When I was a kid, I had a cousin named Eric who adored creepy crawly things. The only thing he loved more than all of his critters was making everyone else uncomfortable with them. If you were willing to hold his snakes, geckos, rats etc, then you were cool. If you weren't, he would harass you with them until you were. Every one of his critters was named Leroy. He pronounced it in various ways. Heavy on the Leeeee-roy. A subtle Lee with an accented Roy. Leroy, but in an Australian accent. You get the gist. He was a weird and wonderful kid that was a lot of fun to be around. Eric was killed in a car accident when he was 17. The world lost a beautiful, eccentric, incredible soul.
I learned a lot from Eric as a kid. One of the gifts that Eric gave me was a tolerance for spiders. He had a tarantula that he was constantly packing around. It was not uncommon to see him just watching TV with the tarantula sitting on his chest or climbing his head. If you wouldn't hold the spider you were ridiculed and teased. I idolized Eric and really wanted to be cool enough for him. Obviously, that meant that I had to hold the spider.
It was incredible to me how the tiny toenails of the tarantula would anchor in the pores of my skin as it walked from hand to hand and up and down my arms. Leroy and I bonded and I was no longer afraid. That was not enough for Eric however, who was determined to test my bravery. He insisted that I lay down on the floor and allow Leroy to walk on my face. There was no way that I was going to fail the cool test and so I did indeed lay down on the living room floor and allow Eric to put Leroy on my face Leroy scampered around my face for a few minutes, his toenails anchoring ever so subtly in the pores of my cheeks and forehead. I managed to get through it without a whimper or grimace. After that, I was able to see spiders in a completely different light, with no fear. What a gift.
The thing is, spiders are powerful medicine. They are typically seen as female energies. With their web weaving capabilities, they are inherent creators. Spiders are resourceful and capable of taking care of themselves and creative ways. We could learn a lot from them. For some reason though, it tends to be human nature to be frightened of them. I believe that much of that is conditioning. if your mother was afraid of spiders perhaps you will be as well and so on and so forth.
My challenge to you is that you evaluate your own feelings about spiders. Could you hold a tarantula today? If not, Perhaps you could at least observe a tarantula and breathe with her and give yourself a moment to feel her powerful ancient energy. We tend to fear what we don't understand and if we could understand the energy of the spider better, perhaps much of that fear would be dissolved.
The next time you encounter a spider, whether it is in your bathtub or in the great outdoors, take a moment to reach your consciousness out to theirs. Allow yourself to feel their energy. Sure, your skin might crawl a bit and the hair may stand up on the back of your neck. That's okay. You are feeling something different than you. Feel their energy. Ask them questions if you can. But don't be afraid. Be curious!