We Are All Spiders.

Photo by Grzegorz Fitał (2019)

I can’t say I like spiders, but I don’t hate them either. Not saying I would like to cuddle up with them or being best buddies, but they’re beautiful and fascinating creatures who deserves more respect from us humans… as long as they don’t land on my face.

Spiders have been the focus on many interesting thoughts over the years, but the most fascinating theory is something the Brazilian biologist Hilton Japyassú put forth in 2008, based on the American philosophers Andy Clark and David J. Chalmers ideas about the extended mind, in 1998:

The spider’s web is an extension of their own consciousness, a part of their cognitive system. To save energy in their body they’ve put this additional information, some kind of knowledge, in the construction of the web — of course through millions of years of evolution. Imagine a spider starting to build a web, everything it learns from building the web is also helping them shaping the reality around them, each vibration tells them something new or confirms something they’re already aware of. The shape of the web have transformed over the years — like the spiders themselves — and the shape can also be affected by giving the spider LSD, caffeine or other stimulants affecting their thought process, which is proof enough how the web is connected to the cognitive system.

A baby spider can weave as perfect webs as the adult spiders, how come? How do they have this knowledge, if it’s not connected to the web or the web-weaving itself? Is the creation of the web not just a way to catch food, but also to store and extract cognitive behavior? Working with magic is also a form of expanding your consciousness outside your brain and body. Insanity? Not really. We’ve done it for thousands of years, through the early writings and hieroglyphs, to books and music and movies and everything else dealing with creating something from something as abstract and untouchable as the mind. We’re taking what we have inside and put it on paper, and thereby extending our mind, concept, and ideas — whatever you want to call it, to a physical object which can affect other beings around us.

It’s a powerful thought and instantly leads to the concept of magic. When we make a sigil, or write a spell, or doing anything else which means we’re moving a thought to action, we’re also taking a part of our consciousness out from our inner space and letting it have a purpose. Just by charging a paper or other object with a special intention it will be a powerful tool to influence the reality around us, and even if we won’t leave a physical web around us it’s still web of intentions — or maybe an invisible mycelium, where every mushroom is an intention and by eating it is receiving the magic.

To working with magic is also realizing the amazing power of your mind, and how your mind can be extended and visualized through the most surprising means. A piece of paper might seem like a banality looking at the rest of the universe, but try to understand that banality can affect the reality just by what’s written or drawn on it. It might not give a direct result, but through chaos and imagination — and the power of your own will — it will be a part of the web you want. Spiders understand this also. The higher the tension is in the web and the threads, the more sensitive it is for interaction with other animals. Scientists have tried to artificially loosen up the web to make it have less tension. This have made the spiders go to the fitting junction and re-tied the thread again and thereby sharpening their own senses, making the thread a direction extension of their own mind.

The harder you work with a spell or a sigil by putting your mind on the intention it will affect the outcome and keep your web tense and sensitive, affecting the reality, and the more you do it the better you will get. We’re all spiders, spinning our webs of social interaction and magic.

Keep your eyes on that web; you will learn a lot from it.

Fred Andersson is an author, individualist and television freelancer from Sweden. His book Homo Satanis: How I Learned to Love Satan and other Insights from my Childhood was published in 2018 is available on Amazon.

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