The Change Maker Archetype is represented by Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and crafts. A beautiful warrior, who protected her chosen heroes and her city. Like Artemis she does not need a man to complete her and enjoys independence and a focused mind.
Well known for her military strategy, she is often depicted with an owl, representing her wisdom and sharp eye. Athena represents planning, purposeful thinking, strategy, practicality and tangible results. She values rational thinking and intellect over passions or emotions, and is at home in the city. She is very protective of the people in her life, and is quick to punish those who undermine them.
The Athena woman is highly rational and not easily overcome by feelings or emotion. This means she is able to make deliberate choices and not be carried along by sentimentality. She generally lives for her work, and enjoys careers that give her a sense of purpose and meaning. She is fiercely loyal to those closest to her, and will go to any lengths to protect their interests, even if that means bending the truth or using deception.
She has very well grounded and logical ideas about the world and how things should be done. She likes to shake things up and is highly independent, purposeful, and ambitious. She wants to make the world a better place and can be single minded in her quest.
Change Maker Character
Strategic: Your ability to think rationally and pragmatically makes you a brilliant strategist. You know exactly what needs to be done and always think of the ‘bottom line’. You are not swayed by sentiment or emotions, but are very good with people and excel at diplomacy, often finding a solution for everyone.
Master of Crafts: Athena was also the master crafter, representing self-sufficiency, planning, foresight, and the ability to tame the wild frontier. You have exceptional skill making things, from culinary delights to clothes or crafts. Many Athena women don’t have the time to discover this ability however, as they tend to be absorbed by their work.
Sides with Father: You feel comfortable in the company of men who see things in the same way that you do; rationally and clearly rather than coloured with too much emotion. Most Athena women are quite conservative in their views and tend to hold up the patriarchal order. This means you may also prefer rights over responsibilities, justice over mercy, and independence over relationships. However, if you are able to transcend the father and become fully yourself, then you will likely become an ambassador for the displaced and marginalised in society. An Athena woman who has reached this stage may forge a career in overthrowing oppressive patriarchal systems.
The Golden Mean: A strongly identified Athena woman will likely find herself living within the golden mean. Not easily swayed by impulse or emotion, she is invulnerable to excesses of feeling. This enables her to maintain stability under intense pressures that would crush other goddess types. No matter what the situation, she is always able to think and plan strategically, changing course when needed.
Armoured: Athena was born as an adult and fully armoured, which is a metaphor for her impervious nature. You tend not to take things personally and are not easily hurt. This allows you to be decisive and stand up to powerful people without too much emotional upset. In the midst of battle you remain effective, cool headed and rational.
Change Maker Challenges
Denial of Emotions: While being armoured is one of Athena’s strengths, it is also a weakness as it makes her unable to connect with her emotional, sensual, and spiritual side. This can cause you to become overdeveloped rationally, and lacking in emotional balance or stability. You may sometimes feel hypersensitive and find it difficult to deal with your emotions.
You likely live for your work, and rarely if at all experience the depth of feeling that gives rise to sensual, ecstatic, or mystical experience. You may even deny their existence and dismiss their expression in others which can alienate people. You find it hard to empathise with deep emotions, and may misread situations causing unintended pain or upset.
The Medusa Effect: Athena women can be critical and intimidating, with the power to ‘turn people to stone’ who do not think like them. This happens when you dismiss the emotional aspects of things that give much of it’s meaning. By focusing only on the cold rational facts, you risk taking the life out of things. In personal situations this can come across as insensitive and even offensive when people feel their feelings are being dismissed. You may also become unintentionally distant when the situation requires empathy and closeness.
This Athena trait comes from an inner belief that she has the authority to validate or invalidate how other people feel, think or live their lives. The Athena woman can overcome the Medusa effect by removing her armour and connecting with others as peers. It’s important to understand the importance of emotion in other people’s experience of the world, and that just because something is rational or provable, it doesn’t make it right for everyone.
Craftiness: For the Athena woman the question is not should it be done, but “how can I do it”. You may find yourself seeking any means possible to reach a certain objective, and may take the unethical route if it gets the job done. It is not the principal but the practicality that concerns you most.
Change Maker Relationships
Women: Identifying more with the father, Athena women don’t usually feel a strong bond with other women.. However, you get on well with Athena or Artemis types who speak your language of exploration, independence and focus. People tend to come to you for your objective eye rather than emotional support.
Men: You likely feel more at home in the company of strong men who you can debate with. Many Athena women surround themselves with capable men who they can advise, and form alliances with.
Work: Athena women seek out careers where they can make something of themselves. You will likely be very focused on your work, have a well laid out strategy of where you want to be, and then set about achieving it with precision. Athena women make excellent teachers, academics, lawyers, health professionals, and excel in anything considered a ‘male’ profession.
Sexuality: The Athena woman lives in her head, and is not in touch with her sensual side. Sex is understood as a necessary part of relationships, but it is not felt in an erotic way. Athena women may be celibate for long periods of time while they focus on their career. This archetype is well represented in gay women, and they will likely seek out another Athena women who match their intellect, drive and values.
