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Are Spiders in Dreams a Bad or Good Omen?
There is something profoundly "other" about spiders—with those eight legs, four pairs of eyes, the lack of an actual jaw, and the fact that they liquefy their prey prior to ingestion, their anatomy is almost incomprehensible. Not to mention their creeping, lurking, predatory behavior. Anything that is misunderstood is apt to provoke fear. But when spiders spin dream webs, is their symbolic meaning found only in their fear factor?
The answer is no. Read on to discover the myriad meanings of spider dreams.
What the Spider In Your Dream Might Represent
Dream spiders might represent art, artistry, creativity, or craft.
A web is an artful construct. Like the plot of a story, it requires both a birds-eye view of the larger picture and a microscopic attention to detail. A web-weaver is like a storyteller—think of the spider Charlotte in Charlotte's Web using her silk to write in the sky. Perhaps your dream is about something you're building, some creative project you're working on, or an idea you'd like to manifest?
Your dream spider might represent a hidden plot, a scheme, or a manipulation of some kind.
Spiders weave intricate plots to capture their prey. They sit on the web feeling for any tremor or tug that might indicate a possible meal. A web is delicate, but it's also extremely sticky and strong. It is invisible, but also deadly. Its purpose is to ensnare and imprison. Where are the webs in your life? Is someone weaving a hidden trap to catch you?
Your dream of a spider might signify feelings of entrapment, captivity, or loss of freedom.
A spider's web is dangerously sticky. The spider wraps its victims tightly in silk and then injects a paralyzing venom. Are you feeling trapped or unable to escape from someone or something?
A spider might represent a woman in your life—a girlfriend, your mother, or some other powerful or possibly terrifying female figure.
Spiders often represent feminine energy. They weave silken homes that double as traps. They weave carefully, they watch quietly, they wait patiently. They pack a lot of power and cunning into their tiny bodies, so the spider in your dream might be a woman in disguise.
A dream about a spider might represent your own feelings of estrangement and alienation.
Even though you are always within three feet of a spider, for the most part we don't notice them. That's because spiders linger silently in the corners where nobody sees them. Even though they work constantly to rid our homes of flying creatures, they remain largely invisible and unappreciated. Maybe this is how you feel in life, like an outsider or an unwelcome guest?
If you're afraid of spiders, then a dream spider might represent your fears. Conversely, if you like spiders, then perhaps the dream spider represents a friend.
In other words, your feelings about spiders in general and your feelings about the specific spider in your dream will help guide you towards an interpretation.
Spiders Have Both Positive and Negative Symbolism
Not only do the dreamer's experiences with spiders play a huge part in the spider's meaning, but so do influential cultural mythologies and interpretations of spiders. Mythological spiders are portrayed both positively and negatively.
At their worst, spiders symbolize...
- the Shadow
As positive symbols, spiders might represent...
- the Self
- weavers of the world and life
While a dream spider's mythological identity may be somewhat mixed, it is still helpful to look at these mythologies to get a handle on the meaning of your dream. Mythologies don't only help you interpret the appearance of a spider in a dream, but if you have a phobia of spiders, insights from these mythologies may help you trace the origin of that fear.
What Do Dreams About Spiders Mean?
What does it mean if I dream about killing a spider?
The meaning depends on what the spider in your dream represents and how you felt about killing it. For example, if you determine that the spider symbolizes your entrapment in a dead-end job, then squashing it might have been liberating. On the other hand, if the spider represents your grandmother, then the act (and your feelings about her) might be harder to untangle.
What if I dream of a spider attacking me?
Again, your dream's meaning depends on what that particular spider represents to you. Pinpointing the ways in which you feel attacked or ambushed in your life might help you figure out what your subconsciousness is trying to work through via the dream.
What if spiders are crawling on me in my dream?
If you've ever watched them, you may have noticed that spiders seem to crawl by feel, not by sight... and just the thought of those little, creepy-crawly, hairy legs touching you can make your skin crawl. Is there something that appears small and harmless in your life but is provoking a violent reaction? What is annoying, irritating, tickling, or gently trying to get your attention?
What if there are lots of spiders in my dream?
If you meet a multitude of these creatures, determining what they're doing and what they want from you can help you interpret the dream. Are they all watching you (with fear, interest, or predatory intent)? Are they waiting for something (if so, what?). Could they represent all the things you need to clean up and deal with in your life, mentally or physically?
What does a dream of a giant spider mean?
