Connecting To The Goddess Within: Athena
As women, we can struggle with embracing the divinity within. We seek it outside of us. We seek it through things that all promise to deliver what true divinity can but then fail to do so. In return we end up chasing our tails and investing in worthless tools that only further the void that we feel.
It’s this void that has us on an endless search for wholeness. A void that causes us to chase after beauty in the eyes of someone else. The void that seems to confirm what society so often tries to impress upon us: that we are powerless. That there is something inherently missing or off about women. That we lack what is necessary to be whole without seeking solace in a religion of man.
Don’t get me wrong, spirituality is my jam…religion as we know it, not so much. But I don’t hate, I celebrate, so if it’s your thing, keep doing just that. But my message today is that no matter how we choose to worship we should not start by looking “out there” but rather turn inwards to the divinity that exists within.
It’s time to reach within and build a relationship with the Goddess as she speaks to each of us, uniquely. Deep within us all is a spark of divine wisdom – primitive and ancient. Older than time itself, this divine spark has been with us from our very first incarnation and will be with us long after this one is over. She knows us better than we know ourselves and has been there to hold us when we are crumbling and celebrates with each achievement. Whether we have chosen to acknowledge her or not the Goddess has been our constant companion.
There is a great shift taking place that demands we reframe the way we approach our lives and our world. Fractures that have existed within are festering and require our immediate attention. A sense of powerlessness over our own life, our bodies, our passion and purpose are no longer tolerable. We are craving connection. We are craving flow. We are craving the Goddess.
The Goddess speaks to us each differently. We typically have 1-2 dominate Goddess energies which we come into this world with it. These dominate energies, however, can and often do change as we ride the numinous tide of this journey. Sometimes life simply throws us a wrench (say if you’re an Athena dominate woman who discovers she is pregnant) and sometimes we encounter a different Goddess as we enter new periods of our life. Most of the time we adjust, but sometimes we do not and when we do not we encounter what I call a Goddess fracture – where we battle with the dominate Goddess archetype of the past and the one which we are transitioning into.
The good news is that our medicine is in understanding the Goddess archetypes and our interaction with this energy within us. Through this exploration we discover our dominate archetype (both past and present) as well as how to call upon this ancient energy within us when we need to. For example, when I was pregnant with all three of my children I called upon and worked with Artemis (I even named the youngest after her!) who is the protectress of women and childbirth. I needed her medicine even though I was very much rooted at the time in a more Athena-esque energy.
My understanding of and connection to this ancient energy within allowed me to draw upon internal sacredness that in turn empowered me to navigate my journey in a fluid, smooth and peaceful way.
Lets first explore Athena. She is one of the three virgin Goddesses archetypes. This should not imply that only those who are physically virgins can relate. Rather, it implies that Athena has something which is all her own-untouched by another. It is the part of herself that is simply for herself and not for public consumption or open to public opinion.
Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom, War and Crafts. She is the progeny of Zeus and Metis and the story of her birth is quite interesting as we so often find in mythology. It is said that Zeus, having been foretold that his children would be greater than him, ate Athena’s pregnant mother, Metis when she was a fly (yep, you read that right – crazy but hey, its Greek mythology!). Zeus, having suffered from debilitating headaches begs Hephaestus to break open his skull, convinced this will solve the problem, because doesn’t it always? But I digress. It seems that Zeus, wise as he is, was onto something for when Hephaestus broke open his skull out emerged a beautiful and radiant, fully grown Athena, ready for battle.
Now Athena as a woman is a strong, capable and independent woman but she is not typically feminist in the way that Artemis is. Athena works alongside men; she even favors them. She can hang with the boys because she is one of them and typically will lack in solid female connection platonic or otherwise.
Athena is very career focused and works in fields where her colleagues tend to be overwhelmingly male. Athena is very mentally driven as one is wont to be when they spring from the “mind” of their father. She sees the big picture even while assessing the smaller parts. She gifts us the ability to navigate complex situations with a level head. She is not prone to emotional outburst and those dominate in her energy will easily face situations that would cause others to crumble into the fetal position
Athena is a gift to us when we need to find order within life. She is a reminder that even for those of us who abhor routine (I count myself among them!) there is a need for some structure to life.
Even if it’s simply having the capacity to stay calm, cool and collected in times when we need a plan most. Because life does happen. It throws us several balls at once and doesn’t really care if we can catch them all or not. We are left to handle things that sometimes leave us feeling completely unsure and insecure. Athena steps out from within our being to help us hold ourselves. She assists us in being the strongest, most clear self. She knows that no matter where we come from or where we go there will be times in life when we need her steadying force.
Meditation to Invite Athena
Create your sacred space-it can be as elaborate or simple as you prefer. Sometimes my most profound rituals have been nothing but me, my emotion and my intent.
Take a moment to ground in a fashion that suits you and take a few deep breaths, centering yourself. Set the intention either to yourself or aloud to invite Athena to greet you with medicine that will assist you today.
Begin to visualize yourself in a verdant garden with a path that you begin to walk upon, winding around a lush, verdant landscape. You come to a clearing where you find Athena waiting for you. Walk to her, embrace her, thank her and ask her for a message.
Allow stillness and absorb the energy around you. Whether audible or not know that her medicine is a transmission which you have downloaded and will infuse itself with your very cells.
Ask Athena to walk with you in your life to assist you as is needed in a way which brings healing and wholeness to your experience. Visualize Athena embracing you again only this time it’s as though she and you become one. Radiant light pours from you as you sync.
Thank Athena again and begin to walk back, feeling a sudden sureness and empowerment as her spirit aligns with yours. Slowly wiggle your fingers and toes and come back to this moment. Perhaps leave a small offering of milk upon your back porch to give to Athena and honor yourself in a way which feels nurturing.
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In the next article, we will explore Artemis but in the interim I encourage you to delve even deeper into Athena’s energy. Explore how she speaks to you and when you could most benefit from her energy. Make a conscious effort to see her in the world around you. The more that you create an awareness of Athena the more she will speak through you and activate within you.
Up & Coming With Laura:
Should the call of the Goddess be especially strong Laura encourages you to take things further with her Sacred Feminine, Sacred Path program — each week a different Goddess with eBooks, guided meditation, recorded calls and profound activations for each of the six main Goddess archetypes.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga.