Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Athena Soteira

Having spoken about Sthenias (strength) as an epithet of Athena, allow me now to enter into the realm of Soteira, meaning Savior, as an epithet of Athena.

In the realm of the ancient religion(s) Athena was looked upon as a tremendously vigorous goddess. She was always in motion. Here and there in the blink of an eye, running through the battlefields, screaming her war cry. A Goddess of motion and forethought, applying both with wisdom in defense of civilization.

As myth tells it, Athena gave to man the olive (it’s cultivation and use) and the harnessing of the horse, a gift of Poseidon. Poseidon’s gift, one of nature, full of power and potential, Athena’s gift one of control, taming, and putting to use that which is natural. Applying reason to the problems that held us back. The olive, not just a potential food source, the horse, not just an animal. Athena, essentially, made it possible for Athens to rise out of the land and become the great city that it was, civilizing Attica.

But as this land grew in art and civilization,  so too would it come into contact with war, and in this, Athena was savior. The city would see battle, siege, and even destruction, but Athena wasn’t in the city, in the stone and wood that made up its buildings, she was in the heart of its people, and that spirit, that wise power of defense and strategy, allowed the people to not only survive, but to thrive even among the ruins of their city as the Greek people rose up against the Persians, and even later, in Christian times, this city would thrive and survive with that same spirit, the spirit of a divine savior in their hearts.

On a personal level, Athena, as I have said, has saved me more than I can recount. Her spirit guides me, allows me to control the rages of emotion that so often cloud my mind, and brings calm to my heart. I am not always successful, after all, it is I who must work to control my own mind, but there, under it all, I can feel that little push. Perhaps you would call it my subconscious, perhaps you would call it just another mental process, but it is one that is always there, unbidden, reassuring me that I am ok, that things will be ok, and all I have to do is trust and act with wisdom rather than simple impulse, and I will be saved from myself.

Soteiros/a/o means savior, and yes, it applies to many Gods, because for all of us, there comes a time when those Gods we worship save us, cementing our faith, and I do not mean to imply here that Athena is the only savior, but rather than if you are of a believing nature, then open your heart to the divine and allow yourself to feel them there. Salvation, not from hell or whatever other BS organized religion tries to frighten people with, but from the metaphorical demons in your own mind is out there, you just have to reach for it and be open to doing what you need to to achieve it. For me, Athena, Lady of Wisdom, is that force that allowed me to say I am a better man now than I have ever been, and tomorrow I shall be better still.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hail o Daughter of Zeus

Hail, o Daughter of Zeus

Hear me as I pray
I beg not for goods
Nor for a life made easier
Nor do I ask that you lighten my load as I make my way

I ask only that you walk by me
An eternal reminder that I am not now, nor will I ever be alone in this world

Hail, O Lady of Wisdom
Bless me with your pressence