This week we explore the qualities of Athena. Namely, her hero-favoring nature and her commanding and tempered presence. With Athena, we accomplish our goals with spear-pointed precision and our vulnerabilities are well armored and protected. Born from the head of Zeus, her nature is uncharacteristic of traditional feminine qualities. She knows and provides no womb yet favors the tempered and mindful. It only makes sense that she is also well known as the patron goddess of the craftsmen. Where artists might devote their talents to the beauty of Aphrodite, those that work meticulously to complete their works are in the service and recipience of Athena.
The Realm of Athena
Athena was once said by Zeus to be the only rightful heir to his throne. One could speculate quite a lot about this statement. On the one hand, we may consider her to be the evolved state of a more whole and balanced psyche. Her characteristics are often more associated after all with the masculine mind: war, shields, physical strength, and battle armor. However, on the other, she has the emotionally regulated virtues of the feminine. When one reconciles the inner world with the crafting and strategies in life, we are in the realm of Athena.
Athena’s Guiding Hand
I think our greatest exemplification of Athena is found in the Odyssey. Odysseus’ story is the story of those returning from war. His story is the story of all of us that had to harden and continue to long for a home and harmony within. In his case, Odysseus is on his way home across the Aegean. He longs for his wife, his land, and even his dog. But how does one make the journey from war and trauma to tender presence? We, like Odysseus, need Athena. She guides Odysseus, provides for him the endurance, the chance to grieve, the warnings against temptresses, and, above all, the wisdom to move through each phase without losing sight of his goals. Athena calms crowds when Odysseus speaks, interrupts indulgences. and battles the Poseidon of wild seas of emotion with temperance and meticulous sincerity.
A More Tempered Femininity
Where does Athena reside in our psyche today? Can we see the differences between the short bursts of motivation and the long spear craftsmanship of Athena? While connecting with the inner feminine can look like beauty, refreshment, presence, and transcendent peace (womb-like rest and surrender), we see in the mythology of Athena that we can also discover a more tempered femininity, A more goal-focused, noise calming and strengthening goddess who endures and executes with wisdom.
The Enduring Growth Onward
The greatest comfort in seeking Athena is her role with timing. Athena shows up as we need her and provides only what prompts us forward. This, too, as with much of the feminine psyche promotes an organic process. Which is to say the slow growth onward that doesn’t rush but endures. Athena is the commander of our softening. Where the warring Ares loses his rage-filled bloodthirsty grip on our destruction and our power grabs to the emotionally tempered wisdom of the feminine within.