Athena Emerging

In recent years, I’ve reached the point of knowing I want to move into the world with my creativity and voice. I can envision it. I am less afraid of the outcome of doing so and getting better every day. I feel the web of connection with others strengthening and healing. What has been missing is action.

The sacred feminine is all about wisdom, intuition, the nurturing mother, being supported and loved. She heals and embodies. She’s a visionary to what is possible. To move into the world though, to take action with the vision, requires partnering with the sacred masculine. There is a wounded masculine that bullies and seeks to diminish the feminine, but it’s the sacred masculine that sees the feminine and isn’t afraid of her. Rather, it wants to see her vision manifest.

Athena is a Greek goddess of wisdom and courage, inspiration and strategy, the arts and strategic warfare. She is feminine and masculine working together, indistinguishable from one another. Thus, her image became the symbol of my desire to embrace that union and elicit action.

Athena Emerging started life in 2011. I sketched her and transferred her to the large canvas. Then I cast my daughter’s hands, face, leg and foot – not clear on why, but knowing that she wouldn’t be flat. Note that Athena is the first of my goddesses with feet. Interesting, yes? In 2013, I attached the plaster casts and painted a layer of color, but it wasn’t until 2015 that I finished her. Sometimes action takes its time.

Her shield is her symbol of protection and the conquering of her deepest fears. That is typically the head of Medusa for the Greek Athena. For me, I enlisted the help of the goddess images I’ve created in the past and the portals to myself that they embody.

Her staff, typically a spear for battle, is an explosion of butterflies – a symbol of emerging, of beauty, of courage in changing; the only living being capable of altering its genetic structure entirely during the process of transformation. Imagine the whole of your life changing so dramatically that you are unrecognizable at the end of of it. A decade of reweaving can do the same.

You can read more about how this piece came into being in The Emergence of Athena blog. It took five years for her – and me – to emerge!

Athena Emerging is 36×60″, mixed-media on canvas with plaster casts, a giclee canvas print as shield, acrylic paint, fabric, wire, lace, paper and beads. Completed 2015. Original is not for sale, but prints can be found online at Fine Art America and RedBubble.


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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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