Athena and the Arrow

36" x 48"
Acrylic on canvas

Athena and the Arrow incorporates symbolism from several related dreams I had in early 2017.


In early 2017, I had 3 dreams that prominently featured my sister-in-law, Athena. I do not often dream of people I know, and I had never dreamed of Athena.

In the first dream, Athena presented me with a small piece of art she had created. It was a delicate paper collage/paper doll of a figure with a blue cap reminiscent of the swim caps of the 60s, with layers of what looked like petals all over it. She wore a long blue cape with a high collar and a blue suit, I assumed a bathing suit, beneath. She looked tight, stern, and rigid with the high collar and a narrow face. Her attire was completely blue.

Visiting a friend shortly after the dream, I borrowed her color deck and drew the color cyan. The message of this color is self-confidence.

In a subsequent dream Athena was taking care the family and running errands while others in the household played with her daughter, a 1 year old girl who could walk and speak in full sentences like an adult. Everyone was in awe of the child’s advanced abilities.

In interpreting these dreams I considered feelings and associations to my sister-in-law. She had successfully battled breast cancer, undergoing surgery and chemotherapy while pregnant with her first child. She is a warrior. She is also a caretaker, the center of the life and love in her home, a talented singer, and passionately expressive of her love. I also read up on the Goddess Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, and patron saint to the arts.

The Arrow

Around the same time I had a dream with powerful and clear symbolism. And lucky me, I was in a large two-masted sailing ship with Hugh Jackman (I know, don't be jealous)!

The Arrow

Hugh was showing me the ropes, so-to-speak. We sailed out into the ocean until we were quite far from shore. I had a bow and arrow. I notched the arrow and drew back. I aimed straight up into the night sky and released. The arrow head was shooting off light and sparks like a sparkler. I watched as it ascended into the darkness. Hugh watched as well. "You didn't charge it enough," he said. I had no idea what that meant. After reaching the apex, the arrow turned about face and began its descent. As if weighted, or drawn by magnetic force, it gained speed as it approached, and when it hit the water it continued its downward journey. I was alarmed, I had to retrieve the arrow. "What do I do?" I asked, not waiting for a reply. I dove in after it.

I caught up to it, grabbing hold as it continued going down, taking me with it. I noticed it was giving off not only light, but air as well. Air bubbles surrounded me so I was able to breathe. But the light and the air were slowing, and I knew I had to turn around. Just before I did, I noticed something below — a treasure chest.

Back on deck with Hugh, I asked what had happened when he had descended in the water with his arrow. "I charged my arrow enough so I was able to get all the way down and retrieve my treasure."

Putting it together

The dream of the arrow seemed to be telling me something about my internal work. I had to make sure I invested enough energy in preparation. Without that, I would not be able to rise high enough, shine bright enough, or have the endurance to get to the depths of my being and retrieve my treasure. It spoke to my journey, my soul path; I could not rush things. I needed to take the time in preparation before launching. I needed to do the hard work (pulling the bow string) in order to have the greatest success both outwardly (the sky) and inwardly (the sea).

I started sketching Athena with the ship, which felt as if it came from an ancient era. I created Athena in her armor, close fitting like a swim suit, scaled like a fish. I called on her bravery and wisdom and strength to aid me in this journey without and within, above and below. It would not be an easy task. Like my sister-in-law in her brave battle with cancer in order to live and birth a new life, a new creation, I was being called to be as tenacious, as courageous, as committed to transforming myself and giving birth to my dream. Athena, rise in me! Do battle for me! Lend me your strength that I may rise to the call, have the strength to rise high and dive deep, retrieve my treasure, my magic, and shine my light for all to see.