Friday, January 13, 2012
A is for Athena
I joined in the Pagan Blog Project in an effort to expand my spiritual knowledge. Up until I found Rowan Pendragon's little project, I found myself constantly saying, "I need to find time too______". Even with the first post, I fell back on something I knew rather than exploring a new topic. Disappointed in myself, I did some thoughtful reflection and decided that I want to become better acquainted with Goddesses that have been revered throughout history and how they connect with different cultures. This is not a new endeavor for me, but a re-awakening of a desire to know that I have not followed through on in the past. In fact, a few years back, I took the "Goddess Quiz" () hoping to find a starting point. Looking back, I remember that it was Athena who was identified as my primary Goddess archetype. I had always planned to "find time" to get better acquainted with her, so this exercise has opened the door.
Athena is a Greek Goddess, but I found that she might have roots in Egypt; at least Plato thought so. He identified her as the Goddess Neith, who held sway over warfare and later weaving. Plato believed that Athena was born when Greek and Egyptian cultures began to exchange ideas. To me, this verifies the Universality of many spiritual beliefs and says that my sister Goddess has been around for a really long time.
Athena is most identified as the Goddess of War. Taken at its face value, that title just didn't seem to fit with me. Now, after research, I can see it a little better. While the title sounds ominous, her expertise was in the wisdom of war, understanding methods and strategies. Athena preferred to settle issues through diplomacy rather than battle. When viewed in this light, I can see the similarity. I have often found myself in a leadership role, asked to make discussions and settle issues between individuals or groups. My chosen method in settling these matters has always been contemplation of the facts, a review of precedence, and what the circumstances called for. A show of force has never been appealing to me, though if forced, I do know how to stand my ground.
I was very interested to find that Athena and I are more alike in later life, when she was credited with being the first to teach the science of numbers and was heavily involved in with craft work, especially weaving, spinning, metal work, and cooking. Again, a connection. I have always felt a connection to craft work and learned many of the skills when I was younger. Now, in my Crone years, I have taken those skills and have built a business that is grounded in this area. I find joy everyday in sewing, designing jewelry, crocheting, and yes, even preparing simple meals.
The descriptions given Athena paint a picture of a woman who was comfortable with both the female and male aspects of her personality. This is another connection, as I have always considered myself to be a mixture of "tomboy" and "girly-girl". In fact, my husband will be the first to tell you, "if it's broken, take it to Paula". I am as handy with the drill and saw as I am the needle and thread.
The research for this article has helped me to better see the connection I have with Athena. There may or may not be similar connections as I continue to work my way down the list of Goddesses, but I am eager to explore them more deeply.