Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Incy Wincy Spider

Incy Wincy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain
and Incy Wincy spider went up the spout again!

No... I havent lost it completely.  It just dawned on me that this little nursery rhyme sums up PMDD!

We are Incy Wincy Spider, climbing up the spout.  That is life, that's part of our cycle.  Incy Wincy starts out at the bottom of the pipe... slowly slowly... starting the journey to the top.  The Spider reaches the top and see's storm clouds brewing.  Incy grips on for dear life, she knows she may not make it through the storm.  It start's to rain, and despite Incy Wincy's attempts to hold on to the top of the pipe.. the rain washes her out.  So now she is wet, dumped on the ground below.  She looks to the top of the spout again, and it seems so far away, but the Sun comes up, dries up the rain and dries off Incy Wincy, and she feels full of life and energy to start the journey again.  Remind you of our monthly battle against our hormones?

The water element represented in the spout and the rain is another feminine symbol.  Water is fluid and changeable, just like out emotions.  Hormones are like a drop of ink into a glass of water, they spread through the body, permeating everything.  Water and the feminine, would then connect us to the Moon...  the shadow, the storms.  Then the Sun comes out and everything is good again!  This little rhyme is packed with symbolism!

I have always been interested in the symbols behind our stories, myths and legends, so why not interpret this little rhyme!?

The spider is an interesting symbol.  The spider represents creativity, fertility, harmony and balance.  It is also symbolic of the past and the future.
There are many tales of Spider women in different cultures.  Many traditions consider the spider as the weaver of the fabric of life where they introduce both writing and the making in clothes.
In America storytellers composed myths of a spider woman who was present at the dawn of creation before humans were created. The spider woman taught people how top weave.....
The Spider symbol is associated to creativity and cunning always seen when the spider is dangling at the end of its thread. The symbol here will therefore be a sign of good luck because different communities think that it is bringing down joy from heaven. Amongst weavers it is a symbol of their craft. Spider is associated negatively in Europe because it is associated to hangover from the days of the Plague where it was thought to have spread the disease. Sourced from http://www.animal-symbols.com/spider-symbol.html
In Greek Mythology, the Goddess Arachne, was turned into the first spider.  Her father was a shepherd, who dyed wool the most beautiful of shades of purple.  Arachne was a skilled weaver, and was famous for her tapestries.  It was thought that Athena was the best weaver in the land, and she had taught Arachne to weave.  Arachne had challenged her to see who had the greater talent.
Athena's tapestry was holy, depicting the Gods and Goddesses in all their beauty.  Arachne's tapestry, although just as brilliant in execution, showed the ungodly side of the world, including Athena's father Zeus in compromising situations with the women he seduced and cheated with.

Illustration by Giovanni Caselli
In disgust, and fury, Athena ripped Arachne's tapestry to shreds.  Arachne had insulted the deities.  She realised that the truth being told in that way was too bold, that others were not happy to have such reality laid out before them.  She became so depressed and ashamed that she hung herself.

Athena, took pity on Arachne, and decided to let her live.  But as punishment she would forever hang, spin and weave.  She turned Arachne into a spider for being so vain as to believe she had a right to comment on the behavior of the Gods.

The message in this story is more of a warning.  The risk a woman takes (especially if she is talented) when she speaks out against the grain, when she questions authority, or an established order is high.  We are reminded that to speak the truth is to come from a place of love and compassion.

Anything said out of hatred, ego or pride will always hurt the person involved and more than likely you yourself.

I love it when my brain takes me off on a tangent, and then all the things I research connects in some way.

Just like Arachne, we develop this brash kind of truth telling.  Some call it The Critic, or the Bitch.  It's when we feel we are being challenged, and we panic.  The hormones are rushing and we lose all sense of what is right and wrong.  Our tongue becomes spiteful, we spew fury from a place of hate, believing we all of a sudden have the right to criticise others and 'tell them a thing or too'.  When we are in this place, we have to try and find calm.  Try and remember that the force we are feeling is hormonal and that the people around us are not 'out to get us' or purposely annoy us.  The only path this will lead us to is depression, feeling terrible and regretful and even suicidal.

If we can learn to look after ourselves and not expect everyone around us to figure out whats going on in our minds (especially when we don't know half the time either) we can have an easier time.  Truth, given kindly and from a place of love, will have better response from our loved ones.  If we can feel a storm, we don't have to drag everyone down with us.  It's batten down the hatches time.  It's tell your partner you need extra sleep that afternoon, or you have to go for a walk, or get away from the house.  You don't need to scream and tell them that everything they are doing is annoying, or wail and exclaim how unloved you feel.  If you have people around you who love you, they are there because they love you...  Just take yourself off somewhere to calm those irritable thoughts.  Stop the spring getting wound till it pings.

Incy Wincy could give up, she could throw a tantrum about the fact it rained again, but whats the point?  Why waste all that energy?  She has a spout to climb!

If you are interested in reading more about stories and their symbolism, I would recommend the book, Women who run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Obviously, this is just my interpretation, and others may look at it differently!

Many Blessings!

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