Hail to thee, Athena

Hail to thee, Athena 
Mighty child of Zeus 
Bearer of shield and aegis
Hail to thee, Athena 
Mighty protector of cities 
Wise maiden warrior 

Hail to thee, Athena 
Mighty teacher of heroes 
Inspirer of courageous spirits 

Hail to thee, Athena 
Mighty Olympian Goddess 
Encourager of man's dreams 

Hail to thee, Athena, and to you my many thanks and unending adoration. 
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O Sweet Lady

O sweet lady
Whore of Cypress

You who hides in the sweltering heat of passion, where men indulge their most carnal desires
You who sparks within men the longing to satisfy their most profane needs
You who manifests in our hearts when our loins grow warm.

It is in you that we find our inner beast
And in you that we are made low
For from here we rise as the mighty oak from the acorn

O sweet lady
Violator of Oathes

You who stir in men a longing to touch you and find your most secret places
You who we seek as we long to plant our seed
You who strikes fear in the hearts of the faithful

It is in you that we search for meaning
And in you that we find it when least we expect it
For in you we also find that divine force men call love

O sweet lady
Deceiver of Men

You who draw us in with promises of wild and uncaring rutting
You who whisper sweet moans in our ears as we come
You who pulls on the strings of our hearts



It is in you that we place our greatest worth
And in you that we find the greatest of values
For it is in those moments most raw and most animal that we are indeed made most human
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Virgins

Athena
Lady of wisdom
Hold my hand
Through all my battles
Through all my struggles
For mortal hands are lacking in my life these days

Artemis
Lady of the wild places
Run with me
In the silver light of the moon
In the hard pouring rain
For sacred places are rare to my eyes

Hestia
Lady of the tamed fires
Sit with me
Help warm my frigid hands
Help keep me from the cold
For seldom do I feel at home

Ladies
O Virgins of Olympus
Bless me
With divine grace
With divine dignity
For all seem so lacking in the world


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Lady Athena Wise and bright

Lady Athena

Truest of the true 
Wisest of the wise Bravest of the brave  Bless me and grant me the best of your gifts A boundless desire An endless need To learn and know 

Lady Athena 

Tried and true defender Tried and true teacher Tried and true encourager 

Guard me from the worst of my traits The arrogance of certainty The sluggishness of age The death that is apathy 

Lady Athena 
Wise and bright Stand by my side
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O Moon

O goddess
Your symbol is the moon
You watch over us as we sleep
You guard us as we tread the night life
We ask you to light our way

O goddess
Grant us sanity
Grant us the will
Grant us the desire
To walk hand in hand into the night
Unafraid and at peace with each other

O goddess
Silvery light in the night
Light the way
That we may see clearly

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Prayer to Athena

I pray to you, my beloved goddess
You who dwell in the minds of men
Who speaks in whispers only he can hear
And delights in a choice well made

O Athena, of the steel gray eyes
I pray that you shield me with your strong arm
Teach me with your strong mind
Embrace me as your own

I pray to you, my beloved goddess
That you may grant me strong eyes to see
That you grant me sensitive ears to hear
And above all wisdom to understand

For in wisdom do we gather closer to you
In wisdom are we blessed
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To Nyx

Eternal yet birthed into the void, she spread her wings
Dark and filled with potential, they stirred the void
Time and space running forth, a ripple in eternity

Eternal yet birthed into the void, she opened her eyes
Eyes of black seeing all that wasn’t
All that could be like a dream in her mind

Eternal yet birthed into the void, blessed Nyx
The eternal night that all fear

The eternal night that makes man marvel
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Athena Soteria

O blessed queen of Attica
Divine lady of the grey eyes
Who guards the land where Athens was born
Grant us your protection, your guidance, and your wisdom
For in wisdom are we saved from savagery
For in wisdom we are saved from the darkness that threatens our souls

O blessed queen of Alea
Divine mistress of the loom
Who teaches of the blessings of handiwork
Grant us a love of learning, of doing, of practicing our art
For in doing are we opened to your blessings
For in doing are we saved from the evils of our idleness

O blessed queen of Sparta
Divine lady of the sword
Who fights with the fierceness of a honed warrior
Grant us your arm, that we may gather the strength and courage to fight
For in our fight are we emboldened to seek better
For in our fight are we made ever the stronger
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Athena as the Wisdom of Zeus

I don't have sources for what I am about to discuss, so I will state here that this comes from years of reading about Athena, the opinions of fellow pagans and books about Athena and how she has been interpreted over the years in our modern culture.

That's pretty normal, after all, all religion, myth, and history get interpreted by us, whether we like to admit it or not, and one of the interpretations, and not a very common one, but one that makes sense in a culture as entrenched in monotheism as our is.

