Spider Medicine
There are many different stories on whom this legend is and the medicine she offers; the symbolism is usually quite similar and always (in my research) feminine. As I go through life, I continue to learn about her, and am constantly reminded of how I relate to and teach through her medicine. In many of the Native American folklore, Grandmother Spider was the woman who, out of her dreams, created the earth and the people who reside here (energy and the power of creativity). She is known as a great teacher, storyteller, as well as a protector and keeper of knowledge.

In her web she brought the alphabet to us (a form of communication and learning), as well as the ancient language of geometric shapes. In her web, she weaves the connections of past, present, and future (time) together. The web is spun in spirals, and she generally sits in the middle of it, gathering patience for things to come. As she waits there, she reminds us that we are all the center of our own world, but keeping in mind that we have a strong interaction with the rest of the universe. The web also represents the medicine wheel and the wheel of life. The web is constantly changing by what the universe brings to it, as mother spider begins her web anew each day. However, not all spiders weave webs, but they all produce silk, which is one of the strongest materials known to man, and is in liquid form when inside the

spider itself. Also, not all silk is sticky, only those on the outside of the web (to snare prey). Silk is used in other ways too: to make egg sacks, for draglines, and for ballooning (floating though the air to a new place). The spider knows to follow the most direct route. Each spider has eight legs, which also form the number eight (8). When you see the number written, you will notice that it forms the infinity symbol, which encompasses all of time (past, present, and future). I believe that if you break down what infinity really is, it's just unconditional love and the energy of it. The eight legs are also representative of the four winds of change and the four directions. The body of the spider has two oval or round parts, also forming the number eight, and can represent the flow from one circle of life to another; death and rebirth; change. As the spider grows, it sheds its outer layer just as we let go of the things in life that we no longer need and which no longer serve us.

There are many people who fear spiders, who fear love, and who fear getting caught in the web of life; utilizing the spider's medicine can help you face all these fears. When one is bitten by a spider, she is giving you a wonderful gift of her medicine to aid you in learning your lessons. Contrary to popular belief, spiders are agile, gentle, strong, and extremely delicate creatures and are always a good sign when they show up in your life. They are also helpful in that they eat those little pesky buggers that like to dine on us!

For additional and more in depth reading on spider medicine, I recommend the following books: Animal-Speak and Animal-Wise both by Ted Andrews, and Animal Wisdom by Jessica Dawn Palmer. There are also many other books from different schools of thought - Lakota, Hopi, and other Native American cultures, as well as Sufism where the spider plays a motherly role in their spiritualism. I recommend spending some time at the bookstore, library, or internet (world wide web) to peruse through and find just the right information for you. Keep in mind, only "keep" what feels right for you: no one belief is right for everyone. Know that each time we work on and heal ourselves, we are helping to heal everything and everyone else since we are all connected through the web. Live in love, light, and happiness!

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