There are times when one just ignores any and all sublte indicators in regards to the presence of certain gods in one’s life. I can’t say that I am not one of those people. Sometimes the drawback of loving any god greatly is that sometimes you may overlook the subtle nudges from other gods. Now as we all know I am not a monotheistic to any extant of the imagination, and I honor all of the Olympians. But at the same time, my small circle of gods that I establish shrines for an more intimately worship as gods that I have a more direct connection to tends to expand very slowly, and expands for different reasons. For instance for a long time it was just Apollon and Artemis, then it included Aphrodite by necessity to lessen the havoc that part of my life was giving me. And that was it. Later I noticed Hera as being very important to me on a person level and have come to consider Apollon, Artemis and Hera as the core of my personal spiritual life (and is something that has me wish that I had a replica of the thracian drinking horn with Hera, Apollon and Artemis—the three presented together as Thracians apparently believed Apollon and Artemis to be children of Hera, which also matches up a bit to the Cretan myth in which we see Artemis directly called the daughter of Hera, born after Eleithyia, but that is neither here nor there).
Now that I have included Hermes into my insolated worship collection of gods, due to my entry into the transportation feild… I guess I can say it has been making more aware, and I have realized that there has been one goddess that has been a constant presence and has made herself known in more direct coincidences than I have experienced with any other god….and yet I never attempted to establish a spiritual relationship with her. And that is Athena. Now in retrospect my blindness towards Athena makes me laugh at myself in exasperation. I mean really…just how many clues does a person need? Let me break it down for you:
1. Athena was, aside from Artemis, among the first Olympians I started worshiping in my youth when I was 14. Athena was the first deity period that I had a statue for. I found a plaster copy, painted it and prayed to it almost as frequently as Artemis in my childhood. I also kept my paint brushes and art tools on her small table for her blessings upon them. This changed though as I got older, who knows why, and during my first marriage her statue accidentally broke early into the marriage. I was upset over the broken statue but after cleaning up the shattered peices more or less forgot her.
2. I am fascinated with armor and weaponry…and stragey. I am the person who, despite not being a great player, loves to play chess because it is like a harmless low budget war going on. I have collected blades since my teen years, despite having many issues of them being stolen. Now the logical conclusion with this sort of fascination I probably would have been drawn to Athena. Apparently it doesn’t work quite so logically.
3. As important as Apollon is in my life, the close relationship between Athena and Apollon, despite Artemis being his twin and being another kind of close relationship, probably should have made me take notice. I love the play Ion by Euripedes, most especially the scene in which Athena tells Creusa and Ion the truth of the matter on part of Apollon. Likewise Apollon and Athena appear together in the trial of Orestes in Aeschylus’ The Eumenides. Again, you would think logical would have at least had me doing some inspection on my own awareness of the goddess. Apparently I don’t think of these things as much as I like to think I do lol.
4. My daughter was born in the period of the year that is sacred to Athena. My daughter, at the age of 7 proceeded to do a wonderful painting of Athena with her armor cast aside and her arms upraised in a dance as a gift to me.
5. When I visited Hellas I was gifted with a pendant of Athena, was almost gifted a statue but I decided I prefered the Poseidon, and then was gifted another statue of Athena shortly afterward. I also was able to visit the Parthenon, and the Temenos of Athena at Sounion where I had a ritual. As much as Athena popped up during my trip to Hellas, that really should have been a clue….and then when I went to Volubilis, the roman ruins near Meknes in Morocco, I spent time and had many photos takes of the temple to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. So it is not like she has been a lacking presence in that regard.
6. As an artist and crafter that should have been a big duh right there. Whereas Athena and Hephaistos are honored together by potters, I really think that Athena, Apollon and Aphrodite perhaps too figures in big on the creation of the visual arts which are my area of study and exercise.
I could go on more, but I think it is sufficient to say that I just never paid attention, and now feel as if Athena has been standing off the side with a big sign saying “over here stupid”. LOL. So that means that I am now adapting my core spiritual practices to include not only Hermes, but also Athena who has always been there but of whom I am rather unfamiliar. Let the games begin!