Posts Tagged With: Athena

Deity of the Day for July 26th is Ares The God Of War

Deity of the Day

Ares (Mars)

Greek God of War

 

Ares (Roman equivalent is Mars) was the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship. Since ancient times the people, in order to solve their differences resorted to the most painful act for humans, war.

The ancient Greek mythology is dominated by two major combat operations: the ten-year Trojan War and the Argonaut’s campaign. So the Greeks coined a god, Ares, who personified this terrible scourge. He was always thirsty for blood and his main feature was the irrational rage and the lack of any courtesy.

Ares belongs to the second generation of Olympians. He was lawful son of Zeus and Hera. His love to cause wars and quarrels made him obnoxious not only to other gods but also to his father Zeus, who never missed an opportunity to attack him and call him a “stubborn head”. 

The biggest controversy was between Ares with Athena, who was also a war goddess. But Athena was, in parallel, the goddess of wisdom, so she was combining power with intelligence. That’s why most of the times she prevailed against bellicose Ares and was bringing him to shame. The most significant conflicts between them were made during the Trojan War.

As we are informed by Homer, the brawler God had promised to his mother Hera and Athena to help the Greeks. But, seduced by the beauty of Aphrodite, he passed at a critical moment in the opposing faction. For some time, he stood by at the main hero of the Trojans, Hector, who decimated the Achaean warriors, since Achilles was missing from the battlefield. Hera was indignant with her son who, since childhood, only caused problems, ran to Zeus and asked permission to evict Ares from the battle, injuring him. He accepted, since he was not at all fond of his son. Immediately Hera sent Athena to arrange the matter as she knew.

The wise goddess wore the Kynee, the cap of her uncle Hades, which made her invisible, and jumped at once from Olympus in the Trojan plain. Then she stood on the chariot of Diomedes that started battle with Ares, without knowing of course that he was against an Olympian god. Ares first threw his bronze spear against mortal warrior, but the unseen Athena repelled it with both her hands and it fell on the ground.

 

Then Diomedes threw his spear and Athena directed it in the side of Ares. He fell wounded on the ground and screamed with a terrible voice that panicked Greeks and Trojans, for he was like ten thousand warriors shouting together. Then he flew to Mount Olympus shrouded in thick clouds and immediately went to the palace of Zeus.

He showed him his wound and while weeping, he started complaining:

“Father Zeus, you see the injustices take place, but you are not mad. All gods always do your will and obey your orders. But you can not see Athena who always makes her own. You never argue with her since you gave birth to her by yourself. And now, she puts a mortal to hit me with his spear and ridicule me!”

The father of gods and men, furious with his son, responded with insulting words.

 

“Are you not ashamed to come before me whining? Know that I hate you, because you always like wars, fights and quarrels. You are a stubborn head exactly like your mother Hera. Know that if your father was any other, he would have thrown you in Tartarus, even more below than the Titans.”

Although Zeus used insulting words, Ares was his son was and he could not bear to see him hurt and crying. So Zeus instructed Paionian, doctor of the gods to heal his wound. But in the final battle of the Trojan War all the gods, with the permission of Zeus, ran fully armored in the battlefield. In the Greek camp joined Hera, Athena, Poseidon and the divine blacksmith Hephaestus. Beside the Trojans arrived dreadful Ares, master archer Artemis, long-haired Phoebus, Leto, the smiling Aphrodite and the river Xanthus.

Ares, who was embittered with Athena, because she always embarrassed him in front of the Olympians, charged with the first opportunity towards her and started talking with bad words:

 

“Shameless bitch, with your ego and insolence you have caused a lot of trouble to the gods!”

