Goddess Ate and the Hidden Bonus of Kindness

Legendary goddess of mischief, Ate demonstrates the positive benefits of doing good to others.
Text title Ate

Summary of Contents: Ate in Mythology | Arrival and Appearance | Duality of Nature | The Positive Benefits of Doing Good | Ate's Offer | Advice on Life

Festival Day - 9 May

Goddess Ate in Mythology

Goddess Ate is listed as the daughter of Zeus and Eris. Legend told of how she enjoyed encouraging Gods and mortals in irresponsible actions.

She made Zeus so angry he didn’t just tell her to leave the company of the Gods, he forcibly cast her down among the humans.

Then, foreseeing what a calamity that would be, he sent her half-sisters - the kindly 'Wrinkled and lame' Litae - to try and offset what damage Ate caused.

In literature Ate was depicted as the personification of infatuation, or the kinds of ill-considered decision mortals are prone to effect.

Examples include in Homer's story Iliad King Agamemnon’s decision to bed Priseis, mistress of his star warrior Achilles, during the siege of Troy.

Or choosing a politician of questionable integrity in a time of crisis.

Theoi Goddess Ate

Goddess Ate Mythological references

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness?

Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community.

Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal, creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment.

If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures. Impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Anywhere can be a temple.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"Ate is the goddess of random wickedness?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Arrival and Appearance

"It seemed to me there is discrimination in her activity. I do not doubt she is bad news for anyone on her list but there was a sense of purpose in what information she shared.

Maybe folk in the human community are fortunate, if Ate’s activities are coordinated and not just random expressions of ill-tempered spite.

Initially I didn't know this; felt trepidation welcoming so troublesome a goddess into my life but Ate too was on the lengthening list.

She appeared without any light to precede her arrival. A pretty female with long dark hair and large dark eyes. I thought her very attractive; she smiled sweetly at me.

"The invitation has been accepted," she said.

Something disgusting happened. A stench-wave of foul-smelling air filled the room with the pungent intensity of a giant stinking fart.

Beauty vanished from her face. In horrified wonder I watched Ate’s features and body transform into full hideous. Big ugly bulbous nose, cold grey slits for eyes; vindictive thin lips.

Instinctively I recoiled at sight of her.

The disgusting smell seemed to materialise as solid matter. That may sound crazy - smell being solid - but it did as she shuffled closer.

"Why do you fear me? Because I show you how I can change?" Her voice alone scared me to the bone. She didn’t wait for answer. Shrugged and morphed back into the raven-haired beauty.

Ate and the Duality of Nature

"This is how life is, in your world. There are two sides to everything. I show you both of mine." Her tone suggested a suspicious familiarity with humankind.

Out of thin air nothing, a growling animal formed close beside her; a big mastiff dog. It snarled viciously at me, its big fangs dripped with red saliva but as quickly as it appeared, the dog vanished again when Ate gestured a wave.

"What you are doing is pleasing to all gods and goddesses, and to me especially so," she continued. "Honouring and paying homage to us gives you courage and wisdom, and health."

She shrugged, prettily. "I can be harsh, yes. Yet there are times I am gentle. Today I bring love and peace."

Again she turned hideous but this time a piece of veil formed over her forehead to obscure her face. It did nothing to mask the returned stench, disgustingly suffocating; instinctively I recoiled.

"You shrink from me. I wonder why?" Ate asked, amusedly. "Few ever see me. You are fortunate."

The Pit of Ate

She yanked me out into open country; a bleak, grey-skied gloom of a world. Endlessly flat as far as the horizon in every direction.

A single smoke plume rose into the sky, a long way in the distance.

I didn’t want to go in that direction but her stench weakened me and I had to hold my breath. Easily she pulled me over the rough gritted ground.

We arrived at the smoke plume, a flash of flame flared; then another.

I stared down into a huge fire-pit gouged from the ground, filled with thick burning wood; a furnace of heat.

Tried to step back but she held my hair and edged me out over the precipice. Fierce heat burned my face, smoke stung my eyes.

"This is where I put those souls who are sent to me," she said, flatly.

