What spiders are teaching me: musings on being an artist and a witch

My dreams have been vivid, prophetic, and helpful guides for me as long as I can remember. I have periodically dreamt of spiders throughout my life. They keep pulling me in, the spiders, coaxing me deeper into their webs.

One afternoon while I was sleeping, I was dreaming of spiders all around me. I woke up to find several giant spiders crawling in my bed. I like spiders, but I don’t want them sleeping with me. I don’t want to touch them or get in their way. I just want to let them be and them let me be.

I once had a spider living in the side-view mirror of my car for almost an entire year — through storms, winter, drives down the highway. The spider would crawl behind the mirror when I started driving, somehow able to survive even the most dramatic winds and heaviest rain. I didn’t have the heart to move the spider from the home it created on my car. It was welcome, I was okay with it.

I recently had an encounter with a spider spirit. Artists are like spiders. We capture truths, inspiration, life itself in our webs. We take in what we experience, what we envision, what we sense, what we feel, and we re-weave new connections, new meanings, new webs. We show ourselves — reflections of nature.

Being a witch is also like being a spider. A witch senses and knows, looks in and travels along the lines of the web. Knowing that this life is precious, delicate, and more ephemeral than we may like to believe.

Creation is more spirit than physical in many ways, an infinite mystery, like standing between two mirrors, where the reflections go on forever and ever and ever. Infinitely weaving the stories crashing in on themselves. Each ending a beginning in an ongoing cycle of becoming.

So being a witch is like being an artist is like being a spider. Makers, creators, weavers. Humans are a small slice of this web of reality — both seen and unseen. But it is all animate and we should not get so grandiose that our lives are so individually exceptional that they matter more than the greater whole of this existence.

We should do our part, as extensions of the weaving dreaming beings of creation. The forces of nature. One small piece of this unfolding. One small drop of salt water and earth in a sea of energy. Moving, knowing, sensing. Tapping into the different currents; each with its own complexes and entanglements. Each with its own pains and traumas, joys and ecstasies, brilliance and beauty.

We are playing out the stories of the ancient natural forces, humans have a storyline and we are each a part of the bigger tale the universe is telling. Our free will lets us choose our role to some extent, but what about the fate that is already woven? Might it actually control what we must do and where we must go?

The delusion is thinking this is all for us. It is all us and not us. From the broadest sense a life is like a single inhalation and exhalation. But move in closer and we see a million small breathes are taken in just a single lifetime. Perspective makes a difference from our point of view.

So here we are. Slowing the energy down, the bigger story branching off into smaller stories, with side quests, and plot twists, with each of us being the main character in our own story. But it is just one layer of the vaster worlds of spirit and all the beings that also exist betwixt, between, and beyond, and underneath.

This path is not for the faint of heart. It is painful and real but magical and mysterious. Nothing feels more natural than living in conversation with the wind and in communion with the animated universe.

We should take our place amongst the ancestors, spirits, and beings of this earth. Dedicated to the becoming, to the spiraling back into unity; only to have it all spin out wildly once again. Ecstatically dancing across the great web of God’s creative impulse to know herself.

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