.: TARANTULA :.
Species: Grand Canyon Black Tarantula ~Aphonopelma marxi~
Secured: Late Summer/Early Autumn of 2020 - Taos, New Mexico
Parts Used: All Parts including web silk
Method of Extraction: Advanced Alchemical lab processes combining Plant, Animal, and Mineral works to achieve the secretive Animal Alchemy
Highlights: Patience, Storytelling, Goals/Objectives, Accomplishments, Energy Reserves, Planning Before Action, Discernment, Emphasis on the Home & Internal Self, Connecting Internal & External Realities, Observation/Awareness, Senses/Sensitivity, Silence, Faith/Trust, Subtle Energies & Frequencies, Telepathy, Intuition, Weaving One's Life Story, Gentleness, Strength, Empathy Through Experience, Liminal Spaces, Creativity, Death & Rebirth, Attention, Documentation/Journaling/Record Keeping, Cleanliness, Metamorphosis, Preparation, Transformation, Calibration, Moving on From the Past, Balancing Polarities, Emotions, Connection Through Touch
Tarantulas are in the list of creatures that have triggered a fear response in the human limbic system for as long as we've been on this planet. These primordial creatures aren't only fascinating to observe and study, but they have much to teach us. Being so close to the Earth's ground and connected to the subtle vibrations and frequencies around us, Tarantulas have a special and unique wisdom that can be very useful in our more static, intense, busy, and restless lives.
Tarantulas, type of spider, are arthropods belonging to the family of arachnids. It's difficult to know just how old tarantulas are because soft bodied species don't leave behind fossils in rocks but these hairy spiders are estimated to be over 120 million years old, with only two known fossils left behind - one from Mexico dated to be 16 million years old and one from Myanmar dated at 100 million years old.
Like all arthropods, tarantulas display a rigid exoskeleton that cannot stretch and shed everyday like human skin. Instead, tarantulas will periodically shed their exoskeletons as they develop and grow, through a process called ecdysis, or molting, and will grow dramatically between molts even after reaching maturity. Each molt is part of stages called instars and they will have varying amounts of these stages depending on the species, with males having less stages because they have shorter life spans than females, anywhere from 1 - 8 years, where females will live between 12 - 30 years and sometimes longer in captivity due to moderate environments and steady access to food.
Molting is a crucial process for tarantulas and nerve wrecking if you've ever had one as a pet. They will stop eating 1-2 weeks before this process, insuring an easier change. The tarantula gets on its back to begin and can take several hours of it inching out of the old exoskeleton as long as there are no interruptions. Sometimes a leg can get lost due to not being able to remove it out, predators (even feeder crickets) have an opportunity because it's weak, immobile, and it's new exoskeleton is actually soft making it a very vulnerable time indeed. After molting, their size has incredibly increased and once the tarantula is back on its legs, it'll take a few days for it to be able to eat.
Adult sizes can range from 5'' to a whopping 12'' (Goliath Bird-eater) and can weigh up to 6oz. Females are always larger than males and with the exception of two species, females are always brighter in color and can display beautifully vibrant iridescence, becoming more accentuated as they grow and mature. Sexing is difficult since males and females look identical throughout a large portion of their development until they reach maturity.
Tarantulas have eight legs with two body segments; the top half - cephalothorax/prosoma, and the bottom abdomen - opisthosoma. Two little "arms" near their fangs, called pedipalps, are shorter with males than females and have developed their sex organ called an emboli that used to transfer his sperm web into the females sperm storage receptacle called the spermathecae.
Male tarantulas are the ones to actively seek courtship, at times wandering long distances to pick up on a receptive female's pheromones. When a burrow is found, a neat mesh of silk stemming all the way from the entrance to the bottom is how the male notifies her of his intentions. This ritual is based around subtle drumming on the silk, if she's interested she will respond with her own gentle taps on the silk. When approaching her, he will gently drum on her pedipalps with his that calms and brings her into a trance-like state allowing an opening to her spermathecae and a quick deposit, and with some species this is varied - some males will gently and swiftly turn her on her back in order to mate and keep her fangs out of the ritual. Although sexual cannibalism is rare with tarantulas, some males aren't lucky enough to escape in time and become a meal.
