The next step after you have sleyed the reed is to thread the heddles. A heddle is a metal (sometimes it's made of plastic or nylon, but mine are metal) object with a hole in the middle. It holds the threads onto a shaft so that you can weave patterns. This part of the design process is for me very tedious. I enjoy doing patterns, so know it's a necessary part of the overall effect, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Threading the loom takes almost as long as weaving the project (this depends on the thickness of thread and how many threads you have in a project of course, but roughly...about 1/2 the time is spent "dressing" the loom and half "weaving.")
To thread you take a single thread from the warp and place it through the eye of the heddle on the appropriate shaft. You need to keep from crossing the warp threads and every thread needs to come to the back at its place. One thing that is really cool about a threaded loom is that when its finished it reminds me of little soldiers lining up for inventory.
Here is the loom threaded for the towel project I'm currently working on.
To continue using the weaving analogy for the process of healing and self-discovery, threading represents that necessary step in life to put all the individual pieces of everything that makes up the beauty of your life in alignment. To assign them to their proper place, and then secure them so that they all know where they belong. It can be tedious work, but in the end (and tomorrow you'll see how the threading is so worth it) having everything where it belongs makes everything else run more smoothly.