Spider is one of my primary animal spirit guides. She is especially sacred to artists and creators and most especially to writers, but I didn't know that when she introduced herself to me.
It was in my woods, on my land. She claimed a pair of my swim trunks, my favorite swim trunks, which I had hung to dry on a tree.
This particular embodiment of Spider was a young funnel-web wolf spider. She had climbed into a pant leg and begun the first of what would eventually become many sticky tunnels there. Her home.
I initially tried to evict her, but just as I raised my stick to do so, she sent my (human) friend and companion stumbling out of my camper, choking on nothing, but choking all the same. I stopped to help my friend, and the choking stopped. I picked up the stick, and the choking began again.
I decided I could wear a different pair of trunks.
That spider grew fat and long-legged that summer, perched in the tunnels she made, watching me move about camp whenever I came to visit. I began to greet her when I got there each time. We would gaze long and wonderingly at one another. We became friends.
I have long believed that many things people fear and loathe--spiders, snakes, skulls, darkness--are signposts pointing to power.
Colonization, and I don't just mean of the Americas (though I do mean that also), I mean colonization of Europe starting with the Romans, and colonization of minds starting with the first "leader" who decided they would use religion to hoard power instead of to connect people with their own divine power. And all the colonization since. Colonization, as I say, must by necessity divide people from that same divine power.
After all, people are difficult to control when they can access all the powers of the universe at will.
Thus, we are taught that all the things that can save us, can return us to our truth, to our power, can remind us that we don't have to bow to another's authority in order to be worthy, in order to approach "God"--that these things are dangerous, evil, scary.
And sometimes they really are dangerous.
All the more reason to befriend them.
Because beyond, on the other side of fear, the other side of loathing, the other side of reconnecting with what once frightened us, is the power we need to break our oppression.
Dangerous power indeed. And it's ours to claim.
Fen Druadìn (they/them) is anamchara, storyteller, dragon, student of trees, and a breaker of generational curses.
Fen's mission here is to love and remember themself completely, connect deeply with the world, and help others do the same for themselves.
Fen connects deeply with the universe through their relationship with a sacred land in the Appalachians of North Carolina, and shares messages here and elsewhere. When not in the woods, they can be found on Facebook and Patreon.
If you feel led and are able, you can support Fen's work in any of these ways:
You can also contribute to the work of reconnecting with yourself and the world in any or all of these ways:
Stand in front of a mirror, look in your eyes, and say, "I love you." Repeat daily for as long as it takes
Send your love to the trees and stones and water and Earth
Spend time in quiet meditation with a plant or stone person, and listen for messages
Clean up litter in your neighborhood and/or engage in other acts of environmental restoration
Build a personal relationship with the plants and animals in your area by spending time with them and listening for their messages and responding to their needs
Reconnect with your own strength and power and truth via meditative practice such as yoga, guided meditation, chanting, drumming, dance, or any other tool that feels right and helps you ground and connect
Engage in this community and/or other communities committed to re-establishing our right relationship with ourselves and the earth
Wherever you are, on your journey and in your life, may you be well, may you be at peace, and may you always find the next good step.