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Monday Photo Meditation: When a New Spirit Appears

Daring Jumping Spider 1 Resized

Sometimes, other spirits defy all our best efforts to capture their essence.

Two days ago, Wings found this small being on top of the wood and glass jewelry case in his studio. He took shot after shot with the camera on his phone, but the fuzzy legs and body against coarse wood rendered every image nearly as fuzzy — not out of focus, but seeming to appear so, a trick of the light combined with eight legs and lines less blurred than furred.

It’s a daring jumping spider, otherwise known as Phidippus audax. The “audax” comes from the same root as “audacious,” which gives this girl the first word in her name. And it is a girl: The female of the species possesses iridescent malachite-green fangs; her male counterpart’s are equally iridescent, but a true indigo, deep turquoise blue with only the slightest hint of a green undertone.

She is also virtually unknown here.

Her kind were once said to be confined to the eastern and central part of the U.S., and to the northern reaches of Central America. In recent years, sightings in the American West have been reported in California and Oregon. They are not, it seems, found in the part of the Rockies known as the Dragon’s Tail.

And yet she is here.

It’s climate change, of course; in recent years, we have seen with increasing frequency the appearance of wild species new to this land. Some have drifted off course, or been driven off it, by migratory concerns; others are simply ranging ever farther in search of sustenance and safety. She is apparently another in what is an every-growing list.

It’s perhaps fitting, given the roles of Spider Woman to our peoples, that she should appear in the female form. In other parts of this land, the spiritual archetype of Spider is often male, and very much a trickster; to us, she is gatekeeper and guide, and occasionally good luck, too. To some people, a spider’s presence denotes a pending financial windfall. And so the sudden appearance of one of their clan is welcome.

For one not of this place to choose to come here to set up housekeeping? It feels weightier than mere chance.

Yes, she is daring; it’s her identity, reflected in her name. Yes, she may have left her purpose as fuzzy as her image, declining to define either herself or her message too sharply. But she surely has a message for us, if only we choose to listen.

It may be a warning of climatic changes to come; it may be a harbinger of good luck; it may be both. But when a new spirit appears, it’s time to listen.

~ Aji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.