Thursday, May 21, 2015

Synchronicities on the road.....

“What might we see, how might we act, if  we saw with a webbed vision? The world seen through a web of relationships… delicate as spider’s silk,  yet strong enough to hang a bridge on.”
Catherine Keller,  From a Broken Web 

I've spent so much of my life on the road, in transit to places ........... crossing the country to get to shows,  and often just following the roads of a restless spirit I may have inherited from my father, who moved our family across the country and around the world.   I suppose clinicians would diagnose me (as I think they would many creative types) as having a bad case of ADD (which I have a different perspective on anyway).  But I think, as the poet Bard Robin Williamson said, there are those who "find rest in journeying", and that state of being "in transit" is a special liminal zone where magic can happen, minds can open, and the Great Conversation can be more eloquent.  

So I've been traveling to Los Angeles, doing an exhausting guest artist appearance at the Renaissance Faire, and in the course of that trip some surprising synchronicities have occurred. 

"Changing Woman" (2014)
Since my mother passed away not yet 3 months ago, I feel much is changing , within and without.  I no longer am a caretaker, and see that role slipping away from me gradually like a skin peeling off - what's underneath feels rather brittle and hyper sensitive.  

I find I am impatient, and expressing anger in ways that I would not have done in the past - hence, for good or ill, various relationships have ended.  I think, perhaps, that with the passing of my mother, and really the end of my family (there is no extended family) I'm trying to change the "family karma", the roles and patterns, that have gone forward in me.  The dis-functional ones - along with this maturation process is genuine gratitude for all that my mother, my family, gave me as well. 

 The previous article I posted  reflects, perhaps,  some of the darker aspects of that self-examination.

I find that I am also trying to re-connect with, and evaluate, the projects, themes, and inspirations that  were so important to me in the past - apart from and before I became so involved with the concerns of caretaking.  My "Hands of Spider Woman Project", the Masks of the Goddess Collection.............what is authentic still, what is not?  What do I love? How must I simplify my life now to regain that passion, that excitement about my art?
Where are my "power leaks", how am I "vamped", my time and energy drained away so that what I love to do...........I don't do.    What am I doing that I think I "should" do, but don't really want to do anymore, and what "should" I be doing that genuinely gives me happiness.  In other words, it may also be time to stop being a sad saint, and be a happy camper instead.  

So my syncros.............

The Renfair is in Santa Fe Dam in Los Angeles, a beautiful park with an impressive view of the mountains that ring the city.  On the other side of the park  from the Faire is a nature walk, and an area I always return to when the show is not on.  It has beautiful indigenous plants, and a sandy area with a stone circle.   I walked into the circle, made some offerings, and created a circle and cross with some stones in the center, representing the 5 directions - a kind of prayer, a way of centering myself.

When the show opened the next day, my booth opened onto a sandy path, and in the heat and the hum of voices passing by, it can get rather hypnotic, unless I'm working with a customer. Sitting in the back of the booth, I noticed there was a man with a carved staff of some kind in front of my booth.  Right in front of my booth, in the sand, he made a circle with a cross in it with his staff in the sand!  I watched him do it, then he walked off and disappeared in the crowd.  

It was not only the symbol I had created the previous day, the symbol of the 4 directions, but this is also a Native American motif called "Spider Woman's Cross".

It occurs on prehistoric Mississippian amulets, in Pueblo pottery, and is woven into Navajo (Dine) rugs as a sacred motif representing Grandmother Spider Woman.  It is an ubiquitous symbol of balance, wholeness, unity. It's also a symbol I've explored in my own humble way with my projects exploring the mythologies of Spider Woman - because I feel She is very important for our time.  

So it gets better.  On Monday, after the Faire closed, I was leaving  L.A. via I-10.  Leaving L.A. is no small feat, as L.A. is huge, with many suburbs that go on for a good 50 miles.   I saw, near the exits for Fontana, a banner that caught my attention - I didn't have time to see the building it was attached to, but I'm assuming it was over a park of some kind.  It read:

Navajo Rugs (.............)

I couldn't read what else was on the banner, but SPIDER WOMAN'S LEGACY was in big letters, right there on the side of the freeway! Not only was it there, but rather amazing that I happened to be looking over to the other side of the freeway and saw it.

I see, according to Google, that there is an exhibit in San Bernardino country called "Spider Woman's LegacyNavajo Rugs and Textiles,” 

In my experience, this is one of Spider Woman's favorite ways to communicate.......with synchronicities!

