Peru – gold nose ornament – MET
1st century B.C. –2nd century A.D
Huntsman spider drops in
I arose one morning last autumn around 6am and as I sat down at my desk, I noticed high on the wall facing me, a large Huntsman spider. They are approximately the size of a clenched fist and they used to scare the bejessus out of me till I learnt they were non poisonous to humans. Huntsmen have the speed and agility to catch cockroaches and other insects., so I welcomed its presence. Around 7.30am when I opened the blinds to let in the morning sunshine it scattered sideways behind the abstract painting on the wall to my side, as they are nocturnal creatures. The next morning it was there again, this time lower on the wall in my direct line of sight and it hid behind the painting once again when I let the sun filter in.
This was a daily occurrence for 3 months during which time I learnt that they were regarded by the Druids, American Indians, Pre Columbian Central Americans and other ancient cultures as a source of creative inspiration (on a mystical level) and as the guardian of the ancient language and alphabets and that ‘those who weave magic with the written word probably have a spider totem’. Ted Andrews in “Animal Speak” mentions that ‘the Spider reminds us to awaken our own sensibilities to be more creative in life’
Huntsman Spider on my wall
To the Osage American Indian tribe, spiders were a special symbol of patience and endurance. To the Blackfoot, they represented intelligence and skillfulness. The Ojibwe associated spider webs with their dream catchers, a type of traditional hand-woven Ojibwe craft meant to filter out bad dreams. Spiders were also highly regarded as providing the means to weave dreams and auspicious aspirations into reality. Maybe this is why to many Native Americans, it is still considered bad luck to kill a spider. It was considered good fortune to have a spider weave a web outside your window.
They called the female spiders ‘Grandmother’ because she kept and taught the mysteries of the past and how they would affect the future. The spider had the awareness to teach us how to use the written language with power and creativity, so that your words would weave a web around those who read them. ( useful for a blogger)
Associated with wisdom and divination, the spider serves as a channel of communication with the spirit world and, as such, its totem is also linked with leadership and rulers. Because the ground-dwelling tarantula (earth spider) lives underground in spider silk-lined nests, it is thought to be closer to the realm of the dead who are buried in the earth. The spider’s ability to produce spider silk also places it in a special group of animals and insects that share skills with humans-in this case, the talent to spin or weave.
The highly creative web that the spider weaves has strands like the spokes of a wheel running in a straight line from the edge to a spiral in the middle. It is symbolic of an inner portal, more so because some have eight sectors, and are made by a spider who has eight legs and 8 eyes. This connects them to the ancient 8 sector Magic Square, long recognized by the ancient cultures of the Egyptians, Chinese, Druids, Mongolians and Peruvians to represent inner pathways and powers.
Spiders have a life span of only 3 years and tend to expire in late Autumn, so as to avoid another winter. This knowledge was useful when I came to my desk one cold morning and witnessed my spider friend draw up its legs into a symmetrical dying pose and calmly exit.
Huntsman spider – The final symmetry
Model Amica, Absynth photography, Italy
Amphora vase with reliefs of golden nymphs and spider web
Andrew Whitehead spider sculpture – ‘run Scotty run’
Double handle Amphora vase
1930’s Buenos Aires
Riessner, Stellmacher, Kessler porcelain and enamel spiderweb vase
Turn Teplitz, Bohemia, Austria, 1905
African ceramic spider bowl, Bamum peoples. Cameroon
Early to mid 20th century
The spiders decorating the rim are associated with divination throughout the Grassfields region. They represent wisdom and are associated with the earth and the ancestors.
Moorcroft vase with large black spider
Exquisite Art Nouveau porcelain vase with spider motif
Tall Hopi ovoid jar with spider design by Burel Naha
Art Deco spider motif perfume bottle
Pale blue vase with flowers and gold lustre spider web – Carlton Ware
Fieldings Crown Devon British Art Deco jug
‘Men’s Spider Initiation’ – Clifford Possum
Japanese Maple Leaves and Spider Web dish
(Traditional luck symbols)
Charles Catteau – 1904-06
Vase with relief decoration of a spider in its web.
Ohio- Craft Museums exhibit ‘In Touch With The Spirit’
Carlton Ware jug
Art Nouveau Tri Spider Brooch – Georges Fouquet
Amphora vase titled ‘Sovereign of the Night’ ($18,000 sold).
Image courtesy Treadway Toomey.
Goyin Silveira, Mata Ortiz
Gourd Dream Catcher by Pamala Redhawk
Photo – Leila Amat Ortega
Rainforest Shield Design – by Garra (Spider) Napolean Oui
Spiders of the venomous kind were totems of the traditional rainforest people of Far North Queensland. This totem is still used today by the Djabu
Vase olla with spider motif – Goyin Silveira, Mata Ortiz
Vintage Czech Hand Made Perfume Bottle with Crown Topper.
Orient & Flume glass paper weight
Rouge Royale Carlton Ware ginger jar
Nippon Moriage Spider Jug
Rozenburg – Eggshell porcelain bud vase with spider in web decoration
Spider web veil on statue
Spider Cobweb Teapot by MissFiendishApparel on Etsy
Red Spider Lily ikebana
Flapper spider hat
BoringSidney – Etsy
Spiderweb ring by Italian jeweller Staurino Fratelli. In Italy spiders mean good fortune and money.
‘Pucci’ spider vase, Italy 1952
Company “Ceramiche Pucci”, founded by Ing. Domenico Pucci in 1947 in Umbertide, near Perugia, was an offshoot of the Rometti factory
The giant spider ‘La Princesse’ coming out of hibernation by La Machine
Tarantulalong Arana Pollito mosaic by Isidora López
Web of Intrigue Egyptomania poster
Red Back Spider Mug – Tanya Bechara