My Grandmother’s Shawl is a Portal to the Otherworld

It is Samhain 2020. I take the exquisite piece of craft work out of the bag. The label on it reads, in my mothers hand, ‘made between 1970 and 1989’.

It’s not the feel of it, or even the look, so much as the way it smells. Of her. In a split second flashes of memory and feeling come rushing in. Torrents of emotion not yet experienced leading to a new kind of grief. A grief that tells me how loved I was, how cared for. How much I belonged, through blood, to these women and also these men. I did not know until that moment how much I missed feeling that. It’s possible I never knew I felt that much love and belonging, in that particular way, within that particular constellation. Until now, when I no longer have it in this physical realm. It is gone. I will never again feel the depth of holding, safety and love that comes from the nurturing, caring, unconditional living feminine-line.

I wrap the shawl around me for the first time with tears streaming down my face, eyes blood shot. I see myself in the mirror looking somehow different. Me but not me. Me but me with a thousand other faces. I see the ancestors in my face, I see myself as elder, as crone. I am leaning into the vortex of the future whilst feeling generations inside and with me. I am ancestralising them and being made whole all at the same time.

Yes, the veil between worlds is thin. I know this. Yet somehow this shawl, this ancestral, sacred artefact, is offering me this outside of Time, beyond what the mind conceives. Did she know that I would open up and fully behold this piece exactly in this moment when, up until now, I could never have seen it in this way? I think that Mystery knew and Mystery does not relate to Time and Space as we humans know it.

This is a portal to the ancestors and it is not just for Samhain. This is a portal between the realms of Life & Death and all those who have gone before, and this portal is part of how I offer my soul gift at this time. This portal is connecting me to them and, in so doing, I am being re~membered back to wholeness. Being re~membered like this is part of my preparation for being the one who re~members herself back to wholeness in order to do this for the earth community.

The shawl/portal is an intricately woven web of fine silk-like thread, such that a spider would weave. It just so happens that I recently spent time with a red spider who appeared to be pregnant and was weaving an intricate web in the porch of my tent whilst I was on a program called At Death’s Door. Two weeks later I dream that I am pregnant with spiders.

Mystery then is showing me this: I am pregnant with life, of the future ones who will weave and spin. I inhabit the portal between Life & Death, weaving, re~membering myself back to Wholeness so that I can weave, re~member all of the earth community back into the intricate and vast web of the cosmos. I do this like my grandmother shows me ~ with care, with patience, with diligence, with love. She shows me how to be a good ancestor. Like her, I do this for the future generations.

I am Red Wolf Re~membering, also known as Ready (for death through living fully).