Nature continues to enlighten me about my own life; it's as if nature spirits are guiding me along, with their whispers and nudges – we are, after all, a part of nature. Nearly all cultures have some type of spider myth and folklore, many with a common thread of weaving and creation. It’s the lore from earth-based cultures that resonates with me most; I love how it draws wisdom and symbolism from the natural world into my own life experience.
Back in the fall, I was out walking in the woods on a very sunny day, entranced by the plethora of spiderwebs woven between the branches, glistening in the sun’s rays. A web lured me in like prey, and as I stepped in for a closer peek, the spiral pattern took shape, drew me in, and filled me with awe. That’s it, spiderwebs are silky, woven spirals, and they were glimmering all around me as if some unseen hand were decorating the forest for an autumn celebration. Spirals enchant me, they are winding and continuous and one of the most enduring symbols, representing the infinite cycle of life.
As I began to walk deeper into the woods, twigs cracking beneath the soft mossy forest floor, thoughts flooded my mind of spider lore. I continued to saunter along the trail beneath the canopy of trees, and I approached another web – there was a spider hanging at the centre and my gaze fixated on the creature. They have a two-sectional body and 8 legs, unlike insects that have six legs and a 3 sectional body. The two-sectional body gives the appearance of a figure eight, which sideways is the sign of infinity, two circles endlessly flowing from one to the other. A fall breeze kissed my skin, and the web flowed gently back and forth, the spider responded to this subtle movement and began walking along the spiral threads. As I stood there witness to its balance and agility, I was reminded that life is a continuous flux and flow, and spider can teach us to walk the rhythms of our own life, with a similar poise.
In myth and lore, spiders are also linked to being the guardians of primordial language and the ancient alphabet, through the geometric shapes and patterns displayed in their webs. In Druidry, the Ogham which is a medieval writing system used with the early Irish language, can be found within the shapes and angles of a spider web. To some, this is considered to be the original alphabet, which makes spider the teacher of language and writing. Those that weave magic with their writing are said to most likely have a spider guide. Without a doubt, I believe that to be true for me. It is thanks to the spider, that inspired this article.
Through lore and symbolism, I’ve discovered deeper parts of my soul I didn’t know existed, simply by listening to nature's messages. Perhaps this unique perspective on our arachnid friends may awaken a similar experience for you.
Written by: Sandra Dowsett