Awake. Be the witness of your thoughts. You are what observes, not what you observe.

— Buddha


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As weavers of our own lives, we see objects of the ordinary world, external or internal, beings, events, feelings, and actions as multicolored threads giving meaning and linking us to life. While observed from the outside world, these disparate and unrelated objects and beings take on for us their “usual” appearance and separateness for us. However, seen from the level of our awakened awareness, they jointly develop a wonderful and harmonious relationship analogous to the threads in a tapestry.

Worldly facts, events, memories, feelings and beings—or rather the ideas and symbols that we give to them—somehow change in value when seen from the perspective of a weaver. We are theweavers of our own lives, in which each experience can become an important thread used by our consciousness to connect with one another. Hence, when at a certain point in our lives, we decide to become the weaver, these entangled threads of our experiences and knowledge blend into a beautiful and useful tapestry.

Cloth, thread, loom, spindle, and whatever else is used in spinning and weaving, all represent symbols of our future and destiny. They are used to denote all that rules predetermine and join together our different and ever-changing realities, consciously harmonizing them in ourselves. They are also used to create and make something of our own substance and essence, as the spider does in spinning a web.

Many fairy tales feature goddesses holding spindles or weaving instrument whilst presiding over the birth of a prince or princess. In other instances, they represent time and the chain of cause and effect, or karmic laws. However, when man becomes the weaver of his own destiny, he naturally unfolds the qualities of the creative artist, and becomes the sacred fool whose intuition is guided by the thread of his soul.

On the Symbolism of the Thread

Turning to the archetypal meaning of the thread, it symbolizes the agent that links all states of being to one another and to the First Cause. This symbolism finds its best expression in the Upanishads, where the thread (sutra) “links this world to the other world and to all beings.” The thread is both the soul (atman) and the breath (prana). The thread must in all things be followed back to its source because it is linked to a main central point, often depicted as the Sun. This is reminiscent of  thread, the active ingredients of Theseus’ return to the light of day.

Ariadne’s ball of twine or rope stands for the spiritual assistance needed to overcome the minotaur. The minotaur is the creature with a man’s body and a bull’s head, which king Minos imprisoned in the Labyrinth, built as tribute by Athens to Crete. The minotaur was regularly fed with seven youths and seven maidens, and the king’s son, Theseus, offered himself as one of them. Thanks to a ball of twine that Ariadne gave him to escape from the Labyrinth, Theseus was able to kill the beast.

The minotaur symbolizes the labyrinth of our unconscious, ignorant, perverted human nature, an ugly and soiled embroidery that is dominated by our ego, symbolized by king Minos. Hence, Ariadne’s ball of twine, like the thread, stands for the guidance coming from our soul and our higher intuition to overcome the beast of ignorance and selfishness. This myth symbolizes the spiritual struggle against repression. 

However, this struggle cannot be won without the weapons of light and the presence of our soul, symbolized by Ariadne herself.


In a spiritual context, the thread also represents the energies and magnetic stimulation and intuition coming from the soul. Therefore, we become the channels for the expression of our soul, and the threads linking us to it are a combination of our own thoughts and emotions blending with those of the soul. Together they form the tapestry of our life.

We have already seen that the thread is one of the meanings of the word sutra of the Buddhist scriptures. It should be added that the word “tantra” is also derived from the notion of thread or weaving.

Threading a needle is the symbol of passing through the gateway of the Sun and escaping from the cosmos. It also has the same meaning as the arrow piercing the center of the target. In this context, the thread may be regarded as the link between the different cosmic levels (infernal, terrestrial and celestial) or those of spiritual psychology, (subconscious, conscious, superconscious, or  pure Being or Soul awareness).

All around the Mediterranean Basin, weaving is to woman what ploughing is to man—participating in the work of creation. Through myths and tradition, weaving has an equal archetypal importance as ploughing, although the way they operate remains different. Both, however, are conscious acts involving all the qualities necessary for creating and producing. Hence the thread of the soul links the weaver’s full awareness and qualities on his/her work, which becomes beautiful. Similarly, the farmer ploughs his field with the same attention and devotion, also linking his consciousness to the thread of his soul.


“As the spider weaves its thread out of its own mouth, plays with it and then withdraws it again into itself, so the external unchangeable Lord, who is without form, without attributes, who is absolute knowledge and absolute bliss, evolves the whole universe out of Himself, plays with it for a while, and again withdraws it into Himself.” (by Bhagavatam)

The one who really sees this Truth, realizes his own nature as the Soul or pure Being.


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