You may find yourself face-to-face with a giant, terrifying creature in your dreams. As with any dream, you'll need to find out what the spider represents in your life: Is there an overwhelming, larger-than-life person or situation you're grappling with? Maybe you just saw Harry Potter's Aragog or Tolkien's Shelob in Lord of the Rings... or you're just really scared of spiders.
What does a spider web represent in a dream?
Webs can represent creation, fate, responsibilities, traps, veils, shrouds, barriers, obstacles, messes (as in cobwebs), or the important aspects of your life that are woven together (as a tapestry or a nest).
Spiders Can Represent Captivity
Spiders can also symbolize captivity or paralysis. You might feel as though some malevolent outside force is holding you hostage or that such a force is heading your way, with no amount of struggle resulting in freedom.
Spider dreams can be expressions of generalized anxiety—that feeling that something unknown and faceless is lying in wait, ready to pounce upon you as soon as you misstep and fall into the unseen trap that was spun specifically for you. Alternatively, you might feel trapped by your own life. Having surveyed your life and found that it has strayed from your true goals and desires, you may feel as though you are so enmeshed in what you don't want that you will never attain what you do want.
In the waking life, the spider spins a web and then sits in its center, surrounded by her creation. If you have engaged in some sort of hidden, deceptive, or manipulative activities, spiders in your dreams may symbolize that you are trapped inside the sticky situations that you created. You may feel as though the web spun for personal profit has turned into a prison maze with no discernible exit.
Spiders Are Often Feared Because of Their Perceived "Otherness"
The spider's archetypal significance is as varied as its mythological significance. Due to its ability to provoke irrational fear that is completely disproportionate to its actual danger level, the spider is an appropriate representation of the Shadow archetype. In Jungian psychology, the Shadow (aka the Id) is the unconscious aspects of the personality which the Ego doesn't consciously identify with. The Shadow might also be the unconscious—everything a person doesn't see in or recognize about themselves. Quiet spiders lurking in corners could represent those things we don't consciously notice or want to see.
Spiders and Spiderwebs Can Represent Self-Realization
While spiders are perfect expressions of the Shadow archetype, they can also represent a more surprising archetype—the archetypal Self. Since the attainment of self realization is a lifelong goal of many spiritually minded people, a crowning achievement in the quest for personal awareness, the idea that the spider represents such a lofty goal may seem positively preposterous. But if you put aside your own arachnophobia and view through an objective lens, you can see that a spider...
- Creates a physical form in the outer world from a substance produced from within its body (its web).
- Sits at the center point of that web at the spot where all lines connect, much like how the sun's rays radiate from the sun.
- Builds a home that resembles the mandalas so symbolically synonymous with the Self.
- While sitting in their web, they look like the symbol of Self: a circle with a dot inside (ʘ).
The spider's web can be viewed as a beautiful tapestry symbolizing the dichotomous dance between the active and the passive, the anima and animus, the hidden and the exposed, all brought to life by the spider who is so often reviled.
If you carefully examine your unconscious for possible spider shadow tendencies and find them missing, you might want to try viewing the dream spider as a herald, a sign that you are approaching or gaining some level of self-realization. You are allowing light into the unconscious, shining it so brightly that no shadows or spiders have corners in which to hide.
What Is the Archetype of Self?
The archetype of Self is quite different from the "me" one typically thinks of when defining themselves. The Self includes the conscious personality with which you identify—all those elements such as your hair color, gender, profession, etc. However, the Self also includes everything about which you are unconscious. It includes all of the Shadow elements, the anima/animus, the spirit, the soul, etc. The Self is the whole human being and the human being inside the whole.
When you achieve the realization of the Self, it means that you have found unity between your conscious and the unconscious, and that there is a balance between your physical form and your intangible, subjective reality.
When you realize the Self, it does not mean that your conscious personality is obliterated; it means that your conscious personality is augmented with those parts of the psyche which are fractured and contained in the personal unconscious. A symbolic expression of the Self is a circle with a dot inside: ʘ. The Self is neither just the circle nor just the dot. The Self is both the circle and the dot.
Check Your Shadow Self for Evidence of Spider-Like Activity
When human beings try to interpret the spider's behavior and characteristics, they see:
- Diabolical deception
- Sneakiness and/or passive aggression
- Hidden danger
- Venomous words
- Personal attack
- Abuse of power
- Using the weak for personal profit
- Careless disregard for the concerns of others
- Using others, sucking them dry, then discarding them once they're no longer useful.
