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Weaving her web on my patio today

She was hanging in space – in a web of her own creation. I was intrigued by the zigzag pattern that she created. Most people take one look and think “Creepy!”  But I always think of Arachne (or Ariadne), one of the great goddesses of Ancient Crete. I have a hard time just going for the broom immediately so I let her hang around a bit before I almost fell into her web, then sent her running to another part of the garden.

There are a number of myths about Arachne, the Weaver Goddess. She was mistress of the Labyrinth in Minoan Crete  who led Theseus to the center and safely out again with her golden thread. But before gaining goddess status, as a mere mortal she refused to give Athena, goddess of wisdom and craft, credit for her weaving expertise and challenged her to a weaving contest. Athena became enraged at her more beautiful cloth and it’s depiction of Zeus and his amorous conquests and turned Arachne into a spider.

As an archetype, she helps us find our soul at the center of ourselves, via the Labyrinth. In biology, spiders are classified as “arachnids” after the Greek Goddess. So although a little creepy to allow her free reign, I find it more unsettling to squash this symbol of the ancient goddess.