Evolution of Spiritual Powers
The Athena of The Odyssey, patroness of heroes and innovators, of those who live life to its fullest and live life at the edge, is herself at a transition point. She is evolving from the archaic and militant Mycenean deity of citadels, reflected in the raging war goddess of The Iliad, into the goddess of wisdom, of culture, and of civilization. This evolution of an archetype is an important informing motif of The Odyssey and is, I believe, the reason the entire poem is under the dominion of Athena. At a depth level it tells us as much about the growth of a god as about the growth of a hero. It is as much about the evolution of spiritual powers as it is about the growth of human consciousness. Studied from this perspective, The Odyssey becomes a sacred text and a drama of the highest mysteries.
— The Hero and the Goddess, p. 42