It’s kinda like digging through a box of parts that did not come with instructions and includes a few odd parts . But you can’t know which is which until you start fiddling around and putting them together according to a vague idea of what the final product can be.
In this case it’s a box of ideas and experiences that seem to link together, all totally UPG. If you develop hives at the very mention of the term, run now or forever hold your peace.
So what got me started was this short but sweet article regarding “spinning magic” in the context of seidhr mentioned by Birka at her own recon/personal experience blog where she wanted to explore seidhr through recon methods. I was inspired to do similarly, as the nature of “magic” in my everyday life was something I was both fascinated and confused with. One of those “ever since I was a child” stories. When I got into Neopaganism as a young teenager I become exploratory, but nothing fit within the Wiccan or New Age schemes available at the time. I had to be aware of cultural appropriation from a relatively early start too, so neoshamanism simply irritated me and didn’t fit. It was all just so complicated sounding with the “required” tools and ritual steps, nothing like the simple but powerful magic in the old stories.
Functionality was another problem I ran into. I viewed magic/shamanism/etc. as something that could make my paganism be functional outside of myself. I didn’t see any point in having those beliefs if they didn’t benefit anyone (be it human/animal, spirit, lands, or other). That was my major sticking point with Neoshamanism especially, so much of it did nothing for the community and acted as a self-help system instead. I had no use for that.
So long story short, I think several separate lines of thought and activity are coming together now to fix those issues I had in the past. In a manner of speaking, here are the parts in the box:
Perchta, Miraculous Doe, spinning/spindles, crocheting, color red, that seidhr article I linked earlier, spiders, past profoundly “magical” experiences, foxes, connecting via “threads” or “webs”, love of the forest and occupying liminal spaces. There are a few others, but those are deeply personal and are similar to some of the things mentioned here anyway.
My thought train is going down a path that ties (pun intended) all this together via the act of spinning. Seeing this (and other forms of craftsmanship) act of creation as something powerful and magical is nothing new. Churches had to actually pass LAWS throughout Europe banning such forms of magic, and Christians certainly weren’t the first to take it so seriously. I see no reason to not take it seriously either and subject it to recon exploration like anything else. Unlike a lot of other aspects of heathenry, however, this is something I can also experiment with, as I’m by myself and unable to do the community-based activities. Besides, why should Diana Paxson get all the fun?
A painting of Lady Perchta of Rosenberg, thought to have added fuel to the Perchta myth of the Alps. Note the distaff being used to write strange characters around her.
Regarding this “thread magic” practice, it’s something I already got started with soon after learning how to crochet. I made a couple blankets for babies and children in need, and while crocheting them I would say that the child who receives this shall become lucky in life, or something along that line of positive intent. I just didn’t know I could call it something fancy like “seid magic”, or that there were others that shared similar ideas. So in a way, this new attempt at magic isn’t all that new, it’s just given a sturdier and more colorful context.
Course, I may just be feeling a more feral form of “Christmas in July”. I tend to get that every summer and this year it’s coming out with Perchta research. She was another part of the inspiration puzzle, as she’s a being I was attracted to for the past couple years. Just recently I remembered her associations with spinning, and boom, I finally figured out what to do with honoring her.
More later once I start piecing the rest of the parts together and fleshing them out with time. Perhaps later we can return to our scheduled non-woo programing.