Spider as totem

I deliberately didn’t find a nice picture as so many people dislike this creature!

I grew up with a big brother who loved insects and butterflies and spiders and I learned quite early not to be afraid of any of them, or I’d find one in my bed or in my wardrobe. If you have a big brother, you’ll probably know the kind of nastiness they inflict on little and unsuspecting sisters!

Many years ago, I started seeing spiders. I don’t mean suddenly noticing them, but seeing them where they were not. When I woke or when I was dropping off to sleep, I would see a big spider, often either on the covers or the pillow or on the wall near my head. Until I tried to show my husband one on the wall and discovered he couldn’t see it, I did think they were real live spiders!

The usual routine is I see them, notice them and then they scuttle away where I can’t see them any more. Now, Spider in many cultures is a revered being. Some believe that Spider created the first writing, others that Spider wove the universe.

I believe that for me, Spider is a totem. It might not be a glamorous one, like Lion or Bear or Buffalo. But given the way a lot of people react to them, it’s still a powerful one and I do believe it’s a totem for the writer and creator and weaver of stories.

I went to try and rest this afternoon, feeling very unwell, with glands and muscles aching, and when I woke, Spider was there, and scuttled away as usual when I tried to see more closely.

Below some of the wisdom associated with Spider, drawn from the Animal Spirits website. I will put a link on my blog for the whole site. What does Spider mean to you? 

Grandmother Spider wove the fabric of the universe.

  • Master weaver

  • Weaver of the web of fate

  • Wisdom

  • Creativity

  • Divine inspiration

  • Shapeshifting

  • Understanding the patterns of illusion

  • Female energy for the creative force of life

5 thoughts on “Spider as totem

  1. THis is so interesting, and makes so much sense.

    And, in a house of writers and artists, as our home is, we see REAL spiders on a regular basis, and now I wonder if this is why!

    You as a weaver; I can see that!


    • My brother, himself a writer and artist(whatever else his faults to me have been I cannot deny his talent) kept until very recently a menagerie of tarantulas and funnel web type spiders. The last died last year, sadly.
      The only thing apart from words I weave is the occasional dreamcatcher!


  2. Pingback: The Web of Life « Zen and the art of tightrope walking

  3. I have had a lifelong phobia of spiders. Some time back I worked with images of spiders and became quite fixated – I found that, for me, spider was an image of the devouring mother…spinning a web around her daughter, keeping her fixed, wrapped in silk. Interestingly, this house – which we moved into as my mother relaxed her hold on me – has no spiders.
    Interesting post, as always, Viv. Thank you. 🙂


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