Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wisdom is renewed! Athena and the Shadows

It's been quite a while but my love of goddesses cannot be ignored. Sometimes, you have to go back to basics and kindle the passion that started you on a certain path to begin with. Familiar ideas spring forth, seemingly from no where, but I think the mind has hidden depths. To reach these shadowy places, I am diving down with a simple concept. Like attracts like. If I hold up an image of humanity that inspires me, encourages me, comforts me, I will pull my own ability to do those things from myself.

A woman of strength and clarity lies buried within, like a forgotten statue, stuck in the sea floor.

To bring her to the surface, I started with a simple technique. I drew a card. Use tarot, use oracle cards, angel cards or goddess cards. There are many websites that will let you do a virtual spread or just pick one. Also, apps can put tarot decks and oracle decks at your fingertips. I used Goddess Enchantment Oracle app by Indie Goes Software. My first card was Athena, Goddess of Wisdom.

The Athena Fountain (Pallas-Athene-Brunnen)

Emerging fully formed from the head of Zeus, her father and king of the Olympian deities, she represents wise counsel, strategy, reason, intellect and warfare (but also peace.) She is the patroness of Athens, Greece. It is said that she and Poseidon competed for possession of the city. He brought forth a spring for the people to drink from, but since he was an ocean god, the water was salty. Athena created the first olive tree. She won Athens, making olives and olive oil a few of her sacred symbols. 

The symbol of the owl most resonates with me. Athena was sometimes called Athena Glaukopis meaning "blue-eyed" or "gray-eyed". Originally, it may have meant "bright-eyed". In any case, the relevant link is between the big, bright eyes of the owl and Athena's wisdom. Being able to see in the dark and is an apt metaphor for being able to "see" the truth of a matter. Also, there is a species of small owl that is indigenous to the area around Athens. It can be found on ancient coinage with Athena and is sacred to her.

If anyone can help us to see beyond the shadows, it is Athena and her owl companion.

Athene Noctua

Going back to my cafepress shop, I found a jumping off point from back in 2005! My Goddess of Wisdom design features an owl, though not an Athene Noctua. Still, the eyes are compelling, seeing deep into a problem and beyond it. It is no wonder owls are used to represent learning and knowledge. We see them every June when the graduates celebrate their hard work. We also see them in popular culture, movies and television. Wisdom can only come with time, I think. And it is more than learning facts. It is the synthesis of those facts along with a respect for the patterns of human behavior that we see again and again. Athena herself would never fight for a cause that was unjust. She is also the patroness of civilization, agriculture, handicrafts, all the things that allow us to live together in peace and prosperity. 

I hope she will bring these blessings to you and put the right tools in your hands.

No comments: