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.