In the beginning there were only two: Tawa the Sun God to whom belonged all mysteries and powers in the Above and Spider Woman the Earth Goddess who controlled the magic of the Below. They were the only inhabitants of the Underworld, the abode of the Gods until Tawa and Spider Woman breathed them into being.
The legend goes: That in the beginning, there was a dark purple light. Spider Woman spun a line that became the Four Directions. At the time of the yellow light, man became and with the red light he faced his Creator.
Red, yellow, white, and black clay was used by Spider Woman to create mankind. From the top of her head a thread of her Web attached to each of them. Thus she gave them the gift of creative wisdom along with eagle feathers for their hair to remind them of its presence. A great flood was sent by her three times to remind those who had neglected her great gift. The others floated to the new world and through the Sipapu Pole climbed to safety.
She had two daughters: Ut Set and Nau Ut Set. Ut Set, symbolized by the Golden Silk Spider, created the sun and gave it to man. Nau Ut Set, symbolized by the Selenopid Crab Spider, created the moon. It was Nau Ut Set who gave the people prayer sticks. It still being too dark, Spider Woman made the Star People with clear crystals for their eyes.
|"As she thinks so are we. The Spirit is all -- it flows in and out of everything -- it embraces the earth -- it encompasses the universe. It is the earth. It is the universe. Spirit is universal"|
|Spider Woman was found among many of the Native American Tribes. To the Keresans, she taught the people how to plant seeds and created everything. To the Cherokee, she brought the sun and fire and taught them pottery, weaving and how to make ceremonial blessings The Pueblos, Tewas, and Kiwas credit her with bringing fire. The Hopi call her creator having the power to give and take life, bonded to hunting and agriculture and aiding them during their creation.|
In the beginning there were only two: Tawa, the Sun God, and Spider Woman, the Earth Goddess. All the mysteries and power in the Above belonged to Tawa, while Spider Woman controlled the magic of the Below. In the Underworld, abode of the Gods, they dwelt and they were All. There was neither man nor woman, bird nor beast, no living thing until these Two willed it to be.
In time it came to them that there should be other Gods to share their labors. So Tawa divided himself and there came Muiyinwuh, God of All Life Germs; Spider Woman also divide herself so that there was Huzruiwuhti, Woman of the Hard Substances, the Goddess of all hard ornaments of wealth such as coral, turquoise, silver and shell. Huzruiwuhti became the always-bride of Tawa. They were the First Lovers and of their union there came into being those marvelous ones the Magic Twins -- Puukonhoya, the Youth, and Palunhoya, the Echo. As time unrolled there followed Hicanavaiya, Ancient of Six (the Four World Quarters, the Above and Below), Man-Eagle, the Great Plumed Serpent and many others. But Masauwhu, the Death God, did not come of these Two but was bad magic, who appeared only after the making of creatures.
And then it came about that these Two had one Thought and it was a might Thought -- that they would make the Earth to be between the Above and the Below where now lay shimmering only the Endless Waters. So they sat them side by side, swaying their beautiful bronze bodies to the pulsing music of their own great voices, making the First Magic Song, a song of rushing winds and flowing waters, a song of light and sound and life.
"I am Tawa," sang the Sun God. "I am Light. I am Life. I am Father of all that shall ever come."
"I am Kokyanwuhti," the Spider Woman crooned. "I receive Light and nourish Life. I am Mother of all that shall ever come."
"Many strange thoughts are forming in my mind -- beautiful forms of birds to float in the Above, of beasts to move upon the Earth and fish to swim in the Waters," intoned Tawa.
"Now let these things that move in the Though of Tawa appear," chanted Spider Woman, while with her slender fingers she caught up clay from beside her and made the Thoughts of Tawa take form. One by one she shaped them and laid them aside -- but they breathed not nor moved.
"We must do something about this," said Tawa. "It is not good that they lie thus still and quiet. Each thing that has a form must also have a spirit. So now, my beloved, we must make a mighty Magic."
They laid a white blanket over the many figures, a cunningly woven woolen blanket, fleecy as a cloud, and made a mighty incantation over it, and soon the figures stirred and breathed.
"Now, let us make ones like unto you and me, so that they may rule over and enjoy these lesser creatures," sang Tawa, and Spider Woman shaped the Thoughts into woman and man figures like unto their own. But after the blanket magic had been made, the figures remained inert. So Spider Woman gathered them all in her arms and cradled them, while Tawa bent his glowing eyes upon them. The two now sang the magic Song of Life over them, and at last each human figure breathed and lived.
"Now that was a good thing and a mighty thing," said Tawa. "So now all this is finished, and there shall be no new things made by us. Those things we have made shall multiply. I will make a journey across the Above each day to shed my light upon them and return each night to Huzruiwuhti. And now I shall go to turn my blazing shield upon the Endless Waters, so that the Dry Land may appear. And this day will be the first day upon Earth."
