Eve spins

Anonymous Author, at the Hunterian Psalter, Eve spinning, 1170, US Public Domain
Anonymous Author, at the Hunterian Psalter, Eve spinning, 1170, US Public Domain

In the image above, we see a painting from 1170 of Eve spinning. In the Middle Ages, Eve was commonly associated with spinning. Spinning is an ancient art in which plant and animal fiber fragments are spun and twisted so as to form a yarn. This is a perfect metaphor for the stories of our life, in which various fragments are twisted together to form this fate which we call our life.

Spinning has often been associated with storytelling. The spinster tells stories as she twists the threads fragments into threads for weaving. Spinning expresses the work of the conscious in relation to the unconscious. The conscious mind is capable of weaving together diverse fragments of lived experiences, to tell a story. Through spinning we become the story tellers and are no longer ‘spun’ by fate.

In the Vedic tradition, Maya is said to spin the web time, of illusions and delusions. If we are not able to tell the great story of life, then mother Maya will tell is for us. Self-realization is a process of becoming the story-teller, and ultimately such a process leads to the freedom from all stories. But this is a slow and gradual process, of spinning and un-spining, of weaving and un-weaving, of remembering who we and then freeing ourselves of such memories.

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