RHEA SEREN PHILLIPS ponders the superstitions surrounding spiders!

Dear Arachnophobes,

A fear of spiders, academically known as arachnophobia is one of the most common known phobias in the UK, but despite their bad reputation these creatures have a long history of being revered and worshipped.

If you wish to live and thrive, let a spider run alive.” – Old English nursery rhyme.

The modern adaption of spider superstition could very well be a quick lesson in ethics.

Let’s face it, love them or hate them, they’re ugly little things. It has been said that if you want to judge a person see how he or she treats their inferiors.

It’s the ultimate test of character, to kill it mercilessly or to gentle put it outside?

Many people opt for the latter, but how you treat this small creature could very well bring you good or bad luck.

This article will give you a fantastic excuse to actual read that bulky book, minus the old spider skeletons of course, and to label a dusty jar ‘for spider use only’.
Spider

Bad luck to kill a spider superstition

The killing of a spider, accidentally or otherwise, is widely believed to bring bad luck to the house and individual, despite this there are very little superstitions that believe spiders to be the bearer of bad news.

There are many stories of spiders acting as protectors and facilitating the hopes of many historical figures.

The most famous (probably) is a bible story that takes place during the massacre of first-borns ordered by King Herod in search of the young Jesus.

Frantic Mary and Joseph entered a cave which was promptly covered by a large web by a nimble spider, hiding them from view of King Herod’s men.

Britain has its own superstitions woven from stories of Kings and witches.

Robert de Bruce (King of Scotland in the 1300s) with his brother executed and his queen held captive in his own castle, was considering admitting defeat during a long night seeking shelter in a stable.

That was until he spied a persistent little spider on one of the wooden beams above him attempted to weave a web.

The spider was trying to swing itself to the other beam, failing on the sixth swing Robert de Bruce watched with growing interest having failed in his fight against the English on his sixth battle.

He vowed that if the spider failed upon the seventh try, he too would relinquish all hope.

The spider steeled itself and swung, successfully crossing that little gap before beginning to spin its web. Robert de Bruce in 1314, after eight long years of fighting, finally defeated the English and regained his crown.

From the miraculous to the ordinary, the money spider is one of lives regular occurrences.

A tiny version of hope and fun for many this little cretin is said to bring with it financial success, but people believing the lottery won for that week then remove the spider from their person.

In fact to keep the good luck you must leave the spider upon you, although in regards to the health of the spider I think I know what he’d prefer.

If you are unlucky enough to harm a spider during your travels around your house or local area, just remember this little saying: “Kill a spider, bad luck yours will be until of flies you’ve swatted fifty-three.”

If nothing else it makes for an interesting summer’s afternoon, although the promotion of killing animals, however disease-ridden is questionable.

Whether the spider is hanging over your head or dangling from a thread above the floor before scurrying back up to the rafters never to be seen again, you can be sure that good luck will follow.

That little fright of seeing one run across the carpet of an evening could potentially be predicting a few happy years, so put that book aside and let that little monster run alive.

RHEA SEREN PHILLIPS lives in Camarthenshire, Wales. 

Guest Writer
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