Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sixteen Gateways - Spider (part 2).

In recent years I’ve often come across people who hesitate to make choices and act on them because they are afraid of conflict or consequences. It was infuriating to watch JP for example literally stand paralyze over initiations dealing with silence and generosity.

How difficult is it to sit still and listen? 

Too many people need to constantly fill “the silences” in a conversation because they are afraid of what they will find or feel within the dead moments.  With living in a community setting for over a decade I learnt fairly quickly how important it was to become confortable with silence alone and with others.  It takes self-awareness and presence to be able to share silence with others and not feel overwhelmed or uneasy.   I’ve always found that you can learn more about someone by listening to them through silence rather then focusing on their words. 

At the convent as I was growing up, the sisters often encouraged periods of silence.  Quite a few students struggled with the idea of “not talking” during the lunch period or even during class. It was always the same pupils who would end up in retention.  Personally I always enjoyed “silence”.  It always allowed me to focus on my thoughts and feelings; and sort them out.  I always understood this “retreat time” as catering to my inner garden.  I saw it as praying; working on myself; and listening or gathering knowledge about the world around me.  As I learnt about the Medicine Wheel, I came to understand this “silent experience” as the Spider gateway.

No doubt the Spider is a lot about FEAR but it’s also about “the garden experience.”  It’s about self-discovery.  What defines us? What challenges us? And how do we react to the World around us? 

It took JP a few years before she finally understood that all she needed to do was to trust and jump; commit to the experience.  When KT started school she came home with math homework one night.  She sat on the couch with her math book on her head. 

We looked at her curiously and asked: “What are you doing?”

She replied: “Waiting for the math to go into my brain.”

We laughed so hard that it actually hurt KT’s feelings at first.  We had to lovingly explain to her that she needed to open the book; dedicate to the learning; and practice some abilities in order to master the math.  She was angry and frustrated at first because she had expected it to be easier and magical.  So many people expect to have everything figured out even before they’ve dedicated to learning and healing.  Too many fears these days about not wanting to look foolish or being inadequate.  We don’t want to be humiliated or embarrassed.  We want for people to be impressed with us even before we’ve earned the experience.

I notice that FEAR is often about a lack of self-esteem, insecurities and a lack of fate.  Fear often comes about when we start trusting the words and experiences of others over our own.  Ironically many of JP’s fears were tied to upbringing or conditioning. 

How many of us believe that “if we can’t trust what our parents, our religion or cultural upbringing have taught us we are lost?”  Too many people believe that their identity depends on what others see in them or expect of them.  So many people cling to conditioning and fear the unknown so much so that they are willing to persecute and destroy it…

When children start screaming at the sight of spiders most parents will rush in with a shoe and squash the insect; teaching their kids that whatever scares them has to be horrible and has to be killed.  I always showed CT and KT how to remove the spider with the help of a sheet of paper and a glass; and free it outside. 

“Get creative” I used to say, “and find ways to explore your fears and move beyond them.”

It seemed important to teach the kids to understand that we are the makers of our fears.  We should take responsibility for our own creations and be careful not to hurt or destroy the innocent.  At camp CT would often get upset when kids or camp coordinators would kill spiders.  It would remind his peers that the humans were the real intruders when out in nature. 

It’s so important to shift perspective when fear takes hold of our lives.  When I was growing up my mother struggled with agoraphobia. She was unable to leave the house and often had panic attacks at the thought of being home alone.  Whenever she found herself in a situation where she couldn’t control the events she would get anxious, aggressive and irrational.  It would be impossible to calm her down and too many times it would shift into a traumatic and dramatic affair.  When I think of the Spider gateway I can’t help but refer to this part of my life. 

My mother’s anxiety disorder had a huge impact on my life.  I believe it affected my sister, my brother and me very differently.   This is one thing I often repeat to my students when we explore the Spider gateway.  What scares one person many not frighten another.  The focus should never be on the SPIDER (fear); but more so on the web (the impact it has on the world) it weaves. 

