Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Athena ~ Goddess of Wisdom, Defensice and Strategic Wars

Origin: Greek
Language: Greek
Translation: Meaning unknown.
Feast Days: March 19th, May 20th, Month of June, September 21st
Goddess of: wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.
Goddess Type: Crone Goddess
Also Known As: Minerva,
Symbols/Offerings: Owls (Glaucus), Olive trees, Snakes, Aegis, Armor, Helmets, Spears, Gorgoneion,


Athena as the goddess of philosophy became an aspect of the cult in Classical Greece during the late 5th century BC. She is the patroness of various crafts, especially of weaving, as Athena Ergane.

The metalwork of weapons also fell under her patronage. She led battles (Athena Promachos or the warrior maiden Athena Parthenos) as the disciplined, strategic side of war, in contrast to her brother Ares, the patron of violence, bloodlust and slaughter—"the raw force of war". Athena's wisdom includes the cunning intelligence (metis) of such figures as Odysseus. Not only was this version of Athena the opposite of Ares in combat, it was also the polar opposite of the serene earth goddess version of the deity, Athena Polias.

Athena appears in Greek mythology as the patron and helper of many heroes, including Odysseus, Jason, and Heracles. In Classical Greek myths, she never consorts with a lover, nor does she ever marry, earning the title Athena Parthenos. A remnant of archaic myth depicts her as the adoptive mother of Erechtheus/Erichthonius through the foiled rape by Hephaestus. Other variants relate that Erichthonius, the serpent that accompanied Athena, was born to Gaia: when the rape failed, the semen landed on Gaia and impregnated her. After Erechthonius was born, Gaia gave him to Athena.

Though Athena is a goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom to settle predicaments.[15] The goddess only encouraged fighting for a reasonable cause or to resolve conflict. As patron of Athens she fought in the Trojan war on the side of the Achaeans.

Athena competed with Poseidon to be the patron deity of Athens, which was yet unnamed, in a version of one founding myth. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and that the Athenians would choose the gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring sprang up; this gave them a means of trade and water—Athens at its height was a significant sea power, defeating the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis—but the water was salty and not very good for drinking.

Athena, however, offered them the first domesticated olive tree. The Athenians (or their king, Cecrops) accepted the olive tree and with it the patronage of Athena, for the olive tree brought wood, oil, and food. Robert Graves was of the opinion that "Poseidon's attempts to take possession of certain cities are political myths" which reflect the conflict between matriarchal and patriarchal religions

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