Asteroid Arachne

Pic120I planned to write about Pallas-Athena today but something about Arachne kept calling me back to her. I have a spider living nearby that looks distinctly like a false widow. She made a web on my balcony last week. This week she’s moved to the window of the stair well downstairs. I didn’t realise her breed until I started to see the news about a man who nearly lost his leg from a bite and various over-stretched media about this ‘dangerous‘ spider ‘invading‘ the UK. I thought she looked a little different to the usual balcony spider with her fat body and grey-white marks.

In truth I have an odd relationship with spiders. I’m terrified of big ones, my skin crawls when any of them, whatever size (!) scuttle nearby. But I also think they are amazing creatures. Drawing on all my Aries stellium courage, I have learned to reach for a piece of card and a glass and gently remove them to the outside. I can’t hurt one. My grandmother used to say they are lucky.

Arachne Mythology


Arachne was once a beautiful princess, gifted with a talent for weaving. So skilled was her work that people compared it to the Patron Goddess of weaving, Athena. Arachne wasn’t happy to have her work compared, even to a Goddess and boasted that she was better than the Goddess herself.

Athena wasn’t impressed so disguised as an old woman, she challenged Arachne to a weaving contest and warned her not to speak ill of the Gods. Arachne accepted the challenge and dismissed the warning, whereupon Athena revealed herself. Undaunted, Arachne began to weave. She wove a scene of the indiscretions of Zeus, frolicking with a variety of his lovers. Athena wove a scene depicting her winning the city of Athens.

Whilst Athena had to admit that Arachne’s work was flawless, she was incensed by the subject of the tapestry and ripped it and the loom to shreds. Arachne was so devastated she hung herself. Athena saved her from death but punished Arachne to ‘hang’ for the rest of eternity by turning her into a spider, committing her to weave forever.

In some stories, Athena herself inflicts a mortal wound on Arachne. In others Athena fills her with guilt so that she tries to hang herself. In yet another story

Arachne has always refused to bow to Athena as a Goddess, even in spider form.

Astrological Meaning
arachne-dialectsArachne’s meaning in the chart can be as complex as a spider web. There is certainly something here about natural talent, a gift in the extreme that must be used. But there is an underlying tone that the gift should speak for itself rather than boasting about it.

It is a sad but true that most often, a natural ‘god given’ talent can also draw jealously from others. The gifted can be ridiculed as much as praised. Great gifts can sometimes make others nervous as well as envious and power plays ensue.

Whilst Arachne can indicate where you own gift lies, she also shows where you will be challenged to perfect your craft, where you must be able to do what you say you can do and where you may experience competitive clashes. If Arachne’s gifts are unused, she may turn her hunter instinct inwards, poisoning the mind with envy, biting off other’s heads! The opposite to creation is destruction.

Spider as Power Animal links to creation itself and in turn ‘fate’. Extreme talent seems to open a window into the heavens themselves. We get a glimpse of our true human potential and can be filled with a sense that there is something ‘beyond’ our experience. It is humbling and it can be frightening, hence the strong reactions of some. Whilst science seeks to pull back the veil to reveal the workings of creation, it often leads to more questions than answers. Spider medicine and Arachne  tap into the unknowable, even what ‘should not’ be known. Arachne may connect to the concept of playing God.

For many, Spider is a symbol of the ancient Mother Goddess, a divine feminine symbol.  Perhaps this is why Spider has been feared and maligned.

Arachne and Spider are also about the pattern you weave in your life – the sense you make of it, the tangles you create. It is the patience to weave and wait for your prey (your goals) to be fulfilled. The beautiful complex patterns of spider webs along with their incredible strength tap into the extraordinary beauty of the universe, the complexity and simplicity of the Greater Pattern and our part in the web of creation.

The Discovery Chart
Arachne was discovered on the 13th October 1895 by Max Wolf in Heidelberg. Spider to me has always connected to the number 13 so the symbolism of the date isn’t lost on me. Also, I find it fascinating that the discoverer had the ‘predatory’ name of Wolf. There is a wildness in ‘Spider’ as power animal and many of us react to spiders on a very instinctual level – fear. Spider is a natural predator.

