Spiders—they’re creepy and crawly and mostly little annoyances huddled in the corner of the ceiling. The spiders where I live are tolerable.
They’re mostly small and benign. Typically most of them are not even poisonous. I hate them and I’m somewhat afraid of them. I’ve been known to
scream like a child when I see them unexpectedly.
As much as I hate spiders, I don’t spend my nights and days in fear of them, thinking about them. But I certainly do dream about them a lot. Before
I get to the dreams, I would like to illustrate a few experiences that have made a big impression on me.
When I was young, I remember my stepmom telling about how her dad was bitten by a black widow. He was outside working and took his gloves off to take
a break. When he came back there was a black widow in his gloves that bit him. He didn’t notice right away and almost died according to the story.
Ever since then I’ve had a compulsion to always check my shoes, hats, and gloves before putting them on.
My friend also told me a story about how he put his headphones on and heard a clicking sound. He couldn’t figure out what was making the noise until
a spider crawled out of the padding. So now I usually inspect my headphones before putting them on. There’s plenty of padding for spiders to hide in
Okay, but when I was younger I remember sleeping in our car garage-converted-den one summer. I woke up to dozens, maybe hundreds of baby spiders
crawling all over me and the floor. Ick!
When I was very sick with cancer, I even hallucinated that my hospital room was infested with the creatures. I would often complain to the nurses that
there were spiders in my room—crawling along the floors, dangling from the ceilings. They couldn’t convince me that there was nothing there.
Despite those incidents, I don’t really see myself crippled with fear. Usually when I saw spiders I just killed them without much of a fuss. But at
one time I was ashamed of myself for constantly killing every one I saw. I ended up on a spider-killing spree and felt really ashamed of myself for
the hate I was feeling.
So I made a deal with the spiders. I told them that if they stayed away from me, that I wouldn’t kill them anymore. I kept up my part of the deal,
and they kept up theirs. I stopped seeing them almost completely. When I did see them, they just quietly crawled back into their spaces, their cracks,
their crevices. I let them be and they let me be.
One of the main reasons I made this deal was for a spiritual exercise. I was ashamed of myself for killing and being afraid of one of my harmless
fellow creatures. But then I started dreaming about them…a lot!
One of the earliest dreams I can remember is when I was walking along the riverbanks of an Indian jungle. I was part of some sort of pilgramage or
something. And then I just jumped into the river, only to emerge with all sorts of spiders crawling around me. I felt at peace. I felt ecstatic and
the spiders didn’t bother me at all. I just accepted them and felt like it was a mark of my spiritual merit. I think this dream could be important
in the overall scheme of this spider symbolism.
After that one, I started waking up imagining spiders crawling on me or dangling above my body. They were never menacing, threatening, or biting. But
I was afraid of them. My body tingled, my skin crawled, and my mind filled in the gaps by imagining the arachnids on me and around me.
It seems like almost every morning I can’t avoid the feeling of my skin tingling with imaginary spiders.
But then I started having REM dreams of them as well. In the dreams, the spiders are never bothersome or dangerous. They’re just there. I’m the
one who is dangerous and malevolent. I see them, chase them, and try to maim them. I never actually kill them, or if I do, there will be another that
I have to chase down.
In my dreams, the spiders are the victims—victims of my own irrational fear. They are elusive and capable of evading me almost completely. I chase
them with the intent to kill and that is usually the extent of my dream.
Just this morning I woke up from an especially bad ‘spider’ dream. It was so devasting and impactful that I woke up only a few hours after I had
fallen asleep. I dreamed that I was in my grandmother’s backyard (a place rife with spiders and insects) and saw 2 exotic looking spiders—the kind
with long, thick legs, spots, vibrant colors—the kind that certainly don’t belong in my part of the world. They were just sitting harmlessly on
the ground side-by-side. I swatted one dead. The other began running and I tried stomping it. I managed to catch a few of its legs with my shoe. Its
legs got ripped off and it continued running clumsily. I could even hear it whine through its tiny book lungs.
The dream ended there and I woke up especiallly tired, like waking up suddenly from a bad nightmare. My skin was crawling. I scratched and pawed at
the tingling areas to kill any spiders. I could hardly even open my eyes, I was so tired. I soon fell back asleep.
My ongoing relationship has even turned me into a Spider-Man fan! I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with spiders. I still try to maintain my
bargain that I made with them, but have killed a few here and there over the years. I am fascinated, but also terrified of them.
I did a few searches on the symbolic meanings, but didn’t turn up anything satisfactory. Most of what I’d found was vague or more related to
spider webs. My dreams are more about the spiders themselves and not the webs. I’d rather hear from you guys and gals because I know you know your
I don’t dream of any other animals like this. I don’t have any recurring dream themes or subtexts that I’ve noticed—just the spiders. I’d
say I have an REM spider dream about once a week, and feel the crawling skin more like 3-4 times a week.
Does anyone care to conjecture why? Is it a metaphor? Symbolism? Is it a power animal or spirit guide that I have a bad relationship with? Any
thoughts, insights, or leads would be greatly appreciated.
edit on 27-5-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)