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  • Writer's pictureMaren de Klerk

The Wisdom of Athena

Legend says that the owl was the Greek goddess Athena's faithful companion! Artists of the time depicted Athena as a woman wearing a goatskin shield and an owl on her left shoulder!

That should not surprise anyone! The mighty goddess of wisdom recognised in the owl what others did not; intelligence, speed, agility, clarity of thought, resourcefulness, independence, and excellent intuition!

The Greeks believed that when the goddess came down from Olympus to live among people, she turned into an owl. According to legend, Athena and the owl watched over the Acropolis, where owls were said to live in large numbers.

In addition to the wisdom and secret knowledge she whispered in Athena's gear, the owl was a universally accepted sign of a positive outcome.

Greek warriors, for example, believed that the appearance of an owl on the battlefield was a sign of divine favour with the help of which they would gain strength, wisdom, and skill to defeat their enemies.

Greek coins had the figure of an owl on one side, associating it with wealth and successful trading and prosperity!

I photographed this beautiful specimen in my garden. Let's hope that what held true for the Greeks, holds true for me too!

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