Life. Death. Love.

“Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.” – Walt Whitman

It is always hard for me to wrap my mind around why people are so afraid of getting old and afraid of death. After all, it’s going to happen to all of us. I can appreciate the wanting to live a good long life- free of disease. But why try to slow down the aging processimages? Why not accept the inevitable— and actually use it to create a well-lived life?

We started to die the day we were born.

When people first meet me, their initial thoughts are usually that I am a dark and mysterious girl with a morbid fascination. After all,  I make jewelry with vertebrae (human and animal). I paint animal skulls. I post images of death in all its forms. My home is decorated with all things death-related– skulls, skeletons, bones. My life is dedicated to the dead.

I have been fascinated with death since childhood. Being born on November 1st, it’s hard not to fall in love with images of death! My birthdays were always filled with bits and pieces of Halloween and All Souls Day. My work with dead goes back as far as I can remember-even within the realm of imaginary friends in childhood.

As I grew older, I began to realize that my life was destined to be entwined between the realms of the living and the dead.

Am I obsessed with death? No.

Do I venerate death? Yes.

I have never been afraid of the concept of death. I understand why most people are. It’s frightening to think about the unknown


I find death comforting. We are all going to end up there. Death is also the one thing in life that does not discriminate; Death does not care if you are rich, poor, what race you are, where you are from, who your family is, what religion you practice, who you pray to. Death is a bit of coming home after a long journey. For me, death is like a waiting lover. Open arms and ready to dance. Morbid? Not really.

My relationship with death has made me love life because Death is humbling. 

When I work with bones–I find it an honor. To hold something so sacred that ones supported the weight of a living thing is a blessing. When I work on a piece, whether painting on a skull or entwining vertebrae into jewelry, I think of what animal once owned those bones. What type of energy that animal had. Where it lived, what it did. I reflect on the essence of the being.

When I work on human bones- its an even greater honor. I think of the person, who they may have been, what they may have done. When I hold a human bone in my hand, I think of my ancestors– of all our ancestors– those who have walked this earth thousands of years before now. Its a sacred honor to me to hold those human bones in my hand.

Imagine if someone told you you had three days to live. Would you really live? Would you break the rules? Would you take risks? Would you be a kinder person?

This is why I love death. It made me learn to live my life with no regrets. I always reflect on the choices

I made, chances I took…things I have said– and I regret nothing.  I am getting older, I am learning that time goes by fast. Age is inevitable. But I have every intention of living my life my way.

In honoring and understanding death- I have learned to appreciate life. Death has humbled me beyond words. Working with and having human bones in my life is one of the greatest honors I could ever have. The dead remind me to live. REALLY live.


So yes, maybe in some strange way- I am obsessed with Death. But its an obsession of absolution. I know that someday I will be like those bones….that will be all that is left of me on this earthly realm. I have no fear of that.

 

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Why Weaving Serpent???

I started using “WEAVING SERPENT” when I first started teaching out of my home studio in 2007. It was my “dance studio” name. I picked it because I like the idea of “weaving.” Snakes, of course, are also my totem animal–and they themselves represent change, rebirth and renewal.

At the time, I was a Fusion Belly Dancer. It meant that I took bits and pieces of dance styles (African, hip hop, flamenco, etc.) and “fused” them together into a belly dance performance. Ultimately, it’s what I taught my students and my troupe.

The name just stuck.

Since I was 13, I have studied most major ancient societal cultures, religions and beliefs, Hinduism, Shamanism, Buddhism, Wicca, Christianity, Vodou, Gnosticism, Metaphysics, etc. You name it and I have had at one point in my life spent months reading about the subject. Over the past 20 years, while I always considered myself “neo-pagan” ~ I began to find that my spirituality started to evolve by taking bits and pieces of what I studied over the past 20 years and creating something of my own. We literally have altars in our home to nearly EVERY spiritual belief system in our home. I always joke with people who if they ever need a prayer answered but are not sure who to go or what to believe, to come to our house–someone will listen!

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With that said, I began to call myself “pan-spiritual” ~ I believe in everything and nothing.

Which brings me to why I kept Weaving Serpent–and why I have used it for my wellness business “Weaving Serpent Wellness.”

