The black widow spider has gone down in popular memory as the seductive siren who ruthlessly eats her husband. But would this portrayal be correct? Of course not. Black widow spiders rarely eat their siblings, their spouse or even their own young.
The black widow spider embodies the power and mystery of a woman whose reputation does not match the being that she is. She is generally a loner. She works on her own and the only time she collaborates with anyone is to procreate.
Her web is not that pretty to look at, and yet, out of all the spiders in the world, this black widow with the hourglass on its body is the one that has caught our attention and captivated our imagination. Odd, isn’t it–for a creature who is such a loner.
The black widow spider works on her web alone. The thread she uses to weave her web is as strong as steel. A spider’s web has always been a metaphor for the interconnected nature of the universe–and yet, the black widow spider is a solitary creature. No matter how secluded you may think or believe yourself to be, you are connected to the world out there through the web that you create.
The web of the widow is incredibly strong and can trap prey much larger than the spider itself. Once a prey has been caught, the spider injects it with its venom.
The black widow spider possesses a heightened sensitivity to her surroundings. She can detect even the slightest vibration. This heightened awareness allows her to avoid becoming prey. In fact, widow spiders spend more time avoiding trouble than they do courting it. They prefer to hide near the ground and in undisturbed areas such as underneath furniture or in a basement.
Nevertheless, the black widow is a force to be reckoned with. While its venom will typically not kill a human, it is an excruciatingly painful sting and one that will hurt. As with other web-weavers, these spiders have poor eyesight and mostly depend on sensory vibrations to warn them regarding danger.
What can we learn from the black widow spider about women in business? It is a being that is both active and passive at the same time. How does one strike the balance between the two? The answer is obvious.
You have to be active in the work that you do–the web that you are creating. And then you have to wait patiently for someone to fall into the web that you’ve created. The important thing is to continue working even if no one is watching. Animals tend to do this instinctively. Humans seem to need a boss to tell them what to do.
The black widow is considered by some to be a symbol of creativity and fertility. This is due to the spider’s ability to produce large numbers of offspring.
For women, in particular, who’ve inherited a business strategy of hustle, bustle and banter–the black widow spider strategy is most welcome. She reminds us to continue to do our best work till someone happens to pass by and get caught in our web in time for supper.
But don’t worry, they don’t eat their husbands… Well, not most of the time, anyway.
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