Whenever you find yourself angered, revolted, obsessed with or hypercritical of another's actions, you should check yourself to see if you are truly outraged by them or if you are outwardly projecting your own Shadow self onto another person.
If you are dreaming of spiders, it might be wise to check the Shadow for evidence of spider-like activity occurring there. Make a list of everything spiders symbolize, then carefully and honestly examine yourself to see if those traits are a part of you.
This may be a painful process, but if you find spiders and what they symbolize revolting, realizing that they are living inside your own psyche should be enough motivation to face their existence and clear out their psychic cobwebs. Denial does not negate existence—it simply blinds you to a reality, one which grows more powerful in the dark.
How Spiders Can Represent Visions
Although most spiders have four pairs of eyes, we tend to think of them as visually impaired to some extent. Since orb spinners are primarily alerted to the presence of prey via the vibrations the prey creates in the web as it struggles, many people assume a spider's ability to see is not particularly powerful.
This is incorrect. The vision of prey-hunting spiders, net-casting spiders, and other varieties is only a bit less accurate than a human's. Spiders may process light into images that are quite different from those produced by the human eye. A four-layered retina processes the light collected via a spider's four pairs of swiveling, scanning eyes. Images produced from this process are probably completely foreign when viewed through a human lens. This difference is sight can make spiders a perfect symbol for the visionary.
What Is a Visionary?
A visionary is someone who attempts to bring life into their visions, one who thinks about and plans for the future in a creative and imaginative way. Usually, the visions they see will benefit the world and all who inhabit it. They not only see their visions, they feel them in their souls. Their experience is so profound and alters their lives in such a positive and dramatic manner that they seek to share the experience with those around them.
What makes a visionary's task so difficult is that what he or she sees with such vivid detail is indecipherable to others. The visionary is the only one who sees it. How does one describe something that no one else has seen? How did the first person to see the color blue communicate that hue to others so they could see it, too?
The difficulty a visionary has getting his or her vision across to a world with no frame of reference might be symbolized in the spider whose vision processes are so different from that of the human. The misinterpretation of spiders makes it a perfect symbol for the visionary.
Spiders as Representations of Female Energy
Since spiders weave (as women traditionally do), this power to create intricate tapestries from insubstantial thread is usually attributed to female powers. Arachne the weaver (from Greek mythology), the three Fates who weave the tapestry of life (also Greek), Neith the destiny-weaving goddess (from ancient Egypt), Charlotte (from Charlotte's Web), Shelob (from The Lord of the Rings)... in many stories, legends, and mythologies, the spider is female and represents female power. In nature, many female spiders are bigger than the males, and in many widow species, the females eat the males after sex. Spiders are associated with the energy of creation, creative power, and the magic ability to make something out of nothing.
Spiders in Mythology and Cosmology
Web-Weaving as a Symbol for Creation
Mythologies often spotlight spiders' weaving ability. The web is an especially popular way of depicting destiny deities, symbolizing their ability to deftly weave individual fates into an interconnected tapestry of life.
The Spider Web as Symbol of Life and Creation... or as a Veil to Obscure Reality
In various cosmologies, the spider is either a creator deity or its web is used to symbolize creation. Occasionally, the web is not a symbol of life but an intricately designed veil hiding the face of ultimate reality.
Sacred Spiders in Native American Cosmology
Native Americans have cosmological stories detailing the creation of the Ursa Major constellation via a spider's web, and another that posits the creation of creation itself through the silken threads spun from Spider Grandmother's abdomen. Dreamcatchers, originated in the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe, are like human-spun webs to catch bad dreams, and the Ojibwe word for dreamcatcher, asabikeshiinh, means "spider."
Mythical Spiders in Babylon and Ancient Egypt
The ancient Egyptian deity, Neith, was a destiny-weaving goddess who had a Babylonian equivalent. She was then passed on to the Greeks in the form of Athena. Athena's contest with the mortal Arachne not only makes mythological commentary regarding destiny and creation but also provides an explanation of the creation of the spider itself.
The Role of Spiders in Greek Mythology
The mortal Arachne challenges the goddess Athena in a weaving contest. Athena, angered at Arachne's refusal to acknowledge that her gift of weaving was bestowed upon her by the goddess herself, rips Arachne's tapestry to pieces and curses her with feelings of guilt for her arrogance and hubris, and Arachne promptly flees and hangs herself. When Athena sees Arachne's lifeless body hanging from a tree, her heart is softened and she transforms Arachne into a spider, taking away her human beauty, but allowing her deft weaving skills to persist throughout eternity. Arachne's name is the origin of "arachnid," the scientific term for the spider.
