Earth goddess, creator, and protector of life to many southwestern Native American cultures. She is often portrayed as an old woman or spider and is often referred to as Grandmother Spider. Stories about Spider Woman often revolve around her weaving the earth together and creating life from clay.


Also a comic book character that first appeared in the second series of Marvel Comics' Amazing Spider-man, Issue #5, and then went on to star in her own series of comics.

Arachne, (whose name spawned the term arachnid), according to Greek mythology was a weaver who bragged that she could weave a finer piece of fabric than the patron goddess of the arts, Athena. Athena sought to disprove this mortal's claim, so she disguised herself as an old woman and went to visit Arachne. The goddess warned the weaver to beg Athena for forgiveness and to content herself with being the best weaver among the mortals. The stubborn Arachne refused, so Athena dropped her disguise and challenged Arachne to a weaving contest right then and there. Arachne paled, but accepted the challenge. Athena wove a tapestry depicting the gods of Olympus in all of their glory, punishing mortals who thought too highly of themselves. Arachne chose to mock the gods in her cloth, showing them at their weakest moments, especially poking fun at Zeus and his many mortal conquests. Some say that her tapestry was just as fine as Athena's, if not more so, but this did not matter. The gods had been ridiculed and Arachne needed to be punished. Athena destroyed Arachne's tapestry, then pressed her spindle to the mortal's forehead, causing her to feel incredibly guilty for what she had done. Arachne then took some of the thread from her loom and hanged herself. Athena took pity on the lifeless maiden and turned her into a spider, doomed to trail her thread behind her for the rest of eternity.

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