Of Light & Shadow: Spider as an Animal Spirit Ally

Of Light & Shadow: Spider as an Animal Spirit Ally March 30, 2023

There is no other creature on this planet that I have such a divided feeling for than spider. Spiders are SO incredibly fascinating, but to me, someone who is arachnophobic (arachnophobia is the fear of spiders, if you didn’t know), they are also terrifying. They are often the subject of horror in movies and shows, giving them this association with death, the macabre, and mystery – even if it’s not entirely true. Despite my own fear of them, I also secretly adore them…from a distance. They are incredibly fascinating creatures. Here, I will talk about some of the physical characteristics of spiders, the energies that Spider brings, and correspondences – with a touch of my own humorous thoughts here and there.

There is no other creature on this planet that I have such a divided feeling for than spider. Public domain image by David Mark via Pixabay.

Physical Characteristics & Personality

Spiders, spiders, spiders. There are few creatures on this planet with so many variants; in fact, they are ranked 7th in most diverse living organism (which includes not only animals, but also plants, fungi, algae, and viruses). They can be found on every continent around the world, with the exception of Antarctica.

There are approximately 48,000 – yes, that’s FORTY-EIGHT THOUSAND – known species of spider, well over 3,000 of which live in North America. Sweet dreams, now knowing that fact. Can I move to Mars yet? The first time I learned this, my first thought was “that was something I could have happy lived my entire life without knowing!” But I now do, and so I am sharing that fact with you. You’re welcome.

The myth that everyone eats spiders in their sleep at some point in time, or the myth that all chocolate bars have an average of 8 spider legs in it, are likely not true (I’m certainly not going to stop eating chocolate, either way), but they do point to the fact that spiders are so prevalent that you are more likely than not close to one when you don’t even realize it. They’re everywhere, but don’t worry, they’re likely going to actively avoid you…most spiders are far more afraid of you than you are of them (as someone who has horrible arachnophobia, I am not sure that I agree with myself here).

Spiders can range in size from smaller than the head of a pin to the size of a dinner plate. Public domain image by Erik Karits via Pixabay.

Spiders can range in size from smaller than the head of a pin to the size of a dinner plate (don’t believe me? Google ‘Goliath bird-eating spider’ – or don’t, if you’re arachnophobic like me, and save yourself from a nightmare or two). All spiders have venom, but not all will affect humans when bitten. Most spiders use it to paralyze or kill their prey so that they can either wrap them in silk or simply begin eating them without a struggle.

Speaking of food – spiders are carnivorous. They are actually beneficial to the world’s ecosystems in that they eat pests who can cause harm. Most spiders eat insects, but larger spiders, such as tarantulas, have been known to eat larger prey, such as rodents and birds.

Spiders, despite their appearance, are very delicate. If you were to drop a tarantula (why you would have one in your hand is beyond my comprehension), it would likely die. They can easily be killed, whether intentionally or accidentally, and this delicate strength is part of what makes them so interesting.

Spider Magick

Have you ever looked at the shape of a spider’s body? Granted, they’re all a bit different, but generally speaking, spiders have two body sections instead of 3 as insects have. You could say they look almost like an 8 – hence the association with the number 8. But what is an 8 sideways but the symbol for infinity! This symbolizes the endless cycles of the universe and time as a cyclical concept with no end and no beginning. It continues to flow and loop back around.

A spider’s two halves symbolizes balance in all things. The past, the present, the physical, the spiritual, masculine, feminine, life, death…it’s all maintained in balance, and this is part of what spider teaches. Spiders are truly liminal creatures, existing between all things on a single delicate thread. Look at a spider’s web, and it will take you in many different directions that are all connected with each other. The spider is the one who is in control of that, and this is part of what spider teaches. Are YOU in control of your web?

A spider’s two halves symbolizes balance in all things. Public domain image by Peter H via Pixabay.

PATIENCE, young padawan. Ok…minus the Star Wars reference, this is also what spiders teach. In the day when you can order food in an instant from home without lifting a finger, imagine having to wait until your food just happened to stumble upon you! Now, not all spiders do this – some are active hunters and pursuers, which is where you can see the message of being assertive, but for those spiders who build a web with the intention to catch prey, they must wait. And wait some more. Meditate on this the next time you happen upon a spider web.

Spiders have wonderfully creative and imaginative energy. Not all spiders weave webs, but those that do spin them in such a way that they can easily catch their prey, sometimes, with larger spiders, building strong, intricate webs powerful enough to hold even birds. Some, instead, make funnel webs or bundles. Those that don’t make burrows underground where they can hide and jump out to ambush their prey. Spiders can also use their silk to protect their young eggs within a sac or to hide themselves. They can also use them to drift through the breeze. Flying spiders! Yikes! For whatever purpose they use their silk, they can be powerful allies in creative pursuits.

Those who are writers or storytellers – anyone who loves word weaving in any way – would benefit from meditating on spider’s lessons. In addition to (and in conjunction with) being the weavers of creativity, spiders are also strongly associated with language and words. Look into a spider’s web, and you can make out geometric shapes, words, and messages. Word weavers and web weavers, spiders are.

Life and all things are part of a woven tapestry, a web, and a spider has control over what that web looks like. Spiders constantly build and rebuild their webs. What web are you weaving in your own life? Are you seeking balance? Do you need to express yourself more in writing or speaking?

Word weavers and web weavers, spiders are. Public domain image by Ronny Overhate via Pixabay.


Energies/Themes: magick, manifestation, witchcraft, power, fate, patience, creativity, imagination, dreams, connection, memory, wisdom, shamanic work, trancework, destiny, cycles, life and death balance, opportunities, rebirth, shapeshifting, assertiveness, feminine energy, time, time travel, balance

Colors: generally – black, brown, white, silver; additional colors for certain species

Zodiac: Scorpio, Gemini

Planetary: Sun, Moon

Time/Season: All directions of time

Number: 8, 2

Deities: Ariadne, Arianrhod, Spider Woman, Freyja, Grandmother Spider, Tiamat, Uttu

Resources & Recommended Reading

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences by Sandra Kynes

Spider Information

About Charlie Larson
Charlie Larson has been a practicing eclectic pagan and witch for nearly two decades. Though devoted to Anubis, he also works with a number of other deities. He is a linguist, a teacher, and a teacher trainer in the field of higher education, and he holds a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. He has been a writer of poetry and fiction for most of his life and is currently working on non-fictional works under the umbrella of paganism and witchcraft. He is a Reiki II practitioner and is currently learning Sekhem Heka. His practice is highly devotional, incorporating deities, ancestors, and other spirits into his practice. Charlie currently resides in San Francisco, California, and he enjoys reading, writing, hiking, gaming, enjoying art, and learning languages. You can read more about the author here.
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