As the myth has it, Athena was born fully formed and armoured from the forehead of Zeus. She was the Cretan Serpent Goddess, and in archaic times might have been represented as a serpent and a bird. In classical times, Athena assumes human form, but the serpent and the owl continue to be her symbols. Her image inspired Marianne, i.e. Liberty personified, the symbol of modern France. It goes like this Athena → Minerva → Marianne.
Athena is the mother of freedom, democracy, justice, wisdom, and crafts. She is at the heart of the Polis, protecting it from enemies. Few things in the world can harm you when the Shield of Athena is your protection.
The Serpent Goddess is the mentor of heroes, including Heracles and Odysseus. Perhaps you’re not going to be as mighty as Heracles, but she will make you the best you can be. Like a fierce and strong mother she likes to see all her children reach their full potential. Athena says, “Stand up and defend yourself!”
She is most level-headed of all the Olympian gods, and generally not interested in amorous relations. She is a virgin, although she is also like a mother to heroes. And she was the favourite goddess of the Emperor Hadrian.