August 24, 2014

Spider Time

August, in addition to the dry time and the dead time and all the rest of the things I call it, is spider time. This is when spiders come out and starting spinning webs everywhere. My tiny front porch, for example. Across the doorway, or across the path. In the house, long guy lines suddenly appear crossing the room. Spiders in the bathroom, spiders in the ritual room among the plants. Spiders. Spider everywhere.

Look. I’ve been working with spider spirits on and off for years. I am still arachnophobic. I mean, it’s gotten better. I no longer instantly scream when I see one. As long as I’m not startled by one (like having it drop on my face or run across my hand when I pick up something it’s under), I can respond calmly and rationally. I can even admire the gorgeous golden orb spider at the zoo. But I still get a little spike of adrenalin. Because spider.

I don’t want to kill them, because hey, spiders are useful and symbolic and spiritual creatures, but I do want them out of my way, please. And if they won’t go away, I will.

But for me, this fear is part of the power of Spider and of Arachne. Not every powerful spirit or god has to be scary in the way that spiders are for so many people, but they all inspire awe, which is a close cousin to fear, and many are frightening in their own ways as well.

I’m finding it hard to articulate my point here. I’ve been working on this entry for days, and four paragraphs is all I’ve got. Very unusual for me.

I guess it’s this: Yes, I am afraid of spiders because both my parents were and are afraid of them (watching my dad swat at the wall behind a spider with a newspaper in an attempt to sort of herd it out of the room, then jump back a foot and a half, in case it jumps at him, is hilarious), and they taught me that fear. But even while I remain afraid of spiders despite working to become more comfortable with them, doing so is a part of my respect for Spider the Spinner.