“Spiders in my Bed!” A Dream Interpretation.

Dear Satya:

Q: Alright, so the other morning, I had a terrifying dream of a huge yellow spider sitting on my chest. I’m a pretty rational guy, but I woke-up convinced that there were actual spiders in my bed and I had to get up!

A: My dear boy, rational or not, these kinds of dreams are scary!

Modern research on the brain is validating what our bodies have long known: instincts often don’t know the difference between what is real in the outer world and what is real in the inner world. If there’s a huge spider on your chest, you get the heck out of bed! So don’t feel too silly about this kind of thing, you were doing what anyone would have done… and maybe, in the meantime, you got a taste of how the unconscious mind can influence your behavior…

But you’re probably wondering what that spider was doing there. Well, as with all dreams, I would be curious about the details and I’d recommend you explore them: the location, who you were with, what was happening before the spider landed on your chest, and so forth. These details will offer you more clarity about the specific meaning of the dream.

Spiders are certainly archetypal symbols: that is to say, they have deep symbolic roots that extend cross-culturally and across time in the human psyche. Perhaps encoded in our human DNA somewhere, the image of the spider is evocative of the ancient feminine, mothers, and the mother complex. That the spider is huge suggests that something related to this archetype is looming large in your life these days; and that it has landed on your chest and “woken you up” suggests it is seeking your true attention. (If I were a shaman, I would say you’ve had a visitation.)

Given that the spider appeared in your bed, I would pose the following questions: Is your mother somehow lingering in your relationship with you? Is your partner’s mother in bed with you?

These questions are obviously not to be taken literally, but… in a way they are. Contemplate how your own mother, or your subtle relationship with your mother, may be influencing your romantic relationship. This image of spiders in bed is a very dream common image, and it’s my own hypothesis that it has something significantly to do with the way that a certain kind of energy or confusion, perhaps sort of bewitching, perhaps hypnotizing, can enter into relationships and mess shift them.

If you find spiders in your house in your dream, spend some time journaling about your emotions and the chaos in your life. Assess, in particular, your love relationships and the relationships to the mothers in your life.

While the spider can often point to the dark feminine (as opposed to a house cat), and while it was scary, I wonder if its yellow color suggests a less ominous connotation. I find that when yellow appears boldly in dreams it is often reflecting a deep sense of aliveness, contentment and richness, as if representing our associations to gold or the sun. Yellow can be a symbol of culmination or change. If you’re not too opposed to journaling, I would recommend you take a little time to explore this dream (it sounds like a big one!), as well as why these images from the unconscious mind might be tugging at your conscious attention.

Have you had a dream like this? Leave a comment and share!

Satya is a Jungian psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon specializing in dream work, the quarter-life crisis, and work with individuals in their late teens, 20s, and 30s. www.QuarterLifeCounselor.com

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38 comments

  1. Joe

    I just woke up from a semi similar dream hoping to interpret. I went to bed with my newly pregnant wife (14 weeks), held her tight while listening to Dave Matthews. In my dream I was listening to Dave Matthews as well and the tv was showing the playlist. My bed was in a corner of the room. I was lying with her as I felt something on my right shoulder. When I turn on my phone light I noticed it was a daddy long leg and try killing it. As I freak out thinking of what else may be in bed I decided to check under where I was laying and notice three other spiders. One was a wolf spider and two were unknown with multiple humps resembling eggs on each back. They were black and gray, large and extremely creepy (unlike a daddy long leg). The humps were similar to the body of a daddy long long but multiple (5-7), all different sizes. We got out of bed and hit the lights. I shook myself down and brushed my body off and had her help. I then took my cloths off which I notice still had random insects on them as my cloths hit the floor. I went back to the bed looked to the side I had been sleeping and it was full of them coming from the ground to the blanket and into bed. There were 4 large centipedes about 6 inches long at least and with a quarter inch width that crawled into the bed at first glance. The sheet I was laying on In my dream happened to be a wool blanket we use at the fire station I work. Its one I always refuse to use as I think its disgusting because people always sleep with it and never wash it. Now back to my dream, Where my wife layed there were no insects of any kind and she had nothing on her when we got out of bed. She stated in my dream that whoever we got the bed from was the issue and I argued saying its not the bed but another source of course and that we needed to have it dealt with and to call an exterminator….

