Facts about Athena Goddess of war and wisdom
Unlike the war God Ares, Athena was not known for her brutality and bullying behaviour.
She was more of a stategist and a diplomat and was called upon to mediate in several disputes and wars amongst the Gods. She owned no weapons of her own borrowing them instead from Zeus.
This Greek Goddess was also associated with domestic crafts
In Greek mythology, she was not just the Goddess of war she also taught Prometheus architecture, astrology, mathematics, medicine and navigation. Additionally she is accredited with the invention of spinning, weaving, the plough and rake.
She is the Patron Goddess of the city of Athens where her most famous statue is situated in the Parthenon.
This Goddess oversees the physical buildings and structures that protect the Greek people such as harbours, fortresses and law courts.
Athena assisted many of the Greek heroes in their quests including Perseus, Hercules, Odysseus and Jason.
Goddess Athena's Family: This Goddess had a very unusual birth as she sprung, fully grown from the head of her father, Zeus. He had swallowed her mother, Metis whole, fearing that like his father before him his position would be usurped by one of his children.
Athena became Zeus's favorite child, so much so that he entrusted her with his shield the Aegis.
Athena's Siblings: She had lots of half brothers and sister's including: Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Hephaaestus, Hebe, Hermes, Persephone, the Fates, the Graces, the Muses, Tityus. The number would be even greater if I included all of the children from her father's affairs with mortals.
In Libya where the war Goddess was also worshipped she was said to be the daughter of the Sea God, Poseidon and the lake Tritoris.
She herself never married. There are several myths where Athena defends her virginity when she receives unwelcome male attention. This is why the temple dedicated to her is called the Parthenon as the word means temple of the virgin in Greek.
Despite being a virgin she had a child named Erichthonius. He was born after a failed rape attempt when his father's seed fell upon the fertile earth.
Strengths: Rational, intelligent, a powerful defender and arbitrator.
Weaknesses: Too ruled by her head and out of touch with her emotions and femine side. Unapproachable and lacking in compassion.
Roman Equivalent Minerva
The Archetypal female Warrior, she is usually depicted wearing a helmet and a goat skin breastplate known as the Aegis. On this breastplate she mounted the terrifying head of the Goddess Medusa.
This Greek Goddess was referred to as the Goddess with bright eyes. Some scholars suggest that this supports the theory that in earlier times she was also a storm and lightening Goddess.
Sacred animals: Snakes form part of her famous statue.
Sacred birds: The owl is linked with Athena the Greek Goddess as it represents wisdom and watchfulness.
Sacred Plants: Mulberry, oak and olive trees. She is said to have created the very first olive tree.
This Archetype represents physical strength, and the ability to protect and fight for your rights and those of of others.
The shadow side of the Warrior reflects the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principals to prove your supremacy.
The Greek Goddess main Archetype is that of the female Warrior. This is illustrated by her role of patron and defender of Athens. She also became involved in the war against the giants and the siege of Troy.
Find out about other famous Warrior Goddesses by following the link.
The Diplomat Archetype is able to mediate between different groups, as they are able to quickly assess the situation, understanding both sides point of view. Helping them to find a middle ground upon which they can both agree.
The Shadow Diplomat manipulates both sides to achieve their own personal agenda.
This may seem a strange archetype for the Goddess of war, however Athena was able to avert several wars through the use of her diplomatic and negotiating skills.
The Teacher/ Inventor:
The Teacher and Inventor communicates knowledge, experience and wisdom.
In it's shadow aspect, the Teacher may manipulate and mislead their students by indoctrinating them with negative beliefs and destructive behaviours.
In Greek mythology this Goddess is the protector and advisor of the heroes Hercules, Perseus and Ulysses.
As an Inventor this Goddess teaches mankind how to spin and weave, however it is in this role that we see her need to control her "students" and she will not allow anyone to surpass her accomplishments.
If you are drawn to work with this Goddess you may require her Warrior spirit to help you to stand up for your rights and set firm personnal boundaries. This Goddess can be a great stereotype to work with if you want to take control in your life, and wish to no longer play the role of the victim.
You may also wish to call upon this Goddess to champion the cause of others.
Conversely this Goddess may appeal to you if you have a very strong sense of self and are proud of the victories you have achieved. The shadow side of this Goddess may be asking you to reflect honestly on the cost of these victories. Have they been at the expense of others or your principles?
To have the Diplomat as one of you main archetypes you do not have to be a diplomat by profession. However you must have a life-long commitment to resolving disputes and bringing people together. This can often occur within families where one member of the family is constantly trying to keep the peace and the family together.
Check you are not stepping into this Archetype's shadow by asking yourself if it is you who will benefit most from the outcome you are steering the different sides towards?
The Teacher/ Inventor:
This Archetype may suggest a love of passing on wisdom and learning to others.
This Goddess wise counsel can also be called upon to help you see a way through any present difficulties or to help you to master a new skill.
The shadow aspect of this stereotype is also a reminder that whenever we find ourselves in a teaching or mentoring role we must aim to be a positive role model, encouraging others to reach their full potential.