In the new and annotated edition of Metamorphoses (highly recommend), it becomes clear that in the eyes of the Romans, Minervas wrath against a rape victim is seen as just, same as with Atalantas rape punishment (getting turned into a lion). Instead of being seen as a monster, she is now depicted as a feminine Fatale. Other shades of history claimed that Poseidon raped her because he could not resist her beauty. What does the Palm Tree Symbolize? She and Mars are Cupid's parents. feelings originating in powerful oral impulses, and, for women, a means for resolving in fantasy the resentment arising from the lack of a penis. Create an account to follow your favorite communities and start taking part in conversations. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The phallocentric understanding of Medusa that attempts to claim her as an erotic object denies her of her full power of speech, thought, and importance. Medusa is both a symbolic and cultural figure for many, as she was cursed by Greek deities and later became a protectress and warden for them as a former worshipper of Athena. Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today. The archive, belonging to lawyer Linda Coffee, contains nearly 150 documents and letters related to the historic case. Shes been found on houses, tombs, walls of cities, and temples (including the famous example, the Temple of Artemis in Corfu, which is what my paper circles around). The goddess's shield has a gorgon head in the center. The Medusa tattoo features a snake-haired young woman, representing the might of women. That the only reason that Medusa is the way that she is is because of a curse that was placed on her. Snakes were often connected to deception as well which reflected on the trust men put in women back in those days. (The Etruscans especially used to put her symbol on homes and temples to ward off evil spirits.) It takes a high level of creativity to achieve this feat. Medusa, who was once thought of as a boastful mortal who deserved to be turned into a monster, is now seen in a more sympathetic view by modern standards. Greek mythology has long fascinated me, but Im also intrigued by how the stories have changed and developed over time, as have interpretations of those stories. Men back in the day didnt have the same level of respect for women as they do today because each gender had a different role in society. There is an alluring nature to Medusa, as she is both siren and saint she is the complicated woman we all understand and fear. Indian artist Diptej Vernekar attached puppets of Hindu avatars to exercise equipment that anyone could activate and engage with. She wants you to deliberately watch the things you say. The labrys symbolism is found in Minoan, Thracian, Greek, and Byzantine religion, mythology, and art, dating from the Middle Bronze Age onwards. When it comes to medusa, we have several mixed stories; however, both stories affirm the fact that medusa was very beautiful. Even after the curse was initiated, medusa still carries that energy for wisdom and deep understanding. It means that medusa can encourage men to embrace their feminine selves. One day Neptune Found her and raped her, in Minervas temple, And the goddess turned away, and hid her eyes Behind her shield, and, punishing the outrage As it deserved, she changed her hair to serpents, And even now, to frighten evil doers, She carries on her breastplate metal vipers To serve as awful warning of her vengeance.. To make this obvious, add a medusa pendant to your necklace. Medusa was a worshiper of Athena and a guardian of her temple. Medusa, the most famous of the Gorgon sisters, represented an array of things to the Greeks. Nowadays Medusas can be seen as a symbol of revenge against the male gaze. Thank you so much for the response! This should be a lesson to learn. Furthermore, she is a goddess that helps young ladies to overcome a lack of confidence. Gorgon Medusa. In Medusas story, the Gorgon was born a beautiful mortal among her hideous immortal siblings which people saw as a blessing for her. She helps females to attain their primes and become who they choose to be. An early 1800s plaster cast from the studio of Antonio Canova showspreparation for the marble statue that now presides over the Mets European Sculpture Court. Horus was the son of the goddess Isis. Our image of Medusa is one of pure evil, but in reality, she is raped and impregnated by her rapist. Several stories fly around concerning medusa, but we will attempt to extract messages from those stories. One such symbolisation is the famous Perseus myth. Doniger claims that beheading equals the release or termination of sexuality, male or female. Doniger submits that through the sexualization of the female head, (i.e. "In a male-centered society, the feminization of monsters served to demonize women," she said. A 450440 BCE red figure pelike container is among the earliest depictions of Medusa as an innocent maiden, with Perseus creeping up on the sleeping Gorgon. 