ATHENA:  THE WARRIOR DANCE

"AND-1-2-3-4-AND-5-6-7-8-AND-1-2-3-4..."

     I pulled the covers up over my head and willed myself to dream something a little less noisy.  It didn't work.  The counting only got louder.  And to add insult to injury, it was accompanied by some perky little disco tune that played over and over and over again.  This was not at all the sort of dream I'd had in mind for a peaceful night's sleep.  Besides, there were a million things on tomorrow's to-do list, and...

     "...5-6-7-8-AND-1-2-3-4-AND..."

     I cocked open an eye and checked the clock.  5:00a.m.

     "...DO-THE-HUS-TLE!"

 

     For the love of the Gods, I thought as I jumped out of bed and raced downstairs toward the racket.  This wasn't a dream at all.  There were intruders in my home, and nervy ones at that.  Ones with enough gall to be throwing a friggin' PARTY!

     Inconceivable as that was, nothing could've prepared me for what came next.  For there, in the middle of the living room floor was Athena - all decked out in a red silk suit complete with strappy four inch heels - counting and twirling and tossing Her long black hair in time to the music.

     "...4-AND-5-6-YOU'RE-LATE!" She snapped without missing a beat.

     "Late?!  What do You mean, late?!  It's the middle of the night and..."

     "How the hell do you ever expect to survive in this world if you sleep the whole damned day away?  It's a battlefield out there, Girlfriend.  And it's just no place for idle folks with empty heads and little or no regard for time."

"But I..."

She cut me off with a wave of Her hand.  "It's all about ambition and strategy and follow through.  And that's just not something you can master all snuggled up in some comfy bed," She said with a wink.  "You need to learn to get with it if you're going to survive.  And for that, you have to learn to Hustle."

With that, She grabbed my hand and snatched me out onto the floor.  And before long, I was counting the steps with Her, twirling in time to the rhythm, and learning the strategies of survival.  I was on the road to war - the war of successful living - and in Athena's capable hands, I knew my victory was assured.

* * * * *

     While there are several versions of this dance, Athena's steps are akin to something commonly known as the New York Hustle.  Always danced with a partner, it's quick enough to remind you of a good, old-fashioned aerobics class, and looks complicated enough to be really showy.  Once you get the steps down, though, it really isn't that hard.  And while it comes off as a fluid, slightly sexy bit of choreography that showcases the woman's inherent femininity, you realize there's more to her than that.  You somehow know that underneath it all, she's really tough as nails, and truly doesn't need a partner to strut her stuff.  Rather, she wants one.  She's chosen one.  It's all a part of her strategy.  And though her footwork is quick, direct, and to the point, you get lost in the graceful flow of the way she moves her arms, the way she twirls, and the way she makes the whole thing look effortless.  That's what makes this particular dance so appropriate to successful living, and why Athena insists that we learn it.

     Whether we like it or not, today's world is not a what-you-see-is-what-you-get sort of place.  It is a battlefield.  A place where strategy is necessary.  A place for reflecting upon where we've been, and for knowing how that relates to where we are.  Further, we have to be able to use that information to calculate where we're going.  There's no room for error.  No room for stumbling.  One false step and we get left behind.  Why?  Because the world won't wait.  It doesn't have to.  There are plenty of folks already stepping to its rhythm and twirling in time.  And there's just no place for those who can't keep up.

     So what do we do?  How can we ever survive in such a place?  More to the point, though, how can we do it with some measure of success?

     It's simple.  We just have to follow the strategies outlined in the Hustle, follow Athena's lead, and learn to use the weaponry She provides.  And the first order of business is to locate your personal Goddess - the Goddess within - the Goddess you were born to be.

     That's all well and fine.  But making that Goddess resurface?  Really!  It seems that if She were going to come out

of hiding, She'd already have done it by now.

     Not necessarily.  Especially if you haven't been taking full advantage of Her gifts.  And unfortunately, not many of us do.  The fact is that we're each born into this world with an individual set of talents - the gifts of the personal Goddess - to help us manage life's battles more successfully.  And when we don't use them, or search them out as the case may be, it sends her right into hiding.  Just think about it for a minute.  If you gave a gift that was uniquely special to someone's situation and they never even thought to use it, wouldn't that take the air right out of your sails, too?  Well...the same is true of your personal Goddess.

