I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
Stealing the Fire
This Goddess brings us to North America. Spider Woman, or Grandmother Spider, sometimes also called Thought Woman, is known in the mythology of several tribes, mainly in the South-Western regions of the United States like Hopi or Navajo, but also many others.
The Choctaw people, a tribe Native to the Mississippi and Tennessee region, tell the story of Grandmother Spider stealing the fire. The story goes that the People, animals and birds lived in complete darkness, as there was no light and no fire, and finally decided that they wanted to steal fire from the people of the East.
Several animals volunteered but failed. First, the Opossum tried to hide it in its bushy tail, but burnt his fur and thus gave the ruse away. To this day, he has no hair on his bare tail. Next was the buzzard, trying to hide the fire in the feathers on his head. But he burnt himself and to this day, all buzzards have bare, red and blistered heads. Craw came next. She was white then and could sing beautifully. But as she stood and looked into the fire for too long, trying to decide which piece to steal, the smoke-blackened her feathers and roughened her voice, so that crows are now black and caw.
At last, Grandmother Spider was allowed to try her luck. She formed a pot from clay, spun a net all the way to the East and tiptoed on her legs over without a sound. There she hid the fire in the pot of clay and covered it with a lid, returning in the same manner as she had come.
Upon her return, the council asked who would volunteer to be the keeper of the fire and all the animals were too afraid to hurt themselves when at last, a human volunteered. Grandmother Spider taught the People then how to keep a fire burning and contain it safely. At the same time, she taught them to fashion clay pots and weave, which she was an expert at. Therefore, Grandmother Spider is revered and respected in the Native tradition as a friend and helper of the humans, also being connected to dreamcatchers. Her fame reached all the way up North to Canada and down South to Peru and beyond.
In other Native American myths, Spider Woman is the Creator of all things and also known as Thought Woman. She is the stillness, the creative energy before it takes shapes or form. She is all-powerful, possessing a power that is beyond all imagination. She is the sharpest, most focused thought, the clearest vision, the one with power unimaginable.
One myth tells of the Web of Creation. It speaks of the strands that are interwoven and connect everything in this reality matrix. Thus, when one part of the web is touched, because everything is linked together so intricately, this touch at one end of the web will be felt and affect the web all the way to the other end.
Nothing exists by itself, unconnected on its own. Everything is part of Grandmother Spider’s Web of Creation.