    Thoughts?!
    Interpretations?!

    – Joe

  2. Pingback: “Insects and Spiders in Bed. My Pregnant Wife & Me.” A Dream Interpretation. | Jungian Psychotherapy and Dream Interpretation from the practice of Portland Psychotherapist, Satya Byock
  3. kekeocean

    For the past couple of nights I have been having intense dreams about spiders. The first night it was a pregnant black widow spider coming from the ceiling then the dream ends. My second dream was about a few spiders in my bed with yellow backs and my boyfriend and my mother and my son was in the dream then it just ends.

    • satyabyock

      What has changed within your romantic relationships? Stay attentive to what is taking place and if there are subtle/overt ways in which manipulations are unfolding. Make sure you are not weaving webs for others, consciously or unconsciously, and that others are not doing that to you. Are there good boundaries between your mother and your boyfriend and son? Are their healthy roles for each member of the family or blurry lines?

  4. Eric

    I had a similar dream. I was sleeping in my bed by myself, I look to my left arm and a huge yellow spider is wrapped around my left hand. I sort of freak out but I keep montionless and tell myself is just a spider. The spider then slowly unwrapps from my hand and crawls away. Any idea of what that means?

    • satyabyock

      Thanks for submitting this dream. Your dream suggests strongly that you are staying mindful about your situation in your external life and working to become free of a situation plaguing you. Does my dream interpretation of the other dream offer you any insights? My hunch is that you have some kind of romantic relationship issue and/or situation with your mother (or partner’s mother). This dream suggests a kind of diagnostic experience: you’re on the right track, and your attitude is appropriate. Look to the day prior to this dream to explore specifically what might be going on.

  5. Lily

    Hi, I had a dream last night that I was lying in my bed and a flying earwig with red wings was flying around my bedroom and then just landed on my chest, I jump straight up out if sleep and really thought it was on me and started to get it off but realised it was just a dream. What does this mean?

  6. Anna

    I have just had a dream quite similar to this!
    I was laying on the floor of my old home, bed sheets were askew on the floor, and I was with a old friend I had a crush on in high school.
    While we were laying on the floor, that was when I began to notice the spiders. There were four in total. Two black widows, a huge yellow spider and a black spider with red legs.
    I began moving the blanket from the floor and they all started to come in the open and come at me. The yellow one ran up my chest and I attempted to swat her away. She jumped off and (while hiding from me trying to kill it) started making a large swirly form web in between my comforter. Then like clock work they all retracked back into my bed, hidden. They did leave a mass of webs everywhere. It looked Quite eerie.
    I think I understand some of the information just from this top post. Currently, I am about to married and the mother on his side will do anything to stop us so to see spiders crawling at me was hilarious!
    Any thoughts on this would help! :)
    Thank you!
    -Anna

    • satyabyock

      Hi Anna — how did the wedding go? What’s happening now with his mother and her influence on your relationship? Curious readers want to know…

  7. Jennifer

    I had a dream about a female spider about the size of my hand brown in color being persuid by male spiders that were fatter because somehow they were pregnant with eggs but they were black in color with an orange and white colors on their back there were 6 male spiders – I began to grab one of my shoes and started killing the male spiders and when I did some were on the bed some off the bed and I could hear this hissing noise coming from the male pregnant spiders-in my dream I knew that the brown spider was female and that the black orange and white pregnant spiders were male-as I began to kill one of the spiders so much water pored from the spider it began to fill the room -I lifted the cover to e pose the underneath of my bed to see why this spider was so full of liquid and it turned out to be that I had hit a liquor bottle that was under my bed. (I am not a drinker of any alcohol-never have even been drunk before-I am not opposed to socially having a drink-but I thought u should knw in my waking life alcohol is not an issue for me so I was surprised even in my dream to see this) I was practicing astral projection at the time this dream occurred-can you help me with interpretations-my life situation right now is such that I am single-I am suffering financially-however now that I understand we chose our life in order to get a better perspective-I am at peace and seeking to better myself-I now understand the laws of attraction and that every thought I think exist-so knowing that I don’t speak with or have any maternal people in my life and that I’m not in a relationship-what could this have meant?