     That being the case, it's important to discover those talents and put them to good use.  While there are many ways to do this, and we'll explore several in this chapter, let's start by looking at the day of the month on which you were born.

THE INDIVIDUAL BIRTH DAY[1]

     The individual day of your birth is an important one, because it sheds light on the talents with which you were born.  And since those are the initial gifts of your personal Goddess, it's a great starting point.  Of course, that's not to say that She may not have bestowed other gifts upon you as well. But having these in hand will go a long way in helping to unearth those which aren't quite so visible.

     Birth days are divided into three categories and are associated with the Elements of Air, Fire, and Water.  What?  No Earth?  That's right.  While the Earth Element is excluded from these categories, that doesn't mean that it plays no part at all.  Since we are born to the Earth, it works as the catalyst with which the other Elements interact. And that is a very important role, indeed.

     With that out of the way, simply match up the numerical day of your birth with one of the categories below, and let's get started.

Air Days

     Air birthdays are those which reduce numerologically to 3, 6, or 9.  [If you were born on the 12th day of the month, just add the double digits together to form a single digit number.

The equation will look like this: 1+2=3.]  The days that come into play here are 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30.

     Those born on these days are the artistic sort and tend to be an inspiration to those around them.  They often have lots of projects going at once, are terrific multi-taskers, and are the creationists of the Universe.  That being the case, their talents often lie in writing, acting, music, fine arts, architecture, gourmet cooking, flower arrangement, marketing and advertising, and interior, graphic, and clothing design.  And because of their inherent knack for innovative ideas, they also make good attorneys and physicians.

     Lucky enough to have actually been born on the 3rd, 6th, or 9th?  Then take a bow, for you are not only blessed with an extra dose of these talents, but form an integral part of the Air concord triangle.  Those born on the 3rd form the foundation of the category, while those born on the 9th sit at the apex to oversee or rule it.  And those born on the 6th?  Well, since they hold the key to the triangle, it's their job to unlock everything that resides within.

Water Days

     Birthdays which fall into the category of Water are those

which reduce numerologically to 1, 5, or 7.  [For numerical reduction, please see the instructions provided in Air.]  And as such, days which number 1, 5, 7, 10, 14, 16, 23, 25, or 28 belong to that concord.

     Water folks are generally an intuitive bunch that enjoy anything scientific and view the accumulation and sharing of knowledge just as necessary to everyday living as most other folks do eating.  They are the record-keepers of our world, and are often found writing things down just for the sheer fun of it.  [After all, it will eventually be helpful to someone, right?]  For this reason, their talents often lie in teaching, research, scientific exploration, metaphysics, and financial advice.  They also make excellent aviators, engineers and draftspersons, business owners and entrepreneurs, textbook and instructional writers, historians, and salespeople.

     People whose birthdays fall on the 1st, 5th, and 7th are especially talented and form the Water Element triangle, with those born on the 1st forming the foundation, those born on the 7th sitting at the apex, and those born on the 5th holding the key.

Fire Days

     Folks who have birthdays that reduce numerologically to 2, 4, 8, 11, or 22 belong to the Fire Element.  [For numerical reduction, please see the instructions provided in Air.  However, if your birthday falls on the 11th or 22nd or reduces to 11, do not reduce the number any further.  These are master numbers and denote the talents, wisdom and knowledge of the "old soul."]  This means that days which number 2, 4, 8, 11, 13, 17, 20, 22, 26, 29, 31 fall into the Fire category.

     Those fortunate enough to be born on Fire days are the movers and shakers of our world.  They have a real head for business, an uncanny knack for success, and no matter how dire the circumstances, always seem to come out unscathed.  Additionally, they possess a trait that I call "the Midas touch," as everything they have a hand in seems to draw cash much like a magnet draws nails.  Because of this, we often find them using their talents as contractors, politicians, business executives and managers, bankers, auditors, and stock brokers.  And since these folks also have the innate ability to see both sides of the coin before making decisions, they also make

excellent judges and law enforcement officers.

     So, who forms the Fire Element triangle?  Those with birthdays on the 2nd, 4th, and 8th, with those born on the 2nd forming the foundation, those born on the 8th sitting at the apex, and those born on the 4th holding the key.

