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Spider Shamanism and Hedge Riding


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#1 ClockworkGhost

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 05:20 AM

Hello,

I am in the process of developing a paradigm involving my favourite fear, spiders. Living in New Zealand, I hardly ever see large spiders. Yes, we have them, but they mostly hide underground and are seldom seen. We only have one poisonous spider, two if you count a few black widows who reside around the ports, and quite a few white tails that aren't so much poisonous as simply very annoying.

I have always loved spiders, but remain afraid of them due to popular culture painting them so unfairly. Recently I have found myself deeply drawn to them, so much so that I have begun to incorporate them into my daily practice. Having done a lot of Hedge Riding in the past, I've begun to project into what I believe the realm of spiders to be like - a secret world, of hidden places, so dark and warm. Recently I had a major success when I felt my whole form turn into a pillar of spiders, each spider then scuttling away to somewhere in the room. Seeing out of so many eyes was fascinating, to say the least.

In honour of my new paradigm I've commissioned an occult jeweller to make me a spider pendant. It will be made out of silver, a locket holding a red jasper, the stone held in place by a silver spider. I will post images of this beautiful pendant once it has been made.

Edited by ClockworkGhost, 18 February 2015 - 05:21 AM.

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#2 Roanna

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:26 AM

How very interesting - I do a lot of work with spiders and really enjoy hearing how other people incorporate the spider into their path.
Do you have any pet spiders in your home and have you ever tried using spiders for divinatory purposes?

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#3 Caps

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:47 AM

I'm incredibly connected with/to animals in general, but spiders have always been a bit of a mystery to me. We have a plethora of spiders in my area, most aren't terribly large but we do host Latrodectus mactans here...a rather large black widow, the largest one I believe. In fact, they seem to be extremely common. I don't think much of it but people who live in areas without them would probably have terrible fear just seeing ONE of them, having difficulty fathoming the idea that in areas of the world like mine there can potentially be dozens hidden in a pile of firewood. I see them all the time, year round in fact. Even if it's below freezing we can potentially bring them in the home stowed away on a log.

I've noticed that both their remains and their webs make for excellent baneful work.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:17 PM

I have to admit the title grabbed my attention immediately. Yet I have to wonder how using Spider magic / medicine / mythos / etc and the psychological / mythological inferences ties into hedge riding? I must forewarn I am equating hedge rider in the more European sense as a shamanic like practice where the worlds traveled to are both the physical plain we live upon as well as the upper and lower realms and the boundaries that separate them, ie the hedge notion. Would be interested to hear a further expounding upon how your using the term.
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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:19 PM

I'm incredibly connected with/to animals in general, but spiders have always been a bit of a mystery to me. We have a plethora of spiders in my area, most aren't terribly large but we do host Latrodectus mactans here...a rather large black widow, the largest one I believe. In fact, they seem to be extremely common. I don't think much of it but people who live in areas without them would probably have terrible fear just seeing ONE of them, having difficulty fathoming the idea that in areas of the world like mine there can potentially be dozens hidden in a pile of firewood. I see them all the time, year round in fact. Even if it's below freezing we can potentially bring them in the home stowed away on a log.

I've noticed that both their remains and their webs make for excellent baneful work.



Don't forget in many traditional Native American practices the actual web and spider itself were utilized in the creation of dream makers or similar type catchers of bad spirits, medicine, thoughts, etc. Just as the spider web catches flies, etc and then it released by the spider to create a new one so to where many dream catchers with the old webbing torn away after a bit though the spider itself of course remained to create a new web. Could be interesting though if the spider gave birth and you had lots of tiny spiders for a bit running around though.

edited to fix spelling error

Edited by monsnoleedra, 18 February 2015 - 12:38 PM.

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#6 Lilitia

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:20 PM

They do make for quite powerful baneful work, Caps. I (just about 2 days ago, actually) recently used a shit ton of spiderwebs, crushed and whole dead spiders, some egg sacs and other fun ingredients (graveyard dirt, dead German cock roaches, etc) as the guts for a poppet that I used in some curse work. The moon is black today so I will wrap things up. Fuck that bitch.

Anyway, back on topic. As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. We have these extra big ass spiders at my house, furry fucks that are brown and black. One jumped into my husband's mouth when he was asleep and he woke up crunching spider legs between his teeth. Gross. They are Carolina wolf spiders, and absolutely frightening to someone with a phobia. I love them :) We also have a Latrodectus mactans population here, and one bit my son on his junk last summer. We had to take him to the hospital. It was a nightmare, for him mostly I'm sure (he was 5 at the time, but he never cried, not once), and now he loves spiders when he was super afraid before he got bitten. Go figure.

I absolutely love spiders and have several that just "hang out" with me in my house. Pretty stereotypical I know, but they are so cool.

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#7 Lilitia

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:26 PM

Hey mons that is a good call about the egg sac bursting, I wonder what will happen to my poppet now.... She will be over run with spideys. This is going to get interesting.
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My mama used to tell me 'bout these
Broke, poachin' ass bitches in these streets,
So many people wanna see me fall,
Invite me to the table but don't want me to eat at all.... ---- Z'Ro the Crooked

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:37 PM

RachelLiz, In some groupings it is still believed that ones guide or teacher will first attack them to determine if they are worthy of being taught. Some aspects of totemism also suggest that a person may find their various guides, power animals, totems, etc by being scared by the creature that has claimed them. In a way a minnie shamanic type illness or death depending upon the creature that "Attacks" them.

On a secondary issue shadow totems, guides, teachers, etc also will attack and make you face your deepest fears of a thing in order to overcome its lessons.

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#9 Lilitia

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:41 PM

That was similar to the thought I had about the widow that bit him. He has this attachment to spiders now, and something similar happened to me with a brown recluse when I lived in Houston. You are spot on with that one (as usual, lol).
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My mama used to tell me 'bout these
Broke, poachin' ass bitches in these streets,
So many people wanna see me fall,
Invite me to the table but don't want me to eat at all.... ---- Z'Ro the Crooked

#10 Eidolon

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:35 PM

I also have a love/fear of spiders. They are beautiful specimens. They often remind me of little fairies. I once had a pet tarantula named Steven. He would curl up in my hand and ride on my shoulder. Later in my life though I've become a bit afraid of them. They are all over the place here.

I usually make a deal with them to stay out of my bed and couch and they will be safe. It usually works! I hadn't thought of using them for magic though. Very interesting.

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#11 Eidolon

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:38 PM

That was similar to the thought I had about the widow that bit him. He has this attachment to spiders now, and something similar happened to me with a brown recluse when I lived in Houston. You are spot on with that one (as usual, lol).

I'm from Houston! Surprisingly the spiders are worse here. ( North Carolina )

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#12 ClockworkGhost

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:50 PM

How very interesting - I do a lot of work with spiders and really enjoy hearing how other people incorporate the spider into their path.
Do you have any pet spiders in your home and have you ever tried using spiders for divinatory purposes?


In regards to having actual pet spiders, I sadly do not. I have several resident spiders around my house who I talk to, but none that I would call a pet. Spiders in New Zealand tend to come in two varieties - small ones, usually Australian in origin, which turn up in wet towels or the corners of rooms, and quite big ones that reside solely in the wild. Unlike Australia, where every home seems to have a huntsman, New Zealand homes simply don't.

As for using spiders for divinatory purposes, that is definitely something I'm interested in exploring. This paradigm is still very much in its infancy, but will hopefully blossom in time.

I have to admit the title grabbed my attention immediately. Yet I have to wonder how using Spider magic / medicine / mythos / etc and the psychological / mythological inferences ties into hedge riding? I must forewarn I am equating hedge rider in the more European sense as a shamanic like practice where the worlds traveled to are both the physical plain we live upon as well as the upper and lower realms and the boundaries that separate them, ie the hedge notion. Would be interested to hear a further expounding upon how your using the term.


My apologies, I should have expanded on the hedge riding aspect. I personally use Eric De Vries as a primary reference to the history of the practice I follow, his book did come out after I began hedge craft but I find that De Vries is a much better source than the majority of material on the topic. Yes, I do feel he is a bit biased on his choice of god-forms, but having a non-fluffy approach to the topic that doesn't just lump kitchen craft and hedge craft into the same basket is great.
Being a Chaos Magician, I use a massive variety of other similar systems, but have combined all systems into a form of hedge riding - it is not the Trad Craft definition, but as I started the practice through my studies of Trad Craft everything else has merely become an extension of this practice. This can get confusing, as I will be using an astrally focussed paradigm with remote viewing parameters - two paradigms which should be mutually exclusive due to the nature of their way of actually viewing reality. I rationalise this combination through my studies of superstring theory, and the way that ten dimensional space has plenty of room for systems which are themselves so different to be adopted fully, and integrated into an eclectic approach.