I weave together different aspects of my spiritual studies from various spiritual groups to create a healing methodology. Its like having a very large basket with a bunch of stuff to pull out whenever you need it. I am a weaver. I like to weave. And I believe every religion and every form of spirituality has something to offer. And that, it does not mean that you can only believe in ONE thing–or that there is only ONE truth. All spirituality has the same concepts: love, harmony peace, well-being and kindness to others. I pick and choose what works for me and weave it into my spiritual practice.

It’s a nice way to go about evolving, because just when you think you have learned everything—-something new comes along that demands your attention! And its nice to not feel restricted to “one idea” ~ when you can become a giant melting pot-then you can understand the importance weavers have in the way the world works…after all….we are all weaving the same web!

“Onetheism”–The One of the Many

I am constantly learning new things every day. I have always been that way. I am  a major book-worm. I will read anything. I mostly love reading history (ancient is best!) and spirituality books. Combine those two and my addiction for books about the history of religion becomes apparent.

I am a spiritual person. Though my beliefs lean more towards the “pagan” side–what I believe, can’t always be stuck in a box. I am always dabbling in something. Reading and educating myself on religion and spirituality. The ethereal mystical side of religions interests me, but the history of where and how they came into being is what really excites me.

Reading a lot of books about various religions, you begin to learn, that really…..all religions….all spiritualities are one.

There is no such thing has “monotheism” or “polytheism”–there exists only  “Onetheism”….

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Nearly every religion/spiritual practice has two things in common: The belief in a Creator and the branches of that Creator that assists humans on their spiritual path. Whether it be Gods and Goddesses, Orishas, Saints…all religions have the exact same system of beliefs.

What makes these religions/spiritual beliefs different from one another is the labeling. When a religion says that they are monotheists-yet “pray” to Saints for help–does that really make them monotheists? When a polytheist says “all Gods are one God,” — then they are stating they are monotheists?

Labels create conflict. When someone starts labeling things that should not be labeled–like beliefs–issues arise. Truthfully, most religious belief systems have the same ideologies: harm none, live a good life and do the best you can to make your human existence the happiest it could be all while helping others. There is a belief that a Creator (God, The Universe, Bondye) created our existence, but because the Creator is so busy–the Creator made other beings to help assist us on our journey (these beings being Angels, Saints, Gods, Goddesses, Lwa, Orishas, etc.) When you start to label a religion or spiritual process as “dark” “mystical” “monotheistic” “polytheistic” ~  you suddenly walk into that world we live in now, where rather finding our similarities in beliefs, we only focus on what makes us different.

I am a Onetheist. I believe in the one and the many. I am dabbler per se. I see no difference in a Wiccan petitioning to a Goddess and a Catholic praying to a Saint. It’s the same thing. I think more people should be onetheists. If we stopped trying to label ourselves as Catholic, Jewish, Wiccan, Christian etc….and just said, “I am a onetheist”–perhaps there would be less religious and spiritual conflict on our planet.

REBirthday

I don’t believe that “New Years” is on January 1st. Our New Year is celebrated on the day we were born–our birthday. Our birthdays are when we can celebrate new beginnings-make resolutions and decide what we want to bring in to our lives and what we want to take out. Its the time when we celebrate our soul returning to Earth to start a new journey and learn new lessons. In essence–every year is a rebirthday. 

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The idea of rebirth is being able to start a new–and doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to die in order to be reborn. You can have a rebirth any time in life. In fact, you can have a rebirth right now. I chose to have my rebirth every year on my birthday. And I always do a personal ritual on my birthday. I write my list of resolutions, light a white candle (for renewal), think upon the lessons learned in the previous year, what I want to learn in the next, and read my cards from the “Book of Doors,”–the only time of year when I use that divination deck! Of course I also thank The Universe and Deities for the gifts–good and bad- they have given me over the previous year. ThenI start fresh. I liken very much my birthday to a snake shedding its skin. I spiritually, emotionally and mentally let go of whatever is I need–and move forward. A new ending with a new beginning. 

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My rebirth day is today, November 1st. Ironically, its the day after Celtic New Year (Samhain/Halloween) and often “All Saints Day” or “Dios de la Muertas.” I always have found it ironic that my birthday is so closely associated with my religious/spiritual beliefs-and I never found it to be a coincidence that I am an empath who is very sensitive to energy shifts and can see spirit. I think it was meant to be–my destiny to be born on this day. 

So today I celebrate my rebirthing. A new journey begins.