Athene

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Athene, known in Latin as Minerva, also known as the Motherless Maiden, is the virgin Goddess of Forethought, Wisdom and War.

Athene in myth had sprang forth from the head of Zeus, which is interpreted by Julian as Athene having been “sent forth from [Zeus-]Helios whole from the whole of Him, being contained within Him.” Athene is Zeus-Helios’, who is Nous, intelligence in perfect form; the “mind of the divine Mind”.

Due to Athene’s role as the Forethought of Zeus-Helios, She is responsible for “unifying the Gods in [Zeus-]Helios”. She binds the Gods together, bringing them without confusion into unity with Zeus-Helios, the King of the All.

Furthermore, Athene also serves to order the Gods represented by the seven planets and all the stars in the heavens, known as the Encosmic Gods, and to fill them all with practical wisdom, from the highest vault of the heavens all the way to the moon (Selene), who is the last of the heavenly spheres. She also gives to humanity the blessing of wisdom. With that, Athene’s role is identical to the function of wisdom in Plato’s Republic and Iamblichus’ letter to Asphalius.

However, though wisdom is associated with Athene, it is distinct from her. The Gods, in their perfection and participation in the Good, have no need of virtue. Rather, it is humanity that benefits from participating in the virtues emanating from the divine realm.

 

Bibliography

Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, and Wilmer Cave. Wright. The works of emperor Julian. London: Heinemann etc., 1962.

Kupperman, Jeffrey S. “Living Theurgy: a course in Iamblichus Philosophy, Theology and Theurgy”. London: Avalonia, 2014.