Why Not Kill Spiders?

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Why Not Kill Spiders?

Well, let's see. I was raised with great reverence for life, particularly animal life, by my mother, in a small Southern California beach town, where we had wild animals in the hills on one side and sea creatures on the beach on the other.

My mother was a great one for rescuing baby birds fallen out of nests and doing her damnedest to nurse them back to health with an eye dropper full of mush. She fed raw liver to a young chicken hawk with a broken wing until he was able to fly off with two hawks who appeared overhead when the moment came. She was good with cat's abcesses. It was just part of everyday life.

Spiders are a part of that whole spectrum, although they're more commonly inside one's home than a chicken hawk, and unlike ants, they don't do annoying things like overrun your kitchen and trap themselves in your honey.

Spiders are singular, they keep to themselves, they spin beautiful webs. They do occasionally bite you and yeah, there are some deadly ones out there, but most spiders are more scared of us than we of them. Like snakes, they have a bad rep. Like snakes, they're commonly considered symbols, or metaphors of female power. (My brother was a great snake man and we always had too many snakes around the house, frequently running loose.)

spiderweb

One of the most inspiring sights is the daily miracle of a spider web in the sun.

Was it Robert the Bruce? Some historical Scots figure who in prison watched a spider spin and respin her web, took heart from her artistry, patience, unflagging willingness to start all over again, and went on to invent Scotland.

Spiders are just plain amazing. Didn't you ever see one of those movies in science class showing them wait for a silly bug to get stuck in their web, inject it with "botox" and mummify it? Good housekeepers and weavers, or spinsters, they're very powerful in a tricky way.

spidercapture

Spiders pickle their prey and set them aside to eat when the mood strikes them.

"Squish a bug and we gets rain!" a bug in Pogo would always cry to ward off squishers. It's that sort of thing. Why kill this amazing creature? Why not rather align oneself with that power, respect it? Grabbing a spider gently but firmly in a wad of kleenex and dropping it out a window or walking it down to the sidewalk's always an option.

There's also the omen school of thought, since natural creatures aren't motivated by self-interest when we cross their paths. It's an accident, therefore more likely to be a "sign," a message from the "real" world outside our control and domination that speaks to our natural self, our original self.

What's that spider trying to tell you? Other than, Leave me alone.

Kindness shown to animals, not just the domesticated ones who depend on us, but the wild ones, is a recognition, a respect shown to our deepest, most inviolate selves, the self before culture. Ironically, the purpose of culture should be to exalt this nature, not destroy it.

And for you Mother Earth wombyn myth types, here's a paraphrase from the worldwide web:

Spider Woman or Grandmother Spider legends are part of the creation mythology for several Southwest Native American tribes, including the Hopi, Pueblo and Navajo. One story says that in the beginning of time only two beings existed: Tawa, the sun god, and Spider Woman, the earth goddess. Tawa imagined the creatures of the earth and Spider Woman turned these thoughts into living plants and animals, including people. She attached a thread of her spider silk to each living thing so they could access her wisdom and protection.

spiderdiagram



Comments [72]

tosha's picture

hola erin...this is

hola erin...this is exquisitely well-written...it's ironic you send it, because while I am still beset with arachnophobia, something has indeed shifted...in the last two weeks, i've had either the same large spider reappear in three different spots in my apartment, or else i have THREE...largish, not the tiny ones i'm not scared of...and I could simply feel my own body would NOT let me kill them, for the first time...or even get close enough to move them out ...so i've negotiated psychically...first i saw the big one in my clothes closet so I just said, ok, i'm shutting the door, you can have the clothes, i'll keep the apartment...just please don't come in my bed...and all was well for a couple days...then i saw either her, or her sister, hiding under a leaf in a houseplant...and i thought, ok, you can stay there, as long as you stay hidden, because it scares me to look at you, but if you stay under the leaf, then you can live here...and finally I glimpsed a slightly smaller one (so i must have at least 2) in my office..so i mentally told her the same, just hide away and you can live with me...and as i said that she scurried into a plant, obligingly.

in india, spiders are seen as Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance...during a fire puja ceremony a few years ago, a large one scurried across the top of my hand, and I uttered a small scream and jumped...and one of the attending priests actually swatted me, and said strongly i needed to sit down and receive the spider's blessing.

hmmm.

anyway, your timing is uncanny. I had just negotiated with these once-scary visitors to cohabitate with me, and in the last two weeks since, all the wheels of my life have started mysteriously turning again.

so...

