The motif of the spider as creator/creatrix is repeated all over the world. In many creation myths, it is the spider that weaves the fabric of the universe. However, the seeming fragility of the cobweb led to suppositions that what the spider made was, in fact, no more than the illusory veil of “reality” that the Vedic scriptures call Maya. The idea of spinning and weaving is also an attribute of the Fates, in both Greek mythology and in the Qu’ran. Native Americans called the spider the “Thinking Woman,” who has the power to both make the world and destroy it if it is not to her satisfaction. Because of its ability to move in different dimensions, the spider was used as a means of divination. The African bird-eating spider is particularly skilled in this art, apparently, and symbols are placed at the entrance to its home in such a way that the spider will disturb them as it enters and exits. These disturbances are interpreted as auguries.
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Animals main description
THE SECRET SYMBOLS OF THE ANIMAL REALM
This section not only encompasses real animals, insects, and birds, but also takes a look at some of the more fantastical creatures that occupy a significant space in our collective psyche. The attributes of all our animals, real or otherwise, give us an incredibly rich and diverse catalog of symbols. Sometimes, the reasons behind these symbolic meanings are due to historical misconceptions about the habits of certain creatures, and probably date back to a time when we were less well informed than we are now. These curiosities—such as the beaver being a symbol of chastity because of the notion that it would rather eat its own testicles than be captured—give us a delightful insight into the minds of our ancestors.