Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Spider's Web

The premise behind the Mystic Spiral Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) is that through the ages the search for knowledge and wisdom can be represented by the spiral.  Found in nature - from galaxies to DNA - in mathematics and sacred geometry, it represents eternal truths.

In today's card, we see someone caught up in watching a spider hanging from a thread, in a web between two branches of an olive tree.  I wondered if this could have anything to do with competition - two scientists from ancient times trying to solve a particular riddle and the winner finding their inspiration in a spider's perseverance and amazing web.  There are plenty of tales of that sort, and spider's webs are astonishing in their design and structure. 

To my surprise, this card does have links to competition, but of a very different sort.  This is Athena watching Arachne, who she had turned into a spider.  Arachne was extremely proud of her weaving skills, to such a degree that she challenged Athena to a tapestry-weaving competition.  Athena became enraged and tried to instill guilt in her competitor.  Arachne ended up shamed and depressed, and committed suicide.  Athena had not wanted this outcome, and brought Arachne back to life as a spider so that she and her descendants could impress people through the ages with their skills.

This card, then, can speak to the question of playing fair, as well as to competition, and the unforeseen consequences of our actions.  I remain, too, with the idea of the incredible skill and perseverance of the spider, something we should heed if we want to succeed in a competition, if only with ourselves.  And finally there is the wonder of nature in creating such intricate and beautiful objects.

Today, then, I am reminded to do my very best in anything I undertake, and to stay humble.  Any skills I have are something I should give thanks for, rather than taking pride in, and should be worked at.  I will try to make my creations beautiful as well as useful.

I am grateful for the reminder to work hard to make the world a more beautiful place.

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