Almost two weeks ago I saw a shaman for a healing session called a soul retrieval. This is not a past lives reading or a psychic forecast. It is much simpler and more practical, concrete. It is the calling home of the little pieces of YOU that slide away over the course of time for better or worse.
During my session as I lay back comfortably, eyes closed I felt a big, black spider crawl up my left leg. Although my concious mind assured me it was not a reality I swatted it away three times. Even as my hand stirred from the table and brushed against my skin I knew there was nothing literally there. But, it was unmistakable. Furry black body with wiry legs, ambling crookedly over my calf toward my knee.
A number other intense experiences occured during the session but as I walked home in the twilight after the meeting I recognized that spider asone from a reoccuring childhood nightmare. I dreamed that the spider was coming to take away my mother. I was seven or so and I saw him looming just behind hetr. I saw her bright orange sundress, Dr. Scholls sandals with the navy buckle, and paisley bandana. Don't take my mother away, I would whisper. It was what my husband calls a dread dream. A bottomless pit of shadow filling my belly. It came again and again until- gone. Like that.
I reflected upon that image as I walked to my daughter over twenty years later... Then Sophia got a spider bite.
She had an absolutely horrendous (delerium, grinding teeth, tortourous pain) reaction. Her little hand swelled into a red boxers mitt, skin taut and leathery. I spend a night staring at her waiting for a fever that thankfully never came and listened to the pouring rain. It took several days to subside and then the telltale fang marks. Two dots tightly spaced , in the center of the front of her right hand.
I told a friend about all of this and she said she had mother/spider dreams as a child too. She told me that in our dreams a spider is believed to represent the mother. What does all this mean for us? For the web bewteen mother and daughter, daughter and mother?
Maybe I need to make a shrine to Spider Woman/Grandmother Spider, pronto. Maybe we all do.