In folk Magic, a black spider eaten every morning between two slices of buttered bread will endow one with great strength and power. According to lore, witches could raise storms at sea by catching spiders in pots (see storm raising).

Spiders are ingredients in numerous folk remedies around the world. Spiders caught while weaving are considered all-around Amulets against disease. In English lore, a spider carried in a silk bag around the neck will help ward off contagious diseases. Old ague remedies prescribed ingesting live spiders that were rolled in either butter, molasses or cobwebs.

The weaving of the spider is associated with creativity, imagination, destiny and the waxing and waning of the moon. In some myths, the moon is portrayed as a spider.

In some cultures, it is considered very unlucky to kill spiders. Tahitians believe spiders are the shadows of gods and take great care never to harm them.


  • Leach, Maria, ed., and Jerome Fried, assoc. ed. Funk & Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. New York: Harper & row, 1972.
  • Opie, Iona, and moira Tatem. A Dictionary of Superstitions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.