I’ve been meditating upon the first part of this book. Thinking about how it already relates to my life as a spinner is fun. I do feel a spiritual historical type connection to spinning. A connection to the archetype of spinstress. I think—what were these women thinking as they spun? What was their connection to spinning.
I didn’t think about the design of the yarn being spiritual; to me, so far, it has been the act and action that is spiritual.
Design is the first thing discussed in this second part of Williams’s book. With numbers, and number of threads, colors etc, this opens a connection between spinning and numerology. Layers of spirituality, and more yet to discover. And it’s not just a hokey “it’s 11:11, make a wish”, it’s history—the three gifts of the wise men, the spokes in a wheel. Sacred geometry.
My favorite spinnstresses were the Fates, with lifelines, tangles, tethers… and shears…
The Chaldean numerology of Babylon interested me. The number traits and meanings resonated meaning with me but the way to add up and find your number didn’t excite me.
I did really love thinking about the number of plies of yarn that I do in my spinning, and their meanings, and it gave me pause. I love the look of a single ply thread, it seems so peaceful and Williams wrote of the singular ply as “Unity”.
As I read on to the next section, colour, it became more meaningful to me and apparent that this book is chock full of symbolism examples. That is what is meaningful to me, and it also leaves areas for you to create your own meanings
As a fiber artist the meanings with history of dyes was intriguing. I also love combining magic with science, so the explanations of colour science were very engaging.
Of course I loved Williams’s question: “how far would you go for color” after her telling of the Scheele’s Green story. The Colour of yarn is what initially drew me to it. I saw the rich, vibrant artistry that is hand dyed yarn, and knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life 😂 truthfully. As an environmental health-aware woman, though, it catches my attention when they say wear PPE and don’t use dye equipment for food use… how safe is colour??? At what point does it go from being poison to safe to be against our skin, to hold the garment up to our nose and breathe in its scent? You know, neither the internet nor the EPA has answers…
I identify with the Concetta Antico quote “Color is power”. Natural dyes have enchanted me for a few years now. A few years ago I started a dye garden with Woad and Weld, and they keep on growing! I’ve yet to utilize them, but it thrills me to imagine coaxing pigments from something I grew for multiple years. Multi-year projects are becoming my jam 😂
For the next part of my reading of Cord Magic, I will be finishing Part 2, there are a few more chapters in the Design section. Thank you for coming along with me in this reading. I hope you are enjoying my Witchy Earthen Women series of 2024!
Welcome to book club 2023! This year I have selected 14 books (one for each month, an extra, and a partially read one I will finish) to review for you as I read through them. Feel free to read along if you’d like and leave all the comments you’d like whether you’re reading along or just reading my posts! Stay tuned for extras and fun! Blessings, August Lee
Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll
How to be a Good Creature by ash Montgomery
Cord Magic by Brandy Williams
Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
Beauty by Natalie Carnes
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezuhkumatathil
The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew by Penny Billington
Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics by Dennis Klocek
American Georgics edited by Hagenstein, Gregg, and Donahue
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwoodd
Our Only World by Wendell Berry
The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- Feb 4 2023 Sacred Actions section 1
- Feb 6 2023 The Spinners Book of Yarn Designs, BC Extra