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The Goddess Athena
Athena is the patron Goddess of Athens. She is a virgin Goddess of wisdom, battle, storms and handicrafts. The favorite child of Zeus, She is also the daughter of Metis. When a prophesy foretold that Metis would bare a child stronger than Zeus who would defeat Him, as He had his own father, Chronos, Zeus turned Metis into a fly and swallowed Her. When Zeus was afflicted with a headache, he struck his head open with a hammer and out sprang Athena, fully armed and armored with a spear, shield and helmet. She is known to the Romans as Minerva and is more benevolent and less bloodthirsty than the other Roman war Goddess, Bellona.
She gave man the olive tree, the loom, spindle and flute. She also helped man to tame horses and use chariots. Her wise counsel helped Hercules with some of his tasks and helped Odysseus overcome the Trojans as well as Poseidon's wrath on his voyage home. She is fond of clever men and is often their patron and champion, but She never accepted any male, either God or man, as a consort.
Her sacred bird is the owl and she is also depicted with a snake, both symbols of wisdom.
As Minerva, She is a patron of handicrafts as well as of the arts. Her temple was dedicated on the Capitoline in Rome on March 19 and a feast was celebrated in Her honor every year thereafter, though She shared the day with Mars. June 13 was the lesser Quinquatrus and this was a festival for the flute players' guild. For the three days of this festival, the tibicines (flute players) roamed the streets wearing masks and long robes while they played whatever music they felt like. They met at the temple of Minerva, their patron, and then dined at the temple of Jupiter.
On September 13, a feast was held in honor of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. The feast began with the sacrifice of a white cow and of a second batch of the Vestal Virgins' mola salsa. The feast itself was presided over by images of the three Gods. Jupiter's face was stained red. He lay on a couch while Minerva and Juno's statues sat in chairs. A feast was laid out before them and music played, then all the members of the Senate dined together.
She is also known by the following names:
Athenaa, Athenaia, Athene (Greek), Aithuia (Diver Bird), Baze, Bulaia ("She of the Council"), Glauk-Opis ("Owl-faced"), Gogopa (Death Goddess), Grogopa, Merchanitis, Minerva (Roman), Nice, Nike (Goddess of Victory), Pallas (Storm Goddess), Pallas Athene, Parthenia, Parthenos ("Virgin"), Polias (Goddess of the City), Soteira, Tritogeneia, Victoria (Roman).
These days are sacred to Her:
March 19 - As Minerva, She shared this day with Mars.
June 13 - Lesser Quinquatrus
The Shrine of the Goddess Athena