The Symbolism of Spiders
TL;DRSpiders have scared people since we have become aware of them. Maybe it’s their many legs, fast movement, and their way of shooting a web they then ride across the room before our very eyes that horrifies people. Maybe it’s fear of the venom a select few species of spiders possess. Or maybe it’s their very power and the mystical meaning of spiders in general , which we simply don’t understand that makes people skiddish about them. One thing is for certain, the spider means different things to different people, and the spider spirit message is one that is very significant to more people than there are those who are afraid of them.
What Are Spiders?
Spiders are in the arachnid family which also include other creepy crawlies like ticks, scorpions and mites. They are carnivorous, or eat other living creatures. Some are too tiny to notice, but some are as large as the human hand, like the goliath birdeater, which can get up to a whopping five inches long. Spiders might eat living creatures, but they don’t eat humans. In some parts of the world like Cambodia, humans actually eat spiders, as a matter of fact. Arachnids like spiders are not insects, however, as insects have only six legs, whereas arachnids have a total of eight!
Spiders mind their own business, busily spinning their webs, catching food, and having babies. Some are active in water, and live in wetlands, while others live in the desert. They can be seen in trees, on fences, in homes, alive and well in the mountains, and basically everyplace on earth except for Antarctica.
What do Spiders Symbolize and What Do Spiders Mean?
The spider symbol meaning varies by culture.
- Biblically- In the book of Job 8:14 it is said the spider symbolizes trust in fragile things , like the easily destroyed spider's web. Not a good thing here.
- Ancient India- A creation story tells of a spider that wove, or created everything and will somebody devour it all and start again. So here, the spider symbolizes creation and destruction.
- West Africa- The spider is associated with a trickster deity, Anansi. He uses his wisdom and cunning to manipulate things in his favor. Spiders symbolize quick intellect, self-preservation, and cunning.
- Hopi- These people had a grandmother goddess called Spider Woman who created humanity with the help of other gods and goddesses. So, the spider represents mothers creating life. Ancient China- Spider images were worn on jewelry to bring good luck, and spiders were believed to bestow happiness morning time and in the evening, wealth!
What do Spiders Mean Spiritually?
The spiritual meaning spiders embody also varies, not just by culture, but by general attributes.
- Fertility and Motherhood- The giant 660 foot long spider carved into one of the famous Nazca Lines in Peru is said to represent fertility. This is probably because spider mothers have hundreds of babies hatch per pregnancy, all of which they lovingly carry on their backs when they are tiny. A single spider can have up to 3,000 babies in her lifetime!
- Money- In some parts of the world, spiders represent money. You want them in the corners and eaves of the house, bringing all that good financial energy but you don’t want them scurrying across the table. That symbolizes money going away. In Ancient Rome, people actually wore amulets of spiders to try and attract wealth to themselves.
- Bad Luck- Speaking of money, spiders pretty much only represent bad luck when you kill them- that will make the money disappear, and nobody wants that. So let those eight-legged friends live.
- Protection- Like the webs provide a home, they also provide a barrier representing where bad energy is caught, and not allowed to enter. Some stories speak of spiders webs hiding people to keep them safe as well.
- Choices and Control- Like the spider weaves it’s own web, we weave the webs of our own daily lives and long term fates. Our decisions control what happens to us, and the spider is a constant reminder that we are in the driver’s seat of our own destinies, choosing our own consequences.
- Mysteriousness- Spiders seemingly appear out of nowhere, and nobody knows where they go, or what they do. They thus represent mystery, the unknown, and the hidden.
Spider Web Symbolism
The spider web has mystified people for generations. The silver strands glistening in the early morning light, covered in dew looks more like jewelry than anything spun in nature. The spiders web, for some represents old, derelict spaces, but for others, it represents how hard work and industriousness pays off. It can also represent hearth and home, and for some, it represents pulling seemingly unrelated things together to create a meaningful whole. This is especially meaningful to those holding their lives together, seemingly by a single strand. There is hope. If the humble spider can do it, so can we!
For some, the spider's web has a much more cosmic meaning. Some believe the spiders web represents the interconnectedness of all things in the Universe in general. It can also symbolize the many paths we walk in our own lives. We follow one strand, seeing where that leads, before moving to yet another strand, or part of our life path, and follow that. Like all the strands make up a whole spider's web, all the places our paths take us make up our whole life in all it’s fullness.