    • satyabyock

      Thank you for sending in this dream. This is not a full interpretation, but here are a few thoughts to explore. Generally speaking, killing animals or insects in dreams is rather like shooting the messenger. These creatures are arising out of your own self to express something. So what is the pregnant male…? Something within the masculine / yang aspect of yourself that is trying to come into being? Perhaps your active self that is seeking work is intoxicated, or expressing that it is “under water” or related to fuzzy consciousness (intoxication). It seems you are really wrestling with your active self and not just believing you can make things happen (as you suggest), but also really going into the world and making things happen! Good for you.

      So no more shooting the messenger! Work to engage these spiders — while staying safe — and expressing reverence for what they are attempting to show you. Push against your fears, while taking care to keep yourself physically safe.

  8. Skye

    I’ve had a dream where I wake up and there’s one small spider crawling on me or in my bed, but it’s never the same spider, and I’m always in bed in my dream. I’ve had this dream three different times….

  9. Erica

    Hi I have a recurring dream of black big spider or medium sized spiders in my bed, they have a round body and long legs but scarier than daddy long leg. It wakes me up and I go searching frantically,for it . this has happened since I had my first baby, it started when I was pregnant and now I sleep next to my baby ( she is in bassinet next,to my bed) and I wake up,afraid spiders are going to get her. In my dream the spider is usually just sitting on my chest or under my pillow or tonight it was on the floor and then scurried away. Help!

    • satyabyock

      Hi Erica — these dreams seem to be alerting you to the mother energy that has awakened in you with the birth of your baby, but some ways in which your own controlling mother (?) is influencing the way you mother your babies? Make sure that the lines are clear between your mother’s influence on you (manipulation, fear, obsession etc.) and her influence on your children. And take very good care to notice how fear may be influencing how you raise your children, fear or pain versus love and trust. They’re very different ways to mother. If you raise you children with love and trust and respect, it will come back to you tenfold.

  10. stanley

    Dear s,in my dream i saw one big spider in my bed it has many colour and i was scared but i later killed it in presence of my biological father in that dream. Please what is the meaning of my dream

    • satyabyock

      It sounds like this dream had a big impact on you. I can’t tell you what this dream’s meaning is… there are certain to be details of the dream that you didn’t share here that would impact the understanding of it. I want to encourage you to really consider that spider… making draw it, paint it, or go find a figure that looks like it and keep it with you. What is Many Colored Spider trying to say to you? What is your fear of i? What does your biological father feel about it? Spend some time with these questions and more insight will arise.

  11. Michaella

    I just had a dream that i found a black widow in my bed. I was super scared and i asked from my boyfriend to take it away and he couldnt see it and then in the same dream i saw it on the stairs on my way up and i made a reflection in my dream that i have to overcome this fear. It was a sharp dream

    • satyabyock

      Your boyfriend’s mother or “inner feminine” may be causing some danger in your relationship. He “can’t see it” — this is a theme in dreams. Pay attention to how your sense of self and sense of reality may be changing in relation to him… You make a wonderful intention in the dream to not fall into fear, good. But keep your eyes open! Stay attentive in your relationship to keeping your voice and your truth alive.

  12. Asha

    I saw two yellow spiders hanging just above I slept they were pretty huge and they fell off on me as if they meant to and I cud not move or scream afraid of getting but I cud feel them crawling down my neck to my body and they stopped when they reached around my abdomen area one on each side left n right and I felt them sinking into my body and disappearing . Wat is this weird dream please help !

    • satyabyock

      These are weird dreams, and very startling! The image is fascinating in that when the spiders in dreams are yellow, they seem to be on the body directly… (see above). When the spiders are black, they’re in the bed. I wonder if you had to say anything related to mothers/mothering/relationships/romance/family boundaries that has shifted in the last few months. Something has either “integrated” for you or “invaded” you. Your thoughts are welcomed.

  13. Danielle

    The one night i went out with a guy friend, Joe*.That same night i dreamt that a spider jumped on me and i started yelling Joe’s name to help me. I yelled myself awake. As i woke up i realised that i was calling Joe’s name in my sleep. A few nights after that i went out with him again. That night i dreamt that there were spiders in my bed…what does this mean? Does Joe and the spiders have any connection in my dream/real life?

