Saturday, May 9, 2015

Athena of the High Places

Blessed, o Lady
High upon the hill
Looking down upon your city

Athena, guardian

Blessed, o Lady
Goddess of warriors
Fighting to protect your city

Athena, protectress

Blessed, o Lady
Goddess of the wise
Imparting knowledge to your city

Athena, teacher

Blessed, o Lady
Goddess of the loom
Weaving the tapestry that is your city

Athena, weaver

Athena of the steel grey eyes

Blessed, o Lady
Virgin goddess
A divine reminder to your city

Athena, inviolable

Athena, motion and wisdom.

In later antiquity, when Christianity had already established quite a foothold, many Christian Philosophers in what would become the Orthodox and Gnostic churches developed ideas about an aspect of their God  called Sofia (Wisdom,) which was a feminine force emanating from God´s head. She was not a deity in the sense that Pagan worshippers might have thought, but much like Pagans may have thouoght, she was an aspect of a greater power. 

In some Pagan philosophies, Athena, the wise goddess who in myth sprung from the head of Zeus, the father, could be seen in much the same way, even though Pagans then, and Pagans now, recognize Athena as a true Goddess rather than simply as an emanation, aspect, or avatar of Zeus. 

I, of course, see Athena as the Great Goddess of Wisdom and Defense, but I do often wonder if I do myself a disservice by not studying further this Christian concept known as Sofia, especially since it is clear that it comes from the Pagan interpretation of Athena, who like Sofia, is a Goddess who is constantly in motion. Athena is never still. Never passive even when her help is passive. And in my experience, Athena is a force that often forces us to act, for she is not always subtle, though subtlty is one of her strengths, for wisdom is not something you simply have, it is something you must strive for, fight for, gain by your actions and learning. Athena pushes me, as Sofia is said to move upon the waters, causing them to move, so too does Athena move upon my soul, forcing me to learn and never idly rest on what I already know. 

It is my, rather uneducated opinion, that this is the reason such a majority of Pagans teld to be fairly liberal minded, even if they are conservative on other ways, because we all worship her, even if by other names, that Goddess that forces us to be open to new ideas, reinterpretations of old ones, and to the iseas and interpretations of others. 

It may take some of us longer to come to realize that it is better to learn than be stagnant, but in her service we all learn this invaluable lesson, and for that lesson we must be thankful and praise her divine power.