In terms of spiders and hedge witchery, someone once told me that you are never more than seven feet away from a spider - they are simply everywhere. Assuming that spiders get into everything, and following a superstring approach to reality, we can assume that spiders must have an interdimensional element to them. This inter-dimensionality, along with the spiders ability to remain both unseen and undetectable, makes them a perfect tool for traversing the worlds, both seen and unseen. The magickal order I belong to uses an egregore called 'Ellis', which is simply a pet name for LS - the 'Linking Sigil'. Ellis' sole purpose is to weave a web across all reality and 'unite the worlds'. My avatar on this forum is my own personal LS, it is there to add the forum into the web so that the spiders can see this place and the magick can flow.

Edited by ClockworkGhost, 18 February 2015 - 11:59 PM.

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 02:01 AM

In regards to having actual pet spiders, I sadly do not. I have several resident spiders around my house who I talk to, but none that I would call a pet. Spiders in New Zealand tend to come in two varieties - small ones, usually Australian in origin, which turn up in wet towels or the corners of rooms, and quite big ones that reside solely in the wild. Unlike Australia, where every home seems to have a huntsman, New Zealand homes simply don't.

As for using spiders for divinatory purposes, that is definitely something I'm interested in exploring. This paradigm is still very much in its infancy, but will hopefully blossom in time.


My apologies, I should have expanded on the hedge riding aspect. I personally use Eric De Vries as a primary reference to the history of the practice I follow, his book did come out after I began hedge craft but I find that De Vries is a much better source than the majority of material on the topic. Yes, I do feel he is a bit biased on his choice of god-forms, but having a non-fluffy approach to the topic that doesn't just lump kitchen craft and hedge craft into the same basket is great.
Being a Chaos Magician, I use a massive variety of other similar systems, but have combined all systems into a form of hedge riding - it is not the Trad Craft definition, but as I started the practice through my studies of Trad Craft everything else has merely become an extension of this practice. This can get confusing, as I will be using an astrally focussed paradigm with remote viewing parameters - two paradigms which should be mutually exclusive due to the nature of their way of actually viewing reality. I rationalise this combination through my studies of superstring theory, and the way that ten dimensional space has plenty of room for systems which are themselves so different to be adopted fully, and integrated into an eclectic approach.

In terms of spiders and hedge witchery, someone once told me that you are never more than seven feet away from a spider - they are simply everywhere. Assuming that spiders get into everything, and following a superstring approach to reality, we can assume that spiders must have an interdimensional element to them. This inter-dimensionality, along with the spiders ability to remain both unseen and undetectable, makes them a perfect tool for traversing the worlds, both seen and unseen. The magickal order I belong to uses an egregore called 'Ellis', which is simply a pet name for LS - the 'Linking Sigil'. Ellis' sole purpose is to weave a web across all reality and 'unite the worlds'. My avatar on this forum is my own personal LS, it is there to add the forum into the web so that the spiders can see this place and the magick can flow.



I agree on the conflating of Hedge / Green / Kitchen witch and how they cross over upon each other at times, and the confusion / corruption is causes. I've seen a move of sorts for a bit trying to separate Hedge craft from Kitchen craft and calling it Wildcrafting though not in the sense that wildcrafting is normally used for herbs and such. Though in that regard a lot of what I was seeing for a bit was being driven by males who were especially trying to break away from the kitchen / Green witch influence. Moving Hedge riding back into a more shamanic influenced practice than a witchcraft type inspired practice.

For me spiders have to be sorted by the type of web's they weave and how they inter-relate with the environment. Consider the basket spiders and their webs are far different than those who spin the spiraling webs between branches, grasses, etc. Those still different from your typical house spider, jumping spiders or trap type spiders. So while there are spiders all about us I see it closer to the notion that its like the various semi-divine, elementals, etc who surround us as well and how they are part and parcel of this world but it does not give them a world walking capacity. Connected to the various plains for sure though through differing conduits and processes but not specifically able to cross or leap from one to the other.

