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Spider Woman

In some cultures Spider Woman created the universe. In others the spider web makes creation possible. Spider Woman is the earth goddess or the wise crone. The power of creation is woman's power. This is recognized in some way in every tradition. The spider creating the web morphs into the creation of the web of life.

Just as the spider spins its web, the thread of life is spun by the three fates using the spindle which reminded people of the spider spinning its thread, perhaps even being the inspiration for that once new technology. Thus the spider spinning its web is a paradigm for the creation of everything as well as the interaction between all the parts. Thus it is that Spider Woman becomes powerful and life affirming.

But, of course, there is never an action without reaction - thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Creation seems inherently bound to destruction. Every early culture understood this and it was not negative, not something to hide or deny. Only when good and evil are put into separate boxes and we call ourselves good and everyone else, who is not with us, evil, does the process of creation suddenly become separate from death. When we decided to call ourselves Spider Women, some did not like it. Not the web of life came to their minds, but the spider's bite, sometimes poisonous, it's web as a trap. How can we identify with that? Squeamish they said, "a spider. Ick." We can't deny that part of the spider's being. But we can see the consequences of our more modern tendency to divide, split, separate, and say those who are not with us are against us. War is the consequence of that kind of thinking. Spider Woman should remind us that things cannot be split up that way. A web of life is inclusive even of the things that we make us say ick.

Examples are Navajo and Hopi
Yoruba, Muskogee (Creek), Ashanti
Greek, Roman, Germanic and many more