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 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 https://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings/

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

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38 COMMENTS

  1. 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. 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?… 😀

  3. 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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 https://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings/readings-offered/#NATAL

  9. 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 !

  10. 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*)

    😀

  11. 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 😀 (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 🙂

  12. 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 🙂

  13. 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.

  14. 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 🙂

  15. ~ wow; where to start?!!

    Spider has always been my Spirit Medicine.
    I wrote a book about The Weaver Goddess (The Moirae) because I literally and visually saw the fabric of life, itself… Creatrix.

    It’s called “Following Moira”.

    So, today, I find an article on authors, characters, and personal asteroids; I decide to look up Moira – only to discover that transiting Moira and The Sun are conjunct!
    *~ Illuminated ~*

    Then, I find ARACHNE (searched Klotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, too).

    BEHOLD!
    #Arachne is conjunct my AC (which is conjunct my Neptune)!!!
    ~ on this day, the day of my revelation, transiting Arachne is being approached by Uranus: all of which TRINE my Neptune/AC/Arachne!

    xXx Phew! xXx

    My Revelation:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154392107145341&set=a.10150106430150341.399846.778160340&type=1&theater

  16. I’ve just worked out that in my natal chart Arachne is at Leo,10 deg, 38′ 44″,
    conjunct my Asc at Leo 11 deg, 2′ 16″, and my Mars at Leo 9 deg, 24″ 44″.

    Hmmm…how do I interpret this?

  17. hi, i’m confronting a series of repetitive impasses right now and just came across this site given arachne is in my sign (i think).

    i was born 5/5/78 at 2.18pm in Gladstone, Queensland Australia. So taurus sun, virgo ascendant, and arachne is in 7 Virgo, 34″ 11″.

    i have a problem with emapthy in my relations. more specifically i can “see” people’s individual structure, imagination, struggles, without understanding that often they can’t see mine… so that me saying small notable things that i think are just minorly helpful to where they are at, can be quite confronting or intensely ‘real’, while i feel like i’m just communicating casually and sincerely (which they often seem to ask for).
    clearly in other contexts this might not be a problem at all, but it puts me in situations where i realise i’m not _actually_ having an official intimate relationship with someone who i can really ‘see’ and love so easily, while they continue to struggle despite all the insight i can casually provide them. that makes me sound arrogant (a problem) and distant from my _own_ problems (also true) so reading this arachne thing, given how much i find others intersting puzzles to weave, seemed interesting. anyway, i’d lvoe to hear your thoughts. its a bit of an impasse for me. i’m 36, many intelligent and lvoing and deep deep friendships, but never had reciprocal love in my life for the above and other reasons. people either find me too intense or too passive or too analytical or too sensitive or treat me like a kind of armchair shrink to “stop seeing” as soon as they have worked through the challenges of their life with my (I thought) ordinarily giving conversation. 🙁 tips, help, insights. most appreciate.d

  18. Hi msres – thanks for your comment. Arachne may be an influence here but I would also look to major planetary aspects first to see what the grand design is overall, especially as this has been an ongoing issue in your life. That said, if Arachne is on your Ascendant, it’s possible others see the web before they see the spider 🙂

    With Arachne in Virgo, it makes sense that you can see the individual structures you mentioned in others. If you would like to explore this issue further, I offer readings here https://www.leahwhitehorse.com/readings Blessings

  19. Hi Myles – It would depend on your chart as a whole but generally speaking you are looking at talents of a Neptunian nature. For example, the fine arts, photography, painting, dance, poetry, a fine imagination. It could also be a spiritual gift – strong intuition, powerful compassion, the ability to know what to do to help another.

  20. Hi, just wondering if you have any insight to Libra Arcahne (the ruler Venus in Leo in 1st) conjunct Jupiter exact in 4th house and square Ascendant and Trine Moon?

    Thanks for any insight

  21. Sorry it took me so long to reply but Leah I figured it out, I forgot to mention that my arachne and neptune are both in Capricorn. And both placed in my 2nd house with Capricorn on the cusp, so and write poetry and inspired by music to write lyrics

  22. Thanks for your writing, I enjoy them very much, both as an asteroid loving elder and whose only teacher in a 40 year love of astrology, was Demetra George, blessings

  23. My natal Arachne is at 7º 39 Scorpio house IX with no aspects. Even having Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon in Scorpio, Arachne has no aspects in my natal chart.
    I don’t know exactly how to use my real “gift”.

  24. This was so helpful, Leah — I came to read it as the new moon in Cap is conjunct my Arachne in Cap in my 5th house which is trine my MC in Taurus. (and opposite my Saturn). I like what Donna Cunningham said about knitting your life back together. I really need that as I have had a brutal three years but now have the courage to get up.

  25. Hi K. – Donna’s work is excellent isn’t it! I’m sorry to hear these past years have been so hard on you but wishing you strength as you knit your life back together. Blessings.

  26. My natal Arachne is at 09º 17 Scorpio exact(0.15′) conjunction with Mercury-Hermes , where the star Nusakan is….Beta (?) Corona Borealis

    It is a crown of exile for some of us… just visiting the plain of biological species called humans-anthropoi – ano-throsko in my native Greek language.

    Exceptional post , symmetric , with Dorian adequacy and wise.
    My greetings

  27. Hi, my arachne is conjunct my south node in scorpio in the 5th house.My south node is conjunct neptune in the 4th house (they are on the cusp). What does that mean. Arachne is also conjunct the asteroid Sphinx. Arachne is also trine or sextile al the other planets, i have 2 kites in my horoscope and a mystical rectangle. i am a leo sun with leo ascendant with moon in pisces, venus, mars, and jupiter are in 12th hous in cancer. DNA is conjunct chaldea, atlantis is conjunct sun.

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