Kristin Fontana interviews Demetra GeorgeDescription
“The most important goddess for modern women is unequivocally Pallas Athena.”
“She is a very poignant image for the emergence of the feminine consciousness
and power that is occurring in the last few decades.” – DG
• In the mandala of the asteroid goddesses, Ceres is placed on the IC and Pallas Athena on the MC.
• Ceres represents using the creative sexual energy to give birth to children, and to grow food in the seasons.
• Pallas Athena reverses that direction. She takes that sexual creative energy and, instead of moving it out through the genital organs, moves it up the central spinal canal so that it comes out of the top of the head – as giving birth to our mental and artistic children.
• She represents the nature of our creative mind as manifesting and giving forth our realized accomplishments in the world. Greek myth
• Born out of the top of the head of her father Jupiter as his brain child, goddess of wisdom, goddess of war.
• Took her place at the right hand side of her father as his favourite daughter.
• (In classical versions of the myth) she was a virgin goddess denied having any consorts or lovers or children. She was dressed in cold steel war armour to cover up any aspect of her womanly body.
• The myth denied her ever having had a mother at all, and that Jupiter was her only parent.
• There was a contest between her and Poseidon (Neptune). Whoever could give the city the better gift would be awarded rulership of the city. Neptune took his trident and stuck it in the rock on top of the Acropolis and out came a salt spring. Pallas Athena planted an olive tree. It was decided that the olive tree was a much better gift because it provided food and shelter and shade. She became the ruling goddess of Athens.
• Neptune got mad: Women would no longer be able to keep their own names but had to use their father’s names. They were no longer allowed to own their property, and no longer allowed to give their names to their children.
• Having won the contest, women were going to have to suffer and pay for it. Here we see one of the transitions between the matriarchal and patriarchal perspectives.
• While all of the other Greek goddesses (particularly as the patriarchal period became more entrenched) were demoted and demeaned, Pallas Athena was the image of a women who was strong, smart, creative, intelligent, powerful, who had the freedom to walk as an equal in the world of men.
• “She had the freedom to walk as an equal,” but paid a very dear price for this privilege: the denial of her femininity.
• Protector of Athens, to protect and defend the people of her city, very strong warrior aspect.
• Was considered to be a better warrior goddess than Mars was god. Was valued by the Greeks for her mind. Mars used brute strength, she used her wit. Kundalini – Serpent power
• In earlier symbolism of Athena, she is depicted in statues with a huge serpent at her side.
• Sacred serpents lived in the most holy temple on the Acropolis, were fed milk and honey cakes, and were part of the rites.
• On her breastplate she wears the head of the gorgon Medusa whose head is filled with winding serpents.
• Her original nature is the goddess of the serpent power.
• The serpent that guarded the oracular temples was understood as the symbol of wisdom.
• The serpent was always connected with wisdom and healing.
• Bible says, ‘Be ye wise as a serpent.’
• Behind the cold, strategic, logical, rational goddess of war that the patriarchy projected her as, this is the goddess who holds the secrets of the kundalini serpent energy/power of wisdom and healing coiled at the base of the spine.
• Her energy moves up through the chakras. Associated with Scorpio energy, upper chakras, 3rd eye, crown chakra, very psychic.
• Indian Yogic tradition, alternate nostril breathing, balances the male and feminine channels, awakens kundalini coiled at the base of our spine, it rises upward through the spinal canal, and comes out of the top of the head as cosmic illumination (Pallas Athena).
• Serpents and the goddess were paired together from the earliest imagery in ancient Sumeria, 3000 BC: images of the goddess with serpent heads or nursing serpent babies on their breast.
• Very popular images of goddess from Crete and Babylonia holding two serpents in each hand.
• Egyptian goddess associated with wisdom and war, depicted with the cobra. Skeletons of serpents found in the ruins of her ancient oracle city.
• Northern Africa, Libya, Goddess “Anassa,” the precursor of Athena, had 3 forms: maiden, mother, crow, embodied women as wise, strong warriors.
• Another aspect of this trinity was Medusa, the serpent haired queen of wisdom, associated with the 3rd phase of the trinity, magic, regeneration, sexual mysteries.
