By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Milena Sidorova, the spider dancer (below) takes great effort to perfect her dance and it shows. I have watched several of her performances, and although she is more of a dance choreography for other dancers, her spider self shows great promise. When we use creativity to guide our life, we get the benefits of the blessings, even if its small amounts of creativity. Honoring messengers such as spiders and birds and animals can become a direct act of understanding our animal nature (instincts of responses without the uses of the mind) and the beauty of our natural world.
There are four very ancient totems one should be aware of and what they represent: The first is “bird” which represents the “soul”; second is “serpent” which represents the “healing of the soul”; third is “spider” which weaves the two “soul healing” together and fish, which is the “nourishment of our soul”.
These symbols of totems are in every single spiritual teaching around the ancient earth. Grandmother teachings such as this were here long before 3,000 bce. The meanings of spider awareness is a very subtle thing and takes practices and development beyond books and knowledge. We actually have to pay attention to the live and living natural world and how spider interacts with us.
If you really believed, you could call a spider into your room tonight and it will be there if you are sincere about its help. Whether you can see spider or not is a whole different thing. Healing, healthy creativity or even a combination of healing creativity expands our awareness so you can see when we involve nature
Spider and any Totems
The first benefits of symbolism and the practice, is to communicate through observation of the natural world, which is not an easy or a light task mind you. Learning both human or animal symbolism requires work and dedication, such as the spider totem. The first time spider came to you, when you were young, and it entered your personal space, this is a very important first encounter if you can remember that far back. How did you feel? Were you afraid or surprised or were you delighted? My first time I was 8 years old and the neighbors had moved into the home across the street. Their daughter was a college student studying spiders and she had lots of them.
One time she invited me in to teach me about daddy long legs and let them crawl over her arms. I was fascinated and to this day, they are still helpers of mine along with quite a few different types of spider. I noticed she loved them and cared for them and I liked that. Our relationship to the natural world can be as deep or shallow as you want it to be and sometimes not all totems come as friendly totems, they come to initiate and help you overcome your fear.
What makes the difference in our relationship to animals, pets or even bugs between spirituality or rescuing animals or loving our pets. I would have to say it is the hidden veil of the sensitive awareness that animals are their own masters, they do not really belong to us. Mind & Body does not bring us into this reality or the realm of animistic magic, and drug shamanism just distorts and disrespects all of it. So to really truly respect nature as a first step, is to allow it to be free.
In spiritual terms, a naturalist taking a hike, who see’s a spider, investigates its movements, habits and actions, and may love spiders, but he moves along in his hike without the messengers’ soul sharing. As a shaman, I would never do this, I would first thank the spider for coming to me as a messenger on my hike, then i would remain empty and watch the spider as she does her dance, telling me the ancient story of how she communicates, I would watch without any thoughts of what it means, leaving my mind out of the scenario.
The spiritual person lears by practicing over and over again what each particular spider who enters their life does, how it moves and does its language in a dance (movements), hawk does it a different way, and all of these have one thing in common, they do not talk to you in a human way, you have to learn their language. in ‘meeting’ terms, just the connection that is, in the middle of the woods, spider who comes as a messenger to me, I know what message she bring. She says you better watch the rest of your hike, you walk on a web, and there are other messengers, some not as nice as me (if she is not a poisonous spider), she also says, you have some webs to clean up around your personal home today also.
After you learn all the different things connected with spiders through each experience you have with them, and this is only learned by trial and error, good guessing and bad guessing and then throwing guessing in the trash. Keeping a journal of your experience would be more productive, rather than all the LISTS of what they mean in web writing and books, you learn about your soul – not spider’s soul. Then as more experiences and years go by, when she appears again, your intuition begins to activate because your mind practiced silence and no attachments, that sounds very buddhist and yes, it is but to the animal world, not the human one, buddhism lives in the realm of the human or divine human. You will then get the animal or spider more and more.
