Perseus and Medusa

Perseus has always been one of my favorite myths. The rescue of Andromeda by Perseus depicted on the Lovers card in some tarot decks is a reference to the realization of the divine nature of man. But then I met Medusa.

I had been sent to Medusa to find answers for some questions I had. I really didn’t know what to expect her to be like.

When I spoke with Medusa, she was extraordinarily beautiful. And it was a beauty born out of pain. It was compassion, and yet to a degree befitting a deity, along with the burden that must be carried to feel compassion at that degree.

I became depressed for some time after talking with Medusa. She had told me that I was only seeing a part of her, that to see all of her would ruin me.

But Medusa did help me, and she was so beautiful in such a selfless way. And after that the idea of Perseus holding up her severed head seemed profane.

But I’ve since been told the truth about the beheading of Medusa and what it fully represents. The connection between mortals and the divine is fully achieved at the point where Perseus beheads Medusa. For a mortal has become a god, and a goddess has found mortality.

Medusa’s energy is filled with compassion, and part of compassion is understanding. In order to fully understand mortality, Medusa would have to become mortal. Being mortal means eventually dying, and when she was beheaded her mortality ended, and she again took her place as an immortal goddess. Perseus did not profane Medusa, he did what she needed done, and afterwords a goddess knew fully what it was to be mortal.

But at the same time when Perseus defeats Medusa he becomes god, for he has killed a goddess. And his next act is to best Poseidon, another god, and save Andromeda from his wrath.

With the myth of Herakles, Herakles becomes a God, but no god becomes mortal to complete this act. In the same way with the crucifixion, God has become mortal and dies, but man does not become God, and man is left as God’s inferior, unable to do what He has done, and saved not by their own acts, but through his love.

But with Perseus beheading Medusa the act moves both way, and the divisions between mortality and the divine become blurred. A mortal has gained an understanding of being divine, and a goddess now understands humanity. Also it is proven that man can aspire to be a Deity and succeed, and in the same way a god may aspire to become mortal and achieve this goal.

Also here neither party is the greater or the lesser. Medusa did not give anything to Perseus that he did not give back to her. Each party was equally dependent on the other.

The idea here, the gods are not above mankind or greater than mankind. And mankind is not greater than or above the gods. Each has their purpose and their part in the universe, and each is of equal importance.

3 Responses to Perseus and Medusa

  1. Shane says:

    Have you ever found actual constellations hidden upon tarot cards?

    I have found Perseus, Andromeda, Cetus and Orion – all compassing Pleiades.

    I’ve just got to find out the significance behind this covert symbology.

    Any ideas?

    • Rob says:

      Which tarot deck are you using and which cards? Without knowing which deck you’re looking at it’s hard to tell what symbolism the designer might have been trying for.

      I know the Golden Dawn based decks feature the characters of Perseus, Andromeda, and Cetus on the Lovers card, and that’s based around the idea of man becoming or being god. Looking at Regardie’s particular deck, you can compare the Lovers card to the Tower card, which is the idea of God having power over man, and you’ll notice some similarities. Perseus is coming down from the sky in the same way that the lightning bolt is coming down to hit the tower, and he has a lightning bolt on his shield.

  2. larah says:

    Have you tried talking to Perseus and hear his side of the situation, if not could you attempt it and letting me know.

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