🎃 October 29 🎃

Spider Web on Facebook 2.0

Spiders and their webs are linking motifs across multiple cultures and time periods.

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In Greek mythology, the Goddess Athena, jealous of Arachne’s spinning and weaving prowess as well as her beauty, sought revenge by turning her into a spider.

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For people of West Africa and the Caribbean, Ananse is a trickster and storyteller. The Ashanti word, “Anansesem,” means storyteller or storytelling.

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In Ancient Egypt, the Goddess Neith wove together the threads of human destiny with one of her sacred symbols being the spider spinning her web.

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In the Americas, the Hopi creation story tells how KokyAngwuti, Spider Grandmother, brought the world into existence through conscious weaving of her webs. There are stories relating to Spider Woman in the heritage of many Southwestern native cultures as a powerful helper and teacher.

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The people of the Nazca culture created expansive geoglyphs, circa 500 BCE to500 CE, including a large depiction of a spider on the Nazca plain in southern Peru.

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Indigenous Australian rock and bark paintings and clan totems depict images of spiders. The spider as part of world creation is found within various other Oceanic peoples such as the Nauru of Micronesia.

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Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web

in the early morning covered with dew drops.
And every dew drop contains the reflection
of all the other dew drops.
—And so ad infinitum.
That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image. Alan WattsFollowing The Middle Way quoted in Wikipedia: cultural depictions of spiders.

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Spider imagery, allegory, allusions and illusions haunt many aspects of daily life in the 21st century such as Shelob in The Lord of the Rings to the Spider-Man franchise (comic books, graphic novels, movies, television). The spider remains a symbol of mischief, and drawing upon some Asian and European cultures, of malice for its toxic venom. Spiders have been the focus of fears and stories for the millennia.

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And, of course, are howlin’en ambassadors!

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I let the smaller, less dangerous-looking spiders remain in my house, spinning smallish webs to catch flies and ants – a version of natural pest control. The scary ones – we “live trap” (with a glass and piece of cardboard) and take outside. My mother said it was bad luck to kill a spider indoors! Good luck if daddy long-leg spiders take up residence. (They live in the bathroom).

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I love the way the outdoor webs are illuminated by sunlight; hold drops of dew. Each night garden orb spiders weave webs in the netting over the koi pond.

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feature image: Karolina Grabowska @ pexels