THE PERSONAL TALENTS EXERCISE AND MEDITATION

     Now that you know what type of talents you're likely to possess, you'll probably want to narrow them down a bit - especially if you're planning on using them as weapons on the personal battlefield.  And to do that, you're going to need a pencil, a few sheets of paper, and about an hour of uninterrupted time.  The latter is especially important here, so pick your location carefully; i.e., if the bathroom is the only place in your home that you're not likely to be disturbed, then go there quickly, quietly, and lock the door!

     Once you've found a quiet place, sit down, get comfy, and prepare for a little self-exploration.  The idea here is to determine your true likes and dislikes, look deeply within yourself for the answers, and write them down.  It's important to be brutally honest with yourself.  And if you're like most of the people in the world, this will probably take some doing.  Fact is, we care far too much about what other folks think - and just this once, you're going to have to convince yourself not to give a tinker's damn.  Having a little trouble?  Then ask yourself this:  What would Athena do?  And once you stop laughing at the sort of remarks that might spew from Her mouth, just answer the questions below.

1.  When I have free time, do I prefer to be by myself or surrounded by other people?

2.  Am I most stimulated by conversation, intellectual endeavors or by working with my hands?

3.  Am I a take charge sort of person, or am I more comfortable when following the lead of others?

     4.  If I could hold any station in life, it would be __________.

     5.  If I could do anything - anything at all - for my own amusement, it would be ____________.

     6.  I am happiest when I am _____________.

     When you're finished, start two columns on the page: one with the heading "I am," and the other with the heading "I would

like to be."  Then list ten positive characteristics under the first that not only describe you, but make you who you are today.  Use the second column to dream a little.  List ten things you would like to be if someone were able to wave a magic wand and deem it so.

     Once you're done, hold the paper in your hands, close your eyes, and relax.  Visualize Athena in full battle regalia walking by your side and chatting with you like an old friend.  If She doesn't initiate the conversation, simply greet Her and ask what's on Her mind.  [Not to worry.  Athena is a chatterbox and will have no problem with getting the conversation rolling; in fact, you may find it difficult to get a word in edgewise.]  Pay close attention to everything She says, and answer any questions to the best of your ability.  When She comes to a stopping point, ask Her to take a look at the things you've written down.  Then tell Her that you need Her help in devising a battle plan - a plan that will make the most of your talents, latent or otherwise - that will help you to successfully navigate your life and become that which you were born to be.

     At this point, refrain from talking or explaining any further.  Just listen carefully and commit everything She says to memory - even the things you don't like and those which don't seem to make any sense - so you can write them down later.  When She winds down and returns the paper to you, thank Her profusely for Her assistance.  And be sure to invite Her for a return visit at Her convenience.  It's the best way I know to guarantee that She'll stay interested in your life and continue to watch over you for the long haul.

BATTLE PREPARATIONS

     By the time you finish with the exercise and meditation outlined above, you should have a pretty good idea of what your talents are and how to best utilize them.  But even so, sometimes Athena's advice can leave us feeling a little off-kilter.  How so?  Well, She's famous for not only insisting that we have talents we didn't even know we had, but telling us that our best course in battle is to build our plan around them.  And even though we have to take Her word at face value, we're faced with the none-too-small task of developing those talents.

     Fortunately, though, today's world is learning-oriented.  In fact, hardly a day goes by that your mailperson doesn't deliver at least one flyer touting the latest class addition to the local university, adult continuing education curriculum, public library, or metaphysical store.  So, just this once, take a good look at it before heading off to the trash can.  You may just find the help you need.

     Failing that, make some phone calls to see what's available in your area.  Even better, check the internet.  No matter what sort of talents you need to develop and polish, someone somewhere is teaching that class.  And once you find it?  Follow up and register, and get on with your studies.  You'll be an expert in your field before you know it!

     Once your skills are honed, though, you'll want to keep them that way - especially if you're planning to use them to make a living.  And to do that, you not only need to keep those creative juices flowing, but rushing forth at full tilt boogie.  Not to worry, though.  You're not going to need another class for this.  It's a just a matter of allotting yourself an extra thirty minutes first thing every morning, and another couple of hours sometime each week.

     Don't think you can find the time?  Then consider this: 

Battles are never won by the unprepared.  Now, let's get started.

