Athene: Image and Energy

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Viking Arkana, 1996 - Religion - 310 pages
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When Athene sprang full-grown from her father Zeus's head, a new image of the feminine was born to Western consciousness - an image that has been central to its myth of progress ever since. Yet is has been hard to honour the paradoxical complexity of a goddess who presides over war as well as the peaceful arts, who subverts the ruling order as much as she seems to support it. Starting from a penetrating analysis of the goddess's mythologies and beginnings, Ann Shearer shows how mainstream consciousness, from the early Church Fathers onwards, has diluted and even suppressed the original power of the image, until this embodiment of a special kind of focused energy became seen as a disembodied mind. But she shows too how another image of Athene has been carried on an underground stream that runs through the Christian Gnostics, the cult of the Black Virgin and the mysteries of alchemy. The energy has not been lost: this book skilfully reminds us of what we already half knew. Can we now honour the fullness of Athene's battling energy? What is its place in today's society? These are the kinds of question this thought-provoking book addresses. And in her evocations of images of the goddess through the ages, the author is indeed helping to reclaim Athene's energy for us now.

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Athene: image and energy

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Unlike Lee Hall's recent Athena: A Biography (LJ 4/1/97), which was a lay reader's approach to mythology, Shearer, a Jungian analyst, informs her exploration of Athena's shape-shifting over the course ... Read full review


The Maternal Measure
The Feminine Heritage
Remembering Medusa

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About the author (1996)

Shearer is a Jungian Analyst

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