Then he threw his spear at aegis of Athena that even the thunder of Zeus could not pierce. The goddess shook and took two or three steps backwards. Without losing her courage, grabbed a huge rock that people had set up for border and hurled it the bellicose god. The rock struck Ares on the neck, forcing him to bend on his knees and fall down. His huge body spread seven square kilometers as he fell on the ground. His knees bled and his hair was filled with soils. All the gods started to laugh when they saw the god of war lying on the ground, who once again was ridiculed by Athena. Only Aphrodite ran to him, helped him get up and grabbing him by the hand raised him to Olympus.

 

Ares also had several differences with the famous hero Heracles (Hercules), who was enjoying the protection of Athena. Once, the Swan, son of warlike god and Pelopeias, wanted to build a temple from the skulls of men, in honor of his father. Therefore he was killing every passerby. So he tried to do the same thing with Heracles. Ares rushed alongside his son and forced the hero to withdraw. But then Heracles returned and killed the Swan.

For this event there are several variations. So, one myth tells that Swan agreed with Ares to kill Heracles. During the conflict the hero killed the Swan and the wounded immortal god in the thigh. Another poet tells that the Swan was the son of Ares and Pyrinis and challenged Heracles to a duel. The god wanted to help his son and tried to burn the opponent. But Zeus, who was the father of the hero, threw a thunder between them and separated them. Another son of Ares that had differences with Heracles was Diomedes of Thrace

 

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Calendar of the Moon for Thursday, July 3

Calendar of the Moon
3 Coll/Metageitnion

Panathenaea Day 1: Athena’s Day

Colors: White and blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of white and blue set a great statue of Athena, a spear, a pen, a spindle, a shield with a Gorgon’s head, and a brazier with charcoal that must never be allowed to go out until the Panathenaea is done.
Offerings: A new peplos for Her statue, which has been embroidered by the entire community, and is draped around Her statue after the invocation. The old peplos is given away to some other Pagan group in the community as a gift. Also wine, olives, beef, barley cakes, honeycombs.
Daily Meal: Greek food, including beef, olives, and wine.

(First, all walk in a procession around the property. Four carry the new peplos, four carry the baskets of wine and olives, four carry plates of honey and cakes, and the rest play musical instruments or carry oak or olive branches. The procession stops before the door and all call out: “Hail Athena Polias!” Then it winds inward into the sanctuary, at which point all cry out “Hail Athena Parthenos!” The offerings are placed before Athena’s altar.)

Athena Invocation:

I begin to sing of Pallas Athena,
The dread Protectress of the city,
Who with Ares looks after matters of war,
The plundering of cities, the battle-cry and the fray.
It is She who protects the people,
Wherever they might come or go.
Lady of the olive tree,
Lady of the shield and spear,
Lady of wisdom and strategy,
Cool head which advises the hot ones,
Mentor to princes and heroes,
Gracious grey-eyed daughter of Zeus,
You teach us all due thoughtfulness!
Hail, Goddess, and give us good spirits
And your blessed favor!

(The peplos is draped around her statue. The best of the food and wine is given as libation for her, and then the rest is taken to the dining room to be feasted on.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Fast Facts on Athena & her Parthenon

Fast Facts on Athena & her Parthenon

Greek Goddess of Wisdom

By

 

Just who is Athena? Here is a quick look at Athena, goddess of wisdom, queen and namesake, as Athena Parthenos, of the Parthenon – and sometimes, of war.
Athena’s Appearance: A young woman wearing a helmet and holding a shield, often accompanied by a small owl. A huge statue of Athena depicted this way once stood in the Parthenon.

Athena’s Symbol or Attribute: The Owl, signifying watchfulness and wisdom; the aegis (small shield) showing the snaky head of Medusa.

Athena’s Strengths: Rational, intelligent, a powerful defender in war but also a potent peacemaker.

Athena’s Weaknesses: Reason rules her; she is not usually emotional or compassionate but she does have her favorites, such as the beleaguered heroes Odysseus and Perseus.

Birthplace of Athena: From the forehead of her father Zeus. It is possible this refers to the mountain of Juktas on the island of Crete, which appears to be a profile of Zeus lying on the ground, his forehead forming the highest part of the mountain. A temple on top of the mountain may have been the real “birthplace”.

