Symbolism of Spiders (11 Surprising Meanings)

To many people, spiders represent a scary figure. Just a thought about them can scare the life out of them. For others, spiders are interesting and exciting animals with various unique traits. 

Throughout history, spiders have been used as spirit animals for creativity and feminine energy, but also protection. Their intricate web-weaving skills have led people to take them as a symbol of creative energy

In dreams, we often think spiders symbolize a feminine theme. Sometimes, they also represent something scary or even a threat. 

All of these symbols and meanings have been interpreted by how spiders live, behave, and their overall appearance. More often than not, the symbolisms are connected to the spider’s ability to create intricate webs.

> This article is from our series on insect symbolism

Positive Symbolism of Spiders 

What are some of the most common things spiders represent?

1. Creativity

The number one thing spiders represent is creativity. This is mostly indicated through its web-weaving skills which are intricate. The web creation follows no rules; instead, the spider creates a complicated web wherever it sees fit.

If your spirit animal is the spider, then you’re likely to be a creative person who likes to think outside the box. In some southwestern American countries, the spider has always been seen as a creative goddess where weaving was considered an art.

2. Power

Just like almost any animal, the spider has its own way of toying with their prey. It does that by creating a web around the victim, leaving them paralyzed and unable to move.

This makes them a powerful figure. In some American Indian tribes, the spider was equal to the creator of the world, which associates them with a powerful feminine figure with a lot of creative power.

> See Also: Scorpion Symbolism

3. Patience

If you’ve ever watched the spider waiting for its prey, then you must have noticed how persistent and patient the spider is. And this is exactly what it represents – patience. 

However, it knows exactly when to pounce and start creating the web. When we see the spider on the wall, it looks like an unassuming figure “just standing there”. But there is a purpose behind their standing, which is they are waiting for their prey patiently. This is a virtue we connect spiders to.

4. Feminine Energy

In some countries and in some cultures, the spider was the ultimate representation of feminine energy.

For example, in Ancient Egypt, where it was connected to the goddess of the Divine Mother, Neith, representing the ultimate feminine figure. Or in American Indian tribes, where the spider was considered as the ultimate creator by using the means of the female creative energy.

Negative Symbolism of Spiders

5. Fear

Many people find spiders scary. This has always been the case, though. Throughout history, spiders were commonly seen as dangerous animals who carried sufficient toxins to end one’s life.

Centuries ago, when there were no antidotes, some spider bites were deadly. But even today, some spider bites are incredibly dangerous. The black widow spider, as the name suggests, is one of the examples of dangerous spider species.

6. Invisibility

The spider’s web is almost invisible unless it’s sprayed by rain, which is when it becomes visible to the naked eye. One of the more negative symbols of spiders is their invisibility and elusiveness.

Spiders also love to hide from us. When they notice us, they might dart away in fear to find cover somewhere behind the table, or behind an object that provides them with safety.

7. Weaver of Life’s Fate

Perhaps you could argue this is both a positive and negative trait. When we think of a spider weaving the web, we often connect it to higher life meanings. Spiders are often connected to their ability to create or influence someone’s fate. There’s an element of “controlling one’s life” when we think about spiders.

It can also be connected to being able to weave one’s way through life and having the ability to influence the lives of others. 

8. “Your Shadow Self”

Spiders are also sometimes connected to our negative traits, parts of us we don’t want others to see. It also may be parts of us we find disturbing or unworthy of love. This part of us is often called “our shadow self”. This is what spiders sometimes represent, too.

The Symbolism of Spiders in Dreams – 3 Meanings

What does it mean when we dream about spiders? Here are three meanings that can help you make sense of your dreams.

9. A Spider Represents a Woman Figure in Your Life

When you dream about spiders, they might represent a woman figure in your life. Perhaps it’s trying to tell you something you should know. The spider is relaying you messages about the directions you’re taking with women in your life.

The woman a spider represents can be the woman that has the same traits as spiders, which are:

  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Receptivity

Take a moment to think about what the spider was doing in your dreams. This is the message you should take from the dreams and interpret them through real life.

10. You Were Afraid of Something

As we’ve already seen, the spider has sometimes a negative connotation of fear. If you encounter it in your dreams, then it might mean you have been afraid at some point during your day or even during your dreams.

To learn more about this, you really need to try and remember more things from your dreams. Try to think about the atmosphere of dreams. Was it scary, or was it slightly adventurous? 

In both cases, the spider can actually represent the feelings you encountered during the dreams.

11. You Are Trying to Repress Something

If you encountered the spider in your dreams and you tried to kill it, then it also has a deeper meaning. 

It means you’re trying to repress a part of you or your feelings. It could also mean you’re trying to repress a part of you. 

The spider might also mean you’re fighting within yourself and that there’s something that doesn’t feel right in your life.

The Spider as a Spirit Animal

If your spirit animal is the spider, then you must be aware of the following things.

  • You are a gentle and creative person who likes to be soft when needed. These are relatively feminine qualities that even a man can own.
  • On the other hand, you can also be a powerful person if needed. You have the ability to create intricate webs around other people and influence them for your own sake.
  • You’re patient when it comes to meeting your life goals and you are willing to wait for the right opportunity to come instead of rushing things
  • You’re able to use your creativity to come up with unique ideas. Spiders are well-known for creativity and they have often been accredited with this quality, which is shown by their ability to create intricate webs. You’re also more welcoming to new ideas and able to “go with the flow” instead of having a clear plan for doing things.

Final Thoughts

Spiders are highly symbolic animals. They have both positive and negative connotations, and they also sometimes feature in dreams. Spiders are sometimes seen as a danger (in much the same way as centipede symbolism), and they are also feared. But we also know them by their ability to engineer and craft webs and they are also revered for their patience for achieving their purposes. 

Spiders can have different meanings in different settings, so you need to view the symbolism of spiders in your own circumstances to see their true meaning.

If you’re interested in the symbolism of other creepy crawlies, try out our articles on the symbolism of moths and symbolism of snakes.