Over on Instagram, I am sharing my experience as I participate in a journey of walking with Mother Mary. This opportunity was made possible by Hettienne Grobler, you can find her blog here. Hettienne shares wonderful information and guidance to help get you started.
There is a lovely community developing around this journey on Instagram, you can find them by searching for #walkingwithmary, #30dayswithmary, #thirtydayswithmary.
I guess I should give some background on why I decided to join this journey. I am not a religious person, and I don’t subscribe to Christian beliefs, I am especially not interested in Catholicism, and yet here we are. I took my time to discern whether this experience was something I was interested in. I resisted joining and found many excuses not to, but the pull was strong. What allowed me to justify this practice for myself is my view of Mary as a representation of the Goddess, and as an archetype that has much to teach us. So with an open mind and open heart, I joined the others.
We are currently on Week Three and are exploring The Veils of Mary and Mary as Sophia, Our Lady of Wisdom, Shekinah. One of the activities this week involves doing some needle work, whether it be sewing, weaving, knitting. These activities are considered traditionally women’s work.
As a child, I grew up around a lot of women, my mom and sisters, my aunts, cousins, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and their friends. Doing needlework was a common “fun” activity for the girls, while the boys were out playing in the mud. I don’t remember how young I was when I decided that those traditional women activities were not for me. I didn’t really feel interested in sewing, learning to cook, clean, etc. I was more interested in reading, writing, playing outside.
I don’t remember if I ever made a servilleta (a hand embroidered towel) for my mom, which is something that daughters usually make for their moms. I do have vague memories of one of my aunts teaching me how to embroider with a special needle, but I don’t think I finished that project.
Fast forward to many years later, when I began preparing to become a mom, I started to feel a pull towards the women’s work that I had rejected in my youth. I asked my mom to send me some embroidery hoops, thread and fabric.
I found it very meditative and relaxing. My thread collection grew. I didn’t become a pro, but I began to see this type of work through a different lens.
It’s been about five years since I picked up my needle and thread. I have also changed a lot in those five years, and I am seeing a deeper layer/meaning in this kind of women’s work.
I think it’s magical. It is creative. It can become a magical, creative and spiritual experience. It can be compared to meditating, writing, praying the rosary, doing ritual. Done individually, in the privacy of your home, you can infuse your materials with intention, you can recite a mantra while filling in the patterns and shapes. You can be very intentional with your colors. You can use it to work magic. You can create sacred items for your rituals and sacred spaces.
Just as this journey with Mary has taught me that the Goddess is alive in all of us, this reflection on needlework and women’s work has made me realize that o
ur grandmothers have been working magick for a very long time, even if they didn’t see it through that lens.
I’m excited to create something beautiful for my journey with Mary.
What has been your experience with women’s work? I’d love to read your comments so please share!