Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Spider Woman's Hands" book finished

"What might we see,how might we live if we saw with a webbed vision? The world seen through a web of relationships - as delicate as spider’s silk, yet strong enough to hang a bridge on."

Catherine Keller

I finally finished my second edition (much more comprehensive) of my limited edition book
and published it (with my other books) on It is $35.00 to $50.00, depending on whether it is purchased paperback or hard cover, image wrapped. Although the book is an ever evolving project, I feel a great relief to finally be able to document my discoveries, and my artwork and community projects, in this way.

It's the result of years of fascination with the native American "legend of the Spider Woman", and my sense that this myth is profoundly important for our time. Performance events, rituals, and community arts projects came from this "thread", still spinning, I hope. I think Grandmother Spider Woman is pleased with it all, and I continue to invite others to whom she also is important to write to me, and perhaps contribute to this evolving project.

" The new myth coming into being through the triple influence of quantum physics,
depth psychology and ecology suggests that we are participants in a great cosmic web of life, each one of us indissolubly connected with all others through that invisible field. It is the most insidious of illusions to think that we can achieve a position of dominance in relation to nature, life or each other. In our essence, we are one."

Anne Baring

"What is the new mythology to be,
the mythology of this unified earth
as of one harmonious being?"

Joseph Campbell



In indigenous cultures, cultures with oral traditions, stories don't end after two hours in a theater, or when we turn off the electronic box. Even today, when we talk about “spinning a good tale“, like the hands of Spider Woman, we’re participating in something that keeps spinning and evolving, generation into generation, from the waking world to the dreamtime, back into the past, and forward into the stories of those who are yet to come. In various native arts, a spider and womb motif is ubiquitous: because Spider was the first weaver, bringing order and form, balance and symmetry to primal, formless chaos from within herself. From her essence she spun the strands that became the first stories that became the world.

The Navajo (who call themselves the Dine`) revere Spider Woman (Na'ashje'ii sdfzq'q) for teaching them how to weave. To this day, an infant Navajo girl will have a bit of spider web rubbed into the palms of her hands so she will become a good weaver. Wool rugs often have “Spider Woman's Cross” woven into the pattern, representing balance, the gestalt of the four directions. Navajo weavers also often leave a flaw in the work - because the only perfect web is that of Grandmother Spider Woman.

"May we rub a spider web
into the palms of our hands".

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