Athena’s Parents: Metis and Zeus.

Athena’s Siblings: Any child of Zeus had numerous half-brothers and half-sisters. Athena is related to dozens, if not hundreds, of other children of Zeus, including Hercules, Dionysos, and many others.

Athena’s Spouse: None. However, she was very fond of the hero Odysseus and helped him whenever she could on his long journey home.

Athena’s Children: None.

Some Major Temple Sites for Athena: The city of Athens, which is named after her. The Parthenon is her best-known, and best-preserved, temple.

Basic Story for Athena: Athena was born fully-armed from the forehead of her father Zeus – according to one story, this is because he swallowed her mother, Metis, while she was pregnant with Athena. Although Zeus’s daughter, she could also oppose his plans and conspire against him, though she generally supported him.

Athena and her uncle, the sea god Poseidon, competed for the affections of the Greeks, each providing one gift to the nation. Poseidon provided either a wonderful horse or a salt-water spring rising from the slopes of the Acropolis, but Athena provided the olive tree, giving shade, oil, and olives. The Greeks preferred her gift and named the city after her and built the Parthenon on the Acropolis where Athena is believed to have produced the first olive tree.

Interesting Fact about Athena: One of her epithets (titles) is “Grey-eyed”. Her gift to the Greeks was the useful olive tree. The underside of the olive tree’s leaf is grey, and when the wind lifts the leaves, it shows Athena’s many “eyes”.

Athena is also a shapeshifter. In the Odyssey, she transforms herself into a bird and also takes on the form of Mentor, a friend of Odysseus’, to give him some special advice without revealing herself.

 

Alternate Names for Athena: In Roman mythology, the goddess closest to Athena is called Minerva. Athena’s name is sometimes spelled Athina or Athene.

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for Mar. 2nd is Justice

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Justice

Justice represents the expression of fairness without bias. Simply put, Justice embodies the notion that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Justice denotes the need to remedy situations lacking equality for all. Depending on the circumstances, Justice may be asking us to curb our partiality, or conversely, Justice may indicate a time for you to demand fair treatment.

As a daily card, Justice suggest that we are part of a situation that is out of balance. If you have shown unwarranted bias towards others now is the time to make amends. On the other hand, if you have been the victim of bias, now is the time for you to demand fairer treatment.

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Today’s Quiz: Your Guiding Goddess for 2014

Quiz: Your Guiding Goddess for 2014

Which face of the Divine Feminine is by your side in this year, urging  and encouraging you to be the person you are meant to be? Take this quick quiz  to see which goddess is your guide:

Which statement is TRUE for you?

1. This year, what I long for MOST is freedom.

2. This year, what I long for MOST is a fresh start.

3. This year, what I long for MOST is love.

4. This year, what I long for MOST is to be healed.

5. This year, what I long for MOST is wisdom and learning.

6. This year, what I long for MOST is creativity.

If you answered TRUE to 1, ARTEMIS is your goddess. To the ancient Greeks,  this goddess was a feisty, wild woods-dweller, in tune with nature and animals.  Artemis encourages us to connect with the outdoors, with animals, and with our  own fiercely independent spirits.

If you answered TRUE to 2, KALI is your goddess. This Hindu deity is the one  to call if something in your life needs to go in order to make room for  something new. Kali destroys what is stale so that new life can come in.

If you answered TRUE to 3, VENUS is your goddess. If love relationships or  the longing for love are paramount for you this year, the Roman goddess Venus  can help you to open your heart.

If you answered TRUE to 4, KWAN YIN is your goddess. This Asian bodhisattva  is the most prayed-to deity on earth. Kwan Yin reminds us that the healing power  of her understanding and compassion are always available to you.

If you answered TRUE to 5, ATHENA is your goddess. The ancient Greek goddess  of wisdom and learning is often shown companioned by an owl, the traditional  wisdom-bird to many. If you desire deep wisdom or want to do well in some course  of study, Athena will help you to clear your mind.