Clearing the Battlefield

     Clearing a battlefield before the next skirmish is a necessary part of war.  What would happen, after all, if someone didn't think to do it?  Warriors would be tripping over casualties and debris, falling on their own bayonets, and the whole ordeal would closely resemble an episode of the Three Stooges.  Focus would fly right out the window.  And we all know that an un-focused warrior is, well...a dead one.

     The same is true of the personal battlefield - your mind - and clearing it on a daily basis is the most important step you can take toward success.  Why?  Because nothing kills creativity more quickly than a brain filled with yesterday's leftovers.  And in order to ensure that inspiration flows wild and free, we have to drain out the junk, make room for new ideas, and regain focus.

     Fortunately, this isn't as hard as it sounds.  In fact, it's relatively simple, provided you follow the three-step plan outlined below.  All it takes is thirty minutes per day.  Just make it a part of your morning ritual, and nothing will ever again be able to stand in the way of your personal successes.

$1·            Drain the brain:  Begin each morning by writing down your thoughts just as soon as they enter your mind.  Don't worry if what you're writing isn't coherent or cohesive.  That's not important.  Just remember that you're not writing an essay or term paper here.  You're only draining out the rubbish.  So, just keep writing until you've filled three pages.

$1·            Fine-tune your sights:  Visualize your problems as deck of cards, then shuffle the deck.  Look at each card, and pick out only what you can successfully handle today.  Place the rest of the cards back in the deck and put them away on a shelf in your mental cabinet.  Shut the door and don't look at them again until tomorrow.

$1·            Adjust your attitude:  Look in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk.  Remind yourself that you're the most important person in every room.  [It couldn't be any other way.  You are, after all, the only you there is!]  Tell yourself that success is out there - waiting just for you - and all you have to do is reach out and grab it.  Keep going until you're

  convinced.

* * * * *

Restocking the Ammo

     Another important step in successful battle is restocking the ammunitions store.  For without ammunition, at least one of two things is imminent:  complete surrender or total slaughter.  And when we're talking about the personal battle, neither is an option.  You have to be armed and ready at a moment's notice, and perfectly prepared to get the jump on your opponent.  Otherwise, you may as well just step off the planet and let someone else live your life.  I'm certainly not prepared to do that - and since you've gotten to this chapter, I seriously doubt that you are, either.

     While we normally think of restocking ammo as a boring, methodical matter of supply, demand and inventory - at least, when it comes to wars fought by the government militia - such is not the case when embarking upon the personal battle.  In fact, there's nothing boring or methodical about it at all.  Instead, it's a matter of kicking back, having fun, and embracing the child within you.  That's because the munitions we're concerned

about here are your creative resources.  And in order to win the battle ahead, these have to be well-fed, carefully nurtured, and strong enough to meet the challenge.

     So, how do we do this?  We simply take our inner self on a date!

     Begin by making a list of at least ten things you liked to do as a child.  Don’t skip over anything that comes to mind, even if it sounds silly.  If you really enjoyed drawing chalk pictures on the driveway, for example, or even playing on the merry-go-round, write it down.  These ideas are important not only because they come from that part of you who houses the creative pool and signals the sort of entertainment it currently craves, but because they also represent the first real conversation you've had with the inner self in a very long time.

     Now look at your schedule for the next four weeks.  Find a day in each when you’re likely to have the most free time or at least, an hour.  Then take action.  Circle each of the dates in bright red ink to remind yourself that re-scheduling is non-negotiable.

     Congratulations!  You’ve just made your first weekly dates with the inner self, and begun the business of restocking your creative munitions supply.

     Since it's important for these dates to be successful, remember that the keyword here is fun.  So, don't worry about what you should be doing instead.  Taking that sort of attitude only defeats your purpose.  Instead, think of it as a type of celebratory battle strategy.  Slap on a smile.  Get into a festive mood.  And above all, know that this isn't just a pleasant diversion; it's a necessary and crucial step toward personal success.

     But what about date activities?  Well, these could be anything - a trip to the nearest flea market, playing on the swing sets or monkey bars at the corner park, or even getting out the crayons and spending some time with a coloring book.  What you actually do on the date doesn’t matter.  Only two rules apply.  The date may not include anyone but you and your inner self, and the activities must provide amusement.

     With that in mind, look at your list for date ideas.  Add to it if you like, then choose four items and enter one for each of the circled days.  Remember that these dates not only represent an integral part of your battle plan, but a solid commitment to yourself.  So, no matter what happens, don’t let anything prevent you from keeping these appointments.  Nothing is more important, for they not only provide all the weapons necessary for successful battle, they also have a way of helping us to develop those talents that we forgot we even had.

