Although Minerva, the Roman goddess of war and wisdom, is usually portrayed as equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena, she was originally an Etruscan goddess of dawn. She is revered as a goddess of wisdom, for the light of dawn typifies knowledge. She guides heroes in war and is patronesss of all arts, crafts, guilds and medicine. Called by Ovid "the goddess of a thousand works," she was the inventor of musical instruments, numbers, and many crafts, including weaving. The serpent and the owl were sacred to her. The serpent is an emblem of life energy and the creative impulse. The owl is a symbol of death and wisdom, and thus Minerva, a goddess of the dawn and of wisdom, is also a goddess of death and transformation. Minerva is an incarnation of wisdom in human form, an affirmation that we can use our knowledge and wisdom in the pursuit of any goal we choose.
|And I have felt
A presence that disturbs with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the minds of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.
"Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, July 13, 1798