Spiders in all teachings, talk about their weaving abilities, the ancient story of the women weavers opens up another long journey of spiritual work then, understanding the Goddess weaver stories in ancient myths in order to understand one sentence of a totem explanation in a book or web writing. Great if your an actual weaver or embroiderer, it might come more natural to you, but you may not have a spider animism soul, so you still must practice symbolism, and with the help of myths, folktales and stories, or try looking at ancient art and ponder and meditate on them, then the spider totem starts to come alive. Ancient art has only certain animals, and those were the ones who were going to be used or destroyed by rising Sun Cults of men.
Once spider leaves the waking world and then comes in your dreams or any animal or avian you are woking with, then you know you are going deeper from out here in the waking world to the inner dreamer who knows spider well. If you had a lot of spider dreams, then you are not getting the teaching of change out here in your waking world and doing something about it, spider will keep coming in your dream until you change in your waking life. I encouraged you to start reading about spider totem, keeping a totem journey with your dream journal, and the practices and study get easier when spider or hawk approach your “personal” space.
One rule of shamanizing animism is that the animal, bug or bird must look you “straight in the eyes” and make eye contact, this is a soul to soul connection and the only one you should concern yourself with in the beginning, they are not trying to save our life or tell us some giant heavenly bird tribe message (angels), they are just wanting you to pay attention to mother earth and her natural world, in which they belong, they also want you to understand that you have more than one soul and that they have arrived, thats all, and this is so important to remember.
I encouraged you to start reading about spider totem when one shows actually up, yes, that is an important level and stage of growth, those who are completed with that stage, the next connection to move further allows you to bring the totem home for dinner (nourishment of your soul) into your personal life. If a bird or spider does not look in your eyes, when you start paying attention, then there is no reason to waste your time with this totem. If it flies into your car window, then you have missed every past opportunity to connect, and they have shown up in a drastic effort. Eventually they will give up on the person who doesn’t get.
I remember one time I drove the same stretch of highway and 3 hawks, everyday, sat in the same place of the 30 mile drive… for seven years. One snow storm I was driving and one was dead on the road, I was devastated, but my life was falling apart from choosing a divorce, and it took me seven years to make sure it was the truth, the hawks waited patiently for me to make that final move, they were some difficult choices I had to make. I turned around and went to the exact point where the dead hawk was, and there was no hawk, and the 3 hawks were never there again, my life changed and I began to have intense mystical experiences after that. Death of animals, avian etc. in totem work is more complicated and maybe I will write an article on that in the future.
Animals, bugs, oceanids, they all give us a part of their life for you in soul communication, when you decide to interact with them in a shamanistic way, as well as meat or fur for warmth. Spider is an older and more archaic and complicated wise one, and deeper than the writings and categories or fashions that others try to fit her into, like the ‘lists’ of spider totem or random writing that goes on and on without experience to make it very clear her roll in our lives. Spider is first and foremost, a bug clan, so she works in the realms of the Fae & Fairy clan people, just as bee and wasp do.
I don’t write totems about things I don’t have experience at, why would I, its not respectful to nature or myself or to first to the black, yellow, red, white and brown peoples traditions of spirituality and shamanism. So use common sense when an animal or spider keeps appearing in your life. After many decades and even as a life of a shaman animist I still learn more and more about my natural relationship of my soul with the soul of the natural world, its an expansive consciousness that opens up more as you expand, and that requires working with teachers and especially healers, like energy work.
To completed this little article, if you are a creative person, or need creativity to enhance your life, an artist, a dancer, a writer or singer, try to respect paying attention to mother earth more, and see how it mirrors both your karma and your light.
Be very diligent in path, it not only pays off and brings you into healthier circles of healthier mirrors in your life, but also teaches you discernment and that both the shadow self and the light self have an important interplay with the natural world, its animals, avians and bugs.
Respect the Spider, this ancient great Weaver who manifests, who has been around a few million years and shows up again to say – are you ready this lifetime to take my messages more seriously of your real living life or do I have to wait another lifetime for you to see and understand me?