Spider weaves and waits
a silent spinner of tales
eight hands shaping fate
Yesterday, while eating lunch with two of my healer friends, I glanced up to see a large spider tattooed on the forearm of a waiter. I had been talking about my book, and the appearance of the “writer’s totem” could not be more fitting.
If you write, it is likely that the stories you create are aided by the eight hands of spider. When I picture my spider totem, I see the black widow. I have learned from this totem, and others, that words have the power to sting, and also to heal. They can carry us into the darkness within and pull our truths out into the light. They can teach us about our fears, and about healing through writing (the black widow wears a red hourglass on her back).
Spider, with its eight legs, and a body in the shape of a figure eight, links us to infinity, and, as Ted Andrews notes in Animal Speak, the wheel of life. One might wish to study the Wheel of Fortune card in tarot for more insight. The spider, from the earliest of times, has taught us to see the mystery of life and of the universe, and, in doing so, she teaches about balance. She shows us that how we shape our stories determines the texture of our destiny. She models for us how to find self within the span of life’s web.
Andrews reminds us that because of their delicate bodies, spiders embody the balance of gentleness and strength. The writer must remember the effect the energy of her words will have when they are spun into a story, yet she must endow them with strength.
In one of my former lives, I was a female scribe in Egypt. I carry this life and its gifts with me today. Spider is considered the creator of language, as well as a guardian of ancient alphabets. She guides the writer to bring beauty and light into the weavings of the imagination, which emerge from the place of dreams. The writer, like the spider, creates from the place of silence, working from the inside out, to bring her work to life/light.
If you have a spider as a totem animal, it is beneficial to study the type. Not all spiders weave the same style of web (some don’t even weave webs), nor do they all eat the same prey, or wear the same colors on their skin. Most spiders have poison in their bites, but some leave a more lasting mark than others.