Reclaiming Medusa’s Head… so she can speak.

Medusa

When the moon reached her fullness at 27° Taurus 14’, on 19th November, she made a conjunction to the fixed star Algol Beta Persei at 26° Taurus 10’ (Algol has a 2° orb). Located in the Medusa’s head of the Perseus constellation, Algol is thought to be one of the most unfortunate stars in the heavens and is widely associated with violence. William Lily, the 17th century Astrologer considered any planet within a 5° orb of Algol to be afflicted.

The Arabic name for Algol is Al Ghoul which means demon or evil spirit and is associated with decapitation which is connected to the myth of Medusa whose head is slain and severed by Perseus.

Algol also has the same root as alcohol… losing one’s head is a consequence of consuming too much alcohol.

Today asteroid Medusa is at 10° Scorpio 10’ in an opposition with Uranus at 12° 0’ Taurus. Dark Moon Lilith- the dark side of the Moon- is at 1 Gemini 39’, in an almost exact conjunction with the north node of the moon at 1° Gemini 30’.

The Dark Goddess speaks and guides us forward in our collective destiny.

Considered a female demon who was married to the devil, the Arabs believed Algol to be the most malefic star of all. The late medieval and early modern church accused women who were tried and tortured for witchcraft to be associates of the devil. Lilith, the first wife of Adam who refused to be submissive, was thought to cavort with wild demons on the shores of the Red Sea, herself becoming a wind demon who disempowered men with her evil seductions. In Talmudic Law, Algol is connected with Lilith

What begins to emerge through this cross-cultural thread is the story of patriarchal fear of feminine power.

Algol/Lilith/Medusa embodies everything that is feared in the feminine from causing the loss of reason in men, pacts with the devil, unbridled sexuality, refusal to comply with patriarchal control, seduction, rage, and the power to summon spirits. It is only Lilith who knows the ineffable name of God, and it is Lilith who returns to the garden as a serpent to initiate Eve in the knowledge of good and evil.

What emerges is that these female archetypes are demonised, feared and rejected because they are powerful. More powerful than any man-made laws designed to silence and control, more powerful than the gilded cage of patriarchy, and more powerful than reason and intellect. Powerful because they are connected to a primordial authority that is driven by Mother nature and the innate pulse of life that spirals in cycles of renewal including death, darkness, decay, and destruction – a different kind of power from the mind split from body (the so-called enlightened mind) which attempts to win mastery over nature.

Is that not what is happening now even more tenaciously than ever before, the attempted control of the wild, organic, and unpredictable elements of nature including human nature.

Feminine power has been subverted and demonised for hundreds if not thousands of years but don’t be fooled that this is a thing of the past or the dark ages, fear of the feminine is alive and kicking today so much so that the controllers have upped the ante to an alarming degree.

As I was writing this post, I did a quick internet search on the connection between Algol and Lilith, the first page of entries was almost entirely linked to an MLF porn star whose “stage name” is Lilith Algol. This is sadly typical of how the names of the goddess have been subverted and demonised in popular culture and even politics… I am thinking of Isis- the Islamic state military organization. Type “Medusa” into the search bar and you’ll be sure to find an array of manga type, cartoonish depictions of femme fatales, blood smeared or absurdly sexualised as  “Vagina Dentata” whores ready to emasculate and devour any helpless man who crosses her path.

There are a thousand ways to discredit the feminine: from disallowing the term “breast feeding” and changing it to “chest feeding” in order to include trans women; menstrual suppression; economic dependency; slut shaming; inciting fear of violence (real or imagined); ridicule, to name a few. On this point, I must say as a “Karen,” that the stereotyping of women who have the balls to speak out  as “difficult,” is just one of the many ways that the conditioned social order collude with this programming.

In reality the feared feminine is a fully embodied, spirit connected, intelligent mind with a soul guided purpose, refusing to be enslaved or broken by those who live in fear of losing their man-u-factured and illusionary control.

Was the full moon eclipse in Taurus a malefic moon? No, I don’t think it was. What may be closer to the truth is that the Dark Goddess is active and potent specifically at this time of year on account of  various cosmic factors, while on the collective level of humanity’s awakening the powerful feminine is rising in women and men who are waking up to the truth of covert manipulation eating away at our sacred core. That is the real “ghoul,” the  “Al-khul” which means “body eating spirit.”

No other myth shape shifts quite like the myth of Medusa; the popular interpretation often centres around the serpent headed gorgon, monstrous to be behold, petrifying men in her stony eyed stare. Victory from her wrath is won by the solar hero Perseus who aided by the gods finally decapitates Medusa delivering her head to Athena, the first fully formed daughter of patriarchy birthed from the head of Zeus.

