Funnelweb Spider – The Threshold*
Earth magic. Connection to the primal Goddess. Familiarity with darkness. Ground-weaving. Entrapment. Quick reflexes. Patience. Connection to Cthonic and underworld deities. The underworld. The threshold and doorways. Notoriety.
There are many species of funnelweb spider in Australia, predominantly found in the Eastern states. Funnelweb spiders seek humid locations in which to burrow and will occasionally hunt above ground at night. They are characterised by their dark colouring and glossy carapace.
Female spiders live for over 10 years, males less than a year (seeking to mate with many females in this time). The female defends her egg sac vigorously and when the eggs hatch, the spiderlings stay with the mother for around three months. The funnelweb spider is venomous, its venom being particularly affective against humans. Since the introduction of the antivenin, no deaths from the funnelweb spider toxin have been reported.
Lessons and Challenges:
The funnelweb spider warns against notoriety. Watch out for where your reputation is headed, or the reputation of those you may care about. Funnelweb spider is well-known and perhaps one of the most feared (if not the most feared) spider in Australia. When funnelweb spider is present, lessons or themes of notoriety are present too. Be careful of how you are presenting yourself to those around you, or alternatively, how they are interpreting you. Ask yourself if there is anything about you that scares or intimidates others, and if this is how you want to present yourself.
The funnelweb spider comes into our lives to emphasis a familiarity with darkness. Whether we are scared of the dark, or embrace it, trapdoor spider tells us that we must do more things in darkness. Not the darkness associated with night-time, but the darkness associated with being enclosed in walls, away from the stars. Consider meditating or making love in rooms that are dark. Consider going caving. Make yourself familiar with the dark. If you are frightened of the dark, trapdoor spider will force a confrontation with this fear, and assist you through it.
Funnelweb spider, like the trapdoor spider, is the ground-weaver, it teaches us how to remain creative whilst staying close to home, with our feet firmly on the ground. It also teaches us how to make the earth around us sing with creativity, consider endeavours like gardening and landscaping, or consider visiting a rock garden. Earth wisdom has entered your life if funnelweb spider has come to visit.
The funnelweb spider is one of the spider ancestors, though not the most primitive. It comes into our life to emphasise a connection to Chthonic and underworld deities, consider exploring deities in charge of ‘underground’ places, and the ancient, nameless deities that come from our magical history. Funnelweb spider also suggests that we should travel to the underworld more often, this might be literally – through activities like spelunking (caving), snorkelling etc. or it might be through visualisations and journeys. Tunnel and cave imagery will benefit you at this time.
The threshold, and doorway imagery will be particularly important at this time, and you may yourself feel that you are constantly at a spiritual threshold within your life. Funnelweb spider indicates that a plateau is at an end and it is time to move on to the next phase in certain areas of your life. When funnelweb is teaching this lesson, s/he can aid you to empower yourself and can be a very inspiring teacher.
All spiders indicate a connection to the goddess. If spider has come into your life, it indicates that the goddess, or the sacred feminine, is watching over you. With the presence of funnelweb spider, Chthonic or primal, ancient life and death goddesses are indicated.
All spiders come into our lives to suggest the theme of entrapment and entanglement. Spider as a guide can help us to get out of situations where the malicious intent of others to entrap or use us will do us harm, they can also teach us how to use entrapment for our own benefit. Sometimes you must be creative, and weave a web of opportunity for yourself.
All spiders teach the value of patience followed by quick reflexes. We must always wait for opportunity, but we must not grow so used to waiting that we cannot jump up and seize opportunity when it presents itself. Keep your mind honed and alert, and remember that you can’t have what you want all the time, though you can maximise your chances or finding opportunity by ‘spreading your web.’
The Shadow Aspects:
Those who specifically fear funnelweb spider may hold a strong literal or metaphorical fear of the ‘darkness.’ They may be unwilling to face their own inner predator, that lies in wait for opportunity, or they may find it very difficult to face complete darkness. These people may fear closed spaces, and may be claustrophobic. They will benefit greatly by working with funnelweb spider, to confront this literal or metaphorical fear.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Funnelweb spider can be contacted through visualisation methods that involve caves, the underworld, tunnels, or burrows. Likewise, its energy can also be evoked literally in ‘underground’ places. Funnelweb spider is quite a ‘primitive’ energy, and its presence alone is often enough to stir a deep knowing inside of us.
You may find that upon encountering funnelweb spider in a visualisation, you experience acute terror. This will pass. If you have the strength and patience to wait it out, the ‘reputation’ of funnelweb will move past you and the truer personality of this spirit will emerge. That said, funnelweb energy is never ‘easy’ to be around, but it is powerful, and teaches many necessary lessons.
* A lot of these lessons are sometimes identical to that of trapdoor spider, as these spiders are related to one another and live very similarly.