The Masculine And Feminine Virtue Of Graeco-Roman Minerva

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This is not written, to demean traditional masculine virtues, or behavior, and to raise the feminine as superior. I’m not interested in the modern women’s studies theories, nor am I glorifying every aspect of the patriarchal social system. This is also, not a negative critique of “Masculine Virtues”, because I really like it. It explains what I am saying myself in the beginning, that both male and female can possess feminine and masculine virtues.

Athēna and Minerva are ‘solar-goddesses’ of the Graeco-Roman cults. In a painting of Jacopo Robusti, called Minerva drives away Mars, or in other paintings of Athēna against Arēs, the socio-cultural system, or context of the time is p a t r i a r c h a l. This term is used often today negatively, but we are not using it, in that sense.

Athēna, or Minerva possess what have been traditionally regarded as masculine qualities and virtues with feminine virtues. She is a warlike divinity depicted in myth as having no sympathy with Mar’s love of violence and bloodshed. Apollo, a sun-god, is bi-sexual (not a reference to sexual preference), being that the sun-goddess is merely the sun-god depicted in myth. Many goddesses are depicted as goddesses of wisdom, or agriculture, i.e., fertility. Phallic symbolism is also usually depicted, hence the theogony of gods in the mythical fables involved in all kinds of mischievous sexual relations.

This is aimed at one ignoramus, who stated to us, that “Minerva was a whore,” as if the anthropomorphic and symbolic Minerva of myth-makers is a real being.

It was understood, that males could possess some feminine virtues, as the female could possess some masculine virtues. However, Minerva represents something entirely different. It is the Divine Intelligence of God, or God’s Wisdom. Minerva, is born out of the brain of her father, Jupiter. She represents virtues to live up to, because it is what becomes of the subject with the nous. Minerva is depicted as a warrior, but it was the men in society who were the warriors. Yet, there were women known in ancient warfare as great warriors on the battlefield. So, there were ideals of virtuous women then. Another Graeco-Roman goddess was a goddess of the hunt, named Artemis, or Diana; and

The same sense of questing, and relentless dynamism to climb the tallest heightsis noble, but to become an adept, one must be accompanied by other qualities. The quality of ‘compassion’ seen as feminine, and women are thought to be more compassionate. To bull-doze through nature, and treat the wild as something to conquer is a characteristic or stereotype of the Westerner, but this is no virtue.

“Femininity” is traditionally seen as weak. Classical Daoism, and tao chi, e.g., teach about the principle and ability of balance, adaptability, calmness, fluidity of mind and technique. Wing Chun was seen as a female’s style, and was created, or passed down by females, according to legend. “How can wing chun, beat the fist of a male?”

[1] By skill.
[2] By poise.
[3] By observation and speed of the one adapting the style.

This is tactical intelligence, that requires high mind function. When we use Minerva, or Athena, it is not to appeal to a particular sex. Ares (Mars), represents the ideal many modern men have of themselves, or embody, such as over-reliance on analytical skill, anger, fervor, and forceful power. That is indicative of a crisis in masculinity. These are however, not the sole way of discipline, nor winning in combat. This is why I like the underlying ‘symbolism of Minerva.’ This principle represents sublime wisdom, grace, strategic and calculated intellect in battle. It was the principle of spirit, that checked the extremities of the qualities most associated with Mars, and the destructive nature of humanity.

Minerva saw ahead what the intellect could not observe alone, because she is divine WISDOM (LOGOS).

This is the symbolism underlying Minerva, rather than, as one suggested, due to Roman myths, that Minerva was a “whore.” Herakles was crowned a hero, then made into a drunk, a madman, a rapist, and murderer. The humanness in the myths of the ancients reveal something about us more than any gods. Men today should look back at those traditional virtues. The sense of dynamism gained from that, should be checked by the virtue of wisdom and courage, against those uncontrolled war-like attributes of Mars.


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