Spiders in Space
Scientists have discovered that there are spiders in space—not real ones, but nebulas that have a spider's shape, such as the Black Widow and Tarantula nebulas.
How Jungian Philosophy Can Help You Interpret Dreams
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung had an interesting take on the best way to interpret dreams: "Learn all you can about mythology, then forget it." The quote seems pointless. Why study something just to forget it?
Jung's reasoning was based on his theory of archetypes. Jung believed that mythology and folklore are expressions of various archetypes and archetypal functions. He believed that archetypes are imprinted on the psyche via the collective unconscious and that some symbols have a near-universal interpretation. To find the universal interpretation, all we have to do is study mythology.
However, despite his belief that there are certain common patterns woven throughout humanity's psyche, Jung also believed that reality expresses itself not only as a common experience but as an individual life.
Jung believed that while symbols carry common meanings that might inform one's perspective, each individual's actual experience—that person's own personal mythology or way of approaching and absorbing knowledge and experience—always takes precedence over any cultural or common comprehension of a symbol.
What a Spider Symbolizes Depends on the Dreamer
When attempting to interpret a dream about spiders, Jung's advice to learn and then forget the spider's place in mythology is profoundly appropriate. Spider symbolism is as myriad and complex as the webs spiders spin. The most important thing is the dreamer's own associations and personal mythology regarding spiders.
If spiders are a source of revulsion and fear for the dreamer, then the meaning of a spider dream is likely to be found in the spider's more negative symbolism. If, however, spiders are sources of wonder and marvel for the dreamer, then the dreamer should begin looking at positive spider symbolism to start unraveling the mystery of his or her spider dream.
It Is Difficult to Pin Down the Meanings of Symbols
If you have a confusing dream, you might turn to a dream encyclopedia or article like this for clues. While those are great places to start, they are not great places to end.
Ideally, encyclopedias should provide the background on a symbol and give the dreamer a look at the diverse ways in which that symbol can be interpreted. Symbols rarely, if ever, have a singular meaning. While that bit of information may be disheartening, you should rest assured that just because a symbol has no definitive meaning, that doesn't mean it's meaningless.
What makes interpreting a dream symbol so complex—what makes its meaning impossible to encapsulate within a single paragraph or web page—is the dreamer's own individuality. Dreams are messages sent to the dreamer by the dreamer. They are reports of what is going on in the areas of the mind that are written in impressions and images, not words.
In order to accurately interpret a dream's meaning, one must learn to speak the dream language. Symbols are the foundation of that language. The importance of examining the mythology of a dream subject is to get an idea of what archetypal image a dream might be trying to communicate—that is, what basic universal meaning a symbol has across cultures and communities. The purpose of analyzing how a dream subject operates in the waking life is to gain insight from the obvious—because the obvious is what is often overlooked.
Remember: Dreams are just messages sent to the dreamer by the dreamer.
The Portable Jung by C. G. Jung.
Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.12) by C. G. Jung.
Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968 by Joseph Campbell.
The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays 1959-1987 by Joseph Campbell.
© 2012 Aisling Ireland
Can’t reach this page on July 05, 2020:
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Jamie on January 02, 2020:
I had a dream last night was in a bath there was a power cut, lights came baxk on and there was a spider on the corner 9f the window ledge. Suddenly am on a carpet and the spiders was dragging a measuring tape back to its nest. What does it mean
Daniel Kojo Asiedu from Accra, Ghana on November 28, 2019:
Great article! I do fall into spider traps once a while on already trodden paths and know that spiritually they mean disappointments, entrapment, stagnation and the negative like. Yet when and if that happens, I gird up my loins and shout out to Heaven and declare that "absolutely no weapon formed, fashioned or webbed against me shall prosper". Perhaps, it is what I believe in; perhaps it really is what it means...
Fin from Barstow on August 05, 2019:
Well, some fascinating ideas from spiders representing subconscious fears or internalized treachery to the femme fetale.
Great points you made - especially bringing in Jung. I've always been fascinated by the collective subcoscious and the origin of things and I think the myth you mentioned ties in greatly with the female applications of the spider.
I have had some strange spider dreams - but mostly I attribute that to the fact that somewhere in my room, while I am sleeping, there is a spider and I sense it.
I have had spider dreams and then stumbled upon spiders in my apartment or room.
One that scared me was a dream about a spider spinning an egg sack and when I woke up I actually looked under my bed to make sure there wasn't one there.
Mitch on July 18, 2019:
So it can mean anything.... stupid.