Arachne Discovery Chart

As there’s no time for the discovery chart, I set it for midday. Despite the fact that the houses are irrelevant and therefore the Ascendant is most likely incorrect, I was struck by the fact at Pallas Athene showed up in the 1st house conjunct the Ascendant. It’s almost like confirmation from the universe, much like a horary chart confirms its validity through the symbolism shown. Strange.

Arachne herself was at 02TAU49 which is on the Sabian symbol :-

Natural Steps Lead To A Lawn Of Clover In Bloom

Within this symbol, there is an illusion to the natural process of creation of which Spider is a symbol. ‘Natural’ relates to the inborn talent that is associated with Arachne’s mythology. If we are ‘crafty’ to coin a phrase, we can reach our goals. Arachne doesn’t make any aspects herself, not unless I widen the orbs considerably more than I normally use for asteroid aspects. In a way, it seems fitting. No one can touch her.

It’s interesting that the closest major aspect in the chart is a square between Venus and Neptune. It’s as though it shows a mortal woman (Venus) against the Gods (Neptune). Here lies the magic – and the lies. Venus square Neptune links to the allure of the ‘black widow’, sweet poison, spells, being caught in a web of illusion.

And then there’s Pluto, perfectly square to the Nodal axis. Perhaps this shows Arachne’s desire to have the power and the control – to over-rule the rules of the

Gods, to go against how it always was and how it will always be. Along with Neptune, she’s working her own spell, creating her own path – both are trine to the Sun.

Keywords and phrases for Arachne
Extraordinary talent, mastercraftsman/woman, expertise, gifted, intricate detail, design, the Greater Pattern, the cosmic web, interconnection, creation, fate, story-telling, spinning, weaving, the divine feminine, magic. Playing God, entanglement, black widow, entrapment, intrigue, transgression, conspiracy, boasting, arrogance. Possibly can be used as a symbol for the world wide web.

How to find Arachne in your chart
Go to Astro.com and enter 407 into the asteroids which are found under the ‘extended chart selection’ option. Alternatively I can provide a list of asteroids in your chart via the following page…

Where is Arachne in your chart? What has your experience been of her or Spider Medicine? I’d love to hear your story.

 

If you are looking for an interpretation for Arachne in your own chart, I offer readings on the following page http://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings/

Painting – ‘Arachne(Dialects)’ by Paolo Veronese [public domain]

20 comments for “Asteroid Arachne

  1. October 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    This is sooo interesting!
    My little spider (19º Leo) is conjunct my Leo Sun (16º). What I found very
    curious is that Arachne is also conjunct my natal asteroid Valentine- number 447 – (also at 19º Leo.)

    I never actually focused in writing love stories – perhaps I should start!
    My Sun is in the 9th house and I think it might have to do with my interest in Astrology (there are other elements which explains it as well). Maybe I should focus more on Astrology writing – and maybe about love, lol. I don’t know. And, in my experience, so far, I haven’t seen jealousy.

    ****

    Dunya

  2. October 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Dunyazade – Arachne is fascinating isn’t she! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I also have Sun in the 9th – writing, writing, writing, lol! Perhaps love and astrology would be good subjects for you – a book about synastry perhaps?… :-D

  3. Laura
    October 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I have no idea how to find Arachne, but I remember a story I read as a child, where a little “medicine girl” kept spiders as pets and used their clean, freshly woven webs to wrap around finger cuts and blisters, and it helped the healing.

    Like many creatures on this planet, spiders are neither good or bad, they just are. What we make of them is more a reflection of us than a reflection of them.

    I also dislike them in the house, but if it is at all possible to throw them out without hurting them, I do.

  4. October 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    “What we make of them is more a reflection of us than a reflection of them.” – So true!

  5. Laura
    October 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Oops sorry you provided a link to Arachne.

    I’ll look for her after I figure out Chiron

  6. lissa
    October 17, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Thank you so much, Leah, for this beautiful, enlightening post about Arachne. I have read the mythology but somehow not able to interpret her (personally) (…asteroid Arachne is exactly conjunct my ascendent,)( just in the 12th ), i relate very much to what you wrote here. Hoping to book a reading with you soon. Thank you so much for all of your writing. Your work is comforting and supportive, inspiring – very grateful to you.

