Athena

As patron goddess of Athens, Athena was a very popular deity with many myths attributed to her and a number of festivals in her honor. Her areas of interest were quite diverse--she was a goddess of war, of wisdom, and of weaving and other crafts. *

Myth

Athena's first story is that of her birth. Her father Zeus had received a prophecy that a child born by him of Metis (wisdom) would overthrow him, as he had overthrown his father Kronos and as Kronos had overthrown his father Ouranos. To solve this small problem, he swallowed the pregnant Metis. However, some time later Zeus was afflicted with a prodigious headache, so agonizing that he asked Hephaestos to strike him on the head with an axe. Hephaestos did so, and Athena leaped out, fully grown and fully armoured.

Athena is well-known for her patronage of heroes, such as Odysseus, who she aids in his long journey home.

However friendly to mortals Athena may have been in general, she was also as capable of any of the gods of striking in anger, as shown in the story of Arachne, who challenged the goddess to a weaving contest and was subsequently transformed into a spider. As one of the three virgin goddesses (along with Artemis and Hestia), Athena never married or took a lover, but she was once pursued by Hephaestos, and later took an interest in his child Erichthonios.

Worship

Above all Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens, but was honored throughout Greece. She was celebrated in a great number of festivals**, including the following:

She was honored as well on the third day of each Greek month.

References

Click here for prayers and devotions to Athena.

About the Gods Book of Prayers Links and Resources

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