Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 16,511,652


April 20th. 2014 ...

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

The Oak King's Domain (A Story)

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective


March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!


March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness


March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright


March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects


February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are


February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?


February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings


February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)


January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected


January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence


January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression


January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild


December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed


December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)


December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots


December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward


December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism

Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?


November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy


November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?


November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 15153

VoxAcct: 402672

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 614

Times Read: 1,910

RSS Views: 13,407
Snakes and Stones May Make My Bones

Author: Bran Cinnaedh
Posted: August 19th. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,910

Medusa is the patron goddess of my coven. Most people (and I’m not even just talking Witches here) would see this as a curious, if not dangerous choice. After all, isn’t she a monster? With, you know, snakes for hair and the ability to turn any who gaze directly upon her to stone? Unless you happen to be into some darker form of magick, it would seem like Medusa would be one of the last figures chosen for veneration. But have you considered the whole story? Or, at the very least, have you thought about looking at it from an angle other than what popular culture has given us? I can’t speak for the coven at large, but I can, at the very least, provide my own perspective on what it means to have Medusa as a patron goddess.

So, before we dive too far in, let’s actually start at the whole story. Not the part where Perseus comes upon her and beheads her; that’s actually more towards the end of the story. We’re actually going to be looking a bit farther back, toward the beginning. Like any mythic entity, there are multiple versions of who Medusa was. In our coven, we ascribe to the myth in which Medusa served as a priestess of the goddess Athena. In this particular version, Medusa was a strikingly beautiful young woman, with many offers of marriage, but she had chosen to remain faithful to her vows as a priestess. Unfortunately, as is often the case of any mortal woman of any beauty, she happened to catch the eye of a god, in this case Poseidon. Most of us know what happens then. Medusa was raped by Poseidon in the temple, and, when Athena found out, it was Medusa that was punished, her beauty transformed into hideousness.

Okay, and let’s pause for a moment, because I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like that all gets turned a little backwards. After all, the victim gets punished? Okay, sure, there is the defilement of the temple to consider, but, last I checked, it’s not like a mortal woman (or a mortal, period) could actually stand up to such an attack. So, what do we make of this seemingly unwarranted punishment? My own feeling is that this punishment comes from a sense of jealousy on the part of Athena. Athena has always been understood as kind of ‘the’ virgin goddess; after all, she sprang from the head of her father, and was never known to actually take a lover or husband, so, for all intents and purposes, she knew nothing about sexual matters, and, therefore, was uninitiated into the sexual mysteries that may have existed. For one of her followers to be initiated into these mysteries (albeit forcibly) , would then inflame jealousy on some level, because now that mortal has what Athena does not. But, to keep her own reputation intact, Athena decided to make an ‘example’ of Medusa, and turned her into her monstrous form.

Up to this point, Medusa hasn’t really been possessed of any personal power. If anything, she’s been something of a sideline player, a pawn, if you will. Now, with this transformation, she seems to actually ascend into her power. Whether it is through the sexual awakening, or the retribution of Athena, Medusa becomes much more than the beautiful devotee she once was. Much like the ‘fall from grace’ of the Bible, the act of sex, it appears, has unclouded Medusa’s eyes, making her more perceptive, her vision powerful enough to stop others in their tracks. It’s standard belief to say that this is literal petrification; after all, it makes for not only good storytelling, but also good cinematic effect. But like any myth, what the actual meaning is can vary. If Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thus had their vision unclouded, could not the same thing be said of Medusa? Where before, as a priestess of Athena, she lived in a world without sex, without, as it were, the shadow side, she now inhabits that shadow side, she now sees more fully. Thus, the petrifying gaze is not so much about literally turning someone to stone, but, rather, piercing through whatever walls or barriers they might have built up in order to lay bare the truth. A truth, which, for the uninitiated, can seem petrifying.

At this seeming height of her power, then, Medusa is laid low by the hero Perseus. To be certain, he was on a much larger quest, which Medusa was only a small part of, but, nonetheless, the final resting place of her head lends itself to interesting interpretation. After all the ordeals, after seemingly losing everything and yet gaining power, the head of Medusa is fixed upon the aegis, or shield of Athena. From being spurned and cast aside into ugliness, to ascending to the point of (at least a spiritual) reunion, the journey comes full circle. Athena retains her title as the Virgin Goddess, maintains the virginal qualities for which she is known, and yet, by possessing Medusa’s head, she does, in some manner, gain insight into the sexual mysteries. There are those experts who have theorized that the two figures are, in fact, ‘mirrors’ of one another: Athena is the ‘light’ aspect, while Medusa is the ‘dark’ aspect.

Now, to move out of the literary analysis and into the group dynamic aspect of all this. How does this understanding of Medusa play out within a coven? Well, we don’t see her as a monster. In fact, to some degree (it varies according to each person) , we don’t see Medusa as hideous after her transformation. What we do acknowledge is that she is an oft-misunderstood Goddess figure, with an important lesson to impart. As a part of our personal development, we strive to do away with any illusions or other misconceptions (positive and negative) that we might have about ourselves, so that when we do meet the Goddess, we can meet her gaze and not be turned to stone. And though we are Eclectic in tradition, and therefore each have our own deities that we prefer to call on, being mindful of this awareness, and the role of Medusa in our lives, helps to make the overall connection with the Divine that much stronger. On a more personal note, as coven kindred, I also believe that this connection to Medusa means that occasionally we will have to wield that soul-baring power on one another, or even on the people in our lives, provided that we are always working for the highest good, of course, and not just some selfish concern. But that’s more a personal perspective than anything else.

So-called ‘dark’ Goddesses can be a tricky lot. Especially when you examine their origins more closely and find that the things we consider ‘dark’ about them are often subjective, or the result of many years of popular opinion. It’s easy to make a monster, because every hero needs a villain. But to take a villain and reclaim her divinity, that can take much more work. I’m not saying we’ve reclaimed Medusa entirely, but, if nothing else, we’ve at least made a start.





ABOUT...

Bran Cinnaedh


Location: Dallas, Texas

Author's Profile: To learn more about Bran Cinnaedh - Click HERE




Other Articles: Bran Cinnaedh has posted 3 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Bran Cinnaedh... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Bran Cinnaedh ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).