If you answered TRUE to 6, BRIGID is your goddess. This fiery Celtic goddess  of poetry and crafting (among other things) is a great help in unlocking your  creative potential.

You might want to do a little research on your goddess, and then find images  or statues of her to remind you of her help and guidance as you follow your path  throughout the year.

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Calendar of the Sun for Tuesday, January 27th

Calendar of the Sun

28 Wolfmonath

Day of Rules: Eunomia’s Day

Color: Black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a black cloth light a single white candle, and lay upon it a copy of the Principles, a book of the House rules, and various implements of measuring.
Offering: Discuss the Rules.
Daily Meal: Any food that is wholly correct.

Invocation to Eunomia

Hail, Eunomia, Keeper of Rules,
Hora of the Upraised Hand!
We gather here to praise you,
Even though you seem most stern and forbidding,
For without Rules there are no boundaries,
No accountability, no way to stop the ravages
Of another’s passions. Though we value those passions,
We must also value their limits,
For all things must be kept in balance.
These Rules are not merely the chains that bind us,
They are the ropes that hold us up,
Keeping us from falling into confusion.
We honor your gifts, Lady of Rules,
You who are not afraid to stop
What is not honorable behavior,
You who will not stand by
In the face of deeds of shame.

Call: Hail Eunomia, Keeper of Rules!
Response: Hail Eunomia, Keeper of Rules!

Call: Speak the Rule of Iduna, Lady of the Nectar of Immortality!
Response: I will maintain purity of body.
Call: For the body is the sacred temple given to us that we may experience life,
And to harm it is to disrespect the Will
Of those who bestowed it upon you.

Call: Speak the Rule of Hestia, Keeper of the Hearth!
Response: I will maintain simplicity in my possessions.
Call: For waste leaves empty mouths and empty hands,
And greed has a cold heart and no soul.

Call: Speak the Rule of Agni, Fire and Truth!
Response: I will strive for clarity of words.
Call: For words are weapons of great power,
And should not be used in ways that deliberately confuse,
Or add to the blindness in the world;
Rather they should open eyes and minds.

Call: Speak the Rule of Gaea, the Earth beneath our feet!
Response: I will strive to live sustainably on the Earth.
Call: For She is our Mother, and She gives us all that we need,
And to harm her is to destroy our own future.

Call: Speak the Rule of Artemis, Virgin Huntress implacable, of the purest intent!
Response: I will place no commitment of the heart above my commitment to my path.
Call: For we are placed here in this world to learn and to do what we must,
And a promise once made must be kept.

Call: Speak the Rule of Ogoun, hunter and smith, leopard-god without mercy!
Response: I will commit only to honorable work.
Call: For work that aids what is wrong
Is tainted with wrongness in itself,
And we will not be part of that wrongness.

Call: Speak the Rule of Athena, clear-eyed virgin warrior, Lady of Strategy!
Response: I will maintain clarity in all relationships.
Call: For Love too must have its rules, and honesty,
And there must be distance between each,
That the Spirit may lay between us and join us.

Call: Speak now the Rule of Parvati, Dancer and Mother, Sacred Whore!
Response: I will strive for purity in my sexuality.
Call: For the power of the Root Chakra is not to be defiled
By the soul’s shame and the heart’s despair;
The tides of the body are sacred, and are the libation of that Temple.

Call: Speak now the Rule of Odhinn, All-Father and Magician, who speaks to his own!
Response: I will sustain clarity of faith.
Call: For faith is what bears us up when all else falls,
And before the altars of the Gods we are all mortal.

Call: Speak now the rule of Prometheus, Titan who defies the King’s corruption!
Response: I will submit humbly to honorable authority.
Call: For although there must be leaders, lest we lose our way,
Leadership is not given, but is earned by right behavior,
And must be held to a higher standard.