* * * * *

DANCING WITH MONEY

     So, other than help in discovering hidden talents, why is dancing with Athena is so important?  Because She understands what it takes to live successfully in the mundane world.  She steps to the here and now, and does so with much more confidence than any other Goddess.  In short, She brings us face to face with the stark reality of the physical plane and reminds us that this is where we truly live.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that the spiritual realm isn't important.  It is.  [If it weren't, I wouldn't have written so many books related to that subject!]  It's just that many of us get so caught up in the spiritual that we forget the most important thing of all:  Spiritual evolvement just isn't possible without survival in the physical.  And survival in the physical takes something a good many of us shun. That something, of course, is money.

     Why we have such an aversion to money is anybody's guess.  But the general consensus - at least, that of the Pagans I've queried - is that it's completely tangible, thoroughly physical, and goes against everything we've come to know as the spiritual grain.  But that's not all.  Most of them also associated spiritual elevation with some sort of discomfort and suffering - and you just can't be uncomfortable or miserable if you have enough money.

     Do you buy that?  If so, Athena has two words for you: Get real!  And when She's done tossing Her head and rolling Her eyes heavenward, I suspect She'll also try to sell you some prime waterfront property smack dab in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

     Fact is, having enough money to live on is important.  Why?  Because the days of bartering in the real world are over.  Putting a roof over your head takes money.  Eating takes money.  Need to dress your children and send them to school?  That takes money, too.  With price of gasoline and taxi, bus, and subway fares, it even takes money to go to work.  And I won't even get into the price of medical care or the necessary but incidental expenses like toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, or soap.  The truth of the matter is that even if you don't like money, everyone else does.  And they won't let you have anything without it.  Think I'm kidding?  Then just offer a some supermarket manager a week's worth of housekeeping for a bill of groceries, and see how far you get.  You'll be lucky to be laughed right out of the store, instead of being committed to the nearest facility for the mentally ill.

     That said, it's time to get with the program and change our attitude about cash.  And there's no better way to do that than to dance up close and personal with Athena.  From Her golden bangles to Her perfumed hair and red silk suit, from Her independent nature to the confidence with which She twirls, She simply exudes mundane success.  And just exactly how did She get to that point?  Well, you can bet your bottom dollar that wasn't by embracing some worn-out notion that money was bad.

     Rather, it was probably because She remembers a couple of things that we don't.  For one, money can do wonderful things.  It can feed and clothe the hungry.  It can provide housing for the homeless.  It can provide the medical research necessary to cure AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and other ailments that plague our world.  And yes, it can even make our lives easier.

     Second, we've forgotten a few things about the Goddess-At-Large.  She wants us to do well and be happy.  She wants us to relax and be comfy.  In short, She wants us to enjoy life.  [Because we're Her children, how could it be any other way?]  And in keeping with that, She's perfectly willing to share Her resources with us - including the never-ending flow of cash at Her disposal.  But - and this is a definitely a big "but," folks - She's not likely to cut us a check unless:

A]  We ask for it;

And...

B]  We think we deserve it.

     As much as we hate to admit it, it's the "deserving" part with which we seem to have the most trouble.  It's not that we don't know better.  As magical practitioners, we understand full well that we're deserving of the very best that life has to offer.  It's our hearts that get in the way.  We worry that we

may not be as deserving as someone else out there.  That perhaps they need that cash more than we do.  Then our hearts - the emotional little rascals that they are - really take over, and we begin to imagine that if we get the cash we ask for, those in really dire straits will wind up doing without.  It becomes a vicious cycle - one that we simply can't deal with - and when it's all said and done, we wind up screwing ourselves out of the chance for even so much as one penny.  That's right.  We just refuse to ask for the money at all.  It's simply less emotionally taxing to just keep struggling along.

     If you experience this sort of thing, or fall victim to its cycle, there is a solution.  Just remember that the Goddess does, indeed, have an unlimited checking account.  And that no one in Her sight - regardless of how dire the financial need - ever does without because of someone else.  Period.  End of story.

     With that out of the way, it's time to get in the right frame of mind and heart, and change those perceptions about money.  Once you do the meditation outlined below, you'll come away with a whole new attitude.  Guaranteed.

