Sunday, February 11, 2018

Birth of Athena



If you devour a mother goddess
make sure you have loyal friend nearby
armed with the ax of the crescent moon.
It’s like this: the feminine power
you thought you could master
is going to stir and swell in you
until your whole being is a trembling womb
that can only open at the top
like a volcano rising from the ocean floor.
It will blow out your brains
unless your head is opened.
So keep a helper with the right tool handy
and be ready for the bright fury
with owl eyes and blazing mind
who will burst from your head fully armed
and love you to death, setting her spear
at the throat of your certainties.



Image: Attic black figure vase c.560 bce, in British Museum. Hephaestus splits the skull of Zeus with a two-headed mallet or ax to birth the goddess Athena from his head. Zeus is seated on a swan-backed chair and holds a lightning bolt in his hand. Athena springs from his head, shield in hand, ready for action. Hephaestus waves his hand in the style of an Eileithyia, a birth-goddess.

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