Spinning and Weaving
Spinning and Weaving in Mythology
Myths of weaving exist around the world as metaphors for creation. The spindle is often an axis mundi and its whirling whorls serve a cosmogonic function.
Spinning and Weaving Goddesses
How many more Goddesses and stories are lost to history?
Baltic myth, Saule is the life-affirming sun goddess, whose numinous presence is signed by a wheel or a rosette. She spins the sunbeams. The Baltic connection between the sun and spinning is as old as spindles of the sun-stone, amber, that have been uncovered in burial mounds. Baltic legends as told have absorbed many images from Christianity and Greek myth that are not easy to disentangle.
Among the Balts, the connection between the sun and spinning is very old, and the sun-stone, amber, forms the link….Sometimes amber discs were also placed in the grave, perhaps as prayers to the Sun Goddess to spin forth the lost life in another body…. [A]mber was considered a magical substance for a spinner; as the light never tangles in the sky, so an amber spindle protected the new thread from snarls caused by unhappy or malicious spirits….
“Saule, my amber weeping Goddess
creating light like thread.
As “Saules Mat” my mother sun, daily blessing
your thankful world with light.”
Plato had a vision of the great goddess Ananke, Necessity, spinning the universe. The sun, moon, and planets were her spindle’s whorls. Sirens sang through the webs of time and fate that she wove, and souls endlessly moved through the strands on their way to and from death and rebirth.
Fates of ancient Greece
Athena of ancient Greece
Neith of ancient Egypt
Norns spin secret meanings into life in Teutonic myths
Grandmother Spider Woman
spins all life from the shimmering threads in her belly in the American southwest
Spinning by hand has been existence for over 10,000 years.
A spindle whorl is a disk-shaped object with a hole in the center, and it is used in the ancient art of making cloth. The presence of a spindle whorl on an archaeological site is an indication of the technological advance of textile production called spinning.
Spinning is the process of creating cords, yarn or thread from raw plant, animal and even metal fibers. The resulting yarn can then be woven into cloth and other textiles, producing clothing, blankets, tents, shoes.
The earliest fiber manipulation is from Dzudzuana Cave in the Republic of Georgia, where several twisted flax fibers were found dated to ~30,000 years ago.
A HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF SPINNING
by Lady Siobhan nic Dhuinnshleibhe, Known Whorl Spinners of Atlantia
(c)2000 Heather McCloy
A figurine carved from the tusk of a wooly mammoth wearing a loincloth made of twisted threads was carbon dated back to 25,000 BCE, but it is difficult to determine if the threads in her garment were twisted or spun (Hochberg, Bette. Handspindles. Santa Cruz: Bette & Bernard Hochberg. 6th printing. 1993.)
Spindles and spinning are an integral part to the mythology and folklore of many cultures. Plato likens the axis of the universe to the shaft of a spindle with the starry heavens as the whorl end of his Republic. The Bible mentions spindles and spinning. Spider Woman, a Goddess in Navaho culture, taught them the art of spinning. Arachne challenged the goddess Minerva to a spinning and weaving contest and was turned into a spider in Greek mythology. In Germanic and Teutonic cultures the three Fates spin, measure and cut the threads of life of mortals. Even our modern fairy tales mention spinning, as in Rumplestilskin, Sleeping Beauty, and East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
In the most primitive type of spinning, tufts of animal hair or plant fiber are rolled down the thigh with the hand, and additional tufts are added as needed until the desired length of spun fiber is achieved. Later, the fiber is fastened to a stone which is twirled round until the yarn is sufficiently twisted, whereupon it is wound upon the stone and the process repeated over and over.
The next method of spinning yarn is with the spindle, a straight stick eight to twelve inches long on which the yarn is wound after twisting. A whirling motion is given to the spindle on the thigh or any convenient part of the body. The twisted yarn is then wound on to the upper part of the spindle. Another bunch of fibers is drawn out, the spindle is given another twirl, the yarn is wound on the spindle, and so on.
The oldest actual “tool” used for spinning thread were common rocks. A leader thread would be spun by twisting the fibers between the fingers to a desired length, then the resulting thread would be tied around the rock. The rock could then be rotated to spin the fibers as they are played out between the fingers. Spinning with rocks is still done in remote parts of Asia among the nomadic tribes.
Spinning Whorls – Artifacts of Ancient Rus’
article is in Ukrainian
Ukrainian Spinning and Weaving Words
Ткацтво (tkats-tvo): weaving
прясельце (prya-sel-tse): spinning whorl
Weaving has been practiced in Ukraine for many centuries. More about weaving in Ukraine from Encyclopedia of Ukraine.
Spinning and Weaving as Writing Metaphors
Spinning a Tale – writing and weaving
Thursday 25 February 2016 By
Pantoum – a woven poem
It’s a very beautiful form that weaves lines together to create a cohesive poem.
Source: PANTOUM: THE ART OF WORD WEAVING
An incantation is created by a pantoum’s interlocking pattern of rhyme and repetition; as lines reverberate between stanzas, they fill the poem with echoes.