* * * * *

The Swimming in Cash Meditation

     Begin by sitting in a comfortable position and closing your eyes.  Give some thought to money, and all the good it can bring.  Think about feeding the hungry, curing disease, and housing the homeless.  Think about the state of today's educational programs, how money could improve upon those, and what it would mean to live in a world where everyone had the luxury of solid learning.  Then expand your thought horizons to animal welfare, the state of the environment, and other causes close to your heart.

     Once you've gotten all those things fixed firmly in your mind, see the entire room filling with hundred dollar bills - not just so you can wade through them, but right up to your neck so you can swim in them.  Move your arms through them.  Move your legs through them.  Turn your body side to side, and listen to its rustling song.  Then go ahead.  Dive headfirst into all that cash, take a deep breath, and memorize its smell.  Taste the bills that just touched your lips. Come up for air and just run your fingers through all that money.  Memorize the way it feels in your hand.

     Now seeing this as a limitless, never-ending supply of disposable cash, make a mental list of what you'd do with that much money.  Dream a little.  Then dream a lot.  See yourself changing the world - yours included - for the better.  Know that all your dreams are within reach, and that money - regardless of its bad rap - is truly your friend, as well as everyone else's.

* * * * *

5-6-7-8: Let Plentiful Cash Flow Be My Fate

     While any money spell will work for you - provided that you believe it will - our lives are extremely busy; so much so, that there's often no time to gather ingredients, much less perform formal money magic.  That said, try some of the tips below.  They require no special tools or ingredients, and are guaranteed to work.  Best of all, they're so quick and easy that once you get used to them, they'll become a regular part of your daily routine.  And that's what magic's all about!

$1·            When counting money, always count it toward you instead of away from you.

$1·            When paying for an item, always present the cashier with a bill larger than you need.  Fold your change toward you and

  tuck it, still folded into your wallet.  You can always

  straighten the bills out later.

$1·            Always make sure that the front sides of your folding money faces toward you when you open your wallet.

$1·            Discard some of that silver jewelry for gold.  Since it's the metal of the Sun - and the Sun is in charge of all success - it automatically causes money to dance in your direction.

* * * * *

     One final note about money magic, formal or otherwise.  It's important to understand that money and abundance are not in any way synonymous.  And even though it's become popular to ask for abundance, instead - it doesn't sound so crass - that's a place you don't want to go.  Why?  Well, just think about the definition of abundance for a minute.  No matter how you slice it, it's a lot of something.  And that something doesn't always turn out to be good.  It could be an extra twenty pounds.  It could manifest as becoming pregnant with twins.  It could even surface as an uncontrollable bug infestation.  And none of that has anything even remotely to do with money.

     So - no matter how tacky it sounds, or how peculiar you

feel about it - do yourself a favor.  Just ask for cash and be done.  It's not only the quickest way from Point A to Point B, but will go a long way toward squelching any magical surprises you could well do without.

* * * * *

STRATEGIC MANEUVERS FOR SUCCESSFUL MANIFESTATION

     At one time or another, all magical practitioners have heard that manipulation is a no-no.  Our magical teachers insist that we mustn't do it.  In fact, we mustn't even think about it.  For to do so could inadvertently set magic into motion, and cause us, as the manipulators, tons of karmic trouble.  What's more, we might even set off ripples that could negatively change the course of world events.  Or at the very least, keep someone from learning their life lessons.  At any rate, it's magical interference, and that's definitely a course of action we should not chart.

     And to that I say [albeit much more humbly and respectfully than Athena might], "You've got to be kidding!"

     The fact of the matter is that all magic is manipulative - from a spell to increase knowledge retention to a spell for

world peace.  And while we certainly shouldn't impose our will on specific individuals - in the case of a love spell, for example - isn't that exactly what we're doing when we work a spell for the perfect job?  Aren't we imposing our will on the person who has the authority to hire and fire, even though we don't know what s/he looks like or might not know his or her actual name?

     Of course, we are.  And to say otherwise is just skirting the truth.

     Magic is, by its very nature, the ultimate in manipulative strategies.  And if it weren't, there would be no point to using it at all.  It's what we rely on when we've exhausted all other possibilities, and when we need to level our odds.  It's as simple as that.  We just need to be honest enough with ourselves to admit it, and accept the responsibility both for our actions and for the changes that we create.