Medusa is not entirely satisfied with this version of her story… there is more to it. She is calling to us now, from the dark dank cave on the Western fringes of the world somewhere between sleep and death. She comes to us in dreams, rises in the blood that boils when we are confronted with the injustices of the world, in the long slow gaze at patriarchy that sees through the veils of deception. Medusa’s eye is the unblinking, all-seeing eye, the eye that sees beyond the illusions of the material world and into the spirit of things, into things as they really are.

Medusa is leaving the cave and returning to the Temple.

One of Medusa’s sacred roles is as Protectress of the Serpent Mysteries, and the Golden Apples in the Garden of Hesperides.

Algol, located in the Medusa’s head and carried by Perseus has meaning beyond the monstrous gorgon and her ill fated ways, it represents feminine passion. Algol raises questions about how we express our feminine passion, do we ferment and rage in a state of victimhood played like puppets of the patriarchy responding with unhealed trauma to every ruse and manipulation designed to keep us in fear, or do we rise in power, reclaim our severed head, and reconnect our embodied nature guided wisdom and spirit led soul with a strong undivided and unconditioned mind.

 Do we fear the serpent or do we embrace her; the serpent has the power to heal and the power to destroy.

It’s time to reclaim Medusa’s head… so she can speak.

Autumn Equinox 2021: Reflections, Crossings & Thresholds (with special guests Lilith & Medusa).

Leaf

Image by author

The point of the autumn equinox happens this evening at 20.21 BST when the Sun enters 0° Libra. Looking at the equinox chart what stands out for me is the Moon, asteroid Lilith conjunction in Aries, and the Mars, Medusa conjunction in Libra… but that’s hardly surprising given that myself and a group of other women are completing a journey with the Dark Goddess. Both Lilith and Medusa have played a significant role in our enquiry.

Although this is a personal journey for the women in the group and myself, one thing that has surfaced in our explorations is the interface between the personal and the collective. I work with myth, archetype, the seasons, and planetary influences- or another way of saying this is, in my work which has its roots in shamanism, I like to weave the personal, collective, and the cosmic into tapestries for personal and collective reflection. Working with myths brings them alive, they function as doorways to access archetypal energy as it moves in and through us. We also have an opportunity to sense and feel how these influences operate in the wider culture. Reviewing how we are affected by and affect the collective allows the possibility of transcending our individual life scripts and place those scripts within a larger narrative framework. It didn’t start with you…

Never have I been so aware of the collision between inner and outer realities as during the past two years under the spectre of a global pandemic. Throughout this time we have collectively encountered events that have profoundly affected our lived experiences and in some cases shifted our reality paradigm. Individual trauma that may have been buried or kept at bay by workable structures began to surface in the crumbling of those structure. As the fabric of our perceived reality frayed at the seams under the pressure of eruptions from unconscious forces, confusion set in, and many began to review their personal beliefs which in turn initiated a closer look at the reflections of society as a whole. The personal is political read the slogan  used in the era of second wave feminism, but it is only now that this statement hits home beyond the women’s movement and into all areas of our lives from employment, socialisation, freedom of speech, and even the inside of our bodies. It doesn’t get much closer to home than that.

In our post Freudian world there has been an intensive focus on the causes, symptoms, and effects of trauma; teachers like Gabor Mate, Bessel Van Der Kolk, and Peter Levine enlightened us in the workings of trauma on the individual psyche. Less studied are the implications of collective trauma, though this is now changing and as I write there is a ten-day global online summit taking place on that very topic.

There is potentially a lot that could be said here though I want to offer a short intuitive perspective of the equinox chart, and the energy/medicine available in relation to the archetypes Lilith and Medusa, and the concept of crossing the threshold.

Asteroid Lilith being the only actual physical body of all astrological Liliths is the rawest, most manifest expression of the archetype in our physical lives. She is the voice that rises when we witness and experience injustice; she motivates us to protest, to speak out, to say “no,” and to say “enough,” when necessary. Lilith in this assertion is the rising fire in our bellies that will not be extinguished by manipulation nor the expectations and demands of the super ego. People with a strong asteroid Lilith are often overt in voicing their beliefs and in their rejection of what they perceive to be unacceptable.

With asteroid Lilith conjunct the Moon, the influence is working on our unconscious, habituated self, our emotional patterns, and our need for comfort. The Moon is where unconscious forces play out, giving expression to our primal needs; it shows what makes us feel safe and cared for in our environments and in our relationships. The Moon represents “Mother” and all that she stands for, it indicates how we were nurtured and cared for as babies, or not, as well as any lack we felt at this stage in our development. As we mature, any unmet need will continue to manifest, unconsciously driving us to devise strategies in order to have those needs met. This is why we often repeat dysfunctional patterns or why we are constantly drawn into the same unhealthy dynamics. Attempting to get our rejected needs met by others is often futile, perpetuating a belief that our needs are never met, or that we are unlovable or faulty.

