|Redford Observer, June 12, 1975 (enlarge)|
If the spider column wasn't exciting enough and Halloween appropriate it also divulges some information on Gundella's jewelry. While I had posted something recently which stated that her cousin had given her the large spider pendant that she often wore about her neck--maybe he/she did or didn't--it was apparently made by Bob Shamey. Hell, maybe he's her cousin. I don't want to go off onto a tangent and research the artist lest another blog springs forth from my promiscuous fingers.
As for spiders: the Greeks and Romans believed that a spider engraved into a stone gave them the power to see the future. Folk medicine practitioners believed that a spider held captive inside a walnut and worn about the neck would cure almost any illness. Britons hardly ever kill spiders (they probably do these days!) preferring to recite a short couplet instead:
If you wish to live and thrive,
Let the spider run alive.
Gundella's favorite spider recollection is one which concerned Robert Bruce, 14th century king of Scotland. Having been defeated in battle 6 times by the Britons he sat pondering his future in the great hall of his castle. While thoughts of exile entered his mind he caught sight of a spider on the ceiling. Six times it attempted to spin a web from one beam to another but was unsuccessful. However, on the seventh try it proved successful. He took this as an omen and the last chance to save Scotland from England's rule. His prescience was as fruitful as his quest for independence.