Marriage: You are likely seen as a ‘superwoman’ for your ability to keep your career and household in perfect order. You’re not prone to sexual jealousy, and see marriage as a partnership between equals.. Communication is usually excellent, but not when it comes to feelings which are often skipped entirely.
Children: As parents Athena mothers can’t wait for her children to grow up so that they can talk adult to adult. You prefer independent and logical children, rather than overly sensitive or clingy ones. If you have the later you will need to develop your feeling side, or partner with someone who can provide an emotional element.
Change Maker Development
Child: Athena children want to find out how things work and enjoy asking their fathers the whys, wheres and hows. She needs purely logical answers to understand the world in her terms, and so It’s unlikely that she asks her mother, unless she is also an Athena woman. Your childhood gift is intense focus and a strong intellect. It’s likely that you read from an early age and seemed wise beyond your years.
Adolescence: You were not a stereotypical teen girl, and likely saw those who were as quite silly. The Athena girl wants to understand the world, and are unaffected by the usual mood swings of adolescence. You may have spent your high school days with boys who were your intellectual equal, or other Athena/ Artemis girls. If you went to University you likely found this to be much more comfortable than your school days.
Woman: The Athena woman is emotionally stable, in control, uncomplicated, confident, practical and knows what she wants. You are likely quite career driven, and have a strategy in place to get you to exactly where you want to be.
Middle Years: These are often very fulfilling for the Athena woman who has worked hard to get to where she is, and can now enjoy her many successes. She is likely well respected in her chosen field, and has made a name for herself. Her life tends to unfold in an orderly plan, and she is able to reassess and change course when needed.
Later Years: Athena women remain practical throughout their lives and often form the backbone of community and charitable organisations. Although they may be undemonstrative, they honour family events and traditions, and maintain good relationships with their children, who they connect with on an intellectual level. They carry their keen intellect into later life, and never pass up the opportunity to debate over their many interests and ideas.
Rooting your Inner Change Maker
Seek Inwards: The Athena woman lives for her work and risks getting consumed by it. The cogs are always turning and it’s easy to become burnt out and feel like your heading for a brick wall. You tend to go at 100 mph and time is needed to simply switch off. To help counter this intense focus on the outside world, you need to cultivate your inner world. This can be done through meditation or taking up a craft. Many Athena women enjoy working with their hands to help foster this inner stillness.
Rediscovering your inner child: The goddess Athena was born as a fully grown adult, and this is how many Athena women understand themselves. You may feel like you have always had an old head on young shoulders, or been the sensible one. Learn to connect with your inner child by resisting the urge to label or preconceive new experiences. Try to meet the world wide eyed and remain open to possibility. When someone is talking about something you haven’t experienced, learn to listen, imagine, and feel what they feel. Resist the temptation to label and dismiss experiences that you usually shut off from, especially if they are outside of the logical or rational realms.
Connect with the mother: The goddess Athena had no mother, making her overly identified with her father. The Athena woman has yet to connect with her own feminine aspects, and may depreciate them. To connect with the mother in herself she must learn her own mother’s strengths so that she can see their similarities. In doing so she becomes a whole person, and is able to fully live her life for herself, and not only to uphold her fathers ideals.
Body: Because of the tendency to live in her head, the body of Athena women is often forgotten and misused. Although sensual, our body is our most practical aspect, and connection to it helps us to feel grounded and powerful. Regular experience of the body through stretching or self massage is an easy way to raise awareness and identification with yourself AS body as well as mind.
Movement: The Athena woman will likely enjoy competitive team sports where she can lead and rally her troops. Her extrovert nature makes games fun and rewarding, and also offers a chance to disconnect from thinking about work. You excel at anything involving strategy, and so any team or goal orientated sport will be a perfect match. Because of your tendency to over-work yourself, recreational exercise is unlikely to be a priority. However, moving ones body is vital for long term health and 1 hour of light movement a day can add 10 years to your life. Think practically about it’s importance and try to make time for it in your life, even if it’s just cycling to work and back.
Nourishment: You enjoy your food, and if you’ve shown interest in cooking the you are likely an accomplished chef. However, due to the priority of work, cooking nutritious food is often out of the question. You may be so exhausted by the end of the day that you resort to quick meals, or worse still find yourself in a fast food cycle. Because of your tendency towards low body awareness it’s important that you have the right food choices on hand. Making nutritious food doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated, and planning just needs to be keeping stocked up with colourful fruits and vegetables. Smoothies offer a great fast fix nutrient boost, and lots of meals can be thrown together in 10 – 20 mins. Don’t over-complicate things, and you will be more than capable of giving your body the nourishment it needs.
Your gift: The Athena woman has the power to create lasting change in the world. To be able to do this you need to heal her wound, which is your disconnection from the world of feelings and emotion. When you awaken this aspect of yourself, you are able to transcend your identification with the father and cultivate your underdeveloped feminine side. Once you embrace both aspects of your nature, you will excel in your gift; which is empowering women to contribute to the civil, social and political realm that you call home.