“You can only weave and repair the webs so much before you eventually run out of silk. Before you have to say, ‘Damn, my spider butt is tired!'” – These words came flowing out of my mouth the other day while in a discussion with one of my best friends about things. Technically, we were discussing another friend’s situation, but I definitely was relating as well.
(And yes, I know the silk doesn’t exactly come out of the spider’s butt, I’m exercising hyperbolic license because it’s funnier.)
Technically, my spider butt has been tired for months, but I’ve had webs to spin and maintain, all the way through this past weekend. Art shows, conventions, festivals, shows, tours, producing, planning, painting, passings, and so forth – in all of the areas of my life. The acknowledgement of this tiredness is not a complaint, simply that I can recognize it and voice it matter-of-factly. For the last two months, my common response to the courtesy question of “how are you?” has been some variation of “I’m doing” or paired along with a downward facing palm held about eye-level “I’m maintaining about here.” People often ask me how I keep up with such a schedule, and the secret/truth is: I try not to think about it.
Because when you stop to really think about things when going full-tilt, you can really trip yourself up. Instead, you focus on the task at hand, and then the next one, and one after that. I won’t attest to it being the healthiest or smartest way, but it’s definitely gotten me through a lot.
(So here comes the witchy parts:)
But now, I have some time off, and it’s coinciding with Samhain. Over the summer, I turned down a decent-paying gig for this coming weekend to just be at home and have some time to myself – seeing down the pipeline a few months in advance that I would need the space. I’ve also not been at home for Samhain for the last three years, gigging in New Orleans (which is an absolute treat) at various events.
Ever since I started consciously walking this path, I’ve seen and felt Samhain as the end of the year – and there are multiple cultures throughout the world that find it to be significant in this regard as well. It’s a key time for wrapping up loose ends, cleaning away debris, putting things where they belong. The veils definitely do become thinner (as any medium can attest to), so it’s also an ideal time to look at our past, connect with ancestors, and remember those we have lost in the past year.
In the Modern Tradition, we see ourselves as both weavers and part of the web itself. We make the patterns, we tend to the threads (ourselves and others), but at the same time, we’re all threads strung on the loom of the universe. We can only weave so far as we can reach at any given time, or the tension can suffer stress or break. And to both mix and unite metaphors, as spiders, we take of ourselves to make a web, a weaving that connects, creates, and captures. The universe may cause the elements or others to damage or destroy our web – or we may do it ourselves, intentionally or not. We can repair or rebuild it again and again, or we can rest and reconsider. Though sometimes, we get so caught up in the idea of the webs we build that we don’t stop to consider if this is a thing we should be doing. We just keep spinning and spinning and spinning until we run out of thread – sometimes letting ourselves down and others.
So my Samhain plans are a mixture of self-care and sacred tasks. I’m looking forward to getting my studio and house back into order by organizing and cleaning – as well as baths, homemade meals, and excessive naps with cats for my body. I’m going to reach through the veil to talk with those who have passed, spending time alone (and together) with them and embrace the feelings I’ve had to put aside to get things done. I’m going to attend some local rituals I’ve been invited to and reconnect with my local patterns here in Seattle. But most of all, I’m going to give my spider butt a rest.