How to Use Your Araneariums

Three Sphinxes of Bikini by Salvador Dali

Last time we built our five araneariums and now it’s time to learn how to use an aranearium. Here we reference Secret #16 – The Secret of the Retrospective Utilization of Araneariums. Things are going to get more intense and the process doesn’t get any easier. If you feel like quitting, just keep going! It will be worth it!

For this secret you’ll be performing some witchcraft. During this “typical magical ceremony” you’ll fall in love with a landscape you have chosen. It can’t be just any landscape. If you truly want to be a good painter your studio needs to be close to where you were born, in “an admirable natural setting.” This is your inspiration for your chosen landscape to fall in love with. You must be willing to sacrifice anything for it!

the persistence of memory by salvador dali
Little mountains like that appear in the background of many Dalí paintings. Was he in love with them?

Now for the ceremony!

The Secret of the Retrospective Utilization of Araneariums

Step 1: Be Young and in Love

The process starts at age 20 when you are in love. You should be having relationships one after another in order to attain optimal “love-anguish.”

Step 2: Fill a Bowl with Water

Now that you are 20, full of love-anguish, and have a landscape to fall in love with, place a flawless crystal bowl “filled with the purest water” across from your beloved landscape. Situate it so you can see the landscape’s reflection in the water, perfectly inside the bowl.

Step 3: Set Up Your Araneariums

At dusk, when the last rays of the sun reach across the horizon, place your five (or more) araneariums in a line in front of the crystal bowl.

Step 4: Gaze at the Bowl

Look through the webs at the bowl.

“Looking through the five cobwebs you will be wonder-struck as you see the bowl, by virtue of the rays of the setting sun, become irradiated by the most subtle and golden mother-of-pearl tints of thousands of rainbows.”

Step 5: Keep Looking!

This will be an indescribable vision to behold! Prepare for ecstasy!

dalinian araneariums
Can you feel it??

Step 6: Move the Araneariums Around

Move your araneariums and look again. Closer together, further apart – keep changing the distances and see how the rainbows intersect. They’ll form delicate patterns and begin to turn deeper and deeper shades of red at the sun disappears over the horizon line.

Step 7: Stay Put!

Don’t leave just because it’s dark. In fact, the power of what you just saw may make it impossible to leave – or even move!

Step 8: DROOL

You’re going to be drooling by this point. Let it happen. There’s no need to fight it. In fact, don’t wipe away your drool until you hear a nightingale sing AND the bowl and the nighttime are making the same sound.

Step 9: Leave

Now it’s time to go. Be careful not to look at your landscape again, no matter how much you want to. Push any thoughts of your beloved landscape from your mind.

Three Sphinxes of Bikini by Salvador Dali
If you can’t forget your landscape, do you become part of it? Three Sphinxes of Bikini, 1947, Dalí

Step 10: Seriously, Don’t Look!

Don’t even look at it from a distance! Plan your daily life around NOT seeing your landscape. Stay away from it for twenty-seven years. That’s right, two-seven. The more you can forget it, the better. You can do it!

“Go and do the things you can’t. That is how you get to do them.”

–Pablo Picasso (He was friends with Dalí)

Step 11: Return

After twenty-seven years, you’ll no doubt feel the longing to return to that special place. Bring all those years of experiences, losses, and emotions – and don’t forget your araneariums. They should be maintained with webs still spun by your spiders over the years.

Step 12: Set Up Your Araneariums (Again)

Set up your crystal bowl and araneariums as you did twenty-seven years ago and gaze upon your landscape. Not only will you drool as before – you will WEEP!

“But wipe your tears, do not weep overmuch, for now it is the spider web’s turn to weep, to weep all its geometries for you.”

Step 13: Return (Again)

Just before sunrise the next morning, return to your spot. Behold the array of dew drops clinging to the spider webs! Take in each tiny reflection of your landscape in each dew drop balanced upon the threads.

Step 14: Swell with Pride!

Enjoy the sense of pride and superiority at the splendor and beauty you have accomplished!! It doesn’t matter that no one else is around. They’ll probably feel inferior being in your presence anyway.

Step 15: Put Everything Away

It’s time to paint from nature. Pour all of yourself into this painting. It will be your greatest masterpiece yet!

Step 16: Celebrate!

It’s time to have a gathering to commemorate what you’ve accomplished. Use your dew-speckled araneariums to decorate the room where you and your guests will feast in celebration of this masterpiece you created. To complete the ambiance, make combs from tiny araneariums and have your wife wear them. Should anything happen to the webs during the festivities, the tiny spiders inside will quickly make repairs.

Step 17: Keep Your Araneariums

They have many uses! They aren’t just magical and inspirational – they’re practical too! Your araneariums will keep dust and hair away from your precious painting, allowing you to continue your greatness as an artist.


That was a lot, wasn’t it? I’m sorry if you made all those araneariums only to find out you can’t even properly use them if you’re past the age of twenty. At least now you won’t have to dust as much.