“Maud Gonne at Howth station waiting a train,
Pallas Athene in that straight back and arrogant head:
All the Olympians; a thing never known again…
A crowd will gather
And not know it walks the very street
Whereon a thing once walked that seemed a fiery cloud. ” William Butler Yeats
“To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.” Wendell Berry
The goddess Pallas Athene advocated for justice and fairness and brought the knowledge of diplomacy to the gods and goddesses. She was known for her expertise in strategy and would work very hard to avoid war and conflict. But when all options had been exhausted and war became inevitable, she was invincible in battle.
.She was always depicted with an owl on her shoulder – as a reminder of what she could not see. And this time of the Winter Solstice – which is exact at 11:20 PM EST on December 21 – marks a good time for intention setting for the year ahead as well as a time to honor the darkness of what is not yet known.
It is also a good time for ritual – especially involving fire – as we celebrate the return of the Light with many others who light bonfires to commemorate this time of the return of the Sun’s life giving light and warmth.
The Winter Solstice marks the time of the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn. One of the Sabian symbols for this time is,”The human soul, in its eagerness for new experiences, seeks embodiment.”
Sabian symbol from Lynda Hill