Erin Blackwell's picture

SPIDER POWER — GET ONBOARD!

SPIDER POWER — GET ONBOARD! :mrgreen:

x's picture

I will share: it is the sign

I will share: it is the sign of the news in Russia. I have had the spider "event": I was washing the plates and have felt something uneasy..waiting (as I am self denailing..)then I look to the mirrow and saw the spider on my head. After there were the nonstop cry and running alongside all the apartment till I came down. So, you are right, I thought "he" is afraid of the human beings NOW!

yonks's picture

If you kill it, you eat it,

If you kill it, you eat it, thats the rule.
well i admit i'v kill some mosquitos and didn't eat it after, do you think its very bad for my karma?

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

lmz's picture

http://www.espace-sciences.or

Erin Blackwell's picture

L M Z this is one of the

L M Z
this is one of the greatest things i've ever seen. thank you. merci... makes me wonder why video games aren't created using web-building as the essential task. no wonder robert the bruce was inspired!

lmz's picture

when i was a kid i could

when i was a kid i could spend hours watching a spider building its web.
we should loose more time watching.

lmz's picture

i didn't know this story it's

i didn't know this story
it's a great story !
thank you

Lake's picture

The Greatest Spider of

The Greatest Spider of all......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2L-MCqFp3E&feature=related

The Geek flag is flying.....Wink

Lake

Erin Blackwell's picture

you're so right! i found this

you're so right! i found this too
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Woman_(Jessica_Drew)

Lake's picture

You make my heart

You make my heart pitter-patter with superhero talk....Wink

Love it!

Thank you!

Lake

LongBeachDogLover's picture

All outdoor critters are

All outdoor critters are cool. I am highly allergic to bee's. But, I am continuously rescuing them from my swimming pool.... I wish they could swim the way wasp's do. Wasp's dive bomb the pool, then take off to build their nests with the water they collect.

Now.....Junebugs. I'm not sure if I love them, or not. Laughing out loud
I definately don't like their grubby, pre-Junebug bodies. Yuk.

Julia Watson's picture

June bugs are about the only

June bugs are about the only bug I can think of that really give me the creeps. Okay, them and centipedes.

Erin Blackwell's picture

junebugs. hard to love.

junebugs. hard to love. period.

Steph H's picture

What be a junebug please?

What be a junebug please?

lmz's picture

Un hanneton en Français. it's

Un hanneton en Français.
it's a very nice bug that disappeared from Europe. I am not joking. For me they meant summertime and they're very friendly.

http://knottsislandonline.com/nature/insects/junebug.jpg

Erin Blackwell's picture

disappeared? sorry to hear

disappeared? sorry to hear that.

lmz's picture

our countryside is totally

our countryside is totally poisonned by pesticides. insects as junebugs or crickets have almost totally disappeared.

Erin Blackwell's picture

now *that's* disgusting

now *that's* disgusting

lmz's picture

*YEAH*

*YEAH*

Steph H's picture

Thank you!! :-)

Thank you!! Smile

Tiff's picture

I can't deal with cicadas,

I can't deal with cicadas, but there was a plague of them when I was a kid. Would run of the school bus and by the time I'd run the couple blocks home, I'd be covered in them and would have to shake them off before I went inside. Would frequently find one crawling on me later. Harder to like bugs when you're raised in the south....

lmz's picture

All French love cicadas

All French love cicadas (cigales) and spend holidays listening to them in southern summer night. Your cicadas must be locusts ?

Tiff's picture

No, no. Definitely cicadas.

No, no. Definitely cicadas. These are the same ones who sing in the trees, but every century or so, in parts of the U.S. they descend in plague-like proportions.

lmz's picture

it happens when larvae emerge

it happens when larvae emerge from the underground before they molt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada

Tiff's picture

Interesting. I remember

Interesting. I remember hearing all sorts of things about them. Apparently it's only about every 100 years that they get really bad, but supposedly swarms of them will be reemerging around summer 2015, in parts of U.S. and Canada, anyway.

