Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spiders and Arachne

Spiders both fascinate me as well as cause an instant dislike.  Red backs, white tails, wolf and huntsmen are best found outside and when this occurs, we have a lovely relationship.  I watch black house spiders with great suspicion, and abmit that Daddy long legs are probably the only member of arachnids that I am happy to share my home with, more to the fact that they tend to keep the other “nasties” at bay, than anything else.

From Greek mythology comes the story of Arachne, a young girl from Lydia, who was so gifted in the art of weaving, that she boasted her ability even outshone that of Athena, the Goddess of Weaving.  The boast was overheard by the Goddess, who challenged the girl to a weaving competition. 
 
The tapestry Athena created depicted her success in being honoured as the patron of Athens over Poseidon, the God of the Ocean, and in each corner, she also included incidents that illustrated the displeasure of the Gods at presumptuous mortals, a subtle warning to Arachne to give up the contest before it was too late.  Arachne, on the other hand, continued weaving and created a tapestry that depicted the various infidelities of Zeus, the leader of the Greek Olympian Gods and Athena’s father.  

Whilst Athena could not fault Arachne’s work, the Goddess was greatly angered by the challenge and the presumptuousness of the girl’s subject.  She tore the tapestry to shreds, destroyed Arachne’s loom, and then touched the girl’s forehead, making sure she would feel guilt for her actions.  Arachne finally realised her folly.  Her shame and guilt consumed her so much that Arachne hung herself. 
 
Feeling remorseful because of what had happened; Athena sprinkled the girl’s body with the juice of an aconite plant and brought Arachne back to life, not as a human but as a spider.  This way, Arachne, along with her descendants, were now destined to forever hang from threads and to endlessly spin their webs.

Within metaphysical thought, to encounter a spider is a reminder that we will have our own ability to weave our lives into strong and beautiful works of art.  If our weaving gets damaged or even destroyed, there are often resources deep within our own selves to reweave.  Spiders tend to be very patient creatures with an incredible tenancy to rebuild their webs numerous times.  Ted Andrews suggests that when spiders come into our lives, we should not be afraid of them.  Instead, their arrival marks the time when we should ask ourselves some of the following questions:

·                Am I weaving my dreams and goals into reality?
·                Am I using my creative opportunities to the best of my ability? 
·                Do I feel trapped in my current situation or caught in a web (whether self-created or created by another)? 
·                Do I need to write or am I inspired to write/draw but am not following this through?
·                When something is not working out how we initially envisioned it, are we able to rebuild or should we walk away?

We can learn much from the spider, and maybe when we can truly appreciate what they can teach, then we may be able to coexist more easily with them (even the “nasty” red backs, white tails and huntsmen).

 

1 comment:

  1. Love this post, glad we don't have any scary spiders in England lol! Your blog is lovely, so much detailed information. If you would like to follow me back that would be wonderful, still learning my way round the blogging world! http://www.astartemoonblog.blogspot.co.uk/
    blessings, Alison xx

    ReplyDelete

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Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.


You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.