At Pagan Spirit Gathering this June, during the same evening of my encounter with the Toad Spirit, I asked the Lady of Bones if there were any messages that the Powers whom I honor had for me.
She slipped into a light trance and listened for the voice of any Deity, spirit, or ally who might wish to speak. She was especially listening for any words from Frau Holda, a goddess with whom I am (albeit slowly) developing a relationship.
I sat in silence for a bit, listening to the rain pattering against the tent and the wind gusting through the tree canopy overhead. When the Lady of Bones at last spoke, she asked me if Frau Holda was associated with any kinds of bird, as she saw something in her vision that looked sort of like a birds foot.
Not really, I said. She may be associated with some of the small forest birds, but nothing came to mind. Or how about trees? She asked. It could be a stylized tree. Its something She wants you to make, to put on your altar.
The Elder is a tree closely associated with Holda, I told her. Other than that, nothing specific. The Lady of Bones then drew something in the air that looked like the rune Algiz, or like the ‘crow’s foot’ witches sign. I couldn’t think of why Holda would want me to make a little model of a tree for my altar…
I suddenly realized what it might be. The shape that the Lady of Bones was describing was similar to that of a primitive distaff, for holding bundles of raw fibers before they are spun into thread. Frau Holda is closely associated with spinning and weaving, (spinning especially), and spinning and weaving are in turn closely bound up with the practice of Seith, as well as many other kinds of folk magic.
I realized that Frau Holda might want me to learn to spin, so that I could learn also to lay spells or lines of Wyrd into the cords. I suspected that this was something she Herself could teach. As a budding Seithwoman who is interested in Wyrdworking, this was very exiting.
I asked The Lady of Bones if what she was seeing could be a distaff, and she said that made sense. She reiterated that I should make a little model like the form she saw in her vision to put on my altar, and I should do it within the near future. I should also learn to spin, if at all possible. This might take some doing, but I felt I was up to the challenge.
Just last weekend, I went to a local park where a gnarled Elder bush grows next to a bridge over a small stream. I asked the bush if I could take a small dead twig, and left offerings in return. The Elder twig is shaped like the rune Algiz, or like a crow’s foot, and I think I will try and find some red fiber (ideally flax) to wrap around the tines.
I haven’t found a spinning class that meets at a time I am able to attend, but there are kits available on Etsy, so that’s something, at least. this Autumn, the local spinners and Weavers Guild has a craft fair, so I’m hoping to talk to someone about teaching me how to spin using distaff and drop spindle. What magic I’ll be able to make!
Really, I never thought spinning was something I’d be learning, but then I never expected that Lady to invite me into her cottage, either. I’m grateful She considers me worthy of teaching, and I hope I can be a good student and learn to listen well.