Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Ever-Near Goddess

Walter F. Otto in his oft-quoted work The Homeric Gods calls Athena "the ever-near" goddess:
Only the 'bright-eyed intelligence' capable of discerning the decisive element at every juncture and of supplying the most effective instrumentality is an adequate characterization of her ideal . Consummation, the immediate present, action here and now - that is Athena. She is spirited immediacy, redeeming spiritual presence, swift action. She is the 'ever-near'.
Athena stands behind Her favorite heroes and invisibly whispers advice, reason, and wisdom. Although it is a modern epithet it is a telling one. Athena is often overlooked by those who seek Her because She is already so ingrained in our lives.

I read a plea on a board tonight from a woman who offers Athena prayers, incense, and olive oil, but is left cold in her quest to find Athena. Athena is a remarkable theoi. She is found in every rational action, every skillful movement, every whisper of wisdom in our minds. She is the soft voice just behind you urging you to speak out, to learn, to try again.

Yes, there are times, rare and unbidden, where She reveals Herself to us in an omen, a shiver, a gleam of silver light. She may come to us in dreams, dazzling in Her finely woven raiment and polished bronze armor. We may hear Her clear strong voice, or be blessed with an inward vision of Her unspeakably marvelous eyes. But this is not how She usually comes.

Athena feels like the solemn peace of the gray fog of morning spreading its dew on all living things. She sounds like the perfect bon-mot falling from your mouth. She is the right book that you just happen to read at the perfect time. She is the meditative state that accompanies the creation of any art. It is good to seek Athena, but it is better to know that She is already with you. She is truly the ever near goddess.


  1. This was so directed to me. :)

    Thank you, you are right, She is here.

  2. I'm so glad this spoke to you. You are right, it was inspired by your request on the Hellenistai forum. Thank YOU for the inspiration. :)

  3. This was so eloquent and insightful, thank you!

  4. *blushes* Thank you for your kind compliment. I'm just smitten with my dearest Goddess. :)