Skip to Content

Spider Symbolism: What Does It Mean to Dream About Arachnids?

Dreams often try to tell us something, and it’s up to us to discover what. But interpreting the hidden signs of our subconscious isn’t an easy task.

a black spider in its web with blurred black and white background.

That’s where we want to help by doing the research for you. Today we’ll go deeper into the spider dreams and examine their potential meaning.

The historical overview of the symbolism of spiders

Since ancient times spiders have been the focus of fears, mythologies, and stories of various cultures. 

The goddess Neith of Ancient Egypt was associated with the spider, as she could weave fate as easily as spiders spin their webs.

From Greek Mythology to African Folklore and Native American Lakota people, you’ll find depictions of spiders presented as tricksters or even creators of the universe (Nareau).

close up of a brown jumping spider with large black eyes.

Regarding psychological symbolism, Freud associated the spider with the fear of a mother figure. 

Although they’re patient, persistent, and intelligent creatures, venomous spiders did cause great fear, one we still carry from our ancestors (arachnophobia is believed to run in the family).

However, their remarkable ability to create a web of beautiful patterns does link them to creativity. Hence, a spider has always had a bit of both worlds in it – the good and mesmerizing and the bad and dreadful.

Spiders as a symbol of feminine energy

Spiders have always been associated with feminine power. Therefore when one appears in your dream, it can represent the feminine energy you’re withholding – creativity, patience, and receptivity.

Note that the energy doesn’t necessarily need to come from within you. The spider can be a certain woman you know, one that you fear and avoid. 

a dewy spiderweb strung between two flowers.

Try to reconnect to the feminine energy and understand it. If you’re suppressing something, take this as a sign to finally open up and be true to either yourself or the ones close to you.

Spiders as a symbol of manipulation

Spiders catch the prey using their sticky web. It’s their way of survival – hard work, patience, and continuance. Hence, if your dream includes spiders or spider webs in particular, then you’re probably stuck in life, like a little insect glued to the web.

Translated into reality, it means that you feel trapped in a certain job or relationship or manipulated by someone. The problem is you don’t know how to fix that.

Think about your past actions and how you’ve gotten to the point of potentially being manipulated. Know that manipulation is a slow process that usually happens without you being aware of it. 

However, the spider can also represent you. Have you used someone to gain benefits? Do you take advantage of your loved ones?

Examine your life, and finally, make the first step towards improving it!

Spiders as a symbol of a diminished sense of power

As said above, spiders were, and still are, connected to fear. Those who developed arachnophobia know how dreadful it is to see them both in your waking life and dreams.

However, when they do show up, disturbing the night, it might mean that you’re losing power in your waking life. You lack confidence and fear change.

a spindly black and yellow spider hanging from its web.

It’s normal to feel helpless from time to time, but learning how to rise from that state of powerlessness is what counts.

Spiders put in the time and create the web over and over again, no matter how many times it gets destroyed! And this is your sign to do exactly that. Put in the time to rebuild your life.

You need to regain your self-esteem and not let fears and anxiety run your life.

The symbolic meaning of different spider actions

Your dream can mean various things depending on the behavior of the spider. Was it crawling or biting you? Did you manage to kill the spider that’s haunting your dreams? 

To learn what certain spider actions represent, check our interpretations below.

Spider biting you

When you dream about getting bitten by a spider, it means you need to take a closer look at your friends and colleagues. 

It’s most likely that you feel betrayed or are about to get betrayed by someone you care for. Has somebody offended you or broken your trust?

dew drops on a spider web at sunrise.

As spiders are manipulative creatures, your dream may be a warning not to get caught in someone’s web. Be wary of people you’ve just met, and try to protect your needs first.

Related: What does it mean to dream about bees?

Spider crawling on you

According to Jung, a spider that’s crawling on you represents the dark side of your personality or the dark shadow of your soul.

No matter how much energy you put into maintaining your life, there’ll always be a part of your soul that wants to emerge and destroy what you‘ve built. Yes, we‘re talking about the dark side.

You most likely feel threatened by a certain aspect of your being. Addictions, bad habits, or bad people are quite hard to stay away from! 

Therefore a crawling spider might be a sign you shouldn’t surrender to the enemies within you! Try to fight them off, and learn how to deal with anxiety and doubt.

Killing a spider

Killing a spider in a dream might be a sign that you felt trapped in your waking life but somehow managed to escape the ‘imprisonment. ‘

That‘s a good thing – you faced your fears and overcame them!

However, killing multiple spiders might mean that you require constant protection. Do you struggle to feel secure? Are you anxious when you’re alone?

Try not to isolate yourself! Embrace the strength within you and be the fighter you were in your dreams.

Learn even more about the symbolism of spiders appearing in your dreams or in your life.

How to truly understand the meaning of spider dreams?

Learning the true meaning of a dream requires a deeper insight into ‘oneself’. Take a step away from your own life and try to examine it from a different point of view. Strive to be objective.

First, ask yourself if you fear spiders in general and consider them hostile. If you do, then your dreams are most likely tied to a certain problem or the unwanted part of your being. 

Related: What Are Dreams and Why Do We Dream?

Do you think they’re harmless and find them unique?

Do you admire the web that spiders create in such a short timeline? Do you consider that to be artistic and creative?

It’s important to understand the attitude you have towards spiders. Let that be your starting point since your perspective and mindset are the ones that carve your dreams.

Experiment with your thoughts and feelings and use dreams to understand the hidden parts of your subconscious better.