When we can see our shadows, when we shine the light on that we would hardly dare to admit to ourselves, that is when the healing occurs…
Oh wise one, you’re back!
Or perhaps you have never left…
In the images I saw of you, you mostly had an owl on your shoulder. That, dear Athena, created the bond between us.
Or so I thought.
My infatuation with owls started when years ago, I received a message from Harry the Owl. Some pointed out that Harry was a Tawny Frogmouth, not an owl. But I wasn’t going to let that tiny detail detract me from connecting with his wise owl-spirit that I saw. I’ll tell you about Harry later; for now, suffice to say that he (if it even was a “he”!) had been instrumental in activating my dormant spiritual abilities, and catapulted me into a new way of life.
But first, Athena. Ever since I’ve started exploring the goddess archetypes, Athena has always been the first to present herself. It has occurred to me that in my workshops, I always open with the three goddesses whose names started with A: Athena, Aphrodite, and Artemis. Athena was always first.
I think that was because she felt the most familiar to me. The intellectual, the thinker, the strategist. Usually more comfortable with male conversation, especially when it relates to concepts, theories, and ideas, rather than traditional “girly”-talk.
She usually wears a shield, and various pieces of battle armour, depending on which depiction of her you’re looking at. The daughter of Zeus, she was regarded as equal to Apollo to show up on the battlefield, fully displaying her intellectual prowess and keen insight into strategy. Her physical shield related to my energetic shields. Over years my body hardened into the combat protection she was carrying.
When something new appears in our field, be it a new lover, a new interest, a new house/dress/piece of equipment, it is common to shun the old. In any awakening, or when we become aware of a new path, we frequently view the path we were on with disdain, with suspicion, or, at the very least, we ignore it. Think of a child playing with a toy, and how, when a new toy is dangled in front of them, the one they had been playing with often gets dropped without a backward glance as they eagerly grab the new arrival. When we are captivated by something, the familiar usually takes a backseat. In many traditions, especially in the West, we are always moving on to the “next best thing”. The old – and sadly in many cases this applies to humans and animals too – are just not exciting anymore, whether “old” applies to physical age or not.
So, when I started becoming aware of other possibilities, when my life path took a different turn (again, Harry played a crucial role in the events, but I’m still adamant to not digress to him!), when I started questioning my purpose, and when I became involved with the powerful modality of working with archetypes, I opened to the possibility of other traits within me. When I started noticing how I have suppressed some archetypes, it became important to develop the hidden parts of me. Once I realised how much I have stifled my dreams, desires, and ultimately, my potential, it became my life’s mission to explore and develop these parts of me. To try them on, like I would a garment.
I tried on many, and still do. In fact, that is the premise of this body of work, this JOURNEY with the Goddesses.
In the process, I overlooked, no, actually, I shunned Athena. The old garment got dropped and got left on the floor. I was fed up with living predominantly in my head, with armour, and in a masculine, calculating, and guarded way. Characteristics which Athena had taught me so well.
Let me make it clear – this wasn’t a mistake. It was natural and necessary for me to release and develop some of my hidden qualities and gifts. A new path, like a new lover, requires attention and energy. And further, it wasn’t if I was ONLY embodying Athena. Truth be told, she was showing up because she was shielding an even deeper wounded archetype (but that’s a story for another chapter!). Over and over my journey shows how so many other goddesses played, and are still playing, crucial roles in my life performance. Athena, during a period when I was very vulnerable, was just a familiar way of defaulting.
She never left through. She graciously (actually, it was probably more wisdom than grace) allowed me to play with the other goddesses. To find different paths, and to venture out of my mind. Until I was ready to step into a deeper part of her.
But not before she made a fuss…
See, one of Athena’s wounds was her alienation from her feminine Self, and her need to prove herself. Her secret longing to be part of it all presented in her twisted shadow of judgement, critique, and her seemingly unsympathetic ways of dealing with what she views as distractions. She was the one cursing Medusa for falling victim to Poseidon, creating a monstrous, vicious creature with a head full of snakes. She was also the one destroying Arachne for being swallowed by her own pride, and punishing her by turning her into a spider. And she was also the one outwitting Poseidon for the naming of the Greek capital.
My own journey presented many instances of judgement, critique and operating without heart towards that which I deemed as distractions, or soft, and in my way. The fact that “my way” wasn’t clear to me at the time, did not occur to me. (In fact, I hid that uncertainty along with many uncertainties, but again, that’s a story for another day or another chapter). In my own way I wore Athena’s armour, and unknowingly showed her dark, wounded side, towards other, and mostly, towards myself.
When we at last can see our own shadows, when what we shine the light on that we would hardly dare to admit to ourselves, that is when the healing occurs. As I discarded Athena, her shadows within me roared and clawed their way into acknowledgement. Jealously, they had to be seen.
That was my task. One that continuous every single day. To shed light and to heal the repressed and misunderstood twistedness. Some talk of “integration” but fuck, there is a hell of a lot of work before you can integrate, let me tell you!
So, as my Higher, Divine Self, and my illuminated Krysted consciousness is revealed, I welcome her back. Athena, with her wisdom and her piercing eyes, her ability to see though the bullshit, and her unwavering commitment to her cause.
I am now ready to step into more of the divine gifts she carries. Gifts that I was careful to own before, such as discipline, pride, and scared leadership.
Her armour towards the outside world has morphed into a strong backbone, and an energetic deterrent for the many trolls, or those who want to bring her down due to their own fears.
She is a true warrior.
With Harry on her shoulder.