I am no stranger to the healing arts – alternative healing arts, that is. I have trained in this and that through schools, workshops, lectures and the like. But the best training I ever had came from a couple of spiders and a songbird.
I was living in Taos, New Mexico a few years ago. On this particular day I was taking a shower in the downstairs bathroom of a big, beautiful house that I had the blessing of living in for a time. I’d forgotten that the drain was a bit plugged up there so as the shower went on, the water slowly rose to my ankles. When all was complete, I stood there in my own soapy water as I reached for the towel. I glanced down, and much to my horror I saw what was a very large daddy-long-legs spider, completely water logged, drowned and floating just under the surface of the water. He was a goner.
I’m one that likes spiders. I’m very respectful of them and fortunately they are of me, so you can imagine my dismay at seeing what I had done in my very unconscious showering state. Now the rest of this story gets very other-worldly and ‘altered state’ at this point, but I have to say I’ve grown more accustomed to these sorts of things as the ‘unusual’ happens quite regularly in my everyday life now – making it more ‘usual’ I suppose.
I scooped up the spider, laid him out on the bathroom sink, and apologized for not seeing him there. He certainly didn’t deserve that kind of frightening demise. There he lay, almost indiscernible as a spider – just a very still blob of wet and brown. As I dried off, something extraordinary happened. A bird landed just outside the window and began to sing. I couldn’t see him, and I’d never heard such a song from a bird in this region, and really never heard such an incredible beauty in sound – period. The song itself popped me into an altered state. The melody permeated my body and being, and with it was a message that pains me to reduce to words, but it was something like this,
“Use the energy that you feel now and offer it to the spider. Have no expectation in what the spider chooses to do with the energy – just offer it.”
The power and sweetness of that song sent me into ecstasy. I followed through, without thought. (I wouldn’t have thought to do anything like this in a million years.) I was ‘in’ Something and that Something was ‘in’ me. My right hand lifted gracefully and magically toward the spider and an exquisite energy poured through for what felt like a very long time. It wasn’t really… a long time that is… not when I pieced all the sequence of events together later. It was such a glorious feeling and when I finally ‘popped out’ I couldn’t make sense of it all – no mental sense that is.
The bird and his song were gone, and there I stood naked, long hair dripping and all, and there on the bathroom sink lay a very still blob of wet and brown. “What just happened? Dear God I’m really losing it now.” I quickly got dressed and then my full focus turned to the poor, dead spider.
“Take him to a sunny spot and wait.” I heard it so clearly.
What are you going to do? I was completely lucid and the message came with such sweet energy, I couldn’t refuse. I carried him to a wonderfully sunny spot on the fireplace and laid him down, hoping that my then partner, Eduardo, would not come down the stairs and see or question my activities. It would’ve been far too much to try to explain in that moment. I left my dead spider friend there and asked again for him to be well – whether he had moved on or wanted to stay. I then went off to work in the production studio on the other side of the house.
It was very mental, detailed work – co-producing an instructional DVD for a Qi Gong teacher in Santa Fe. After several hours that very loving and powerful energy began to permeate my body and being again. I hadn’t thought of the spider since I laid him on the fireplace. But now I was feeling him. I knew and heard, “It is done.”
I pulled myself away from my intense focus on the computer screen and followed through with the knowing feeling to go and seek him out. The spider was gone. Well, gone from the spot where I had left him. I followed a trail of wet blotches up to the side off the fireplace. There he was, joyfully stretching his dried out legs in the sun! Then, as if in response to my presence, he crawled back down to greet me where I had dropped him off several hours previously. I gasped and cried out. Wow! It was such a joy to see him alive and well!
And if that wasn’t enough… out of the corner of my eye, just left of the fireplace, was a giant tarantula, desperately trying to claw her way either up or through the window. It was surreal. I’d never seen anything like that before. What is happening here? Enter Eduardo. I explained the best I could, but nothing logical came out. Thankfully though, being the spiritual and sensitive man that he was, he immediately recognized that the tarantula wanted in.
Eduardo found a stick just outside and invited the tarantula for a ride. She quickly accepted and was placed on the brick about a foot from our dried out, and very much alive spider. She had an enormous grandmotherly kind of power about her that seemed to fill the room. I was in awe. We both watched breathlessly as the tarantula crept closer to the spider, raised a leg for a few seconds and then very gently touched the spider with it. That was it! She was done. She turned around toward me and I felt a sort of loving acknowledgment from her before she crawled back toward the stick. Eduardo then took her back outside at the base off the window, ran and got his video camera and then captured this beautiful creature on tape. She didn’t seem to mind, posing for a while before it was time to move on. (And yes, it would’ve been great to have the previous events on tape, but when you are witnessing something so beautiful, it is difficult to think.) By the time we got back to the fireplace, the happily restored spider was gone. He must’ve had places to go and other spider people to see.
Here is a shot of the lovely being that I feel was overseeing my lessons on spiritual healing that day. My gratitude goes out to her, to the sweet-singing messenger bird, and of course last but certainly not least, my wonderful and willing drowning ‘victim’, Mr. Daddy Long Legs. Perhaps he chose to return to life, or perhaps at the very least I learned that spiders who appear to be completely drowned and dead, are not in fact, dead. It doesn’t matter. This profound lesson on healing remains with me to this day and has been put into practice many times since.