What does the Head of Medusa Symbolize?

What does the Head of Medusa Symbolize - Gthic.com - Blog

What does the Head of Medusa Symbolize?

In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. The 2nd-century BCE novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion.

Her meaning changes with time and culture. In the western culture, historically, the powerful women have been imagined as the threat of male conquest and control, and medusa herself has long been the target of those who try to demonize the authority of women.

Medusa could have been a very prototypical goddess of a matriarchal society. Her hair of snakes and reptilian skin are symbolic of the natural cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Snakes are used due to their shedding of skin, and their rebirth to a new skin. This cycle is paralleled with women's natural cycle of menstruation, which was believed to be synchronized with the cycles of the moon and tide. The snake also has an intimate connection with the earth, as it must slither across its belly, embracing the ground. In classical Greek culture, the snake is also a wily and deceptive creature, intelligent but to be distrusted in all things. This matches well with Greek views on women as a whole.

 

Medusa was once a powerful feminine symbol, with control over the natural cycle and in harmony with the worlds of earth and sky. As such she posed a great threat to the power of the Greek male-dominated sky gods. In order to subjugate Medusa's power to the male order, she is decapitated, and her head is used to further buttress the dominion of the male over the destructive and wily female.

Finally, Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield.
Medusa Head - Gthic.com - Blog

Medusa Head

With the removal of Medusa's head, all threats to the Greek male order are diminished and she is able to give birth to Pegasus and Chrysaor, Poseidon's children. These children burst from her neck in a gout of blood, symbolic of menstruation and Medusa's power over the cycles.

The decapitated head of Medusa continues to retain its power, manifesting control of both life and death. In the Metamorphoses, Medusa's undead sight causes sea plants to harden above the water, retaining life beneath, an unceasing natural cycle. Also, from the command of Perseus, the great Atlas is turned into a mountain teeming with plant life, continuing the duality of death and rebirth.

With the mounting of Medusa's head upon Athena's aegis, Medusa's power has been completely insinuated into Zeus's pantheon. No longer is she a symbol of the earth mother. She is instead a symbol of Athena's fierce military strength and strikes fear in any opponents to Athena's will.

Even in contemporary pop culture, Medusa has become largely synonymous with feminine rage. Medusa's petrified image is an easily recognizable feature in popular culture. Medusa has appeared in some novels, including video games, movies, cartoons, and books. In particular, the logo of designer Versace is embodied by the logo of Medusa's head. She was chosen because she represents beauty, art, and philosophy.

In art, she is a powerful symbol, a source of inspiration for all kinds of Arts, books, movies, and even video games. As a symbol, Medusa's head appears on some regional symbols. One example is the flag and insignia of Sicily and the three-legged tenesia. Putting medusa in the middle means the goddess Athena's protection. As mentioned above, Athena wears the image of a Gorgon on her shield. Another example is the crest of the village of dohalice in the Czech Republic.

 Flag of Sicily - Gthic.com - Blog

Flag of Sicily

Municipal coat of arms of Dohalice village, Hradec Králové District, Czech Republic - Gthic.com - Blog

The municipal coat of arms of Dohalice village, Hradec Králové District, Czech Republic

And we've also integrated Medusa's head into the jewelry, and we hope she can provide you

Protection against evil entities

Protection against the evil eye

Protection against ghosts

Protection against the negative energies of a suspicious neighbor or a cemetery

Exorcism, banishing and purifying rites

You're wearing more than an accessory. You're wearing your faith.

Medusa Pendant and Ring - Gthic.com - Blog

Medusa Pendant and Ring

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