    • satyabyock

      I’m curious — are you still seeing Joe? It has been about a month since you wrote. Yes, I think there’s a connection between Joe and those spiders and it’s very astute of you to wonder about the connection and witness it. What is his relationship like with his mother? What is your relationship with your mother/step-mother? This correlation with the “mother” isn’t direct, but it can suggest some web-weaving energy within a relationship. I would encourage you to keep your eyes open about the ways in which you and Joe interact. Don’t underestimate the lessons and psychological growth (not always easy) that this relationship could stir-up for you. And keep your eyes open for feeling manipulated or as though you are losing your truth.

  14. Blossom

    I had a dream that a black spider was crawling down my pillow towards my head. I kept trying to wake up but couldn’t. Then finally I woke up when it got close to my head. I jumped up and looked but nothing was there.

  15. Gena Miller

    Where do I begin,
    I have dreamed about spiders for 3 weeks now. To the point where I have grabbed my partners face in bed and scratched him… :( to the point where I have pulled his hair and head upwards hurting him but to remove him from a giant green spider.
    With hairy legs and scary looking, I have been scared out of my mind. Sometimes I’ll get up and open the light sometimes I’ll be awake and see giant spiders but they won’t be there.
    I have to see a doctor because I am halusination … I am seeing them when I’m awake and asleep I’m terrified of spiders always have been I have no idea but when I see one I go into a panic attack. Sometimes I just freeze … The only thing is I only dream about spiders being in the bed with me and near my partner head… And body including mine. I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. Having 4 disabilities including depression and anxiety and bipola :( I’m so messed up in the head and these spider dreams are making it worse…
    I’m just a 22 year old girl I don’t need these horrible dreams
    Sometimes I’m worried because I’ve had the same dream just different types of spiders that I’ve never seen before… :/

    But hey the spiders are just one thing I see in my dreams and when I’m awake…
    There’s more to my problems than you can imagine:(
    I just wish I knew what it means …

    Thanks Gena ..

  16. amandagracevargas

    Hello… I had a dream last night where I was in bed (not sure if my husband was there) and I had a yellowish/brownish spider crawling on me, but I didn’t try to move it. I just went back to sleep in my dream! I hate spiders, so I would freak out if I had a spider crawling on me in real life! I woke up checking my bed just in case; no spider. :)

  17. Sergio D

    I been dreaming with spiders on my bed! Its been going on for a while not as often but ive woken up to this dream many times! Its scary to wake up and think there was a spider there but in reality its just a dream. All i can do to make sure its not there is to turn the light on and make sure its not there, then i go back to reality and remember its a dream. Its there a specific things of why i dream with spiders? By the way i dont remember if its been different kind of spiders but i do clearly remember to have seen a long legs skiny black spider, i would say like black widows. The other dream i had was with ants, could this two dreams be connected? Or it just the fear to them?

  18. Karen

    I had a dream last night where i was in my bedroom and I noticed some spiders in a crib that was at the foot of my bed (I do not have a crib in my room, however, I do have two children). I lifted up the crib mattress and there were hundreds of beige spiders under the mattress. They weren’t moving – kind of like they were in a dormant state. I was then vacuuming them up and a few came to life (so to speak) while the remainder were dormant. The ones that did come to life were crawling towards me. I felt rather neutral about them in the dream. I do remember feeling the intense need to get them out of the crib.

  19. Carrie

    Dear Satya,
    I’ve just woken up from a dream that my matteress was full of spiders. I couldn’t see them, but asked my partner to get rid of the mattress. He said they would be ok, but then I showed his millions of spider eggs laid in Web all around the sides of the mattress. I wasn’t scared, but I did want the mattress gone.
    I also dreamt my partner was injecting a big spider in the head months ago to preserve it??
    Any help much appreciated,
    Kindest, Carrie

  20. Carrie Bain

    Hi Satya,
    Last night I dreamt my matteress was full of spiders, I couldn’t see them but knew they were there. I asked my partner to get rid of the mattress, but he said it would be ok, then I showed him millions of spider eggs in Web covering the edges of the mattress.
    A few months ago I dreamt my partner was learning to preserve spiders, he had a massive black spider from a bucket, it was dead, and he was injecting it’s head under instruction from his teacher, to preserve the spider skeleton…
    I often wonder what these dreams mean, can you please help?
    Kindest,
    Carrie 😊

  21. Mirah

    I had a dream that I was in the bed with someone but a black widow appeared and instinctively I smashed it . The weird thing is I was not afraid of it though. The only thing is that it wouldn’t die. The legs and body kept moving around on my bed. So me and the person in my dream kept watching it a d eventually just put the body parts in a jar and through it in the trash.

