Thursday, 13 January 2011
I love Medusa. She has had a seriously bad rap. Over the past year, I have come to love snakes too.. .and they also have been portrayed as evil monsters.
I was brought up to fear Medusa, every story showed her as a fearful, vengeful, serpentine monster.
However she was once (and always is in my eyes) a beautiful woman, whose hair was the envy of all who saw her. Some stories say that Poseidon ravished her, others say Athena was envious and angry at her beauty and gumption.
(What is this story of envious women? Really, these stories accusing women of grand and cruel jealousies are all written, well, not by women, and do they ring true? Is it all like an ancient edition of Heat Magazine? Anyway...)
So Athena turned her beautiful tresses into Snakes, and cursed her with ugliness, so that all who she gazed upon would turn into stone.
But if we look deeper into the story, Medusa existed way before the Greek pantheon was born, and was worshiped pre-ancient Greece by the Libyan Amazons as a Serpent Goddess. She was associated with the destroyer aspect of the Triple Goddess in North Africa and Crete, named Anath (also known as Athene).
The name Medusa, is also linked to 'Maat', the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of truth and balance. The actual name 'Medusa' means 'soveriegn female wisdom', and she appears to have been known as a symbol of female mysteries.
The fact that she was used as a protective shield, and is seen on many coins, pays tribute to the idea that she is more than just a pretty girl gone bad...
Anyway... this is not a great sketch, but a doodle that got me thinking!