There are two bushes at the bottom of my garden, I like to think of them as sentinels of sorts, they look and act as a kind of portal through which one must pass in order to come into or out of my home. These bushes are prickly, somewhat unforgiving and this time of year are often softly doused in dew from the autumn mornings and usually sporting some fine gossamer specimens.
Webs..spiders, World Wide Web… catching, trapping, surrounding, winding, weaving, creating, home, sustenance, holes, slight, strong, sticky, wind proof, fragile.
Hallowe’en or Samhain is by far my favourite holiday of the year. We are sinking deep into the darkness, the cold. Contraction, slowing and quietude are the orders of the day (or night). It is the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, when we are invited to venture between the worlds, feast and remember our ancestors; our ‘Gone Befores’ and hopefully retrieve a sense of belonging, solace and connection in the face of our furiously-paced lives. It also marks the end of the year in the Celtic calendar, a time for reflection and deep communion. The last of the harvest festivals, we are now heading within to rest, dream and restore ourselves.
Webs, in all their intricacy, are ideally poised to offer us a gateway into this other-world. If we approach full on, we are likely to be trapped by them, stuck in our own illusions, our ego selves. If however, we attend to the ‘holes’ in the web, the gaps between the silken strands, we can move beyond to what otherwise might be dimly viewed but never touched. So, these delicate guardians stand everywhere, in corners, spanning impossible distances, valiantly connecting unlikely anchors in order to offer us a not only a view, but a way through. Be warned though, there are ‘keepers’ at these thresholds, prepare yourself with pure intent and offer respect as you pass between.
It’s getting dark outside, the world is in a whirling rush of blind panic. In the next few days if you find yourself confronted with a spider’s miraculous creation, take a moment to step through it, like the wind, and visit with those on the other side. There is counsel there and comfort and home.