Arachne and Her Children

Since choosing a name, one that literally means I’m becoming the spider, I discovered some new music (really the wrong word, there — the music existed before, so it’s not new; just new to me).

Specifically an UK band, and I can send my thanks out to Ms. Dirty for posting a song of theirs on Tumblr so I could have a listen. Bought their album and discovered a song called Arachne’s Song.


It really spoke to me — aside from the music being hauntingly beautiful, the lyrics tug at strands deep within myself. Specifically,

I may be fragile, fighting through
But they say silk is bulletproof
I may be frightened facing you
Still I spin out sideways from the truth


And sudden do my colours re-appear
And you cry out as I’m crawling ever near
Time’s too late to allow old regrets
I devoured those that I loved the best


So. What do these lyrics actually mean to me?

I’m still sorting that out.

The myth of Arachne, the grandmother of all spiders, is one that’s always stuck with me. Perhaps because I’m meant to work with Spider, or perhaps because I needed some story to tame my wild, uncontrollable fear of the creatures. The myth humanized them; made them safer to me.

Even now, thinking of them while listening to this song, I feel very calm. At peace.

And the spiders in my house are respecting my boundaries, which they’ve never done before. I think it’s because I’m finally acknowledging them and my need to work with them to have them in my life. Before I was full rejection and fear, and they responded in kind.

Perhaps part of Arachne’s punishment lives on: to be feared by the humans she once was. But spiders are good creatures; we forget that when our hearts freeze in ice at the sight of so many skittering legs. I think even the most serious arachnophobe can agree that an abundance of spiders is preferable to an abundance of mosquitoes or flies. (There are other creatures, of course, who keep insect populations down, and we need to honor them as well: birds, of course, and the also oft-feared bat.) Mayhap spiders are working off the debt of their grandmother through their good work in the world.

It’s funny. When I was very small I held no fear for the creatures. Not even Black Widows, and they send me screaming nowadays. As a child, in a state of innocence, I quite loved them. According to my mom I had a much-loved spider toy that I carried with me everywhere; upon my Montessori teacher asking me what his name was, I replied “She’s a girl and she just ate her husband.”

Something happened. I don’t know what. I can’t remember much of my childhood.

I have a feeling Spider is going to force me to remember, whether I feel ready or not.