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The Ancient Belief of Spiders Bringing Good Luck

While it is so easy for someone who has Arachnophobia to think of spiders as agents of bad luck, history thinks otherwise. In the early 1900s, spiders are believed to bring good luck and fortune. For this reason, popular greeting cards and post cards sold in this era depict different designs with spider as accents. A book published in 1923 by a famous English author named Elizabeth Villiers even labelled the spiders as a "popular Roman design" which is usually engraved in precious stones used to decorate jewelleries and clothes. It was further stated in Villiers' book that spiders are used to symbolize good trade of metals such as silver and gold. However, Villiers also noted that finding spiders at noon does not signify anything; but if the spider is spotted in the afternoon, the person might as well expect to receive a gift that increases in value depending on how late the gift was received. This belief has been supported by so many literatures written in this era, thus making it quite difficult to fully assess whether this is actually factual or not.

Well, of course, to a lot of professionals and amateur weavers and spinners around the world, spiders have always been thought of as lucky creatures primarily because of their natural skills in weaving. However, outside the spinning and weaving world, the association of spiders to fortune has been a result of the famous San Franciscan Club called The Bohemian Club which was founded in the early 1900s. This club has been known to be a popular place for successful local businessmen. The club symbol consists of a spider and the inscription "weaving spiders come not here"; this is probably the reason why many locals associated spiders with the rich and the famous or in simple words, the fortunate.

Villiers account on spiders bringing luck seemed to be supported by a popular verse written by a German mother during the early 1920s where the spiders are said to bring grief and sorrow when seen in the morning, joy in the afternoon and refreshment and nourishments when seen in the evening. It has been widely believed during this era that killing a spider can bring bad luck. This belief is still common among housewives nowadays. In fact, in many countries, many people still think that killing spiders can cause illnesses and other unexpected bad luck from happening.

Nevertheless, the explanation on The Bohemian Club seems to not be enough to explain why spiders have been related to money and fortune. Another popular explanation involves the spider web and its use to most spiders. According to ancient folks, spider webs can resemble the household of a person and the insects caught in the web are all the good opportunities that come to a household. It was believed that wearing an amulet that bears the symbol of the spider can mimic the same effect and attract money and good fortune into the wearer's household. This belief is quite common amongst the Europeans and the African-Americans. In fact, they have these magnetic lodestones used as necklace pendants. The lodestones are said to draw money into the wearer. In the same way, Mexicans also use horseshoe amulets engraved with spider designs to attract good fortune. Well, whether these amulets are indeed effective or not, only the wearers can tell.

As time progresses, the belief on the luck brought about by spiders slowly diminished. The rapid urbanization of most areas in Europe and United States has resulted to more practical options in attracting good fortune: hard work. However, in such a modern-day set-up, there are still those who remain to believe in the power of spiders to bring good luck. For example a popular computer wizard in United Kingdom was quoted to say that she belongs to a family that still holds on to the power of the black spiders to bring forth good fortune. In fact, she still calls them Money Spiders and she would even attest to the effectiveness of such spiders in drawing money into their households.

While it is still very difficult to trace how the association of spiders to money started, it is definite that this belief has been there since time immemorial. Whether this belief is completely based on hearsay and folklore or to some ancient facts, is still a question that can only be answered through further research and study of the past. For now, we can just all content ourselves with the fact that mankind have always been attached to spiders, in many different ways.

To many countries and cultures, spiders have been greatly associated to gods and goddesses. For example, the Romans and the Greeks has Arachne who happens to be a human so good at weaving that she has caught the wrath of Athena or Minerva. To the Native Americans, there's the Spider-woman goddess of the tribe Pueblo Indians who happens to symbolize good luck for the Pueblo Indians too. Now, it becomes clearer that the relationship between spiders and good luck might have rooted from the close connection of the spiders to the deities from the ancient world who are thought to bring good luck to their devotees. Again, whether this has some factual basis, we cannot really tell without spending enough time to study how the people both from the past and in this present age are actually affected by their beliefs.

Nevertheless, the most probable explanation why the belief on spiders bringing forth good luck has diminished in this generation is the increasing number of people who have developed fear of spiders. For some unknown reasons, over the past century, the number of people who has Arachnophobia has increased. Expert suspect that more and more people have become so afraid of spiders because negative mind conditioning. Spiders have been misrepresented in so many movies and other materials mostly seen by kids as they grow up. As a result, these kids grow up believing that spiders are indeed fearsome creatures and they unconsciously develop severe fear on spiders that eventually becomes Arachnophobia.
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