Spiders have been part of human lore and mythology for thousands of years and are creatures with the rare ability to simultaneously invoke fear, fascination, wonder, and even admiration! Greek mythology tells of Arachne, a girl so confident in her weaving ability that she challeged the goddess Athena to a contest. Arachne won and so angered Athena that Arahne killed herself! Athena made amends by turning Arachne’s body into a spider so she might weave for eternity the most beautiful webs with the finest silk. Spiders belong to the class Arachnida – so named in honor of Arachne.
Humans have fostered an arm’s length fascination of spiders. Some view them as omens of death and symbols of evil; yet paradoxically, they have been interpreted as good luck by many cultures when found in certain locations or at certain times of the day.
To many American Indian cultures, spiders are endowed with power and mystery and are part of many of their legends. Some believe that spiders can fortell or even influence the weather. Others are convinced of their medicinal value.
Most people have an inherent fear of spiders. While this is usually limited to a general, strong dislike of them, some people have an intense fear that can cause them to alter their lifestyle or habits so as to avoid even the remotest possibility of contact with spiders. Aside from snakes, spiders typically rank as the second creature most feared by humans.