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 173: Sebastian the Spider

I had a fun, quirky journey today, that sought me out and invited me along. Many people hang objects from their rear view mirrors….stuffed animals, necklaces, angel charms, tassels from their graduation caps. I don’t normally have anything hanging from mine. However, when I slid into the driver’s seat in my car this morning, after Zumba class, I discovered something dangling there below the mirror.

He wasn’t present when I left the car, but he was busy creating now. Fine silken threads ran from the mirror to the steering wheel, and the little guy was himself clinging to a strand attached to the mirror…a thread so fine he appeared to be floating in the air. He grew still and I became thoughtful, watching him.

spider thread

That out of focus dark blob beneath the mirror is Sebastian. My phone camera couldn’t figure out what I was trying to focus on.

He was tiny, and dark brown, a variety of garden spider that is making itself at home in my backyard paradise. My car is parked in front of my home, under a shade tree. With the high temps today, I left the passenger side windows down to allow heat to escape. Apparently, my little friend blew in through the open window, on his light-as-air strand of silk. I have never had a fear or sense of disgust toward spiders. They fascinate me. Missouri only has two venomous spiders, the brown recluse and the black widow. I am familiar with both and recognize them when I see them. This tiny specimen was harmless.

And so an odd friendship developed today, between the spider, whom I promptly named Sebastian, and me. The motion of the car disturbed him slightly, so he retreated to the mirror, where he crouched for a good portion of the day. I was in and out of the car frequently, taking care of business, running errands, going to and from the office and to a closing late this afternoon. At each stop, I left the windows down, so that the heat wouldn’t dry little Sebastian out, and so that he could leave, anytime he chose to.

spider mirror

Those dark little bumps at the bottom of the mirror are Sebastian…and his reflection.

However, each time I slid into the car, I checked the mirror, and there he was, watching me. Or at least, I think he was. Occasionally, as I drove, he would unfurl his long legs and crawl up onto the mirror. I would speak kindly to him, and I swear, he would do a little spider shimmy dance on the mirror before returning to the edge to perch. He appeared to be showing off! I assured him that he was safe with me. I don’t like to snuff out life, even among insects or snakes. I’ll swat a mosquito if I have to, and even then I try to warn them off before doing that. I can’t say that I invite ants or mice or slugs into my home, but I respect all life, and look for alternative ways to deal with unwelcome guests.

As the day progressed, I expected Sebastian to leave. I smiled each time I returned to the car and spotted him there on the mirror. Yet, as I drove home at 6:00, ready to park the car for the night, I didn’t want to leave him shut up inside. There were two reasons for that: I expected him to get busy again creating a web once the car was quiet and still, and, there was no food source for him inside the car. I didn’t want to find him curled up dead the next morning. As I parked again beneath the tree, I picked up a couple of sheets of paper, and talking to him, carefully transferred Sebastian from the mirror to the paper.

I rested the paper against the rough bark of the tree, thinking he would scurry away. He didn’t. Stretching out his legs, he seemed content. I was walking slowly to the front porch, with the intention of anchoring the sheet of paper to bench with a flower pot, when nature took care of the situation. A gust of wind rattled the paper and suddenly, Sebastian was airborne, a tiny speck of brown lifting with the breeze, and then he was gone, carried gently to a new home where he could build his web.

spider sebastian

Finally, a clear image of Sebastian, resting on sheets of paper.

What an intriguing journey. I can’t explain why Sebastian spent the whole day on my rear view mirror, or the sense of peace and joy I felt at having him there. I spent a few minutes this evening looking up the symbolism for spiders. We associate words with animals. A dove represents peace, a dog loyalty, a horse strength, cats independence. I wondered what spiders signified. I know many people are afraid of spiders and would have very negative words for them.

This is what I found. Spiders are ancient symbols of mystery, power and growth. They are also considered symbols of feminine energy, patience and creativity. Dreaming of spiders, or dare I say, connecting with a spider while awake, is a reminder that just as a spider weaves and constructs its web, so I make choices that weave the threads of my life together, creating my story. Sebastian’s presence quietly challenged me to be mindful of the life I am weaving and the story I am telling.

I also discovered that the often maligned spider is a symbol for infinity. With its eight legs, and eight eyes for most species, the spider is associated with the number eight, which represents cycles, the passage of time and growth. The eight, turned on its side, becomes the symbol for infinity. I am very aware of that symbol, as I encountered it often last year connected to my word Beyond.

I am grateful for that little spider. I enjoyed his company today. And without saying a word, unless his dances were attempts at pantomime, he offered wisdom to me and nudged my curiosity, which always leads to a learning moment. Yes, I see things differently. I watch for lessons from the Divine, think about the strangest things, connect the dots….and marvel. And, I am okay with that! I am embracing myself, quirks, talents, and flaws, and rejoicing in the uniqueness that is me. In doing so, I can also sincerely appreciate the uniqueness of others, of all life….even the uniqueness of little spiders who blow in through my window and hang out for awhile. I wouldn’t trade these journeys for anything!

spider web infinity