"Now I shall lead all these created beings to the land that you shall cause to appear above the waters," said Spider Woman. Then Tawa took down his burnished shield from the turquoise wall of the kiva and swiftly mounted his glorious was to the Above. After Spider Woman had bent her wise, all-seeing eyes upon the thronging creatures about her, she wound her way among them, separating them into groups.
"Thus and thus shall you be and thus shall you remain, each one in her own tribe forever. You are Zunis, you are Kohoninos, you are Pah-Utes..." The Hopis, all, all people were named by Kokyanwuhti then.
Placing her Magic Twins beside her, Spider Woman called all the people to follow where she led. Through all the Four Great Caverns of the Underworld she led them until they finally came to an opening, a sipapu, which led above. This came out at the lowest depth of the Pisisbaiya (the Colorado River) and was the place where the people were to come to gather salt. So lately had the Endless Waters gone down that the Turkey, Koyona, pushing early ahead, dragged its tail feathers in the black mud where the dark bands were to remain forever.
Mourning Dove flew overhead, calling to some to follow, and those who followed where his sharp eyes had spied out springs and built beside them were called "Huwinyamu" after him. So Spider Woman chose a creature to lead each clan to a place to build their house. The Puma, the Snake, the Antelope, the Deer, and other Horn creatures, each led a clan to a place to build their house. Each clan henceforth bore the name of the creature who had led them.
The Spider Woman spoke to them thus: "The woman of the clan shall build the house, and the family name shall descend through her. She shall be house builder and homemaker. She shall mold the jars for the storing of food and water. She shall grind the grain for food and tenderly rear and teach the young. The man of the clan shall build kivas of stone under the ground. In these kivas the man shall make sand pictures as altars. Of colored sand shall he make them, and they shall be called 'ponya.' The man too shall weave the clan blankets with their proper symbols. The man shall fashion himself weapons and furnish his family with game."
Stooping down, she gathered some sand in her hand, letting it run out in a thin, continuous stream. "See the movement of the sand? That is the life that will cause all things therein to grow. The Great Plumed Serpent, Lightning, will rear and strike the earth to fertilize it; Rain Cloud will pour down waters, and Tawa will smile upon it so that green things will spring up to feed my children."
Her eyes now sought the Above where Tawa was descending toward his western kiva in all the glory of red and gold. "I go now, but have no fear, for we Two will be watching over you. Look upon me now, my children, ere I leave. Obey the words I have given you, and all will be well. If you are in need of help, call upon me, and I will send my sons to your aid."
The people gazed wide-eyed upon her shining beauty. Her woven upper garment of soft white wool hung tunic-wise over a blue skirt. On its left side was woven a band bearing the Butterfly and Squash Blossom, in designs of red and yellow and green with bands of black appearing in between. Her neck was hung with heavy necklaces of turquoise, shell and coral, and pendants of the same hung from her ears. Her face was fair, with warm eyes and tender lips, and her form most graceful. Upon her feet were skin boots of gleaming white, and they now turned toward where the sand spun about in whirlpool fashion. She held up her right hand and smiled upon them, then stepped upon the whirling sand. Wonder of wonders, before their eyes the sands seemed to suck her swiftly down until she disappeared entirely from their sight.
Drawn by Brigid O'Donnell
|Drawn by Erin O'Donnell|
Located in Canyon de Chelly National Park, Arizona, Spider Rock was named by the Navajo for Spider Woman and was considered her home.
There is a legend that Spider Woman saved a Navajo youth from his enemies with the use of silken cord whereby he was taken up into her home. There he met Spider Woman and was told of how he was rescued by her strong magical web. After he rested and was nourished, he returned to his tribe to tell of the wonders of Spider Woman.
|"Spider Woman stands up to Coyote when he performs witchcraft or enacts misdeeds."|
|Spider Woman is the creator from whom all thought, energy, matter come and return. All is pure and beautiful with Her blessing. She is both the beginning and the end. She is the cycle of the moon. She spins magickal charms and everyone's fate.|
|All life is a spider's web and each person is a strand on that web. Thus we are all connected to each other. This is revealed in the dream catcher over your bed.|
I see the wisdom of the ages in your eyes,
In your face the pain of Mother Earth,
As we travel through time
Mankind has broken its bonds to you.
We've left the life behind
That shows care and tenderness
Love and peace.
Instead we war on each other
In greed for that which you have given us
So freely in your love.
Now we face the price of our folly
As the Earth cries out in pain,
As animals are lost forever,
As our spirits cut your webstrings
And wander off alone.
O Sacred Spider Mother
Keep me close to you
Help me to avoid the troubles of man
Brought on by himself
And let me grow in your Sacredness
Let me follow your path
And walk with the animals
Toward the rainbowtrail of life .....
(This is my altar that I've dedicated to my Native American past)