Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crafting Magic

I have never been able to separate my craft life and my magical life.

Crafting IS magic.

Take spinning, something I learned as a girl. The first revolution in human hertory was the string revolution, the process of twisting fiber into something strong and useful, and at the age of 8 I joined that herstory with my early attempts on a spindle. Twist fibers together in your fingers, build a spindle, find a spinning wheel, and you are making a magic that is associated with Fates, Spider Woman, Loki, Bridget, Frigga, Athena, and all of your grandmothers and grandfathers stretching back through millennia. Learn to spin and you are connected to spinsters, one of the earliest - and highly esteemed - jobs for women. Learn to spin and you are creating the fates.

Weaving, something I also learned in elementary school (the better to make cloth for my barbie dolls), has its own magic. There is nothing as strong as woven cloth. Take warp and weft, and string becomes a usable fabric: the fabric of life. Fabric can be cut, re-used, patched, repaired, sewn again, and transformed into both shelter and clothing. Weaving is a magical connection to human existence, right up there with spinning fate: Feminists now re-weave the web of life. The web of life is magical.

I have already written of smithing as crafting. Take magical iron and forge it into steel, into pots and pans, into kitchen knives and votive offering. Stones become tools. Transformation is in our hands, eyes, in our arms as we hammer, and in the fire. Every strike forges a world. Magic.

And sewing is magic; patchwork is magic. I have sewn up the years of my children's lives, into quilts and clothing, into wall art and gifts and blankets. Every intentional stitch is a spell. Every spell is creating the future.

Crafting is sacred to Bridget and needs to be explored as intentional spellcrafting as well. I realize that lighting candles to Bridget is a spell, and so is cleaning one's hearth or one's stove is spellcrafting or prayer. Yet I find my greatest spells come when writing, when spinning, when weaving. Molding beeswax into candles is a spell; couching beads is a spell. Bridget wants us to create with our hands and hearts, and she wants us to shape the world. (As Christian theologians and thealogians would argue God wants us to participate in Creation. . .)

In the process of growing in devotions to Saint Bridget or Goddess Bridget, or whomever you worship, I hope you add this knowledge of crafting. Crafting with intention is a spell or prayer as strong as any ritual - and with Bridget, perhaps it is even stronger. Whatever craft you explore, every step can be worked into spells and prayers in Her name. Your final creation can add to alters, hearths, homes.

Crafting is magic. Crafting is spellmaking. Make it intentional. Spin fate; weave the web of life; mold inspiration; forge worlds; knit prayers; bead stories; carve spells. What spell is greater than creating?

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