Personally I think the aspect of equating the spinning spiders to the fates, norms, Grand Mother Spider, etc as weaving the tapestry of life and ones life events greatly diminishes the influence spiders have. Figure the web by usage does nothing to tell the persons life, only their ability to be trapped or encumbered by things. So does it then suggest their life is cut, placed and weaved into the tapestry or does it suggest they pass semi-unaware through life thereby trapped and held until wasted away? Figure in many aspects the web is all about ensnaring and why it is used to collect bad thoughts, omens, actions, etc while allowing the good things to pass through the tunnel like opening which could be the vortex I suppose. Perhaps even indicative of the grasping nature of the physical and its ability to trap and ensnare you as you seek the spiritual avenue to pass through.

So are we the fly who blindly goes into the web only to be ensnared and trapped with a small chance of escape? Are we the wind and spirit that passes through the physical to discover the higher reality of the physical plain as well as the dimensional notion of a celestial / chthonic root and umbrella / canopy?
For me personally spider tells me the physical is composed of many layers and there are entanglements and snares all through out it. Yet the biggest entanglement is almost always physical and avoidable if we are aware but our awareness can not be directed upon a given type of web for the keepers of the web are many and utilize many ways to teach, humiliate or devour us in our journey / life. In essence it is not the destination that tricks and traps us but the journey through the web and the clutter we attach to ourselves or collect before us. Our fates, lives are not spun upon the tapestry or web only our choices and the outcomes of those choices.

So if I have free will then the tapestry / web is the realm I walk through. If I have no choice and it is all set then it is still the realm I walk through but my control and influence over it is the illusion.

Sorry went off into a side drift there.

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#14 Caps

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 02:49 AM

In terms of spiders and hedge witchery, someone once told me that you are never more than seven feet away from a spider - they are simply everywhere. Assuming that spiders get into everything, and following a superstring approach to reality, we can assume that spiders must have an interdimensional element to them. This inter-dimensionality, along with the spiders ability to remain both unseen and undetectable, makes them a perfect tool for traversing the worlds, both seen and unseen. The magickal order I belong to uses an egregore called 'Ellis', which is simply a pet name for LS - the 'Linking Sigil'. Ellis' sole purpose is to weave a web across all reality and 'unite the worlds'. My avatar on this forum is my own personal LS, it is there to add the forum into the web so that the spiders can see this place and the magick can flow.

========

Without saying too much, in terms of my viewpoints of hedge riding, I'd say you're spot on with it.
I'll be pondering some interesting thoughts about spiders for many days now.

"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#15 RoseRed

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:28 PM

My avatar on this forum is my own personal LS, it is there to add the forum into the web so that the spiders can see this place and the magick can flow.


It did long before you brought your sigil here.

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#16 Aurelian

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 08:04 AM

Ever heard of myrk riding? One of the forms one would use is a spider....

...and it's not shamanism....

....and it's not a new paradigm...

GL with your experiments, but you're not reinventing the wheel.

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"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning." - Cormac McCarthy

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 05:00 PM

Ever heard of myrk riding? One of the forms one would use is a spider....

...and it's not shamanism....

....and it's not a new paradigm...

GL with your experiments, but you're not reinventing the wheel.



Have to admit I had not heard the term Myrk Riding and there is not a whole lot easily available on the net it seems. Yet the few items I did find seem to equate it to a form of shape-Shifting or Shift-Shaping and using that form to journey. As such it is not shamanism nor a new paradigm though it often is found within shamanic like practices.

Figure in Shape-shifting one changes the mental and perhaps physical state of themselves and becomes that which they shape-shift into. For most instances where I've done this is always on the physical plain and might include various items to help achieve and attachment to the creature. Such as a regalia composed of various animal parts or physically trying to experience things as the creature itself would by walking, drinking, sniffing, etc.

In Shift-Shaping one changes the mental and perhaps spiritual body to journey as the creature and experience the world via its form. Most often I've seen that one done via mind altering substances or conditions, something like sensory deprivation for instance, and become the creature in question. I've seen spider used a lot in this method as it can spin its web and step upon the larger web or tapestry and scuttle about and then drop down where ever it desires. There also tends to be a lot of anamorphic changes under this usage.

I am assuming that is what your suggesting when you say Myrk Riding but would appreciate any thoughts, articles or discussions on it you might be aware of.

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#18 Aurelian

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 08:42 PM

Hmm. Yeah it's really kind of a bitch to find info/lore on some of these things. Will see if I can recall any references...if I can, I'll pm you....
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"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning." - Cormac McCarthy

#19 fallenklown

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 09:34 PM

I would also enjoy hearing more about my riding if you don't mind Aurelian
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