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The spider and the lizard

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
A lizard suns itself in Sedona, Arizona.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Have you ever seen a spider eat a lizard? I haven’t, at least not in the waking reality we call, umm, reality. But last night, I had a very vivid dream where a large, tarantula-like spider nabs an unsuspecting green lizard and proceeds to eat the creature.

It didn’t take long for me to find a video or two of an actual spider eating a lizard. It’s a little unsettling, but nature can be unsettling at times.  One 2011 video shows a black widow eating a lizard but the jackasses filming it make it hard to watch.

Some science websites show massive spiders eating lizards. The spiders’ venom immobilize the lizard and then it’s supper time for the spider.

But what was the significance of this hungry arachnid dining on small reptile?

Researching further, I made an interesting discovery. In the Bible, Proverbs 30:28 uses the spider and lizard interchangeably in this line: “A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces” (New International Version).

And then it is interpreted thusly: “Spiders can be caught by the hand, yet they’re found in kings’ palaces.” (International Standard Version). (From

A Christian website called Eternity With Jesus Christ addresses my dream question a bit with “Learning from the Lizard and the Spider.” Perhaps there is a lesson to gain from my dream?

Notes the website: "Lizards and spiders teach a boundless lesson on inferiority complex that most people struggle with. They are ugly, scary creatures that are despised by everyone, yet they make their way to the best mansions. They don’t possess self-hatred or low self-esteem, nor do they evaluate themselves based on the reaction of people around them. They decide they are going to live in the king’s palace and there’s nothing that can stop them."

So, overcoming low self-esteem will assist the least among us to boldly enter the palace.

With all the rain we’ve had of late, I’ve noticed plenty of spiders and have thought about them. When I encounter them, I do my best to give them a wide berth and respect them.

The same is for the lizard. While out in Arizona last month, I was amazed by the number of desert-dwelling lizards I came upon over the course of the few days I was there. I found these creatures really fascinating.

But why would my dream focus on these two animals engaged in a battle to the death, with the spider clearly winning?


House geckos like spiders, I learned. There seems to be this esoteric connection between the two, clearly in light of the Biblical reference, making the humble creatures interchangeable. 

And spiders – with their eight legs – reminded me of a 2013 Dust Devil Dreams piece I wrote involving jellyfish and/or an eight-armed octopus-like creature that appeared as graffiti art under an overpass. The Beatles Help! film was originally titled Eight Arms to Hold You. The number "8" has been syncing with me a lot lately. And the idea of largely invisible sky creatures, like jellyfish, have been coming up more often. But why?

But what of the spider and lizard individually – as symbols?

Spiders, as a symbol, are known for their hard work. Look at a spider web. An online website, which analyzes the symbol of the spider, says “Spiders and their webs draw attention to our life choices, they also give us an overview of how we can manipulate our thinking in order to construct the life we wish to live.”And the lizard? tells readers that lizard “will aid you in becoming more detached from situations in your life … (l)izard will also show you how to leave the past in the past!”

Which brings me to the recent children's film Rango, starring Johnny Depp as the voice of the lizard Rango, who finds himself in the thirsty burg of Dirt. The lizard confronts great power, in the form of a Noah Cross-like town mayor who is controlling the town's water supply for his own gain.

"Whoever controls the water, controls everything," the sinister mayor of Dirt tells Rango.

Does this go back to my water dreams while mixed with my being drawn to the desert, where the dust devils spin?

Something I recently addressed in my piece "Sirens (the tide is high)"? And perhaps the spider is telling me to be more aware of the "web of life" we are all connected to? 

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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