Athena is the Greek and Roman Goddess of Wisdom, Law Making, Diplomacy, Strategy, Business and War. While she was also known as Minerva, she may very well be equivalent to the less well known Egyptian goddess Neith,whose symbols were a bow and two crossed arrow, as well as the Cosmic Knot, linking her to an understanding of the Cosmic Web of Life.
Athena is a Triple Goddess, meaning that she has many different attributes that can be expressed in a number of powerful ways. Her symbols were the owl for clairvoyance, the winged Pegasus for flight, the serpent for enlightenment, the torch for illumination, the staff for mastery, and the shield for protection. Her temples in the ancient world were usually set on top of hills called the Acropolis in many ancient cities. And as the powerful Roman Catholic Church took over from 400 CE onward, many of these ancient shrines were conscripted by the church because they lay at the intersection points of ley lines or magnetic pathways.
Barbara Walker, author of The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets tells us that the Church conscripted over 500 of these Goddess temples in a period of about 300 years, overwriting them with their own patriarchal agendas. However some of these temples they allowed to be dedicated to the Mother Mary, including the great church at the center of Assisi, Italy, that once belonged to Athena and is now dedicated to Mary the Mother of Jesus.
ATHENA AS THE TRIPLE GODDESS
In Athens, Greece, Athena was the patron saint of that city and her spiritual center lay at the heart of the city. It had three distinct temples and I have visited there with great awe from the majesty of their construction. The first temple and largest temple is the Parthenon. It was dedicated to the laws of Democracy, Governance, Diplomacy and Law.Today an intact replica can be found in the American city of Nashville, Tennessee, complete with its 50′ statue of Athena in gold. At her side is her golden shield and the snake of kundalini awakening.
Athena’s second temple on the same Acropolis was dedicated to all the practical Arts of Civilization such as textiles, weaving, building, and producing practical goods for the betterment of the community. This temple also protected the rights of women and children, and honored them as the backbone of all civilization with all the gifts they bring. This include the arts of pottery, agriculture, weaving, cooking, herbal remedies and plant cultivation.
The last temple was dedicated to Nike, the aspect of Athena that represents the importance of Liberty or Freedom. Nike is important to us as the aspect of Athena that recognized the need for all people, men and women alike, to choose their own destinies and follow the guidance of their hearts. Without freedom and without the right to make our own decisions, human beings cannot prosper and thrive in a balanced way. In many ways, freedom is the one quality that we all value the most. When one part of the culture is enslaved or repressed, be it women, children or even people of another color, we violate the primal principle upon which our Founding Fathers based the American Constitution: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while doing harm to none.
It is this aspect of Athena that now sits in our New York harbor as the Statue of Liberty today, holding her torch of illumination and hope for all the world. It is this aspect of Athena that was known as Minerva in Greece or Solis Minerva in ancient Britain where the city of Bath is today. It is this aspect of Athena that is known in England as Britannia, the goddess that the British National Anthem is dedicated to. it is this aspect of Athena that graces the beautiful city of Paris, France and capitals all over the European world.
In fact Athena is one of the few positive role models for women that we have left to us today. So let us be thankful to her for continuing to be present with us in our world.
Athena is great for giving us wisdom, courage, strength, strategy, and helping us in legal situations.