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Goddess Guidance #7 Athena

Athena: Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War

Athena, also referred to as Athene, is the Olympian goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. She is the adored patroness of the city of Athens.

A virgin deity, she was also – somewhat paradoxically – associated with peace and handicrafts, especially spinning and weaving. Majestic and stern, Athena surpassed everybody in both of her main domains. In fact, even Ares feared her; and all Greek heroes asked her for help and advice.

She is known most specifically for her strategic skill in warfare and is often portrayed as companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour.

At the center of her aegis there’s oftentimes an image of a Gorgon’s head (Gorgoneion), symbolizing the gift she got from Perseus: the head of Medusa. Just like Medusa’s eyes, Athena’s shield can also turn her enemies to stone.

As a symbol of her wisdom, there’s sometimes an owl flying in Athena’s vicinity or sitting on her shoulder; from time to time there may also be a snake or an olive branch.

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