Spider Wisdom

I appreciate how even when I am not getting something immediately, the Divine keeps sending me messages. I have had a repetitive strand the last few days, that became more obvious today. And yet…I moved through my full day, asking what I should be paying attention to, asking how we should play, wondering what I would be writing about tonight. 

The images and thoughts that popped into my head were dismissed…until this afternoon when I suddenly realized how often I was encountering spiders, and spider webs. 

Spider Wisdom
Most people that I know dislike spiders, and a few are intensely frightened by them. Not me. I have always had a fascination and an appreciation for these little eight legged critters. In fact, as a child I used to claim a few of the garden varieties as pets, checking on them in their elaborate webs each day, tossing them flies, and talking to them as I watched them weave with gossamer threads. 

I have arachnid houses in my garden. I view the spiders as allies in reducing the number of harmful pests. The delicate white glass spider pictured above was a guest that I photographed as she rested among my lavender plants a couple of years ago. She was beautiful. This week I’ve been careful not to disturb spiders as I water in the garden, avoiding their intricate webs stretched across corners and clustered close to the ground among plants. 

Spider Wisdom
My awareness came up today, finally, after a little black jumping spider appeared in my car. He was harmless, but I started thinking about how frequently I was encountering his kind. A Facebook post from 2013 has appeared in my newsfeed for the last seven mornings, via the Memory Function. The accompanying photo features a spider web. 

Spider Wisdom

In that short piece I wrote about replacing fear with curiosity. “Fear stops you cold. Curiosity opens a way through,” I wrote. The words were true then…and they are true today. I decided to follow curiosity and research the symbolism around the spider. Because I don’t believe anything happens randomly, I wanted to see what message the spiders were bringing to me. 

I discovered that the spider is an important symbol in many cultures. I felt drawn to the Celtic stories about the spider. The Celts attribute three characteristics to the spider: The Bard is the Artist, the weaver of dreams and webs, The Ovate is the Seer, who brings fresh perspectives to life, and The Druid is the Teacher of wisdom. 

I can see those elements currently at work in my life. And I have a very strong intuition that I call my spider sense. It is like I have an invisible web extending around me, and when something brushes against that energy, I feel it. I pick up information about that person or event, energetically. However, this is not something new in my life. I have always possessed a spider sense. 

Spider Wisdom
What is this new awareness, that is so profound that it has literally smacked me in the face? A week ago, I was bit by a spider, on the chin. Missouri only has two poisonous spiders…the black widow and the brown recluse. I have both around my house. I’ve never been bitten by the black widow. I have been bitten many times by the brown recluse. Some people have a severe reaction to the venom of the recluse. My first bite took a year to recover from. However, I have built up a resistance to the venom. I can safely treat the bites at home without lasting ill effects. 

Except…this is my first bite on my face. And I should say bites, as I ended up with four distinct and painful bumps around my chin. I have not felt my best. And yet, I have healed, following my established protocol. Today the bites are almost gone and I feel much better. Although I will have my son-in-law the pest exterminator over to spray for them, I don’t resent the spiders. 

Spider Wisdom
Instead, I remained curious today, and open. What is spider telling me? What message is spider sharing by showing up so frequently in my life, and getting “in my face”?. 

These words from whatismyspiritanimal.com spoke strongly to me and answered my questions. 

Oh, Wild One. Because you’re here seeking the wisdom of Spider energy, magic, and medicine, it’s a sign your higher self is guiding you toward a deep understanding of your place and purpose in this life.

Each strand of Spider’s web connects to another, creating a whole, safe space in which you can feed your spirit. Spider knows, however, that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. You cannot rush enlightenment. Reawakening your soul’s knowledge of the Great Mysteries can truly become a life-time’s pilgrimage.

Spider bears a message about light, darkness and the delicate balance between the two. We as humans sometimes forget there is a special beauty and power to the shadow self. By understanding that side of our being we come to embrace the light all the more fervently.

No one is perfect. Spider lets you examine your imperfections from a different perspective – one focused on creating transformation from within.

I love that message and I will take it to heart. I love that it begins, Oh, Wild One. I am feeling wild and free. I am expanding my creativity and my spirituality and my spider sense. I am becoming more aware and creating transformation from within. I am feeling connected to the spirit world. I am grateful for all the messages that the Divine sends to me and all the ways those messages arrive. 

