See also spider. Tarantulas are a type of spider… they tend to be larger than spiders and have fewer spinnerets, 2 or 4 instead of 6.
I once held one, I was being sponsored to raise money for a volunteering trip to Ghana. The tarantula had been cooled down so was supposed to be a bit more docile but as soon as it was put on my outstretched hands, it ran one way and I ran the other way…
They vary in size and if you’re into this 8 legged critter, do go and read more. I am trying to read enough to understand them and not so much that I freak myself out… I don’t really know why I’m afraid of them. Except for people who are allergic to them, they are not dangerous to humans although with my track record I bet I’m one of those few people!
Tarantulas are often hairy, often brownish and live in North, Central and South America as well as Africa, Asia, Australia and some Mediterranean counties. They have to shed their skin in order to grow as they have an exoskeleton. During their moult, they also replace internal organs, such as female genitalia and stomach lining, and can regrow legs if needed… They are slow and deliberate predators, seeking out insects and other small creatures such as frogs and mice.
Despite preconceptions, they are hunted as well as hunters, including being killed by humans for food. When I was in Cambodia we did stop by a local market and tarantula was on the menu… I did not partake, I stuck with my plantain chips!
And I’m afraid that is as much as I can face about the actual tarantula so we’re turning the meaning of the tarantula as a spirit animal…
- There is the inevitable shedding your skin metaphor which suggests transformation and new starts.
- The hunting approach urges us to be patient, to wait until the right time and then go in for the kill.
- There is also the self defence/territorial angle that comes with their bite which we discussed in the context of their relative, the scorpion.
- It’s hard to unpick which myths and legends refer specifically to the tarantula, they tend to refer more to the wider family – the spiders – rather than getting that specific.
Definitely check out the spider if you’ve pulled this card!