The following is an 450 word excerpt from “Ladies of the Zodiac, It’s Showtime!”, a 4,500 word article on the astrology of the feminine asteroids that is one of the four features in our premier issue. It was written by Willow of Willow’s Web Astrology, republished with permission. -Matt
Pallas Athene: The Female Warrior Asteroid
The asteroid Pallas Athene is the female warrior, and this symbol indicates something for which we are willing to fight throughout our lives. It indi-cates how we fight — but in a less overt and obvious way than the male warrior symbol, Mars. This symbol is about the way the feminine fights, with its very own strategies, skills, and cunning. Pallas athene indicates battles that go on in the subtler realms and battles that involve strategy. This is also a symbol related to the battle for equality and justice between the sexes.
Pallas Athene was a woman who, according to the mythology, was born from the forehead of her father zeus wearing a full set of armor. There could be no doubt that she was a born warrior, and her skills in strategy, crafts, and combat were so impressive that she was accepted into the fold by the male warriors.
There was just one hitch: in order to be accepted as an equal, Pallas athene had to give up her sexuality and remain celibate, something that was not required of the male warriors.
The mythology of Pallas athene involves an element of female sexuality suppressed in order to be accepted amongst the men. There is a theme of women having their sexuality controlled by the established order and of women having to remain celibate in order not to threaten that established order.
The suppression of female sexuality in professions like military or police work is a Pallas athene theme. Rape against women in the military, a widespread problem, is another. According to an April 2014 lawsuit filed by service Women’s action network and Vietnam Veterans of America against the Veterans’ Administration, nearly 1 in 3 female U.S. soldiers is raped during her service. (Source) There are currently 200,000 active duty women in the U.S. military so that would mean nearly 66,000 of them have been raped during their service. A 1976 U.S. army Manual advised female soldiers that they should guard against being raped by “wearing comfortable clothing and shoes adaptable to running.” (Source) According to a recent Alternet article, “Inside the Military rape Cult”, “in 2010, the DoD found that 19,000 service members were sexually assaulted. (Source) Of those a paltry 3,100, or 13.5 percent, were reported, and of those only 17 percent were prosecuted.” (Source) The overwhelming majority of the 19,000 service members sexually assaulted were junior enlisted women under the age of 25. In 2012 the Pentagon estimated the number had risen from 19,000 to 26,000. (Source) Shockingly, female soldiers are far more likely to be raped by fellow service members than they are to be killed in combat by enemy fire. According to a 2012 Huffington Post analysis of data provided by the Pentagon, “a servicewoman was nearly 180 times more likely to have become a victim of military sexual assault in the past year than to have died while deployed during the last 11 years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.” (Source)
Female soldiers who do come forward with accusations of rape are often harassed by male soldiers and intimidated by their higher-ups, discouraging the reporting of these crimes.
Themes of sexual violence against women as well as the suppression and control of female sexuality run through much of the Greek and roman mythology, reflecting the violent, patriarchal societies from which the stories came.
From Persephone being forcefully dragged off to the underworld by Pluto to Pallas athene having to take a vow of celibacy in order to do her work, many of the feminine bodies are connected to mythological themes of control, suppression, violence, and abuse, often along sexual lines.