  22. Cheryl-Ann van Dyk or Aneshca

    Yes my dream I had did bring me to this site . i had this very small spider in my bed with all his leg points covered in yellow . it bit me on the finger and out of that came some tipe of black root . Then the little spider ran down a white sheet and dissapeared.

  23. Nicky Martin

    Hi! I was in my tent camping. I went to sleep. I woke up, and this clwar tyoe of mucus came out of my nose (& I’m pulling it out with both hands as there was quite a lot of it) & then as I look, a fat black spider about 2cm in diameter came out too. It is dead. I can’t believe my eyes! I was if course grossed out, a little afraid, then relieved because it is dead…& I feel a great sense of relief too. THEN I WAKE UP! In my tent! I check my nose – all is well…what the???
    I have my own instincts on this but I’d love to hear what your intuition tells you on this?
    Cheers, Nic

  24. Jade

    Okay so , I had a dream that someone threw a blanket covered in little orange spiders on my bed. This caused me to wake up still thinking my blankets were covered in spiders and I was trying to get them off of me. It took me a solid couple of minutes to realize it was a dream.
    Any idea of what that could mean?
    Chow-
    Jade

  25. Madelyn

    I’ve been trying to figure out these dreams for a while, all of my waking hours are devoted to finding some way to make these nightmares stop without having to go see my Sleep therapist again. All the dreams are fairly similar, I’m resting softly in my
    Bed, and then either a single Spider crawls onto me or near me, or a large group of spiders are just everywhere. Most of the time the spiders are not any type I’ve seen before, they are black with long skinny legs, and a body low to the ground. Most recently it’s only been a single spider, but the fear that seizes my body was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, I had to hold back a scream as I threw the covers away and jumped out of that bed hitting my head on the wall in my hurry. I can’t keep going like this, I barely get enough sleep with all these nightmares, and hurting myself to get away from just a dream isn’t any good. Me and my mother are very close, but even she laughs it off and tells me it’s simply a silly nightmare. I’ve resorted to trying basic vitamins that supposedly help you sleep, and that just lead to me getting out of bed even clumsier, and being way more tired the next morning instead of simply sleeping through the nightmares. I’m so scared, I hate getting into bed at night but with school starting back up I need to get in control. I don’t know what else to do.

    • satyabyock

      The nightmares are going to stick around until you deal with the underlying psychological situation that is causing them. They are trying to wake you up to something probably emotionally toxic in nature. Pay attention. I would start with exploring the relationship with your mother and how you might be developmentally seeking freedom etc. Find a psychodynamic therapist to work with on family relationships.

  26. aiza

    Dear S so I’ve dreamt a giant spider something like brownish and hairy in color last night. In my dream my ex boyfriend texted me saying he wanted to see me. So agreed to meet him coz i also wanted to talk to him. The day came but i just slept and trying to forget our meet-up. But then suddenly someone came to our house asking for me. I suddenly waken up but not getting up just listening. I was thinking maybe it’s him. I was surprised that he have the guts to came in our house when in fact he was so afraid to reveal his relationship on his part. That’s why i broke up with him. And he just kept his silence about it not saying a word. He was gone suddenly. I don’t want a secret relationship but not also that public. He was not ready for a serious commitment and is afraid for his mother that his into relationships that’s his reasons. He always denies me when were together when somebody he knows saw him with a girl. And it hurts me like hell. He was so unfair. I’ve loved him for so many years even before we became a couple. He’s my childhood crush but things got busy and fast we just met this year and instantly became a couple. Funny how it is. He said he likes me too since we were young. So I’m holding onto that thing. I can feel our connection but something is missing. So back to my dream, my mother called me saying someone’s looking for me but i refused saying i just wanted to sleep. When i decided to get up that’s when i suddenly felt something is crawling inside my dress the same dress i wore last night. With the fear of what it is i tried to get rid of the insect. I looked under my dress and saw a small spider then suddenly it became big. Fearing of it i suddenly jolted awake still trying to get rid of it thinking it was a real scenario. Is there a connection with my ex to my dream?

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