week i’m going to talk about how big things are just colonies of small things and how the mundane is magickal. 

we as pagans (at least in my tiny corner of the internet) talk alot about being in right relationship and community with the Land and with our house spirits and i’ve talked a lot about my personal spirit ecosystems and how my mundane and everyday interactions are vital parts of a healthy practice. how giving back to the Land every day and expressing gratitude in actions as well as in speech is important to me.

a silver maple tree with broken branches that look like they are dancing.

i think that looking at that as a monolith of expectations and responsibility is overwhelming and insurmountable, tho. the amount of work to daily and constantly being aware of your surroundings and of the ways that you are impacting the seldom seen denizens of your house and community is a lot and seeing how everything touches everything else in a web of community that you are not the lord of, you are a member within that web, is very off putting to a lot of people. 

and this is even before we add in the other humans and pets and plants and critters and mites and molds and other physical bits that live in our houses. it’s really overwhelming to think about holding responsibility for *everything* that goes on. how do we control such chaos? 

the answer is we don’t. we can’t control others, we can only be responsible for ourselves. 

one of the biggest issues i’ve had in therapy over the years is my need to control my environment to feel safe. but what if i changed my view of the world and saw myself as one of the many inhabitants of my house rather than the boss? what if i found my own space and gave myself my own appropriate responsibilities that gave me a place in this tiny ecosystem and broke down all of those tasks into things that gave me joy? 

a sculpted crowthing with twigs for a tail

like i said earlier, i am the eldest of 6. and i grew up in many places. my family was always on the move and i gained my sense of safety by trying to control my environment. i chose to wash the dishes 3 times a day because i was the “only one who actually got them clean” this also applied to laundry and babysitting and vacuuming and packing when it came time to move house yet again. it got extremely overwhelming and i frequently would burn out and blame myself for the resulting mess. 

so i came into this worldview with a lot of baggage. when i moved away from my family for the first time, i was so accustomed to doing other people’s work, that i was unable to care for myself. i could *not* figure out how to care for myself, my house and my girlfriend without burning out. it took years of struggle to realize that my house will take care of itself if i take care of me. and taking care of me and learning to love me was the hardest thing i’ve ever learned.

the woodpile along my driveway leading up to the old leaning garage that used to be a barn.

my house was built in 1900. it was literally a little house on the prairie. the original part of the house is now my kitchen and the two bathrooms that open off of it. i’m told originally there was an outhouse and the rooms that are now largish bathrooms were bedrooms and later on down the line what is now the parlor was built and a big ancient woodstove installed to keep the house warm in the windy winters. there is no central heating, this house is heated with wood and a few strategic space heaters. 3 additions and 122 years later, this is an 1000 square foot house with 4 small bedrooms, 2 of which are in the finished basement with huge bright egress windows.

all of the plumbing is located in the original part of the house and this past spring the 70+ year old sewer pipes had to be dug up and replaced. it was a huge and dirty job and was disruptive to my routine and traumatic for the house. i spent a lot of time giving offerings and comfort and talking to the house during that week and it took all summer before things settled down and the house felt more like itself. 

the front of a yellow house with a large pit dug up around it where the sewer pipes are being replaced.

breaking that down, my house has a spirit of it’s own. it is old and crotchety and opinionated, but also solid and steadfast and loving and warm. when i walk in the front door, it’s like getting a hug. i love my house and my house loves me. as anxious and stressed as my family makes me, my house is there to soothe and protect me and i wanted to be there to soothe and protect the house as it was healing from a big, necessary surgery.

but just like humans who are made of colonies of bacteria and cells, my house is made up of many other beings. there are the mice and snakes and cobweb spiders and ants that are endemic to rural life. bats in the attic, millepedes that creep up from the crawlspace under the kitchen, hunting spiders in the basement that eat the millipedes, lol. but also each room has a function and a place in the web of community as well as it’s own microcosm of housespirits. and each of those rooms are happiest when they are able to do the things that they do best.  

the top of my woodstove in summer. black cast iron with a black chimney pipe. a vase of flowers sits there with a crosstitched frame that says, "bless this home"

i have tiny altars everywhere where i leave offerings to the wights and the housespirits. i give cinnamon sticks, cedar leaves from the trees out in the windbreak and lavender buds to the woodstove about once a week when i light it and ask that it keep my family warm, but not *too* warm. cozy and safe when the wind howls outside. i take the kitchen scraps to the compost bins and offer them to the spirits of rot and decay that create life in death. and the beasties that feed on it. i offer to the Land and the wights and the critters that live here just like i do. the squirrels and barn cats and birds and bugs and the whole physical web of community living hand in hand with the spirits and plants and trees and wind and all of the seen and unseen things. 

