Fiber Arts with Magic

Fiber arts have been a part of human society for eons and lore tells us that it has been used in the magical arts all along.  There is a rich and deep history to the fiber arts, with as many uses and spiritual practices as there are facets to a diamond.  Your mind and imagination are the key to unlocking your journey with the fiber arts and magical arts.

I got involved with fiber arts and magic virtually at the same time in my life.  Seems the two just went hand in hand.   Some of the same people who introduced me to the Craft also introduced me to the fiber arts.  As my work with fiber arts  grew so did my work with magical arts; and later, Reiki was added into my spinning, knitting and weaving.  I tend to spin more than knit or weave, so for the purpose of this article, I’ll refer to my collective work as spinning.

Like many fiber arts folks, I have several projects started and stashed all over the living room and den.  (I compromised with my husband on not using any other areas in the house for my stashes.)  Each project will get completed one day, they will!  It’s just that when my guides “call ” me to create something for someone, or myself, I stop what I’m working on and work on the guided project until it’s finished.

My process is not one you would normally find in a “how to” book or video about spinning. I was taught a few basic steps and have  let my guides teach me from there. I am eclectic in my fiber arts.  On occasion I’m guided to a YouTube video about how to make a certain stitch or spin and I get a spinning magazine for inspiration and tips.  But nothing beats a good old trance and spin!

As magical people we understand that there’s energy in all things.  My spinning wheels and drop spindles, wood knitting needles and looms all have their own energy.  The spinning wheels/drop spindles were all hand-made.  They all have a “personality” and I have bonded with each.  There’s a spirit relationship with each one that’s unique and fun.

Drop Spindles.  Photo credit: grizzlymountainarts / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Drop Spindles. Photo credit: grizzlymountainarts / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Finding wool, shopping for wool, getting wool as a gift is a magical experience to me.  I love feeling the different textures of the different breeds of sheep.  When you open your senses you can pick up the energy of the animal.  Llama and alpaca are sweet to work with.

Llama wool.  Photo credit: marlana / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Llama wool. Photo credit: marlana / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

Llama. Image taken by Janine Nelson 2013.
Llama. Image taken by Janine Nelson 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also the non-animal “wool” I work with.  Linen and hemp, while a bit harder to spin, are sturdy and make beautiful items.  Spinning cotton has been a challenge for me, but rewarding when I finish.  I sometimes mix the cotton with other fibers, it makes a beautiful accent to the yarn.
Photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kristenhealy/2442035450/">Kristen Healy</a> / <a href="http://foter.com">Foter</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)</a>

I have been fortunate enough to spin wolf fur.  There’s a tiny bit left, and it’s used sparingly.  I usually mix it with other wools due to a shorter staple (the length of the fur or wool). I like spinning it into yarn that turns into meditation shawls and magical bags.   Many dog and cat breeds have fur with a long enough staple to either be mixed with wool or spun on its own.  Our familiar was a Maine Coon and had long hair.  I was able to spin his fur without any other type of wool being mixed in.  For years, every item I made had a bit of him in it.

One of my first fiber arts teachers instructed my class to “let your animals play with your fiber arts”.   The energy that our furry family members add to our arts, fiber and magical, is unlike any other and I am so grateful I listened to that bit of instruction. Our familiar bonded with both of my spinning wheels.  He would sleep with them, play with the tassels on the treadles and he was so gentle and sweet with them.  At his passing, one of my wheels mourned so deeply, I couldn’t spin with her for months.  The relationship with my fiber arts tools started with meditating with them, doing Reiki with them and allowing energy to flow between each particular fiber tool and myself.  It’s a second nature now, effortless to “pick up” what I’m being guided to.

When I get new wool I always bless it, cleanse it and charge with energy and Reiki.  Then I put it in the “stash” of wool and when it’s ready it lets me know, “time to spin!”

Like any magical ritual, if you have the luxury of time and space, setting up a circle is a great way to start your time of fiber arts.  Purifying your space, wool, spinning wheel, chair and anything else you think would be used.  Scent your space to with a scent that is relaxing for you.  I turn on the “spiritual” music, ground and center and find my link to the wheel I’m working with.  Usually the wheel will lead me to the wool that is to be spun and we try a few styles of twist.  It is normal for me to have no clue what the yarn will become.  I am to spin, watch the beauty of the yarn being spun, and create.

Once I’ve set the space and have tuned into my link with the tools, it’s time to start.

Now there are three: spinning wheel, wool and me.  The three of us work together to determine what the yarn will look like, whether it will be thick or thin, specialty or regular yarn, or a mix.  Often I will call on a deity to help guide and bless as the yarn is created, or as I spin I  meditate on a special goal that is inspired.

It’s easy to find a Goddess of spinning that you can work with, simply Google “Goddess of Spinning” and you can get lost in the choices.   I will also call on God/Goddess’s of my ancestry or the healing deities I work with.  It all depends on the energy and feeling I’m getting from the wool and/or wheel.

Frigg spinning the clouds, by J C Dollman
Frigg spinning the clouds, by J C Dollman

Once spun, the yarn can decorate our home for years before becoming something.  It’s strange, I love spinning because I get the instant gratification of seeing my yarn as I make it, but it’s possible that it won’t be “finished” for years.

There are so many choices and ways to use magic and fiber arts.  I love creating meditation/Reiki shawls and magical tool bags.   One of my favorites is to make small bags and put mesh bags of lavender in them.

If you have the luxury of time, spin colors with their magical properties, and/or the phase of the moon, day of the week and even to the hour of day to aid in your magical working.  If I were spinning a yarn for a love spell, I would spin soft lush tones, on Friday nights, during the waxing to full moon.   For practicality though, I spin when I spin.  I do try taking as much opportunity as I can for special events such as a Blue Moon, Super Moon or what I can manage to find the time to spin during.

Often my inspiration to make something for someone will “knock me in the head” as I’m talking to them in person.  I get so excited; it’s hard not to tell them right away what I’m going to make for them.

My preference is to knit with magical numbers more than patterns found in books/magazines and the web.  I like using 3 most.  When I knit with 3’s it’s usually a type of ribbing or drop stitch; it is a representation of Maiden, Mother, Crone or Birth, Death, Rebirth.

Fiber arts are a part of my spiritual path.  It’s more than a hobby for me.  I don’t take requests or commissions.   I gift my art work as I’m guided to.

As I mentioned before, the same people who introduced me to magic introduced me to fiber arts.  Some introduced, some showed me how, some inspired and influenced.  They know who they are and I am so very grateful for them.

by Oberon Lloyd

 

References

Drop Spindles. Photo credit: grizzlymountainarts / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Llama wool. Photo credit: marlana / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Hemp Photo credit: Kristen Healy / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

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