Sunday, January 02, 2005

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Head of Medusa. Flemish Artist, 16th Century. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

December 31, 2004
Sovereign Female Wisdom

In ancient times, great goddesses were the cornerstone upon which spirituality rested. They reigned supreme until their clans were overthrown by those intimidated by feminine power. Throughout history, no mythical symbol of womanhood has been more deeply misunderstood than Medusa. Her name means 'sovereign female wisdom' in Sanskrit and, though she has been erroneously represented as the archetype of the terrible woman, Medusa was the ultimate personification of feminine wisdom, power, and creativity.

As are we all, Medusa is dual-natured: As a young woman, she represents fertility, but as a crone, she represents the liberation of death. She reflects harmony in nature; the circle of birth, life, and death; and a primal energy that is neither good nor bad, but simply powerful. Her power over life and death was controlled and tamed as nature was tamed by humanity and the goddess clans were vanquished.

Yet all that she represented is still valid and timeless, for the need to create and to achieve balance lives on within every woman and man. Perseus may have destroyed Medusa in a single myth, but her mystique survived. Terrible or beautiful, she remains a potent aspect of womanhood and an example of overcoming stereotyping and oppression. Meditating on Medusa can help you find truth, strength, and wisdom.

Just as she is a mysterious force, grounded in eternal transformation, so is it possible for each of us to call forth wisdom in the face of opposition, and to tear down the walls that shield us from truth.


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