What Does it Mean When You See a Spider?
“What does it mean when I see a spider?”, you may ask. It all depends! Sometimes, it just means you happen to be in the same place at the same time when a spider is. Seeing spiders' meaning may not be so mundane, however, and sometimes, it means the spider has a spiritual message for you. The spider may be revealing itself to you as one of your spirit or totem animals, whose gifts and attributes you share and who you draw power from. Mysticsense has explored these powerful creatures before in this article you can access here:
If you see a spider, it can mean good luck, or it may be reminding you to make good choices because you are weaving the web of your own fate. It could mean to look beneath the surface, as those spiders go into hidden places, and that’s what you must do now. It can mean you are being protected, and it can also be a sign money is coming your way!
What does Seeing a Lot of Spiders Mean?
While there is a strong chance that you see a lot of spiders because there just happen to be a lot of spiders nearby where you are, that’s not always the case. Seeing spiders often can point to the spider being a power animal of yours, of course, or regular reminders from the Universe about whatever it is the spider is trying to tell you. Seeing many spiders often can also bestow you with much luck or wealth- all good things- and it can mean that you will be a mentor to many who need you. Like lots of little spiders, those who need you will gravitate towards you.
What Does it Mean When Spiders are Drawn to You?
Spiders don’t naturally gravitate towards humans, on the contrary, they avoid us. If spiders come to you on their own, it has great spiritual significance. Most likely, they are your power animal, and feel a kinship with you because of that. Or, they may be sending messages about the spiritual things they signify. Spiders are often seen skittering about spastically to avoid humans, and that jerky movement can scare people. Yet, when the spiders approach you calmly, and different ones do so on a regular basis, pay close attention. Something beyond the mundane is being communicated to you, and you should listen. Remember all the things spiders symbolize spiritually, and meditate with these things to see what your spirit tells you the spiders are trying to communicate to you.
Are Spiders dangerous?
The good news is, there are more than 49,000 species of spiders, and close to twelve total are the only ones dangerous to humans. In the United States alone, there are about 3,000 kinds of spiders, with only two being venomous to us. Those are the black widow, and brown recluse spider species, and with almost all spider species, the shear size of a human being means the small amount of toxin the spider emits in a bite often has no symptoms for people. When you have been bitten by a spider like a black widow or brown recluse, however, head straight to the hospital for antivenom treatment. Statistically, you are more likely to be stung by bees or wasps, or bitten by a dog than a spider, poisonous or not, and annually in the United States, less than ten people per year die from spider bites. Considering the population in the United States is over 328 million, less than ten deaths is a pretty small number.
In contrast, about 130 people per year die as a result of hitting a deer with their car. Mosquitoes are responsible for a whopping 830,000 deaths worldwide per year, and man’s best friend, our cute, furry dogs kill about 25,000 people per year. So, if you are a fly, then spiders are quite deadly, but if you are a human being, spiders are not as dangerous as some would lead us to believe. Thank goodness!
Seeing how much less dangerous almost all spiders are as compared to some other species may help some take a huge sigh of relief, but besides that, they are quite beneficial to people. Those ticks that carry lyme disease, fleas that carry bubonic plague, and mosquitoes that carry more than one deadly disease are gobbled up by hungry spiders both inside houses and outdoors. They also snack on caterpillars and aphids that want to feast on our vegetables, fruits, and flowers. One spider eats an average 2,000 insects per year and without them, we would be overrun with the creepy crawlies. Their venom has been used in medications that bring cures, and scientists are constantly researching ways to use spider silk for use in creating strong materials. A very beneficial little creature after all!
Embracing the Spider Spirit Message
So you see, spiders are really nothing to be afraid of. The mythical swarm of spiders descending to devour you in your sleep is nonexistent, and almost every species of spider is beneficial to humans.
Next time you see a spider’s web, you might decide to leave it alone, and let it eat the flies, earning its keep in the corner of your room. You never know when that spider is bringing you luck, wealth, or when it’s your spirit animal trying to introduce itself.
Know the Meaning of Spiders in Dreams