The Greek goddess of wisdom, and, in some cases warfare, Athena
was the patroness of Athens.
After one of his paramours became pregnant, Zeus
heard a prophecy
that any son born to him by this woman would excel him and take over
his throne. Jealous of his position, he swallows the pregnant woman.
Later, Zeus complains of a mighty headache. Hephaestus, the smith
of the gods strikes him in the head with an axe, and forth comes Athena,
fully grown and fully armed.
Athena's familiar is the owl (where we get the idea of the wise old
She is also the bearer of the aegis, a protective sheild used to ward off