Saturday, July 2, 2011

Musings on Athena

Athena & Relationships

Jean Shinoda Bolen divides goddeses into virginal (independent) and vulnerable (dependent on relationships) and alchemical (both relational and independent.) The three virginal goddesses are Athena, Artemis and Hestia. The three vulnerable goddesses are Demeter, Hera and Persephone. Aphrodite is the lone alchemical goddess. I think it would be more useful to divide them up into relational or independent. Relational goddesses turn to outwards to others, and mainly see themselves through their relationships: Demeter the Mother, Hera the Wife, Persephone the Daughter and Aphrodite the Lover. The independent goddesses are fundamentally independent of others and mainly see themselves in relation to their work: Artemis with Nature, Hestia her Home, Hecate her Studies and Athena her Success. However, Aphrodite and Athena are the two goddesses that can flip being relational/independent; although Aphrodite lives to love, she's independent at heart and never stays with one lover. And although Athena lives out in the world, mixing it up in the battle of success, inside she's always Daddy's Little Girl, seeking his approval.

Athena and Persephone

Athena is Daddy's Little Girl. Sweet Persephone lives to please Mommy. Where Persephone lives to please her Mother, being sweet and accomodating, marrying the "right" man (ie. her mother's choice), never growing up and never stops needing her Mother, Athena wants to please her father. In childhood she's the studious, serious girl who spurns "girly" things and when she grows up, the successful woman who makes her Daddy proud. "Daddy" in this case can either be her literal father, or the authority figure she's most identified with, usually her mentor or boss.

I think my extreme rationality is from Athena (especially as Medusa.) Athena isn't one of my two main archetypes but it's pretty strong, and she sometimes manifests when I'm with people and being inappropirately rational or judging, not hearing them and not sympathetic to what they're feeling. When Medusa Athena manifests, her recipients feel like you're judging them.

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