Darkness is settling over the world. You need a very bright candle to see through the gloom and shadows.
Like many of you, I’m struggling with how to be in this new world. Must we ride this tsunami of disaster until it reaches the shore, and then clean up the mess? Must we fight hatred and violence with hatred and violence? I’ve heard that silence is complicity but the Facebook posting wars, which seem to be our first response, leave only a grime of ugliness heaped upon ugliness. I believe in some kind of resistance, but what does it look like? Is it possible for good to conquer evil?
Briana used to think so, but then she met Lord Shamwa and it seems he has changed her mind. Some evil simply cannot be tolerated.
In her world, you can deal with people like Shamwa with a bit of magic, a powerful sword and some good arrows. In our world, we must find other ways of dealing with the monsters. But what ways?
These were the thoughts on my mind yesterday morning when I suddenly noticed that a spider had crafted a web across my kitchen window. It’s been rainy and humid this week and her web glistened with drops of water. Nature has a wonderful way of catching your attention and making you think.
Iktomi. In Lakota spirituality, Iktomi, a shapeshifter and trickster, often takes on the shape of spider, and comes to show us the difference in wisdom and folly.
In Hopi mythology, Spider Grandmother is sent by the sun god to earth with a message that he is unhappy about how the people are living. Spider Grandmother teaches the people how to live better and serve her people.
In most magical systems, divination and dream interpretation, spider represents creativity and manipulation of energies. It is a symbol for the creative wheel of life and in some readings, the earth walk.
The spider in my window has come at a time when I am trying to find my place in the so-called resistance. I believe she was asking me to think about what I create in my life. Is what I project in the world positive or negative?
There are only so many hours a day and I can spend them complaining and name calling or I can do something that in some small way improves the quality of life around me. It is time for me to let go of things that no longer serve the greater good and focus on a few things that I can do that help people and the planet.
Please, don’t take my refusal to rant across social media as apathy. I care VERY much about the state of the world. I simply can’t be the kind of activist who shouts down oppression or marches in protest. Nor, do I see myself as a Ghandi-like pacifist. Maybe I’m a passive-activist. Maybe I don’t need to label myself at all. What I do need to do is think deeply about the things I care most about and the places where I can make a difference and put my energy and resources there.
In fantasy worlds, it’s easy to deal with the Shamwa’s of the world. Build a stronger military, send in the poisoner, or just give the order, “Off with their head.”
In our world, we must try to be more civilized. We must build a resistance that wins battles with intelligence, dignity, diplomacy and agreed upon policies and procedures. We must create new kinds of weapons that utilizes education, compassion and solution- focused programs to win the war. And these soft weapons must become part of the web we create at home, in school, at church, at work and in our politics.
We are at a critical juncture on our planet and in our history. Spider is a reminder that the universe is alive with infinite possibilities. We are the universe weavers with power to design and create the web we live in. We can change the world. We can build a beautiful army of light-bearers who use weapons of mass compassion to chase away the darkness and usher in the age of light and life.