As a gardener I have made my peace with spiders but I could never bring myself to intentionally touch one. While the spider plays an important role in the ecosystem and is part of the army of “good bugs,” it does not engender warm, cuddly feelings, as does the butterfly. However, its ephemeral web is a source of endless fascination, beauty, and metaphor. I must admit I have been enchanted with the yellow and black orb-weaver spider in my garden, perhaps because it spins a spiral shaped web.

In various Native American tribes, Spider Woman or Spider Grandmother is regarded as a benevolent being who guides and provides. She is also considered a supreme creatrix. In Hindu myth, the spider symbolizes the goddess Maya. Representing a divine creative force, she is a goddess of illusion, wisdom, and intuition. Spinning the web of fate, she is associated with magic and witchcraft. Likewise in Europe, a number of goddesses are associated with the magical craft of spinning and weaving. Both the spider web and weaving symbolize magic because from seemingly nothing, something is brought into existence.

As for magic, don’t worry you don’t need to handle spiders in order to use them for magic or ritual. Symbolism, energy, intention, and visualization provide the means to call on their power and influence. We can visualize the energy we send out as a web of magic that weaves together our ideas and their manifested outcomes. We can call on the energy of the spider to fire up and support our creativity and to develop the skills we need to express it. The spider also helps us in creating or renewing connections and communicating with other people. It can help us recognize opportunities and have the patience to wait and work on desired goals. Known for its aggressiveness, the spider can teach us how and when to employ assertive power that is guided by wisdom.