Zayn Hussain on June 27, 2019:
I was wondering if i could have your help to understand a dream i had last night. I dreamt of my passage and by the window there was two spiders together. It was totally orange at first and i felt intruiged but also scared, i kept my distance but was still gazing upon it. I then realized it was much bigger than i thought it seemed and that the abdomen was orange and the rest of the body black. My mother was present at this point and i wanted her to get rid of the spiders. The window in my passage in real life does not open that function to open it doesnt work. This was why she couldnt open the window. Outside the window there were more of these spiders. My mum tried to get rid of one of the spiders but it escaped and fell down and at this point i was terrified. But my managed to pick it up with a tissue, i am unsure what happened to that spider afterwards. Then 2nd spider was still on the window standing still and then the dream ended. In real life currently, i feel different and dont fit in with others. i see the world differently from them, they party but i want to work hard as i want to turn my fantasies into reality. I feel betrayed that i have no one i can call a best friend and trust. My shadow has the same qualities seen in the negative side of the spider. I am also sad a lot of the time as their is a girl i really like, i dont really go for girls as it stands in the way of my goals. But this girl i really liked but i have a feeling she doesn’t like me. I also feel i can’t get girls and this makes me sad also. I feel lonely and want to be secluded from everyone else. I dont feel suicidal though. My goals stop me from feeling like that. No one wants to be successful with me. I feel like these emotional attachments are dragging me down but i am especially confused with my spider dream. If dreams are dreamt by the dreamer and sent by the dreamer, i wont to listen and know what my mind is trying to tell me. I would really appreciate your help, thanks.
Lawrence Drexel Jr. on March 25, 2019:
What does it mean when a lot of little spiders are crawling all over your crotch? They weren’t biting, tickling, or anything like that. They were just crawling on my crotch and nothing else.
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on March 06, 2019:
You are welcome, Dude. That's quite a compliment! I'm blushing. :-)
Dude on March 06, 2019:
Thank you for interpreting my dream! You’re like an online Joseph! (Like that bible story)
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on December 05, 2018:
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 05, 2018:
I just noticed you asked me the name of the article I wrote about my natural father (5 years ago!). It's called "Haunting Memories".
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on December 05, 2018:
Thank you, andree!
andree on July 10, 2018:
great and thorough information, thank you!
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on April 25, 2014:
Hi Jen--so sorry about the delay responding. I've been ill and haven't been online at all.
Yes! Of course you may reference me on your blog. What's your blog called--I'd love to read it!
Jen on April 09, 2014:
By the way, I wrote a blog post about my "sleep spiders". I would love to reference and link to your page, but only if that is OK with you!
Jen on April 08, 2014:
Wow! Thank you! This is an amazing article, and you totally hit the nail on the head. Since my son was born, I have been visited by what I call "sleep spiders" on numerous occasions. They appear on the walls, ceiling, or hanging by a thread above my bed just as I wake up, but slowly fade and disappear the more alert I become. I have generalized anxiety and felt very anxious and trapped as a new mom caring for a very needy baby. I wondered about the symbolism of the spider. When I read the section "Spiders as Captivity Symbols", I thought, "That's it! That's why it's a spider!" How cool is that?!
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on December 20, 2012:
Can you give me the title of the article you wrote about your dad? I went to your page but I must be blind--I didn't see one that looked like the hub you described. I'd really like to read it.
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on December 20, 2012:
Rock and roll! I love it! I love it anytime someone gives themselves the answers to a dream. After all, dreams are messages sent to you by you so you are going to be the final authority on what that message means.
I am so glad that you got out of that relationship--God knows I have been there. That naïve belief and faith in someone's love can be a really destructive force.
Your spider fear is really interesting in that a hero saw them as so dangerous as to cut them into pieces. That may be why you feel so strongly about them--someone you trusted believed in their danger so it would only be natural you would feel the same way towards them.
I think that spider dream is indeed a reminder for you and a solidification of your belief in yourself. It is weird but sometimes the creepiest things and our ability to overcome them are our best and longest reminders of just how powerful we can be.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 20, 2012:
You've given me some light. Here's what I have to offer: when I was a little girl (before my mom divorced my USAF fighter pilot father) we lived in California. I remember daddy (my hero) taking pruning shears and chopping black widows in half in our garage where I used to set up my pretend store. Mom divorced daddy when I was 6 and I didn't see him again until I was 40. (I've written a hub about it. It has a picture of Daddy's flight suit in the opening).