Until we heal our Moon wounds the danger is that we are unconsciously driven by our inner child whose sole purpose is to finally have those needs met. This is an arrested development of the unhappy child which prohibits the happy, creative child in flourishing. In a sense, the Moon wounds prevent us from actualising and expressing our Sun- our essence. This infantilised complex renders us vulnerable in our personal relationships and also in society more broadly as we look to others to make important decisions on our behalf. In this state we have not yet learned personal autonomy or responsibly. Of course mostly this operates below the veil of consciousness and our well adapted persona, though it can be more obvious in certain cases.

Here’s a question, one that I am not going to attempt to answer now even if I could:

Do you consider there is a vested interest to keep humanity in a regressed or childlike state?

Yes, I know that question immediately alerts our “conspiracy theory” antennae, and I have no wish to enter the fray, though it interests me. Recently I was wondering about the law which allows doctors to prescribe puberty blockers to children under the age of sixteen without parental consent- coincidentally this occurred on the same day that the UK government released official guidance about the vaccination of children in schools programme, which again disregards parental consent. Puberty blockers? I asked myself, what is puberty and what does it initiate in a human being. Looking to indigenous cultures it would appear that puberty is a rite of passage that facilitates the crossing of the threshold from childhood to adulthood… what is this if not power?

On another note when we consider that nowhere is our instinctual nature more activated than when it comes to the protection of our children, what are the implications of parental authority being hi-jacked by government in the most intimate of their child’s reality? As Medusa comes out of her frozen state she is keen to know.

Lilith’s role is to show us where we have either been robbed of power or handed our power over as well as showing us where we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated by outside interests. She also draws our attention to our unmet needs (Moon) and shows how susceptible to manipulation we can be when these unconscious drives take over. Lilith, essentially and intimately involved in the relationship between the Earth and Moon, brings our unconscious impulses to the surface and shows how they influence our living reality. As the mediator between the unconscious and the conscious mind, she exists as the subconscious mind, the place where all of our beliefs and ideations dwell and are shaped. Lilith allows us to see how our minds have been moulded and formed. As the grand mistress of the conditioned and therefore the unconditioned mind; Lilith can unravel programmes and learned behaviour like a pro if we are willing to see the truth. She is the ultimate deprogrammer.

The world has an unmet Mother need-

I was talking with a friend recently about the upper-class public-school system where children, especially boys are separated from their mother at a tender age thus disrupting natural attachment. In our conversation we also observed that a similar dynamic exists on the other side of the spectrum within working class families where both parents need to earn a wage to survive, or where single mothers need to work, and children are sent to preschool as early as 0 years. This is a huge subject with complex ramifications that I won’t get into now except to say that under the systems of patriarchy (I am still looking for a better term) many of us are unmothered… we are the unmothered children of patriarchy. Our connection with the Earth herself, the Great Mother, is also in decline, weakened at an alarming rate as we are sucked further into artificial matrices of the machine age.

Moving onto the Mars Medusa conjunction in Libra, the frozen instincts of Medusa (serpent energy), is being thawed in the fires of Mars; sexuality (libido), primal drives, vitality, and masculine assertion are coming back online. Mars takes action and in his higher aspect is the sacred warrior ready to fight for what he believes in. He is ready to protect. As with aspects of the feminine principle, the masculine principle is also thwarted and restricted. Many of us are asking the question, “who’s the daddy… and where is he?”.  At least that’s my question though I am talking with others who are acutely aware of the lack of a strong benevolent fatherly holding and strong masculine containers.

Medusa’s frozen stare turns those who attempt to approach her to stone; when our own feeling, instinctual self is closed down we are no longer operating from the heart centre and are motivated instead by fear and defensiveness. In this state we are capable of turning those around us to stone… look at how divisive and attacking things have become on social media.

Mars gives Medusa the energy to act instead of being stuck in depression and stasis, unable to engage because it’s too painful to feel. In the Myth of Medusa it is the solar hero Perseus (a Mars-like figure) who slays her head off thus liberating Pegasus, the winged horse who represents creativity, and Chrysaor the warrior of the golden sword. It is the masculine principle who sets the frozen feminine free and it is the feminine who roots and births the masculine, an eternal cycle of creativity and evolving consciousness birthed through the dance of polarity.

What the implications of a society embracing a more gender-neutral model where it is not only gender but biological sex that is affected, remains to be seen. Dare I say, and I am well aware that I am now holding a very hot potato, the erasure of biological sex not only affects the material level of physical body but has weighty ramifications through all levels of human experience as well as the possibilities of natural evolution through differentiation and polarity.

Today, on the threshold of equinox, I am embracing balance, reciprocity, equality, and mutuality of masculine and feminine toward the sacred marriage and the birth of the divine child. Masculinity is intimately bound with the archetypal Father as femininity is bound with the archetypal Mother; how these images are expressed and understood in our living and consensual realities is crucially important. Archetypally Mother is mature femininity (not that it’s the only expression of mature feminine though it is only the mature feminine that can give birth), just as Father is mature masculinity.

