Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mix-tape to Athena

Today, I'm posting a mix-tape for Athena. This idea is not mine; it's a combination of a wonderful idea by Sannion and Hellenion's monthly libation schedule. Hellenion is a Hellenic organization from America and I've been using their wonderful calender and the great store of information they have gathered to start my own practice. Every month, Hellenion members pour a libation to a different Hellenic God or Goddess. This month, it's Athena's turn.

I poured my libation today and found it a wonderful experience. Yet, I also want to do something special for these libation days, another way of honoring these Deities. I've never been much for mix-tapes, although I did make one for my girlfriend once. Still, it's a good way to figure out what the Deity is really about and what They mean to you--or me, in this case.

For this mix-tape series, I will limit myself to five songs, each. So, without further ado; my mix-tape to Athena.

Ani Difranco - Gratitude (live)

In the Olympian version of Athena's birth, Hēphaistos helped birth Her by liberating her from Zeus, Her father's head. A little later on, He turned around on her and attempted to rape Her. She rebuffed Him and Erichthonius was born from Gaea. Athena raised him as Her own. Ani's song tells of an experience where she, after receiving help, was forced to repay the favor in a sexual manner. I'm especially partial to the lines 'what does my body have to do with my gratitude?' and 'you can't write me off and you don't turn me on'.


Spiral Dance - The Goddess and the Weaver

I think this is a beautiful retelling of the myth of Athena and Arachne. It, of course, had to be included.


Andy Bull Feat. Lisa Mitchell - Dog

I am going to share a bit of UGP (and SPG) on Athena for this one. I have interacted with Pallas Athena a lot. One night, she shared some of Her story with me. After being born from Zeus' head, the young Athena was sent to Triton who was tasked to raise Her. Triton had a daughter, a Nymph named Pallas and the two became friends; friends so close they blurred the lines between friendship and love. One day, Zeus came to check up on His daughter and found Her in mock combat with Pallas, with Athena practicing Her spear-play. Distracted by the Aegis, held by Zeus, Athena struck down Pallas, who died in Her arms. Athena, unconsolable, vowed to remain a virgin, realizing Her love could only have been given to Pallas and took the name of the Nymph to keep her memory alive. 

This song reminds me of this story. I'll link here to the lyrics because they're a bit hard to hear. In short, it's the story of young Pallas Athena coming to terms with that She has done, Her struggle to learn from the experience, coming to terms with the realization She really did love Pallas as much more than a friend, and move on as a harder Goddess who has sworn off love.


Dar Williams - As Cool as I Am (live)

The above video is, obviously, a live version. the CD version is here. I was inspired to post the live version, as so I did. The mix-tape is not for me, after all. 

This is one of my favorite songs by Dar Williams and the one sentence that always stays with me is 'I will not be afraid of women'. And I think that Athena is very afraid of women--and of being a woman. Forced into the role of a boy (not a man), Athena tends to take the side of the males when conflicts arise and She is usually harsher on females than males. It's a side of Her I often find hard to reconcile with my feelings about Her because, especially in Neo-Wicca and Eclecticism, Athena seems to be the epitome of feminism. And She's not. 

Peaches - Boys Wanna Be Her

Alright, ignore the video, please. I chose this song to round off my mix-tape with this song by Peaches mostly as a continuation of the point raised at the previous video; that Athena seems to be, for many, the most awesome of the Gods and Goddesses. She's wise, strong, confident, gets on with the boys and she's independent. This song speaks to that part of her persona and I adore it because of that. 

So this is it, my mix-tape to Athena. Are there songs you disagree with or do you have your own to add? I'd love to hear it. 


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