Taken from: A. Lamb
I admire Athena. She's compassionate, wise, just, strong and feminine. She's a warrior, a fighter. Like Ares, she was born to fight. But unlike Ares, whose rage has its own merits, Athena tackles fighting from a different perspective: wisdom and tactics. Kill fairly and spare the just. Minimize casualties if at all possible.
Athena didn't earn the respect of the Gods simply by fighting. She gives them counsel and settles disputes. She holds every God to the same standard as she does herself and has been known to go up against other Gods if her conscious calls for it. On top of that, she is a master craftswoman; a beautiful part of womanhood. Now, I am useless at any kind of crafts while I have seen men make the most beautiful knittings, sculptures and whatnot. 'Womanhood' is not meant as a guilt trip or insult to anyone, but in Olden Days, it was a women's art and Athena was (and is) it's queen.
Mortals like(d) Athena because she usually treated them fairly and could be addressed to settle disputes. Yet, Athena doesn't always come off as a loving, caring Goddess. Just ask Arachne (see how I sneaked in another A?).
As the myth goes; Arachne boasted her weaving skill topped that of mortals and Gods alike. Specifically, she called out Athena. So Athena came to her door, disguised as an old woman, and warned her against her insolence. Anyone who challenged the Gods would eventually suffer the consequences. But Arachne didn't recant her claim. Instead she told the old woman that if Athena wanted to prove her wrong, She should just show up Herself. And so Athena threw off her disguise. Arachne didn't back down and so they held a weaving contest. Athena created a beautiful scene of Her contest with Poseidon for the rule of Athens. It was breathtaking. And so was Arachne's weaving. But Arachne wove a very different scene; she wove in the affairs Zeus had with mortals. When Athena saw this, She got so mad, She tore up the tapestry and pressed a hand to Arachne's forehead. She opened Arachne's eyes to the guilt and shame she should be feeling by defying and shaming the Gods. Arachne, overwhelmed, hung herself after which Athena took pity on the woman and brought her back to life as a spider, allowing her to live out her life as one of nature's most skilled weavers.
Think as a mortal (Φρονει θνητα). It's one one the Delphic Maxims. It's embodiment, for me, is Arachne's story. Arachne thought herself greater than the Gods and thus forgot her place amongst mortals. The Gods, infinitely more powerful, cursed her with a burden too heavy to bear for a mortal and when she became aware of her mortal nature once more, she realized that what she had done was unforgivable. But the Gods are kind. They forgive, eventually. But so much pain can be avoided when you remain aware of your life as a mortal. You need to eat, to sleep, to be productive in a society created of those of like mind. We are not Gods and we need not bother ourselves with issues only fit for the minds of Gods.
Yet, Athena reminds us that we need to keep using our minds. Respect the Gods and think as a mortal. Think. Make sound judgements. Choose your battles wisely, but choose your battles none the less.