Friday, April 25, 2014

The Mythology Files: Athena

I am Athena.

Goddess of wisdom, that’s my official title — though there are a plethora of other subjects that fall under the umbrella of my authority.

War strategy.

Arts and crafts.


The list goes on.

I know you’re wondering why I’m here. It’s a fair question. One I have asked myself many times. Ordinarily, I don’t go in for this whole thing. Beauty, drama… the thought alone repulses me. So I understand your confusion. You would think my wisdom should have precluded me from getting involved.

I had a momentary lapse in judgment. That is all. And now I can’t seem to undo it.

I’m sure you’ll find this hard to believe, but I occasionally have fits of temper. I’m not proud of it. In fact, pride is actually my pet peeve, hence the rage.

You’ve heard of spiders? That is an example of my handiwork. True, they are amazing creatures, capable of intricate and beautiful weaving (one of my fortes), but the fact is spiders are a product of my temper… Of course, in that particular case, it was righteous indignation. Most of my fits of temper fall into that category.

Medusa? Yeah, another victim of my indignation. Well, I say victim, but really she brought it on herself. She and Arachne both. Two peas in a hubris-infected pod.

My mother is a Titaness, Metis, the goddess of prudence. She had a momentary lapse in judgment at one point which led to my birth taking place inside my father’s head.


You heard me correctly.

In. Side. Zeus’s. Head.

Of course, it hurt him more than it hurt me. I can’t imagine having my head split open by Hephaestus’s axe. But when all was said and done, I emerged from my father’s skull the fully grown goddess you see now.

Zeus has momentary lapses in judgment all the time. None of us are immune. It’s just that with wisdom being my strong suit, you would think I would be a somewhat less susceptible. Discernment is my first nature after all.

Case in point, I’m a virgin.

Before you start jumping to conclusions, understand. That’s by choice.

No matter what anyone tells you, casual sex is an entanglement that offers only trouble and heartache. You can trust me on this one. But in case you need proof, just look at the problems Aphrodite has. And Zeus. It honestly gives me a headache just thinking about it.

It’s not that I’m against love, mind you. I just happen to believe that I deserve a god (or man) who doesn’t make me share him with any other goddess or woman he takes a fancy to.

Until that one comes along, abstinence is the wise choice.

So why do I care who wins the golden apple?

It’s obviously not for the sex appeal. But there is a logical explanation.

I don’t like pride.

You can look at my track record for evidence of that. And when I find it in mortals, I punish them. Severely.

In immortals, pride comes in epic proportions. Unfortunately, I can’t just turn them into insects. If I could, Aphrodite would have been morphed into one of those nasty lovebugs long, long ago. She’s worse than Narcissus. And that is saying something.

Pride makes people, mortal and immortal alike, stupid. And as the goddess of wisdom, stupidity is something I simply cannot abide.

Aphrodite is getting far too big for her britches, to coin a modern phrase. And Hera, well, I know she means well, but this whole I’m the queen prima donna attitude has reached critical mass.

This is why I must win the golden apple. I’m the only one who can absorb the compliment and not have it go straight to my head. I’m doing this for the good of everyone.

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