I am considering rites of passage and initiation into adulthood; most of us, if not all of us, did not cross these thresholds consciously or with any ritual containers. It is not too late to recapitulate our conditioned mind, to take an inventory of what has influenced and moulded us into the person we are today, and to discover where the gaps are. When the powers to whom we have assigned authority, our governments, and leaders, are proving to be unworthy parental figures, it is time to reparent ourselves.

If you are interested in the work I do and would like to find out how I incorporate enquiries like this into experiential groups, courses, and 1-1 therapy; or if you would like to be added to my mailing list you can contact me at-

karen@redpsiral.co.uk

Virgo Supermoon: Chiron, Medusa & the Serpent Mysteries.

‘Eyes of Medusa’ by Andrea Mazzocc-Hetti

Full moon in Virgo, 9th March at 17.48 GMT.

Chiron conjunct Medusa at 4 degrees of Aries.

Medusa, serpent headed gorgon, monstrous cave dweller on the fringes of the western world… woe betide all who cross her path and catch a glimpse of her snaky unblinking eye. For if she cast her beady eye upon you, you will be turned to stone, forever frozen in her wasteland, a statue of the not quite living and the not quite dead. A tormented soul in stony limbo.

Chiron the centaur, son of Cronus and sea nymph Philyra, suffers his first wound as a baby when his mother upon seeing him is so appalled by his appearance that she rejects him at once.

Chiron is then adopted by Apollo who among other things tutors him in the healing arts.

Chiron’s second wound occurs when he is accidentally pierced by an arrow belonging to Hercules that is dripping with the blood of the Hydra, the many headed serpent whose blood causes a wound that can never heal.

In his suffering, Chiron finally renounces his immortality and swaps places with Prometheus the Titan god who steels fire from the gods to give to humanity. Chiron no longer a god, now a mortal being is thus redeemed from his eternal suffering.

When Chiron and Medusa join forces on the cosmic stage we can be sure that the deepest mysteries of healing and renewal are vibrating through the collective consciousness.

Chiron, half horse half human and Medusa, mortal gorgon with a head full of hissing snakes pulls us through the most heretical and forbidden wormholes to a gnostic understanding of human divinity and transcendence- punishable by death if not handled in right relationship to the gods.

So what might a meeting of these two awesome figures look like and what can it reveal about the available energies on this Virgo supermoon?

Chiron has taken the serpent’s poison into himself and in the process of attempting to transmute the poison he becomes a master healer. Finally renouncing his godly status he trades places with Prometheus, the renegade who steals fire (enlightenment) from the gods to give to humanity. Chiron’s gift therefore is to redeem humanity from darkness by sanctioning and enabling Prometheus’ act which is the gifting of divinity- knowledge of the gods- to humanity.

Chiron’s own journey, a deep diving into the serpent mysteries enables him to learn the secrets of transmutation. His knowledge is the understanding that snake poison can either kill or heal, and while he himself is the ultimate sacrifice, he gifts this gnosis to humanity- spiritual fire that can liberate from the chains of darkness.

Medusa is also a keeper of the serpent wisdom- once Perseus slays off her head, the droplets of blood that fall to the desert floor create life in the form of plants and flowers which shoot up all around. Athena gifts the blood of Medusa to Asclepius the god of healing, she presents this sacred substance in two vials, the blood in the left vial has the power to destroy while the blood in the right vial has the power to heal and even restore life from the clutches of death.

A meeting between Chiron and Medusa such as is happening under this full moon opens the door for us to consider the poison that we carry inside of us- does it destroy us, or can we learn to transmute the poison for our deepest healing? Can we learn the wisdom of “pharmakon” a Greek word that means both “medicine” and “poison”?

We can either let the poison fester inside until it renders us to a state of not quite living and not quite dead before it finally kills us, or like the snake with its regenerative powers of renewal and transformation we can shed our skin in a process of death and rebirth while holding within us the secrets of metamorphosis… and if divinely inspired share these teachings with others.

What is it in us that wants to be unfrozen under this new moon? What old skins are ready to come off? What wounds, hurts, and poisons are we willing to let go of?

To enter into this process we must accept that what we have previously considered to be our wounds, disabilities, paralysis, or limitations are in fact our potential gods. Once we release the energy currently being used to store the poison inside of us, the gateway through which we may find our greatest power opens before us.

The serpent mysteries are involved with integrating duality- to accept that there is light in darkness and there is darkness in light- it is the acceptance or acknowledgement of the shadow and the reclaiming of our energy- sometimes huge amounts of energy- that hold us in the past, frozen like the statues in Medusa’s wasteland.