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Medusa holding Pegasus

Medusa with Apples

Medusa's history and mythology is varied and often contradictory. Some say she was a priestess of Athena that Poseidon wooed in Athena's own temple. In a jealous fit Athena cursed Medusa to ugliness and banished her to live with the immortal Gorgons who were ungly like her and could turn people to stone with a glance. Some say Medusa was a Libyan goddesss of Amazon-like women and that maybe her snake hair were really dreadlocks. Some say she's another face of Athena, or maybe the Greeks assimilated parts of Medusa's story and character to add to Athena's and vilified the rest.

What do you think of Medusa?

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I love Medusa & the gorgons!

This used to be my av on another forum:

I'm saving that Samhain Blessings! Thanks!

So what's your take on her? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.
I love her look. I love her myths. I think she was vicious and that's attractive to me.

i have no qualms about modern pagans honoring her. (better than Lamia imo) I guess some would consider her dead after what Perseus did to her eh? But really, i think she prolly does exist. if the story is to be true, then she in theory exist somewhere else. However, I do tend to think that SOME myths are allegorical or a lot of them.
Yeah, if that part of the story were true then Medusa would be dead, with her head on Athena's breastplate.

There are other gods and goddesses that have died. I would guess Medusa is now an Underworld goddess, at the gateway to Hades wasn't She? Or was that only in Clash of the Titans? :)
There's a passage that may relate to Medusa that ties her to the underworld. Homer does not specifically mention her tho:

"lest for my daring Persephone the dread
From Hades should send up an awful monster's grizzly head"

There's also someone that wrote:
"The triple form is not primitive, it is merely an instance of a general tendency... which makes of each woman goddess a trinity, which has given us the Horae, the Charites, the Semnai, and a host of other triple groups. It is immediately obvious that the Gorgons are not really three but one + two. The two unslain sisters are mere appendages due to custom; the real Gorgon is Medusa"

(Jane Ellen Harrison, (1903) 3rd ed. 1922. Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion. "The Ker as Gorgon." Pg.187.)
I lean towards the goddess theory myself. Any strong goddess as would be expected from an Amazonian or even matrifocal culture would indeed be vilified by the patriarchal culture of Greece. She may have been a face of the Pythonian Deity of Delphi, the snakes for hair would make sense. Apollo is credited for slaying the Python and Perseus (another son of Zeus) is credited with slaying the Medusa. Shows the people what great power Zeus had, didn't even bother taking these creatures out himself, sends his sons, and one of them mortal at that, to take care of business.

Now just to make things interesting (at least to me), why is it that Medusa turned men to stone, I don't recall anything about turning women to stone, but could be wrong. I think that it's a metaphor. Far from being hideous, Medusa was probably originally portrayed as beautiful, so much so that certain parts of men were indeed turned to stone, or would at least feel that way and as a means to steal the power of the goddess, she was demonized and turned the entirety of the man to stone. Her original place to my mind at least would have likely been a primal fertility goddess, one of prophecy, a warrior likely and very possibly acted as a psychopomp. Her status as a warrior can also be seen in the fact that Athena, greatest of the Olympian warriors, used her face on her shield, to terrify her opponents.
Python from what I gathered, was male.

Ovid described her as beautiful and "the jealous aspiration of many suitors".
Python was female from what I've read. A representation of the Earth mother with ties to the Delphic Oracles, similar in some respects to Echidna.
Actually i think you're right.
I like your allegory of turning men's phalli to stone. Now that you mention it, I don't believe I have ever heard of her turning any women to stone. You make an excellent point.
Medusa and her sisters rocked.
I think she was a wise one
and like many wise women
her story was twisted to keep
most from seeking her out.

From my Tarot Deck. I have two different Cards for the "Devil". You can still see the two faces.


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