Asteroid 407, Arachne, is a main belt asteroid located within the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Taking just over four years to orbit the Sun, Arachne moves through each sign every four months or so. Being a C-type asteroid, the carbonaceous compound of the object, assure a very dark asteroid, that can only be seen by telescope. Arachne was discovered on October 13th, 1895 (a Libra) by Max Wolf.
In the ancient Roman world, Arachne was a talented weaving artist, who had amazing skills and ego to match. Minerva, (the Greek equivalent of Pallas Athena), the patron of the weaving arts, was annoyed with Arachne for refusing to acknowledge that she received much of her talents from the Goddess herself. Disguised as an old woman, Minerva warned Arachne that she should respect the Gods, to which Arachne tilted her head back and laughed, scoffing at the concept. She then went on to tell the disguised old busy body that there should be a contest, a true decider of who was the most talented weavess of them all. The crinkled old woman, flapped her cape a few times and morphed into the Goddess Minerva.
The crowd gasped and the spinning contest began. Minerva chose a war theme, of her victory over Poseidon, whereas the cheeky Arachne chose to depict a theme of the Gods and Goddesses rampant and lax, sexual natures. Furious, not only at the chosen subject matter but at the pure beauty and perfection that was Arachne’s work, Minerva lost the plot. In a flurry of temper, Minerva destroyed the loom and struck Arachne on the head, slashing at her in a jealousy fueled frenzy. Beseeching of Arachne to bow before the Goddess, she refused and opted to hang herself, rather than do the bidding of one she held in such low esteem. Eventually, Minerva took pity on the dangling form of Arachne and loosened the rope, where she thus morphed into a spider and the myth lives on to this day.
To locate Arachne, asteroid 407, head to this page on astro.com and scroll down the bottom until you see the input spot. Keep your orbs within 1 degree and your aspects major – conjunction, square, opposition.
Here, there is natural talent, talent so great that it draws attention and ultimately, jealousy from others. When this jealousy connects with someone in power, there is the tussle between defending the talent, and respecting the subservience of position. Ultimately, there is a choice to be made – to yield, or to remain firm, even if the defiance ultimately ends the progressive path of exploring the talent.
In most mystical practices, the spider or arachne, represents the webs we weave. It is the deeper psyche and the intricate nature of intuition. Here, you can see where Arachne’s refusal to perhaps even heed her inner instinct for basic survival, not only were her talents thwarted but so was her life. To receive the message of the spider is to be encouraged to look deeper into the psyche, find the hidden elements or the missing key before acting out an intention.
In your chart, Arachne symbolises a great creative or intuitive gift and where you will face negative kickback from this talent. It also indicates an area where others will act superior in talent and knowledge to you, causing rebellion and confrontation. Ultimately, it will be dependent on your individual situation and other relevent aspects as to whether you will be defiant, or subservient. But regardless, the end outcome possibility is one of crucial choice. One can decipher that with a strong natal Arachne, it is best to temper the ego and allow the talent to speak for itself, rather than approach it with a boasting manner.
In transit, it would also be wise to consider the placements of Pallas, asteroid 2, Minerva, asteroid 93 and even Athene, asteroid 881, in the natal chart – to see how they interplay. These asteroids would indicate the superior presence and obvious ‘enemy’ towards the natal Arachne.
Artwork – copyright the original artist, who is unknown
©: Karen Piscitelli