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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weaving the Purple yarn

As an Orthodox Christian and fibre artist, you can imagine my excitement when I first noticed, in this particular icon, that the Virgin Mary was holding what looked like a spindle in her right hand when the Angel Gabriel approached her "announcing" that she would soon become the Theotokos, "God bearer".

The story that the spindle she holds in this icon depicts can be found in one of the so called lost books, the Protoevangelion of James, in chapters 9 and 10, and reads as follows:

And it came to pass, in a council of priests, that it was said, "Let us make a new veil for the temple." 2 And the high priest said, "Call together to me seven undefiled virgins of the tribe of David." 3 And the servants went and brought them into the temple of the Lord, and the high priest said to them, "Cast lots before me now, who of you shall spin the gold thread, who the blue, who the scarlet,, who the fine linen, and who the true purple." 4 then the high priest knew Mary, that she was of the tribe of David, and he called her, and the true purple fell to her lot to spin, and she went away to her own home. 5 But from that time Zachary the high priest became dumb, and Samuel was placed in his stead till Zachary spoke again. 6 But Mary took the true purple, and spun it. 7 And she took a pot, and went out to draw water, and heard a voice saying to her, "Hail, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you. You are blessed among women." 8 And she looked around to the right and to the left to see from where the voice came, and then, trembling, went into her house, and laying down the water-pot she took the purple, and sat down in her seat to work it. 9 And behold, the angel of the Lord stood by her, and said, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor in the sight of God." 10 When she heard it, she reasoned within herself what that sort of greeting meant. 11 And the angel said to her, "The Lord is with you, and you shall conceive," 12 to which she replied, "What! Shall I conceive by the living God, and bring forth as all other women do?" 13 But the angel replied, "Not so, Mary, but the Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you; 14 therefore, that which shall be born of you shall be holy, and shall be called the Son of the Living God, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. 15 And behold, your cousin Elizabeth, she also has conceived a son in her old age, 16 and this is now the sixth month with her, who was called barren, for nothing is impossible with God." 17 And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

18 And when she had wrought her purple, she carried it to the high priest, and the high priest blessed her, saying, "Mary, the Lord God has magnified your name, and you shall be blessed in all the ages of the world." 19 Then Mary, filled with joy, went away to her cousin Elizabeth, and knocked at the door. 20 When Elizabeth heard it, she ran and opened to her, and blessed her, and said, "How is this come to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 21 For lo! as soon as the voice of your greeting reached my ears, that which is in me leaped, and blessed you." 22 But Mary, being ignorant of all those mysterious things which the archangel Gabriel had spoken to her, lifted up her eyes to heaven, and said, "Lord! What am I, that all the generations of the earth should call me blessed?" 23 But perceiving herself daily to grow big, and being afraid, she went home, and hid herself from the children of Israel. And she was sixteen years old when all these things happened.



Blogger Melangell said...

Peace Ang,

I would like to thank you for emailing me via this post, and for the kind words. I was not able to answer your questions as when you email from this site it does not offer any return address to email you back. If you still have questions please email me again with a return address and I will be happy to help.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 3:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Melangell said...

Peace sister,

I thank you for your kind words, and for visiting, if this is the same angela from previous comments, again. If you are indeed the same please email me your personal email address so I can respond to your questions regarding instructions on webdesign.


Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 2:16:00 PM EST  

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