My last syncro occurred once I crossed the Arizona border, travelling east on I-10.  I had been thinking as I drove about the article I posted last on this Blog, about the meaning of Psychic Vampires.  And about, also, my personal efforts to grow out of a "victim stance" in my own life.  How I've missed so many opportunities, devalued my work,  sustained a great deal of loss because that sensibility is so deeply rooted in my family of origin.  How I've been kind of my own "vampire" by having that sensibility, and how it has to end now and here.

Seriously...........I was meditating at the wheel  on all of this and looked up to see an elaborately painted van in front of me.  It read:


Well Damn!  What more affirmation do I need!  Just to make sure though, when I pulled up at a rest area an hour later, there was the van, right in front of me, again.

Kung Fu Vampire is apparently a gothic/punk rapper from San Jose, currently touring.  I looked up the site, which was pretty awful and dark not to mention misogynist.  Not my aesthetic, but I don't really need to listen to the music to get the message from the syncro.............


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Wow!! These are awesome!! I'll send you an email...

Wes Hansen said...

Shit! Lauren, I hitched to LA last fall and took up under an overpass near I-5. I kept having all of my stuff stolen so I was looking for a new place to dwell. I found this spot under a bridge crossing the LA river on the east side. It was kind of out of the way, not a lot of foot traffic, and secluded. It's near a trash sorting facility so when the wind is right kind of smells a bit. Anyway, someone had camped there before but it had been awhile. There were old clothes and various assorted trash lying around. I was kicking trash around haphazardly and what do I uncover? A little six-legged spider woman wearing a black leather skirt and witch's hat - a true Pagan lady! Let me know where you are in LA (here in your comments perhaps) and perhaps we can have a cup of tea or coffee.

Best regards,
Wes Hansen

lauren raine said...

Well Thanks Wes, but I'm no longer in L.A., but back home and getting ready to travel east. But what a great story.

wishing you great good fortune in your travels.

Wes Hansen said...

Ah, yes, I realized you were no longer in LA; you state that in your blog post. That does make things decidedly more difficult so we probably should take it into consideration. Normally I thrive on decidedly more difficult problems provided they deviate significantly from impossible, which this one would seem to do, but perhaps, in this instance, we should forgo such Earthly delights and indulge in Otherworldly delights instead (

Yeah, I thought it a rather interesting synchronicity when I found that spider woman; I hung her up on the fence nearby. I hadn't read your blog in quite some time but a friend, who I hadn't spoken to in nearly two decades, contacted me and our email exchange made me think of sending her a link to your blog (she was telling me about meeting "random" people in the store who just happened to recommend life defining books, etc.). I found that post and thought, "Wow!"

You know, it's really quite interesting, I've been running into a significant number of young travelers since coming to LA and earlier I was asking about regional Rainbow Gatherings and in every instance they all told me that they and everyone they knew were heading east; perhaps that's why I came west, disgruntled bridge troll that I am. Someday soon perhaps, when I get a little money ahead and no longer need her assistance, I'll mail you that little Spider Woman . . .

Best regards,
Wes Hansen

Wes Hansen said...

I came to the library today and looked on your website for an address so I could mail you that little spider woman and no address was to be found! I already have her boxed up but I'll take her back out of the box since her legs and hat are all smashed flat. Anyway, if you would like to have an interesting little spider woman to add to your collection, send me a snail mail address and I will mail her to you:

You know, Machik Labdron was a Tibetan witch really. In fact, I was reintroduced to her this life-time through a book about the history of the Craft given to me by a young American witch; it contained a couple of interesting stories about Machik Labdron. I lived in the same apartment complex as that young witch and I had a lotus with eight nodes thriving on my porch which said witch had watched me nurse from a seedling but she still tried to cast spells on me, Ha, Ha, Ha . . . At one point she asked me to come to her apartment and help her hang a picture on the wall. In order to accomplish the task I had to take off my shoes and stand on her couch. The place on her couch where I had to step was soaking wet and I just immediately knew I was standing with my bare feet in her urine. I looked down at her and she was looking at me rather intently with a look reminiscent of a cat about to pounce on a mouse, Ha, Ha, Ha . . . I like witches; I always have and in many of my previous lives I've had a female guru/deity . . .

“Approach what you find repulsive, help the ones you think you cannot help, and go places that scare you. ”

― Machik Labdrön

It's all just play you know, nothing but the play of the Buddha-bodies . . . or call them what you will!

With regards,
Wes Hansen