Pallas Athena: Woven Music

Tuesday September 13th 2011
This is similar to the one I looked at but
a photograph doesn’t tell you an eighth of it.

I had a strangely lovely experience yesterday.

I went to pick up a carpet that had been cleaned and got talking to the owners of the shop. Now I know very little about oriental carpets. I like them, but I’ve never really thought about them much and I certainly would never be able to tell a “good” one from a mediocre one.

So I got talking to the Legges, who are passionate rug aficionados and after a while, he hauled out a particular favourite – a tekke wedding carpet, about 200 years old from Turkmenestan.

It was very beautiful, in glowing reds and blues with some patterning in green. The pile was soft as cat’s fur.

So the Legges told me about this carpet and as I squatted on the floor in the autumn sunshine, I looked at this old rug and stroked it.

And then I had the thing. Suddenly, I was feeling the carpet more than just looking at it. The carpet was singing to me, talking to me. I felt the pattern in my soul. My pulse seemed to be beating in tune to the bold and gorgeous pattern.

No, dear reader, I hadn’t just taken the electric kool-aid acid test.

I left the shop giddy, floating, joyful.

It’s what’s known as Stendhal Syndrome – when you have an overwhelming physical reaction to a work of art.

Tekke artist
This picture was taken by the
Russian ethnographer Samuel Dudin
about 100 years ago.

I feel you roll your eyes and mutter, “It’s all right for some.” And possibly, “What has this got to do with astrology?”

I’ll tell you: pattern. Astrologers, as you know, are attuned to pattern. That is what we do all day; we seek patterns in time, in human behaviour, in the movement of the planets.

The asteroid associated with pattern-finding is Pallas Athena – goddess of wisdom and war – and weaving.

So, you ask me a simple question: how was she transiting your chart?

Yesterday was a full moon in Pisces, the most sensitive sign. Transiting Pallas is sextiling (a stimulating aspect) my Mercury in Pisces (my brain) and approaching a conjunction with my natal Venus (my sense of the beautiful). Transiting Mercury is opposing my natal Pallas.

All these aspects were exactly 4° from exact yesterday.

And one more aspect. Transiting Pallas is also exactly quincunx my natal Moon (my very soul). The quincunx is said to be a jarring, agitating, uneasy aspect. But in this case, looking at the world a little differently prised open my soul and allowed a new kind of beauty to flow in.

There is another part to this story: the weavers.

About 200 years ago a group of women and children started to weave a collection of carpets to celebrate a marriage and furnish the newly-wed couple’s tent: a pair of bags, the bride’s rug, a pair of doors, the wedding carpet itself. The most skilled women in the family probably made the one I looked at – and they were fine ladies in the tekke tribe – like Penelope in the Odyssey or Philomena or Pallas Athena’s rival, Arachne – with the time to perfect the art of weaving.

Together, they were doing with coloured wool what Andras Schiff and the Berlin Philharmonic are doing with musical instruments in this clip from YouTube.

And when night fell on the high wide plains of central asia 200 years ago, the dark sky was patterned with a carpet of stars.

If you’d like to read more about Pallas Athena and astrologers click here. If you’d like to see some of the carpets in Christopher and Angela Legge’s shop, click here.

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  1. Opal says:

    And I’ll bet they sang as they wove…..

  2. Opal says:

    Also, you reminded me of Gurdjieff, who dealt in oriental carpets, the proceeds from which he used (in part)to finance his esoteric group and their travels. So I looked up his Pallas – conjunct Venus in Sagittarius 🙂

  3. Christina says:

    I thought that too. I would love to hear what it sounded like.

    I love the Gurdjieff Pallas placement. Venus in Sag (foreign beauty=oriental carpet. Perfect.

  4. latifa says:

    hi Christina…love this post and the way you weave your story & share your sense of discovery…your posts have such a delightful resonance…I’m an astrologer in Honolulu…I have Sun trine Uranus trine Pallas in air…I’ve sold Oriental carpets for years and lead tours of Islamic art…Big Aloha, Latifa

  5. Neeti says:

    Christina, I don’t say it often enough but I love your blog. Thank you for all you share.

    Pallas is a big favorite of mine.

    And your Venus is very close to my ASC 🙂

  6. Christina says:

    Neeti – you are so charming and kind.

  7. MaryHu says:

    More great word-weaving, Christina! I’m intrigued by the Pallas/Penelope connection. My daughter is named Penelope(name chosen well before birth), and Pallas is exactly conjunct her Midheaven. She enjoys handloom weaving, but also mathematics…and perhaps astrology, someday?