Monday, May 14, 2012

More About Goddesses: Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War (Essay)

Athena – Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War 
by Tim Kavi

The Greek goddess Athena, often portrayed as full of mercy, strong, and fair, skill and endeavor,  is also considered the goddess of heroes and the heroic journey.  Also viewed as a representative of Divine Intelligence, and as a goddess of warfare, she was considered the patron goddess of Athens.  According to legend, she had quite an unusual birth. Her father, Zeus, ate his first wife, Metis, because he feared when she became pregnant that she had in her womb the son that was prophesied to usurp him of his own throne. This caused him a great headache, worse than any other, and to be rid of it he let another god open up his head. At this moment, it is said that Athena sprang forth from the forehead of Zeus and she was fully clothed in the attire of war.

So, it was not the son he feared that came out – rather his beautiful, full grown daughter Athena, already dressed in full golden body armor that was “born”. Athena became Zeus’ favorite child, motherless as she was. She was the only one that he told his secret of where to find his lightning bolts, plus she was trusted to guard his magic shield.

Generally, Athena is seen with a spear in her hand, and her helmet of gold tipped to show her beauty. Although she was dressed for battle, she was much more known for her job as diplomat, judge and mediator. People knew her for her fair and compassionate decisions. Stories also tell of how she helped many other gods, goddesses and heroes out when they were faced with a great problem that seemed impossible.

She was probably the start to the first independent woman. Referred to as a virgin, she was not swayed by Aphrodite, and she stayed independent of all of the responsibilities of marriage and being a mother. You did not hear of romance or marriage in Athena’s story.

In Roman mythology, she is known as Minerva, and according to Plato she is also prefigured by the Egyptian goddess, Neith.

Poet's Note:  Later, this post was reprinted as a Foreword in a 2013 edition of 'Athena Queen of the Air' by John Ruskin.  The book has much more additional material about the Goddess Athena. I hope that readers of both resources--don't mind that this entry remains here on my blog. You can get the Kindle eBook: 'Athena: Queen of the Air' by clicking here.

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