Scary, Venomous, Cute – The Spider Tattoo Guide You Were Waiting For

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If you are looking a spider tattoo, you probably want to scratch deeper into its meaning than the scary trope it usually falls into.

Maybe you have a pet spider or you’ve been fascinated with them.

And are they not supposed to fascinate you?

Spiders are featured in many legends, myths and folklores (into which we go into depth below), and they come in all shapes and sizes.

Arachnids can dangle from your ceiling or walk across your arm when you’re not looking.

Amazement or fear, it mostly depends on who you ask.

Regardless of your viewpoint, spider symbolism is one of effortless creation, weaving one’s destiny, flowing with the rivers of life, stepping into your personal power, and capturing opportunities that come your way.

Come with us on this journey around the world as we look into deep symbolism of spider tattoos!

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Every Tattoo Has A Story – Spider Tattoo Meaning

Let’s go deep into the spider tattoo meaning, and buckle up as there are many!

These scary little creatures, when used in custom tattoo designs, are commonly connected to Halloween tattoos.

The heavy usage of spiders in horror movies and stories of fatal bites has definitely solidified the spider’s connection to death, fear, survival and panic.

But, this major imbalance overshadows the creative, potent, and inspiring qualities of the spider.

One way to look at it is we think about the spider web tattoo meaning.

Spider are tireless web weavers, highly productive workaholics, and travelers of this world.

Forever optimistic, when one web is destroyed, they’ll quickly get to work building another one.

Additional, spider web tattoo meaning also focuses on not holding onto our creations too long either.

We often try to hold onto what we create but the spider spirit animal reminds us that we are free to create, destroy and rebuild as we please.

The spider is an ancient being, having inhabited the Earth for more than 300 million years.

In addition to being ancient, spiders live on every continent except Antarctica.

So, they appear in the mythologies and folklore of cultures around the world, just like their counterparts moths, butterflies, and bees.

Spiders represent effortless manifestation, unbelievable strength when faced with adversity, and the ability to remap our destiny whenever we wish to.

Here are some spiders features:

  • Creativity & Artistry
  • Female Empowerment & Energy
  • Manifestation
  • Ancient Wisdom
  • Strength
  • Courage
  • Interconnection
  • Perseverance & Patience
  • Shadow Self
  • Steadfast Guardians

In a number of ancient cultures, the spider is associated with weaving.

Some historians believe that human beings were inspired to create fishing nets and woven fabrics after watching spiders weave their webs.

To understand them better, and how they influence cultures around the world, we can look into this amazing guide:

  • Native American legends about Spider Grandmother. In these stories, the Spider Grandmother might live underground but she will come out when called upon to help people. For many Native American tribes, the spider represents an old wise woman.
  • The Aboriginal Australians’ myth of the “red-backed spider” (most likely the Australian black widow) or Kara. She is a female temptress who captures young men. The Aborigines also say that Kara is seen in the sky as Rigel, which is an especially bright star in the Orion constellation.
  • The Greek myth of Arachne. She is a maiden famous for her weaving. Arachne was so skillful in her weaving that the people in her village said she was even better than the goddess Athena.
  • The Celtic goddess Arianrhod. In Celtic mythology, the spider was also associated with weaving, and it was a fertility goddess who also ruled weaving and is consequently associated with spiders. Also, important to note that the spider was viewed as a helpful being. In fact, the Celts believed that killing a spider would bring bad luck.
  • West African and Caribbean deity Anansi. It ruled storytelling and wisdom. He was also quite cunning and enjoyed causing mischief. So, in Anansi culture, “spider tales” are like fables in that they are cautionary stories.
  • In Islamic culture  the spider is viewed as a protector. In one story, the prophet Muhammad and his father-in-law, Abu Bakr, are being chased by Quraysh warriors who wanted to kill Muhammad to stop him from preaching. On the run, Muhammed and Abu Bakr came across a cave in Thowr Mountain in Mecca. So, they hid there.
  • Spider protecting David in Jewish stories.  He hides from King Saul in a cave, and a spider weaves a protective web across the entrance to protect him.Generally, spiders were viewed favorably in Judeo-Christian stories.

Spider Color Symbolism

There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders, and they come in a stunning array of color combinations.

Besides the biological reasons for their different hues, many wonder what a spider in a specific color might symbolize.

