The Spider Family is actually an Order (with many families) within the Class of Arachnids. This Order includes Families of Wolf Spiders, Jumping Spiders, Orb weavers, and Tarantulas. However, this list does not even encompass the 30,000 known species of Spiders.
The most common way to differentiate Spiders from other Arachnids is by their body type. Spiders have four pairs of legs, a fused head and thorax, and a round, soft, and unsegmented abdomen. Most have four pairs of eyes on top of their heads. Since all Spiders are predators, Many Members have fangs and poison glands. However, contrary to popular belief, not All Members of the Spider Family weave webs.
As predators, Spiders have many ways of hunting and killing their prey. Tarantulas paralyze their prey with venom, while Wolf Spiders stalk their prey. Cobweb Spiders weave webs, and Trapdoor Spiders lay in wait in their burrows. Meanwhile, Ladder Spiders construct ladders as a web to get their prey.
In most people’s eyes, Spiders are frightening. When encountering One, most people react by squishing the Spider. About the only Spiders that people should fear are Black Widow Spider, Brown Recluse Spider, and Red-Backed Spider. Even these Spiders are doing good since They are efficient consumers of Insects and other Pests. In fact, Spiders keep the Insect population down in the areas They live.
In mythology worldwide, this Invertebrate is prominently featured. Throughout Africa, Spider is either a trickster or a great god. Japanese believe that Spider Woman can ensnare careless travelers. In contrast, the Pueblo Nations believe that Spider Woman created the Universe. The Greeks and Norse looked upon Spiders as the Weavers of people’s fates and connecting the Past with the Future.
Christians see Spider Webs as traps. Like Flies, people become ensnared by vain works and become stuck fast in the webs. Spiders represent human fragility and the enticement of evil. However in Germany, Spider Webs are a part of Christmas tree decorations. According to folklore, Spider realized what glorious day was Christ’s birth. So She spun silver and gold webs on trees to show her faith and to glorify the Birth of the Lord.
Even thought people find Spiders revolting, they are of two minds about Them. Many superstitions instruct people to never kill a Spider found in a house. The “house” spider is there to bring good luck and good fortune to the inhabitants.
Spiders teach respect. They may be grotesque looking but Spiders are efficient killers of Insects. Spider webs act as warnings that They are nearby to pounce on unsuspecting prey. Let Spiders go about their business and you will be the better for it.
Spider Family’s Teachings Also Include:
“Spiders of kinds are messengers. They can be good signs or bad signs. Usually the poisonous Spiders such as the Wolf Spider, Black Widow, or Tarantula are bad signs and bad power. The Spider can warn us of small danger. A good spider does not bite us. A challenger-type messenger does.” Copyright: “Spirits of the Earth”, Bobby Lake-Thorn.
“Because it is so highly respected the spider is called Grandfather. When found in the house, the spider will prolong the life of those in it. The spider is a future seeker and thus it is a gift to you. It is a good sign if it sits on your body.”Copyright, “Dene Kede Education: A Dene Perspective”
Take time to read what the Individual Spider Family Members have to teach.
Spider Drawings copyrighted by Mary Ann Sterling