9 Meanings, 9 Vertigo Spiritual Meanings: Random Dizziness. In ancient Greek society, which was a male-centered society, the feminization of monsters served to demonize women. Medusa is, in other words, the ultimate femme fatale. As Elizabeth Johnston says in her 2016 piece The Original Nasty Woman on Medusa: In Western culture, strong women have historically been imagined as threats requiring male conquest and control, and Medusa herself has long been the go-to figure for those seeking to demonize female authority.. However, it also became a symbol of protection and safety. Unfortunately, the Goddess Athena didnt see it that way and punished her because she couldnt punish the God for his defilement. The myths and stories about medusa are true. Her snakes are undoubtedly one of the better-known symbols in Greek mythology. Medusa has become an ubiquitous symbol of female empowerment and for good reason. Her writhing hair of serpents became wild curls, with maybe a couple of serpents beneath her chin to hint at her more bestial origins. 1. Can Brain Science Explain Why We Like Certain Artworks? is derived from a conviction that women lack a penis. This is exactly why the story of Medusa continues to captivate us because she is a character that demands to be reimagined, she pushes back against the story that places Perseus at its center, who claims him to be blameless and heroic. Then her severed head, capable of transfixion even in death, is carted away to help him defeat the villain of his story. There is a painful recognition in the fact that Medusas head the center of her knowledge and power is taken from her in order to empower a man and to fight his battles for him. Ironic how a woman seen as a monster to men is used as a symbol of protection for the same people who wrote about her story. Modern women and pagans realize just how powerful Medusa's story is and what it means to women, trans women, the downtrodden and oppressed today. In other words, symbolic decapitation, is a symptom of the real dangers that women face in a culture that is anxious about the powers of masculinity. Cixous demonstrates these points by claiming Freud himself is reductive and neglects to address the female experience in the Medusa myth, thereby erasing her experience, or, symbolically decapitating her as well. Without the support of the gods, he would have been petrified like every other warrior. The masculine part is the rigid, convinced, and hard-hearted aspect of us, while the feminine side is the tender, emotional, loving, and caring part of us. When medusa was cursed, no god was there to help her or fight her battles. Cal Poly State University - San Luis Obispo, California State University - Los Angeles, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, California State University, Channel Islands, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Federal University Of Agriculture Abeokuta, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico San German campus, Keiser University - Latin American Campus, London School of Economics and Political Science, California State University of Sacramento, Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, University of South Florida - St. Petersburg, William Paterson University of New Jersey. Venus was born from seafoam. By rejecting non-essential cookies, Reddit may still use certain cookies to ensure the proper functionality of our platform. In addition to this, seeing the image of medusa speaks of the intellectual ability of an artist to draw her perfectly. She is revered for this power and grants wisdom to everyone that asks for it. Medusa can be given to you as a sign and message. Simi is a sophomore at American University and the events director for HerCampusAu. Finally, shes a triple goddess. The tattoo design is empowering for women and can also be seductive. You should be fine if you worry about attracting her attention. In ancient history, females pray to her for confidence and strength especially in a world where men treat females as weak and helpless. Throughout the essay she encourages women to come closer in relation to her sexuality, to her womanly being, giving her access to her native strength. She goes on to say that in doing so she will get back her goods, her pleasure, her organs, her immense bodily territories. Cixous continues on, saying that for too long women's bodies have been occupied and deemed guilty guilty of everything, guilty at every turn: for having desire, for not having any; for being frigid, for being too hot; for not being both at once, perhaps even from being both woman and angry. As such she posed a great threat to the power of the Greek male-dominated sky gods. In a new study, researchers propose that the mind creates an opinion of an artwork after dissecting it into discrete elements. It keeps your spiritual atmosphere thick enough to repel every negative force. It is also given to help you keep your secrets to yourself, thereby avoiding betrayal. Her expression is one of surprised, but unblinking, sorrow. Therefore, seeing her should remind us of the power of faithfulness. Even into the 19th century, as the romanticization continued, her eyes did not close. It means that we all can stay relevant even if all odds are against us. Keeping an image of medusa in front of your door wards off evil spirits. If you also desire wisdom and deep understanding, keep a medusa bracelet with you and mediate on it constantly. In a later version, as told by the Roman poet Ovid, Medusa is a beautiful human woman, who is turned into a monster by Athena as punishment after she is raped by Poseidon (woe to mortal women in mythology).