Thursday, February 21, 2008
It's spring here in Northern California and baby spiders are everywhere. I'm not afraid of spiders but I don't like biting creatures of any size. But for a while now I haven't been able to bring myself to squash a spider with the ease that I used to do it.
Spiders have a huge role in human spiritual history. In astrology, there used to be thirteen signs - not the twelve we know about today. The thirteenth sign was Arachne the Spider. Coincidentally - or not - there are thirteen full moons a year and there are traditionally thirteen women in a witch's coven.
Today, we consider the number thirteen to be unlucky. Indeed in the Middle Ages, specifically during the Inquisition, 9 million women were burned at the stake as witches by the burgeoning Catholic Church bent on the destruction of the Earth-based spirituality that was prolific at that time.
The number thirteen and all things associated with it - like the spider - became symbols of danger and evil. Even the yearly calendar was changed from 13 months to the 12 month version we have now.
But Native Americans have a traditional belief in a Grandmother Spider who brought fire to the people. Spider weaves the web of fate. She teaches us to beware and live with our eyes open or end up as her dinner. She spends her days creating beautiful webs but teaches us to beware of that beauty too. She represents the creative female energy.
Scientists have studied spider webs and found that no two from the same spider are ever alike. An astounding achievement! But the scientists wanted to know why that was. They discovered this: when the web looked the same each time, flies and other "meals", learned to see and avoid them. The first fly that saw the web would get caught, but after that - no more flies! If that continued, after awhile there would be no more spiders! So spiders' webs must look different each time to continue the species. Nature is pretty amazing!
And this video is pretty amazing....give it a chance - it gets good!