Spider teachers

spider

Does this picture make you cringe? Does the thought of being anywhere near a spider freak you out? I’m stunned by the number of ‘nature-loving’ pagans who kill spiders without a thought. Aren’t they also part of Nature, part of the goddess? Do they not also hold value?

I like spiders, although I’d be the first to admit, I don’t like them surprising me. I still don’t kill them, preferring to catch them in a container where they’re released outside in the garden.

Some might argue that a fear of spiders is an instinctual reaction to potential danger. After all, some spiders can make you very sick or even kill you. Wolves and cougars can also kill you, but they’re often enough selected as spirit guides. They certainly don’t spur a reaction as a spider does in people.

Arachnids, the scientific term for spiders, (and scorpions, mites, etc) comes from the old Greek myth of Arachne and the goddess Athena.

This spider is a Wolf Spider, a female, carrying her egg sac. Once her young are born, they’ll climb onto her back where she’ll continue to care for them, teaching them to hunt, and even sharing her kills with them. This type of spider can bite, and it can hurt, but rarely proves fatal. They bite only if provoked, and prefer to run away if they can. Many spiders can bite but generally don’t.

Spiders serve to keep the bug population down. Their spider silk can also offer a means to heal wounds. Many species have venom with remarkable properties used in medicine for stroke victims. They weave intricate webs, while other spiders leave a trail wherever they go, or even make soft cocoon like homes out of their webbing.

In Hopi mythology, Spider Woman taught humans how to weave, or in Lakota tradition, Iktomi, the spider spirit is a trickster to teach life’s valuable lessons. Anansi, of West Africa cultures, was also a spider trickster god.

Here is a tiny little jumping spider watching a person type letters on a monitor.

 

Spiders are fascinating creatures. I think if you took the time to learn about them, you won’t find them as scary. Like any creature with potential to harm (wolves and cougar come to mind), you simply respect their space.

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