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Article ID: 10976

VoxAcct: 258483

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,631

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Finding Athena's Secret Temple

Author: Carissa Stormbringer
Posted: September 17th. 2006
Times Viewed: 5,490

As a Hecatite Witch, I always have an interesting dream life. After my husband’s National Guard unit was put on alert for possible duty in the Middle East, my dreams went from interesting to terrifying. Different imagery each time, but the theme was always the same: I was alone and the world was being destroyed all around me. Buildings were blown up. Atomic bombs were going off. Everything you could think of that’s horrifying was happening around me. These dreams lasted for a few nights until I said, “Enough is enough,” and cried out to the Goddess to ease my worried mind.

The next (and last) dream I had of this kind was the most vivid. I washed up on a rocky shore just in front of a cavern of some kind. I felt sick and exhausted. I was gasping for breath and trying to focus on where I was. I felt like everything I had was gone. The feeling of despair was overwhelming. There were other people there, mostly women and children. They seemed to be as clueless and distressed as I was.

Suddenly, I looked up, and a bright light in the sky began to get brighter and larger, until it was so intense that I honestly thought that I was going to die. Then I heard a familiar, soothing maternal voice say, “You must journey to the hidden temple of Athena.”

After waking, I chalked the dream up to simple anxiety over the news I had received—until the next year when my husband came home from one of his weekend drills with a very odd look on his face. I knew something was wrong when he clutched me to him tightly. My worst fear was now a reality. He would be going off to war, leaving me and our son alone.

Hearing such news is always tough, but it is doubly so when you suffer from anxiety disorder. For my husband’s sake, I maintained a calm demeanor, but inside I was absolutely terrified. Every horrible thing that could happen to him flashed through my mind. Would he die on the plane and fall into the ocean, never to be found? Would his base be targeted by militants? How was I going to deal with a difficult ADHD teenager all by myself for 15 months? I have no biological family to turn to. How was I going to get through this ordeal? All these thoughts raced through my head, but luckily I remembered what I had been instructed to do in that dream.

I knew that there was a replica of the Parthenon a few hours from me, and right in the middle of it was—you guessed it—a statue of Athena. I contacted some of my gens members in Nova Roma and said, “Guys, hubby’s got orders, and so do I.”

Through my oh-so-incredible big Nova Roma brother (who lives in the very city that the Parthenon replica is in), I found out that not only was Athena there, but there was also a statue of Mars elsewhere in the city. Some of the pictures of my pilgrimage are at

I wish I could do justice to that wonderful weekend, but the English language just doesn’t have the words, my friends. I will tell you this, however. When I stood in front of that 40-something-foot-tall statue of Athena, I truly felt I was standing on holy ground.

She was magnificent—all trimmed in gold and bearing a shield and spear. A golden serpent was beside her with its head reared up. Upon her hand was perched a small, winged statuette of Nike. She stood upon an ornate base and rose almost to the building’s high ceiling. Her shield was painstakingly detailed, and there was a scene that I could only see part of painted on the inside of it.

The people milling about thought that my crew and I were tour guides. I smiled and replied, “Nah, we’re just the invading Romans.” I lifted my hands toward that Goddess and poured my little heart out. I didn’t care if I looked odd. I didn’t care if people thought it was a part of the show instead of a real prayer. I wanted my husband under the protection of the Gods. That’s all I could think about.

I’d read the myths. I knew Athena had seen many battles, and she had the wisdom of ages under Her belt. I had come from another state to show Her that I thought Her blessing was important enough to travel for. I believe 100 percent that She heard my prayer because it is the most sincere prayer I have ever uttered in my life.

Later, when I knelt and prayed to Mars, I felt like I was talking to the most ancient of warriors who understood the plight of a military wife. His statue was human-sized and seemed to have been there for a while. It didn’t surprise me that a statue of a warrior God would be a bit weathered. War does that to a man, after all. He too had a small Nike, and this one was presenting Him with the wreath of victory. My fellows in gens Galeria decided to call the statue “Mars Victor.”

I didn’t want to leave, but I went knowing that the Gods had heard me and that my husband would be protected. It’s still hard to let him go, but I think on times past and realize that all warriors’ wives have had to make this sacrifice.

I pray for his safe return and an end to this senseless fighting and these monstrous terrorists.

And I wait for his return with a sense of hope that there are many wives of our brave American, European, and Arab security forces in the Middle East who also want an end to this.

May the Gods bring victory to America and the peaceful Arabs abroad. May the light of peace shine brightly and the legacy of these cowardly terrorists be one of shame and ridicule.

Can I get a “So mote it be!”?


Carissa Stormbringer

Location: Georgetown, Kentucky


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