From American Indian Healing Arts”
“Sometimes the older men would tell fortunes. They would clear a patch of ground of all weeds, grass, and trach and make it smooth. One man would sit at each of the four directions. The man at the west would draw a circle in the earth with his cane and the four would study the surface of the earth inside the circle to predict the future. Maybe a bug would walk across part of the circle. It all had meaning.” (Willie Lena)
I spent the summer solstice in a quiet way. The new moon darkened the medicine trails. I was content to be with the forest listening to the evening bird sounds as night quietly rolled in. I had a surprise though when I returned to my cabin after the days activities and supper. I found quite a large spider on the floor of my room.
Oh my, since no one was around I had to deal with this myself! And for those of you who know me know this would be no easy or enjoyable task. I decided to have a “talk ” with my visitor. While I appreciate the wonderful work spiders do for us and how important they are in bug management as well as food for some wildlife I knew I had to move the spider outside.
I found a jar and placed the jar upside down to trap it. Slowly I worked the jar across the floor and out onto the deck. Then I released it over the side and hoped it was okay. Based on research for type of spider the wolf spider is the closest resemblance to what I saw.
Since this occurred on the night of the solstice I felt I needed to revisit the energy and meaning of spider. I have had spider dreams some scary, some filled with meaning and gifts. Because of these dreams I have worked on my fear.
The Dream Questions are: How did I feel when I saw the spider? Nervous, OH NO! I have to deal with this myself..there’s no one to help me! How am I going to get this spider outside?
I had to face my fear here. Moving and trapping this size spider was a personal accomplishment. I also felt this spider was very aware of me… I meant it no harm. What also grabbed my attention is that when I woke up at 4:30 am and stepped outside onto the deck my lantern caught the shimmering strands of a huge web over my stairs. I felt the spider in some way was alright. When I awakened at 7am to pack and head home I noticed the web was gone.
When I got home I picked up one of my favorite books, Animal Speak , by Ted Andrews. It is a comprehensive guide to animal symbology that I have found helpful with my dream studies. Spider’s shape is much like a figure 8. It reminds me to maintain a balance because everything I do weaves the future. Spider is also connected to the feminine creative energies. Spider is the guardian of alphabets. It is thought that the first true alphabet was found within the web. Spider is considered the teacher of language and the magic of writing. Since I am focused on various types of writing I felt spider came to be a totem of sorts for this time in my life.
I also remembered that spider is often connected to creation stories among indigenous peoples. One story, “How Grandmother Spider Stole the Sun”, is one such tale where grandmother spider wove a pouch to hold and capture the sun so everyone could have light. So many of us care about the planet and each of us. We envision a new earth of beauty and respect. We’re holding the light in some measure however small to “see” creative solutions to our pressing problems.
So I ask you today to observe spider in your garden, by the back door, maybe even in the corner of a room high in the ceiling out of everyone’s way. What does spider mean to you? That is an important question. Initially for me it is was fear.. .Hollywood certainly reinforces that to us. But spider is an important creature and plays a tremendous role in our garden community. Her web is an amazing architectural feat that she traverses with acobatic agility. Can she be of help to you in discovering a solution? I hope so.
As the elders remind us “it all has meaning.”
Enjoy your day. Judith