  7. October 17, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Hi Lissa – Thank you for your kind feedback, much appreciated :-) Arachne in the 12th conjunct the Ascendant makes me think of a dream weaver. Happy to read for you any time. I look forward to hearing from you x

  8. JG
    October 24, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I just looked it up. Arachne is at 29 Pisces in my birth chart. Hmmmmm, gonna have to think on this one……

  9. November 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Fascinating about Arachne. There are a couple of essence makers with spider or spiderweb essences. (Animal Esssences is one.) I found the essence very powerful in terms of knitting your life back together after a long period of disruption, or bringing together the various threads of life. Donna Cunningham

  10. November 28, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Hi Donna – I didn’t know they made animal essences, thank you for that! Yes, Arachne is fascinating and despite my fear of spiders(!), I have a strong affinity with them.

  11. February 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Hi Leah,

    I just stumbled across your website and I found parts of your article interesting to the point of fascination and other parts perhaps a tad cynical. I am an identical twin, and you describe many elements of Arachne manifested in my brother, but not necessarily in myself.

    I am a historian and a classicist, not an astrologer; therefore, could you please interpret what my asteroids mean? It came up with (under Arachne) 10 Vir 12′ 4″

    whatever that means.

    Yours hopefully,

    Maximus Mercurius Arachne.

  12. February 27, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Hi Maximus – Thanks for your comment. I think of the astrological chart like a cosmic genetic code. As with genetics, some things may manifest and some things don’t. Although you are a twin, there will be a few very subtle differences in your charts that may explain why your brother has manifested these traits more than yourself. Virgo generally is the sign of health and service and is especially know for analytical/organisational skills. To fully interpret your asteroids, I would need to work with your whole chart to see how everything is connected as the house placing and interconnections between planets. I offer a full natal chart analysis here http://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings/readings-offered/#NATAL

  13. Raphael
    March 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Wow! This is amazing, I have Arachne conjunct my venus at 0 degrees Virgo in 11th. This is also my chart ruler with my Libra ascendant. I’ve always wondered about a possible creative destiny in my life. And ive wondered if that was just one of my 12th house virgo sun/merc delusions. I’ve been strung along for about 7 or 8 years by my interest in music and I like to believe I have a real “knack” for it. I’ve wondered a lot about what role venus played as chart ruler in my life…..the traditional planets didn’t quite explain it enough.

    But since I’ve started studying the Centaurs, Asteroids and TNO objects, my chart has really opened it self to me in a whole new way.

    thanks for your light !

  14. March 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Thank you Raphael. Yes the minor planets do add great depth to the chart!

  15. Marissa
    March 8, 2014 at 2:43 am

    A lot of people say I’m really smart,
    must be because of my:

    Mercury conjunct Arachne (0*)
    Mercury conjunct Midheaven (5*)
    Mercury and Arachne conjunct DNA (3*)

    :D

  16. Aure
    March 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Hi Leah,

    thanks for the great site! :) I bumped into asteroid Arachne when I noticed it on a list of my asteroids and got curious, being a stage 5 arachnophobe :D (lucky or not, they don’t survive having entered my house) Arachne is at 16 degrees Aquarius exactly conjunct Penelope and a degree away from my Mars and 2 degrees from my North Node. What might Arachne’s influence in this combo be? I’m into the Aquarius -related stuff, space, new technology, human and animal rights etc. but “inborn talent”… don’t know about that :)

  17. March 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Aure – Thanks for your comment. I haven’t researched Penelope but with Arachne conjunct Mars perhaps you have a gift for making mental connections that others don’t make (Arachne/Aquarius) and a motivation/passion (Mars) for passing on the information that you discover which is part of your path in life (North Node). I think your interest in human/animal rights fits well with this :-)

  18. April 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I love learning about new stuff in astrology. I just looked up Arachne, and she’s not aspecting any major bodies. Only asteroids and my North Node!

    Arachne sextile NN (Pisces)
    Arachne oppose Vesta (Cancer)
    Arachne conjunct Pallas (Cap)
    Arachne semi-sextile Ceres (Aquarius)
    Arachne quincux Lilith! (Leo)

    I’ll need to research these for sure because I’m still really knew to asteroids. And my Arachne is in Capricorn. Maybe I’m naturally skilled at being critical. Hah.

  19. April 11, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Hi Tatiana – Lol, well I was thinking that with Arachne connected to your North Node, maybe she will help you to achieve your soul mission. Conjunct Pallas, there’s a real story about being able to recognise patterns too :-)

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