The female will take her fertilized eggs and spin a ball of silk around them were they'll be keep warmed. Females will stay with the eggs, protecting them vigorously for about 2-9 weeks until the brood of 200-1,200 hatch in which time the young will disperse and begin their lives.
Tarantulas represent the grandmother who saw the beginnings of Time, wove, and told the stories of the past and like the shaman, they are the record keepers. They can recognize patterns and reconstruct the present moment with their lines of silk into new possibilities that become mechanisms of tomorrow through subtle gestures, seeming almost effortlessly. Their silk is stronger than steel and yet more flexible than any man made synthetic fiber, teaching us to be firm and yet malleable, strong yet gentle. These silks are its connection to the Earth and act as extensions of the senses and this means that the skills of patience, attentiveness, trust, and centeredness within itself are very important. Every move, ever decision, and every thought is first set through intention before an action is made. Emotions do not control the tarantula, nor do thoughts because it knows that it trusts itself to be competent enough to first listen, pay attention, and allow itself to feel both the inner and outer worlds. Faith plays a major role in this skillset, to be able to trust your intuition and this needs time to be developed through relationship with yourself and the universe/god/creator/higher self...
Many things that are considered magical, metaphysical, and miracles are really latent abilities of ours and every animal has a mastery and wisdom that is connected to our own abilities. Tarantula's manner of existing can teach us how to tap into our own gifts if we can carefully listen as opposed to hearing with our ears. The gentle and subtle approach that tarantula has stems from needing to because it's eyes can only differentiate between light and dark to provide contrast. How it navigates and "sees" the world is based on touch and receptivity to the external/other and this teaches us to be open to the perceptions, feelings, thoughts, intentions, emotions, and perspectives of those around us without hesitance that we can me affected or moved. Learn to feel with your heart and then allow the mind to make decisions, but the mind must be connected to the heart the way that tarantula is always connected to the Earth through it's body and silk.
With conviction, the tarantula can lay down such a strong web and yet if it isn't working and allowing to receive data in a clear manner, unlike the prey that sticks, tarantula won't hesitate to undo it's silk, chuck it out of its home and start again. Non-attachment.
They are very clean and tidy when it comes to their body and their home because data becomes stagnant and unclear in an unkept lifestyle. How can you take in, understand, and empathize when your senses are muddled with projections? How can you see who and what's in front of you?
Tarantula spirit invites to observe, examine, feel, articulate, and speak from authenticity. When molting, tarantula is experiencing death and the journey into the underworld because it's time to evolve and complete our current metamorphosis demanding complete trust on your behalf, and for you to surrender everything that you may be clutching onto that no longer serves you (if ever) and is limiting your life experience. The lack of this ability can be debilitating and dangerous for the tarantula, but it's crucial and quite natural for it and humans... healthy and liberating. When we allow this metamorphosis to run its course, only the best and most suitable remains with us while what doesn't is chucked out of our Being. This can be freighting but the wisdom of trust crawls in and we can be sure that we are always "good" no matter what unknowns arise thus creating the space for faith from within with the awareness that the universe has always, and will, have your back.
~ Ask yourself ~
Are my attachments healthy, useful, and beneficial for myself and others? What are the stories I tell? Do I truly know that my stories are only beliefs and not the truth? Can I be flexible with my attachments and change my stories? Do I REALLY want to change/heal/grow/move on/evolve? Or am I comfortable and willing to be stressed, sick, and become stuck in my old endo/exoskeleton because it's familiar regardless of how much I see that it isn't working for me? Am I, honestly, ready to metamorphosize and release my own self prison? What are these old stories and what new ones can I weave? Am I in a hurry and impatient? If so, what's the point of that? Can I trust? Am I listening with my HEART?
You've everything you need right at home, in your heart, and within. Everything comes to you very easily and without delay. The virtue behind patience and trust isn't easy at first, but it does get easier and you'll find yourself slipping out of the old... and you won't have to seek the new. You'll already be wearing it.