Tuesday, 2 July 2013
8 legged friends
They are cute fluffy balls scurrying around the floor. Sometimes they hide. The little creatures are gentle but often up to no good. Mischievous things.
Baby spiders are like teeny beads learning how to sew their first webs. Spiders are the most needful, practical tiny animals on earth. Yet they're the most feared too. On the phobia top ten list, spiders are up there, second to the fear of heights. After spiders, people are afraid of fire, the dark, claustrophobia, ghosts and snakes. Phobia is basically a hotchpotch of human fears but some is completely irrational. Apart from rare poisonous spiders in the world, spiders are generally harmless and are far more scared of people. To a spider, a human is a gigantic monster with the ability to crush. I can understand the fear of heights, fire and snakes because these things are more capable of killing. Even non-venomous snakes can kill by strangling its victims. Being afraid of life threatening situations is natural. The fear of spiders and other bizarre things like ghosts, the dark, clouds is just psychological.
Spiders are friends.
If it wasn't for the existence of spiders, the planet would be populated with grub and giant vampiric insects and vermin. Perhaps mammals and other wildlife would never have been able to evolve if the world was dominated by nasties?
If people want to go ahead and wipe out the arachnid species, consider this: spiders are a vital part of the food chain. Do this and pests will explode in population. Diseases, plagues and famine even will escalate on a massive scale. Then other beasts, such as wasps, bees, butterflies, then birds... ect will fall and die out.
Anyway the ancients understood the importance and beauty of the Spider.
There are spider gods and goddesses. Spider wisdom. Spider lore.
There is the cosmic goddess in Native American mythology, called the Spider Woman. In Greek mythology, the first spider to be appear was a human woman named Princess Arachne. The Germanic cosmic goddesses of fate and destiny, the Norns, had spider characteristics. In Hinduism, the goddess Maya is a spinner of fate (she has two sisters) and she's depicted as a spider as well as a young woman. Anansi is the spider goddess in Africa. Spiders have been associated with women, dreaming, weaving, art, magic, witchcraft and the sun. In Japan is the fairytale figure of Jorogumo, (Joro) a spider that transforms into a seductive woman.
Spiders have always been linked with women in folklore and mythology, mainly because weaving, looming and spinning on wheels was part of women's every day lives.
Works of fiction by authors like Tolkien and J.K. Rowling created horrible big spiders with non-spider traits. Yet works such as "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, Marvel's Spider Man and eventually Spider Girl, and the "Miss Spider" series of children's books by David Kirk, feature good friendly spiders. On the kids TV show "Wooly and Tig" a cuddly spider gives a little girl comfort and words of wisdom.
Basically spiders are useful, helpful and industrious little things, that deserve respect. They should be looked at as small tiny animals and not presented as horrific monsters, which they're not. It's all imaginary.
Ancient people understood that the spider is an important key to survival. Without them and we're all doomed.
Be good to spiders. Don't fear them. Say "hello" to them. Let them into your homes and watch how they keep mites, ants and bugs away. Spiders cured the infestation of ants in my house. Share the world with spiders. Spiders are cheeky and they're doing what we do, sleeping, eating and playing.
Goddesses who spin and weave