What Does It Mean When You Dream About Spiders?

Karen Frazier
Woman having nightmare about spiders

Spider dreams can have various interpretations depending on a number of factors. Your personal and cultural associations with spiders as well as whether you fear them or love them and other context clues can help you arrive at a meaning about the dream symbolism of spiders.

Meaning of Spiders and Spider Webs in Dreams

There's not a single interpretation when a spider or spider web appears in dreams. However, you can examine things such as your personal and cultural associations with spiders and webs, how you feel about them in your waking life, how you feel about them in the dream, and the various universal means to help you gain better insight as to the meaning of your dream.

You Have Issues With Your Parents

If you're a believer in Freudian dream interpretation, spiders in dreams represent issues with your parents. For example, being bitten by a spider according to Freud may suggest fear of punishment by your father, while other Freudian analysts believe a spider represents an overbearing mother or maternal figure. These may be valid interpretations if you are experiencing issues with one or both of your parents or you have leftover resentments from childhood.

Your Shadow Self Wants Attention

Carl Jung believed spiders represented the shadow self; that is, parts of yourself that you hide away in your shadows. These may be parts of yourself you dislike, acts and urges you're ashamed of, or just parts of yourself you've hidden away because you don't like what they say about you. This might be the correct interpretation if the dream leaves you feeling uneasy.

You Feel Like an Outsider

Spiders feel foreign and different from humans with their web spinning and all of those legs. They exist very much outside of the human experience until you encounter one in your bathtub just as you're getting ready to run a bath. If you feel ambiguous in your dream, or if you are experiencing periods of loneliness or similar difficulties in your life, then seeing a spider in your dream may represent that you are feeling like an outsider in some way.

You're Feeling Trapped

Spiders trap their prey in webs, spinning them in sticky gossamer so they can't move. In conversation, people often speak of being trapped in a "web of lies" or speak of weaving a "tangled web." All of these are clues to this meaning of spiders in dreams, suggesting that when a spider appears in your dream, particularly a spider in a web, you may be feeling trapped in some situation. Other context clues in the dream can help you better understand how you're feeling trapped.

It's Bad Luck

A superstitious interpretation of spiders in dreams arises when you kill a spider in your dream. Some people feel that killing a spider in a dream is a harbinger of bad luck.

You're Longing for Creative Fulfillment

Spiders spin intricate and beautiful webs, which is an incredibly creative process. Therefore, spiders in dreams can also symbolize creativity and suggest that you are either in the midst of a creative process or you're longing for creative fulfillment. It also might alert you to creative ideas that are percolating awaiting you to fulfill them.

You're Experiencing Fears and Anxieties

If you are arachnophobic (you fear spiders), then spiders in dreams may simply represent your fears and anxieties. This is especially true if in the dream, you experience the same fear of the spider as you do in your waking life.

Spiders and Webs Are Powerful Dream Symbols

Dreaming of spiders can tell you a lot about what's going on in your subconscious mind. Spider dreams help you better understand your deepest thoughts and fears so you can address them and spark personal growth.

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What Does It Mean When You Dream About Spiders?