Strengthening the Feminine Aspect of Psyche – Medusa’s Journey

I am deeply concerned about the reduction of the feminine – the feminine that exists in all Psyche’s. When we reduce something we tolerate more violence toward it (in the outer and inner life); something all marginalized communities have experienced.  I offer again the story of Medusa to honor the feminine journey which is integral to the human development journey that I use in the Coaching Hidden Dimensions program.  Below is the original blog I posted in 2019: 

Medusa’s Journey

Many know the Gorgon – Medusa with her snake hair and gaze that turned heroes to stone. Few know her full developmental arch that parallels the unraveling of human transformation. Her journey from Priestess to Pegasus is a bit of departure from the hero’s journey.

The Shero’s journey doesn’t look like defeating the dragon…it looks like becoming and transcending it. Disrupting paradigms requires a different view of leadership for our current times.

Rewarding single heroic acts of leadership overlooks large degrees of human potential and reinforces the burn out that comes with it.

Which stage of the Medusa Shero’s Journey are you in?

Stage 1: The Devout Leader – High Priestess of Athena

Medusa was originally a high priestess of the Goddess, Athena. She was stunning and drew the admiration of many due to her devotion, wisdom and discipline. She took a vow of chastity to Athena and dedicated her life as the priestess of her temple.

This represents the first period of the journey – serving others based on pre-existing ideologies given to you. Relationships are often + 1 and – 1 transactions of clear hierarchies. You are either a top or a bottom within interactions. The world has clear rules and certainties. It is a time of being somebody – rewarded for outward success, superficiality/beauty and monetary gains while serving another’s ideology. The unique voice or signature of a leader is minimized or repressed to adapt to a mold as Cult-ures shape the individual. It is a time of deep unknown self-betrayal through the continuous sacrifice and repression of one’s truth into the shadows.

If you are here: Work with a trusted coach to raise awareness toward the inner journey. Where are you compromising your voice? Are you overly deferential or do you expect this of others? Are you aware of your view of the world? What does congruence mean to you? 

Stage 2: The Betrayal – Enter the Shadow and Embrace the Gorgon

As mentioned, Medusa was so radiant as a mortal that even the Greek god’s longed for her. Poseidon, god of the Sea took her captive for one night. When Athena learned of this she was furious, not at Poseidon but at Medusa for breaking her vow. She punished Medusa by turning her into the Gorgon (snake headed monster that would turn people into stone).

Hopefully, you have a little compassion for the monster. The real tragedy of conventional human systems, is not necessarily what those in power get away with. It is how women (or any marginalized group of people) treat one another due to a deference to those among the ranks of “gods”. It is reassuring to see the influx of movements that break down these unspoken dynamics.

After a betrayal, break down or hitting a massive bottom there is an invitation to start exploring the dragon in one’s own shadow. To look at those parts of ourselves that are often hidden, can appear monstrous and also provide internal agency through a new unknown power.

Entering shadow work is a time of deep questioning. There is both a comfort and disturbance in noticing that reality isn’t as certain and controllable as it appeared to be…including one’s internal reality.

Medusa is now in a life of isolation and darkness outside of the very system she was so devoted to. She gains something in this state of nobody-ness she didn’t have before – some sovereignty of self. There are diamonds in the dark. Neurotic, scary and a bit uncontrollable…and yet a necessary step as a door way to the real authentic self.

Her experience mirrors that confusion, crisis and examining of self and others that many women (and men) experience as they depart from what they were so devoted to in order to experience their true voice.

If you are here:  What are the deeper patterns, beliefs and original blueprints that are surfacing?  What could you still be resisting, judging and/or rejecting part of yourself?

Stage 3: Pegasus – Transcending and Bridging Worlds

Killing a monster in Greek mythology is not so straight forward. For example, the Hydra – illustrates how when you chop off one head and out comes two. Or in Medusa’s case you may turn into stone before you can pull the sword. It is not easy to face the dark lands, it takes courage, skill…and help of trusted guides.

Perseus was given armor by Zeus and a polished shield by Athena to destroy the very thing she created. Unlike the heroes that came before him – Perseus did something different, he used the shield to reflect Medusa’s own gaze back to her and then cut off her head (symbolic of ego). When you’re that fragmented and divided…it may be a welcome surprise. I mean what are you this spiritual priestess or a monster?

She receives a mirror and the release of a distorted ego.

From my vantage point:

Perseus showed her the greatest compassion. He then kept her head to use later as a weapon of protection. What was once a threat – has now become an integrated object of security to defeat other darkness.

Self-awareness and the willing to see our own projections and distortions a critical step in transformation. Without self-inquiry and mutual inquiry, how is integration or transformation possible possible? including soliciting authentic feedback (and receiving it); as scary as it is (because it may feel like getting your head chopped off) can lead to something beautiful.

Once Medusa’s head was cut…out emerged a fully grown Pegasus. Pegasus is a creature beyond duality who can transcend and move between worlds among everybody from earth to Mt. Olympus and back. A creature that includes both the priestess and gorgon as it moves through worlds.

There is a Pegasus that is gestating within all of us.

If you are here or almost here: What is your creature and gift to the world? In what ways do you bridge worlds with it?

kind regards,