At the time I had the wet suit spider dream, I was living in an apartment when I was in my early twenties. I shared it with a physically abusive boyfriend. He was in prison at the time I had the dream (he got popped for sale of drugs after I'd met him but the circumstance happened before I met him). I was relieved that he was no longer there, but naiive me thought I still loved him.
He had a hearing coming up where I was actually allowed to testify to a weird encounter I'd witnessed as an innocent bystander that actually got the charges dropped. I now see the wet suit was protecting me from the disgusting hairs of the spider, aka the fear I had of my fiancé hurting me once again if he was released. The fact that I escaped the spider before he descended upon me was a sign that I was not destined for eternal abuse. And I wasn't. I eventually fought back and rid myself of this abusive man. But, to this day I remember that dream. Is it a reminder for me? Is it solidification of belief in myself? I think the answer to both questions is, YES!
What do you think? How'd I do?
Aisling Ireland (author) from Bolingbroke, GA on December 20, 2012:
Here is where I would start interpreting your dream.
First, is your spider phobia something you have had all your life? Or does it have its origin in an actual spider encounter that scared you?
If the phobia has no origin in life, then the spider is going to be a stand in for a more universal kind of fear or issue. If it originates in an encounter, you'll want to look at the situation or situations that provoked the fear and see what was going on in your life at the time of the dream and compare the two.
Either way, think about what it is about a spider that scares you. Phobias still have reasons. For example, I have a moth phobia--yes, I know, scared of those harmless little moths. It is kind of embarrassing to go running from the room when one gets in the house. :-) Obviously, no moth ever did me any harm--I think moths can actually only harm clothes--but here's why thy scare me. They are completely erratic--they fly around like maniacs and they are completely unpredictable. You can't tell where they're going and that means that they might go on me and once they're on me I'll never be able to get them off because I'll never know where they're going next.
What this translates to on a larger scale is a general fear of the unpredictable, the random, being trapped, getting into something I can't get out of. And that is 100 percent true about me. My greatest fear in life is being trapped with no way out. I also detest random things, I don't mind change but I don't like things that appear out of the blue and destroy. I hate it when people prank scare me by jumping out at me. Just hate it!
Just like moths symbolize my fears about things other than actual moths, I am willing to bet that your spider phobia actually symbolizes something else other than actual spiders.
Try to find out what the spider symbolizes to you. Then look back to what was going on in your life when you had the dream and see if there was something either actually going on or something you were afraid might happen that the spider might symbolize. Also check to see if the spider might represent a person who might have been provoking fear.
As weird as it sounds, the wetsuit also gives a lot of information. Wet suits are worn by divers or by people swimming in cold water to protect against the cold, to maintain body temperature or to put it symbolically to maintain status quo in a foreign environment. Was there anything going on at that time in your life wherein it might actually have felt advantageous to protect your fears? I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes we feel fear protects us and sometimes we are right. A person who suffered abuse as a child develops instincts about people who might harm them. When that person fears someone instinctively, there may be good reason for fear.
Were you involved in doing any hard emotional work, looking at things that were painful? Were you involved in anything that made you feel "out of your depth" or that scared you because it was so far from the status quo or normalcy?
Don't just think of things that were negative. Think even of things that were positive. I know firsthand that sometimes the things that provoke the most unconscious fear are the things that appear to be the best. As humans, we get used to situations not just because they are comfortable, but because we know we can survive in those situations because we already are! When something comes along, even something that will dramatically improve life, we often fear it because we don't know it--we don't know that we can survive in the new environment because we never have and that can actually provoke survival fears, fears even of death. I have passed up on enough things I should have grabbed with both hands out of fear of the unknown to know the truth of that fear.
Please let me know what you come up with--I've never dealt with a wetsuit spider before, so I'm really curious!
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 19, 2012:
Esme, I am scared to death of spiders, although I've had to overcome my fear as a single mom; my son is even more afraid of them than I.
I must tell you of a dream I had when I was about 21. I'm now 55 and have never forgotten this dream:
I was lying in bed, alone and asleep when suddenly, a huge spider has big as the queen bed in which I slept, ascended from the ceiling. Get this: it was wearing a wet suit! I paniced in my dream because I was frozen and couldn't avoid the spider landing on me. Just before it ascended onto my body, I was awakened (this part is real life) by crawling out of bed with my head ducked so as to avoid the spider touching me. My movement is what awakened me. It is now thirty some odd years later and I still remember that dream.
Any idea what it meant? Especially with the spider wearing a wet suit?