As a child my paternal grandmother was a huge fan of horror movies.  On Halloween she would dress up as a Dracula and pretend to suck our blood.  My grandmother loved to tell stories; which would scare us.  She talked about alien attacks and possessions; and managed in many instances to make us believe in these horrible stories.  I think most of my childhood fears came from my grandmother.  I look back fondly at these memories because my grandmother was an interesting character and she left a memorable impact. 

I think that fears are part of growing up and even crucial to our upbringing.  It always boils down to how we react to fears and what we do with them.

P.S. There are so many different ways to explore the SPIDER.  I’ve shared a few perspectives; but I’m curious about YOURS.  Take a moment to comment on this blog entry by sharing some of your SPIDER story.


Christy said...

My biggest fear right now is driving. And I'm seeing it as a big challenge for me this blue moon. Because I'm going to have to drive to be able to follow the path I want to. People who enjoy driving I just don't understand. I only do it if I have to and it's a white knuckle experience all the way. I'm terrified of getting into a crash or hurting someone else. I really don't know where this comes from because I've never had a traumatic experience with could be the lack of experience, the unknown that I am scared of.

One thing that confirmed for me that this will be a challenge for the blue moon, was that Ryan, my Fiance, bought a car recently. It is a manual drive and I don't know how to drive a stick. He tells me that I absolutely have to learn and he will help me. Part of what scares me is that I absolutely have no idea how it all works, how a person can coordinate everything involved in driving a stick shift. Thank god Ryan is so reassuring to me and tells me we will do it out in the country where there is no one to hit and I can go as slow as I want to get the hang of it.

All I can tell myself, and tell other people when we talk about it is that I just have to experience it to understand's the fact that I have never done it before that causes the fear.

Thanks Lisa, this blog really put a great perspective on it all for me...It doesn't feel all looming anymore...but I am still a little scared ;)

Lisa F. Tardiff said...


I really hope you confront your fear...
The experience will most definitely reveal to you -- the story behind the fear.
Healing is behind all of this -- I'm sure.


Christy said...

I really hope I get my manual driving lessons in before the Blue Moon. I want to get at it.

Thanks again Lisa!

Jen said...

I really am seeing that fear is a huge gateway that is connected to the gates I'm looking to cross. Whenever I look at my gates, a lot of points of fear come up. I'm getting better and better at looking at and looking past the fear. What is it? Why is it in place? What does it stem from. What has it served and does it still serve? Has it evolved? Etc.

Once I can answer one or more, or all of these questions I can move past the fear.

It's helping me a lot to really look at my gates and what they are calling me to do.


Lili said...

I am learning to move past many fears. I Know it is through meeting you and attempting to understand the teachings that I am able to do this. Thank you.

When I read of KT and her math it makes me think of DJW, he has a tough time with some things. We are still working on things but I see improvements. He teaches me so much by how he is.

When I was 6 or 7 I recall my Dad having a reaction to a spider. It was running across the stone fireplace, he was calling to my Mum to get rid of it.
I have been working on this since I fell pregnant with SWW. I recognised that it was an irrational fear and I did NOT want my son to carry it because of my reaction....didnt quite happen.
Still I have an initial reaction to spiders, but now the story is somewhat differnt, instead of staying in reaction I make a decision. Do I want to move it? Why?

The same day, before I read your blog, I had been watering my plants in the conservatory. As I watered I noticed a spider run out of the pot and cling to the edge of the pot whilst the water was sipped by the plant. I sat and watched it. It wasn't harming anything, infact, I had disturbed it. As I stood watching, I noticed a whole load of cobwebs inbetween the stems at the base and inside perhaps two or three other spiders. It made me shudder, although none of them were moving. I thought, who are they harming? I'll leave them. I checked myself to see if it was a cop out and thought nah, I'm all right with them.
I walked away to get more water for my other plants and I noticed the spider that had been clinging to the pot was now exploring the table where my sons coat and clothes sat.
I made a decision, it would have to go. SWW definitely does not like spiders. I couldnt just leave it to wander around his stuff. I got some tissue and it crawled onto it. I placed it in the garden instead.

