“Arachne’s themes are work, weaving and destiny. Her symbols are webs, spinning wheels and needles.
Arachne, the Greek spider Goddess, inspires positive changes in your destiny for the new year. Legend tells us that Arachne challenged Athena to a weaving contest and won. In anger, Athena destroyed the girl’s tapestry. Arachne, grief-stricken, took her destiny in hand and turned herself into a spider, but she continues to use her weaving talents to spin and pattern the lives of mortals.
According to lore, Saint Distaff, the patroness of weaving, was a fictional persona made up to mark the resumption of normal activity after the holidays. Instead of this imaginary figure, we turn to Arachne to help us take the strands of our fate in hand and begin weaving a year filled with Goddess energy.
To direct your spiritual focus toward the Goddess, wear something woven today, or display it proudly. If you have no such items, braid together three strands of thread or yarn, saying something like:
‘Arachne, bless this magic braid
so on you my mind is staid.’
Carry this as a charm to keep your thoughts and actions Goddess-centered.
Finally, mend any work clothes in need of repairs to improve your job standing. As you make the final knot in a button or hem, bind the magic by saying:
‘This thread I wind
The Magic bind.’
Visualize your professional goals as you work.”
(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)
In another version I read, Athena, angered at Arachne’s challenge, as well as the presumptuousness of her choice of subjects, tore Arachne’s tapestry (a tapestry showcasing scenes of Zeus’various infidelities: Leda with the Swan, Europa with the bull, Dana and the golden rain shower) to pieces and destroyed the loom. Then she touched Arachne’s forehead, making sure that she felt full guilt for her actions. Arachne was ashamed, but the guilt was far too deep for her poor, mortal mind. Depressed, she hanged herself.
Athena took pity on Arachne. She most likely did not expect that Arachne would commit suicide. She brought her back to life, but not as a human. By sprinkling her with the juices of aconite, Athena transformed the woman into a spider, her and her descendants to forever hang from threads and to be great weavers.