Athene Noctua – Athena’s Little Owl

needle felted owl,Athene Noctua; Athena's Little Owl
Athene Noctua; Athena's Little Owl

An intervention has occurred to disrupt the pink flow, necessary as a promise needed to be fulfilled. A special owl for a donation. It could only be one owl and that is Athene Noctua.

Athene Noctua, according to myth, is the Goddess Athena’s Little Owl; her guide, companion, advisor and protector. To the ancient Greeks this little bird was a powerful symbol and appeared with Athena, mainly  sitting on her shoulder.  This owl’s image was also often used to decorate friezes, pottery and coins. The birds were protected and many lived on the Acropolis in Athens.

Like the python, that accompanied  Athena and also inhabited the Acropolis, the owl represented hidden truths and a powerful spiritual force. To me the strong association with the owl also indicates that Athena was a very ancient and potent deity, a bird Goddess. One of her epithets is glaucopis – owl eyed . According to some accounts it was Athena who was the owl, sometimes shown in very early representations with an owl head.

Athene Noctua, perched on Athena’s shoulder peers into the darkness, that great void, piercing the veils of illusion and deception. She sees into  hearts and souls gaining profound insights. She sees past the masks and deceptions, beyond false truths . She offers guidance and, through knowing the truth, protection.

Athena the strong and beloved  Greek Goddess became a powerful blend of intellect and creativity, espousing knowledge and wisdom and fostering crafts, especially weaving, pottery, and metalwork. She assisted agriculture, for instance, said to have invented the plough and gifted the olive tree to the Greeks. She was  the great soldier fighting  just causes prefering strategy and logic to combat, called on to assist,mediate and protect.

Transformed from the Great Mother She became  a Virgin-Soldier.  A man-made, somewhat mysogonist, Goddess cultivated and “civilised” to bolster men’s status and egoes and subjugate women, yet loved and honoured by all. Somehow she has lingered and been reshaped according to culture and perceptions .Quite amazing. Her power and reputation for wisdom, discernment and justice still remains.

Yet often overlooked is that  Athena’s  wisdom was gained was by deep reflection and that her courage was not going to war but rather going within to confront  Her own Shadow and to acknowledge it.  She would always  be aware of the unseen truths, thoughts, emotions , weaknesses and desires, for, like the owl, her eyes could peer deep into the darkness. Like the owl She could travel into realms beyond the physical world. The battle is not with others but within ourselves to overcome ego, that creates fears and anxieties to prevent us from seeing our own light or the full picture.

Athene Noctua silent, watching, sees in the darkness and knows that:

“Darkness precedes light and She is Mother”.

Back view of needle felt Athene noctua
Back view

I thank you Owls Daughter for revealing this inscription from the altar of the Cathedral at Salerno.

And I hope the recipient of this Little Owl will have

a trusted friend.

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2 thoughts on “Athene Noctua – Athena’s Little Owl

  1. What a wonderful owl and simply gorgeous. I love the story about Athene Noctua.

    To go within and seek answers is truly inspirational and helpful.

    Best wishes 🙂

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