Athena Collage Altar Card

Athena Collage

After I made the High Priestess tarot card I immediately started on this small altar card. Collage is one way I practice ‘active meditation’, one of the few times I truly feel like I am living in the moment.

I named this collage “Athena” even though the goddess doesn’t resonate with me personally, and I’m so glad I chose that title, because it found it’s home with a wonderful person who feels connected to Athena. Here’s a little more information about the goddess herself:

Athena was the Greek virgin goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature. She was the daughter of Zeus; her birth is unique in that she did not have a mother. Instead, she sprang full grown and clad in armor from Zeus’ forehead.

She was fierce and brave in battle; however, she only took part in wars that defended the state and home from outside enemies. She was the patron of the city, handcraft, and agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot. She was the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity. She was Zeus’ favorite child and was allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. Her holy tree was the olive tree and she was often symbolized as an owl.

However, what this blurb leaves out, is that Athena testified against Clytemnestra in the trial of Orestes. Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon and the mother of Iphigenia and Orestes. Before leaving for the Trojan War, Agamemnon sacrificed¬†Iphigenia to the gods. When he returned from the war (with Cassandra, his prize), Clytemnestra murdered him for the killing of their daughter. In turn, Orestes killed his mother (Clytemnestra) to avenge the death of his father (Agamemnon). Because of this Orestes was pursued by the Furies, who torment those who commit blood killings, until he was put on trial by the gods. Athena testified that, because of her birth, women had nothing to do with the child’s blood line, but that fathers were the only important parent. After Orestes was pardoned the Furies transformed into the Erinyes and the matriarchy was officially dead.

Regardless of what I wrote above, Athena is still remembered as a powerful and more masculine goddess, which appeals to me, and she’s the goddess of intellect, so what’s not to like?

I hope you enjoy my card and lecture; have a lovely Yule. Blessed be!


Greek Mythology

Collage Tarot: The High Priestess

Collage Tarot: High Priestess

I toyed with the idea of making my own tarot deck a good ten years ago, but it dropped to the wayside. Then recently I felt the pull again, so I made this collage of the High Priestess, my favorite card in any tarot deck. If you’ve been inspired to make your own tarot or oracle deck then perhaps you will find this post helpful! Below I explain the meaning of each item in the collage card.

The High Priestess traditionally sits between the pillars of alpha and omega, situated in the realm of all knowledge. I replaced the pillars – which are a Biblical reference – with two crystal pillars to maintain the symbolism.

Trusting intuition and what I think of as ‘soft power’ – the power of silence or inaction – are in the High Priestess card. If there is gossip, the High Priestess tells us to turn away from it, signaling a time of trusting one’s inner voice and intuition. Because of this I used an image of a woman who is turn away, to indicate the powerful silence of this card.

In the Rider-Waite deck the High Priestess is strongly associated with the Moon: she wears the triple crown of Isis and has a crescent moon under her foot. I feel much more drawn to goddess of the Sun, so I replaced the moon association (Moons, blue) with Sun associations (gold, glitter).

Continue reading