Here are some spider color meanings:

⚫ Spiders that are black include: black widow, black house spider, black jumping spider, black mouse spider, and black tarantulas. The symbolism of the color black transpires into giving them the meaning of mystery, formality, elegance, and rebellion.

🤎 Brown spiders include: tarantulas, wolf spiders, the brown recluse, and many others. The color brown, color of wood and soil, and the Earth, is associated with groundedness, security, and stability.

🩶 The American house spider, the gray widow spider, and the cellar spider (also called daddy long legs) all come in gray hues. Gray is the color that stands between black and white, so it symbolizes balance as well as subtlety. In addition, gray is the color of mist and fog, so it symbolizes calm and mystery.

🤍 Spiders that are white include: female goldenrod crab spider, white recluse spider, and white-banded fishing spider. The color white as usual symbolizes purity and simplicity.

❤️ Spiders that are red include: red house spider, red jumping spiders, red widow spiders, red orb-weavers, and others. The color red is a power color that symbolizes primal energy, passion, excitement, action, and wealth.

🧡 Spiders that are orange include: pumpkin spider, marbled orb-weaver, and orange hairy spider. The color orange symbolizes wellness, creativity, joy, and sensuality.

💛 Spiders that are yellow include: yellow sac spider, golden garden spider, goldenrod crab spider, blunt-spined kite spider, and wasp spider. Yellow symbolizes optimism, happiness, honor, and prosperity.

💚 Spiders that are green include the green lynx spider, the green orb-weaver, the green striped spider, and the magnolia green jumper. Green symbolizes renewal, growth, fertility, and emotions. It also symbolizes financial abundance and security.

💙 Spiders that are blue include blue tarantulas, blue jumping spiders, and the blue wolf spider. Blue symbolizes faith, loyalty, trust, and wisdom.

💜 Spiders that are purple include the purple tree tarantula, the purple jumping spider, and the purple grass spider. Purple symbolizes royalty, aspiration, wealth, peace, and devotion.

🌈 Spiders that are multi-colored include: peacock parachute spider, peacock jumping spider, blue legged tarantula, sequined spider, and others. While some may not think about the spider as a creature of beauty, the fact is, there are many beautiful spiders, and the multi-colored ones are among the loveliest.

The colorful spider reminds you to look beyond the immediate and the obvious and you will find the answers you seek.

Different Spider Species Symbolism

So many arachnids to choose from, so which spider tattoo will tell your story best?

If you’re unsure how you want your spider tattoo design to look like, you can rely on what different spider species symbolize:

  • Orb Weaver (web weaving spider) symbolism – the orb weaver is a powerful symbol of both spiritual and creative truth, engineer of your destiny
  • Black widow symbolism – almost universally the meaning of the black widow spider tattoo is female power. Even though all spiders represent femininity, the black widow is a symbol of a strong and even lethal femininity, making it a popular choice among women. Alternatively, the black widow is also a symbol of death and destruction.
  • Jumping spider symbolism: these little creatures are able to jump to 100 times their own body length from a stationary position, and that shows us one thing – that at any moment we can jump out of a situation we don’t like, even though it seems we’re trapped and powerless.
  • Wolf spider symbolism: robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight, keen hunters that chase or pounce on prey like wolves rather than spin a web.
  • Brown spider symbolism: Brown spiders are particularly associated with good luck, as they are thought to bring fortune and abundance. In some traditions, it is believed that brown spiders can spin gold from their webs. This makes them a powerful symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • Water spider symbolism: water spinner : an aquatic spider that constructs underwater silk web, emotional well being is just as important as your physical health
  • Daddy long legs spider meaning: According to folklore, seeing daddy long legs in the evening can have many positive implications in your life. It can symbolize good fortune, happiness, and hope. So, if you see a daddy-long-leg spider in real life, just don’t bother it. Try to stay away from it and it might bring some good luck to you

Best Spider Tattoo Placements

One of the most common ones that you will see are the spider web elbow tattoo designs and then also spider web knee tattoo designs.

When it comes to the spider webs, another popular placement is the spider web hand tattoo.

But what if you want just the spider?

If you go for a small one, your options are varied – the forearm, side body and shoulder being a great option to make it pop.

Should you go for a large spider tattoo, we recommend thigh tattoo, side body/stomach area or the upper arm (shoulder to elbow).

Spider Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best spider tattoo ideas.

Take a look below to check them out all:

Are you looking for a custom spider tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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