For some, Zeus is conflated with Jehovah or Yahweh (or Allah, though most Moslems would likely take offense to that) and as such, the concept of Athena, the notion of a goddess of wisdom, is seen as the manifestation of the Wisdom of Zeus. That is to say, that Athena is, essentially, part of the godhead that is Zeus in much the same way that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are part of the same godhead as Jehovah.

I call this theological reductionism.

This is actually part of several religious paradigms. Perhaps the biggest religion to express similar ideas is Christianity, with the holy trinity, but Christianity does not refer to the aspects of God as Gods, as it goes against the idea of a monotheistic theology, but it is Hinduism that most makes use of this concept with many theologies expressing the notion that all the Devas/Gods are aspect of a greater being, of a greater reality.

The Greeks too had a similar concept, though the Greeks did not reduce their deities to a singularity, instead they accepted the idea that Gods appeared to different people in different ways, and they used epithets (titles) to make these distinctions.

So, what does it mean for Athena to be seen this way? Does it mean Athena does not exist? That Athena is just an aspect of Zeus?

Well, no! See, the cults of the Gods are fractured, always have been, and even in the most monotheistic of religions, there is fracture and difference in interpretation, so it is not odd at all that some people, especially people not vested in the Gods as the sources of veneration, like scholars, to see the Gods in these ways especially considering that the worshippers of these Gods themselves have trouble agreeing on the theological realities of the Gods themselves.

It is also not at all odd that a God like Zeus would have manifestations that would seem like other Gods, and when I try to explain such things, I think of them differently. I tend to think of these manifestations as angeloi (the word means angels) and so I can categorize these small aspects so as to not cause internal confusion.

Zeus is the greatest of the Pan Hellenic Gods. He was worshipped all over the Greek speaking lands, and more so, as the indo-european sky father, very similar deities were worshipped by peoples all over the North Mediterranean. Even among the Semitic people, the Sky Father was a powerful force, one which we see even today in Allah and Yahweh, and as such he was worshipped and given cult all over the land, and in these different lands he was given different titles which went along with the cultural values of the people who offered worship.

But all of these different cults, even those that were Greek, had their own ways of seeing the God, and even in a city, different tribes and families could have slightly different ways of seeing him. This leads us to how, for example, the Goddess we know as Athena could have come to be seen as being born from the head of Zeus rather than being born of the land, as one might imagine her to be given a more indigenous myth.

When the tribes of Indo-Europeans, with their Sky God, migrated into greece, slowly supplanting the local culture with a version of their own, one in which the two cultures blended, the Sky God we know as Zeus supplanted the local deities, one imagines they were mostly Goddesses, and in most cases, it was said that Zeus married them, but Athena is a special case, because even as Athens slowly grew, the people of that land were not likely to accept her as wife of Zeus. Maybe they saw her as a maiden, or maybe their local culture was too entrenched and they could not see her as being married to the God of foreigners, whatever the case, she developed not into the wife, mistress, or victim of Zeus, but into his daughter, and even then, she was seen as having been born of him directly rather than from her mother, Metis.

As Hellenic culture developed, the myths around her became strangely masculinized, and her association with Wisdom became set into the religious beliefs of the Greeks, because as the power of Athens grew, so did the influence of its divine patron, and as such it became more and more a necessity for this strongly patriarchal culture to tie her closer and closer to Zeus, and in many ways, it was due to this that this idea that Athena was the Wisdom of Zeus (and that Apollo, a God of Prophecy, was simply speaking the prophecies of Zeus) became a possibility in this religion.

So, I will give you my personal take, because that is all I can give you, and tell you that all Gods are wise.

ALL OF THEM!

So, when we say that Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom, what does that mean? Does it mean she is the wisest? No. Does it mean she holds the keys to wisdom? No. It means that it was to Athena that the people turned when they needed wisdom, when they felt that divine wisdom was needed to overcome an issue, to make a decision, etc., but this was not a universal thing, because different situations needed different kinds of Wisdom, and maybe when dealing with the cultivation of grains, it was Demeter's wisdom that was needed, and when dealing with matters of the heart the wisdom of Aphrodite, so perhaps what it means that Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom was that in her city, the city that worshipped her above others, she inspired learning and the cultivation of wisdom, and as such, the title stuck and people turned to her more and more for this wisdom.

And maybe, just maybe, some people turned to her and asked that she intercede with Zeus and help bring them his wisdom as well.
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Goddess Love

Goddess

You who dwell in splendor
In the Golden halls of Olympus
Be my eternal guide

For in this world we are born
Lost and afraid
In need of your divine light

And in this world we live
In rapturous joy and torturous pain
Praying for the sweetness of love

A love of family
A love of friendship
A love of life ever confusing

And in the arms of others
Where we find you most easily
May we also learn to cherish you

Goddess
Love ever-living
Be my eternal friend


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