"The Universe is made of stories, not atoms."
"Stories are not abstractions from life, but how we engage with it. We make stories and those stories make us human. We awaken into stories as we awaken into language, which is there before and after us. The question is not so much "What do I learn from stories?" as "What stories do I want to live?" ........ that question might be just as much, "What stories want to come to life through me?"
David R. Loy, "The World Is Made Of Stories"
I truly do believe that story is the name of the country where the archetypes enact their dramas, the Gods and Goddesses weave their relationships and teach their values, and we, consciously or not, live out the myths. Within the Mythic Realms we find the templates of societies, and as individuals, each of us is "in-formed" by story, by mythos. So what are the stories we're being told, infused with, fed by, what are the stories we've internalized?
I've so often spoken of artists, and myself, as people who often elect for the uneasy job of re-mything culture. Sometimes they get elected, whether they think they are or not. The myths rise up from the collective Self, perhaps from the Necessity of the time: but it's individuals who give it voice, symbol, a language, and they often have to plow through the old mythos with a fair amount of resistance before they find resonant ears. Pollinators of story........that's what I think I've been, along with many colleagues. Pollinators, re-discoverers and re-mythers of stories about interdependance instead of competition, stories about a living Earth we live within, instead of a "reward" somewhere else, stories about the return of the Great Goddess and the feminine powers and values, stories that heal instead of making war. Sometimes I worry that I come close to being propaganda, as I repeat myself and my themes over and over..........but these symbols and sounds lie at the root, the base, and are taproots that I can sink over and over to renew myself, to sustain.
So I felt like sharing again the video at the bottom of this post by Brian Swimme, and revisiting again the New Stories Foundation.
And here also is Someone I've been re-visiting, the ancient, and ubiquitous, Native American archetype of Spider Woman that has been so fascinating to me over the years. Grandmother Spider Woman is more than an "archetype" to me...........She's also a wise mentor. Since I seem to be going through a rather profound personal re-weaving at the moment, I've been renewing my aquaintance with Spider Woman as I ask for aid, a few of Her strong threads, through friends, story, dream and synchronicity, to show me the way to go now.
Also called "Thought Woman" in Southwestern Pueblo cultures, Spider Woman is a primal creatrix who imagines things that come to be; she weaves the world continually into being and dissolution with the stories she tells. At the center of the great Web (symbolized by the ubiquitous cross representing the union of the 4 directions) that is always associated with her Spider Woman/Thought Woman sees the ever evolving pattern, the resonance, the harmonies and the disharmonies, the tears and new links. The gift of weaving, and the gift of story, are the gifts Spider Woman endowed her grandchildren with. And as we are all, as it were, connected in the Great Web of life, the work is ultimately collaborative.
Ts' its' tsi' nako, Thought-Woman the Spider named things and as she named them they appeared. She is sitting in her room thinking of a good story now:
I'm telling you the story she is thinking.
Keresan Pueblo proverb
In some Pueblo myths, when the world fell so out of balance that it was destroyed, it was Spider Woman who "midwifed" the New World by leading the people through the Kiva. The "Third World" ended by flood, and She led the people into the "Fourth World", which is our time.
As the Hopi (and Mayan) calendar or cycle recently ended, surely Grandmother Spider Woman is very present again, ready to lead us into the new 5th world, helping us to spin "new stories". And if we look at what element "5", the "Fifth World" might represent, it is Center, and its color is white, the union of all colors. Surely now is the time to tell the story of interdependence, connection, the story that ends with:
And We Are All One......