People have mixed feelings about spiders. For some, they are ugly, scary insects. However, others cover bodies with spider tattoos, admiring them for the unique grace and beauty. Christians associated spiders with evil or sinful intentions. Spider embodied the devil that lures sinners into his web or a miser who sucks the lifeblood out of a poor man. The image of the spider in the Christian icons means a poison drink. It was thought in Europe that spiders were plague carriers. That is why people hated and were afraid of them.
It is no accident that Christian, particularly Russian, perception of spiders as symbols of steely cruelty, greediness, anger, magical skills and the ability to turn into werewolves was widely spread and used in prison tattoos. In jails or other places of confinement, each image of a spider had its own meaning and indicated a certain status. For instance, you can recognize a beginner thief if the spider is shown moving upwards. If the spider is moving downwards the web, it means that this person has left the thief's way of life (the spider tattoo is placed between index and long fingers). The drug addicts depict spiders within a web. Moreover, every year spent in prison is marked with a new line of a spider web tattoo. However, the spider is not always the evil symbol.
Since olden times spiders were associated with creativity, hard-work and wisdom in the myths of many nations. Spinning a web was connected with handicraft skills. It is forbidden to kill a spider, because it is considered to bring good news. Also the Spider is the symbol of the infinity, life cycle and harmony. For some African tribes the spider was the guard symbol and was treated as the creator of the Universe. Romans associated spiders with prosperity and a good destiny. It was also considered that the spider was a lord of fates and even the world, because it has eight legs that represent eight parts of the world. Spider always keeps guard and is aware about everything around it.
Such meaning of spider tattoos represents the wearer’s power over other people, the same as over the victim on the spider’s web. It also shows the aspiration to be in charge of the situation. In magic medicine people used spiders as the protection from different diseases. Native Americans thought of the spider as of a divine creature. They hanged the web over the baby’s cradle to protect it from any sort of harm.
The Jews believe that spiders saved Jesus from Herod’s cruelty. An image of the spider web, made as a spiral from the center of the web, symbolizes the supreme power of the Universe. Moreover, Hindu people, for instance, believed the web also had a meaning of a clue, including the meanings of a lifetime thread, fragility and fatality of the human existence. In the modern world an image of the spider is a symbol of:
Thoroughness and carefulness
Secrecy, modesty and practicality
Magic abilities and creativity
Development, progress, splash of energy and life
Belief in luck
The person who decided to have a tattoo must correspond to this sign. He has to be strong, hard-working, goal-oriented and have hidden leadership skills. Spiders can be pictured in many different ways: just a spider, a spider within a web, a spider with or without a cross on his body. Every image has its own meaning. For instance, a spider climbing down the web means luck and prosperity.
Also, the image patterns have many different styles, among which the most popular is Celtic. The main places to put a spider tattoos are forearms and shoulder-blades.