I struggled to pull away from her harsh grip but she was too strong and too big. I saw something move deep in the flames.

Ferociously quick she clasped hands around my waist and with no effort lifted me up over the pit, and held me there facing her.

I feared she would let go.

"Your body is silver. Do you deserve the honour of being silver?" she asked.

I didn’t understand, or know what to say, so didn’t answer.

"Shall I take that silver away and make it grey with patches of black?"

"No," I said, bravely as I could.

Ate laughed at my answer. Her face softened to slightly less hideous, the stink faded a little.

"I see you have done nothing evil in your life, nothing bad. Foolish sometimes," she added with a sudden letting go feint that scared the hell out of me.

"But that is past. It shall remain silver, hopefully forever.’

The Positive Benefits of Doing Good

She drew back and placed me on the ground. I was roasting even a pace or two away from the firepit.

Ate’s hideous ugly features continued to soften until the dark beauty was restored, though I still saw a weird kink in the shape of her ears.

"Is this better?" Ate replaced the stench with a strong over-powering sweet smell of violets. "Gods and goddesses can change their appearance if they so wish. Not all do, but a few of us enjoy being ugly."

I took the opportunity to back further away from the fierce heat of the pit but she blocked me with her foot.

"I am not well-known but I am powerful," she continued. "It would not be good for you if we all were gentle all of the time. This you do not understand, neither do we expect you to." Ate stared down into the fire pit, inspecting. "Accept it."

She shrugged, satisfied. "Kindness is a quality thought of highly by all gods and goddesses; evil practices bring severe punishment," she raised her voice as if she wanted the fire’s occupants to know that reason, as well as me.

I thought only Hades specialised in Hellfire.

Ate gestured. "Time is meaningless here in this realm where I dwell, but to a mere mortal time is important."

She anticipated my silent curiosity on length of sentence and offered some advice.

"We goddesses and gods alike, are everywhere, at all times and know everything. We choose not to divulge all we know." She prodded me, hard. "Do not judge mortals by their friendly approach. Always be careful."

Ate's Offer

The fire pit wasn’t the only thing that reminded me of Hades; it was also Ate’s dual nature, and her home palace.

I received invitation to visit when next she responded to our welcome, some six weeks or so, later.

"In the past I did not have a temple for myself. Come," she said.

We arrived in a large chamber, its furnishings included a collection of comfortable-looking couches. One bigger than the others but each was elaborately decorated with gold scrolling, upholstered in deep red material.

"My special place." Ate picked up a beaker from a table and handed it to me, then sat on the big couch and waved me to one of the smaller ones.

The clay beaker contained a dark blue liquid, filled to the brim.

"I offer you this. It will give you great vitality and great beauty. Drink," she urged.

It smelled bad. "No thank you," I replied and put it down.

She pushed it back at me. "Do you not want vitality and beauty?" Ate’s face transformed into beauty, even the kinks vanished from her ears, as if to demonstrate its potency.

My answer made Ate laugh again. "What a wise mortal you are," she mocked. "Few females would refuse beauty."

Perhaps she waited for me to change my mind, for she was silent awhile.

Ate's Advice on Life

I stared around the oblong-shaped room. The décor dark red and gold, maroon-coloured floor. Lots of gold scrollwork and elaborate floral designs on metal-work, walls and ceiling.

Draped curtains, couches and cushions all upholstered in gold and rich dark red.

The palette similar to Hades’ sumptuous red room. Ate’s chamber was beautiful but I felt uncomfortable, though couldn’t identify precisely why.

Ate drained the contents of the beaker and instantly transformed into disgusting, vile-smelling hideousness again.

"There may be times today, or any day when things do not go as you would wish them to," she said gesturing me to rise.

"Laugh at these incidents, do not allow any dullness through this. I will give you extra vitality, without drinking anything." She grinned, horribly and waved me away.

"Return now, take my blessing. Continue on this roadway of truth with your eyes wide open," she said. "Remember me, as you should all the mighty ones."

Thank you for your company on this short introduction to goddess Ate. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive in the hereafter read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence. Now available from Amazon.co.uk