I don’t know where this post is going to go. But I’ve been having visions of Medusa. Sometimes with wrathful, wild, angry eyes and hissing hair that never stays still. Every time I see her she has a presence that commands attention. I was aware of her from Greek myths, the monster who could turn a man to stone with a single glare. Historically I didn’t know the nuance of the story, but as often happens synchronicity began to work and I learned her origin story. And it goes much deeper than a hideous monster slayed by a male demigod.
In some stories she was one of three sisters, who lived in the caves beneath Mt Olympus; Stheno and Euryale were immortal, while Medusa was mortal and the most beautiful of the three; she is often described as having been a young priestess who served in the temple of Athena, and like Athena had taken a vow of chastity. In the myth, Medusa had been singled out and pursued by Poseidon and hid in the Temple from his advances. But it was not enough and the god raped her under the statue of Athena.
(There are interesting keys in the origin of the three sisters too, but it was Medusa gorgone head that was calling to me to pay attention.)
It’s an interesting story for the times, and certainly symbolic of the fall of the old goddesses and the rise of a more patriarchal society as a whole…but that wasn’t what the vision was telling me. Now, I can’t back up any of these ideas with academic notation, but it’s interesting what has been coming up and how it feels like it fits into these times we are living in.
In the myth, it was Athena who turned Medusa into the snake-haired creature, with the power to turn men to stone. And I’ve been turning it all over in my mind for days trying to sense what is surfacing. I don’t believe visions come without purpose; and as the great pageantry in the States plays out (and the whole world watches) it certainly seems there is wisdom here…though I don’t know to what end.
As women continue to come forward, their anger and outcry is being used against them. And there are more than just a few who would love the power to turn the patriarchy to stone at this time …
As I’ve sat with why she was coming forward, I’ve been wrestling with the part of the story that didn’t make sense to me, why would Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom curse the woman for the actions that defiled her Temple and turn her to gorgone form? Why would a woman, Goddess or not, do this to another? She believed in chastity but there has to be more to it.
I had such a hard time with the ‘punishment’ and began to wonder if Athena could be a symbol of the women who don’t stand with the ‘Me Too’ or ‘Times Up’ movement? Could Athena, selfishly keeping her Temple clear be a symbol of the privileged against the underprivileged? … It’s a possibility but I don’t think it can be that simple.
Athena isn’t the Goddess of Wisdom without reason. So why would Medusa, after having suffered from Poseidon be ‘punished’ by her, there doesn’t seem to be much wisdom in that … unless being given sensual serpentine hair and the power to turn men to stone was not a punishment, but a gift.
Could Medusa’s snake hair be a symbol of allowing the wild feminine and the ancient temple practices to lead her thinking mind? From the act of her transformation, Medusa becomes more, her head and eyes a way of looking at the world. She will lead from her wild nature and no one will hinder the process. She is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Gorgone may mean “grim or dreadful”, but who made the word up? My guess would be men uncomfortable with powerful, sensual women. What could be more dreadful than a woman who couldn’t be contained?
When at the end of her life Medusa is decapitated by the young male ‘hero’ Perseus she gives birth from her severed head to Pegasus and Chrysaor. And it is here we see that her offspring hold the keys to the transformation her thinking has undergone since being made into a ‘dreadful’ creature.
Pegasus (a winged white horse) is a symbol of elevated thinking, of momentum and above all freedom. His colour is white, which is often a symbol of purity. He sprang from her severed neck, the seat of the voice and speaking truth; thus becoming a symbol of using our words to elevate the world around us through truth. Pegasus’s twin, Chrysaor, often shown as a winged boar, is described as the one holding the golden-blade. The wild boar in ancient myths a symbol of strength, courage, and ferocity. The idea that the boar is the child that holds ‘the golden sword’ as it is birthed from Medusa neck is an interesting key too, as gold in myth is the colour for divinity and that which is incorruptible.
We are in the times just before new consciousness, not yet birthing these new children of thought and purity into the world, and it takes a shift in perception to do so. It may take actions to open us up and let the purity and divinity flow otherwise our minds will become dreadful things. venomous and seeking to punish. There is a lot of talk of Kali energy now, the divine vengeance of the feminine being unleashed. I’m curious too if they are linked, Medusa and Kali…
A quick internet study of the history of the symbolism of gorgone reveals that in Ancient Greece, the Gorgoneion (an amulet showing the Gorgon head) was used as a protective pendant and placed both inside and outside houses. It is also thought that the origins of Gorgones predate the written myths of Greece and that Gorgones were perhaps linked to ancient practices as well as Mother Goddess cults…
I’m not clear on its purpose yet, but what is rising in the collective is undeniably powerful, and backed by ancient feminine memories.