In 1998, every outdoor surface in much of the south and midwest looked like this: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Animals/Insects/2004_May_cicadas/Ci...

lmz's picture

(disgusting)

(disgusting)

Erin Blackwell's picture

definitely not my bugs from

definitely not my bugs from the pyrenees, which i'll maintain were of the grasshopper/cricket pale green ravenous kind. i believe it was august 1989

lmz's picture

that one ? la grande

that one ?

la grande sauterelle verte de mon enfance
http://www.talence.fr/typo3temp/pics/b739e49ae1.jpg

Erin Blackwell's picture

if not a close cousin, yeah.

if not a close cousin, yeah. for years i cherished the thin cotton socks they chewed through. it was like there was no air, only sauterelles.

Erin Blackwell's picture

it was a while ago but i

it was a while ago but i remember them as small, pale green grasshoppers. fine at a distance, singing... oh i guess you mean crickets... but these were so thick you couldn't move. i can't describe it. i've rarely seen bugs in such mass. and EATING... EVERYTHING... i mean clothes.

Erin Blackwell's picture

omg. scary. reminds me of

omg. scary. reminds me of hiking in the pyrenness & being swarmed by locusts. they literally ate everything. bugs in numbers are totally freaky... i also tried to sleep in a tent once in a swarm of mosquitos. it really doesn't work!

yonks's picture

"I definately don’t like

"I definately don’t like their grubby, pre-Junebug bodies. Yuk."
Oh you'r so superficial, don't you know that beauty is inside?
Wink

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

LongBeachDogLover's picture

What an awesome blog Erin. I

What an awesome blog Erin. I am in awe at the beauty that is bestowed upon us daily, as so few recognize it... The complex weaving, the patience of the chelicerate arthropods, to feed at just the right time. They seem to understand the movements, motions, and motives of their prey unlike humankind could ever know.

I could never kill a spider....

Erin Blackwell's picture

LBDL glad to hear it! and i

LBDL glad to hear it! and i bet you were just waiting to work "chelicerate arthropods" into a sentence.

Tiff's picture

Dislike of spiders will be

Dislike of spiders will be hard to break (there are few non-tropical spiders that don't thrive in my childhood home of Tennessee) but I can certainly appreciate the beauty (and the ingenuity) of nature. Check this out: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/40606/title/Caterpillar_noise...

Not2Taem's picture

Tricky! Thanks for the cool

Tricky! Thanks for the cool link.

lmz's picture

google as Spider Woman ?!

google as Spider Woman ?!

yonks's picture

I'v read in some end of the

I'v read in some end of the world's web site that an hopi's prediction said that near the end of the time, the world will be recovered by a giant spider web. scary.

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

lmz's picture

nous y sommes ! débranchez

nous y sommes ! débranchez vos ordinateurs !

yonks's picture

You think it will make a

You think it will make a difference?
mais ou est le prophète Philippus?

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

lmz's picture

here

Erin Blackwell's picture

i recognize myself in that

i recognize myself in that idiot. thanks.

lmz's picture

he's cute l'île mystérieuse

he's cute
l'île mystérieuse is one of my favourite Tintin story

lmz's picture

i like spiders. i like all

i like spiders. i like all creatures, wild or domesticated creatures, including big flying cockroaches. i learned to live with cockroaches, spiders, all kinds of insects and some others disgusting fellows, years ago, in Africa. i learned to have a shower, sleep, eat with them. Good lesson.

Steph H's picture

I don't think I will ever get

I don't think I will ever get used to flying cockroaches... they are so big you can here them coming into land from miles off....eeeewwwwww.

lmz's picture

I used to hate insects, a

I used to hate insects, a real phobia. One night, after ten days in the desert, my hostess offered me to have a shower. You can't say no. And i had my shower among hundreds of cockroaches crawling around. A very effective cure, indeed.

Erin Blackwell's picture

you're reminding me of my

you're reminding me of my first NYC apt, where i tried to love the cockroaches until i was overrun by them & awoke one night when one crawled in my ear. i was obsessed by the idea it had laid an egg sack inside my ear and actually went to the doctor to be reassured this was impossible. ah, simpler times.

Steph H's picture

Respect!!!

Respect!!!

lmz's picture

necessity

necessity