Asteroid Files: Arachne

Helios Says:

I wasn’t going to do one of these this week, but I have been sitting on this one for a while and she was screaming at me to use her- and I never keep a woman waiting! Not this one at least…

The Astronomy– 407 Arachne is a large Main belt asteroid. It is classified as a C-type asteroid and is probably composed of carbonaceous material. It was discovered by Max Wolf on October 13, 1895 in Heidelberg.

The Myth– In Greco-Roman mythology, Arachne  is a talented mortal weaver who challenged (or was challenged by) Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, into a weaving contest; this hubris resulted in her being transformed into a spider. There are many versions of the story’s weaving contest, with each saying that one or the other won. One version appears in the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid: In this version, Arachne was a shepherd’s daughter who began weaving at an early age. She became a great weaver, boasted that her skill was greater than that of Athena, and refused to acknowledge that her skill came, in part at least, from the goddess. Athena took offense and set up a contest between them. Presenting herself as an old lady, she approached the boasting girl and warned: “You can never compare to any of the gods. Plead for forgiveness and Athena might spare your soul.”

“Ha! I only speak the truth and if Athena thinks otherwise then let her come down and challenge me herself,” Arachne replied. Athena removed her disguise and appeared in shimmering glory, clad in a sparkling white chiton. The two began weaving straight away. Athena’s weaving represented four separate contests between mortals and the gods in which the gods punished mortals for setting themselves as equals of the gods. Arachne’s weaving depicted ways that the gods had misled and abused mortals, particularly Zeus, tricking and seducing many women. When Athena saw that Arachne had not only insulted the gods, but done so with a work far more beautiful than Athena’s own, she was enraged. She ripped Arachne’s work into shreds, and sprinkled her with Hecate’s potion, turning her into a spider and cursing her and her descendants to weave for all time. This showed how goddesses punished those who were mortal.

The Astrology– In the chart, Arachne represents a point of great talent, something that is completely YOURS. This is something that you view as integral to your identity, and is wrapped up tightly with your ego. This talent is part of you. It can cause you great distress when it is challenged, whether by merit, or in competition. With that, it is easy to see how the Arachne story plays out- if the talent is nurtured, the ego is nurtured as well, and the superstar complex starts taking over. The other main thing with this one is the lesson that you will attract haters when you start working her, and using your talent. Sure, you will have fans and admirers too, but they never clamor as loudly or sting as badly as the haters; They will hurt more. You will need to develop a thick skin for that, if you want to progress with your talent- I imagine there were quite a few people who talked behind Arachne’s back, saying that she thought she was too good for a shepherd’s life, or that she was wasting her time weaving, and those comments will get to you. The trouble is that only serves to further isolate you, leaving you with just your talent and your ego, becoming a feedback loop. While these dangers are real, the real gem in this story is that if you nurture your talent, you can overcome heaven itself, and any pinche god who tries to stand in your way- And that is worth any amount of haters!

To find out where she shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, all the way at the bottom, there will be a menu of additional objects.  Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 407, for Arachne.  Once you have it entered, generate the chart!  Where does Arachne affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: ,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.