This would not have happened a few years ago.

I also had a dream the night before reading this blog.

I saw three doors, it was a public bathroon. It was dimly lit and I didnt know what was behind the door. I decided to walk through it, even though I thought there was something creepy the other side. I went through the door and sat down on the toilet and faced a door that had lots of spiders on it. There was only a reaction of oh! no reaction of fear as such.
In the past there has always been a reaction of fear, in regards to spider, in my dreams.

I wonder if this stems from an experience I had in the garden recently. The sun was actually shining, and as I sat next to the family wheel I noticed that spider had built a web right across where the family wheel sits.
She sat in the centre and it all just looked perfect, I could make out where she had joined her web and made sure I didnt break it. As I sat and looked around I could make out lots of strands all over the garden, really long strands that were highlighted by the sun. It looked really pretty and made me think just how awesome it is to witness something like that.

I am really learning to appreciate so many different things. Especially since looking at the gates.
Thanks again Lisa, GREAT blog.


Lisa F. Tardiff said...


Thank you for sharing your story about SPIDER in your life and family life.
Loved it. It's great that you were able to move from FEAR to GRATITUDE.

The gates bring us to the Dream Time where we learn and heal.
It's amazing how much we can get from crossing the gates.
I love the way your story showed us how much you can get by crossing the Spider gateway.


Gypsymoon said...

At the last blue moon, unbeknownst to me at the time I was being given an option to cross the spider gate. I was at a pivotal cross roads in my life, deep in drug addiction and having just asked spirit to save me, I was sent a very spiritually intune potential lover. Shortly into the relationship I wanted to give this man a gift. I found a dagger that spoke to me, but had to choose between a spider emblem or a dragon emblem. After what felt like hours of weighing the decision I chose the dragon. Upon giving him the gift a tear escaped his eye as he asked why I chose the dragon. I was dumbfounded that he even knew I had been given a choice. That was the beginning of the end of our relationship.

As I spun further into addiction, going deeper into the darkness of the underworld, my realtiy became very blurred. I claim this to be my most magical time in my past where my thoughts were created on instant, unfortunately due to addiction those thoughts were very unrealistic.

The light came to me again not to long ago and I found my way back to this world. After being back and clearheaded I met a man, whom dumbfounded me once again, when entering his personal space for the first time, was a huge prominent dragon ornament on his wall. Flashbacks to my dragon choice blazed my mind. For the past year and a half I believed this was the choice, that guy or this one. I see now how simple my mind is and how much greater the web actually is.

I chose the Lizard last blue moon. I chose to conjure up my nightmares first, instead of walking through my fears. As I come upon this blue moon, I am seeing spiders more then I ever have in the past. My mind would go to the man that I identified as a spider, I see how limited I have been. I am being given another chance to learn who I truly am, I am being given a chance to embrace the spider!

Writing that I feel sick with fear. So ironic is the way our emotions work, the lizard should bring more fear to my mind then getting a chance to release my low self esteem and stand in my own power. Ass backwards, I am!! :)

Thank you for the clarity Lisa!!

annie jackson said...

* I too have taught my children how to remove spiders peacefully. It is harder for my girl, but my boy will get right in there.
I am exploring Spider in my wheel. My essence I believe? I am wanting to speak about the similarity with spider and vampire. Both need the sweet juices of their victims, and love to spin webs for trapping.
looking at fear and what I do with it. I have an upcoming graduation that I am "scared" of attending. But I know deep inside, it is a beautiful moment for my family and myself. I just need to push through that fear of what people are thinking of me. I sincerely DO NOT like being the center of attention! Nope Nope Nope!