     But what does this have to do with Athena?  Everything!  From the way she navigates the dance -  executing each step to Her personal benefit - to the strategies She uses to showcase Herself, She is, indeed, the Queen of Manipulation.  And if we

follow Her lead, we'll never fall short when it comes to the personal war.  In fact, the following manipulations are guaranteed to complete your battle plan and ensure your success.

* * * * *

The Personal Success Sigil

     Talismans and amulets have long been associated with war.  And whether it be a in the form of a rabbit's foot, a special stone, or a photo of a loved one, I've never known a soldier on active duty who'd even dream of going into battle without one.  You shouldn't either.  In your case, though, the talisman will take the form of a personalized Square of Jupiter, a symbol designed to bring success in your career and business endeavors.

Materials List:

Purple candle

Your favorite essential oil

Paper and pen

Scissors

     On a Thursday [the day of Jupiter] during the Waxing Moon, draw the figure below, then plot your first name using the numerology chart.

Numerology Chart

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I

J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R

                                            S    T   U    V    W    X    Y    Z

     If we were plotting Dorothy, for example, it would look like this:

       D=4  O=6  R=9  O=6  T=2  H=8  Y=7

     Then once you've gathered your numerical name information, draw a series of straight lines onto the square to connect the numbers beginning with the first letter of your name, continuing with each consecutive letter, and ending with the last.  In the case of the example above, the sigil would begin with 4, end with 7, and look something like this:

     Carefully cut out the square, then anoint the candle.  Place the square in front of the candle and spend a few moments visualizing a lifetime of personal success.  Let the candle burn out, then carry the talisman with you.

* * * * *

Battlefield Protection Spell

     Just as the talisman is important to the soldier, so is some form of protection.  And while we usually think of that as a shield of some sort - or maybe even a Kevlar vest - something a bit more personal is in order when it comes to the battle of life.  So for this, we'll rely on your footprint and the dirt within it to bring you home safely.  There's simply nothing else that does the job as well!

Materials List:

Small amount of dirt from your footprint or dirt scraped from

  the bottom of your shoe

1 Thistle with at least a 1/2" stem

1 6" square Purple fabric

     Begin by placing your bare foot into the dirt or sand around your home, and collecting a small amount - less than a teaspoon will do the trick - from your footprint.  [If this isn't possible, just scrape off a small amount of dirt from the bottom of your shoe.]  Place the dirt in the center of the fabric and lay the thistle on top, saying something like:

Thorn and dirt protect me well

As you mix and mingle in this spell

So no matter where my feet may roam

You always bring me safely home

     See yourself as always returning home safely.  Then knot the corners of the cloth securely, and keep the parcel in a safe place in your home.

* * * * *

     You've learned to prepare, maneuver, and strategize.  You've learned to fight your battles successfully.  By now, you even understand - at least, on some level - that the successful warrior never takes prisoners.  [To do so only slows the mission, and that's certainly not a luxury that the successful warrior can afford.]  So armed with all this knowledge, you're ready to hit the field running and take on the world, right?

     Well...not quite.

Athena has one last thought for you; a thought so important to your success, that sending you to the front lines without it would blow every other tactic in your battle plan.  Simply put, it's this:  Refuse to become overwhelmed.

The truth of the matter is that even when things are well-designed and perfectly calculated, they rarely go precisely as we planned them.  This often calls for changing course in mid-stream, amending battle plans to suit the present circumstances, and moving forward with confidence.  And you just can't do that if you're overwhelmed.

So, when the unexpected rears its ugly head, don't even try to deal with it all at once.  Just take one thing at a time, resolve it, and move on.  Handling things in this manner will definitely save time in the long run, and go a long way toward keeping your nerves in check.  And anything that saves time and keeps those nerves of steel sturdy, can't help but cut down on the casualties of war.  It could even prevent you from becoming a casualty, yourself.

So with that in mind, grab your battle gear and weapons, and hit the ground running.  It's time to hustle!

* * * * *

 
-Dorothy Morrison

[1] For more information on this topic, check out Helping Yourself with Numerology by Helyn Hitchcock [published 1972 by Parker Publishing Co., Nyack, NY].  Even though this book is out of print, it is readily available in public libraries across the country, and in used form on the internet.