What Does It Mean If You Dream About Spiders? It Doesn’t Symbolize What You’d Think

Derek Croucher/Photodisc/Getty Images

Our subconscious minds can come up with a lot of terrifying stuff, that's for sure. Scenarios involving our teeth falling out, accidentally going in public naked, or even straight up dying are common stressors in the dreamworld — but perhaps one of the more terrifying dream guests happen to be a fixture in most of our waking lives too: Spiders. In fact, studies show that 100% of us actually share our homes with a spider, so yeah, they're around. Trippy, huh? That said, it's not surprising that having dreams about spiders is a pretty common phenomenon. Obviously, spider dreams aren't usually pleasant, especially given that humans apparently have an innate fear of spiders. But dreaming of an eight-legged creeper isn't always a negative thing.

In cultures around the world, spiders are rich with symbolism and meaning. Given their incredible ability to weave intricate, perfectly-constructed webs, they're known as creators —and therefore represent divine feminine energy (women are the creators of the world, after all!). They also represent knowledge and creativity: "Their bodies are shaped like the number 8 and they have 8 legs, symbolising infinite possibilities of creation," explained Shamanic Journey on its site. Stories about spiders are commonly found in folklore, and they're thought of as spiritual by some. In other words, these strange little creatures that most of us loathe sharing our homes with are actually a topic of great fascination and mythology.

Almost all of us will be visited by a trusty arachnid in a dream from time to time, but what the heck does it mean as far as dream symbolism goes? Here are some common interpretations of spider dreams that might give you some insight into why these creepy crawlers are slinkin' their way into your subconscious as you try to grab some Zzzs.

Major Feminine Energy

Spiders certainly represent feminine power, and that extends to the dreamworld, too. "When you dream of spiders, chances are that it refers feminine energy in your life," explained Spirit Animal on its site. "This dream symbol could represents a woman you know or your own connection with qualities usually considered as feminine, such as receptivity, patience, creativity." The site advises you pay attention to your reaction to the spider in the dream. If you're afraid of it or repelled by it, it may mean you're repressing feminine energy of some sort in your waking life — whether that means within yourself or from another person. If it's a nonthreatening presence, it could symbolize a spirit animal or totem that's bringing feminine energy your way.

Manipulation Alert

Spiders are masters when it comes to weaving a complex web — but remember, the purpose of that web is to sneakily catch their prey. That said, if you see a spider (and especially a spider web) in a dream, you'll want to examine your life to see if you're in the midst of getting stuck in (or weaving!) a sticky trap of your own. "[S]piders are associated with manipulation," explained Cynthia Richmond, author of Dream Power, in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Depending on the rest of the dream, the spider may indicate that the dreamer is being manipulated or that the dreamer is the manipulator." Analyze the situations that are weighing on you to suss out whether your subconscious is trying to alert you to some manipulation taking place in your own life.

Toxic Forces In Your Life

If you dream about a poisonous or particularly threatening-seeming spider — or if you dream of having spiders crawling all over you, which is a common one — it could indicate that there's a threatening force in your life that's compromising your well-being or safety. That could be a substance that's being used in excess, or "that a relationship, career or person has turned bad," explained Richmond to Huffington Post. As for spiders crawling on you, Hack To Sleep explained the symbolism: "In this instance, the spider represents negative influences in your life that are difficult to rid yourself of, such as addictions, habits, or people that give negative emotional, mental, or physical impacts on your life."

A Spark Of Creativity

As mentioned earlier, spiders are often associated with creativity. "A web is an artful construct," wrote Exemplore on its site. "Like the plot of a story, it requires both a birds-eye-view of the larger picture and a microscopic attention to detail." That said, seeing an ever-creative spider in a dream could mean you've got some creativity within yourself that you'd like to express. It could also represent a current or upcoming creative venture that's heavily on your mind. Take the spider as a symbol to move forward and pursue your creative goals with patience and an eye for detail.

Looming Anxieties

If you've ever had a spider descend upon you from above, dangling in the air on their invisible cord and getting way too close for comfort, then you know that experience is basically the epitome of anxiety. And what if it happens in a dream? Well, same deal — it likely means you're anxious about something that's looming over you. "Dreams about spiders hanging over you is a sign it is time to address these insecurities," explained Hack To Sleep. "Alternatively, the hanging spider can represent unfinished business." Think of a spider dropping in on your dream as being a reminder to deal with your anxieties and not keep shoving them aside. You don't want anything — spiders or stressors — looming over you like that.

Making Progress On Your Goals

Spiders, being ever-so-patient and, of course, gifted with the magic of web weaving, are masterful in accomplishing their goals. So if you see a spider crawling along in a dream, it might represent the fact that you're making progress on goals of your own. "In your dream, if the spider is crawling up a wall, it means that you are moving forward in your personal and professional life, and succeeding in a goal you are pursuing," wrote Hack To Sleep. "If the spider struggles on the way up, it could mean that you are hitting roadblocks along the way and need to persist or try new tactics." Take a dream like this as a sign that you should make like a spider and keep on truckin' when it comes to your IRL dreams.