• In ancient arts, when serpents were depicted on goddesses, below the waist was associated with fertility, above the waist, especially on the head, was associated with wisdom.
• Worshiped in Crete, became known as Athena protector of the palace. Serpents would eat the milk and honey prepared for them.
• From the Mycenaean Greeks we get Athena’s birth story to Jupiter here. Jupiter involved in war against his father Saturn. Sea goddess Mentes (middle of this trinity) gives Jupiter a potion that causes Saturn to vomit up swallowed brothers and sisters. They take up arms, and win the war. Jupiter, as king, ordered Mentes to be his consort, she refused, he pursued, and she became pregnant with Athena. An oracle told of Mentes pregnancy to a second child to supersede Jupiter, but in order to prevent it, he swallowed Mentes whole. One day, walking along the shores of Lake Tritonis in Libya (lake of the triple queen), Jupiter gets a headache. His head is axed open and out springs Athena his daughter dressed in full armour.
• Robert Graves says she represents the ingestion and adaptation of the old feminine wisdom principle to the needs of the new patriarchal order.
• From this myth, in the level of yogic practice, we see that through internalization of the goddess Mentes pregnant with Athena, Jupiter, through him absorbing the contra-sexual polarity into himself, awakened the kundalini – and that consciousness came out through his head.
• Athena wears the Medusa serpent on her breastplate whose hair is filled with snakes and represents the awakening of the kundalini (pure electricity and power), her secret nature behind the logical strategic goddess of war. Modern message of the Athena archetype
• Dilemma: If you are a women and you want to be strong and powerful in men’s territory, they won’t consider you to be a real woman, and will deny you the validation of protection and relationship.
• Women who want to be as good as they possibly can in their chosen field often at the cost of intimate relationships and family.
• Girls at school whose intelligence is too threatening to the male ego.
• What does it mean to be a modern Athena woman (and man)? The movement toward androgyny (asexuality) that Athena represents, born of the androgynous condition of her father Jupiter, where he assimilated the feminine into himself.
• Not being polarized at the sexual extremes (“girly” woman or “macho” guy), but balancing the male and female energy within, calling up the contra (opposite) sexual polarity.
• Women who are smart, good in sports, warriors in the world.
• Men, in their feminine polarity, who excel in the arts and other areas.
• Clever girls at school seen as too threatening to be asked on dates – or men being great friends but not dateable material – because they both don’t conform to the extreme sexual stereotypes.
• Tremendous frustration of sexual energy puts pressure on the kundalini as the energy to be used for mind and art.
• Prominent Athena useful and helpful in counseling: “What is the individual relationship to the contra-sexual polarity within them? “Has that created frustration in the early part of their life?” “What have they done in terms of that in their own creative process?”Pallas Athena in the chart
• Jungian psychology of the armoured Amazon, valuing of one’s rational logical strategic cold analytic qualities that help one succeed in the outer world, and seeing one’s emotions feeling and vulnerabilities as being weak and undesirable. And how that spills over into the issues we have with our fathers, the issues we have in rejecting our mothers or what the feminine represents.
• Healing our relationship to our own feminine.
• Learning how to accept the feminine while in the outer patriarchal world.
• The essence of the feminine contains wisdom and strength (these are not only masculine qualities).
• The healing of the soul.Afflicted Pallas
• Squares or oppositions from Saturn: the suppression of one’s wisdom nature.
• Seeing a women as being less feminine or less womanly because of the expression of her wisdom.
• The repercussions to being smart, to expressing the pure Athena energy, to being as good as you possibly can be, as the feminine seeks to actualize that in the world.Famous people with strong Pallas Athena
• Amelia Earhart, PA on her Asc, “I can do anything a man can do, and I can do it better.”
• Simone de Beauvoir, lover of Jean Paul Sartre, PA/Moon in the 10th, books on the new wave of feminine consciousness emergence in the early 1900’s.
• Marie Curie, winner of Nobel prize.
• Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, both with PA conjunct Sun in Aquarius.
Many Thanks from EA students
to Kristin and Demetra
for a great informative interview!