- Athena: A Reflection of My Being (Part I)
- Athena: A Reflection of My Being (Part II)
As I think back on that first time when I heard that piercing cry and saw though her eyes, the blade of Hephaestus open the crevice of the almighty Zeus’ head whence together we sprang, I cannot help but wonder how far we have come. Although little is known about myself personally, the body that I reside in is that of the great goddess Athena. We converse quite often, but unbenounced to her, it is I that is the be all and the end all of her reasonable consciousness. I have been with her from the beginning and will stay to the end: seeing what she sees, hearing what she hears, and most importantly, reasoning what she cannot. There have been tough times, but through think and thin, I constantly remind her of her origins, and, as best I can, intervene in shaping the outcome of her actions. In return, I remain immortal and have the wondrous pleasure of seeing the world through her eyes while feeding off that one part of her that I have finally given up trying to control. Inseparable from birth, we have worked together in some form or other constantly throughout our lives. I am her thoughts, passion, and ambitions; she my means and adrenalin. This is not only my story, but ours; the trials and being of my one and only true companion.
When we sprang forth during that epical period of turbulence, I was yet a baby. Although I had been nurtured within the great mind of Zeus himself, I must admit, my attributes seemed at first useless. For it came to be that “Zeus himself produced, from his own head, grey-eyed Athene, fearsome queen who brings the noise of war and, tireless, leads the host, she who loves shouts and battling and fights” (Hesoid 53).
I must admit, at that first time when she “threw [us] straight away into battle with the giants … slaying Pallas and Enceladus” contributing greatly to our fathers victory (Mavromatiaki 38), that, for my part, I remained within those deep grey eyes paralyzed with fear of rage we had become. Had it have been up to me, and all that I had learned previous to that death defying leap forward, I never would have thought to enter the world in that way. For it came to be previously in the heat of battle, that our father Zeus had lay “with Metis, daughter, daughter of Oceanus and Tithys, who bore concealed within herself all the worlds wisdom” (Mavromattaki 38).
As I found out sometime later, it came about that because of prophecy, Zeus was inclined to swallow Metis whole “so that she would not bear a child stronger than he (Deacy 18). For it was I, nurtured within the head of the almighty Zeus himself, that was brought to the realization through his guiding hand, of the great potential wisdom that would someday manifest itself within the state of our aura. You can imagine my surprise then upon springing forth totally unhindered, having no control over that adrenaline induced thirst for battle that came with the recognition that it was not I whom was in control, rather she, with her unequivocal passion guiding our first steps.
Although we had paralyzed the cosmos with our great cry and warlike magic emancipation the great power of our father Zeus himself with our entry into the world, it came about then, when our work was done, and the time for peace had come, that she removed our dazzling armor and rejoiced in the presence of the other gods previously shuddering away from us with fear. The other immortals initially acknowledging her as Glaukopis, now saw the true light of our combined character and addressed us by name as the girl Pallas Athena, the great ally of Zeus who ends cosmic terror.
It was not until some time later that I came to the realization that I was not trapped with the nature of the warrior princess unable to will my thoughts to control our actions, but rather, although I “get no pleasure form battle [in the sense] that Ares or Eris do” (Graves 96), that raw warlike nature that defies within the other part of me embodied a necessary part of our quest. During times of peace, wisdom reigns in the most true form of all as I work towards settling disputes and upholding the law of pacifistic means. Unfortunately for us however, there have been many occasions where the other gods and goddesses have tried to thwart the ideals that I hold so strong and true as characteristics to be upheld within my following.
I think originally when trying to come to terms with the other part of myself, the thing that bothered me most and, which I forced myself to avoid at all costs, was my utter contempt for the nature of Ares` bloodthirsty ways. As opposed to Ares, loving battle for its own sake, and never favoring any side more than the other, while, at the same time “delight[ing] in the slaughter of men and the sacking of towns” (Graves 73), I, Athena Nike, have tried with all my tactical and strategical wisdom to become the antithesis of the wild chaos and rage of war embodied within his very persona.
Although in that first time, whence we sprang forth filling the cosmos with terror displaying such ferocity in our fashioning from the flayed skin of Pallas our aegis, I can now reflect back and rationally recount the stark differences between the very core of our natures. For it is , through my weapons and metis that possess the power to evoke fear into the cosmos, more so even than the natural affinity for bloodshed that is exemplified within Ares’ untamed natural rage. For it is “through [my] weapons and her frenzied cry and blazing eyes that make” us a patron of war, although, unlike his contemptful nature, in us it is controlled every step of the way through our love of divine justice (Deacy 56). For it is also I, showing appreciation towards the mortals for upholding the virtues imposed from the divine, whether in times of peace or times of war, that we as protectors should be responsible for recognizing. For many of my companions, the mortals have become merely the playthings for entertainment sake of their vain and petty arrogance. For I, knowing the importance of the just and true, have tried every step of the way to enlighten and bring forth a civilization that is worthy of from whence it spawned.
Deacy, Suzan. Athena. New York: Routledge. 2008.
Graves, Robert. The Greek Myths: Complete Edition. London: Penguin Books. 1995.
Hesoid. Theogony and Works and Days. Trans. Dorothea Wender. London: Penguin Books. 1973.
Mavromataki, Maria. Greek Mythology and Religion. Athens: Haitalis. 1997.