breaking things down further, are offerings of service. a couple years ago, i took upon myself that the dishes and keeping the kitchen clean every night was my responsibility, so i offer water and maintenance to the kitchen sink. i spend so much time there every day that it is really the heart of my home as well as being the oldest part of the house. i have had such a hard time keeping up with dishes over the years, that i just decided that i was going to make it a part of loving my house. it started as a chore, for sure. i grumbled and forgot and bitched and complained, but every day for a year, i loaded the dishwasher and wiped down the counters right before i went to bed, even if that was at 3am. 

five dolls dancing in the sunlight on a hardwood floor.

i found ways to be more efficient and reduced 2 loads of dishes a day (for a family of 6, that’s not bad!) to one load a day (even better!) and i bought fancy dishwasher pods to offer to the dishwasher. i called the maintenance guy when things didn’t seem right and got it repaired and working like a charm. and i started really enjoying the process of putting the dishes into there in a regular pattern. it was almost as soothing as playing tetris. it was giving me tiny delights.

the act of placing all the bowls in a row and rinsing off the plates and putting all the forks in one place and all the spoons in another gives me a little shot of reward juice now, which was unthinkable when i started. doing this act of service for my house has also benefited me. 

two years after that decision, i am still washing the dishes every night and i still occasionally say, ugh! i have to wash the dishes! but it’s such a small and easy part of my day now, that i’ve added wiping out the sink, offering the leftovers to the garbage disposal and getting joy out of cleaning that with a lemon and some ice cubes and vacuuming and mopping once a week. little actions that i can find satisfaction and tiny delights in all add up to a big thing that my kitchen is clean and not attracting pests. and that make me happy as well as my house and my family.

skeins of red thread freshly washed and hanging on the railing outside my door.

and yes, when i am sick i let things slide. but my family will temporarily take up that slack. we all have our own responsibilities in caring for the house and family, but we are a team, a community and when we all do our part and take appropriate responsibility, life is smoother and not only are we happier, but the house and Land are happier. 

now as i am approaching my own half a century mark, i view the world thru this lens when i start any big project be it art, fiber, writing or magick, housekeeping, taking care of myself, and this upcoming week, when i’ll be moving across the house to another room. 

breaking the big tasks down into small ones gives many ways to find joy and delight in finishing a task and to concentrate on the work in front of you, rather than worrying about upcoming deadlines. finding the parts that you enjoy in small tasks makes the bigger task so much easier to manage. and loving my house and doing things to make it happy is my best motivation.

so find a starting point. do one small thing and give a mouse a cookie until it’s time to rest. enjoy and celebrate accomplishing so many things! and begin again the next day. pay attention to the community within the big jobs and find those tiny delights in washing the dishes. 

spinning stories into yarns

i’ve been thinking a lot about the stories we tell ourselves. not good/bad self talk per se, but where we place ourselves in the narratives we create, and how those stories can become a tool.

a wooden spinning bowl in my lap with teal fiber being spun on my spindle

when i first started journeying as a teen, it was mostly accidental. i would take my sketchbook or cross stitch and whatever fiction i was reading at the time and go outside to sit under a tree, or take a long walk to the park or set up a blanket tent on my bed or shut myself in a closet to get away from the noise of my large family. 

then once i was settled and knew for certain that i would be undisturbed, i would calm my anxiety with deep regular breathing and tell myself a story. stories became a trance trigger for me. and also a gateway to journeywork. 

as i sat under that tree in the backyard, and drew the needle and thread of my cross stitch in and out of the pattern i was sewing, i would start with a title. “this is the one about the frog,” “this is the one where we are walking thru a glass corridor and outside the walls we can see time shifting and changing” or one one of my favorites still, “this is the one where i am tiny and live underground. what does my house look like and who are my friends?”

three wool nests in red black and white

sometimes i would base those stories on things i watched on tv or movies i saw or the book i was reading. building elaborate hallucinogenic fanfiction daydreams that were never entirely attached to the original story, i was just playing with the characters, themes and sets like dolls.

over time, tho. i lost interest in other people’s stories and created more and more detailed and elaborate worlds in my head with characters that would react and speak and move in ways that i didn’t expect or have control over. and that was ok! i had a very rich inner life during a time that was very tumultuous and uncertain and i made deep friendships with people in the Otherworld that i still have and continue today. 

but that part of my life all started with storytelling. 

i’ve been interested in fiberarts all of my life. i started out with plastic canvas and a blunt darning needle and chunky bright yarn sewing x’s and making patterns while i sat with my mom. when i was a little older i made constant dandelion stem cordage for bracelets and in middle school i would tear banquet napkins into strips and twist them into cordage and then braid that into doll forms that i would then weave clothes for out of even more shredded and twined napkins. in adulthood, i took up knitting and crochet as well as embroidery, sewing and currently i’m learning weaving.

