Traditionally, spider tattoo design, as well as spider web one, has negative connotations. Thus, its positive meanings stay unrevealed, though there are a plenty of them: wisdom, fertility, harmony and balance. These meanings are not surprising, if you’ve ever seen the spider in its habitat. Their webs are unique and complicated, suggesting intelligence and wisdom. Their food consists of different bugs and insects symbolizing life balance. And of course female spiders are extremely fertile, giving life to more than thousands during their lifespan. And of course, these beautiful mysterious creatures have been inspiring people since ancient times.
Native Americans, who created a dreamcatcher, believed that it had magical protective powers. “Spider Woman” would come to newborn children and weave a fairy web to protect them. Following her example, women also began to weave their own dreamcatchers for their children. Till now, the dreamcatcher is believed to bring good dreams and frighten away bad ones. Thus spider web tattoo also represents protection. In other Native American legends, the spider itself was a teacher and protector of sacred wisdom.
In India, the spider is associated with Maya. This word contains Sanskrit root “Ma” (meaning no form, limitless) and represents phantom nature of things: not everything in our world is as it appears to be. The spider is symbolic to Abrahamic religions, too. In Jewish and Islamic traditions there are stories about spiders helping religious icon to cover him with its web.
And of course we should mention the Greek myth of Arachne, a mortal woman who was an inimitable weaver. Rumors about Arachne’s complacence reached Athena. Arachne called herself the best weaver ever and made Athena to challenge her. Arachne’s work was as beautiful as Athena’s, but she had insulted gods with it. The goddess destroyed the work. The woman couldn’t live with the intense feelings of guilt and sorrow and killed herself. But then Athena resurrected Arachne in the form of a spider, giving her and her offspring chance to weave forever.
For some people, spider tattoo (and also spider webs) symbolizes imprisonment: physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is a symbol of unavoidable entanglement, and is especially beloved by criminals, prisoners and gang members.
One of the most popular designs is a Black Widow tattoo. Delicate Black Widow looks fragile and weak outside, but is poison and ready to kill in a moment. The Black Widow tattoo is connected to femininity, sexual power, wisdom and independence. It is one of the most popular spider web tattoo ideas. And of course, the most appropriate style of spider tattoo that symbolizes its connection to the spiritual world and cultures is the tribal one.
So if you want to show the world that you’re more than a delicate person, and on the inside you’re different — spider tattoo is one of the best to represent this.