Work

 

When you hurt a spider
You hurt the goddess.

This card is the suit of form in the sphere of form, Binah. Binah is the dark mother so I chose spiders to represent her. The spiders are Arachne, the weaver, who creates beautiful but useful art. Anyone who has seen a spider web sparkle with early morning dew knows the meaning of aesthetic functionality.

Personally I am a great believer in useful art. Art that is used every day becomes a part of people, seeps into their consciousness much more effectively than art that sits on a gallery wall. Of course it is derided by the establishment because of its feminine attributions, just as Binah, the dark mother has been, and by association, the beautiful spider. These are the type of spider that decorate my garden, and in fact the whole city, dangling everywhere from trees and power lines and reaching sometimes the size of a mans’ hand. They aren’t white though…that is my artistic license and a symbol to me of trying to subvert the cliche of evil dark spiders. My spiders are the good guys. There is certainly nothing to fear from Golden Orb Weaver spiders, whatever colour they are, unless you are an insect. They are such industrious and creative creatures, but they also know how to wait, which seems to me the perfect formula for work of a spiritual and artistic nature.

If you want to understand more about the Qabalah and the system and meaning it gives to the minor arcana there is no better book on the subject than Dion Fortunes “Mystical Qabalah”. Witty, amusing and crystal clear…there are very few occult tomes you could say that about. Quite often she makes me laugh out loud.

7 responses

  1. Simply beautiful! Your spiders are wonderful, especially the ones on the side. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the centre even loks like a kind of spider. And you’ve incorporated the eyes again, which I absolutely love.

    There was a massive orb weaver that I would walk by in its wen every afternoon on the way home from school. It creeped me the hell out and was absolutely fascinating at the same time. I am very arachnophobic – even the tiniest spider is enough to paralyse me, or set me doing my “spider dance”. What I find interesting is how this is passing away somewhat, ever since I discovered Hekate.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    • There are very few arachnophobes in Australia, I think because they are forced to leave because there are just so many spiders here!
      I don’t much like it when they land on me, but I love to watch them. Once I watched a spider being hunted by a wasp, and I was so touched by how sentient and frightened the spider seemed, I have never seen them in the same way since then. I think like most predators, they are quite intelligent.

      March 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

  2. I can’t say I think spiders are beautiful, but at the same time I try never to kill one. When I find them in the house, I trap them and take them outside (for some reason I was getting a lot of them in my house for awhile, but haven’t seen any in quite some time now).

    The card is beautiful, however. I love the primary wheels of color coming together and blending into the secondary colors.

    March 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    • There are two types of spiders here. One are acceptable indoor residents (like the huntsman…I have one of these shy sweet fellows behind every painting), and the other are the type you definitely want to evict, like the funnel web I found under my bed once.
      I think most subtropical places people have to accept being surrounded by lots of critters or fight an endless losing battle poisoning everything in sight. The house is also full of geckos. Both the spiders and the geckos eat the mosquitos, which are by far the most annoying creatures.

      March 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

  3. sumina

    The goddess must be very pleased at our place: like you, l encourage acceptable spiders to share our house and garden. Perhaps that’s why our house and garden were virtually unaffected by cyclone Yasi when others close by were not so fortunate?? As you know, our house is also full of gorgeous bulging-eyed (and bulging-stomached) geckos. Interestingly, although both the spiders and geckos feed on insects, they co-exist harmoniously in the same limited territorial space. I think it is the spider’s inherent patience (rather than any attribute of the gecko) that makes the situation so workable. Many work places could certainly benefit by taking a leaf out of their book – in many work places competition and intolerance to difference is rife, manifesting in institutionalised bullying, harassment, etc.

    And yes, the innate beauty of a spider web is certainly amplified at dawn: aesthetic functionality in one of its finest and purest forms. I also agree that functional art is the optimum form of art as its effect on one’s life is, even if only at a subconscious level, truly pervasive. I do, however, believe that all art is useful. Perhaps it is simply a matter of semantics in that there are degrees of usefulness with functionality being the most useful. While art which hangs on a gallery wall may not be functional per se, if it resonates with the viewer, challenges the viewer’s beliefs and/or worldview, this can of course be incredibly useful not only for the viewer but for those they encounter. Indeed, this is not unlike your art work which offers new perspectives, insights and interpretations on the otherwise conventional understanding of the tarot cards … something which has been long overdue!

    March 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

    • I do think this, if you really love nature it will love you back. The land here is in fact, lonely for good human company.
      I don’t think nature has the same expectations as us though. It can love you and eat you at the same time. I think it really is quite horribly random sometimes, but I also think you can draw stressful experiences to yourself by being a stressed out person. And if you are calm and aware then you will see danger coming much more quickly.

      As far as art goes I think anything beautiful is useful, even better if it is beautiful and meaningful. But I spent the last twenty years playing with Lady Frieda Harris’ tarot cards and her lovely art really seeped into my bones. I look at it more often than even my own art, because I do reading with it almost every day.
      It’s a great creative stage for hanging a whole flotilla of sense and meaning. You know I was always so torn between Art and Writing. This way I can do both.

      March 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm

  4. sumina

    You are certainly not alone in your thinking about land: loving the land and the land loving you back is the cornerstone of the Dreamtime in Aboriginal culture.

    I cannot express in words how happy I am that you have found a way to combine your brilliant talent and passion for both art and writing: the world is a better place for it! Bravo!!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:08 am

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