Today, I am hearing from Spider and learning deep truths that will guide me and acquiring immense wisdom. May I continue to be an apt student. 

Spider Wisdom

Journey 6: Ascend Toward Stubborn Gladness

stubborn gladness

I loved where curiosity led me on my journey today. I have connected deeply lately with Elizabeth Gilbert, reading her posts daily on Facebook, and feeling so aligned with her journey. Watching her authentic life, I was inspired to read her best selling book again, Eat, Pray, Love. I just finished it and felt that inward stirring that lets me know I am on the right path.

In the book, Liz refers to the Brazilian man that she met while in Bali (the Love portion of her journey) as Felipé. On her website recently, I saw a picture of her with a smiling handsome man and assumed it was her husband. The man in the photo was named José. I realize that for the sake of privacy, many of the names in Eat, Pray, Love were changed. So curiosity led me to the internet today, to discover if Felipé and José were indeed one and the same.

Thanks to Google, I quickly found pics of Liz and her husband, José Nunes. The couple married in 2007. That question answered, my eyes were caught by another headline on Google that stated, Steep Your Soul: A Quote That Made Elizabeth Gilbert Want to Marry Her Husband. Well that was intriguing! Allowing curiosity to continue to lead the way, I clicked on that link and discovered a short video of Liz appearing as a guest on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday program. I watched the video, very curious indeed about what José had said that won the heart of Liz, who had vowed she would not marry again after the painful and difficult ending of her first marriage.

What an amazing 3:32 video. Liz shares that quote that won her heart. José told her, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen, with her feet up, drinking a glass of wine, watching her husband cook her a meal.” And yes, for most women, that man is a keeper! However, going further, Liz shares that what’s really going on when she sits with her feet up, drinking her wine while her husband cooks, is connection. José loves to cook, influenced by his Italian mother. That’s a gift that he enjoys sharing with his wife. But the real gift that he offers to Liz is his attention. As he gets her comfy, he says, “Now, Darling, tell me everything. What happened today?” Not every man likes to cook. And for some, those roles would be reversed in the kitchen. What struck me was his genuine invitation to share….share everything, while he listened, while he prepared a meal to share, as well. That is what touches the heart, a genuine interest in what’s going on in the life of another.

Liz says she asked herself, “How did I win this life?” A very wise friend of hers told her she blossomed into the type of woman, the sort of person, who attracted this type of man to her.
After her divorce, during her year spent in Italy, India and Indonesia, Liz grew, and shifted, and released the past and cared for herself in such a way that she drew another to her that was aligned with the woman she had become. That part of the video brought tears to my eyes. That’s what the journey, what MY journey is about….becoming the best version of myself…and drawing like hearted, like minded people to me to share the journey. This is NOT a formula for attracting a mate, although soul mates are not excluded. It is a recipe for life. A way of living. A shift that enables a view of oneself that is so rich, so loving, so nurturing that those who appear in our lives are those who are able to sustain themselves in the same way. The journey that is then shared is magical, supportive, encouraging, without neediness or a tendency to look to others for happiness. Those truths resonated deep within me as my soul whispered Yes….I want that for my own journey. I want to care for myself and nurture my growth in such a way that those who journey most closely with me are drawn because they too are experiencing a similar walk.

Liz closes the interview with her favorite quote, which I immediately looked up. From poet Jack Gilbert (no relation to Liz) she shared, “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” (From his poem, “A Brief for the Defense”) Even with all the joy that flows from the soul that is focused in the now, that is connected to Source, that looks within for peace and happiness rather than without, there is no denying that in this world there will be days of sorrow, times of stress, unforeseen problems. The “ruthless furnace” is there. It does not have to define my life. Like Liz, I love that idea of holding on to a stubborn gladness in the face of such trials. It’s not denial. It’s not just a positive attitude. It is striving for a higher feeling, a higher vibration, in spite of all that is going on. It is knowing, in my own heart and soul, that who I am is unshakeable. I can be stubborn. Ask anyone who knows me well! What grace and strength to be stubborn for the sake of gladness.

I am undone by my journey today. I am so grateful that my curiosity beckoned me onward and that I followed to see where the trail would go. Take three and a half minutes to watch this video. For your heart. For your soul. For the sake of stubborn gladness.