★★Honouring and working with Medusa and snake energy.
Transformation. Shedding shame.
Reclaiming the self, the body, the sense of self. Personal power ★★
Shame is the conflict within the snake medicine of personal transformation and personal (often sexual) liberation; for shame is akin to a nail that hammers down the process of shedding ones outmoded skin. Personal evolution begins with a sense of self-worth; that we can be deserving of the process.
Nowhere is this more painfully obvious than within the Greek mythology centred around Athena and her priestess, Medusa.
The very name Medusa hints at the nature of the truth behind this myth which has been perverted by that same repressive agenda that has dogged history:
Medusa is from the Greek ‘Medousa’ literally “Guardian.” Fem. Present participle of the verb ‘medein’ to “protect, rule over.”
– Etymology dictionary online
Additionally Medusa was depicted as physically beautiful (which in the patriarchal Greek mythology traditionally ends badly for mortals encountering Gods,):
Medusa once had charms; to gain her Love
A rival crowd of envious lovers strove.
They, who have seen her, own, they ne’er did trace
More moving features in a sweeter face.
Yet above all, her length of hair, they own,
In golden ringlets wav’d, and graceful shone.”
– Ovid ‘Metamorphoses’
Ovid also describes how Medusa had dedicated herself as a Virgin Priestess to the Goddess Athena, and was subsequently raped by Poseidon, defiling her and the temple.
This account then attributes Athena as wrathful, further ‘punishing’ Medusa for this ‘offence’, and transforming her once golden curls into venomous snakes, and Medusa became a scaled serpentine monster.
There are many interpretations of this mythology but the shadow energy of shame and the symbolism of snakes is unmistakable.
The presentation of the myth suggests that Athena felt shamed by the defilement of her priestess and temple, and further shamed the victim of the attack as a result.
However, it is my personal feeling that this does not seem in keeping with a few key points of Athenas mythos; Athena is referred to as ‘La Serpentine’ in some of the Orphic poetry, one of her most dedicated followers was associated with snakes and she wore the Gorgon head on her shield – a key line of personal defense when in battle.
Working with the Medusa is a powerful exercise in reclaimation of your body, your sense of self, your power and beauty, and personal transformation.
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