Call: Speak now the Rule of Brigid, Eternal Flame of the Abbey!
Response: I will maintain loyalty to the endurance of my Order.
Call: For we will not survive unless we survive together,
And though we are all lights, only a great flame will warm us.

Call: Speak now the Rule of Shiva, Lord of the Cremation Ground, Destroyer of Illusions!
Response: I will strive always for mindfulness and clarity of soul.
Call: For this discipline is great above all others.

Call: Hail Eunomia, Keeper of Rules,
Hora of the Upraised Hand!
Response: Hail Eunomia!

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Deity of the Day – The Hesperides

Deity of the Day

The Hesperides, Daughters of the Evening

“…amidst the gardens fair

Of Hesperus and his daughters three,

That sing about the golden tree.” (“Comus” by Milton)

The Hesperides are Daughters of Nyx, the Mother Night – although later mythology has Them as daughters of Atlas or of Hesperus. The three sisters – Aegle (the luminous one), Erytheia (the crimson one) and Hesperia (the evening one) – are nymphs who live in a beautiful garden, situated in the Arcadian Mountains (Greece) or, alternatively, at the western extreme of the Mediterranean, near Mt. Atlas. In this garden grows the tree with the golden apples of immortality. This garden is guarded by Ladon, a dragon with a hundred heads and who has the gift of human speech. The Hesperides are known for Their sweet singing voices and also have the ability to change Their shapes and become trees – Aegle into a willow, Erytheia into an elm and Hesperia into a poplar.

The only person who ever succeeded in obtaining some of the immortal golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides was Hercules, who tricked the God Atlas to get the apples for him. The apples were later returned to the garden by Athena because the sacred fruit were not to remain outside the garden.

The Hesperides have as associations: the apple; the color gold; immortality; gardens; and the trees poplar, elm and willow.

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How Do I Know if a Deity Is Calling Me?

How Do I Know if a Deity Is Calling Me?

By

About.com   Paganism/Wicca

Question: How Do I Know if a Deity Is Calling Me?

A reader writes in, “There’s been some weird stuff going on in my life, and I’m beginning to notice things happening that make me think a god or goddess is trying to contact me. How do I know that this is the case, and that it’s not just my brain making things up?

Answer: Typically, when someone is “tapped” by a god or goddess, there is a series of messages, rather than a single isolated incident. Many of these messages are symbolic in nature, rather than actual “Hey! I’m Athena! Lookit me!” kind of things.

As an example, you might have a dream or vision in which you are approached by a human figure who has something different about them. You’ll probably know it’s a deity, but they are sometimes evasive when it comes to telling you who they are — so you could do some research, and figure out who it was based upon appearance and characteristics.

In addition to a vision, you might have an experience in which symbols of this god or goddess appear randomly in your daily life. Perhaps you’ve never seen an owl before in your area, and now one has built a nest above your back yard, or someone gives you a gift of an owl statue out of the blue — owls could represent Athena. Pay attention to repeat occurrences, and see if you can determine a pattern. Eventually you may be able to figure out who it is that’s trying to get your attention.

One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make, when they’re being contacted by a deity, is to assume it’s the god or goddess you’re most drawn to — just because you’re interested in them doesn’t mean they have any interest in you. In fact, it may well be someone you’ve never noticed before. Martina, a Celtic Pagan from Indiana, says, “I had done all this research about Brighid, because I was interested in a Celtic path, and she seemed like a hearth and home goddess I could relate to. Then I started getting messages, and I just assumed it was Brighid… but after a while I realized it didn’t quite fit. Once I actually paid attention, and heard was being said instead of just what I wanted to hear, then I discovered it was actually an entirely different goddess reaching out to me — and not even a Celtic one.”

Bear in mind as well that raising magical energy may heighten your awareness of this sort of thing. If you’re someone who raises energy a lot, that may leave you far more open to receiving a message from the Divine than someone who doesn’t do much energy work.

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