"Although Minerva, the Roman goddess of war & wisdom, is usually portrayed as equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena, she was originally an Etruscan goddess of dawn. She is revered as a goddess of wisdom, for the light of dawn typifies knowledge. She guides heroes in war & is patroness of all arts, crafts, guilds, & medicine. Called by Ovid "the goddess of a thousand works," she was the inventor of musical instruments, numbers, & many crafts, including weaving. The serpent & the owl were sacred to her. The serpent is an emblem of life energy & the creative impulse. The owl is a symbol of death & wisdom, & thus Minerva, a goddess of the dawn & of wisdom, is also a goddess of death & transformation. Minerva is an incarnation of wisdom in human form, an affirmation that we can use our knowledge & wisdom in the pursuit of any goal we choose."