brown wool on a spindle waiting for me on my messy desk

every one of those projects were meditative and trance inducing and i was able to use trial and error to decide which method worked the best for the level of trance i was looking for and the level of safety that i had. working with a project in my lap both gave me an excuse to trance out and also gave me a focus to keep my hands busy and bring a physicality and motion to my experience. (and afterwards i got a cool thing that i made!) 

nowadays, i tell stories as i spin and process fiber. the process of scouring and picking and combing and carding to get ready for the actual spinning is just as meditative and trance inducing to me as the spinning itself. and i do most, if not all of it in the company of my Sisters. having constant company with my Gods and Spirit Allies has been a staple of my life for as long as i can really remember and the stories that i tell and am told in Their presence are the basis of my practice. it’s a way of getting feedback and being instructed in the work that i’m doing as much as it’s for comfort and companionship. 

part of that instruction i call “right time, right place.” it’s knowing when to push that red button of no return and when to watch and wait until things fall into place. knowing when to follow the threads of a situation to their source and when to let a mystery be a mystery and accept that i may never really know why. 

naalbinding a pink and purple blanket on my lap

spinning for me has a lot of “right time right place” to it. a lot of places where gentle pressure is needed, but an all out assault of productivity will only lead to a repetitive strain injury that will set me back months to heal. time is as much an ingredient in this work as the materials and tools themselves. 

there is a history of spinning and storytelling. yarn and thread and spinning a tale are all used to describe it. spinning is a communal activity, what with the constant presence of it in pre industrial people’s lives and even long after mills and factories became a thing. it’s only been recently that spinning has become an almost forgotten hobby in the west. and many of our well known folk and faerie tales have come out of days and nights of spinning in groups and around the fire engaging in stories and gossip and conversation. 

as i spin my thread, i whisper stories to it. some are truths, some are true lies, some are complete fabrications with a core of emotion that i want to embrace. “this is the one that feels like…” and each of those stories leads somewhere Other than here. i twist that feeling into the thread and then weave and knot it into material reality and bring it into the waking world, crafting my reality. 

a grey spindle in my wooden spinning bowl with grey adn green fiber and a small loom behind it.

and just like the spinsters of old, i bring my spindle everywhere with me. i’m never without a project to work on when i have still hands. i’ve been spinning daily, barring illness and RSI healing time, for almost 10 years now. i spin events and thoughts and tiny delights into my threads. when i ball up a skein i see flashes of events and music and feelings that i experienced while i was spinning it, and then i transfer that to whatever i’m using the thread for by layering that project’s own tiny delights and events within it. 

i love colors, the brighter and more vibrant the better but lately i’ve been trying to dye locks for a more muted and neutral yarn to weave a set of divination cloths for my rosebones set. and although i’ve been enjoying the tiny pops of occasional color, as well as the calming nature of the neutrals, i am looking forward to spring when i’ll be able to move on to the red thread of my next project. colors have a story all their own. the dyes i use on the wool i’m spinning create a mood and a setting for many tales and often, i’ll dye first and then choose colors based on the story i’m telling. i’ll wear colors based on the story i currently am living. and i’ll spin colors to match the journeywork i have planned. 

it sometimes seems chaotic and patternless, but the end results are always stunning. mixing up conventional combinations of color and patterns works on my brain to help me see outside of my expectations, keep me from stagnating and it creates tactile memories that remind me of often overlooked moments in my life that i can learn and grow from. change is a constant in my work and i am constantly changing within the boundaries i’ve set. 

there’s a satisfaction in repetitive motions and actions. repetitive tasks create a time-out-of-time where i can curate and sort the stories and experiences i’ve had and form a narrative to work with in my current life. whether it’s spinning or walking or washing dishes, i’ve always enjoyed the process of going thru the steps and doing the tedious work while creating a boundary to be creative in, be that singing or storytelling or color choices or journeying or having a conversation, it’s almost always a good time as long as i keep in mind the dangers and stay within those set boundaries.

red thread on a spindle with a small white ceramic spinning bowl

learning to create my own place within my narrative helped me to become a stronger and more resilient person. someone who has thought out a lot of solutions to strange hypothetical problems while untangling several hundred yards of laceweight yarn, and also learning peaceful conflict resolution with my family thru washing dishes every day. 

the practical is also the fantastical in both waking and dreaming life and it takes a lifetime of practice to master it. i’m still far from that, but i am working towards coming closer to becoming the devotee that my Sisters see in me with every walk, every clean dish, every story and every spindle full of thread.