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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Frau Holda, physical worship and a story about knitting

 Recently there was an interesting blog about hands-on worship, the idea of honoring our Gods with practical physical actions. I thought it was well written and made good points but it also got me thinking about how often we may be called to do that in our own lives and how - or whether - we respond. So I wanted to share a story about my experience with Frau Holda, and the way that tangible skills are an act of worship in themselves.
   When I began honoring Frau Holda one of the first things I felt strongly was that she wanted me to learn how to knit. To me this made sense from her, as she is a Goddess associated with spinning yarn, and knitting is about as close to working with yarn as I can afford to get. But sensible or not I was dismayed. I am a domestic person in certain ways but anything relating to yarn makes me twitchy - its too tedious, too sedentary, too repetitive. I love the end results but I hate the very idea of my being the one to do it. So suffice to say that I was not thrilled to feel called to learn this skill. I dreaded it. I dragged my feet and of course found circumstances aligning so that I had ample unexpected opportunities to learn anyway. I was given all the supplies I needed, including yarn, by my grandmother who suddenly decided I was the perfect person to give her knitting paraphernalia too when her eyesight no longer let her do it herself. The same day I was at my daughters' school book fair, walking past a display, when one of those hobbies-for-dummies boxed kits suddenly fell off the table onto the floor in front of me. The topic of the kit? Knitting of course.
    I can't say I've enjoyed the process so far, and I find it challenging my weaknesses in ways that are both frustrating and irritating. I would have thought I was a patient person before starting to learn this skill. But there is undeniably something about the feel of the yarn under my fingers, the motion of my hands, the almost meditative quality of the motion, that is very powerful. I think of my grandmother knitting. I think of all the women in my family for hundreds of years that helped clothe their families with this skill. And I meditate on Frau Holda spinning, spinning, spinning....
   I haven't produced anything yet worth bragging about, but I haven't given up either. I keep trying, and honoring Frau Holda with my effort. 


  1. Knitting is one of the ways I have honoured Athena (Ergane, the Workerwoman). I do not weave; however, knitting is very close as it creates a kind of cloth which is made into a garment. I really should get back to it as I have recently gotten the yarn for several projects :-). Maybe we can knit together.

  2. There are, of course, Morrígan and Morrígan-like connections there, too. The one that usually comes to my mind is Les Tricoteueses.